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Bible Commentaries

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
Titus 2





Titus 2:3. ἐν καταστήματι] For this F G, without reason, have κατασχήματι.

Some MSS. (C H** al.) have the reading ἱεροπρεπεῖ; Vulg.: in habitu sancto, which gives a good enough meaning, but must, however, be regarded as a mere correction; see Reiche on the passage.

μὴ οἴνῳ] A C א 73, al., have the reading μηδέ for μή.

Titus 2:4. For the Rec. σωφρονίζωσιν, supported by C D E K L, σωφρονίζουσιν is read by A F G H א, al. (Lachm. Tisch.). The conjunctive seems to be a correction, because the indicative contradicts the force of the ἵνα; but also in 1 Corinthians 4:6, Galatians 4:17, it stands after ἵνα. In these passages, however, Meyer explains ἵνα as equivalent to ubi; comp. Winer, pp. 272 f. [E. T. p. 363], and Buttm. p. 202. As in later post-apostolic times, the construction with the indic. was not unusual; σωφρονίζουσιν is possibly to be ascribed to a later copyist.

Titus 2:5. Instead of the word οἰκουρούς (Rec. supported by D*** H J K, the cursives, Fathers, and versions), which occurs frequently in classic Greek, A C D* E F G א have the word οἰκουργούς (Lachm. Buttm. Tisch.), which is not used elsewhere. Matthies declares this to be a lectio vitiosa et inepta; so Reiche. De Wette thinks it an error in copying, as the word does not occur elsewhere. This certainly is possible, and yet it is strange that it should have such weighty testimony. Matthaei thinks that the scribae istorum sex codicum were so very barbari that the word οἰκουρός was unknown to them; but that is hardly conceivable.

Titus 2:7. The Rec. ἀδιαφθορίαν (D*** E* L, al., Chrys.) is to be exchanged for the reading ἀφθορίαν (A C D* E* K א, al., Lachm. Buttm. Tisch.), though Reiche seeks to prove from the meaning of two substantives not used elsewhere that the Rec. should be preferred. As the adj. ἀδιάφθορος frequently occurs, and ἄφθορος but seldom, we may readily suppose that the Rec. was a correction in keeping with the more usual adjective.

After σεμνότητα, D** E, gr. 23, 44, and many other cursives, etc., have the word ἀφθαρσίαν; but the weightest authorities are against its genuineness, A C D* (E apud Mill) F G 47, al., Syr. Erp. Copt. Aeth. Vulg. It. etc.

Titus 2:8. περὶ ἡμῶν] so Griesb. Scholz, Tisch., supported by C D E F G K L P א 17, 23, al., many versions and Fathers. Lachm. retained the common reading.

Both readings give a good sense, but the testimony assigns the preference to ἡμῶν. Matthies wrongly says that A C D E F G have the reading ὑμῶν.

Titus 2:9. Instead of ἰδίοις δεσπόταις (Tisch. 8, on the authority of C F G K L א), Lachm. (so, too, Tisch. 7) reads δεσπόταις ἰδίοις, on the authority of A D E 27, al., Vulg. It. Jerome, Ambrosiast. al.

Titus 2:10. For μή, the correction μηδέ is found in D F G, al., 17.

πᾶσαν πίστιν] for πίστιν πᾶσαν (Tisch. 7). This is read by Lachm. Buttm. Tisch. 8, on the authority of A C D E א 31, 37, al., Vulg. Clar. Germ. Jerome, Ambrosiast.

After διδασκαλίαν Griesb. inserted τήν, with the support of the weightiest authorities, A C D E F G I א, al., Chrys. Theodor.

Titus 2:11. Instead of σωτήριος (Tisch. 7), σωτήριος, without the article, has been adopted by Lachm. Buttm. Tisch. 8, on the authority of A* C* D א, Syr. utr. The reading: τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν, found in F G, Copt. Aeth. al., must have arisen from Titus 2:10; still א has σωτῆρος.

Titus 2:13. Tisch. 7 reads ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ, with the support of most MSS. the other hand, Tisch. 8 reads χριστοῦ ιησοῦ.

Verse 1

Titus 2:1. Instructions to Timothy how he is to exhort the various members of families, down to Titus 2:10.

σὺ δέ] see 2 Timothy 3:10; 2 Timothy 4:5. A contrast with the heretics, not, however, as Chrysostom puts it: αὐτοί εἰσιν ἀκάθαρτοι· ἀλλὰ μὴ τούτων ἕνεκεν σιγήσῃς. It is with regard to their unseemly doctrine that Paul says: σὺ δὲ λάλει πρέπει τῇ ὑγιαιν. διδασκαλίᾳ. In contrast with their μῦθοι and ἐντολαὶ ἀνθρώπων, Titus is to speak things in harmony with sound doctrine, by which are meant not so much the doctrines of the gospel themselves, as the commands founded on them, Titus 2:3 ff. (Wiesinger). On τῇ ὑγ. διδ., see Titus 1:9.

Verse 2

Titus 2:2. The members of the family are distinguished according to age and sex. First, we have πρεσβύτας, which is not equivalent to πρεσβυτέρους, the official name, but denotes age simply: senes aetate; Philemon 1:9; Luke 1:18.

νηφαλίους εἶναι] The accusative does not depend on a word understood such as παρακάλει, but is an object accusative to the verb preceding λάλει πρέπει: “viz. that the old men be νηφάλιοι.”

νηφαλίους] see 1 Timothy 3:2.

σεμνούς] see 1 Timothy 2:2.

σώφρονας] Titus 1:8; 1 Timothy 3:2.

ὑγιαίνοντας τῇ πίστει, τῇ ἀγάπῃ, τῇ ὑπομονῇ] On the use of the dative here, for which in Titus 1:13 there stands the preposition ἐν, see Winer, p. 204 [E. T. p. 272]; it is to be explained as equivalent to “in respect of, in regard to.”

To πίστις and ἀγάπη, the cardinal virtues of the Christian life, ὑπομονή (quasi utriusque condimentum, Calvin) is added, the stedfastness which no sufferings can shake. All three conceptions are found together also in 1 Thessalonians 1:3 ( ὑπομονὴ τῆς ἐλπίδος); ὑπομ. and πίστις in 2 Thessalonians 1:4; ἀγ. καὶ ὑπομ., 2 Thessalonians 3:5; comp. also 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 3:10.

Verse 3

Titus 2:3. ιιρεσβύτιδας (“the aged women” = πρεσβύτεραι in 1 Timothy 5:2) ὡσαύτως (see 1 Timothy 2:9) ἐν καταστήματι ἱεροπρεπεῖς] κατάστημα is taken in too narrow a sense, only of the clothing (Oecumenius: τὰ περιβόλαια). It denotes the entire external deportment; Jerome: ut ipse earum incessus et motus, vultus, sermo, silentium, quandam decoris sacri praeferant dignitatem. Heydenreich, on the other hand, makes the conception too wide, when he includes under it the temper of mind.

ἱεροπρεπεῖς] ( ἅπ. λεγ.) is equivalent to καθὼς πρέπει ἁγίοις, Ephesians 5:3; comp. also 1 Timothy 2:10. Luther rightly: “that they behave themselves as becometh saints.”

μὴ διαβόλους] see 1 Timothy 3:11.

μὴ οἴνῳ πολλῷ δεδουλωμένας is equivalent to μὴ οἴν. π. προσέχοντας in 1 Timothy 3:8.

καλοδιδασκάλους] ( ἅπ. λεγ.) Beza: “honestatis magistrae; agitur hic de domestica disciplina;” but not so much by example as by exhortation and teaching, as appears from what follows.

Verse 4-5

Titus 2:4-5. ἵνα σωφρονίζωσι τὰς νέας κ. τ. λ.] Since σωφρονίζειν must necessarily have an object, τὰς νέας κ. τ. λ. should not, like πρεσβύτας υηφαλίους εἶναι, Titus 2:2, and πρεσβύτιδας, Titus 2:3, be joined with λάλει, Titus 2:1 (Hofmann), but with σωφρονίζουσιν, so that the exhortations given to the young women are to proceed from the older women.

σωφρονίζειν] ( ἅπ. λεγ.) is properly “bring some one to σωφροσύνη,” then “amend,” viz. by punishment; it also occurs in the sense of “punish, chastise;” it is synonymous with νουθετεῖν. According to Beza, it expresses opposition to the juvenilis lascivia et alia ejus aetatis ac sexus vitia.

The aim of the σωφρονίζειν is given in the next words: φιλάνδρους ( ἅπ. λεγ.) εἶναι, φιλοτέκνους ( ἅπ. λεγ.) These two ideas are suitably placed first, as pointing to the first and most obvious circumstances of the νέαι.

Titus 2:5. σώφρονας ἁγνάς] The latter is to be taken here not in the general sense of “blameless,” but in the more special sense of “chaste” (Wiesinger).

οἰκουρούς (Rec.); Wahl rightly: “ex οἶκος et οὖρος custos: custos domus, de feminis, quae domi se continent neque περιέρχονται, 1 Timothy 5:13.” Vulgate: domus curam habentes; Luther: “domestic.” The word οἰκουργούς (read by Tischendorf, see critical remarks) does not occur elsewhere; if it be genuine, it must mean “working in the house” (Alford: “workers at home”), which, indeed, does not agree with the formation of the word. The word οἰκουργεῖν occurring in later Greek means: “make a house;” see Pape, s.v.

Chrysostom: οἰκουὸς γυνὴ καὶ σώφρων ἔσται· οἰκουρὸς καὶ οἰκονο΄ική· οὔτε περὶ τρυφὴν, οὔτε περὶ ἐξόδους ἀκαίρους, οὔτε περὶ ἄλλων τῶν τοιούτων ἀσχοληθήσεται.

ἀγαθάς] is rightly taken by almost all as an independent epithet: “kindly.” Some expositors, however, connect it with οἰκουρούς (so Theophylact, Oecumenius); but this is wrong, since οἰκουρούς is itself an adjective. Hofmann joins it with οἰκουργούς, and translates it “good housewives” (so Buttmann, in his edition of the N., T., has no comma between the two words); but where are the grounds for explaining οἰκουργούς to mean “housewives”?

ὑποτασσομένας τοῖς ἰδίοις ἀνδράσιν] On τοῖς ἰδίοις ἀνδρ., comp. 1 Corinthians 7:2. The thought that wives are to be subject to their husbands is often expressed in the N. T. in the same words, comp. Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18; 1 Peter 3:1. It is to be noted that the apostle adds this ὑποτασσο΄ένας after using φιλάνδρους. The one thing does not put an end to the other; on the contrary, neither quality is of the right kind unless it includes the other. How much weight was laid by the apostle on the ὑποτάσσεσθαι may be seen from the words: ἵνα ΄ὴ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ βλασφη΄ῆται, which are closely connected with ὑποτασσο΄ένας κ. τ. λ.; comp. Titus 2:10, where the same thought is expressed positively, and 1 Timothy 6:1. The apostolic preaching of freedom and equality in Christ might easily be applied in a fleshly sense for removing all natural subordination, and thus disgrace be brought on the word of God; hence the express warning. The remark of Chrysostom: εἰ συ΄βαίῃ γυναῖκα πιστὴν ἀπίστῳ συνοικοῦσαν, ΄ὴ εἶναι ἐνάρετον, βλασφη΄ία ἐπὶ τὸν θεὸν διαβαίνειν εἴωθεν, is unsatisfactory, because the apostle’s words are thereby arbitrarily restricted to a relation which is quite special.

Verse 6

Titus 2:6. τοὺς νεωτέρους] “the younger men;” not, as Matthies supposes, the younger members of the church, without distinction of sex.

ὡσαύτως] here, as in Titus 2:3, on account of the similarity of the exhortation.

παρακάλει σωφρονεῖν] equivalent to σώφρονας εἶναι, opposed to omnibus immoderatis affectibus (Beza). Hofmann: “The whole purport of the apostle’s exhortations is included by the apostle in the one word σωφρονεῖν, which therefore contains everything in which the moral influence of Christianity may be displayed.”

Verse 7-8

Titus 2:7-8. The exhortation by word is to be accompanied by the exhortation of example.

περὶ πάντα does not belong to what precedes, but begins a new sentence, and is put first for emphasis. ιιάντα is not masculine: “towards every one,” but neuter: “in regard to all things, in all points.”

σεαυτὸν παρεχόμενος τύπον καλῶν ἔργων] On the use of the middle παρέχεσθαι with the pronoun ἑαυτόν, “show himself,” see Winer, p. 242 [E. T. p. 322] (comp. Xenophon, Cyrop. viii. 1.39: παράδειγματοίονδε ἑαυτὸν παρείχετο).

τύπον, “type,” is in the N. T. only found here with the genitive of the thing.

καλὰ ἔργα] 1 Timothy 5:10; an expression often occurring in the Pastoral Epistles.

ἐν τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ ἀφθορίαν] This and the following accusatives are dependent on παρεχόμενος; see Colossians 4:1. Luther inaccurately: “with unadulterated doctrine, with sobriety,” etc.; Jerome: in doctrina, in integritate et castitate.

ἀφθορία, only in later Greek, is from ἄφθορος (in Artemidorus, ver. 2:95: de virginibus puerisque intactis et illibatis legitur; Reiche; Esther 2:2 : κοράσια ἄφθορα καλὰ τῷ εἴδει), which is equivalent to “chaste,” and therefore means “unstained chastity.” ἀδιαφθορία (Rec.) is of more general signification; it is also used of virgin chastity (Artac. 26, Diodorus Siculus, i. 59), but denotes in general soundness, also especially incorruptibility. Older as well as more recent expositors (Heydenreich, Mack, Wiesinger) refer the word here to the disposition: “purity of disposition;”(1) but it is more in accordance with the context to understand by it something immediately connected with the διδασκαλία, to which σε΄νότητα also refers. Matthies, de Wette, and others refer it (as does Luther also) to the subject-matter of the doctrine; de Wette: “incorruptness in doctrine, i.e. unadulterated doctrine.” But in that case it would mean the same thing as the following λόγον ὑγιῆ; there is no justification for Bengel’s interpreting ἐν διδασκαλίᾳ to mean public addresses, and λόγον the talk of daily intercourse. According to its original meaning, ἀφθορία is most suitably taken to mean chastity in doctrine, which avoids everything not in harmony with its true subject and aim, and it has a special reference to the form (comp. 1 Corinthians 2:1; 1 Corinthians 2:3). So, too, van Oosterzee: “the form of the doctrine which Titus preaches is to be pure, chaste, free from everything that conflicts with the nature of the gospel”

σε΄νότητα, on the other hand, denotes dignity in the style of delivery. Both these things, the ἀφθορία and the σε΄νότης, were injured by the heretics in their λογο΄αχίαις.(2)

λόγον ὑγιῆ ἀκατάγνωστου ( ἄπ. λεγ.) refers to the subject-matter of the doctrine: “sound, unblameable word,” in opposition to the corruptions made by the heretics.

The purpose is thus given: ἵνα ἐξ ἐναντίας ἐντραπῇ] ἐξ ἐναντίας ( ἅπ. λεγ.), qui ex adverso est; according to Chrysostom: διάβολος καὶ πᾶς ἐκείνῳ διακονούμενος; but the next words are against this interpretation. According to Titus 2:5 and 1 Timothy 6:1, it means the non-Christian opponent of the gospel, and not the Christian heretic (Heydenreich, Wiesinger).

ἐντραπῇ, “be ashamed, take shame to oneself;” 1 Corinthians 4:14; 2 Thessalonians 3:14. The reason for the shame is contained in the words: μηδὲν ἔχων περὶ ἡμῶν (or ὑμῶν) λέγειν φαῦλον] “having nothing wicked to say of us.”

If περὶ ἡμῶν be the correct reading, it is not to be limited to Titus and Paul, but should be taken more generally. With the reading ὑμῶν, on the other hand, the apostle’s words refer to Titus and the churches that follow his example.

Verse 9-10

Titus 2:9-10. Exhortation in regard to slaves.

δούλους ἰδίοις δεσποταῖς (or δεσποταῖς ἰδίοις) ὑποτάσσεσθαι] The construction shows that Paul is continuing the instructions which he gives to Timothy in regard to the various members of families, so that Titus 2:7-8 are parenthetical; παρακάλει is to be supplied from Titus 2:6. Heydenreich and Matthies wrongly make this verse dependent on Titus 2:1. The harder the lot of the slaves, and the more unendurable this might appear to the Christian slave conscious of his Christian dignity, the more necessary was it to impress upon him the ὑποτάσσεσθαι. Even this is not sufficient, and so Paul further adds: ἐν πᾶσιν εὐαρέστους εἶναι. ἐν πᾶσιν, equivalent to “in all points” (Titus 2:7 : περὶ πάντα; Colossians 3:20; Colossians 3:22 : κατὰ πάντα), is usually joined with εὐαρέστους εἶναι; Hofmann, on the contrary, wishes to connect it with ὑποτάσσεσθαι. Both constructions are possible; still the usual one is to be preferred, because the very position of the slaves made it a matter of course that the ὑποτάσσεσθαι should be evinced in its full extent, whereas the same could not be said of εὐαρέστοι εἶναι, since that goes beyond the duty of ὑποτάσσεσθαι. The word εὔαρεστος occurs frequently in the Pauline Epistles, but only in speaking of the relation to God. The two first exhortations refer to general conduct; to these the apostle adds two special points: μὴ ἀντιλέγοντας and μὴ νοσφιζομένους. Hofmann is wrong in saying that μὴ ἀντιλέγοντας is the antithesis of εὐαρέστους. The conduct of slaves, which is well-pleasing to masters, includes more than refraining from contradiction. Van Oosterzee says not incorrectly: “It is not contradiction in particular instances, but the habitus that is here indicated.” Luther: “not contradicting.” The verb νοσφίζεσθαι is found only here and in Acts 5:2-3 : “not pilfering, defrauding.”

The next words: ἀλλὰ πᾶσαν πίστιν ἐνδεικνυμένους ἀγαθήν (Luther: “but showing all good fidelity”), is in the first place opposed to μὴ νοσφιζομένους, but includes more than merely to abstain from defrauding (in opposition to Hofmann). As in Titus 2:5, so, too, here, where the maintenance of the natural duties of subordinates is under discussion, the apostle adds ἵνα τὴν διδασκαλίαν κ. τ. λ., except that the expression is now positive, whereas before it was negative; the thought is substantially the same.

διδασκαλία is equivalent to λόγος, τὸ εὐαγγέλιον.

τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμ. θεοῦ] see 1 Timothy 1:1; not, as some expositors (Calvin, Wolf) think, Christ, but God.

κοσμῶσιν] “do honour to.”

ἐν πᾶσιν] Titus 2:9, “in all points,” not “with all, in the eyes of all” (Hofmann).

Chrysostom: οὐ γὰρ ἀπὸ δόγματος δόγματα, ἀλλʼ ἀπὸ πραγμάτων καὶ βίου τὰ δόγματα κρίνουσιν οἱ ἕλληνες· ἒστωσανν ἐν αὐτοῖς καὶ γυναῖκες καὶ δοῦλοι διδάσκαλοι διὰ τῆς οἰκείας ἀναστροφῆς.

Verses 11-14

Titus 2:11-14. Foundation for the moral precepts given from the nature of Christianity: eximium ex evangelii medulla motivum inseritur (Bengel).

Chrysostom ( πολλὴν παρὰ τῶν οἰκετῶν ἀπαιτήσας τὴν ἀρετὴν, ἀπάγει καὶ τὴν αἰτίαν δικαίαν, διʼ ἣν ὀφείλουσι τοιοῦτοι εἶναι οἱ οἰκέται) and others refer Titus 2:11 ( γάρ) only to the exhortation to slaves which immediately precedes. It is more correct, however, to refer it to the whole sum of moral precepts, given from Titus 2:1 onwards (so, too, van Oosterzee, Plitt, Hofmann).

ἐπεφάνη γὰρ χάρις τοῦ θεοῦ] (see Titus 3:4) is used of the sun in Acts 27:20. Possibly Paul is speaking here with this figure in mind (comp. Isaiah 9:2; Isaiah 60:1; Luke 1:79), as Heydenreich, Wiesinger, van Oosterzee suppose; but possibly, also, the expression simply means that the χάρις τοῦ θεοῦ, formerly hidden in God, has come forth from concealment and become manifest and visible.

χάρις τοῦ θεοῦ] The old writers on dogma give to this expression, which denotes the absolute ground of the work of redemption, too special a reference to Christ’s incarnation; Oecumenius: μετὰ σαρκὸς ἐπιδημία; Theodoret: τούτου χάριν ἐνηνθρώπησεν μονογενὴς τοῦ θεοῦ υἱὸς, ἵνα κ. τ. λ. It need hardly be said that he is speaking here not simply of a revelation of the divine grace by teaching, but also of its appearance in act, viz. in the act of redemption.

To define the χάρις more accurately, there is added: σωτήριος πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις] not: “as bringing salvation” (de Wette, van Oosterzee). This would make σωτήριος here the main point, which from the context it cannot be; the main point is not given till παιδεύουσα. σωτήριος is rather an adjective qualifying the substantive χάρις: “there appeared the grace bringing salvation to all men.” With the Rec. σωτήριος this construction is beyond doubt.

πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις] does not depend on ἐπεφάνη, but on σωτήριος. Matthies is not intelligible in regarding it as dependent on both.(3)

The emphasis laid on the universality of the salvation, as in 1 Timothy 2:4 and other passages of the Pastoral Epistles, is purely Pauline.

Verse 12

Titus 2:12. παιδεύουσα ἡμᾶς, ἵνα κ. τ. λ.] On this the chief emphasis is laid. By παιδεύουσα the apostle makes it clear that “the grace of God has a paedagogic purpose” (Heydenreich). Here, as also elsewhere in the N. T., παιδεύειν does not simply mean “educate,” but “educate by disciplinary correction.” Hence Luther is not incorrect in translating: “and chastises us.” This reference is to be noted here, as is shown by the next words: ἀρνησάμενοι κ. τ. λ. ἵνα does not indicate the purpose here, but the object to be supplied, for παιδ. is not subjective, but objective; the sentence beginning with ἵνα might also have been expressed by the infinitive; comp. 1 Timothy 1:20; not therefore “in order that we,” but “that we.” On this use of ἵνα, see Winer, pp. 314 ff.(4) [E. T. pp. 420–426].

ἀρνησάμενοι] see Titus 1:16 : “denying,” i.e. renouncing, abandoning.

τὴν ἀσέβειαν] is not equivalent to εἰδωλολατρείαν καὶ τὰ πονηρὰ δόγ΄ατα (Theophylact), but is the opposite of εὐσέβειαν: the behaviour of man, ungodly, estranged from God, of which idolatry is only one side.

καὶ τὰς κοσ΄ικὰς ἐπιθυ΄ίας] κοσ΄ικός only here and in Hebrews 9:1, but there in another connection. The κοσ΄. ἐπιθυ΄ίαι are not “desires or lusts referring to the earthly, transient world” (first edition of this commentary; so, too, Wiesinger), but “the lusts belonging to the κόσ΄ος, i.e. to the world estranged from God,” which, indeed, is the same thing (so, too, van Oosterzee). Kindred conceptions are found ἐπιθυμία σαρκός, Galatians 5:15; Ephesians 2:3; ἀνθρώπων ἐπιθυ΄ίαι, 1 Peter 4:2.

σωφρόνως καὶ δικαίως καὶ εὐσεβῶς ζήσω΄εν] see Titus 1:8 ( σώφρονα, δίκαιον, ὅσιον). This denotes the life of Christian morality in three directions. Immediately after ἐπιθυ΄ίαι we have the opposing conception σωφρόνως, which expresses self-control. δικαίως denotes generally right conduct such as the divine law demands, having special reference here, as in Titus 1:8, to duty towards one’s neighbour. εὐσεβῶς (opposite of ἀσέβειαν) denotes holiness in thought and act.

Even the older expositors find in the collocation of these three ideas an expression for the whole sum of duties. Wolf: optime illi res instituunt, qui per τὸ εὐσεβῶς officia adversus Deum, per τὸ δικαίως officia adv. proximum, per τὸ σωφρόνως vero illa adv. hominem ipsum indicari existimant; still it might be doubtful whether Paul regarded the ideas as so sharply distinct from each other.

ἐν τῷ νῦν αἰῶνι] Paul adds this to remind Titus that for the Christian there is another and future life towards which his glance is directed even in this;—still these words cannot be construed with προσδεχό΄ενοι.

Verse 13

Titus 2:13. προσδεχόμενοι τὴν μακαρίαν ἐλπίδα] The strange collocation of προσδεχ. and ἐλπίδα is found also in Acts 24:15 : ἐλπίδα ἔχωνἣν καὶ αὐτοὶ οὗτοι προσδέχονται; so, too, in Galatians 5:5 : ἐλπίδαἀπεκδεχόμεθα. The reason of it is that ἐλπίς not only denotes actively the hope, but also passively the thing hoped for, the subject of the hope; comp. Colossians 1:5 : ἐλπὶς ἀποκειμένη ἐν τ. οὐρανοῖς; comp., too, Romans 8:24.

μακαρίαν] Paul thus describes the ἐλπίδα in so far as the expectation of it blesses the believer. Wolf wrongly interprets μακ. ἐλπίς as equivalent to ἐλπιζομένη μακαριότης.

This ἐλπίς is further defined by the epexegesis: καὶ ἐπιφάνειαν τῆς δόξης τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν . χριστοῦ] According to Hofmann, the adjective μακαρίαν as well as the genitive τῆς δόξης κ. τ. λ. belongs to both substantives, to ἐλπίδα and to ἐπιφάνειαν, because, as he thinks, μακαρία ἐλπίς is not a conception complete in itself. But Romans 15:4 shows this to be wrong. The genitive could only be construed with the two substantives by giving it a different reference in each case. Hofmann, indeed, maintains that this presents no difficulty, as it occurs elsewhere; but he is wrong in his appeal to Romans 15:4 (comp. Meyer on the passage) and to 1 Peter 1:2 and 2 Peter 3:11 (comp. my commentary on the passages).

Beyond doubt, the ἐπιφάνεια τῆς δόξης κ. τ. λ. denotes Christ’s second coming (1 Timothy 6:14); it may, however, be asked whether μεγάλου θεοῦ is an independent subject or an attribute of ἰησ. χρ. The older expositors are of the latter opinion; the orthodox even appealed to this passage against the Arians. Ambrosius, however, distinguishes here between Christus and Deus Pater.(5) Erasmus, too, says: simul cum Patre apparebit eadem gloria conspicuus Dominus ac Servator noster J. Chr.; and Bengel says of θεοῦ simply: referri potest ad Christum. Among more recent expositors, Flatt, Mack, Matthies, Wiesinger, van Oosterzee, Hofmann, adopt the former view; while de Wette, Plitt, Winer, pp. 123 f.[E. T. p. 162], adopt the latter. Heydenreich leaves the question undecided.(6) It cannot be decided on purely grammatical grounds, for μεγ. θεοῦ and σωτῆρος ἡμ. may be two attributes referring to ἰησ. χριστοῦ; still it may be also that σωτῆρ. ἡμῶν ἰησ. χρ. is a subject distinct from μεγ. θεοῦ, even although only one article is used.(7) The question can only be answered by an appeal to N. T. usage, both for this passage and others like it: 2 Peter 1:1; Jude 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 1:12. In 2 Peter 1:11; 2 Peter 3:18, the unity of the subject is beyond doubt. The following points may be urged in favour of distinguishing two subjects:—(1) In no single, passage is θεός connected directly with ἰησοῦς χριστός as an attribute (see my commentary on 2 Peter 1:1); i.e. there never occurs in the N. T. the simple construction θεὸς ἡμῶν ἰησ. χρ., or θεὸς ἰησοῦς χρ., or ἰησ. χρ. θεὸς ἡμῶν, whereas κύριος and σωτήρ are often enough construed in this way. (2) The collocation of God ( θεός) and Christus as two subjects is quite current, not only in the Pastoral Epistles (1 Timothy 1:1-2; 1 Timothy 5:21; 1 Timothy 6:13; 2 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 4:1; Titus 1:4), but also in all the epistles of the N. T., Pauline or not, so much so, that when in some few passages the turn of the expression is such as to make θεός refer grammatically to Christ also, these passages have to be explained in accordance with the almost invariable meaning of the expression. (3) The addition of the adjective μεγάλου indicates that θεοῦ is to be taken as an independent subject, especially when it is observed how Paul in the First Epistle to Timothy uses similar epithets to exalt God’s glory; comp. 1 Timothy 1:17; 1 Timothy 4:10; 1 Timothy 6:15-16, especially Titus 1:11 : δόξα τοῦ μακαρίου θεοῦ. It is true the expression μέγας θεός is not found in the N. T., except in the Rec. of Revelation 19:17, but it occurs frequently in the O. T.: Deuteronomy 6:21; Deuteronomy 10:17; Nehemiah 9:32; Daniel 2:45; Daniel 9:4.(8)

For the unity of the subject only one reason can be urged with any show of force, viz. that elsewhere the word ἐπιφάνεια is only used in reference to Christ; but Erasmus long ago pointed out that it does not stand here ἐπιφ. τοῦ θεοῦ, but τῆς δόξης τοῦ θεοῦ. Wiesinger, too, has to admit “that, according to passages like Matthew 16:27, Mark 8:38, Christ appears in the glory of the Father and at the same time in His own glory (Matthew 25:31), and His appearance may therefore be called the appearance both of God’s glory and of His own.” Wiesinger, indeed, tries to weaken this admission by remarking that in reality it is Christ Himself who will appear ἐν δόξῃ τοῦ πάτρος, and not God, that therefore δόξα would be construed with the genitives in quite different relations, and that on grammatico-logical principles it must mean either ἐν σωτῆρι ἡ΄ῶν ἰησ. χριστῷ, or τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡ΄ῶν ἐν τῇ δόξῃ τοῦ ΄εγάλου θεοῦ (Matthies). But his remark is wrong. Even if the subjects be distinct, the genitive τοῦ ΄εγ. θεοῦ stands in the same relation to τῆς δόξης as does the genitive σωτῆρος ἡ΄. ι. χρ. Nor is the form of expression necessary on which Matthies insists, because in the N. T. God and Christ are often enough connected simply by καὶ without marking their mutual relations. Wiesinger further remarks that no reason whatever can be found in the context for connecting θεός here as well as Christ with the ἐπιφάνεια, but he has manifestly overlooked the relation of προσδεχό΄ενοι τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν τῆς δόξης τοῦ ΄εγ. θεοῦ to ἐπεφάνη χάρις τοῦ θεοῦ.(9)

Chrysostom rightly says: δύο δείκνυσιν ἐνταῦθα ἐπιφανείας· καὶ γάρ εἰσι δύο· μὲν πρότερα χάριτος, δὲ δευτέρα ἀνταποδόσεως. The χάρις of God has already appeared; the δόξα of God appears only at the day of completion, when Christ is made manifest in His δόξα, which is the δόξα of God. Though not so directly as it would have been if the subjects were identical, this passage is still a testimony in favour of the truth of the doctrine of Christ’s divinity.(10)

Matthies suggests that in the expression τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ there is an allusion to the great Zeus worshipped in Crete, but that is more than improbable.

The genitive σωτῆρος is not dependent on ἐπιφάνειαν, but on τῆς δόξης. In 1 Peter 4:13 also Christ’s second coming is called the revelation of His δόξα.

Verse 14

Titus 2:14. The thought in this verse is very closely related to Titus 2:12 : παιδεύουσα ἡμᾶς, ἵνα κ. τ. λ., as it shows how far the appearance of the grace of God exhorts us to deny ἀσέβεια κ. τ. λ. In construction, however, it is connected with σωτῆρος ἡμ. . χρ.

ὃς ἔδωκεν ἑαυτόν] comp. Galatians 1:4, equivalent to παρέδωκεν ἑαυτόν, Ephesians 5:25. The conception of the voluntary submission to death is not contained in ἑαυτόν (Heydenreich) so much as in the whole expression.

ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν] is not equivalent to ἀντὶ ἡμῶν, but: “for us, on our behalf;” the notion of ἀντί, however, is not excluded (Matthew 20:28). The purpose of this submission is given in the next words: ἵνα λυτρώσηται ἡμᾶς] λυτροῦσθαι: “set free by means of a ransom.” In Luke 24:21 (comp. too, 1 Maccabees 4:11, and other passages in the Apocrypha) the reference to ransom falls quite into the background; but in 1 Peter 1:18-19, where, as here, the redemption through Christ is spoken of, the τίμιον αἷμα of Christ is called the ransom. The same reference is indicated here by the previous ἔδωκεν ἑαυτόν, comp. 1 Timothy 2:6. The middle form includes the reference which in the next clause is expressed by ἑαυτῷ.

ἀπὸ πάσης ἀνομίας] “from all unlawfulness.” ἀνομία is regarded as the power from which Christ has redeemed us; it is opposed to σωφρόνως καὶ δικαίως καὶ εὐσεβῶς ζῆν: “the unrighteousness in which the law of God is unheeded.” It is wrong to understand by ἀνομία “not only the sin, but also the punishment incurred by sin” (Heydenreich), or only the latter; comp. Romans 6:19, 2 Corinthians 6:14, and especially 1 John 3:4 : ἁμαρτία ἐστὶν ἀνομία.

καὶ καθαρίσῃ ἑαυτῷ λαὸν περιούσιον] positive expression of the thought which was expressed negatively in the previous clause. De Wette and Wiesinger without reason supply ἡμᾶς as the object of καθαρίσῃ; the object is λαὸν περιούσιον.

περιούσιος ( ἅπ. λεγ. in N. T.). Chrysostom wrongly interprets it by ἐξελεγμένος, οὐδὲν ἔχων κοινὸν πρὸς τοὺς λοιπούς; Theodoret more correctly by οἰκεῖος; so, too, Beza: peculiaris, and Luther: “a people for a possession.” The phrase λαὸς περιούσιος belongs to the O. T., and is a translation of the Hebrew עַם סְגֻלָּה, Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 7:6; Deuteronomy 14:2; Deuteronomy 26:18, LXX.; in the church of the N. T. the promise made to the people of Israel is fulfilled; comp. 1 Peter 2:9 : λαὸς εἰς περιποίησιν.

ἑαυτῷ corresponds with λυτρώσηται ἀπό. The sentence is pregnantly expressed, and its meaning is: “that He by the purifying power of His death might acquire for Himself ( ἑαυτῷ) a people for a possession.”

The moral character of the λαὸς περιούσ. is declared by the words in apposition, ζηλωτὴν καλῶν ἔργων: accensum studio bonorum operum.

De Wette is inaccurate in saying that the apostle is speaking here not of reconciliation, but only of moral purification. Wiesinger rightly asks: “What else are we to understand by ἔδωκεν ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν than the reconciling death?” But de Wette is so far right, that reconciliation is not made the chief point here, but rather, as often in the N. T., e.g. 1 Peter 1:17-18, the design is mentioned for which Christ suffered the death of reconciliation; comp. Luther’s exposition of the second article of faith.

Titus 2:15. ταῦτα (viz. these moral precepts, see Titus 2:1, with the reasons given for them, Titus 2:11-14) λάλει καὶ παρακάλει καὶ ἔλεγχε] The distinction between these words is correctly given by Heydenreich. λαλεῖν denotes simple teaching, παρακάλ. pressing exhortation, ἐλέγχ. solemn admonition to those who neglect these duties. “The theoretic, the paraenetic-practical, and the polemic aspects of the preaching of the gospel are combined” (Matthies).

μετὰ πάσης ἐπιταγῆς] According to 1 Corinthians 7:6, συγγνώμη is the opposite of ἐπιταγή; this clause therefore enjoins that Titus is not to leave it to the free choice of the church whether his exhortations shall be obeyed or not, but to deliver them as commands. De Wette translates: “with all recommendation,” which is right in sense; still ἐπιταγή is not properly recommendation but command, and it is therefore better to say, “with entire full command.

With this the final words are closely connected: μηδείς σου περιφρονείτω] περιφρονεῖν ( ἅπ. λεγ.); properly: “consider something on all sides;” then: “think beyond, despise,” equivalent to καταφρονεῖν; comp. 1 Timothy 4:12. Luther is right in sense: “let no man despise thee,” viz. by not receiving thy teachings, exhortations, and admonitions as commands, and by thinking lightly of them. There is nothing to suggest that Titus is to conduct himself so that no one may be right in despising him.


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Bibliography Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Titus 2:4". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. 1832.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, November 27th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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