Dr. Couch, I have a lot of questions about the issue of the qualifications of both the elder and the deacon. Can you shed light?
ANSWER: Rather than use the word "qualifications" I prefer the word "characteristics." For some reason the word "qualifications" seems to imply absolute perfection for these two offices, and this is certainly not true. The apostle Paul often had to chide these men in their failures. I believe Paul is saying that his lists help in determining whether these are the characteristics that these men possess for their office.
While there have been several books written about the elder and deacon, none come up to the details I provide in my book A Biblical Theology of the Church (Kregel). There are a lot of misunderstandings about these issues regarding what the Bible actually says. I analyze the verses and open them up grammatically in order to really ascertain from the Greek grammar what is being said. I also give some very important quotes from the early church fathers as to what these verses mean.
Thanks for asking!
Dr. Mal Couch