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What Titus is to teach on the duties of family life, in five particulars: ( a) old men, ( b) old women, ( c) young women, ( d) young men, and ( e) slaves, 1-10.
Titus 2:1. True Christian doctrine is ‘healthy’ for the soul, because it is accompanied by practical goodness.
Titus 2:2. Sober is best taken literally; parallel to ‘not given to much wine’ in Titus 2:3. Drunkenness was a Cretan failing, and the old were especially liable to it
Grave, ‘reverend or worshipful’ (Wordsworth), misrendered ‘honest’ in Philippians 4:8.
Temperate, same word as ‘sober’ of Titus 1:8, indicates wise self-control. The next words apply the idea of moral sanity and holiness to the three cardinal Christian graces; only for ‘hope’ is here put that brave endurance to the end under trial which is the practical fruit of hope, and appropriate in aged disciples.
Titus 2:3. Likewise, for the same moral propriety applies here, modified only by sex.
Behaviour, or deportment, a wide term, covering ‘walk, gesture, countenance, speech, silence’ (Jerome).
Becometh holiness (cf. 1 Timothy 2:10; Ephesians 5:3), befitting the solemnity of a consecrated person. Women too are spiritual priests in Christ.
False accusers; frequent failing of this class; the word is literally ‘devils.’ It is the diabolic characteristic to slander the good.
Titus 2:4. To avoid reproach, Titus’ exhortations to younger females are to pass through the elder women.
Teach, better ‘school,’ so to discipline as to bring one to practical wisdom. The virtues in which young married women need to be schooled follow: the virtues of home life. When first the Gospel gave dignity to womanhood and spiritual equality with man, some loosening might be feared of the natural subordination of the sex in marriage, causing the new faith to be evil spoken of (‘blasphemed’).
Discreet is the word rendered ‘temperate’ in Titus 2:2, and ‘sober-minded’ in Titus 2:6. Better to retain the same rendering throughout, where the term is so characteristic See on ‘sober’ in Titus 1:8.
Titus 2:6 sums up in the same comprehensive term the peculiar duty of the Christian young man
the opposite being the defect of character conspicuous in his class. Also, the special sin of heathenism lay in the excessive indulgence of natural desires, on which heathen philosophy had striven in vain to apply a curb. ‘Self-restraint is needful not alone in fleshly actions or the lusts of the mind, but in all things, that we may neither desire honours which are not due to us, nor be inflamed with avarice nor subdued by any passion whatever’ (Jerome). Wisdom requires a similar restraint or balance in the formation and the holding of intellectual opinions.
Titus 2:7. To this class Titus belonged; therefore he was to be its model as well as preceptor. ‘The teacher of others should be like a basin which ere it can overflow must first be itself filled from the fountain’ (St. Bernard). Specially in his public teaching, which is to exhibit a character sincere (‘uncorrupt’) and ‘grave.’
Titus 2:8. The substance of public Christian teaching should be so plainly of a ‘healthy’ moral tendency as not to lie open to the animadversion of the unbelievers. But by the true reading ‘us’ for you at the close, Paul includes all Christians as affording no handle to the enemies of the faith, if they walk according to sound doctrine.
Titus 2:9 resumes the list of classes from Titus 2:6. Among the first converts were many bond-servants, for the Gospel was glad news to them; but they (like wives, Titus 2:5) were apt in the joy of new spiritual freedom to strain the bonds of civil duty. Paul bids them recommend Christianity by going beyond legal subjection, studying how to satisfy their ‘lords.’ The negatives describe the two chief temptations of their condition.
Answering again is too narrow; not thwarting in any way.
Basis in Christian doctrine for the foregoing admonitions, 11-15.
Titus 2:11. Christ’s work is the appearance, or literally, epiphany, of that Divine grace or ‘favour’ to man (cf. Titus 3:4) which had previously been concealed. Grace is the ground of redemption; redemption the manifestation of grace.
The grace that is saving appeared (not ‘hath appeared,’ for word refers to a definite past event), ‘like the dawn’ (Wordsworth). We may either read, ‘the grace that saves all men appeared,’ i.e. men of all races and orders; or, ‘grace appeared to all men, bringing salvation.’ Former perhaps to be preferred.
Titus 2:12. The design of the Gospel epiphany of grace was to tutor or discipline men into virtue. The word teaching comprehends all methods of training as applied to a child, correction not excluded. God’s grace in Christ is pædagogic, disciplinary, practical. Hence the false teachers of Crete were condemned as heretics by their evil practice. The end or design of such discipline is given negatively and positively: (1) ‘Having denied’ the old unconverted life on its Godward side (= ungodliness) and also on its earthward (=‘cosmic or secular desires,’ such as pertain to the fallen ‘world,’ see 1 John 2:15), we should (2) live ( a) with due control over ourselves (soberly, as in Titus 2:4; Titus 2:6), and ( b) with due regard for others’ rights (‘justly’), and ( c) with due piety or devotedness to the Divine honour ( godly opposed to ungodliness).
Titus 2:13. The Christian’s duty during this present life (world in Titus 2:12 = age or epoch of the world), does not exclude but include a reference to that which is to come. The Christian’s hope is another or second ‘epiphany’ still future. The first is an epiphany of grace (Titus 2:11) as the source of Christian life; the other of ‘glory’ as its end. (So Wiesinger.) This appearing of the glory (literally) of the great God is to be at the Second Advent.
Much disputed if God as well as Saviour refers to our Lord. Some arguments for and against involve a knowledge of the original; but the following are among the chief: For ( a) context refers to Christ: ( b) the word ‘epiphany’ (appearing) never occurs in relation to God the Father elsewhere; ( c) the adjective ‘great’ would be uncalled for, if ‘God’ were here used of the Father; ( d) the weight of opinion among the Fathers lay on this side. Against ( a) the word ‘God’ is nowhere else thus joined as a simple attribute to Christ; ( b) the phrase ‘God and our Saviour’ occurs six times in the Pastoral Epistles, and always refers to the Father; ( c) it is usual with Paul thus to conjoin God the Father and our Lord; ( d) the addition of ‘great’ serves to isolate ‘God’ as a different subject. The result may be summed up thus:
There is a grammatical presumption in favour of referring ‘God’ to our Lord in this passage; yet not such as can be much depended on, seeing the usage of the writer tells the other way. No argument for our Lord’s divinity can be safely built on such exegesis. The doctrine is amply sustained and can dispense with the support of an ambiguous text.
Titus 2:14. For us, on our behalf. The design of Christ’s self-offering to death was a moral one
to set us free by payment of a ransom-price (see the root text in Matthew 20:28) from iniquity (or sin viewed as lawlessness, comp. 1 John 1:3-4). The principle of lawless living is thought of as a tyrannical usurper over human nature. Its hold is broken when the price is paid for the slave that price the ‘precious blood,’ as in 1 Peter 1:18-19. The redeeming act which is past describes one side of salvation. Another follows in the cleansing of the redeemed: purify to himself a people who shall be His own private possession; so peculiar means here a much misused expression. The phrase is from the Pentateuch; see Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 26:18; Deuteronomy 26:18. In New Testament, the only parallel is 1 Peter 2:9, where, however, the word is different. The ethical design of this redemption, which is also a cleansing of His people, becomes again emphatic in the last clause ( zealous of good works), recurring to the radical idea (Titus 2:12) that the Gospel revelation of grace contemplates as its aim a holy life. On general thought compare Romans 6:0
Titus 2:15 reverts at the close to the opening of the section in Titus 2:1. Titus is to teach ( speak), and also to urge to duty ( exhort), and also convict (or rebuke) the disobedient after a fashion so vigorous and bold that no man in Crete shall undervalue him. Cf. 1 Timothy 4:12.
Authority is here ‘imperativeness’ of manner (Alford).
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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Titus 2". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 13 / Ordinary 18