by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 1 Study # 4 Lincolnton, NC November 21, 2004
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
1901 ASV Translation:
2 The bishop therefore must be without reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, orderly, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3 no brawler, no striker; but gentle, not contentious, no lover of money;
In chapter 3 verse 2, there is one variation between the Textus Receptus and the Nestle/Aland 26 that consists of a simple, one-letter difference in the spelling of the word translated "blameless/without reproach". It makes no difference in meaning. In 3:3 the Textus Receptus has an extra characteristic ("not greedy of filthy lucre") that has some manuscript support but not a persuasive amount. If Paul really did include it, along with "not covetous", it would simply have been emphatic -- an emphasis which some probably need in order to see just how much they have become lovers of money -- and it is unlikely that he saw any need for that with Timothy.
I. The Use of "Apt to Teach".
A. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament takes the word to mean "able to learn".
B. Liddell and Scott Greek-English Lexicon says of the word "apt at teaching".
C. Clearly the two concepts have an inter-relationship, but they, obviously, are not the same thing. Being able to learn in no way comments on being able to communicate that learning to others in an appropriate way.
D. Paul only uses the term twice.
1. This text, as a part of a grocery list.
2. 2 Timothy 2:24 -- the text requires of a bondservant of the Lord that he refuse to "strive", but be "gentle" and "in meekness correcting them that oppose themselves". This context tips the scale from opting for the quality of being "able to learn" to that of being "able to correct".
E. Further, it is clearly Paul's assumption that anyone who is a "leader" in the Church will be committed to teaching others as he instructs Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:2.
1. Before there can be any "teaching" there must be "learning" so that the "teacher" knows what is true and what is not (thus the previous requirements of being a clear thinker and a properly focused thinker).
2. When all is said and done, "teaching" is the fundamental methodology for the maturing of the saints.
a. God, from the beginning, chose "the impact of words" to be His main method of accomplishment.
b. Everywhere in God's creation, the bottom line turns out to be "words" as the chief methodology of change.
1) The saints are led astray by those who proclaim "doctrines" (concepts expressed by words) of demons.
2) The saints are built up by "correction" by concepts expressed by words.
3. That there is a skill set involved in teaching well is not as significant as the fact that true teaching is nothing more or less than being an instrument of the Teacher in the lives of those whom He seeks to teach.
a. This raises a key question: are those who are to do the "good work" required to be gifted by the Spirit to teach?
b. Paul requires of Timothy that he "do the work of an evangelist". Does this mean that he thought of Timothy as one with the spiritual gift of evangelist? Most likely not since he urges the behavior upon him as though Timothy might not do that work since it fell outside of his own particular "gifting".
c. Thus, we can probably conclude that Paul did not mean that everyone who became sufficiently mature to "do the good work" had to be a "gifted" teacher; but he did have to do some of the work of the "teacher" just as a person not gifted in evangelism must still be ready to share the gospel with others.
F. It is clear from reality that all of the qualities Paul addresses are "relative" that even teaching skill is "relative". The problem of relativity is that it recognizes that no one is perfect and thus cannot be required to be and that there is a good bit of difference between the immature and the mature. In other words, one can be qualified to "do the good work" if he is less than perfect; but, he must be more than just barely characterized by the characteristics that Paul requires.