The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Commentary on Titus 2:1-15

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 18, 2018

A Summary of Titus 2:1-15
Here St. Paul tells Titus that the best way to correct the unwholesome teachings of the false guides in Crete will be to set before the people the simple positive doctrines of the Gospel as regards all classes, old and young of both sexes ; and in doing all this Titus must show himself an example in doctrine and practice, so as to disarm adversaries. Even slaves and servants, by their obedience, honesty, and fidelity, may be an ornament in all respects to the doctrine of their God and Saviour (Tit. 2:1-10). These teachings of the Gospel are entirely within the power of all to practise; for we have as helps the grace of God which has been manifested for the salvation of all mankind, and the glorious prospect of seeing hereafter the Saviour who gave Himself for us that He might free us from all sins and perfect us in every good work. Let Titus preach these things with all authority (Tit. 2:11-15).

Tit. 2:1. But speak thou the things that become sound doctrine:

In contrast with the false teachers who were unsettling whole households by their fables and the commandments of men (Titus 1: 11, Titus 1:14), Titus is to instruct the faithful in the sound doctrine of the Gospel which has come from God. 

Tit. 2:2. That the aged men be sober, chaste, prudent, sound in faith, in love, in patience.

The Apostle now begins to indicate in the concrete what he means by the “sound doctrine” that Titus is to teach. And first, as regards older men, they should practise those virtues which in a special manner become their years and which age sometimes makes hard. 

Aged men. Though the Greek word here used is different from that employed in 1 Tim 5:1, the meaning is the same. 

Tit. 2:3. The aged women, in like manner, in holy attire, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teaching well: 

Aged women, a Greek word found only here in the Canonical Scriptures, but the same in meaning as the similar word in 1 Tim 5:2. 

In holy attire. Better, “devout in demeanor,” referring to habits of mind and heart, as well as outward actions and appearance. 

False accusers, i.e., slanderers. 

Not given to much wine, as was too often the case among pagan women. 

Teaching well, i.e., privately in families. See on 1 Tim 2:10-12.

1 Tim 2:10-12 reads: Having testimony for her good works, if she have brought up children, if she have received to harbor, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have ministered to them that suffer tribulation, if she have dihgently followed every good work. But the younger widows reject. For when they have grown wanton against Christ, they will marry, Having damnation, because they have made void their first faith. Here is what Fr. Callan wrote on that passage:
Here are mentioned further qualifications required of those widows whose names were to be put on the church list. It was the dispositions manifested by these works rather than their actual performance that counted.
1 Tim 2:10. If she have brought up children, not necessarily her own.
If she have washed, etc. To wash the feet of guests was a necessary complement of hospitality among the Orientals (Matt 26:6; Luke 7:44), and an act of extreme humility (John 13:5-15.).
1 Tim 2:11. In verses 11 -15 St. Paul explains the reasons why certain widows should not be put on the church list. It is supposed that the women thus listed are enrolled for life in the service of the Church; and if they are younger than sixty, they will want to change and remarry “when they have grown wanton against Christ,” i.e., when they have grown tired of the life to which they have engaged themselves. The Greek word for “grown wanton” is found only here, and the figure is that of a young animal that has tired of its yoke and has become restive through fullness of vigor.
1 Tim 2:12. hose widows who had been enrolled on the church list had consecrated themselves to a work for Christ which was incompatible with remarriage; and to break the pledge they had thus freely made would bring upon them the guilt of being unfaithful to their first troth, which was to the Heavenly Bridegroom.
Damnation here means the guilt of unfaithfulness. The punishment of eternal damnation is not at all necessarily involved or implied in this instance; although, if there is unfaithfulness to Christ in one direction, it can easily spread to every direction and to all matters.

Tit. 2:4. That they may teach the young women to be wise, to love their husbands, to love their children,

The Apostle now points out the object and motive of the good teaching on the part of older women spoken of at the end of the preceding verse; they are to exercise this good office on younger women, especially young married women, so as to instruct them in the duties peculiar to their state.

To love their husbands, etc. Quite literally, “to be husbandlovers, children-lovers.” The first Greek substantive is found only here in the Greek Bible, and the second only here in the New Testament. Love is the domestic source of strength and influence for married women; it is like a central heating plant which warms and cheers the whole person and extends its radiation to all around.

Tit. 2:5. To be discreet, chaste, sober, having a care of the house, gentle, obedient to their husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Having a care of the house. It is disputed whether we should read here, quite literally, “keepers at home” or “workers at home.” The former is descriptive of the ideal wife among the Greeks, and hence very probable; but the latter has the support of the best MSS., and so it is to be preferred.

That the word of God, etc. The conduct and example of Christian wives would have great influence on pagan outsiders; hence they should give no occasion for adverse criticism.

Tit 2:6. Younger men, in like manner, exhort that they be sober.

Sober, i.e., sober in mind and conduct. The Greek word here literally means “wise”; it may also be translated “self-control.”

Tit. 2:7. In all things shew thyself an example of good works, in teaching, in integrity, in gravity,

In all things. St. Jerome and some other authorities join these words to the end of the preceding verse. Titus, like every bishop, is to be an example to all (1 Tim 4:12; 1 Peter 5:3)—but especially to younger men—in blameless conduct and sound teaching.

Tit. 2:8. The sound word that can not be blamed, that he who is in opposition may be afraid, having no evil to say of us.

The sound word, etc. Titus’ discourse or preaching must reflect the soundness of his doctrine.

That cannot be blamed is one word in Greek, and means “irreprehensible”; it is found elsewhere in the Bible only in 2 Macc 4:47.

That he, etc., i.e., that the adversary may be silenced. A simple presentation of the true doctrine will shame the enemy.

Tit. 2:9. Exhort servants to be obedient to their masters, in all things pleasing, not gainsaying,
Tit. 2:10. Not defrauding, but in all things shewing good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things

9-10. See on Eph. 6:5-9; 1 Tim. 6:1-2.

Tit. 2:11. For the grace of God appeared bringing salvation to all men;

The Apostle now (ver. 11-14) gives reasons why Christians should observe the precepts he has been enjoining, namely, first, because the grace of God has appeared in the Incarnation of God’s only Son, “bringing salvation to all men” (ver. 11-12), and secondly, because by observing those precepts and living holy lives we prepare ourselves for the glorious coming of our Saviour (ver. 13-14).

The aorist “appeared” indicates the definite appearance of the Saviour at the time of His Incarnation. The adjective here translated “salvation” does not occur elsewhere, and it is to be connected with “all men.”

Tit. 2:12. Instructing us that denying ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live soberly, and justly, and godly in this world,

The purpose of the Incarnation was to save us from our sins and to teach us the way to heaven.

That denying, etc. This phrase expresses the negative duties of the Christian life, while the following words, “we should live, etc.,” express the positive requirements of the same life. The words “soberly, justly, godly” embrace all our Christian obligations—to ourselves, to our neighbor, and to God.

Tit. 2:13. Looking for the blessed hope and coming of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Christ Jesus,

The practice of the holy life taught us by our Saviour carries with it the right and privilege on our part of looking forward one day to a glorious realization of our hope, that is, of seeing the blessed object of our hope, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Coming would be better translated “appearing,” and the absence of the article before it shows its close connection with “hope”; its Greek equivalent is found only in the Pastoral Letters and in 2 Thess 2:8, and it refers to our Lord’s Second Coming everywhere, except in 2 Tim 1:10, where it means His First Advent. Since, therefore, the word “appearing,” here as everywhere, is applied to our Lord and never to God the Father, and since there is only one preposition governing “great God” and “Saviour Jesus Christ,” it is next to certain that the Apostle in this verse is speaking only of our Lord, and not of God the Father and our Lord. That he should speak of our Lord as “the great God” is only to emphasize the glory of His coming. We have, therefore, in this verse an implied but solemn proof of the divinity of our Lord.

Tit. 2:14. Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and might cleanse to himself a chosen people, zealous for good works.

Who gave himself, etc. See on commentary Eph 5:2; 1 Tim 2:6.

Redeem, cleanse. These words express respectively the negative and positive aspects of the one process of sanctification.

From all iniquity. Literally, “from all lawlessness.”

A chosen people, i.e., a people who would be His own property or possession. This is the meaning of the Greek. The language here is from Psalm 130:8, Ex 19:5, Deut 6:6, 14:2, etc., where God’s choice and formation of Israel as His own people are in question.

Tit. 2:15. These things speak, and exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. 

The foregoing exhortations and precepts Titus must preach and announce with full power and authority, and he must not hesitate to rebuke the wayward and disobedient, for he speaks not as a private person but as God’s minister and in God’s name. See commentary on 1 Tim. 4:11-12.

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