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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Titus 1

Verse 1

According to the faith of God's elect (κατα πιστιν εκλεκτων θεου). Here κατα expresses the aim of Paul's apostleship, not the standard by which he was chosen as in Philippians 3:14; a classic idiom, repeated here with επιγνωσιν, ευσεβειαν, επιταγην, "with a view to" in each case. For "God's elect" see Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:12.

The knowledge (επιγνωσιν). "Full knowledge," one of Paul's favourite words. For the phrase see 1 Timothy 2:4.

Which is according to godliness (της κατ' ευσεβειαν). "The (truth) with a view to godliness." The combination of faith and full knowledge of the truth is to bring godliness on the basis of the hope of life eternal.

Verse 2

God who cannot lie (ο αψευδης θεος). "The non-lying God." Old adjective (α privative and ψευδης), here only in N.T. See 2 Timothy 2:13. In Polycarp's last prayer.

Promised (επηγγειλατο). First aorist middle indicative of επαγγελλω. Antithesis in εφανερωσεν δε (manifested) in verse Titus 1:3 (first aorist active indicative of φανεροω). Same contrast in Romans 16:25; Colossians 1:26.

Before times eternal (προ χρονων αιωνων). Not to God's purpose before time began (Ephesians 1:4; 2 Timothy 1:9), but to definite promises (Romans 9:4) made in time (Lock). "Long ages ago." See Romans 16:25.

Verse 3

In his own seasons (καιροις ιδιοις). Locative case. See 1 Timothy 2:6; 1 Timothy 6:15.

In the message (εν κηρυγματ). See 1 Corinthians 1:21; 1 Corinthians 2:4 for this word, the human proclamation (preaching) of God's word.

Wherewith I was intrusted (ο επιστευθην). Accusative relative ο retained with the first aorist passive indicative of πιστευω as in 1 Timothy 1:11. See 1 Timothy 2:7.

Of God our Saviour (του σωτηρος ημων θεου). In verse Titus 1:4 he applies the words "του σωτηρος ημων" to Christ. In Titus 2:13 he applies both θεου and σωτηρος to Christ.

Verse 4

My true child (γνησιω τεκνω). See 1 Timothy 1:2 for this adjective with Timothy. Titus is not mentioned in Acts, possibly because he is Luke's brother. But one can get a clear picture of him by turning to 2 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Corinthians 7:6-15; 2 Corinthians 8:6-24; 2 Corinthians 12:16-18; Galatians 2:1-3; Titus 1:4; Titus 3:12; 2 Timothy 4:10. He had succeeded in Corinth where Timothy had failed. Paul had left him in Crete as superintendent of the work there. Now he writes him from Nicopolis (Titus 3:12).

After a common faith (κατα κοινην πιστιν). Here κατα does mean standard, not aim, but it is a faith (πιστιν) common to a Gentile (a Greek) like Titus as well as to a Jew like Paul and so common to all races and classes (Jude 1:3). Κοινος does not here have the notion of unclean as in Acts 10:14; Acts 11:8.

Verse 5

For this cause (τουτου χαριν). In N.T. only here and Ephesians 3:1; Ephesians 3:14. Paul may be supplementing oral instruction as in Timothy's case and may even be replying to a letter from Titus (Zahn).

Left I thee in Crete (απελειπον σε εν Κρητη). This is the imperfect active of απολειπω, though MSS. give the aorist active also (απελιπον) and some read κατελειπον or κατελιπον. Both are common verbs, though Paul uses καταλειπω only in 1 Thessalonians 3:1 except two quotations (Romans 11:4; Ephesians 5:31) and απολειπω only here and 2 Timothy 4:13; 2 Timothy 4:20. Perhaps απολειπω suggests a more temporary stay than καταλειπω. Paul had apparently stopped in Crete on his return from Spain about A.D. 65.

That thou shouldest set in order (ινα επιδιορθωση). Late and rare double compound (inscriptions, here only in N.T.), first aorist middle subjunctive (final clause with ινα) of επιδιορθοω, to set straight (ορθοω) thoroughly (δια) in addition (επ), a clean job of it.

The things that were wanting (τα λειποντα). "The things that remain." See Titus 3:13; Luke 18:22. Either things left undone or things that survive. In both senses the new pastor faces problems after the tornado has passed. Parry takes it "of present defects" in Cretan character.

And appoint (κα καταστησηις). Final clause still and first aorist active subjunctive of καθιστημ, the word used in Acts 6:13 about the deacons. The word does not preclude the choice by the churches (in every city, κατα πολιν, distributive use of κατα). This is a chief point in the επιδορθωσις (White).

Elders (πρεσβυτερους). See 1 Timothy 3:2; 1 Timothy 4:17.

As I gave thee charge (ως εγω σο διεταξαμην). First aorist (constative) middle imperative of διατασσω, clear reference to previous personal details given to Titus on previous occasions.

Verse 6

Blameless (ανεγκλητος). In a condition of first class. Used in 1 Timothy 3:10 of deacons which see.

That believe (πιστα). Added to what is in 1 Timothy 3:4. "Believing children."

Not accused of riot (μη εν κατηγορια ασωτιας). See 1 Timothy 5:19 for κατηγορια and Ephesians 5:18 for ασωτια. "Not in accusation of profligacy."

Unruly (ανυποτακτα). See 1 Timothy 1:9. Public disorder, out of doors. See also verse Titus 1:10.

Verse 7

The bishop (τον επισκοπον). Same office as "elder" in Titus 1:5. "Elder is the title, oversight is the function" (B. Weiss).

As God's steward (ως θεου οικονομον). See 1 Corinthians 4:1 for Paul's idea of the bishop (elder) as God's steward (cf. 1 Corinthians 9:17; Colossians 1:25; Ephesians 3:2; 1 Timothy 1:4).

Not self-willed (μη αυθαδη). Old word (from αυτοσ, ηδομα), self-pleasing, arrogant. In N.T. only here and 2 Peter 2:10.

Not soon angry (οργιλον). Old adjective from οργη (anger). Here only in N.T. Vulgate, iracundum. For "brawler" and "striker" see 1 Timothy 3:2.

Not greedy of filthy lucre (αισχροκερδη). "Not greedy of shameful gain." Used of deacons in 1 Timothy 3:8, αφιλαργυρον used of elders in 1 Timothy 3:3.

Verse 8

A lover of good (φιλαγαθον). Late double compound (φιλοσ, αγαθος). See Wisdom 7:22. Here only in N.T. Just (δικαιον), holy (οσιον) not in Titus 1:1.

Temperate (εγκρατη). Old and common adjective (εν, κρατος, strength), having power over, controlling, here only in N.T. Picture of self-control.

Verse 9

Holding to (αντεχομενον). Present middle participle of αντεχω, old verb, to hold back, in middle to hold oneself face to face with, to cling to, as in 1 Thessalonians 5:14.

The faithful word (του πιστου λογου). See 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Timothy 6:3; Romans 16:17. Some would see a reference here to Christ as the Personal Logos.

That he may be able (ινα δυνατος η). Final clause with present active subjunctive. Paul several times uses δυνατος ειμ in the sense of δυναμα, with infinitive as here (Romans 4:21; Romans 11:23; 2 Timothy 1:12).

The gainsayers (τους αντιλεγοντας). Present active participle of αντιλεγω, old word, to answer back, as in Romans 10:21. "The talkers back."

Verse 10

Vain talkers (ματαιολογο). Late and rare compound, empty talkers, in Vett. Val. and here. See 1 Timothy 1:6 for ματαιολογια.

Deceivers (φρεναπατα). Late and rare compound, in papyri, eccl. writers, here alone in N.T. "Mind-deceivers." See Galatians 6:3 for φρεναπαταιν.

Specially they of the circumcision (μαλιστα ο εκ της περιτομης). Same phrase in Acts 11:2; Galatians 2:12; Colossians 4:11. Jews are mentioned in Crete in Acts 2:11. Apparently Jewish Christians of the Pharisaic type tinged with Gnosticism.

Verse 11

Whose mouths must be stopped (ους δε επιστομιζειν). Literally, "whom it is necessary to silence by stopping the mouth." Present active infinitive επιστομιζειν, old and common verb (επ, στομα, mouth), here only in N.T. To stop the mouth either with bridle or muzzle or gag.

Overthrow (ανατρεπουσιν). Old and common verb, to turn up, to overturn. In N.T. only here and 2 Timothy 2:18. In papyri to upset a family by perversion of one member.

Things which they ought not (α μη δε). Note subjective negative μη with indefinite relative and indicative mode.

For filthy lucre's sake (αισχρου κερδους χαριν). The Cretans are given a bad reputation for itinerating prophets for profit by Polybius, Livy, Plutarch. Paul's warnings in 1 Timothy 3:3; 1 Timothy 3:8; 1 Timothy 6:5 reveal it as "a besetting temptation of the professional teacher" (Parry). See verse Titus 1:7 above. Disgraceful gain, made in shameful ways.

Verse 12

A prophet of their own (ιδιος αυτων προφητης). "Their own prophet." Self-styled "prophet" (or poet), and so accepted by the Cretans and by Cicero and Apuleius, that is Epimenides who was born in Crete at Cnossos. It is a hexameter line and Callimachus quoted the first part of it in a Hymn to Zeus. It is said that Epimenides suggested to the Athenians the erection of statues to "unknown gods" (Acts 17:23).

Liars (ψευστα). See 1 Timothy 1:10 for the word. The Cretans had a bad reputation on this line, partly due to their claim to having the tomb of Zeus.

Evil beasts (κακα θηρια). "Wicked wild beasts." Lock asks if the Minotaur was partly responsible.

Idle gluttons (γαστερες αργα). "Idle bellies." Blunt and forceful. See Philippians 3:19 "whose god is the belly" (η κοιλια). Both words give the picture of the sensual gormandizer.

Verse 13

Testimony (μαρτυρια). Of the poet Epimenides. Paul endorses it from his recent knowledge.

Sharply (αποτομως). Old adverb from αποτομος (from αποτεμνω, to cut off), in N.T. only here and 2 Corinthians 13:10, "curtly," "abruptly." It is necessary to appear rude sometimes for safety, if the house is on fire and life is in danger.

That they may be sound (ινα υγιαινωσιν). Final clause with ινα and present active subjunctive of υγιαινω, for which verb see on 1 Timothy 1:10.

Verse 14

See 1 Timothy 1:4 for προσεχω and μυθοις, only here we have Jewish (Ιουδαικοις) added. Perhaps a reference to the oral traditions condemned by Christ in Mark 7:2-8. See also Colossians 2:22, apparently Pharisaic type of Gnostics.

Who turn away from the truth (αποστρεφομενων). Present middle (direct) participle of αποστρεφω, "men turning themselves away from the truth" (accusative according to regular idiom). "The truth" (1 Timothy 4:3) is the gospel (Ephesians 4:21).

Verse 15

To them that are defiled (τοις μεμιαμμενοις). Perfect passive articular participle of μιαινω, old verb, to dye with another colour, to stain, in N.T. only here, Judges 1:8; Hebrews 12:15. See μεμιαντα (perf. pass. indic.) in this verse. Μολυνω (1 Corinthians 8:7) is to smear.

Unbelieving (απιστοις). As in 1 Corinthians 7:12; 1 Timothy 5:8. The principle or proverb just quoted appears also in 1 Corinthians 6:12; 1 Corinthians 10:23; Romans 14:20. For the defilement of mind (νους) and conscience (συνειδησις) in both Gentile and Jew by sin, see Romans 1:18-2.

Verse 16

They profess (ομολογουσιν). Present active indicative of ομολογεω, common verb (ομου, λεγω) as in Romans 10:10. Ειδενα (know) is second perfect active infinitive of οιδα in indirect assertion.

By their works (τοις εργοις). Instrumental case.

They deny (αρνουντα). Present middle of αρνεομα, old verb, common in the Gospels and the Pastoral Epistles (1 Timothy 5:8; Titus 2:12; 2 Timothy 2:12).

Abominable (βδελυκτο). Verbal adjective from βδελυσσομα. Only in LXX and here.

Disobedient (απειθεις). See Romans 1:30.

Reprobate (αδοκιμο). See on 1 Corinthians 9:27; Romans 1:28.

Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Titus 1". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.