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by Gary H. Everett
STUDY NOTES ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
Using a Theme-based Approach
to Identify Literary Structures
By Gary H. Everett
THE EPISTLE OF TITUS
January 2013 Edition
All Scripture quotations in English are taken from the King James Version unless otherwise noted. Some words have been emphasized by the author of this commentary using bold or italics.
All Old Testament Scripture quotations in the Hebrew text are taken from Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia: With Westminster Hebrew Morphology, electronic ed., Stuttgart; Glenside PA: German Bible Society, Westminster Seminary, 1996, c1925, morphology c1991, in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004.
All New Testament Scripture quotations in the Greek text are taken from Greek New Testament, Fourth Revised Edition (with Morphology), eds. Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, M. Robinson, and Allen Wikgren, Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft (United Bible Societies), c1966, 1993, 2006, in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004.
All Hebrew and Greek text for word studies are taken from James Strong in The New Strong's Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek Words, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, c1996, 1997, in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004.
The Crucifixion image on the book cover was created by the author’s daughter Victoria Everett in 2012.
© Gary H. Everett, 1981-2013
All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted in any form without prior permission of the author.
Foundational Theme Church Order and Individual Calling
Structural Theme The Development of Man’s Mind for Christian Service in Response to God the Father’s Role of Redeeming Mankind
Imperative Theme The Role of the Teacher is to Transform Man’s Mind into the Knowledge of God the Father’s Plan of Redemption.
INTRODUCTION TO THE EPISTLE OF TITUS
Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures supports the view of the verbal, plenary inspiration of the biblical text of the Holy Scriptures, meaning that every word originally written down by the authors in the sixty-six books of the Holy Canon were God-breathed when recorded by men, and that the Scriptures are therefore inerrant and infallible. Any view less than this contradicts the testimony of the Holy Scriptures themselves. For this reason, the Holy Scriptures contain both divine attributes and human attributes. While textual criticism engages with the variant readings of the biblical text, acknowledging its human attributes, faith in His Word acknowledges its divine attributes. These views demand the adherence of mankind to the supreme authority of the Holy Scriptures above all else. The Holy Scriptures can only be properly interpreted by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, an aspect of biblical scholarship that is denied by liberal views, causing much misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the Holy Scriptures.
Introductory Material - The introduction to the epistle of Titus will deal with its historical setting, literary style, and theological framework.  These three aspects of introductory material will serve as an important foundation for understanding God’s message to us today from this divinely inspired book of the Holy Scriptures.
 Someone may associate these three categories with Hermann Gunkel’s well-known three-fold approach to form criticism when categorizing the genre found within the book of Psalms: (1) “a common setting in life,” (2) “thoughts and mood,” (3) “literary forms.” In addition, the Word Biblical Commentary uses “Form/Structure/Setting” preceding each commentary section. Although such similarities were not intentional, but rather coincidental, the author was aware of them and found encouragement from them when assigning the three-fold scheme of historical setting, literary style, and theological framework to his introductory material. See Hermann Gunkel, The Psalms: A Form-Critical Introduction, trans. Thomas M. Horner, in Biblical Series, vol. 19, ed. John Reumann (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Fortress Press, 1967), 10; see also Word Biblical Commentary, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard, and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas, Texas: Word Incorporated, 1989-2007).
(See “Introduction to the Pastoral Epistles” for a discussion on items I through IX.)
X. Literary Structure
The literary structure of the epistle of Titus must follow the thematic scheme of the book. It is important to note that such a breakdown of this book of the Holy Bible was not necessarily intended by the original author, but it is being used as a means of making the interpretation easier. It is hoped that this summary can identify the underlying themes of the book, as well as the themes of its major divisions, sections, and subsections. Then individual verses can more easily be understood in light of the emphasis of the immediate passages in which they are found.
I had a dream at end of March 1990 about the book of Titus. In this dream, I was sitting in a class and the professor said that Titus was divided into twelve sections. This outline is divided into twelve subsections.
I. Salutation (Titus 1:1-4 ) Titus 1:1-4 is called the salutation of Paul’s letter to Titus and is found in all thirteen of Paul’s New Testament epistles and is used as an introduction to his letters. Paul wrote his salutations as a signature of authenticity (2 Thessalonians 3:17) just like we place our signature today at the end of a document. He may have written entire epistles as indicated in Philemon 1:19. However, there are indications in six of his epistles that Paul used an amanuensis to write most of his letters (see Romans 16:22, 1 Corinthians 16:21, Galatians 6:11, Colossians 4:18, 2 Thessalonians 3:17, Philemon 1:19).
2 Thessalonians 3:17, “The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write.”
Titus 1:14 is the opening salutation of Paul with a clear emphasis upon the office and ministry of God the Father.
II. Three Charges (Titus 1:5 to Titus 3:11 ) - The underlying theme of the epistle of Titus is church order. Paul gives Titus several charges regarding how to set the churches of Crete in biblical order. These charges will emphasize the setting of the church in order by appointing men with a pure heart as church leaders (Titus 1:5-16), teaching sound doctrine to give them with a sound mind (Titus 2:1-15), and establishing godly conduct in their actions (Titus 3:1-7). In Titus 3:8-11 Paul summarizes his three charges to Titus (Titus 3:8) and instructs him on how to deal with those who oppose the things of God.
A. First Charge: Appoint Elders with a Pure Heart (Titus 1:5-16 ) - In Titus 1:5-16 Paul deals with the issue of church leadership. After the opening salutation (Titus 1:1-4) Paul tells Titus how to identify those church members who qualify for ordination as bishops, or elders, by listing qualifications to look for in their character (Titus 1:5-9). He then explains to him the characteristics of false teachers (Titus 1:10-16).
1. The Qualifications of an Elder: Virtues of Leadership (Titus 1:5-9 ) - In Titus 1:5-9 Paul lists the required virtues of those who are qualified to serve over the churches of God. It is of utmost importance that strong Christian leaders be appointed over God's’ flock for several reasons. First, as leaders continue in godliness, they “both save thyself, and then that hear thee.” (1 Timothy 4:16) However, leaders who do not continue in godliness “subvert their hearers,” causing damnation for the leader and his followers (Titus 1:10-11).
1 Timothy 4:16, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”
Titus 1:10-11, “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.”
For this reason, Paul places much emphasis upon godly character and upholding sound doctrine in the churches, due to the crucial importance of the leaders to maintain the perseverance and establishment of the local church. We see in Luke 1:12-16 how Jesus spent all night in pray or before choosing twelve apostles. This was perhaps the most important decision He made during His earthly ministry.
2. Warnings against False Leaders (Titus 1:10-16 ) - After Paul tells Titus how to identify those church members who qualify for ordination as bishops, or elders, by listing qualifications to look for in their character (Titus 1:5-9), he then explains to him the characteristics of false teachers and how to deal with them (Titus 1:10-16). For as godly leaders will influence many lives, so will ungodly leaders “subvert whole households” (Titus 1:11). In this passage in Titus 1:10-16 Paul uses three adjectives in a progressive order to describe those who reject the truth and attempt to lead others in their own vain way. These people present themselves as “church leaders”, but are in fact deceivers. Paul calls them “unruly and vain talkers and deceivers.” They “reject” the truth, present themselves as leaders through “idle talk” and thus “deceive” the hearts of many (Titus 1:10). Paul describes an individual who has rejected the pathway of divine authority established by God within the local church, and who has embarked upon his own journey to gather followers (Titus 1:11), as did Absalom who rebelled against his father King David and tried to gain control over the kingdom. Paul quotes one of their own prophets to show Titus of their characteristics (Titus 1:12) and then Paul further explains their behaviour and false pretenses (Titus 1:13-16).
B. Second Charge: Speak Sound Doctrine Among Members to Give Them a Sound Mind (Titus 2:1-15 ) - While the theme of chapter one is the appointment of church elders, the theme of chapter two is the charge to speak sound doctrine to each group of people in the local churches (Titus 2:1-15). Paul initially dealt with church leaders in the first chapter because of the priority of their importance in the local church. He now deals with the roles these other various groups in an apparent order of seniority and status in society, with elder men being most honored, and slaves receiving the least honor and recognition.
He opens this passage with the charge to speak sound doctrine, but he does not leave this charge as a vague statement. He proceeds to give Titus specific subjects to deal with. For example, he tells Titus what to teach to elder men (Titus 2:2), to elder women (Titus 2:3), to younger women (Titus 2:4-5), to younger men (Titus 2:6) and to slaves (Titus 2:9-10). Titus is to be an example of the lifestyle that he is teaching to others (Titus 2:7-8). Titus could take these topics and apply them to the everyday life of the Cretans and give them specific instructions that directly apply to their needs.
The purpose of establishing the local church is to provide mankind with a hope of their redemption, which message has now appeared to all people through the redemptive work of Calvary (Titus 2:11-14). It is important to note that this passage defines redemption from the perspective of God the Father’s role in redemption by appointing leaders who are to teach sound doctrine, by which God’s plan of salvation is revealed to every man. In this passage of Scripture Paul gives Titus a reason and a hope for a Christian’s godly conduct, which is the Second Coming of Christ Jesus. In other words, men now have no excuse for their ignorance and sins. The truth has now been made know through Jesus Christ. Paul said something similar when speaking to the Athenians on Mars Hill, “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:” (Acts 17:30).
Finally, in Titus 2:15 Paul closes this passage by repeating his second charge from the opening verse to Titus (Titus 2:1).
1. Sound Doctrine for Each Age & Class Titus 2:1-10
2. Our Blessed Hope thru a Godly Life Titus 2:11-14
3. Summary Titus 2:15
C. Third Charge: Establish Godly Conduct with the World (Titus 3:1-7 ) In Titus 3:1-7 Paul gives his third and final charge to Titus, which is to establish godly conduct among the church members. The first charge focused upon identifying leaders with a pure heart (Titus 1:5-16). The second charge focused upon speaking sound doctrine in order to renew their minds and anchor their souls in the hope of Christ’s Second Coming (Titus 2:1-15). This third charge (Titus 3:1-11) will focus upon their acts, or how their bodies are to be used now that they have been washed in the act of regeneration and renewed by the Holy Ghost. The motive, or reason, for maintaining good works is that we may become heirs of eternal life.
Paul’s third charge emphasizes the conduct of the church with the world. They are to obey those placed in authority over them, guard their tongue, and act with meekness among all men (Titus 3:1-2). The motive for such a lifestyle is our response to the mercy of God that was shed upon us in order that we might have eternal life (Titus 3:3-7).
1. Godly Conduct with Authorities and All Men (Titus 3:1-2 ) In his third charge that emphasizes the conduct of the church with the world, Paul tells them to obey those placed in authority over them, guard their tongue, and act with meekness among all men; this three-fold charge emphasizes the heart in subjection to authority, the mind in subjection to the will, and the body subjected in meek conduct.
2. Motive for Such Conduct is the Second Coming (Titus 3:3-7 ) - The motive for such godly conduct is our response to the mercy of God that was shed upon us in order that we might have eternal life (Titus 3:3-7). Paul shows Titus how we should be motivated since we, too, were once in darkness like those in the world (Titus 3:3), but God manifested His mercy through the redemptive work of Christ Jesus (Titus 3:4-6). Our godly conduct will result in an entrance into Heaven (Titus 3:7).
D. Summary of Charges (Titus 3:8-11 ) In Titus 3:8-11 Paul summarizes his three charges to Titus (Titus 3:8) and instructs him on how to deal with those who oppose the things of God.
1. Summary of Paul’s Charges to Titus (Titus 3:8 ) In Titus 3:8 Paul summarizes his charges to Titus.
2. Dealing with Strife and Rebellion (Titus 3:9-11 ) In Titus 3:9-11 Paul instructs Titus on how to deal with those who oppose the Christian faith and doctrine.
III. Closing Remarks (Titus 3:12-15 ) Paul closes this epistle by giving Titus instructions for Paul’s co-workers (Titus 3:12-14) and a final greeting (Titus 3:15 a,b) and benediction (Titus 3:15 c).
A. Instructions for Paul’s Co-workers Titus 3:12-14
B. Final Greeting Titus 3:15
XI. Outline of Book
The following outline is a summary of the preceding literary structure; thus, it reflects the theological framework of the epistle of Titus: its purpose, its three-fold thematic scheme, and its literary structure. As a result, this outline offers sermon sections that fit together into a single message that can be used by preachers and teachers to guide a congregation or class through the epistle of Titus. This journey through Titus will lead believers into one aspect of conformity to the image of Christ Jesus that was intended by the Lord, which in this book of the Holy Scriptures is to prepare Christians as God’s servants to fulfill the office of a teacher.
I. Salutation Titus 1:1-4
II. Three Charges Titus 1:5 to Titus 3:11
A. 1 st Charge: Appoint Elders: Pure Hearts Titus 1:5-16
1. Virtues of Leadership Titus 1:5-9
2. Warnings against False Leaders Titus 1:10-16
B. 2 nd Charge: Speak Sound Doctrine Among Members: Sound Minds Titus 2:1-15
1. Sound Doctrine for Each Age & Class Titus 2:1-10
2. Our Blessed Hope thru a Godly Life Titus 2:11-14
3. Summary Titus 2:15
C. 3 rd Charge: Establish Godly Conduct with the World: Good Works Titus 3:1-7
1. Godly Conduct with Authorities and All Men Titus 3:1-2
2. Motive for Such Conduct is the Second Coming Titus 3:3-7
D. Summary of Charges Titus 3:8-11
1. Summary of His Charges to Titus Titus 3:8
2. Dealing with Strife and Rebellion Titus 3:9-11
VI. Closing Remarks Titus 3:12-15
A. Instructions for Paul’s Co-workers Titus 3:12-14
B. Final Greeting Titus 3:15
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the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25