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

Archive for the ‘Epistle of Titus’ Category

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Titus 2:11-15

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 23, 2019

This post includes Fr. MacEvilly’s paraphrasing (in purple text) of the verses he is commenting upon.

A Summary of Chapter 2~In this chapter, the Apostle, after exhorting Titus to teach sound doctrine, points out to him what instructions he should deliver to persons of different ages and conditions in life (6). He admonishes him to show himself as a model in the practice of every virtue (7-10), He proposes the example of Christ, our Saviour, who appeared visibly in order to instruct all classes of men, both by word and example, as a motive to stimulate him to teach the same, with greater zeal. He shows what it is that Christ has taught us (12, 13). He points out the end and object of Christ’s death (14). He, finally, wishes that Titus should authoritatively teach all these things (15).

Tit 2:11  For the grace of God our Saviour hath appeared to all men:

For the salutary beneficence of God’s redemption has been made manifest to all classes of men without exception.

By “the grace of our Saviour,” or (as in the Greek,  η χαρις  η σωτηριος) the salutary grace, some understand, as in Paraphrase, the salutary benevolence of God displayed in the work of redemption (see 2 Cor 6:1); others, Christ himself, the fountain of grace, the divine essential grace. This shows that as the benefit of redemption was displayed to all classes, men, women, slaves, &c.; so, Titus should instruct every class, not excepting slaves.

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

Instructing us to renounce impiety, and worldly corrupt desires, and to lead in this world a life of wisdom and temperance in regard to ourselves, of justice and equity towards the neighbor, and of piety and religion towards God.

“Impiety,” i.e., unbelief, “worldly desires,” the corrupt passions of ambition, avarice, lusts, &c.—”we should live soberly, justly, and piously,” by fasting, alms, deeds, and prayer; these good works are specially recommended to all, specially opposed to the three enemies of salvation—the world, the flesh, and the devil; and to the three great leading maxims of the world—”the concupiscence of the flesh, of the eyes, and the pride of life.”—(1 John 2:16).

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

Expecting eternal happiness, the object of our hope, and the glorious coming of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

“The blessed hope;” “hope” means the thing hoped for, the object of hope.

“The great God.” The article in the Greek shows that by this is meant, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Besides, it is our Saviour alone that “the glorious coming” is attributed in Sacred Scripture. Hence, an argument for the Divinity of Christ.

“The blessed hope,” regards the beautitude of our souls at death—”the coming,” &c., the glorification of our bodies.

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

Who has delivered himself up to death for us, to redeem and purify us from all iniquity and from the stains of sin, and after thus cleansing us by his blood, to claim us as his peculiar people, his precious distinguished possession, a people exceedingly zealous for good works.

He not only was born for us, and appeared to us, and instructed us, but he also died for us. “A people acceptable.” St. Jerome has translated it, “an especial, eminent people.” It is allusive to the passage in Exodus 19:5, when God says of the Jews, “you shall be my peculiar possession,” &c. The Hebrew for “peculiar possession,” Segullah, according to St. Jerome, signifies “a most precious treasure.” St. Paul here followed the Septuagint version, which means, “acceptable people,” an excellent possession, &c.

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

Teach all these things to the ignorant, and exhort all those who already know them, to reduce them to practice. But rebuke the refractory and disobedient with full power, as minister of God, and by acting thus, no one will dare to contemn thee.

So act in the exercise of authority, that no one will despise thee.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Catholic lectionary, Epistle of Titus, Extraordinary Form, Notes on the Lectionary, Notes on Titus, Scripture | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on Titus 1:1-4

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 1, 2019

HOMILY 1
ON 1 TITUS 1:1-4

“Paul, a servant of God, and an Apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; But hath in due times manifested His word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour; To Titus, mine own son after the common faith; Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.”

Titus was an approved one of the companions of Paul; otherwise, he would not have committed to him the charge of that whole island, nor would he have commanded him to supply what was deficient, as he says, “That thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting.” (Ver. 5.) He would not have given him jurisdiction over so many Bishops, if he had not placed great confidence in him. They say that he also was a young man, because he calls him his son, though this does not prove it. I think that there is mention made of him in the Acts.In the Vulgate, Acts 18:7, there is mention of “Titus, surnamed Justus,” at Corinth, and a few MSS. have the name. In the Syriac, which St. Chrysostom might know, “Titus” stands for “Justus.” [W. and Hort. read: Τιτίου ʼΙούστου.—P. S.]

“>1 Perhaps he was a Corinthian, unless there was some other of the same name. And he summons Zenas, and orders Apollos to be sent to him, never Titus. (Tit. 3:13.) For he also attests their superior virtue and courage in the presence of the Emperor.

Some time seems to have since elapsed, and Paul, when he wrote this Epistle, appears to have been at liberty. For he says nothing about his trials, but dwells continually upon the grace of God, as being a sufficient encouragement to believers to persevere in virtue. For to learn what they had deserved, and to what state they had been transferred, and that by grace, and what had been vouchsafed them, was no little encouragement. He takes aim also against the Jews, and if he censures the whole nation, we need not wonder, for he does the same in the case of the Galatians, saying, “O foolish Galatians.” (Gal. 3:1.) And this does not proceed from a censorious temper, but from affection. For if it were done for his own sake, one might fairly blame him; but if from the fervor of his zeal for the Gospel, it was not done reproachfully. Christ too, on many occasions, reproached the Scribes and Pharisees, not on his own account, but because they were the ruin of all the rest.

And he writes a short Epistle, with good reason, and this is a proof of the virtue of Titus, that he did not require many words, but a short remembrance. But this Epistle seems to have been written before that to Timothy, for that he wrote as near his end and in prison, but here, as free and at liberty. For his saying, “I have determined to winter at Nicopolis” (Tit. 3:12), is a proof that he was not yet in bonds, as when he wrote to Timothy.

Ver. 1. “Paul, a servant of God, and an Apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect.”

You observe how he uses these expressions indifferently, sometimes calling himself the “servant of God,” and sometimes the “servant of Christ,” thus making no difference between the Father and the Son.

“According to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness. In hope of eternal life.”

“According to the faith of God’s elect.” It is because thou hast believed, or rather because thou wast intrusted? I think he meant, that he was intrusted with God’s elect, that is, not for any achievements of mine, nor from my toils and labors, did I receive this dignity. It was wholly the effect of His goodness who intrusted me. Yet that the grace may not seem without reason, (for still the whole was not of Him, for why did He not intrust it to others?) he therefore adds, “And the acknowledging of the truth that is after godliness.” For it was for this acknowledgment that I was intrusted, or rather it was of His grace that this too was intrusted to me, for He was the author of this also. Whence Christ Himself said, “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you.” (John 15:16.) And elsewhere this same blessed one writes, “I shall know, even as also I am known.” (1 Cor. 13:12.) And again, “If I may apprehend that, for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:12.) First we are apprehended, and afterwards we know: first we are known, and then we apprehend:1 first we were called, and then we obeyed. But in saying, “according to the faith of the elect,” all is reckoned to them, because on their account I am an Apostle, not for my worthiness, but “for the elect’s sake.” As he elsewhere says, “All things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos.” (1 Cor. 3:21.)

“And the acknowledging the truth that is after godliness.” For there is a truth in other things, that is not according to godliness; for knowledge in matters of agriculture, knowledge of the arts, is true knowledge; but this truth is after godliness. Or this, “according to faith,” means that they believed, as the other elect believed, and acknowledged the truth. This acknowledging then is from faith, and not from reasonings.

“In hope of eternal life.” He spoke of the present life, which is in the grace of God, and he also speaks of the future, and sets before us the rewards that follow the mercies which God has bestowed upon us. For He is willing to crown us because we have believed, and have been delivered from error. Observe how the introduction is full of the mercies of God, and this whole Epistle is especially of the same character, thus exciting the holy man himself, and his disciples also, to greater exertions. For nothing profits us so much as constantly to remember the mercies of God, whether public or private. And if our hearts are warmed when we receive the favors of our friends, or hear some kind word or deed of theirs, much more shall we be zealous in His service when we see into what dangers we had fallen, and that God has delivered us from them all.

“And the acknowledging of the truth.” This he says with reference to the type. For that was an “acknowledging” and a “godliness,” yet not of the Truth,2 yet neither was it falsehood, it was godliness, but it was in type and figure. And he has well said, “In hope of eternal life.” For the former was in hope of the present life. For it is said, “he that doeth these things shall live in them.” (Rom. 10:5.) You see how at the beginning he sets forth the difference of grace. They are not the elect, but we. For if they were once called the elect, yet are they no longer called so.

Ver. 2. “Which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.”

That is, not now upon a change of mind, but from the beginning it was so foreordained. This he often asserts, as when he says, “Separated unto the Gospel of God.” (Rom. 1:1.) And again, “Whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate.” (Rom. 8:29.) Thus showing our high origin, in that He did not love us now first, but from the beginning: and it is no little matter to be loved of old, and from the beginning.

“Which God, that cannot lie, promised.” If He “cannot lie,” what He has promised will assuredly be fulfilled. If He “cannot lie,” we ought not to doubt it, though it be after death. “Which God, that cannot lie,” he says, “promised before the world began”; by this also, “before the world began,” he shows that it is worthy of our belief. It is not because the Jews have not come in, that these things are promised. It had been so planned from the first. Hear therefore what he says,

“But hath in His own3 times manifested.”

Wherefore then was the delay? From His concern for men, and that it might be done at a seasonable time. “It is time for Thee, Lord, to work” (Ps. 119:125), says the Prophet. For by “His own1 times” is meant the suitable times, the due, the fitting.

Ver. 3. “But hath in due times manifested His word through preaching, which is committed unto me.”

That is, the preaching is committed unto me. For this included everything, the Gospel, and things present, and things future, life, and godliness, and faith, and all things at once. “Through preaching,” that is, openly and with all boldness, for this is the meaning of “preaching.” For as a herald proclaims2 in the theater in the presence of all, so also we preach, adding nothing, but declaring the things which we have heard. For the excellence of a herald consists in proclaiming to all what has really happened, not in adding or taking away anything. If therefore it is necessary to preach, it is necessary to do it with boldness of speech. Otherwise, it is not preaching. On this account Christ did not say, Tell it “upon the housetops,” but “preach upon the housetops” (Matt. 10:27); showing both by the place and by the manner what was to be done.

“Which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour.”

The expressions, “committed unto me,” and “according to the commandment,” show the matter to be worthy of credit, so that no one should think it discreditable, nor be hesitating about it, or discontented. If then it is, a commandment, it is not at my disposal. I fulfill what is commanded. For of things to be done, some are in our power, others are not. For what He commands, that is not in our power, what He permits, is left to our choice. For instance, “Whosoever shall say to his brother, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” (Matt. 5:22.) This is a commandment. And again, “If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” (Matt. 5:23, 24.) This also is a command. But when He says, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell all that thou hast” (Matt. 19:21): and, “He that is able to receive it, let him receive it” (Matt. 19:12): this is not a command, for He makes His hearer the disposer of the matter, and leaves him the choice, whether he will do it or not. For these things we may either do or not do. But commandments are not left to our choice, we must either perform them, or be punished for not doing so. This is implied when he says, “Necessity is laid upon me; yea woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel.” (1 Cor. 9:16.) This I will state more plainly, that it may be manifest to all. For instance, He that is intrusted with the government of the Church, and honored with the office of a Bishop, if he does not declare to the people what they ought to do, will have to answer for it. But the layman is under no such obligation. On this account Paul also says, “According to the commandment of God our Saviour,” I do this. And see how the epithets fit in to what I have said. For having said above, “God who cannot lie,” here he says, “According to the commandment of God our Saviour.” If then He is our Saviour, and He commanded these things with a view that we should be saved, it is not from a love of command. It is a matter of faith, and the commandment of God our Saviour.

“To Titus mine own3 son,” that is, my true son. For it is possible for men not to be true sons, as he of whom he says, “If any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, with such an one no not to eat.” (1 Cor. 5:11.) Here is a son,4 but not a true son. A son indeed he is, because he has once received the grace, and has been regenerated: but he is not a true son, because he is unworthy of his Father, and a deserter to the usurped sovereignty of another. For in children by nature, the true and the spurious are determined by the father that begot, and the mother who bore them. But it is not so in this case, but it depends on the disposition. For one who was a true son may become spurious, and a spurious son may become a true one. For it is not the force of nature, but the power of choice, on which it depends, whence it is subject to frequent changes. Onesimus was a true son, but he was again not true, for he became “unprofitable”; then he again became a true son, so as to be called by the Apostle his “own bowels.” (Philem. 12.)

Ver. 4. “To Titus, mine own son after the common faith.”

What is “after the common faith”? After he had called him his own son, and assumed the dignity of a father, hear how it is that he lessens and lowers that honor. He adds, “After the common faith”; that is, with respect to the faith I have no advantage over thee; for it is common, and both thou and I were born by it. Whence then does he call him his son? Either only wishing to express his affection for him, or his priority in the Gospel, or to show that Titus had been enlightened by him. On this account he calls the faithful both children and brethren; brethren, because they were born by the same faith; children, because it was by his hands. By mentioning the common faith, therefore, he intimates their brotherhood.

Ver. 4. “Grace and peace from God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.”

Because he had called him his son, he adds, “from God the Father,” to elevate his mind by showing whose son he was, and by not only naming the common faith, but by adding “our Father,” he implies that he has this honor equally with himself. moral. Observe also how he offers the same prayers for the Teacher, as for the disciples and the multitude. For indeed he needs such prayers as much, or rather more than they, by how much he has greater enmities to encounter, and is more exposed to the necessity of offending God. For the higher is the dignity, the greater are the dangers of the priestly office. For one good act in his episcopal office is sufficient to raise him to heaven and one error to sink him to hell itself. For, to pass over all other cases of daily occurrence, if he happens, either from friendship or any other cause, to have advanced an unworthy person to a Bishopric, and have committed to him the rule of a great city, see to how great a flame he renders himself obnoxious. For not only will he have to account for the souls that are lost, for they are lost through the man’s irreligion, but for all that is done amiss by the other. For he that is irreligious in a private station will be much more so when he is raised to power. It is much indeed, if a pious man continue such after his elevation to rule. For he is then more strongly assailed by vainglory, and the love of wealth, and self-will, when office gives him the power; and by offenses, insults, and reproaches, and numberless other evils. If therefore any one be irreligious, he will become more so when raised to office; and he who appoints such a ruler will be answerable for all the offenses committed by him, and for the whole people. But if it is said of him who gives offense to one soul, “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt. 18:6); what will he have to suffer who offends so many souls, whole cities and populations, and multitudes of families,1 men, women, children, citizens, and husbandmen, the inhabitants of the city itself, and of all places subject to it? To say thrice as much more is to say nothing, so severe is the vengeance and the punishment to which he will be obnoxious. So that a Bishop especially needs the grace and peace of God. For if without these he governs the people, all is ruined and lost, for want of those helms. And though he be skilled in the art of steering, he will sink the vessel and those that sail in it, if he has not these helms, “the grace and peace of God.”

Hence I am struck with astonishment at those who desire so great a burden. Wretched and unhappy man, seest thou what it is thou desirest? If thou art by thyself, unknown and undistinguished, though thou committest ten thousand faults, thou hast only one soul for which to give an account, and for it alone wilt thou be answerable. But when thou art raised to this office, consider for how many persons thou art obnoxious to punishment. Hear what Paul says, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls as they that must give account.” (Heb. 13:17.) But dost thou desire honor and power? But what pleasure is there in this honor? I confess, I see not. For to be a ruler indeed is not possible, since it depends upon those under thy rule to obey or not. And to any one who considers the matter closely; it will appear that a Bishop does not so much come to rule, as to serve a multitude of masters, who are of opposite desires and sentiments. For what one commends, another blames; what this man censures, that admires. To whom therefore shall he listen, with whom shall he comply? It is impossible! And the slave that is bought with money complains if his master’s commands are contrary to each other. But shouldest thou grieve, when so many masters give the contrary orders, thou art condemned even for this, and all mouths are opened against thee. Tell me then, is this honor, is this rule, is this power?

One who holds the Episcopal office has required a contribution of money. He who is unwilling to contribute not only withholds it, but that he may not seem to withhold it from indifference, he accuses his Bishop. He is a thief, he says, a robber, he engulfs the goods of the poor, he devours the rights of the needy. Cease thy calumnies! How long wilt thou say these things? Wilt thou not contribute? No one compels thee, there is no constraint. Why dost thou revile him who counsels and advises thee? Is any one reduced to need, and he from inability, or some other hindrance, has not lent a hand? No allowance is made for him, the reproaches in this case are worse than in the other. This then is government! And he cannot avenge himself. For they are his own bowels, and as though the bowels be swollen, and though they give pain to the head and the rest of the body, we venture not on revenge, we cannot take a sword and pierce them; so if one of those under our rule be of such sort, and create trouble and disorder by these accusations, we dare not avenge ourselves, for this would be far from the disposition of a father, but we must endure the grief till he becomes sound and well.

The slave bought with money has an appointed work, which when he has performed, he is afterwards his own master. But the Bishop is distracted on every side and is expected to do many things that are beyond his power. If he knows not how to speak, there is great murmuring; and if he can speak, then he is accused of bring vainglorious. If he cannot raise the dead, he is of no worth, they say: such an one is pious, but this man is not. If he eats a moderate meal, for this he is accused, he ought to be strangled, they say. If he is seen at the bath,1 he is much censured. In short, he ought not to look upon the sun! If he does the same things that I do, if he bathes, eats and drinks, and wears the same clothing, and has the care of a house and servants, on what account is he set over me? But he has domestics to minister to him, and an ass to ride upon, why then is he set over me? But say, ought he then to have no one to wait upon him? Ought he himself to light his own fire, to draw water, to cleave wood, to go to market? How great a degradation would this be! Even the holy Apostles would not that any ministers of the word should attend upon the tables of the widows, but they considered it a business unworthy of them: and would you degrade them to the offices of your own domestics? Why dost not thou, who commandest these things, come and perform these services? Tell me, does not he minister to thee a better service than thine, which is bodily? Why dost thou not send thy domestic to wait upon him? Christ washed the feet of His disciples; is it a great thing for thee to give this service to thy Teacher? But thou art not willing to render it thyself, and thou grudgest it to him. Ought he then to draw his livelihood from heaven? But God wills not so.

But you say, “Had the Apostles free men to serve them?” Would you then hear how the Apostles lived? They made long journeys, and free men and honorable women laid down their lives and souls for their relief. But hear this blessed Apostle thus exhorting; “Hold such in reputation” (Phil. 2:29, 30): and again, “Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.” See What he says! but thou hast not a word to throw away upon thy spiritual father, much less wilt thou submit to any danger in his behalf. But thou sayest, “He ought not to frequent the bath.” And where is this forbidden? there is nothing honorable in being unclean.

These are not the things we find blamed or applauded at all. For the qualities which a Bishop is required to possess are different, as to be blameless, sober, orderly, hospitable, apt to teach. These the Apostle requires, and these we ought to look for in a ruler of the Church, but nothing further. Thou art not more strict than Paul, or rather more strict than the Spirit. If he be a striker, or violent, or cruel, and unmerciful, accuse him. These things are unworthy of a Bishop. If he be luxurious, this also is censurable. But if he takes care of his body that he may minister to thee, if he attends to his health that he may be useful, ought he for this to be accused? Knowest thou not that bodily infirmity no less than infirmity of soul injures both us and the Church? Why, otherwise, does Paul attend to this matter, in writing to Timothy, “Use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake, and thy often infirmities”? (1 Tim. 5:23.) For if we could practice virtue with the soul alone, we need not take care of the body. And why then were we born at all? But if this has contributed a great share, is it not the extreme of folly to neglect it?

For suppose a man honored with the Bishopric, and intrusted with a public charge of the Church, and let him in other respects be virtuous, and have every quality, which a priest ought to possess, yet let him be always confined to his bed by reason of great infirmity, what service will he be able to render? Upon what mission can he go? what visitation can he undertake? whom can he rebuke or admonish? These things I say, that you may learn not causelessly to accuse him, but rather may receive him favorably; as also that if any one desire rule in the Church, seeing the shower of abuse that attends it, he may quench that desire. Great indeed is the danger of such a station, and it requires “the grace and peace of God.” Which that we may have abundantly, do you pray for us, and we for you, that practicing virtue aright we may so obtain the blessings promised, through Jesus Christ, with whom, &c.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Epistle of Titus, fathers of the church, Notes on Titus, Scripture, SERMONS, St John Chrysostom | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Father Callan’s Commentary on Titus Chapter 3

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 1, 2019

WHAT THE CRETANS ARE TO DO, WHAT THEY ARE TO AVOID
A Summary of Titus 3:1-11

In this last section of his letter St. Paul gives Titus certain counsels which he is to set before all the faithful of Crete. They are to be obedient to authority, helpful to others, and considerate of outsiders, remembering their former sinful state out of which God’s pure mercy and grace delivered them, thus making them heirs of eternal life (Tit. 3:1-7). Titus must insist that being a Christian carries with it the obligation of producing fruit in good works. Useless discussions are to be avoided, and those who persist in them are to be shunned (Tit. 3:8-11).

Tit. 3:1. Admonish them to be subject to princes and powers, to obey, to be ready for every good work.

Admonish them, i.e., the Christians of Crete.

Princes, powers, i.e., both the supreme and subordinate authorities. The Cretans were notorious for sedition.

Tit. 3:2. To speak evil of no man, not to be litigious but gentle, shewing all mildness towards all men.

The graces of Christianity are to be shown to outsiders, as well as to fellow-Christians. Gentleness “is the indulgent consideration of human infirmities” (Aristotle, quoted by Lock).

Tit. 3:3. For we ourselves also were some time unwise, incredulous, erring, slaves to divers desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

In verses 3-7 the Apostle reminds the Christians of Crete of the reasons why they should be charitable and kind towards all men, even sinners. They themselves were once in a pitiable condition (Rom 1:30 ff.), and it is only through the goodness and mercy of God that they have been saved.

Some time, i.e., before we were Christians.

Unwise, incredulous, etc. Let the Christians of Crete, whether of Jewish or Gentile origin, reflect on their own past non-Christian lives, and they will find no reason for boasting, but rather every reason to feel humble and to be kind to their pagan neighbors. The common Greek word for “pleasures” occurs only here in St. Paul, and the term for “hateful” is not found elsewhere in the Bible.

Tit. 3:4. But when the kindness and love for men of God our Saviour appeared,

Over against the malice and hatefulness of men St. Paul sets the kindness and love of God. We have revised the wording of the verse in accordance with the Greek, and the Vulgate should be likewise changed.

God our Saviour is here applied to God the Father, as in 1 Tim 1:1.  The goodness and love of the Eternal Father towards us have been manifested in the Incarnation of our Lord and in our justification.

Tit. 3:5. Not by the works of justice, which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us by the laver of regeneration and renovation of the Holy Ghost.

Before describing the works of God’s love in our behalf the Apostle affirms their absolute gratuitousness, stating that our justification and salvation are not due to any meritorious works done by us, whether in the state of nature or under the Mosaic Law, but only and entirely to the pure mercy of God (cf. Rom 3:20 ff.; 2 Tim 1:9; Eph 2:9-10); and the medium or instrumental cause employed by Almighty God to confer on us the graces of justification and salvation is “the laver of regeneration and renovation,” i.e., the Sacrament of Baptism.

Of the Holy Ghost, to whom is attributed the work of our spiritual regeneration and renovation, as being a work of love. See on 2 Tim 1:9.

Tit. 3:6. Whom he hath poured forth upon us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour,

Since the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son by way of love, we attribute to Him works of love; but that our justification and salvation are in reality the work of the whole Divine Trinity is evident from this verse.

Whom means the Holy Ghost, of whom there has just been question; and “he” means God the Father, who is the subject of the whole sentence, God the Father in Baptism has abundantly poured into our souls the Holy Ghost, i.e., sanctifying grace and the other gifts of the Divine Spirit, which Jesus Christ by His sufferings and death has merited for us.

Tit. 3:7. That, being justified by his grace, we might be heirs according to hope of life everlasting.

That indicates the final purpose of the justification we have received through the rich outpouring of the Holy Ghost upon our souls in Baptism, which is to make us “heirs of life everlasting.” This final and glorious issue of our spiritual lives we now possess in hope.

Tit. 3:8. Faithful is the saying: and these things I will have thee affirm constantly: that they who believe in God may be careful to excel in good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

The Apostle concludes the exhortation of verses 3-7 by inculcating the performance of good works, on which he is ever insisting throughout the Pastoral Epistles.

Faithful is the saying, i.e., worthy of all belief, referring to what he has been saying in the verses just preceding; these truths St. Paul wishes Titus to preach constantly, so that the faith of his hearers may be living and fruitful in good works.

These things, etc., i.e., the truths he has been stressing.

Tit. 3:9. But avoid foolish questions and genealogies and contentions and strivings about the law. For they are unprofitable and vain.

In verses 9- 11 St. Paul tells Titus to avoid the foolish questions and quarrels of the heretics and the heretics themselves. See on 1 Tim. 1:4, 6:4, and 2 Tim, 2:23, where the same advice is given.

Tit. 3:10. A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, avoid,

Heretic. According to its primary meaning this word means one who makes divisions, factions-therefore, a factious person. But since there is question now of doctrine and of adhering stubbornly to error, it seems the term must here be given the strict meaning it came to have in later times. The adjective does not occur again in the New Testament, but the corresponding substantive is found in a number of places in St. Paul and the Acts.

Tit. 3:11. Knowing that he that is such an one, is perverted and sinneth, being condemned by his own judgment.

He now explains the reason why the pertinacious heretic is to be avoided. Such a one “is perverted,” i.e., beyond hope of repair, because he has separated himself from the foundation which is faith ; he is “condemned by his own judgment,” because it is his persistence in error that has put him out of the Church.

CONCLUSION
A Summary of Titus 3:12-15

Tit. 3:12. When I shall send to thee Artemas or Tychicus, make haste to come unto me to Nicopohs. For there I have determined to winter.

Artemas, of whom we know nothing further for certain. According to tradition he became Bishop of Lystra.

Tychicus. See on 2 Tim. 4:12; Eph. 6:21; Col. 4:7; Acts 20:4.

Nicopolis, most probably the city of that name in Epirus, which at this time was an important place built by Augustus after the battle of Actium, deriving its name from that victory. There was also a Nicopolis in Cilicia and in Thrace; but neither of these would agree so well with 2 Tim. 4:10, where it is said that Titus had gone to Dalmatia. It is clear from the closing words of this verse that St. Paul was entirely at liberty at this time. Ramsay thinks he meant to make Nicopolis a centre for preaching in Epirus and that he was arrested there. The opinion seems probable.

Tit. 3:13. Send forward Zenas, the lawyer, and Apollo, with care, that nothing be wanting to them.

Zenas, mentioned only here. He apparently was skilled in Jewish or Roman law. Tradition says he became Bishop of Diospolis and was the author of an apocryphal work known as “The Acts of Titus.”

Apollo, the eloquent Alexandrian preacher, of whom there is question in Acts 18:24, 19:1; 1 Cor. 1:12, 3:4, etc.

Tit. 3:14. And let our men also learn to excel in good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

As a last word St. Paul emphasizes the need of industry and the performance of good works on the part of the Christians of Crete.

Tit. 3:15. All that are with me salute thee : salute them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.

All that are with me, etc., i.e., his traveling companions and co-laborers.

Salute them, etc., i.e., the Christians of Crete, who were united to the Apostle and his companions by the same “faith,” i.e., loyalty to Christ and His teachings. The blessing is to Titus and the whole Church of Crete.

Dei and Amen of the Vulgate are not represented in the Greek.

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Commentary on Titus 3:1-15

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 18, 2018

WHAT THE CRETANS ARE TO DO, WHAT THEY ARE TO AVOID
A Summary of Titus 3:1-11
In this last section of his letter St. Paul gives Titus certain counsels which he is to set before all the faithful of Crete. They are to be obedient to authority, helpful to others, and considerate of outsiders, remembering their former sinful state out of which God’s pure mercy and grace delivered them, thus making them heirs of eternal life (Tit. 3:1-7). Titus must insist that being a Christian carries with it the obligation of producing fruit in good works. Useless discussions are to be avoided, and those who persist in them are to be shunned (Tit. 3:8-11).

Tit. 3:1. Admonish them to be subject to princes and powers, to obey, to be ready for every good work.

Admonish them, i.e., the Christians of Crete.

Princes, powers, i.e., both the supreme and subordinate authorities. The Cretans were notorious for sedition.

Tit. 3:2. To speak evil of no man, not to be litigious but gentle, shewing all mildness towards all men.

The graces of Christianity are to be shown to outsiders, as well as to fellow-Christians. Gentleness “is the indulgent consideration of human infirmities” (Aristotle, quoted by Lock).

Tit. 3:3. For we ourselves also were some time unwise, incredulous, erring, slaves to divers desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

In verses 3-7 the Apostle reminds the Christians of Crete of the reasons why they should be charitable and kind towards all men, even sinners. They themselves were once in a pitiable condition (Rom 1:30 ff.), and it is only through the goodness and mercy of God that they have been saved.

Some time, i.e., before we were Christians.

Unwise, incredulous, etc. Let the Christians of Crete, whether of Jewish or Gentile origin, reflect on their own past non-Christian lives, and they will find no reason for boasting, but rather every reason to feel humble and to be kind to their pagan neighbors. The common Greek word for “pleasures” occurs only here in St. Paul, and the term for “hateful” is not found elsewhere in the Bible.

Tit. 3:4. But when the kindness and love for men of God our Saviour appeared,

Over against the malice and hatefulness of men St. Paul sets the kindness and love of God. We have revised the wording of the verse in accordance with the Greek, and the Vulgate should be likewise changed.

God our Saviour is here applied to God the Father, as in 1 Tim 1:1.  The goodness and love of the Eternal Father towards us have been manifested in the Incarnation of our Lord and in our justification.

Tit. 3:5. Not by the works of justice, which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us by the laver of regeneration and renovation of the Holy Ghost.

Before describing the works of God’s love in our behalf the Apostle affirms their absolute gratuitousness, stating that our justification and salvation are not due to any meritorious works done by us, whether in the state of nature or under the Mosaic Law, but only and entirely to the pure mercy of God (cf. Rom 3:20 ff.; 2 Tim 1:9; Eph 2:9-10); and the medium or instrumental cause employed by Almighty God to confer on us the graces of justification and salvation is “the laver of regeneration and renovation,” i.e., the Sacrament of Baptism.

Of the Holy Ghost, to whom is attributed the work of our spiritual regeneration and renovation, as being a work of love. See on 2 Tim 1:9.

Tit. 3:6. Whom he hath poured forth upon us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour,

Since the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son by way of love, we attribute to Him works of love; but that our justification and salvation are in reality the work of the whole Divine Trinity is evident from this verse.

Whom means the Holy Ghost, of whom there has just been question; and “he” means God the Father, who is the subject of the whole sentence, God the Father in Baptism has abundantly poured into our souls the Holy Ghost, i.e., sanctifying grace and the other gifts of the Divine Spirit, which Jesus Christ by His sufferings and death has merited for us.

Tit. 3:7. That, being justified by his grace, we might be heirs according to hope of life everlasting.

That indicates the final purpose of the justification we have received through the rich outpouring of the Holy Ghost upon our souls in Baptism, which is to make us “heirs of life everlasting.” This final and glorious issue of our spiritual lives we now possess in hope.

Tit. 3:8. Faithful is the saying: and these things I will have thee affirm constantly: that they who believe in God may be careful to excel in good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

The Apostle concludes the exhortation of verses 3-7 by inculcating the performance of good works, on which he is ever insisting throughout the Pastoral Epistles.

Faithful is the saying, i.e., worthy of all belief, referring to what he has been saying in the verses just preceding; these truths St. Paul wishes Titus to preach constantly, so that the faith of his hearers may be living and fruitful in good works.

These things, etc., i.e., the truths he has been stressing.

Tit. 3:9. But avoid foolish questions and genealogies and contentions and strivings about the law. For they are unprofitable and vain.

In verses 9- 11 St. Paul tells Titus to avoid the foolish questions and quarrels of the heretics and the heretics themselves. See on 1 Tim. 1:4, 6:4, and 2 Tim, 2:23, where the same advice is given.

Tit. 3:10. A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, avoid,

Heretic. According to its primary meaning this word means one who makes divisions, factions-therefore, a factious person. But since there is question now of doctrine and of adhering stubbornly to error, it seems the term must here be given the strict meaning it came to have in later times. The adjective does not occur again in the New Testament, but the corresponding substantive is found in a number of places in St. Paul and the Acts.

Tit. 3:11. Knowing that he that is such an one, is perverted and sinneth, being condemned by his own judgment.

He now explains the reason why the pertinacious heretic is to be avoided. Such a one “is perverted,” i.e., beyond hope of repair, because he has separated himself from the foundation which is faith ; he is “condemned by his own judgment,” because it is his persistence in error that has put him out of the Church.

CONCLUSION
A Summary of Titus 3:12-15

Tit. 3:12. When I shall send to thee Artemas or Tychicus, make haste to come unto me to Nicopohs. For there I have determined to winter.

Artemas, of whom we know nothing further for certain. According to tradition he became Bishop of Lystra.

Tychicus. See on 2 Tim. 4:12; Eph. 6:21; Col. 4:7; Acts 20:4.

Nicopolis, most probably the city of that name in Epirus, which at this time was an important place built by Augustus after the battle of Actium, deriving its name from that victory. There was also a Nicopolis in Cilicia and in Thrace; but neither of these would agree so well with 2 Tim. 4:10, where it is said that Titus had gone to Dalmatia. It is clear from the closing words of this verse that St. Paul was entirely at liberty at this time. Ramsay thinks he meant to make Nicopolis a centre for preaching in Epirus and that he was arrested there. The opinion seems probable.

Tit. 3:13. Send forward Zenas, the lawyer, and Apollo, with care, that nothing be wanting to them.

Zenas, mentioned only here. He apparently was skilled in Jewish or Roman law. Tradition says he became Bishop of Diospolis and was the author of an apocryphal work known as “The Acts of Titus.”

Apollo, the eloquent Alexandrian preacher, of whom there is question in Acts 18:24, 19:1; 1 Cor. 1:12, 3:4, etc.

Tit. 3:14. And let our men also learn to excel in good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

As a last word St. Paul emphasizes the need of industry and the performance of good works on the part of the Christians of Crete.

Tit. 3:15. All that are with me salute thee : salute them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.

All that are with me, etc., i.e., his traveling companions and co-laborers.

Salute them, etc., i.e., the Christians of Crete, who were united to the Apostle and his companions by the same “faith,” i.e., loyalty to Christ and His teachings. The blessing is to Titus and the whole Church of Crete.

Dei and Amen of the Vulgate are not represented in the Greek.

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Commentary on Titus 2:1-15

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 18, 2018

TITUS’ TEACHING OF VARIOUS CLASSES OF PERSONS
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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Commentary on Titus Chapter 1

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 18, 2018

INSCRIPTION AND GREETING
A Summary of Titus 1:1-4.

The introduction to this letter is somewhat longer than usual. St. Paul asserts his divine authority to preach the faith to God’s chosen ones, that they may sanctify themselves and thus become worthy of the promise of eternal life which was given long ago and has now been revealed through the Gospel. Paul is the preacher of this heavenly message according to the command of God, and he writes to Titus as a son in Christ, since they both share that common faith and the resultant peace and grace which God bestows in Christ Jesus. 

Tit. 1:1. Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of the elect of God and the acknowledging of the truth which is according to godliness.

Servant of God, a phrase found only here in St. Paul’s letters, and therefore a mark of the genuineness of the Epistle since no forger would be likely to use a strange expression in the very first line of his letter.

An apostle, i.e., a commissioned agent. The Apostle proclaims his authority and commission on account of the false teachers in Crete. 

According to the faith. This points out the purpose of the Apostle’s commission, which was to preach the faith “of the elect of God,” i.e., the faith common to all Christians, which all mankind are called to share, so that all may come to a knowledge of the truth “of the Gospel,” which truth “is according to godliness,” i.e., it teaches us how to worship God as we should and live according to His will. 

Tit. 1:2. Unto the hope of life everlasting, which God, who lieth not, promised before the times of the world,

Unto the hope, etc. The purpose of the Apostle’s preaching and of the Gospel truth which he proclaims is to stimulate the hope of life eternal which the ever-truthful God “promised before the times of the world,” i.e., from all eternity (see 2 Tim 1:9). This last phrase is understood by some expositors to refer to the promise made in Old Testament times to the Patriarchs and Prophets, but the first explanation is thought to be more probable. 

Tit. 1:3. But hath in due times manifested his word in preaching, which is committed to me according to the commandment of God our Saviour:

The construction here is difficult, but the meaning is clear enough. The promise to give eternal life to the elect, which God had decreed from eternity, was made manifest in due time in the preaching of the Gospel message, which Paul had been commissioned to preach by God Himself.

God our Saviour. See commentary on 1 Tim 1:1. 

Tit. 1:4. To Titus my beloved son, according to the common faith, grace and peace from God the Father, and from Christ Jesus our Saviour.

Titus. See Introduction to this Epistle, No. I. 

The common faith, which was the bond of their spiritual relationship. 

Christ Jesus our Saviour. In the preceding verse we had “God our Saviour,” which shows that our Lord is true God.

DUTIES DEVOLVING UPON TITUS
A Summary of Titus 1:5-16.

St. Paul has left Titus in Crete to set things in order, and to this end one of the first things that should engage the attention of the young bishop will be the appointment of proper church officials, priests and bishops of high moral and spiritual character, whose doctrine is above question and whose manner of living is a perfect reflection of that doctrine (Tit. 1:5-9). This is at all times necessary, but especially so in conditions such as confront Titus in Crete, where there are abroad certain false teachers, the worst of them Jewish, who for the sake of money are circulating ideas and discussing questions that are unsettling the faith and demoralizing the lives of Christians. The Cretans are only too much disposed to vice and disorder, and hence Titus must sharply rebuke those false and misleading guides, and recall the faithful to soundness of doctrine and Tightness of conduct. Those false teachers are defiled from within, and they deny by their lives the God whom they profess with their lips (Tit. 1:10-16). 

1 Tit. 1:5. For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and shouldest ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed thee:

For this cause, etc. St. Paul refers to a time when he and Titus visited the Island of Crete together, which must have been between the first and second Roman imprisonments. We cannot identify this visit with the passing glimpse of Crete which is related in Acts 27:7-13, when Paul as a prisoner was on his way to Rome from Caesarea; for at that time it seems the Apostle did not land at all. 

The things that are wanting, i.e., the reforms that St. Paul was unable to complete before he was called away. 

Priests. See commentary on 1 Tim. 3:1. 

As I also appointed thee, i.e., as St. Paul had instructed him to do when leaving him there. 

Tit. 1:6. If any be without crime, the husband of one wife, having faithful children, not accused of riot, or unruly.
Tit. 1:7. For a bishop must be without crime, as the steward of God: not arrogant, not subject to anger, not given to wine, no striker, not greedy offilthy lucre:
Tit. 1:8. But given to hospitality, a lover of good, sober, just, holy, continent;
Tit. 1:9. Embracing that faithful word which is according to doctrine, that he may be able to exhort in sound doctrine and to convince the gainsayers.

6-9. These verses are nearly identical with those of 1 Tim 3:1-7, on which see notes. 

Faithful children, i.e., children who are Christians. 

Not accused of riot, i.e., of riotous and profligate living. 

A lover of good, i.e., of everything good. The word occurs only here. 

Just, holy. These qualities, though understood, are not mentioned in 1 Tim 3:1-7. 

Embracing that faithful word, etc., i.e., that teaching which was taught by our Lord and the Apostles. Throughout these letters St. Paul is insisting on the need of sound doctrine, sound teaching, sound faith (cf. 1 Tim 1:10, 6:3, 20;  2 Tim 1:13, 4:3; Titus 1:9, 13, etc.). 

And to convince, etc. If a bishop or priest is not a master of sound doctrine himself, how can he convince unbelievers and refute heretics? He must first know and be persuaded himself before he can teach and persuade others.

Tit. 1:10. For there are many disobedient, vain talkers, and seducers; especially they who are of the circumcision:

In verses 10-16 St. Paul gives two more reasons why he requires in the clergy of Crete the qualifications just enumerated, namely, because of the presence in the island of many false teachers,
and because of the perverse character of the Cretans.

Disobedient. Better, “insubordinate,” to the teachings of the Gospel and their lawful superiors.

Vain talkers is one word in Greek, and it occurs only here in the Bible.

Of the circumcision, i.e., Christian converts from Judaism : these were causing most of the trouble. See commentary on 2 Tim. 2:16-18.

Etiam of the Vulgate is not in the best Greek.

Tit. 1:11. Who must be reproved, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of base gain.

Who must be reproved. The Greek reads: “Whose mouth must be stopped.” 

Who subvert, etc. These false teachers carry their pernicious doctrines into families and upset whole households, putting one against another ; and all this is done for the sake of the money they thereby get, which is therefore rightly called “base gain.”

Tit. 1:12. One of them, a prophet of their own, said: The Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, slothful bellies.

One of them, i.e., one of the Cretans.

Prophet. This title the Greeks were accustomed to give to their poets, who were thought to be inspired by the gods. The Cretan poet here alluded to was Epimenides, who lived about 600 B.C., and the verse quoted is from his Minos. The first part of this verse was later quoted by the Alexandrian poet Callimachus (300-240 B.C.) in a hymn to Zeus, and applied to the false Cretan story that Zeus (the Greek Jupiter) was killed and that his tomb was in the Island of Crete. The verse seems to have been well known as an accurate description of the character and conduct of the Cretans.

Tit. 1:13. This testimony is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; 

Without qualification the Apostle accepts the testimony of Epimenides regarding his fellow-Cretans; but of course this is to be understood of the people generally, and in particular of the false teachers, who are to be “rebuked sharply” for the sake of the faith which they are imperilling.

Tit. 1:14. Not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn themselves away from the truth.

Jewish fables. See commentary on 1 Tim. 1:4, 

Commandments of men. See commentary on 1 Tim. 4:7;  Commentary on Col. 2:21; Matt 15:2 ff. 

Who turn away, etc. The Greek reads : “Who turn their backs upon the truth.”

Tit. 1:15. All things are dean to the clean; but to them that are defiled, and to unbelievers, nothing is clean; but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.

Soundness in faith and soundness in morals are linked together in the Pastoral Letters ; and of course the contrary is equally true: bad teaching leads to bad living. The Cretan Judaizers were drawing distinctions between clean and unclean foods according to Old Testament prescriptions ; but St. Paul would have them understand that all foods in themselves, as created by God, are good and pure, and that it is only the wrong intention and the wrong mind which make them bad or unclean.

Tit. 1:16. They profess that they know God, but in their works they deny him; being abominable, and incredulous, and to every good work reprobate.

These Judaizers of Crete, like all the Jews, were proud of their knowledge of the true God, in contrast with the Gentiles who worshipped idols, but by their false teachings and false practices they really denied God and became abominable in His sight, useless for every good work.

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