1. servant of God--not found elsewhere in the same connection. In
it is "servant of Jesus Christ"
Re 1:1; 15:3).
there follows, "called to be an apostle," which corresponds to
the general designation of the office first, "servant of GOD," here, followed by the special description,
"apostle of Jesus Christ." The full expression of his
apostolic office answers, in both Epistles, to the design, and is a
comprehensive index to the contents. The peculiar form here
would never have proceeded from a forger.
according to the faith--rather, "for," "with a view to subserve the
faith"; this is the object of my apostleship (compare
Tit 1:4, 9;
the elect--for whose sake we ought to endure all things
This election has its ground, not in anything belonging to those thus
distinguished, but in the purpose and will of God from everlasting
shows that all faith on the part of the elect, rests on the divine
foreordination: they do not become elect by their faith, but
receive faith, and so become believers, because they are
and the acknowledging of the truth--"and (for promoting) the
full knowledge of the truth," that is, the Christian truth
after godliness--that is, which belongs to piety: opposed
to the knowledge which has not for its object the truth, but error,
doctrinal and practical
(Tit 1:11, 16;
or even which has for its object mere earthly truth, not growth in the
divine life. "Godliness," or "piety," is a term peculiar to the
Pastoral Epistles: a fact explained by the apostle having in them to
combat doctrine tending to "ungodliness"
Tit 2:11, 12).
2. In hope of eternal life--connected with the whole preceding
sentence. That whereon rests my aim as an apostle to promote
the elect's faith and full knowledge of the truth, is, "the hope of
(Tit 2:13; 3:7;
Ac 23:6; 24:15; 28:20).
that cannot lie--
(Ro 3:4; 11:29;
promised before the world began--a contracted expression for
"purposed before the world began (literally, 'before the ages of
time'), and promised actually in time," the promise springing from
the eternal purpose; as in
the gift of grace was the result of the eternal purpose "before
the world began."
3. in due times--Greek, "in its own seasons," the
seasons appropriate to it, and fixed by God for it
manifested--implying that the "promise,"
had lain hidden in His eternal purpose heretofore (compare
2Ti 1:9, 10).
his word--equivalent to "eternal life"
Joh 5:24; 6:63; 17:3, 17).
through preaching--Greek, "in preaching," of
rather as ALFORD (see on
"in the (Gospel) proclamation (the thing preached, the Gospel)
with which I was entrusted."
according to--in pursuance of (compare
of God our Saviour--rather as Greek, "of our Saviour
God." God is predicated of our Saviour (compare
Isa 12:2; 45:15, 21,
Septuagint. Applied to Jesus,
Tit 2:13; 3:6;
4. Titus, mine own son--Greek, "my genuine child"
that is, converted by my instrumentality
after the common faith--a genuine son in respect to (in virtue of)
the faith common to all the people of God, comprising in a common
brotherhood Gentiles as well as Jews, therefore embracing Titus a
Grace, mercy, and peace--"mercy" is omitted in some of the
oldest manuscripts. But one of the best and oldest manuscripts supports
it (compare Notes, see on
There are many similarities of phrase in the Pastoral Epistles.
the Lord Jesus Christ--The oldest manuscripts read only "Christ
our Saviour--found thus added to "Christ" only in Paul's
Pastoral Epistles, and in
2Pe 1:1, 11; 2:20; 3:18.
5. I left thee--"I left thee behind"
[ALFORD] when I left the island: not
implying permanence of commission (compare
in Crete--now Candia.
set in order--rather as Greek, "that thou mightest
follow up (the work begun by me), setting right the things that
are wanting," which I was unable to complete by reason of the shortness
of my stay in Crete. Christianity, doubtless, had long existed in
Crete: there were some Cretans among those who heard Peter's preaching
The number of Jews in Crete was large
and it is likely that those scattered in the persecution of Stephen
preached to them, as they did to the Jews of Cyprus, &c. Paul also was
there on his voyage to Rome
By all these instrumentalities the Gospel was sure to reach Crete. But
until Paul's later visit, after his first imprisonment at Rome, the
Cretan Christians were without Church organization. This Paul began,
and had commissioned (before leaving Crete) Titus to go on with, and
now reminds him of that commission.
ordain--rather, "appoint," "constitute."
in every city--"from city to city."
as I . . . appointed thee--that is, as I directed
thee; prescribing as well the act of constituting elders, as
also the manner of doing so, which latter includes the
qualifications required in a presbyter presently stated. Those called
"elders" here are called "bishops" in
Elder is the term of dignity in relation to the college
of presbyters; bishop points to the duties of his office
in relation to the flock. From the unsound state of the Cretan
Christians described here, we see the danger of the want of Church
government. The appointment of presbyters was designed to check idle
talk and speculation, by setting forth the "faithful word."
6. (Compare Notes, see on
The thing dwelt on here as the requisite in a bishop, is a good
reputation among those over whom he is to be set. The immorality of
the Cretan professors rendered this a necessary requisite in one who
was to be a reprover: and their unsoundness in doctrine also
made needful great steadfastness in the faith
(Tit 1:9, 13).
having faithful children--that is, believing children. He
who could not bring his children to faith, how shall he bring others?
[BENGEL]. ALFORD explains,
"established in the faith."
not accused--not merely not riotous, but "not (even) accused of
riot" ("profligacy" [ALFORD]; "dissolute life"
unruly--insubordinate; opposed to "in subjection"
7. For . . . must--The emphasis is on "must." The
reason why I said "blameless," is the very idea of a "bishop" (an
overseer of the flock; he here substitutes for "presbyter" the term
which expresses his duties) involves the necessity for
such blamelessness, if he is to have influence over the flock.
steward of God--The greater the master is, the greater the virtues
required in His servant [BENGEL],
the Church is God's house, over which the minister is set as a steward
1Pe 4:10, 17).
Note: ministers are not merely Church officers, but God's
stewards; Church government is of divine appointment.
not self-willed--literally, "self-pleasing"; unaccommodating to
others; harsh, the opposite of "a lover of hospitality"
self-loving and imperious; such a spirit would incapacitate him for
leading a willing flock, instead of driving.
not given to wine--(See on
not given to filthy lucre--not making the Gospel a means of gain
(1Ti 3:3, 8).
In opposition to those "teaching for filthy lucre's sake"
8. lover of hospitality--needed especially in those days
Christians travelling from one place to another were received and
forwarded on their journey by their brethren.
lover of good men--Greek, "a lover of (all that is)
good," men or things
(Php 4:8, 9).
sober--towards one's self; "discreet"; "self-restrained"
[ALFORD], (see on
holy--towards God (see on
temperate--"One having his passions, tongue, hand and eyes, at
command" [CHRYSOSTOM]; "continent."
9. Holding fast--Holding firmly to (compare
the faithful--true and trustworthy
word as he has been taught--literally, "the word (which is)
according to the teaching" which he has received (compare
by--Translate as Greek, "to exhort in doctrine
(instruction) which is sound"; sound doctrine or
instruction is the element IN which his
exhorting is to have place . . . On "sound" (peculiar
to the Pastoral Epistles), see
1Ti 1:10; 6:3.
convince--rather, "reprove" [ALFORD],
and--omitted in the oldest manuscripts. "There are many unruly
persons, vain talkers, and deceivers"; "unruly" being predicated of
both vain talkers and deceivers.
vain talkers--opposed to "holding fast the faithful word"
"foolish questions, unprofitable and vain"
The source of the evil was corrupted Judaism
Many Jews were then living in Crete, according to
JOSEPHUS; so the Jewish leaven remained in some of
them after conversion.
deceivers--literally, "deceivers of the minds of others"
11. mouths . . . stopped--literally, "muzzled,"
"bridled" as an unruly beast (compare
who--Greek, "(seeing that they are) such men as"; or
"inasmuch as they" [ELLICOTT].
subvert . . . houses--"overthrowing" their "faith"
"They are the devil's levers by which he subverts the houses of God"
for filthy lucre--
(1Ti 3:3, 8; 6:5).
12. One--Epimenides of Phæstus, or Gnossus, in Crete,
about 600. He was sent for to purify Athens from its pollution
occasioned by Cylon. He was regarded as a diviner and prophet.
The words here are taken probably from his treatise "concerning
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