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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
Titus 1

 

 

Verses 1-3

Titus 1:1-3. παυλος, Paul) A title suitable to the character of Paul, and to the office of Titus.— κατὰ, according to) Comp. κατὰ, Titus 1:4; Titus 1:9; 2 Timothy 1:1, note. It is the duty of an apostle to propagate the faith, Romans 1:5.— πίστιν, faith) faith—hope are the sum of Christianity; and these things Titus ought to regard in all his teaching, and avoid everything else; comp. 1 Timothy 1:5; 1 Timothy 3:15-16; 1 Timothy 4:1; 1 Timothy 4:3; 1 Timothy 4:10.— ἐκλεκτῶν θεοῦ, the elect of God) for whose sake we ought to do and endure all things, 2 Timothy 2:10. The elect were from among Jews and Gentiles; and their faith was common, Titus 1:4; 2 Peter 1:1 : of the former was Paul; of the latter, Titus.


Verse 2

Titus 1:2. ἐλπίδι ζωῆς αἰωνίου, in the hope of eternal life) ch. Titus 3:7. Hope has reference to the promise.— ἣν, which) life.— ἀψευδὴς, who cannot lie) The foundation of our confidence.— πρὸ χρόνων αἰωνίων, before eternal ages, before the world began) The promise of eternal life is already contained in the appellation, the God of Abraham, etc.[Luke 20:37]. There is here implied an explicit promise to men. See Genesis 3, etc. The χρόνοι αἰωνιοι followed the creation and the fall.


Verse 3

Titus 1:3. καιροῖς) χρόνοι were longer than these.


Verse 4

Titus 1:4. κοινὴν, common) Otherwise Titus, who was born of Gentile parents, would fall short of 1


Verse 5

Titus 1:5. τούτου χάριν, for this cause) The divisions of the epistle are four.

I. The Inscription, Titus 1:1-2.

II. The Instructions given to Titus, to this effect:

1) Ordain good presbyters, Titus 1:5-6.

2) Such are needful among the wicked Cretans, Titus 1:10-11.

3) Rebuke them sharply and admonish them, Titus 1:13-14.

4) Teach old men and women, and young men, showing thyself an example of good works, Titus 2:1-2; and also teach servants, Titus 2:9-10; where an excellent motive from the very marrow of the Gospel is introduced, Titus 2:11-15.

5) Admonish them to obey magistrates, and to show gentleness to all men; wherein the same motive is repeated, Titus 3:1-7.

6) Good works should be performed, foolish questions avoided; one that is a heretic should without hesitation be left to himself, Titus 3:8-11.

III. An Invitation to Titus to come to Nicopolis; and an admonition to attend to some necessary directions, Titus 3:12-13.

IV. Conclusion, Titus 3:15.

(2)τὰ λείποντα, the things that are wanting) the things which I could not accomplish when I was there, in consequence of the shortness of my time.— ἐπιδιορθώσῃ) Paul διορθώσατο (set in order), Titus ἐπιδιορθοῦται (completes the setting in order).— ὡς, as) Paul had stated the qualifications which the presbyters ought to have; he now repeats them.


Verse 6

Titus 1:6. πιστὰ, faithful) For he who could not bring his children to the faith, how shall he bring others?— ἀσωτίας, of luxury, of riot) which would be wrongfully supported at the expense of the church.


Verse 7

Titus 1:7. ὡς θεοῦ οἰκονόμον, as the steward of God) The greater that the Master is, the greater virtues should be in His servant. Paul calls the ministers of the Gospel the stewards of God, 1 Corinthians 4:1, note. The power, therefore, of a bishop is indeed circumscribed, but he has still some authority. He is a steward, and the steward of God; but a steward has at least some authority and power, something is entrusted to his fidelity and skill; he does not merely use the power of locomotion, he is not an instrument or a machine: the steward of God is not the slave of men, not a drudge or a sutler; only let him be a true steward. This remark needs to be made in opposition to the false politicians, who desire that the ministers of Christ, and the princes, whose name they abuse, and believers and all things, should belong, not to God, not to believers, but to themselves.— μὴ αὐθάδη, not harsh or self-willed) The antithesis is in Titus 1:8, a lover of hospitality; for αὐθάδης, a man harsh, inflexible, neglects humble guests, as Nabal did, 1 Samuel 25; he cares for himself alone, and whatever is connected with himself: others also he bids to keep their own affairs and anxieties to themselves.— μὴ ὀργίλον, not soon angry) The antithesis is a lover of good.— μὴ πάροινον, not given to wine) The antithesis is sober.— μὴ πλήκτην, no striker) The antithesis is just, who decides by reason and equity, not by violence.— μὴ αἰσχροκερδῆ, not covetous of filthy lucre) Base gain (filthy lucre) might be acquired in a matter honourable in itself, as in the work-shop, in bargains and merchandise, in the office of a bishop; Titus 1:11; 1 Timothy 6:5; 2 Corinthians 11:12; 2 Corinthians 11:20; Philippians 3:19; 1 Peter 5:2; 2 Peter 2:3. The antithesis is ὅσιον, holy.


Verse 8

Titus 1:8. ἐγκρατῆ, temperate) ἐγκρατῆς and ἀκρατὴς are sometimes taken in a wider sense; comp. Matthew 23:25 ( ἀκρασίας, excess), note. The opposite, ἀκραστὴς, is clear, so that it was not necessary to express it; and ἀκρασία, so far as it is opposed to τῇ παροινίᾳ, would not come so much under the eye of Titus.


Verse 9

Titus 1:9. ἀντεχόμενον) one who will hold fast, defend, zealously urge. By this word the LXX. mostly translate the Hebrew verb הזק.— κατὰ) κατὰ τὴν διδαχὴν λόγος [Engl. Vers. the word as he has been taught], the word appertaining to doctrine.— πιστὸς, firm, sure [lit. to be relied on], from which exhortation and power to convict ( παρακαλεῖν, ἐλέγχειν) receive their strength.— καὶκαὶ) both—and.


Verse 10

Titus 1:10. ΄αταιολόγοι καὶ φρεναπάται, vain-talkers and deceivers) Two nouns, of which the epithet is ἀνυπότακτοι, unruly. As to who are vain-talkers, see 1 Timothy 1:6-7. φρεναπάται, those who deceive men’s minds: ἀνυπότακτοι, unruly; like horses, that hold the bit with their teeth, they are unwilling to submit to the obedience of the faith.


Verse 11

Titus 1:11. ἐπιστομίζειν) to stop the mouth; to reduce to silence by the power of the Spirit, as the unruly deserve.— ὅλους οἴκους, whole houses) A great loss to Paul. [But in the present day what takes place as regards whole streets? What is done regarding country hamlets and cities?—V. g.]— ἀνατρέπουσι, they subvert) as deceivers.— διδάσκοντες μὴ δεῖ, teaching things which they ought not) as vain-talkers.— αἰσχροῦ κέρδους χάριν, for the sake of filthy lucre) Construed with, they subvert. Baseness is seen most of all in (vile) contemptible gain; Ezekiel 13:19. [1 Timothy 6:5.]


Verse 12

Titus 1:12. εἶπέ τις, one said) Those who are too much devoted to the study of profane writers ought not to applaud themselves because Paul quotes from Menander, Aratus, Epimenides; for he does not even mention their names: Acts 17:28; 1 Corinthians 15:33.— ἐξ αὐτῶν ἴδιος αὐτῶν, of their own) in origin and condition. That circumstance increases the authority of the witness. Testimonies of the wickedness of the Cilicians were also brought forward, but by others [not by one of themselves, as in the case of the Cretans]; therefore Paul, a Cilician, might quote this without reproach.— προφήτης, a prophet) Epimenides, according to the statement of Diogenes Laertius, uttered many predictions; and he acted in the character of a prophet when he spoke these things which Paul quotes.— ἀεὶ, always) Every natural man is at times guilty of lying, but always is a more heinous matter.— ψεῦσται, liars) unlike God, Titus 1:2; liars also in their doctrine concerning God, since they love fables, Titus 1:14. The Cretans had the sepulchre of Jupiter; therefore they were called liars by the poets.— κακὰ θηρία, evil beasts) Crete was considered a χώρα ἄθηρος, a country without wild beasts; whether that be true or false, Al. Morus considers Epimenides (in this line of his) drew the point of his pleasantry from the fact.— γαστέρες ἀργαὶ) Pasor is of opinion that ἀργὸς is here used by Aphæresis for μάργος, voracious; comp. ch. Titus 2:2-6. But the common idea is satisfactory: bellies are slow which are useful to nobody.


Verse 13

Titus 1:13. ἀληθὴς, true) Although it comes from a Cretan.— ἔλεγχε, rebuke) The chief part of the rebuke follows.


Verse 14

Titus 1:14. ΄ύθοις, fables) The antithesis is truth.


Verse 15

Titus 1:15. πάντα μὲν, all things indeed) The defenders of fables and of the commandments of men used this pretext, which Paul sweeps away.— τοῖς καθαροῖς, to the pure) Supply, and to the faithful, taken from the antithesis (unto the unbelieving); 1 Timothy 4:3; Acts 15:9; Romans 14:23. All outward things are pure to those who are pure within.— μεμιασμένοις, to them that are defiled) This is discussed presently.— ἀπίστοις, to the unbelieving) This is discussed in Titus 1:16.— οὐδὲν) nothing, either within, or consequently without.— νοῦς, their intelligence, mind) Romans 14:5.— συνείδησις, conscience) concerning things which are to be done, or that have been done; 1 Corinthians 8:7.


Verse 16

Titus 1:16. θεὸν, God) Whom to know is the highest wisdom.— ὁμολογοῦσι εἰδέναι) profess, and by profession claim to themselves knowledge; 1 Timothy 6:20.— ἀρνοῦνται) deny God.— βδελυκτοὶ) abominable. This agrees with the LXX., Proverbs 17:15 : ἀκαθάρτος καὶ βδελυκτός, unclean and abominable.— ἀδόκιμοι) This may here be taken actively for those who are not fit for anything, because they cannot approve what is good either in themselves or in others.

 


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Bibliography Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Titus 1:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/titus-1.html. 1897.

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Saturday, December 7th, 2019
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