Elders & Deacons

Two passages of Scripture provide prerequisites for serving as a "Elder" or a "Deacon." There are also prerequisites. Of course these lists also map to the tribes.


The First Timothy passage also includes prerequisites for serving as a "Deacon." All three lists map to the tribes and have a remarkable correspondence between them. The following tables take each list stand-alone. To study the similarities it's easiest to look at the Master Grid. Notes follow below.

Elders in Titus

Tribe Office Prerequisite

6An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. (Titus 1:6 NIV)

6If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.I had no choice but to leave EN untagged (Titus 1:6 KJV)

6FAAppoint only an elder who is blameless, and the husband of 1 wife, and one who has believing sons who do not swear and who are not intemperate. (Titus 1:6 BRB)

Judah Elder Blamess
Reuben Elder 1 wife
Gad Elder Faithful children
Asher Elder Don't swear
Naphtali Elder Not intemperate

7Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless -- not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. (Titus 1:7 NIV)

7FAFor an elder must be blameless as a steward of god, and he must not be self-willed, not quick tempered, not excessive in the use of wine, not too ready to strike with his hand, not a lover of filthy profit, (Titus 1:7 BRB)

7For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; (Titus 1:7 KJV)

Manasseh Elder Blameless steward of God and not self-willed
Simeon Elder Not quick tempered
Levi Elder Not excessive wine
Issachar Elder Not ready to strike
Zebulun Elder Not lover of filthy profit

8But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; (Titus 1:8 KJV)

8Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. (Titus 1:8 NIV)

8FAbut a lover of hospitality, a lover of good things, sober, just, pious, and temperate of worldly desires (Titus 1:8 BRB)

Joseph Elder Lover of hospitality and good things
Benjamin Elder Sober, just, pious and temperate of worldly desires

9FAholding fast the teaching of belief, so that he may be able to comfort by his sound teaching, and to rebuke those who are proud. (Titus 1:9 BRB)

9He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. (Titus 1:9 NIV)

9Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. (Titus 1:9 KJV)

Dan Elder Holding fast the doctrine of faith

Elders in First Timothy

Tribe Office Prerequisite

2Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, (F. Timothy 3:2 NIV)

2A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; (F. Timothy 3:2 KJV)

2FAHe who becomes an elder must be blameless, the husband of 1 wife, alert mentally, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, and apt at teaching; (F. Timothy 3:2 BRB)

Judah Elder Blameless
Reuben Elder 1 wife
Gad Elder Alert mentally
Asher Elder Sober
Naphtali Elder Good behavior
Manasseh Elder Hospitality
Simeon Elder Apt at teaching

3Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; (F. Timothy 3:3 KJV)

3FAnot given to wine, not hasty to strike, not quarrelsome, but meek, not greedy for filthy profit; (F. Timothy 3:3 BRB)

3not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. (F. Timothy 3:3 NIV)

Levi Elder Not given to wine
Issachar Elder Not hasty to strike, Not quarrelsome, but meek
Zebulun Elder Not greedy for filthy profit

4He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. 5(If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) (F. Timothy 3:4-5 NIV)

4FAone who rules his own house well and keeps his sons under submission to bring them up with all purity. 5For if a man does not know how to rule his own house well, how will he take care of the assembly of god? (F. Timothy 3:4-5 BRB)

4One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) (F. Timothy 3:4-5 KJV)

Joseph Elder Rules own house well

6He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. (F. Timothy 3:6 NIV)

6Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. (F. Timothy 3:6 KJV)

6FAHe should not be a recent disciple lest he become proud and fall into the judgment of an accuser. (F. Timothy 3:6 BRB)

Benjamin Elder Not recent convert

7FAFurthermore, he must have a good report from outsiders, lest he fall into disgrace and the snares of an accuser. (F. Timothy 3:7 BRB)

7He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap. (F. Timothy 3:7 NIV)

7Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. (F. Timothy 3:7 KJV)

Dan Elder Good report from outsiders

Deacons in First Timothy

Tribe Office Prerequisite

8Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. (F. Timothy 3:8 NIV)

8FALikewise, deacons must be pure, not 2 tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for filthy profit; (F. Timothy 3:8 BRB)

8Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; (F. Timothy 3:8 KJV)

Judah Deacon Pure
Reuben Deacon Not double-tongued
Gad Deacon Not given to much wine
Asher Deacon Not greedy for filthy profit

9Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. (F. Timothy 3:9 KJV)

9FAbut they must uphold the divine mystery of belief with a pure conscience. (F. Timothy 3:9 BRB)

9They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. (F. Timothy 3:9 NIV)

Naphtali Deacon Uphold faith

10They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. (F. Timothy 3:10 NIV)

10And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. (F. Timothy 3:10 KJV)

10FALet these first be examined, and then let them minister after they have been found blameless. (F. Timothy 3:10 BRB)

Manasseh Deacon Examine first to see if blameless

11In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. (F. Timothy 3:11 NIV)

11Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. (F. Timothy 3:11 KJV)

11FALikewise, their wives must be chaste, alert mentally, believable in all things, and not slanderers. (F. Timothy 3:11 BRB)

Simeon Deacon Chaste
Levi Deacon Alert mentally
Issachar Deacon Faithful
Zebulun Deacon Not slanderers

12Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. (F. Timothy 3:12 KJV)

12A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well. (F. Timothy 3:12 NIV)

12FALet the deacons be appointed from those who have had 1 wife, ruling their sons and their own houses well. (F. Timothy 3:12 BRB)

Joseph Deacon Not polygamous, Rules own house well

13Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus. (F. Timothy 3:13 NIV)

13For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. (F. Timothy 3:13 KJV)

13FAFor those who minister well earn good recognition for themselves, and grow more familiar with the belief of Messiah Joshua. (F. Timothy 3:13 BRB)

Benjamin Deacon Earn good recognition
Dan Deacon Grow more familiar with faith of Jesus

Notes on mapping

These lists give the areas to check someone to see if they area "blameless." If they are they may serve, if not, they need to grow some more, unless unqualified for some reason.

Blameless and pure land on Judah all three times. Manasseh also gets the word "blameless" in the middle of the list. I've always wondered while reading these passages why Paul would reuse the word "blameless" mid way down the list. Seems redundant and a bit out of place. Turns out it's the key for understanding the structure and alignment. Remember Manasseh is a miniature of all the tribes. So the overall reason for the list, to find someone blameless, lands on Manasseh to reiterate that this is the test everyone/tribe is under. This is really elegant, hope I'm making sense to you.


Note the way Manasseh/Joseph pick up hospitality, ruling own house/children well several times. Interesting theme.

Simeon gets issues around anger. Clearly a theme in Genesis and part of what Jacob spoke over him.

Levi keeps getting wine issues. Not sure why this would match Levi, but it's hard to argue the way this lands repetitively.

Reuben tends to get the have 1 wife exhortation. Given the sins of his youth told in Genesis this is understandable. As in Genesis where Reuben loses the birth right, here if you aren't single or married to 1 wife you lose the ability to serve in this office.

Benjamin is warned that recent converts are not to serve in this leadership capacity. Benjamin was of course the youngest of the brothers and is the last to become Christian in world history.