Rebuking Elders

Paul gives Timothy the skinny on elders, quoting from Deuteronomy and providing numbers that point at Deuteronomy while saying only rebuke an elder if there are two or more witnesses.

1 Timothy 5:17-21

17Let the elders who minister well be esteemed worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and teaching. 18For the writing says, FA You will not muzzle the ox that threshes, Q Deuteronomy 25:4 and, The laborer is worthy of his wages. Q Matthew 10:10 Q Luke 10:7 1 Timothy 5:17-1819Do not accept an accusation against an elder, unless it is supported by the testimony of 2 or 3 witnesses. 20Those who sin, reprove before all men, that others may also fear. 1 Timothy 5:19-2021I testify to you before FA god and our master Joshua FA the anointed and his chosen kings, that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing by accepting of faces. 1 Timothy 5:21 (1 Timothy 5:17-21 BRB)


2+3 = 5 = Deuteronomy


The best place to look in Deuteronomy for a correlation to what Paul says about rebuking elders is the same passage in Deuteronomy he quote just previously on the subject of elders. What one finds after skipping past the reference to muzzling the ox is a description of the importance of honest weights and measures in the house.

13You will not have in your bag different weights, a large and a small. 14You will not have in your house different measures, a large and a small, 15but you will have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and a just measure you will have, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Master your god gives you, 16for all who do such things and all who act wickedly are an abomination before the Master your god. Deuteronomy 25:13-16 (Deuteronomy 25:13-16 BRB)

This is aligning with Paul's exhortation to judge elders without partiality, but only when the testimony of two or three support the indictment. Curious that this passage on eldership has two witnesses back to a passage in Deuteronomy, a direct quotation and a numeric cross reference.