1 Timothy 3:6 (DRB):

Not a neophyte: lest being puffed up with pride, he fall into the judgment of the devil.

There are three modes (variations) of translation of this verse:

1- the same judgement (condemnation) as the Devil.

2- judgement (condemnation) by the Devil.

3- judgement (condemnation) of the Devil.

In (1) and (2) the meaning is clear. In (3) the meaning tolerates (1) and (2), i.e: of the Devil may means the same as the Devil or by the Devil.

So, what is the accurate translation?

If (3) is the accurate translation, then, what is the accurate meaning?, Is the accurate meaning: the same as the Devil, or is it: judgement by the Devil?

4 Answers 4


Koine Greek has two nouns that are commonly translated "judgement", namely:

  1. κρίμα (krima) meaning "decision, verdict, decree, condemnation"
  2. κρίσις (krisis) meaning "legal process of judgement, ie, trial"

Note that in the usual course of events, a κρίσις (krisis) lead to a κρίμα (krima). That is, a trial leads to a verdict or decision. On a few occasions the NT does not make this distinction so clearly; but most of the time it is quite clear.

In 1 Tim 3:6, the word translated "judgement" is κρίμα (krima), and thus means verdict or condemnation. Therefore, I would translate this verse as:

not a novice, lest having been puffed up, he might fall into the [same] condemnation of the devil.

That is, a conceited person might end up with the same fete as the devil who will be thrown into the lake of fire (Rev 20:10). Note that devil here is διαβόλου (diabolou) which is genitive and so should be rendered "of the devil" and not "by the devil". (The latter would more commonly be accusative or dative.)

  • the [same] present in the Greek text?
    – salah
    Apr 19, 2020 at 0:10
  • Koine Greek is the form of Greek that the NT was written in - the common Greek
    – Dottard
    Apr 19, 2020 at 0:44

1 Timothy 3:6, what is the accurate translation: “same judgement as the Devil” or “judgment by the Devil”?

Recommend reading chapter 20 of Revelation.

The book of Revelation in chapter 20 describes Satan as being bound and abyssed for a thousand years, at the hands of an angel​. After the thousand-year reign of Christ, Satan will be released for a short time.(Rev 20:1-6)

Satan’s Final Defeat.

7 When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the [c]seashore. 9 And they came up on the [d]broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the [e]saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Since judgment has already been passed on Satan and who will eventually be thrown into the lake of fire, the NIV gives a contextually correct rendering of the verse.

1- the same judgment (condemnation) as the Devil.

New International Version

He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.

  • is this the accurate translation or the accurate meaning or both?
    – salah
    Apr 18, 2020 at 19:59
  • salah : the same judgment (condemnation) as the Devil.is the correct translation, as this does not contradict the scriptures. Apr 24, 2020 at 17:33

The inference is that a Bishop should not be newly converted, but seasoned in the things of God before taking on the responsibilities of the things of God, so that he can withstand the honor or dishonor that work brings. And not fall into the condemnation of the Devil, who was cast out of heaven because of PRIDE!!!


Re: The judgment or condemnation of the Devil

If God the Father will not judge mankind, even concerning eternal judgment, (John 5:22), Satan cannot judge mankind concerning eternal judgment. Paul, who spoke openly, and without contradiction, about the spiritual security Christians have in Christ because of His promise--not our actions--, also spoke of a certain "destruction of the flesh" by Satan, which cannot affect the security of the spirit. Here, in 1 Ti 3, the subject question involves one who may desire to be, or who the church desires to be a bishop, and who is a novice, perhaps not grounded in the WORD. Such a person, though perhaps securely sanctified from eternal judgment, is vulnerable to becoming lifted up with pride--puffed up. That could result in that novice deacon having a lack of "boldness in the faith", contrary to that described in Titus 3:13:

For 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.

An example of this condemnation of the devil is very well described in 1 Cor. ch. 5, which was written to the church of God which was at Corinth (1 Co 1:12: KJV). First, Paul is not attempting to "judge them also who are without (those that are not sanctified in Christ Jesus), as shown in verse 12:

For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?

Rather, He was exhorting the believers, including the overseers of the flock, to not keep company with "any man "that is called a brother" who is a fornicator, covetous, etc.

1 Cor 5:11: But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. (My emphasis)

Here, the fornicator was well-known member of the church at Corinth. The fornicator, in this case was not necessarily called the "novice, but Paul was speaking to "them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours".

(1 Co 1:2): Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

Paul did not exclude the fornicator (who was called a brother) from being a spiritual brother sanctified in Jesus Christ our Lord, because we know that he was not judging anyone that was without. Rather, he was exhorting the church in it's entirety: 1 Co 5:2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.

Accordingly, even though Paul is not attempting to judge anyone that is without, he does make a non-eternal judgment as to "such an one"

1 Co 5:3-5: For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (My emphasis)

Satan has no authority to judge. If he could, everyone would be guilty with no hope of redemption. rather, he constantly accuses everyone like a ceaseless and over zealous prosecutor. But here we see, as before even with Job, and others, Satan is allowed attack, and in some cases, even destroy the FLESH in various ways, but even if, in fact, that man were a brother in Christ, the SPIRIT may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus--the day that the only authorized judge will both pronounce judgment, as well as execute judgment, against all unrighteousness.

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