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Do deacons have to be male 1 Tim. 3.12?

In 1 Tim. 3.12, Paul writes, “Let the deacon be the husband of one wife….” This will lead some to believe and teach that Paul is saying that a deacon has to be a man, and cannot be a woman. What do you believe?

A short answer would be that the problem Paul was trying to get Tim to solve in the Ephesian church centered around men who were deacons having more than one wife, not women who were deacons having more than one husband.

The local context, the author’s intent, and the listener’s ability to understand, all control the meaning of the text. The text can only mean what it first meant. As you know, verses are useless for anything but finding some bit of content and quoted as proof text they are downright dangerous.

Winn Griffin’s participation in the church spans about 60 years, ministering in four different denominations, serving on the staff of three mega churches, and functioning as a pastor in four churches. He has a BA, MA, and two Doctor of Ministry degrees. In addition, he has authored two books and eight eBooks. Winn's focus on AskDrWinn is to give space for folks to ask about Bible stuff that they have questions about. He is married to Donna Faith and they have two adult children and live in Washington State. » Read Winn's Full Bio
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