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Bible Commentaries
Titus 2

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Verses 1-99

2:1-15 Paraphrase. But your language must be very different: you must lay stress on character, on that character which is consistent with the sound teaching, and that with regard to every member of the Christian family. Elder men you must train to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in their faith in God, in their love for their fellow-men, in their power of enduring persecution. Elder women similarly, to be reverent in staid demeanour, not given to gossip and scandal, not the slaves of drink, teachers of all that is excellent; for their aim should be to discipline and train the younger women to be lovers of their husbands, lovers of their children, to be self-controlled, chaste, workers at home, kindly to their servants, in willing obedience to their husbands: this is important in order that the truth of God may not be evil spoken of. Younger men, too, exhort to be self-controlled; for them you yourself must be the model of what excellent character should be. When you teach, your motives sincere, your manner such as to inspire respect, your message sound and not open to criticism. This, too, is important in order that any opponent of Christianity may be put to shame, when he can find nothing evil to allege against us. Slaves, too, must be trained to be obedient to their masters, eager to please them in every way, not answering back, not pilfering, nay, showing glad whole-hearted fidelity. This, too, is most important, because by so doing they may make the teaching about God our Saviour more attractive, more likely to win their masters to it.

And such a character is possible, for the grace of God when it broke upon the world, like light dawning upon darkness, brought with it salvation for every race and class of men, and it came as a school of character training us to renounce impiety and mere worldly impulses and to live a life of self-control, of just treatment of our fellows, of piety to Godward, in this present age, while we still look forward to a better future, to the blessed hope and fresh light yet to break upon us from the glory of Him who is at once the High God in heaven and our Saviour upon earth, Jesus Christ, who gave His life unto the death on our behalf—for this very purpose that He might rescue us from all disobedience to law, and purify for His own service a people of His own choice, enthusiastic for all ideal works.

This is what you have to teach: aye, plead with them to rise to it; if need be, rebuke with all authority any who oppose. Let no one ignore your authority.

Note. —1. The whole chapter is full of reminiscences of c. 1. Titus is to be in his teaching a model for the presbyters, to show them how to exhort and how to rebuke (cf. 2:1, 15 with 1:9). He is also to be a contrast to the false teachers: his teaching is to be sound, sincere, not able to be silenced (cf. 2:7 with 1:10): it is not to be aimless, but at all points to build up character (cf. 2:1 with 1:10, 2:14 with 1:16): it is not to upset families, but to build up a true family life on the basis of a willing subordination (cf. 2:5, 9 with 1:10, 11). The “evil beasts and idle bellies” are to be disciplined into self-control (cf. σώφρων, 2:2, 4, 5, 6, 12, with 1:12): instead of attending to Jewish myths and ceremonial purifications, the Christians are to realize that they are now God’s peculiar people, purified with a spiritual cleansing (cf. 2:14 with 1:14, 15): instead of being useless for every good work, they are to be eager to stand out before the heathen world as models of excellence (cf. 2:14 with 1:16).

2. The whole illustrates the importance attached to building up the conception of a high family life (cf. Ramsay, St. Paul, the Traveller and Roman Citizen, c. vi.), and it should be compared with Colossians 3:18 (where St. Paul for the first time regulates the duties of the members of a family), Ephesians 5:22 (where he treats the family as a training ground for the sense of true membership in the church), 1 Timothy 5:1-2 (where he treats of Timothy’s attitude to the different classes in the church), and also 1 P 2:18-3:7 where, as here, the importance of the Christian’s life at home is emphasized because of its effect upon the heathen world outside: but here the argument is scarcely so strong as there; here, it is mainly to avoid disparagement by the heathen, cf. 2:5, 8, 10; there, it is rather to win the heathen to salvation, 1 P 2:12, 3:1. In no case is the similarity sufficient to suggest any literary dependence of one writer upon the other. Cf. also Clem. Rom. c. 21.; Ign. ad Polyc. c. iv.

3. Notice the strong sense of divine and human purpose throughout the section (ἵνα six times). It was the Divine purpose in the Incarnation that man should live a moral and religious life (ἵνα . . . ζήσωμεν 12): it was the purpose of Christ’s death that we should be free from the power of sin and eager for excellence of life (ἵνα . . . καλῶν ἔργων 14): and man can co-operate with this purpose; the elder women are to aim at training the younger (ἵνα σωφρονίζωσι 4): the younger women, at keeping God’s message free from all calumny (ἵνα μὴ . . . βλασφημῆται 5): more strongly still, Titus and the younger men can act so as to put heathen opponents to shame (ἵνα ὁ ἐξ ἐναντίας ἐντραπῇ 8); yet more strongly still, even slaves can make it their aim to add fresh lustre to the doctrine and make it attractive to the heathen (ἵνα . . . κοσμῶσιν ἐν πᾶσιν 10).

1. σὺ δέ] contrast 2:10. τῇ ὑγ. διδασκ., which is to be the standard for the presbyters, 1:9.

2. πρεσβύτας] “senes et ætate et ordine possunt intelligi” (Pelagius and Oecumenius); but there is nothing in the whole context to suggest official position of any kind, either in the other classes referred to or in the qualities required.

νηφαλίους] 1 Timothy 3:2 note.

σεμνούς 1 Timothy 2:2 note. εἶναι, possibly the imperatival infinitive, cf. Philippians 3:16, Romans 12:15 (Moulton, N.T. Gr. i. p. 179); but more probably governed by λάλει, cf. 6.

σώφρονας “castos,” “pudicos,” perhaps also wise in counsel “prudentes,” Clarom.; cf. Add. Note, p. 148.

ὑγιαίνοντας] cf. 1:13; contrast νοσῶν, 1 Timothy 6:4, and�Romans 14:1: they must be sound, there must be no internal weakness in any part of the Christian life; their faith in God must not be half-hearted, must have no alloy of false human teaching (1:14); their love must not wax cold in the presence of the lawlessness around them (Matthew 24:12), it must not be unbalanced; their power of endurance must be able to hold out against the provocations and persecutions of the world around them (cf.5, 7, 3:2). Each quality must be able to stand a strain without snapping. The thought of “soundness” is most applicable to “faith,” but it perhaps also suggests a “sanitas caritatis” and a “sanitas patientiæ” (Jerome), in the sense that each quality may degenerate into weakness. “Love,” which is not weak, sentimental, dangerous, cf. Orelli, Inscr. Lat. 4651, “quæ dum nimia pia fuit, facta est impia”; “endurance,” which is not faint-hearted nor yet callous, obstinate, fanatical, which will not court martyrdom. Jerome, whose note is excellent, points to 1 Corinthians 13:0 as defining the “sanitas caritatis”; cf. Augustine’s “serenitatem dilectionis” (Conf. ii. 2); Tyrrell, Hard Sayings, p. 295, “He came to teach our affections a rhythm from heaven.” Wordsworth’s “Laodamia”:

“The Gods approve

The depth and not the tumult of the soul,

A fervent, not ungovernable love”;

and for the combination of the three, S. T. Coleridge, “Love, Hope and Patience in Education”:

“Yet haply there will come a weary day

When, overtasked at length,

Both Love and Hope beneath the load give way.

Then, with a statue’s smile, a statue’s strength,

Stands the mute sister Patience, nothing loth,

And, both supporting, does the work of both.”

3. πρεσβύτιδας] this again has been referred (Theod. Oecumenius) to some prominent official position in the community (“wie es heute bei den Herrenhutern der Fall ist,” Koehler), such as is found later; cf. the II th Laodicean Canon, περὶ τοῦ μὴ δεῖν τὰς λεγομένας πρεσβύτιδας ἤτοι προκαθημένας ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ καθίστασθαι: the epithets ἱεροπρεπεῖς, καλοδιδασκάλους, would suit this, but the whole context is against it (cf. note on 2).

καταστήματι] demeanour, deportment (“incessus, motus, vultus, sermo, silentium,” Jerome), but with the additional thought of settled, staid, sedate demeanour; cf. καταστηματικός, and Porphyr. de Abstin. iv. 6, τὸ σεμνὸν κἀκ τοῦ καταστήματος ἑωρᾶτο· πορεία τε γὰρ ἦν εὔτακτος καὶ βλέμμα καθεστηκὸς ἐπετηδεύετο: Ign. Trall. 3, τῷ ἐπισκόπῳ ὑμῶν οὗ αὐτὸ τὸ κατάστημα μεγάλη μαθητεία, with other interesting illustrations in Field, Ot. Norvic. and M.M. s.v. For the thought, cf. Ecclus 19:30 στολισμὸς�

ἱεροπρεπεῖς] temple-like, reverent, like people engaged in sacred duties, cf. 1 Timothy 2:10 ὃ πρέπει γυναιξὶν ἐπαγγελλομέναις θεοσέβειαν, and an inscription from Delos, τὰς θυσίας ἱεροπρεπῶς συνετέλεσεν (M.M. s.v.). They are to carry into daily life the demeanour of Priestesses in a temple; cf. Philo, Quod omnis probus sit liber, 12. 76, p. 457 M. of the Essenes, θεραπευταὶ Θεοῦ γεγόνασι, οὐ ζῶα καταθύοντες�de Sacrif. Abel. 33, ἑορτὴ γὰρ ψυχῆς ἡ ἐν�Strom. vii. 49, ἅπας δὲ ὁ βίος αὐτοῦ πανήγυρις ἁγία (of the true Gnostic). So Tertullian, De cultu Fem. ii. 12, calls Christian women “pudicitiæ sacerdotes.”

There is some MSS authority for ἱεροπρεπεῖ, “in habitu sancto,” Vulg.; “in habitu decenti,” Theod.-Mops., cf. 1 Timothy 2:9 ἐν καταστολῇ κοσμίῳ: but the following adjectives strongly support the Plural here.

διαβόλους] 1 Timothy 3:11, 2 Timothy 3:3 “criminatrices,” Fuld.; “in centrices,” Jerome.

4. καλοδιδασκάλους] here only, “bene docentes,” Vulg.; but better, “bona docentes,” Thd.-Mops., teachers of what is excellent.

ἵνα σωφρονίζωσι] not neuter, “that they may be self-controlled,” τὰς νέας being then Parallel in construction to πρεσβύτας and πρεσβύτιδας (so Calvin, Hofmann, Wohlenberg); for this is scarcely adequate as the climax of the preceding, nor sufficiently parallel to the other final sentences with ἵνα: but active, that they may discipline, train in σωφροσύνη the young women; cf. σωφρον ισμός 2 Timothy 1:7; Justin M. Apol. ii. I, ὃς�Œcon. vii. 14, where a wife says to her husband ἐμὸν δʼ ἔφησεν ἡ μήτηρ ἔργον εἶναι σωφρονεῖν, where the meaning is, “to be prudent in household management.”

φιλάνδρους, φιλοτέκνους] Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 255, quotes an Inscription from Pergamum of the time of Hadrian, Ἰούλιος Βάσσος Ὀτακιλίᾳ Πώλλῇ τῇ γλυκυτάτῃ γυναικὶ φιλάνδρῳ καὶ φιλοτέκνῳ συμβιωσάσῃ�

5. οἰκουργούς] workers at home; cf. Clem. Rom. i. I, τὰ κατὰ τὸν οἶκον σεμνῶς οἰκουργεῖν ἐδιδάσκετε πάνυ σωφρονούσας (possibly a reminiscence of this passage). Orelli, Inscr. Lat. 4639, “pia, pudica, frugi, casta, domiseda”: ibid. 4848, “domum servavit, lanam fecit”; contrast 1 Timothy 5:13 περιερχόμεναι τὰς οἱκίας Proverbs 7:11 of a courtesan, ἐν οἴκῳ οὐχ ἡσυχάζουσιν οἱ πόδες αὐτῆς. The meaning is not far different from that of the more usual οἰκουρούς, “home-minders,” “domus curam habentes” Vulg., “domos suas bene regentes” Theod.-Mops., which is read here in אc Dc H Ω S.

ἀγνάς] cf. the frequent appeal of the Christian Apologists to the high standard of Christian wives, e.g. Tert. Revelation 9:0; Revelation 9:0, “diligentissima et fidelissima castitas.”

ἀγαθάς] possibly qualifies οἰκουργούς “good workers at home” (Hofmann, Wohlenberg, Riggenbach), but more probably introduces a new feature, “kindly,” i.e. mainly, “to their servants,” “benignas,” Vulg.; “quasi dicat, cum mansuetudine regant,” St. Thom. Aq.: cf. I P 2:18 τοῖς�

ὑποτασσομένας] whether the husbands are Christian or not (cf. 1 Timothy 6:1, 1 Timothy 6:2, 1 Corinthians 7:10-16). Chrysostom and Theodoret add the later application, that they are not to leave their husbands through wishing to live a “religious” life. For the duty, cf. 1 Corinthians 14:34, Ephesians 5:22, Colossians 3:18. Resch, Paulinismus (T. und U., N.F. xii. p. 463) thinks that a command of the Lord (cf. 1 Corinthians 14:37) lies behind the command of the Apostle.

ἵνα μὴβλασφημῆται] a reminiscence of Isaiah 52:5 διʼ ὑμᾶς τὸ ὄνομά μου βλασφημεῖται ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσι, cf. Romans 2:24, 1 Timothy 6:1. The Christians are now God’s “peculiar people” (14), like the Jews in captivity, in a heathen world. They have to protect from abuse not only “the name” (τὸ ὄνομα) of God, but His new “word,” His new message (ὁ λόγος, cf. 1:3, 9; τὴν διδασκαλίαν, 2:10) of universal salvation, 11. To the Jew the profanation of God’s Name was the deadliest sin, even as the sanctification of the name, especially by martyrdom, was the highest duty; cf. C. G. Montefiore in Beginnings of Christianity, 1. pp. 63-65.

7. περὶ πάντα] possibly with σωφρονεῖν, “tam mente quam corpore … in omnibus rebus, ne honores indebitos appetamus, ne accendamur avaritia, ne ulla passione superemur” (Jerome), but more probably with παρεχόμενος, being expanded in the following words; cf. 1 Timothy 4:12.

παρεχόμενος] scarcely different from the active in Hellenistic Greek, cf. Colossians 4:1; and fairly common with the reflexive pronoun in inscriptions; cf. Deissmann, B.S., p. 254; Moulton, N.T. Greek, 1, 2. pp. 155-59.

ἐν τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ] “in your teaching,” to be joined with all the following words�

ἀφθορίαν] the quality of the ἄφθορος, chaste, pure (cf. M.M. s.v.): purity of motive, without desire of gain (cf. 1:11) or respect of persons, and purity of doctrine (Cf. 2 Corinthians 4:2

σεμνότητα] dignity of phrase and utterance. λόγον ὑγιῆ, the message in true proportion, well-balanced; cf. ἐξ ὑγιοῦς καὶ ἐπʼ�Pap. Oxyr. ii. p. 215.�B.S., p. 200), not liable to be censured, criticized, silenced; contrast 1:10, 3:11, Galatians 2:11.

8. ὁ ἐξ ἐναντίας] “he that is of the contrary part”—doubtless the main thought is of pagan criticism; cf. 5, 10, 1 P 2:12-15, 1 Timothy 5:14 ὁ�2 Timothy 2:25.

9. δούλους] cf. 1 Timothy 6:1 note, 1 Corinthians 7:21, 1 Corinthians 7:1 P 2:16, 18. ἐν πᾶσιν, possibly with ὑποτάσσεσθαι (W.-H., Wohlenberg, von Soden), and this balances best with ἐν πᾶσιν at the end; but cf. Clem. Alex. Strom. vii. 83, ἵνα πρὸς τὸν Κύριον εὐάρεστος ἐν πᾶσι γένηται. The Patristic commentators are careful to point out the necessary limitation, e.g. “quæ imperant justa,” Pelagius; so Jerome, Thd. Thdt. μὴ� “non responsatores,” Ambrst.; cf.�Acts 10:29. νοσφιζομένους, Acts 5:2, Acts 5:3, like Onesimus, Philemon 1:18.

10. πᾶσαν πίστιν (cf. Galatians 5:22) ἐνδεικνυμένους] Cf. Pap. Oxyr. iii. 494. 9, καταλείπω τῇ γυναικί μου . . . εὐνοούσῃ μοι καὶ πᾶσαν πίστιν ἐνδεικνυμένῃ ἃ ἐὰν�

ἀγαθήν] possibly limiting πᾶσαν, “in rebus non malis” (Bengel); but almost certainly strengthening it “with a hearty good will”=μετʼ εὐνοίας, Ephesians 6:7; ἐλεύθερα�Pap. Oxyr., ubi supra, line 6,

W.-H. place in the margin, as an alternative reading, πᾶσαν ἐνδ.�Pap. Oxyr. strongly supports πᾶσαν πίστιν, and�

κοσμῶσιν] “Quo vilior conditio servorum, eo pulchrius describitur eorum pietas,” Bengel (“that they may do worshippe to the doctrine,” Tynd. Cranmer). The very difficulty of the slaves’ position—for which see an interesting note in Chry sostom—makes his loyalty redound the more to the credit of the Gospel, and show that it is a Gospel of glory, 1 Timothy 1:0:ll; cf. G. Herbert:

“Who sweeps a room as for thy laws

Makes that and the action fine.

The notes of St. Thomas Aquinas on vv. 2-10 show a shrewd knowledge of human nature, and the appropriateness of each quality to be pressed upon each class.

11-14. The reason and motive power for this appeal—the enabling grace of God.

This dogmatic statement is introduced as the basis of the previous appeal, cf. 1 Timothy 3:15, 1 Timothy 3:16; “do this for you can, God’s grace was given for this very purpose.” It springs directly out of the command to slaves, 9, 10, but certainly includes 2-8, and probably also 1. “Teach rightly, for God’s grace was an educating grace: let each class in the household live a true Christian life, for God’s grace was given to all classes to make possible such a life.” Hence the emphasis lies on πᾶσιν�

11. ἐπεφάνη] the passive only here and 3:4 (but ἐπιφαίνειν, Luke 1:79, Acts 27:20) in N.T. but common in LXX, Josephus, Inscrr. The essential meaning is to appear suddenly upon a scene, and it is used particularly (a) of divine interposition, especially to aid (cf. Genesis 35:7, Genesis 35:3 Mac 6:9, so ἐπιφάνεια, 2 Mac 2:21, Malachi 2:3:24, Malachi 2:12:22, Malachi 2:14:15; and for pagan illustrations, v. M.M. s.v.), “Apparuit gratia Dei,” Vulg: (b) of the dawning of light upon darkness (Numbers 6:25, Ps 30:16, 117:27 etc.), “illuxit gratia Dei” (Jerome). The context here (σωτήριος) suggests the former shade of meaning. The grace of God came to the aid of our need, the reference being to the whole life of Christ, Incarnation and Death, cf. 14; in 2 Timothy 1:10 the thought of light is more prominent. For further illustrations see excellent notes in Ezra Abbot, Critical Essays, P. 454; Milligan on I II Thess., p. 148; Justin Martyr (Apol. i. 5 and 14) contrasts the ἐπιφάνειαι of dæmons in dreams and other ways, leading to immoral acts, with the ἐπιφάνεια of Christ leading to a life of love.

σωτήριος] taking up σωτῆρος 10 and anticipating 14, bringing salvation from the power of sin to all.

πᾶσιν�] “nullam conditionem excipit” (Pelagius); “etiam servis, etiam gentibus,” cf. 3:2 (Bengel). The first thought is certainly right—“to all classes of men, even slaves, enabling all to live true lives”: the second thought is perhaps also suggested by the reference to the effect on the heathen world, 5, 8, 10: the message of salvation is intended for all, so you need not despair of winning any by your lives, cf. 1 Timothy 2:4, 1 Timothy 4:10.

12. παιδεύουσα] training, schooling, cf. 2 Timothy 2:25, 2 Timothy 3:16 (not, as more often, “chastising”). The educative power of God’s grace is dwelt upon, as the context is concerned with sound teaching. The thought is akin to the Greek conception of redemption from ignorance; but this is not un-Pauline, and the primary thought is redemption from moral evil.

ἀρνησάμενοι] perhaps with reference to a particular time, the time of baptism.

ἀσεβείαν] τὴν εἰδωλολατρείαν, καὶ τὰ πονηρὰ δόγματα (Theoph.), but this is too narrow; it is the contrast to εὐσεβῶς. Impiety, all wrong thoughts about God, and the actions that follow from it, which marked the heathen (τήν) life, cf. Jude 1:15-18; “impietatem et sæcularia desieria” (Vulg.).

κοσμικάς] here only in N.T. in this sense; cf. 1 John 2:16 πᾶν τὸ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ, ἡ ἐπιθυμία τῆς σαρκὸς καὶ ἡ ἐπιθυμία τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν, καὶ ἡ�

σωφρόνως] placed first, as the contrast to ἐπιθυμίαι and as the characteristic word of the whole chapter: with self-control, with respect for the rights of others, with true piety towards God.

τῷ νῦν αἰῶνι] 1 Timothy 6:17, 2 Timothy 4:10 only in N.T.

13. προσδεχόμενοι] because we look forward to a yet brighter future, when all that is good in this present life will be rewarded and completed; cf. 1 Corinthians 1:7, 2 Thessalonians 1:7-12. To the writer as he approached death expectation had grown into love, 2 Timothy 4:8.

τὴν μακ. ἐλπίδα] almost = Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν; cf. 1 Timothy 1:1 and 11.

ἐπιφάνειαν] in N.T., only here and 2 Thessalonians 2:8, 1 Timothy 6:14, 2 Timothy 1:10, 2 Timothy 4:1 and 8; cf. note on ἐπεφάνη 11. The word was applied to the accession of a Roman Emperor (cf. Milligan on I II Thess., p. 148): that might be in the writer’s mind here (cf. next note and 1 Timothy 6:15, 2 Timothy 4:1)—the taking of the kingdom by the true king.

τῆς δόξης] The full manifestation of all that Christ is in Himself and in His saints; cf. 1 Timothy 1:11 note, 2 Corinthians 3:18, 2 Thessalonians 1:10 ὅταν ἔλθῃ ἐνδοξασθῆναι ἐν τοῖς ἁγίοις αὐτοῦ; but vide below.

τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ] here only in N.T., but ὁ θεὸς ὁ μέγας (Deuteronomy 10:17, Nehemiah 1:5 etc.), of Jehovah in contrast with heathen gods, and used by heathen of their gods and goddesses; cf. Acts 19:27 τῆς μεγάλης θεᾶς Ἀρτέμιδος.

τοῦ μ. Θ. καὶ σωτῆρος] Do these words apply to two persons, “of Our Great God and of our Saviour,” or to one, “of Our Great God and Saviour”? Probably to one, and that one Jesus Christ; cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 1 Corinthians 1:7.

(i) For—

(a) This is the natural (though not necessary) construction of two substantives after one article, and the relative clause ὃς ἔδωκε seems to require a second article with σωτῆρος, if that refers to a separate person.

(b) The purpose in 14 ἵνα λυτρώσηται κ.τ.λ. is attributed to Jehovah in the O.T., but here to Jesus Christ so that it is natural that Jesus Christ should be identified with Him in this phrase also.

(c) There is possibly an intentional contrast with the Roman Emperor or (? and) with the object of worship in the mysteries. The combination σωτὴρ καὶ θεός had been applied to Ptolemy 1., θεὸς ἐπιφανής to Antiochus Epiphanes, θεὸν ἐπιφανῆ καὶ κοινὸν τοῦ�Gr. Inscr. xvi. 2, 3; Syll. Inscr. Gr. 347. 6). So Osiris was called Lord and Saviour in the Isis mystery.

(d) In Jewish Apocalyptic there is sometimes an anticipation of a manifestation of Jehovah, sometimes of that of a Messiah, but not of both.

(ii) On the other hand, the identification is—

(a) Against the general usage of the earlier Epistles, though Romans 9:5 is probably an exception.

(b) Against the usage of the Past. Epistles, cf. 3:4-6, 1 Timothy 1:1, 1 Timothy 1:2:5, 1 Timothy 1:6, 2 Timothy 1:2; but those passages speak of Christ’s past or present work, this of His future glorification.

(c) Against the distinction between the glory of the Son and that of the Father, Luke 9:26, Matthew 16:27. Patristic evidence is divided. Justin Martyr. Apol. I. 61, ἐπʼ ὀνόματος τοῦ Πατρὸς τῶν ὅλων καὶ δεσπότου Θεοῦ καὶ τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰης. Χτ. καὶ τοῦ πνεύματος, favours the separation; Clem. Alex. Protr. c. 1, § 7, the identification, quoting the passage as a proof that Christ is both God and man; Chrys., Jerome, Thdt., and (apparently) Theod.-Mops. and Pelagius, and the Liturgy of St. Basil (Brightman, L.E.W., p. 402), all support Clement’s view, Ambrosiaster that of Justin.

The question is not one of doctrinal importance: on the theory of separation Jesus Christ is still placed on a level with the great God, as a manifestation of His glory, and as having effected Jehovah’s work of salvation. Chrysostom’s question still remains—ποῦ εἰσιν οί τοῦ πατρὸς ἐλάττονα τὸν υἱὸν λέγοντες; Dr. Hort (on James 2:1 and Add. Note, p. 103: and so Lange, von Hengel, Schenkel, quoted in Ezra Abbot, p. 450) takes τῆς δόξης as in apposition to Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ and governing τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν—“the appearing of him who is the glory of the great God and our Saviour”—i.e. of Jesus Christ, the glory of the Father, who is both the great God and our Saviour; supposing the thought of the Shechinah or the Glory of God (cf. Burney, Aramaic Origin of the Fourth Gospel, pp. 36, 37) to have been transferred almost as a fixed title to Christ, as the thought of the Word was transferred to Him in the Fourth Gospel. Passages such as 2 Corinthians 4:4, Ephesians 1:3 (ὁ πατὴρ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰης. Χτοῦ side by side with 1:17 ὁ πατὴρ τῆς δόξης), and perhaps James 2:1, would support this: in a similar way Christ is identified with τὸ μυστήριον τοῦ Θεοῦ, Colossians 2:2, with τὸ σκῆπτρον τῆς μεγαλωσύνης τοῦ Θεοῦ, Clem. Rom. 1. c. 16, with ἡ δύναμις τοῦ Θεοῦ, Justin M. c. Tryph. c. 61. This is possible, but Jesus Christ has Himself been called “our Saviour” in this Epistle, 1:4, and the reasons urged above seem to decide in favour of referring the whole phrase to Jesus Christ. For a very full discussion of the history of the interpretation, cf. Ezra Abbot, Critical Essays, pp. 439-87; he separates τοῦ μεγάλου Θεοῦ from σωτῆρος ἡμῶν.

14. ὃς ἔδωκεν ἑαυτόν] 1 Timothy 2:6, Galatians 1:4, based on the Lord’s own saying, Mark 10:45. The gift is the gift of the whole life, but principally of the life surrendered in death; cf. 1 Corinthians 11:23 παρεδίδετο, Philippians 2:8, Ephesians 5:25.

ἵνα λυτρώσηται . . . περιούσιον] a reminiscence of several O.T. passages, Exodus 19:5, Exodus 23:22 ἔσεσθέ μοι λαὸς περιούσιος�Exodus 15:13, 1 Chronicles 17:21): Psalms 130:8 καὶ αὐτὸς λυτρώσεται τὸν Ἰσραὴλ ἐκ πασῶν τῶν�Ezekiel 37:23 ῥύσομαι αὐτοὺς�

λυτρώσηται] (Luke 24:21, Luke 24:1 P 1:18 only in N.T., but very frequent in LXX). “Rescue,” “deliver,” though the previous words ἔδωκεν ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν suggest the further idea of ransom as lying in the background.

ἀπὸ πάσης�] As from Egyptian bondage (Exodus 15:18) and from Babylon (Isaiah 44:22-24) in the past: hence the main thought is rescue from the power, not from the guilt of sin.

καθαρίσῃ] from Ezekiel 37:23 (supra). The original reference was probably to the sprinkling of the people with the blood of the covenant, cf. Exodus 23:22, Exodus 23:24:8; so that the thought is still of death: cleanse with his own blood, 1 John 1:7 τὸ αἷμα Ἰησοῦ καθαρίζει ἡμᾶς�ibid.9�Hebrews 9:14-22, Hebrews 9:1 P 1:2 (with Hort’s note): Justin M. Apol. i. 32, διʼ αἵματος καθαίρων τοὺς πιστεύοντας: c. Tryph. 13.

The word also looks back to 1:15; there is a cleansing needed, but no Jewish ceremonial cleansing to be repeated from time to time, but a cleansing of the heart (cf. Acts 15:9) which has been effected by Christ Himself: perhaps it also anticipates 3:5 and contains a reference to the cleansing of baptism; cf. Ephesians 5:25, Ephesians 5:26, 1 Corinthians 6:11.

περιούσιον] (= Hebr. סְגֻלָּה, “set apart,” “reserved,” Exodus 19:5, Deuteronomy 7:6, Deuteronomy 14:2, Deuteronomy 26:18) is not found except in the LXX, prob. signifying “that which is over and above,” the special portion which a conqueror took for himself before the spoil was divided, or the first-fruits which the owner takes from his threshing floor (cf. Clem. Rom. c. 29). It is also translated λαὸς εἰς περιποίησιν (Malachi 3:17, Malachi 3:1 P 2:9); ἡ περιποίησις (Ephesians 1:14) and τὴν ἐκκησίαν ἣν περιεποιήσατο (Acts 20:28) are virtually translations of the same word. It implies the thought of Christ as a triumphant king. (For full discussion of the word, vide Hort on 1 P 2:9; Lightfoot, Revision of N.T., Appendix.)

The Latin translations vary: “abundantem,” Clarom.; “acceptabilem,” Vulg.; “egregium,” Jerome; “proprium,” Theodore: cf. “domesticam Dei gentem,” Tert. Revelation 1:0; Revelation 18:0Revelation 18:0. According to Jerome, Symmachus was the first to use the Latin word peculiarem, transliterating it into Greek; and from him Jerome, though leaving “acceptabilem” here and “populus adquisitionis” in 1 P 2:9, used it in the O.T., and it has come thence into our English versions. It is derived from the peculium, the private property of a slave.

ζηλωτὴν καλῶν ἔργων] “æmulatorem,” O.L.; “sectatorem,” Vulg.; “a pursuer,” Rheims; “fervently given to good works,” Tynd. Israel had been a peculiar people, to keep God’s commandments (Deuteronomy 26:18); the Christian Church has to have an eager enthusiasm for and to take the lead in all that is excellent, in all that will “adorn” the doctrine. Cf. τοῦ�Acts 21:20; ζηλωτὴς τῶν πατρικῶν μου παραδόσεων, Galatians 1:14. This contrast may be conscious here, cf. 1:14, 15, 1 Timothy 1:7. Epictetus would have each man ὡς θεοῦ ζηλωτὴν πάντα ποιεῖν καὶ λέγειν, ii. 14. 13. The phrase ζηλωταὶ τῶν καλλίστων is found in inscriptions more than once (M.M. s.v.).

The conception of the Church, as the chosen people, which has taken the place of and has to do the work of the Jewish nation, is specially marked in 1 Peter, but it is equally clear in St. Paul; cf. Galatians 6:16 “the Israel of God”; Philippians 3:3 ἡμεῖς ἐσμὲν ἡ περιτομή, and it underlies the Lord’s choice of twelve apostles and His building a new ἐκκλησία.

15. λάλει (=1), παρακάλει (=6, 1:9), ἔλεγχε (1:9, 13). μετὰ πάσης ἐπιταγῆς] cf.�Apol. 39 (of Christian assemblies), “ibidem etiam exhortationes, castigationes, et censura divina.”

περιφρονείτω] perhaps not quite so strong as καταφρονείτω, 1 Timothy 4:12, “ignore,” but Chrys. and Thdt. both treat the two as synonymous. Calvin assumes that the Epistle would be read in public, so that this command is virtually addressed to the church rather than to Titus. It probably implies advice both to Titus and to his hearers.

Ἐγκρατής, Σώφρων and their Cognates

Σώφρων and its cognates are specially characteristic of the Past. Epp., not occurring at all in the earlier letters: ἐγκρατής and its cognates are comparatively rare in each set, once in Past. Epp. ἐγκρατής, Titus 1:8; thrice in the earlier letters ἐγκράτεια, Galatians 5:23; ἐγκρατεύεσθαι,1 Corinthians 7:9; 1 Corinthians 7:9, 1 Corinthians 9:25. In Titus 1:8 both are stated as qualifications for the ἐπίσκοπος, as though a distinction was consciously drawn between them. This would probably be the same as that drawn in Aristotle: ἐγκράτεια is control of the bodily passions with deliberate effort, a self-mastery which keeps the self well in hand (cf. Genesis 43:30 ἐνεκρατεύσατο of Joseph at the sight of Benjamin, 1 Samuel 13:12), the main stress is on the will; it is applied most frequently to sexual and all bodily passions (1 Corinthians 7:9, 1 Corinthians 9:25), but also with the widest possible reference (Galatians 5:23, Galatians 5:2 P 1:6).

σωφροσύνη is a free and willing control which no longer requires effort; the main stress is on the judgment which recognizes the true relation between body and spirit, a rational self-control, a sound mind which always “keeps its head.” So in Plato’s application of it to the state it is the recognition of the true relation of each part to the other, and, while common to all classes, it is most important and effective in the ruler. But in popular usage it tended to be regarded as the peculiar virtue of women, in the sense both of sexual self-control and of practical wisdom, and of the young. Cf. Xenophon, Œconom. vii. 14 (quoted supra 2:4); Arist. Rhet. 1361a, θηλειῶν�

Professor Gilbert Murray would add a new thought to σωφροσύνη, which would make the distinction stronger; he sees in it a saving power which would give it an altruistic effect, while ἐγκράτεια would be only self-regarding. “It is something like Temperance, Gentleness, Mercy; sometimes Innocence, never merely Caution; a tempering of dominant emotions by gentler thought. But its derivation is interesting. The adjective σώφρων or σαόφρων is the correlative of ὀλοόφρων. Ὀλοόφρων means ‘with destructive thoughts’; σώφρων means ‘with saving thoughts.’ Plutarch, when the force of the word was dead, actually used this paraphrase to express this same idea (νοῦν σωτήρια φρονοῦντα, De Tranquillitate, 470 D). There is a way of thinking which destroys and a way which saves. The man or woman who is σώφρων walks among the beauties and perils of the world, feeling the love, joy, anger, and the rest; and through all has that in his mind which saves. Whom does it save? Not him only, but, as we should say, the whole situation. It saves the imminent evil from coming to be” (The Rise of the Greek Epic, p. 27). This is excellent as a description of its usage; but I doubt whether it springs from the derivation, which implies a “sound” rather than a “saving” mind, and Plutarch’s words are not applied to the σώφρων but to ὁ νοῦν ἔχων.

It is, however, very doubtful whether a distinction between the two words is to be pressed always in Hellenistic Greek. A comparison of Acts 24:25 διαλεγομένου δὲ αὐτοῦ περὶ δικαιοσύνης καὶ ἐγκρατείας with 26:25�Bampton Lectures, p. 170). Cf. also Hermas, Vis. 3. viii., where it is one of the seven women round the tower, ἡ περιεζωσμένη καὶ�

In the Past. Epp. ἐγκρατής is applied only to the ἐπίσκοπος: σώφρων to every class—to those in authority, I 3:2, Titus 1:8 (the ἐπίσκοπος), II 1:7 (St. Paul and Timothy and all teachers): to old men, Titus 2:2; to women, I 2:9; to the elder women, Titus 2:4; to young women, Titus 2:5; to young men, Titus 2:6—generally in the widest sense of self-control, once with special reference to self-control in married life, I 2:15. It is one of the essential characteristics of the Christian life, one of the purposes of the Incarnation, Titus 2:12.

Both words and their cognates are rare in the O.T., but they come, often with conscious reference to the Platonic cardinal virtues, in the Apocrypha; cf. the section headed ἐγκράτεια ψυχῆς, Ecclus 18:30ff.; for σωφροσύνη, Wisd 8:7, 9:11 σωφρόνως, 2 Mac 4:37, Malachi 4:4 Malachi 1:3, Malachi 1:6, 18, 30, 31, Malachi 1:5:23: σώφρων, 4 Mac 1:35, Malachi 2:2, Malachi 2:16 ὁ σώφρων νοῦς, 2:18, 23, 3:17, 19, 7:23, 15:10.

For fuller illustrations, cf. Trench, Syn. §§ xx. and xxi.; Burton, I.C.C., Gal. p. 318; F. M. Cornford in Classical Quarterly, Oct. 1912, pp. 249 ff.; R. Hackforth in Classical Quarterly, Oct. 1913, pp. 265 ff.

Fuld. Codex Fuldensis.

T. und Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der Altchristlichen Literatur, von Gebhart und Harnack, Leipzig, 1882-1895.

Pap. Oxyr. The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, ed. Grenfell and Hunt, vols. i.-xv., London, 1898-

W.-H The New Testament in Greek, with Introduction and Appendix, by Westcott and Hort, Cambridge, 1881.

Tynd. Tyndale’s New Testament, 1534.

Brightman, Liturgies Eastern and Western, Oxford, 1896.

Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament, by Archbishop Trench, 8th edition, 1876.

I.C.C. International Critical Commentary.

Bibliographical Information
Driver, S.A., Plummer, A.A., Briggs, C.A. "Commentary on Titus 2". International Critical Commentary NT. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/icc/titus-2.html. 1896-1924.
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