1 Never censure an older man harshly; appeal to him as a father. Treat younger men like brothers, 2 older women like mothers, younger women like sisters ??with perfect propriety.
3 Widows who really need it must be supported from the funds. 4 (When a widow has children or grandchildren, they must learn that the first duty of religion is to their own household, and that they should make some return to those who have brought them up. In God's sight this is an acceptable thing.) 5 The really forlorn widow has her hope fixed on God, night and day she is at her prayers and supplications; 6 whereas the widow who plunges into dissipation is dead before ever she dies. 7 So lay down the following rules, to prevent any reproach being incurred. 8 Whoever does not provide for his own relatives and particularly for his own family, has repudiated the faith: he is worse than an infidel.
9 No one under sixty is to be put on the church's list of widows; and she must have been only once married, 10 she must have a reputation for good service, as a woman who has brought up children, shown hospitality, washed the feet of the saints, relieved distress, and interested herself in all good works. 11 Refuse to put young widows on the list, for when their wanton desires alienate them from Christ, they want to marry 12 and thus are guilty of breaking their first troth to Him. 13 Besides, they become idle unconsciously by gadding about from one house to another ??and not merely idle but gossips and busybodies, repeating things they have no right to mention. 14 So I prefer young widows to marry again, to bear children, to look after their households, and not to afford our opponents any chance of reviling us. 15 As it is, some widows have already turned after Satan. ??16 Any believer, man or woman, who has widowed relatives, must give them relief; the church is not to be burdened with them; she has to relieve the widows who really need relief.
17 Presbyters who are efficient presidents are to be considered worthy of ample remuneration, particularly those who have the task of preaching and teaching: 18 Scripture says, You must not muzzle an ox when he is treading the grain, and A workman deserves his wages.
19 Never let any charge be brought against a presbyter, unless it is certified by two or three witnesses. 20 Those who are guilty of sin you must expose in public, to overawe the others. 21 In the presence of God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels, I adjure you to be unprejudiced in carrying out these orders; be absolutely impartial. 22 Never be in a hurry to ordain a presbyter; do not make yourself responsible for the sins of another man ??keep your own life pure. 23 [Give up being a total abstainer; take a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent attacks of illness.] 24 Some people's sins are notorious and call for judgment, but in some cases sin only comes out afterwards. 25 Good works are equally conspicuous; and even when they are not, they cannot escape notice for ever.