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Bible Commentaries

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges
Titus 2



Verse 1

1. σὺ δὲ λάλει. But do thou, in contrast with the ματαιολόγοι (as at 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 3:10; 2 Timothy 4:5), speak, i.e. speak out boldly and plainly.

ἃ πρέπει τῇ ὑγιαινούσῃ διδασκαλἰᾳ, which befit (cp. 1 Timothy 2:10) the sound doctrine, sc. in contrast with the μῦθοι and ἐντολαὶ ἀνθρώπων of Titus 1:14. For ἡ ὑγ. διδασκαλία see on 1 Timothy 1:10.

i. Aged men

Verses 1-10


Verse 2

2. πρεσβύτας. The word πρεσβύτης is common in the LXX. (see note on 1 Timothy 5:1 and cp. the parallel use there of πρεσβύτερος), but only occurs again in the N.T. at Luke 1:18 and Philemon 1:9 (in which last place it is probably for πρεσβευτής, ‘an ambassador’). It simply means an old man, and is not a title of office.

νηφαλίους εἶναι, should be temperate, not only in the use of wine, though this would be included (cp. the parallel μηδὲ οἵνῳ πολλῷ δεδουλωμένας in Titus 2:3), but generally. see on 1 Timothy 3:2; 1 Timothy 3:11 and 2 Timothy 4:5.

σεμνούς, grave. see on 1 Timothy 2:2; 1 Timothy 3:4 and Titus 1:7 above.

σώφρονας. see on 1 Timothy 2:9; 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:8 above.

ὑγιαίνοντας τῇ πίστει. The similar phrase ἵνα ὑγιαίνωσιν ἐν τῇ πίστει (ch. Titus 1:13 above) would suggest that ἡ πίστις was here to be taken objectively (see on 1 Timothy 1:19), but it will be observed that the defining preposition ἐν is lacking here, and further the words which follow shew that πίστις, ἀγάπη, ὑπομονή are here a triad of Christian graces, and that therefore πίστις must be taken subjectively. The old men are to be bidden ‘to be sound in their faith.’

With the phrase ὑγιαίνοντας τῇ πίστει cp. τὸν ἀσθενοῦντα τῇ πίστει (Romans 14:1).

τῇ πίστει, τῇ ἀγάπῃ, τῇ ὑπομονῇ. For the intimate connexion between πίστις and ἀγάπη see on 1 Timothy 1:14.

πίστις and ὑπομονή are coupled at 2 Thessalonians 1:4; Revelation 13:10, and the relation between them is described thus by St James (James 1:3), τὸ δοκίμιον ὑμῶν τῆς πίστεως κατεργάζεται ὑπομονήν.

ἀγάπη and ὑπομονή are grouped in 2 Thessalonians 3:5.

The three graces πίστις, ἀγάπη, ὑπομονή are also placed in juxtaposition, 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Timothy 6:11 (where Timothy is bidden to pursue them), and 2 Timothy 3:10 (where St Paul speaks of his own example in respect of them); and they form three of the eight graces enumerated in the catalogue 2 Peter 1:6-7, πίστις being the beginning, ἀγάπη the end, and ὑπομονή an intermediate stage, of the Christian course as there described. Ignatius (Polyc. 6) thus distinguishes them as parts of the Christian’s equipment, ἡ πίστις ὡς περικεφαλαία, ἡ ἀγάπη ὡς δόρυ, ἡ ὑπομονὴ ὡς πανοπλία. See further on 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 3:10.

ii. Aged women

Verse 3

3. πρεσβύτιδας. πρεσβῦτις, an aged woman, is only found again in the Greek Bible at 4 Maccabees 16:14. It is interesting to find Epiphanius (Haer. Collyr. 79, n. 3) using the word of the most venerable of the Church Widows (see 1 Timothy 5:9), who were quite distinct from the Deaconesses; he distinguishes the πρεσβῦτις carefully from the πρεσβύτερις or woman ‘elder.’ Here, however, the term πρεσβύτις is used just as πρεσβυτέρα was in 1 Timothy 5:2; it was not yet a distinct office. But we have in this and the corresponding passage in 1 Timothy the beginnings of what came to be an organised ministry in a later age.

ὡσαύτως. see on 1 Timothy 2:9.

ἐν καταστήματι, in demeanour; as compared with καταστολή dress of 1 Timothy 2:9, it points rather to a habit of mind than to outward appearance, as also it does at 3 Maccabees 5:45, the only other place where the word κατάστημα is found in the Greek Bible. Of the Bishop of Tralles Ignatius says that his κατάστημα was itself μεγάλη μαθητεία (Trall. 3), and this, no doubt, is the idea here also.

ἱεροπρεπρεῖς, reverend, or as the A.V. has it “as becometh holiness”; the R.V. “reverent” does not seem to hit the sense, which has reference rather to the effect upon others of their decorous demeanour than to their own respect for sacred things. Yet it is hard to distinguish the two, and the parallel passage 1 Timothy 2:10 ὅ πρέπει γυναιξὶν ἐπαγγελλομέναις θεοσέβειαν in some measure countenances the subjective sense of the word here.

μὴ διαβόλους. see on 1 Timothy 3:6; 1 Timothy 3:11.

μηδὲ οἵνῳ πολλῷ δεδουλωμένας, nor enslaved to much wine, a stronger expression than the corresponding one, 1 Timothy 3:8 (see note thereon), which applies to deacons. The ‘slavery of sin’ is a familiar thought with St Paul (Romans 6:18; Romans 6:22 &c.), and in the case of no sin is the bondage more conspicuous than in the case of drunkenness. It may have been specially necessary to warn the Cretans, λαστέρες ἀργαί (Titus 1:12), against it.

καλοδιδασκάλους, teachers of that which is good, sc. not in the public assemblies of Christians (1 Timothy 2:12, where see note), but in private ministrations, such as those of Lois and Eunice (2 Timothy 3:15) and those contemplated in the next verse. For the form of the word καλοδιδάσκαλος (ἄπ. λεγ. in the Greek Bible) see the note on ἑτεροδιδασκαλεῖν (1 Timothy 1:3), and for the force of καλόδ see on 1 Timothy 1:8.

Verse 4

4. ἴνα σωφρονίζωσιν τὰς νέας, that (this is the reason why they should be καλοδιδάσκαλοι) they may train the young women, sc. primarily the young married women, as the context shews. The demeanour of Titus himself to these members of his flock would, no doubt, be the same as that recommended to Timothy (1 Timothy 5:2; see note thereon). See critical note.

The verb σωφρονίζειν is ἄπ. λεγ. in the Greek Bible; see on 2 Timothy 1:9 and on 1 Timothy 2:9.

iii. Young wives

φιλάνδρους εἶναι, to be lovers of their husbands. The word does not occur again in LXX. or N.T.; we have in Plutarch (Praec. conj. 38) φίλανδροι καὶ σώφρονες γυναῖκες.

φιλοτέκνους, lovers of their children. The word is not found again in N.T.; we have it in 4 Maccabees 15:4-5 and (coupled with φίλανδροι) in Plutarch (Mor. p. 769).

Verse 5

5. σώφρονας, soberly discreet; see on 1 Timothy 2:9; 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:8 above.

ἁγνάς, chaste, probably in its primary sense. see on 1 Timothy 4:12; 1 Timothy 5:22; cp. 2 Corinthians 11:2.

οἰκουργούς, ἀγαθάς. Some excellent critics, e.g. Lachmann, Tregelles and Weiss, remove the comma, and treat ἀγαθάς as qualifying the word which precedes it. This, however, is to disturb the rhythm of the sentence, and is not in accordance with the ancient interpretations of the passage. We shall see that ἀγαθάς may very well be taken absolutely, as all the words preceding it are taken.

The question then arises, Are we to read οἰκουργούς or οἰκουρούς? Diplomatic evidence certainly favours the former, and the passage quoted in the critical note from Clement of Rome may also be alleged to support the opinion that οἰκουργούς was the primitive reading. But the resultant meaning (apparently, for it was an extraordinarily rare word, as the crit. note shews) workers at home is not very impressive. And when we remember that the alternative reading οἰκουρούς keepers at home, supplies an attribute of good wives by which Greek writers generally set great store (Field supplies a large number of apt illustrations) we are much tempted to hold that it was the word used by St Paul. Wetstein quotes Philo, de Exsecr. 4, and the words are worth reproducing as illustrating the whole passage before us: γυναῖκας ἃς ἡγάγοντο κουριδίας ἐπὶ γυησίωυ παιδῶν σπορᾷ, σώφρονας οἰκουροὺς καὶ φιλάνδρους. Another passage from Philo (de Prof. 27) is interesting. Of a virtuous wife he says κοσμιότητι καὶ σωφροσύνῃ καὶ ταῖς ἄλλαις διαπρέπουσιν ἀρεταῖς, ἑνὶ προσέχουσαν ἀνδρὶ καὶ τὴν ἑνὸς οἰκουρίαν ἀγαπῶσαν καὶ μοναρχίᾳ χαίρουσαν. In short, οἰκουρούς is the word we should naturally expect in such a catalogue from a writer in St Paul’s circumstances; οἰκουργούς is of very doubtful meaning, nor is it supported by such overwhelming external evidence as to require its adoption. Hence we are disposed to hold by the A.V. keepers at home (or perhaps ‘keepers of their homes’) in preference to the R.V. workers at home.

ἀγαθάς. The Vulgate translates benignas, ἀγαθός thus having an absolute meaning akin to what it has at Matthew 20:15; 1 Peter 2:18, and (according to the most probable interpretation) Romans 5:7, where it is contrasted with δίκαιος. ἀγαθάς means here, then, kind (the rendering of the R.V.) or kindly.

ὑποτασσομένας τοῖς ἰδίοις ἀνδράσιν, submitting themselves, each to her own husband, advice which St Paul had given before in almost identical words (Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18). See for this unemphatic use of ἴδοις on 1 Timothy 6:1, and cp. Titus 2:9 below.

Whatever may be thought of the ‘subjection of women’ there can be no doubt that St Paul’s belief was that the man is, and ought to be, ‘head of the wife’ (Ephesians 5:23). see on 1 Timothy 2:11.

ἴνα μὴ ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ βλασφημῆται. Quoted as in Romans 2:24 (cp. also 1 Timothy 6:1) from Isaiah 52:5. Christianity has undoubtedly emancipated woman from the state of degradation in which Greek civilisation and Hebrew prejudice were alike content to leave her; but the first preachers of the Gospel sanctioned no sudden revolution in domestic life any more than in civic life. For Christianity was a religious movement before it became either a social or political movement; and it was the constant fear of its early exponents that it might be misinterpreted as loosening the bonds of society and of the state, and that so the Word of God, i.e. the Gospel (see Addit. Note on 1 Timothy 4:5), might be blasphemed. see on 1 Timothy 6:1.

iv. Young men

Verse 6

6. τοὺς νεωτέρους ὡσαύτως παρακάλει σωφρονεῖν, the younger men likewise exhort to be sober-minded. It will be observed that Titus is not directed, as Timothy was (1 Timothy 5:1, where see the note), to exhort the νεώτεροι as ἀδελφοί, probably because he was himself a man in middle life. See on 1 Timothy 2:9; the references there given shew that specially great stress is laid in this Epistle on the virtue of σωφροσύνη and the need of σωφρονισμός.

Verse 7

7. περὶ πάντα σεαυτὸν παρεχόμενος τύπον καλῶν ἔργων, in all things shewing thyself an example of good works. The use of the reflexive pronoun along with the middle voice of the verb makes the personal application of the injunction more pointed. Example is better than precept, and Titus is to set an example in his own person. For the use of τύπος cp. 1 Timothy 4:12, and the note thereon; and for the stress laid on καλὰ ἔργα in the Pastorals and the significance of the adjective καλός see on 1 Timothy 2:10.

It will be remembered that these words, together with those of Titus 2:8 and of Titus 2:12, form the substance of one of the solemn questions which are put to a bishop before his consecration.

ἐν τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ ἀφθορίαν, σεμνότητα, in thy teaching (shewing) uncorruptness, gravity. These two attributes have reference to the qualities of the teacher, rather than to the content of the doctrine taught; the character of that is defined by the words which follow. σεμνότης (see on 1 Timothy 2:2) is peculiarly a quality of persons, not of doctrine; and ἀφθορία (ἄπ. λεγ. in N.T.) well expresses the single-mindedness and sincerity which a teacher of sacred things should exhibit. It signifies his whole-heartedness, while σεμνότης rather has reference to his outward demeanour.

ἡ διδασκαλία here is to be taken actively, thy teaching, and not (as in the A.V. and R.V.) in the objective sense of the doctrine taught. It has been pointed out in the note on 1 Timothy 1:10, that it is used in both senses in the Pastoral Epistles, but here the context as well as the close juxtaposition of the verb παρακαλεῖν (παράκλησις exhortation being contrasted with διδασκαλία instruction, as at 1 Timothy 4:13) seems to require us to translate teaching, as Wiclif’s version has it.

The A.V. has at the end of this verse the additional attribute sincerity, the rendering of ἀφθαρσίαν of the rec. text. But as the critical note shews, it is a later gloss, and not entitled to a place in the text at all.

Verse 8

8. λόγον ὑγιῆ ἀκατάγνωστον, sound discourse that cannot be condemned. The two qualities which the λόγος or ‘discourse’ of one in the position of Titus should have are [1] that it be ὑγιής (see the note on 1 Timothy 1:10), and [2] that it be ἀκατάγνωστος or irreprehensible. The word ἀκατάγνωστος occurs again in the Greek Bible only once, at 2 Maccabees 4:47 where it means ‘uncondemned’; here it means rather ‘not open to just rebuke.’ In fact, every faithful teacher has frequently to declare ‘doctrine’ against which some of his hearers rebel and which they are only too ready to ‘condemn.’ But the true standard of ὑγιεία or soundness is not derived from a comparison of the opinions of the taught, but is the Apostolic deposit of faith, as officially and authoritatively interpreted by the Church.

ἵνα ὁ ἐξ ἐναντίας ἐντραπῇ, in order that he of the contrary part, sc. the ματαιολόγος, may be put to shame, and so his vain talk be silenced. The positive presentation of truth, of the ‘sound doctrine,’ is the best means of combating error; falsehood dreads the light and is—generally—discredited as soon as the light of truth is allowed to play on it, without any direct controversial attack. Chrysostom interprets ὁ ἐξ ἐναντίας of the devil, but this is to introduce an idea quite foreign to the context, as indeed the next clause sufficiently shews.

μηδὲν ἔχων λέγειν περὶ ἡμῶν φαῦλον, having no evil thing to say of us. φαῦλος is in the N.T. always applied to evil deeds rather than evil words; and so the point of this clause is that the opponents of St Paul’s ‘sound doctrine’ have nothing scandalous to report of his conduct or of that of Titus.

v. Slaves

Verse 9

9. δούλους ἰδίοις δεσπόταις ὑποτάσσεσθαι. Exhort (going back to παρακάλει of Titus 2:6) slaves to be in subjection to their masters. The corresponding injunctions in 1 Timothy 6:1 ff. should be compared with what follows; ἴδοις is used without special emphasis here, as in that place. The article before ἰδίοις is dropped, apparently because of the anarthrous δούλους which precedes[513]. See critical note.

ἐν πᾶσιν εὐαρέστους εἶναι, to give satisfaction to them in all things, εὐάρεστος, well-pleasing, is a favourite adjective with St Paul; but everywhere else he uses it in reference to God the Father or Christ.

μὴ ἀντιλέγοντας, not gainsaying; it is wider than Tyndale’s “not answering again,” which is preserved in the A.V. ἀντιλέγειν here has reference to all kinds of opposition, whether of words or deeds.

Verse 10

10. μὴ νοσφιζομένους, not purloining; for νοσφίζεσθαι cp. Acts 5:3; 2 Maccabees 4:32. Tyndale’s “neither be pickers” gives the sense exactly; the allusion is to the petty thefts which are always possible for a dishonest servant.

ἀλλὰ πᾶσαν πίστιν ἐνδεικνυμένους ἀγαθήν, but shewing all good fidelity, sc. shewing good faith on every possible occasion; see note on the extensive force of πᾶς in St Paul, at 1 Timothy 1:15. πίστις here = fidelitas, the fidelity which slaves owe to their masters, servants to those who employ them.

ἵνα τὴν διδασκαλίας κ.τ.λ., that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things, sc. in every department and call of duty. κοσμεῖν ‘to adorn,’ is used of the ‘setting’ of a jewel; and so, here, ‘the doctrine of God our Saviour’ is, as it were, ‘set off,’ and exhibited in a favourable light to the unbelieving world, by the conduct of those who, in whatever station, profess belief in it. For the title ‘our Saviour’ as applied to God the Father, see note on 1 Timothy 1:1 and cp. 1 Timothy 4:10.

Verse 11

11. ἐπεφάνη γὰρ ἡ χάρις τοῦ θεοῦ σωτήριος πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις, for the grace of God appeared bringing salvation to all men. ἡ χάρις τοῦ θεοῦ is the whole favour of God, revealed in the Person of Christ; in this brief sentence we have at once a declaration of the Incarnation (ἐπεφάνη; cp. Titus 3:4) and the Atonement (σωτήριος; cp. the Name Jesus, Matthew 1:21). The aorist ἐπεφάνη points to a definite manifestation in time of the unfailing grace of God, i.e. to the Nativity and the Advent of our Lord.

For the adj. σωτήριος, which does not occur again in the N.T., cp. Amos 5:22 σωτηρίους ἐπιφανείας ὑμῶν οὐκ ἐπιβλέψομαι. The absence of the article before σωτήριος (see crit. note) skews that it is not attached to the subject χάρις, but is connected with the predicate; it is as bringing salvation that this grace has visited us, not ‘the saving grace of God has appeared.’

The construction and order of the words require us to take πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις, with σωτήριος, not with ἐπεφάνη, as the A.V., following Wiclif and the Rheims Version, has done. Tyndale has rightly that bringeth salvation unto all men, sc. whether Jew or Greek, bond or free. It is the Universality of the Atonement (cp. 1 Timothy 2:4) which is the thought in the second clause of the verse; it is not indeed easy to attach any exact sense to the rendering “appeared unto all men.” Even yet, after nineteen centuries of Christian Missions, ‘the grace of God’ is still unknown to multitudes of those whose nature the Lord took upon Himself; it has not yet ‘appeared’ to them.

Verses 11-14


Verse 12

12. παιδεύουσα ἡμᾶς, ἴνα κ.τ.λ., schooling us, in order that &c. This is the point of stress in the whole paragraph. The ground of the foregoing exhortations to fulfil our several duties lies here, that “the grace of God appeared … schooling (or disciplining) us” for right living. The final cause of the Revelation in Christ is not creed, but character.

ἴνα ἀρνησάμενοι τὴν ἀσέβειαν καὶ τὰς κοσμικἀς ἐπιθυμίας, in order that having denied ungodliness and worldly lusts &c. The aorist participle seems to point to a definite act of renunciation, such as is made at Baptism, which is everywhere in the N.T. contemplated as the beginning of the Christian life. It is grammatically possible to take ἀρνησάμενοι as coextensive in time with ζήσωμεν which follows, and to translate denying (as A.V. and R.V.), the continual denials of the Christian course being thus described. But a reference to the baptismal vow (see on 1 Timothy 6:12 and cp. 1 Peter 3:21) seems to be intended. ἀσέβεια (2 Timothy 2:16) is, of course, the opposite of εὐσέβεια; see on 1 Timothy 2:2. The worldly desires which we are called on to ‘deny’ include the lusts of the flesh, but are not confined to these; ἡ ἐπιθυμία τῆς σαρκὸς καὶ ἡ ἐπιθυμία τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν καὶ ἡ ἁλαζονία τοῦ βίου are all ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου (1 John 2:16).

σωφρόνως καὶ δικαίως καὶ εὐσεβῶς ζήσωμεν, we should live soberly and righteously and godly. The three adverbs, taken together, express the Christian ideal of life (cp. the language of the General Confession), and they are so used in the Form for Adult Baptism and also in that for the Consecration of Bishops (see above on Titus 2:7). In a rough way they may be considered as pointing respectively to our duties, to ourselves, to our neighbours, and to God, but anything like a sharp division is not to be pressed (see on ch. Titus 1:8). For σωφροσύνη see on 1 Timothy 2:9 and for εὐσέβεια on 1 Timothy 2:2.

ἐν τῷ νῦν αἰῶνι, in the present world. For this phrase see on 1 Timothy 6:17.

Verse 13

13. προσδεχόμενοι τὴν μακαρίαν ἐλπίδα κ.τ.λ., looking for the blessed hope, &c. Note that the connexion of this with what goes before shews that this attitude of expectation is not only a privilege and a consolation, but a duty. Hope ‘abides’ no less than faith and love (1 Corinthians 13:13). The ἐλπίς is almost regarded as something objective, not only spes but res sperata; cp. Acts 24:15 ἐλπίδαἣνπροσδέχονται (in a speech of Paul’s). It is called μακάριος as containing in itself the fulness of bliss (see on 1 Timothy 1:11).

καὶ ἐπιφάνειαν τῆς δόξης, and appearing of the glory. The A.V. “glorious appearing” (derived from Tyndale, all the other English versions having preserved the true rendering) is a quite unjustifiable hendiadys, and impoverishes the sense. The absence of die article before ἐπιφάνεια requires us to connect it closely with ἐλπίδα; it is, indeed, the emphatic word in the sentence. The strength in which the Christian life is to be lived is the grace revealed in the First Advent (the Epiphany of Titus 2:11); the hope to which it presses is the glory of the Second Advent (the Epiphany of Titus 2:13).

τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ. The rendering of this verse has been the subject of much dispute. [1] The older English versions distinguish two Persons in the clause to which we have come, and understand τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ of God the Father (cp. 2 Peter 1:1). [2] On the other hand the R.V. (though placing the other rendering in the margin) translates of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ (see, however, the critical note for the order). (a) Primâ facie, it might be thought (and it has often been urged) that the omission of the article before σωτῆρος requires us to think of θεοῦ and σωτῆρος as being part of one conception, and that therefore the rendering of the R.V. is demanded inexorably by the ordinary rules as to the use of the definite article. But, in fact, σωτήρ is one of those quasi-technical words which speedily became anarthrous (see on 1 Timothy 1:1); and further it might possibly be, that, as τοῦ μεγάλου qualifies θεοῦ, so σωτῆρος is qualified by the following ἡμῶν. The point cannot be decided on grammatical grounds alone, (b) Again it has been supposed by some that interpretation [2], as being that adopted (with fair unanimity) by the Greek Fathers and as being therefore the traditional interpretation of the early Eastern Church, has strong claims upon us on this ground alone. Against that, however, a fact of exactly opposite significance may be set, viz. that the early translations of the N.T., Latin, Syriac, Egyptian and Armenian, seem to adopt interpretation [1]. Patristic interpretation is not decisive when the evidence of the Versions is the other way. And, again, we must always remember that the Fathers were far better theologians than critics. Their judgement on a point of doctrine may be trusted with much readier confidence than the arguments by which they support that judgement. That St Paul would not hesitate to call Christ by the awful title God need not be doubted (see Acts 20:28; Romans 9:5 in particular), and the Fathers were right in asserting this quite plainly. But whether he does so at this point or not is a question of exegesis, not of doctrine; the dogma of our Lord’s Godhead does not rest only on one or on twenty texts.

Tradition, then, does not settle the problem before us any more than grammar, and we ask next (c) What is the general usage of the Pastoral Epistles as to the combination of the words θεός and Χριστός? To this there can be only one answer. From a comparison of 1 Timothy 1:1; Titus 1:4; Titus 3:4-6 (see also 1 Timothy 2:3-5) it will be perceived that the habit of the writer of these letters is to use θεός of God the Father (the epithet σωτήρ being frequently applied to Him: see on 1 Timothy 1:1); ἀπὸ θεοῦ πατρὸς καὶ χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν (Titus 1:4) is his usual method of coupling the Eternal Father and His Son our Lord. Hence there is some ground for distinguishing the terms in the same way in the verse before us. But (d) we have not yet examined the context, and this will lessen our confidence in the conclusion to which (c) would point. For (α) the application of the adj. μέγας to θεός is unique in the N.T. (cp. Nehemiah 9:32 and esp. Daniel 2:45); and this remarkable choice of epithet may suggest that θεός is used in a special connexion with special motive. In other words μέγας is somewhat pointless (in this context) if applied to God the Father; but τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ has remarkable significance if it be understood of God the Son, with whose Second Advent the verse is concerned. It calls attention to the glory of that Appearing which shall be. (β) ἐπιφάνεια is habitually used by Paul of our Lord Jesus Christ, and not of God the Father, as a rule. Against this the expression in this very Epistle (Titus 3:4) ἡ χρηστότης καὶ ἡ φιλανθρωπία ἐπεφάνη τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν θεοῦ (sc. God the Father), has been set; but this latter Epiphany was that of the First Advent, not of the Second, and in reference to the Second Advent (which is here in question) ἡ ἐπιφάνεια is exclusively and perpetually applied to Christ. (γ) The full phrase ἡ ἐπιφάνεια τῆς δόξης perhaps is more applicable to the glory of the Son (Matthew 25:31) which shall be revealed at the Last Day (1 Peter 4:13), than to the glory of the Father; but yet Matthew 16:27 shews how easy it would be to press a consideration of this kind too far.

On the whole, then, though with great hesitation, we prefer the rendering of the Revised Version [2] for the reasons assigned under head (d); but it must not be supposed that the rendering of the Authorised Version is less doctrinally significant. In both cases our Lord’s equality in glory with the Eternal Father is asserted in a fashion which would be out of the question if the writer did not believe that He was in truth the Almighty and Infinite God; the only difference is that what is only implied, according to the one translation, is explicitly stated by the other.

Verse 14

14. δς ἕδωκεν ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν, Who gave Himself for us. This is the phrase in which St Paul again and again describes the efficacy of the Lord’s Atonement; cp. Romans 8:32; Galatians 1:4; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 5:25, and see on 1 Timothy 2:6.

ἵνα λυτρώσηται ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ πάσης ἀνομίας, in order that He might redeem us from all iniquity. The final cause of the Atonement is represented in Titus 2:14 as (a) negative (Redemption), (b) positive (Sanctification). In this clause we have its negative purpose described; it is to redeem us from all sin (all sin is ἀνομία, 1 John 3:4, and ἀνομία here stands for violation of the moral law in general). The rationale of the Atoning Efficacy of the Lord’s Death is illustrated in the N.T. by various metaphors, such as Ransom, Reconciliation, Sacrifice. Here (as at 1 Timothy 2:6) the metaphor of emancipation from slavery, ransom from the bondage of sin, is adopted, the language used being taken from Psalms 129 [130]:8 καὶ αὐτὸς (sc. ὁ κύριος) λυτρώσεται τὸν Ἰσπαὴλ ἐκ πασῶν τῶν ἀνομιῶν αὐτοῦ, where this ‘plenteous redemption’ is sung as the work of the Messiah who was to come (cp. also Ezekiel 37:23). This was the metaphor which (possibly because of its adoption by our Lord Himself, Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45) was most frequently dwelt on by the early Church; and from Irenaeus to Anselm the one theory of the Atonement, which was popularly regarded as orthodox, was that which set forth the Lord’s Death as a ‘ransom’ paid to the devil, into whose bonds man had fallen. The metaphor of ‘redemption from evil’ was all too soon hardened into a theory of ‘ransom from the Evil One.’ See Westcott Hebrews, p. 295, and Abbott Ephesians, p. 11.

What has been said above (on 2 Timothy 4:17) as to the usage of ἀπό and ἐκ after verbs of deliverance suggests that the change of the ἐκ of the Psalm into ἀπό is not without significance; redemption ἐκ πάσης ἀνομίας would only indicate deliverance from all the acts of lawlessness of which man had been guilty; ἀπό indicates a complete deliverance from the neighbourhood and company of sin, whether original or actual.

καὶ καθαρίσῃ ἑαυτῷ λαὸν περιούσιον κ.τ.λ., and might purify to Himself a peculiar people, i.e. a people for His own possession. This is the positive purpose of the Atonement; not only ransom from sin (not to speak of deliverance from the pains of hell), but sanctification to a good life. The two things go together; cp. 2 Corinthians 7:1. In this clause St Paul again uses the language of the LXX. to express the sacred truths which have been committed to him to teach; λαὸς περιούσιος is the equivalent of עם סְנֻלָּה, ‘a people of possession’ (Exodus 19:6; Deuteronomy 7:6; Deuteronomy 14:2; Deuteronomy 26:18), the phrase used by St Peter being λεὸς εἰς περιποίησιν (1 Peter 2:9; cp. Malachi 3:17). περιούσιος is usually represented in the Vulgate by peculiaris or in peculium, whence Tyndale’s rendering “peculiar people” is derived; but in this verse (Titus 2:14) curiously enough the Vulgate has acceptabilem. The original Hebrew shews that the word περιούσιος is almost identical with the classical ἐξαίρετος, ‘chosen out’ as it were for God’s purposes; and this is the proper sense of the adj. peculiar which has gained, from this and parallel passages, a permanent place in our language[514].

ζηλωτὴν καλῶν ἔργων, zealous of good works. see on 1 Timothy 2:10 for the place which ‘good works’ occupy in the theology of the Pastoral Epistles. For the word ζηλωτής cp. Acts 22:3; 1 Corinthians 14:12; Galatians 1:14.

Verse 15

15. ταῦτα λάλει, these things, sc. what has gone before, speak; cp. 1 Timothy 6:2.

καὶ παρακάλει καὶ ἔλεγχε μετὰ πάσης ἐπιταγῆς, and exhort and reprove with all authority. The duties both of παράκλησις, exhortation (1 Timothy 4:13), and of ἐλεγμός (2 Timothy 3:16) are frequently commended to Timothy and Titus in the Pastorals (see on 2 Timothy 4:2). They are to be carried out μετὰ πάσης ἐπιταγῆς with all authority. “I verily believe,” says Bp Beveridge, “that the non-observance of this hath been, and still is, the principal reason why people receive so little benefit by hearing of sermons as they usually do. For they look upon sermons only as popular discourses, rehearsed by one of their fellow-creatures, which they may censure, approve, or reject, as themselves seem good.” It is not presumptuous, it is a plain duty, for the minister of the Gospel to speak μετὰ πάσης ἐπιταγῆς. For the word ἐπιταγή see on 1 Timothy 1:1, and cp. 2 Corinthians 8:8.

μηδείς σον περιφρονείτω, Let no man despise thee. This is in close connexion with the previous injunction to exhort and rebuke with all authority; the corresponding direction to Timothy (1 Timothy 4:12) springs out of a different context, and is suggested by the thought of Timothy’s ‘youth.’ see on 1 Timothy 5:1 and Titus 2:6.


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Bibliography Information
"Commentary on Titus 2:4". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". 1896.

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Tuesday, December 1st, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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