Confraternity Bible: New Testament and Supplemental Commentary

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TITUS - Chapter 3

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Titus 3

Supplemental Commentary:

II.  CHARGE TO TEACH THE CHRISTIAN LIFE  2, 1 -- 3, 11 (continued)

2, 11 -- 3, 7:  Changed Life (continued).    3, 1.  Submission, obedience, readiness for every good work---these make up the proper attitude of the Christian towards those in authority, especially civil authority (Rom. 13, 1-7; 1 Tim. 2, 1 f).    2.  St. Paul now passes on to their dealings with private individuals.    3-7.  These verses are to be compared with Eph. 2, 1-9.    5.  The Holy Spirit is the agent in the bath of rebirth and renewal.  The reference is to Baptism.

3, 8-11:  Good Works and Truth.  These verses take up and develop the thought of 2, 15, and the theme of 1, 10-16.    8.  The saying is the content of 4-7 preceding.    9.  There was question before in 1 Tim. 1, 4 of genealogies, where they are treated as fables that simply give rise to disputes.  Here they are considered as empty researches and are manifestly the same as those referred to in 1, 14 of this Epistle, where they are said to be Jewish fables, legends apparently, grafted especially on the stories of Genesis.  The Jewish apocrypha written in the century before and after the birth of Christ are full of this type of speculation.

Conclusion  3, 12-15

3, 12-14:  Closing Messages.    12.  The mission of Titus at Crete is only temporary.  Nicopolis, where Paul proposes to see him, is Nicopolis in Epirus, one of the most important cities on the west coast of Greece, having been made a Roman colony by Augustus after his naval victory at Actium close by.  In 1 Tim. 3, 14, St. Paul hopes to rejoin Timothy at Ephesus shortly.  Here he says he will pass the winter at Nicopolis, indicating a recent decision and a change in former plans.  We are led to believe then that the letter to Titus is later than 1 Timothy.

13.  Zenas is otherwise unknown.  He would seem to be a Roman lawyer rather than a Jewish doctor of the Law.  Apollos is mentioned in 1 Cor. and in Acts 18, 24 ff.  Zenas and Apollos had agreed to carry this letter to Titus, but would pass beyond Crete.    14.  Our people: the general run of Christians, in contrast with officials like Titus himself, should take care of material affairs.

3, 15:  Greeting.  In the faith replaces the customary formula "In the Lord."  This change and the relief given to the faith, conceived of as adherence to sound doctrine, can be explained by the dangers to which the gospel was exposed at Crete.

Leo P. Foley, C.M.

Confraternity Bible:

1 Admonish them to be subject to princes and authorities, obeying commands, ready for every good work, 2 speaking evil of none, not quarrelsome but moderate, showing all mildness to all men.  3 For we ourselves also were once unwise, unbelieving, going astray, slaves to various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.  4 But when the goodness and kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 then not by reason of good works that we did ourselves, but according to his mercy, he saved us through the bath of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit; 6 whom he has abundantly poured out upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 in order that, justified by his grace, we may be heirs in the hope of life everlasting.

Good Works and Truth  8 This saying is true, and concerning these things I desire thee to insist, that they who believe in God may be careful to excel in good works.  These things are good and useful to men.  9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and quarrels and disputes about the Law; for they are useless and futile.  10 A factious man avoid after a first and a second admonition, 11 knowing that such a one is perverted and sins, being self-condemned.

Closing Messages  12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to thee, make every effort to come to me at Nicopolis; for there I have decided to spend the winter.  13 Help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way, taking care that nothing be wanting to them.  14 And let our people also learn to excel in good works, in order to meet cases of necessity, that they may not be unfruitful.

Greeting  15 All my companions greet thee.  Greet those who love us in the faith.  The grace of God be with you all.  Amen.