Titus 3
ICC New Testament Commentary
Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
3:1-8. The duty of Christians to the outer world: obedience to government, activity in good works, gentleness and meekness in private life, 1, 2. And the motive for such conduct: the duty of imitating God’s love to us who has saved us from our sins, 3-8.

9-11. The duty of avoiding useless discussion 9 and factious opponents, 10, 11.

This section is connected with the preceding chapters: vv. 1-8 with ch. 2; vv. 9-11 with ch. 1Ch_2 had given commands to different classes, this gives one command common to all: that had emphasized the duty of subjection in the younger women and in slaves, this extends it to all classes: that had hinted at the effect of Christian lives on the heathen, this brings out the direct duty which Christians owe to them: that had dwelt on God’s saving grace as enabling Christians to do good works, this on God’s gift of a new birth as putting them under an obligation to do them.

In the same way 9-11 pick up the main thoughts of 1:10-16, the duty of avoiding Jewish discussions (1:14, 3:9), and the duty of rebuke to opponents (1:13, 3:10, 11).

The keynote of the chapter is usefulness. Christians have to be useful citizens, ready for every good work; only such teaching is to be given as is useful to the world (8): “our friends” are to be ready to help others in need: they are not to be unfruitful (14). Titus himself is to be useful to Zenas and Apollos when they arrive (13).

For the whole section cf. Rom_12:17-7, of which there may be a reminiscence.

Paraphrase. There is one thing of which you must remind them all, free and slaves alike—that is, to be loyal subjects to the Government and its officials, to obey any commands which they issue, to be on the look out to help in any kind of good work, to speak evil of none, to avoid all quarrels, not to stand on their own rights but to be large-hearted, never failing to show gentleness to any one. This is our bounden duty, for there was a time when we were as void of understanding as they are now; we too were disobedient, easily misled, the slaves of passions and pleasures of many kinds, passing our life in ill-will and envy of others, worthy of hate and hating one another.

” But when in gracious love for man

Our Saviour God unveiled His plan,

‘Twas not for merit of our own

But of His pitying care alone

He saved us, by a heavenly birth

Cleansing away the stains of earth

And on our heads in rich largess

Pouring His Spirit’s holiness.”

All this He did that so being justified by His free gift we might become heirs, through hope, of eternal life. This saying is worthy of entire faith, and on all these points I wish you to insist, in the hope that those who have put faith in the message of God may set themselves to make honourable deeds the very business of their life. These truths are excellent in themselves and full of profit to others. But as for foolish speculations and genealogies, and strifes and wranglings about the Jewish law, give them a wide berth, for they are profitless and lead to nothing. If a man is self-willed and factious, warn him once, warn him again, but then avoid him, knowing that a man of such a character is perverted and sins, being condemned by his own action.

As soon as I shall send Artemas or Tychicus to you, make haste to come to Nicopolis to join me, for that is where I have decided to winter. Help forward on their journey with all diligence Zenas and Apollos: see that they have everything they want. Yes, and let all our brethren learn to make a real business of honourable works, that they may be able to help in such cases of need, that so they may not deserve the taunt of being “idle drones.” All my companions send you greeting: do you give my greeting to all who love us in a common faith. God’s grace be with you all.

3:1-3. Duty to the heathen world: (a) obedience to government, cf. 1 Timothy 2:1, 1 Timothy 2:2 notes, and (more closely) Romans 13:1-7, Romans 13:1 P 3:8-17. Such a command would be necessary at any time and place to Christians, who might regard their allegiance to Christ as exempting them from allegiance to the Pagan Emperor (cf. Acts 17:6, Acts 24:5), and it is specially enforced in St. Paul’s letter to Rome and St. Peter’s letter from Rome; but it has a peculiar appropriateness in writing to Crete, partly because of the large number of Jews (1:10) in the Christian body who doubtless there, as at Rome, would be “assidue tumultuantes” (Suet. Claud. c. 25); partly because of the turbulent character of the Cretans themselves (στάσεσι καὶ φόνοις καὶ πολέμοις ἐμφυλίοις ἀναστρεφομένους, Polyb. vi. 46. 9), who long fretted against their subjugation by Rome (cf. Dio Cassius, xxxvi. I, quoted in Wetstein).

1. ὑπομίμνησκε] perhaps suggests that St. Paul had himself laid stress on this at the time of his visit to Crete; but they need a reminder.

ἀρχαῖς ἐξουσίαις] The omission of καί is very unnatural; cf. Luke 12:11 τὰς ἀρχὰς καὶ τὰς ἐξουσίας: Martyr. Polycarpi, 10, δεδιδάγμεθα γὰρ ἀρχαῖς καὶ ἐξουσίαις τιμὴν ἀπονέμειν, is apparently a reminiscence of this place, and suggests that καί has accidentally dropped out; cf. Introd., p. xxxviii.

ὑποτάσσεσθαι] of the general attitude, “quod superioribus debent subditi reverentiam subjectionis” (Thom. Aq.).

πειθαρχεῖν] of obedience to particular commands, e.g. the payment of tribute and dues, Romans 13:6; cf. Xen. Cyr. viii. 1, 3, μέγιστον ἀγαθὸν τὸ πειθαρχεῖν φαίνεται εἰς τὸ καταπράττειν τὰ ἀγαθά(Alford).

(b) Activity in good works.

πρὸς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθόν] The connexion suggests every good work started by the government, and would include civic and municipal duties; but it need not be limited to these: cf. Clem. Rom. i. c. 33, possibly a reminiscence of, certainly an interesting comment on, this phrase.

ἀγαθόν] perhaps limiting; provided that it is good; cf. Thom. Aq. “alioquin non esset obediendum,” cf. 3 note and 2:8 note.

(c) Gentleness in private life.

2. ἀμάχους] (here and 1 Timothy 3:3 only in N.T.), cf. 9 and 2 Timothy 2:23, 2 Timothy 2:24.

ἐπιεικεῖς] “temperate,” Wycl.; “Softe,” Tyndal; “modestos,” Vulg.; not pressing their own rights, making allowances, remembering that the heathen do not know of the graciousness and love of God our Saviour, they have not the ἐπιείκεια of Christ before their eyes (2 Corinthians 10:1); “large-hearted,” “high-hearted,” cf.

“Truth’s school for certain doth this same allow,

High-heartedness doth sometimes teach to bow”

(Lady E. Carew),

and Ar. Rhet. i. 13, §§ 17, 18, for a full description of τὸ ἐπιεικές, “It is the indulgent consideration of human infirmities. To look not to the mere letter of the law but to the mind of the legislator, not merely to the act done but to the intention of the doer, not to a part but to the whole, not to the character of the actor at the moment but to his general character, to re member good deeds received from him rather than the bad, and the benefits you have received rather than those you have conferred” (Cope). Such a quality would be needed by masters in the treatment of their slaves (1 P 2:18), but here the reference is wider; cf. Php 4:5 τὸ ἐπιεικὲς ὑμῶν γνωσθήτω πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις. It would be needed especially in face of persecution; cf. Wisd 2:19 ὕβρει καὶ βασάνῳ ἐτάσωμεν αὐτὸν ἵνα γνῶμεν τὴν ἐπιείκειαν αὐτοῦ. For good accounts of the word, cf. Lightfoot on Php 4:5, Mayor on Jam 3:17.

πᾶσαν ἐνδ.] perhaps reminiscent of 2:10—as gentle to all men as your slaves are faithful to their masters. πραότητα] Again—like their Saviour-God, cf. 2 Corinthians 10:1. πρὸς πάντας ἀνθρ.] for St. Paul’s stress on the duty of Christians to the whole world outside, cf. Romans 12:17, Galatians 6:10, Php 4:5; and for the result of such teaching, cf. Justin M. Apol. 1. cc. 14-16; Tert. Apol. c. 36, “civilitas in imperatorem tam vere quam circa omnes necesse habet exhiberi. … Nullum bonum sub exceptione personarum administramus.”

3-7. Two reasons are given—(a) we ourselves were no better, and therefore are bound to be tolerant and forgiving, cf. Luke 7:40-50, Exodus 22:21: (b) we have been reborn by God’s graciousness and loving-kindness, and ought to imitate these qualities; cf. Ephesians 2:3-10, 4:17-24, Ephesians 2:5:1, Ephesians 2:2 γίνεσθε μιμηταὶ τοῦ θεοῦ κ.τ.λ. The similarity suggests a conscious reminiscence of that Epistle.

3. ἀνόητοι] in intellect, cf. Ephesians 4:18, Romans 1:21; ἀπειθεῖς, in action; primarily, disobedient to human authority; cf. 1 and 1:6, 10, Romans 1:30, 2 Timothy 3:2 γονεῦσιν ἀπειθεῖς: but also to divine commands, cf. 1:16.

πλανώμενοι] passive (cf. 2 Timothy 3:13, 1 Corinthians 12:2, Paris Pap. 47, ἀποπεπτώκαμεν πλανώμενοι ὑπὸ τῶν θεῶν): it explains ἀνόητοι, as δουλεύοντες explains ἀπειθεῖς.

κακίᾳ] “active malice,” cf. Ephesians 4:31; Eph_1 P 2:1 with Hort’s note.

4. χρηστότης] “benignitas,” Vulg.; “benygnity,” Wycl.; “kindeness,” Tynd.; graciousness, goodness, ever ready to bestow His blessings and to forgive; cf. Trench, Syn. 54. The substantive occurs in N.T. only in St. Paul (8 times); but cf. χρηστός, Luke 6:35, Luke 6:1 P 2:3, and frequently in the Psalms applied to Jehovah.

φιλανθρωπία] here and Acts 28:2 (cf. φιλανθρώπως, ibid. 27:3) only in N.T., but frequent in classical writers and in the LXX of the Apocrypha; often in connexion with χρηστότης: love of man as man, humanity, showing itself in kindliness to equals (Acts, ubi s.), in graciousness to subjects (2 Mac 14:9), in pity for those in trouble; cf. Clem. Hom. xii. 25-33 (a most interesting discussion of the word), ἡ φιλανθρωπία πάντα ἄνθρωπον, καθὸ ἄνθρωπός ἐστι, φιλοῦσα εὐεργετεῖ. One special application was to the ransoming of captives (λύσεις αἰχμαλώτων καὶ τοιαύτας ἄλλας φιλανθρωπίας, Dem. de Chersoneso, 107: 15 (Field)), and that may be consciously present here; cf δουλεύοντες 3, λυτρώσηται 2:14. It is applied to Wisdom, φιλάνθρωπον πνεῦμα σοφία, Wisd 1:6, 7:23. Here it adds to χρηστότης the note of pity for man’s state and the thought that it extends to all men (πάντας ἀνθρ.2); but they are so allied (cf. Field, Ot. Norv., here and on Acts 28:2, and Wetstein here for suggestive illustrations) that the verb is in the singular. The two qualities are chosen in contrast to the conduct of men in the past 3, and as examples to Christians in the future 2; cf. Justin Mart. Rev 1:10Rev 1:10 μιμουμένους σωφροσύνην καὶ δικαιοσύνην καὶ φιλανθρωπίαν καὶ ὄσα οἰκεῖα Θεῷ ἐστι.

ἐπεφάνη] cf. 2:11 note. τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν θεοῦ, i.e. the Father; cf. 1:3, 1 Timothy 1:1, Psalm 109:26 σῶσόν με κατὰ τὸ μέγα ἔλεός σου. God’s “peculiar people” is, as of old, entirely dependent on His initiating choice; cf. Deuteronomy 9:4-6 οὐχὶ διὰ τὰς δικαιοσύνας σου κύριος ὁ θεός δίδωσίν σοι τὴν γῆν τὴν ἀγαθὴν κληρονομῆσαι: Psalm 115:1 μὴ ἡμῖν, κύριε, μὴ ἡμῖν ἀλλʼ ἢ τῷ ὀνόματί σου δὸς δόξαν ἐπὶ τῷ ἐλέει σου. The clause is added to prevent self-complacency and to call for a true response to God’s mercy, but with a side refer ence to past controversy with Pharisaic Judaism; cf. Ephesians 2:8-10, 2 Timothy 1:9; Clem. Rom. c. 32 (a full comment on this verse, perhaps a reminiscence of it).

5. διὰ λουτροῦ] For the stress on baptism, cf. 1 Corinthians 6:11, Ephesians 5:26 (the instrument of cleansing), 1 P 3:21 (of salvation, as here), John 3:5 (of new birth). There is probably a conscious reference to 1:15 and 2:14. We needed cleansing, but with more than Jewish ceremonial ablutions, with a washing that would entirely renew our nature.

λουτροῦ] “washing” rather than “a laver” (RV margin), “fountain,” Tynd.; cf. Robinson on Ephesians 5:26. Justin. Mart. Apol. 1:61 τὸ ἐν τῷ ὕδατι λουτρὸν πολοῦνται . . . καλεῖται τοῦτο τὸ λουτρὸν φωτισμός, 66 λουσαμένῳ τὸ εἰς ἀναγέννησιν λουτρόν.

παλιγγενεσίας, here only in NT of spiritual birth: cf. ἀναγεγεννημένοι, 1 P 1:3 and 23, both perhaps suggested by the Lord’s saying, afterwards recorded in John 3:3-5. Cf. Justin Mart. Apol. 1:61 ἄγονται ὑφʼ ἡμῶν ἔνθα ὕδωρ ἐστὶ καὶ τρόπον ἀναγεννήσεως . . . ἀναγεννῶνται: Aug. de pecc. mer. iii. 9, “Christianos non facit generatio sed regeneratio.” Other associations may have led to the choice of the word. (1) The analogy of the Rabbinic title for a convert to Judaism, “a new creature,” καινὴ κτίσις (Galatians 6:15, ubi v. Lightfoot). (2) The thought of the new birth of one initiated in the Greek mysteries, a rebirth which followed a ritual bathing; cf. Apul. Met. xi. 23-25. (3) The Stoic use of the word for the periodical restoration of the world after its periodical destruction by fire: this is less obvious, but there may be a conscious contrast between the Stoic and the Christian παλιγγενεσία—“the one by fire the other by water: the one physical, the other spiritual; the one subject to periodical relapses and renewal, the other occurring once for all and issuing in an endless life” (Swete, The Holy Spirit in N.T., App. M). Philo seems to apply this Stoic thought to the Flood (vit. Mos. ii.12 of Noah, οὐ μόνον αὐτοὶ σωτηρίας ἔτυχον . . . ἀλλὰ καὶ παλιγγενεσίας ἐγένοντο ἡγεμόνες καὶ δευτέρας ἀρχηγέται περιόδου, cf. 1 P 3:21 and Clem. Rom_9, Νῶε παλιγγενεσίαν κόσμῳ ἐκήρυξεν (cf. Dalman, The Words of Jesus, p. 177; Trench, Syn. N.T., § xviii.).

ἀνακαινώσεως] (Romans 12:2 only in N.T. ἀνακαινοῦν, 2 Corinthians 4:16, Colossians 3:10 only; both perhaps coined by St. Paul, M.M. s.v.), probably governed by λουτροῦ, “per lavacrum regenerationis et renovationis,” Vulg., referring to the moment of baptism; cf. John 3:5, Acts 9:17-19, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 6:15 καινὴ κτίσις, Ezekiel 36:25, Ezekiel 36:26 ῥανῶ ἐφʼ ὑμᾶς ὕδωρ καθαρὸν . . . καὶ δώσω ὑμῖν καρδίαν καινὴν καὶ πνεῦμα καινὸν δώσω ἐν ὑμῖν. If governed by διά it might add the thought of subsequent daily renewal, or of the fuller gift of the laying on of hands in Confirmation (Chase, Confirmation in the Apostolic Age, p. 98).

6. ἐξέχεεν] recalling Joel 2:28 (ἐκχεῶ ἀπὸ τοῦ πνεύματός μου) as used by St. Peter in Acts 2:17; Act 2:33; so with primary reference to Pentecost, but to Pentecost as an abiding reality affecting each Christian.

πλουσίως] cf. Ephesians 2:4. “abunde,” Vulg.; “ditissime,” Theod., sufficient for all men (Cf. 2:11), and for all the needs of each: “ad opulentiam sufficit quod, quantulumcunque nobis detur, nunquam deficiat” (Calvin). διὰἸης. Χρ.; cf. Acts 2:33. τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν. His work is at once placed on a level with God’s; cf. 2:13 n.

7. δικαιωθέντες] not “at the Judgment day” (which would make κατʼ ἔλπιδα meaningless), but “at the start of the Christian life,” as in Romans 3:4, Gal 3-5: “we at once might become heirs of life, yet with a further hope (cf. 2:13) that it will become fuller and eternal”; Cf. 1:2, Romans 8:17, Galatians 4:6, Galatians 4:7.

κληρονόμοι] like the Jews of Canaan; cf. Deuteronomy 9:6 (quoted on p. 154).

8. πιστὸς ὁ λόγος] If this phrase stood here alone it might well be “Faithful is the whole gospel message entrusted to me” (cf. 1:3 and 9), but it is a formula common to and confined to the P.E., 1 Timothy 1:15, 1 Timothy 1:3:1, 1 Timothy 1:4:9, 2 Timothy 2:11: perhaps a marginal gloss by some scribe subsequently embodied in the text (so C. H. Turner, Inaugural Lecture, p. 21); more probably the writer’s own note, either calling attention to the importance of what he has said himself (cf. 2 Corinthians 1:18, Revelation 21:5, Revelation 22:6 οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι πιστοὶ καὶ ἀληθινοί εἰσι), or (more probably, as all the sayings have a gnomic and rhythmical character and bear on salvation) quoting some well-known saying; cf. Romans 13:9 ἐν τούτῳ τῷ λόγῳ ἀνακεφαλαιοῦται, 1 Corinthians 15:54 τότε γενήσεται ὁ λόγος ὁ γεγραμμένος, and 1 K 10:6 ἀληθινὸς ὁ λόγος ὃν ἤκουσα. This would imply the formation of some collection of Christian maxims analogous to the λόγοι τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ, Acts 20:35, and the Oxyrhynchus Sayings, Pap. Oxyr. vi. 654. Here the Saying is contained in 5-7, either in whole or in part, e.g. 5 only, 6 and 7 being the writer’s own expansion.

An attempt has been made recently (cf. Jour. Th. Stud., April 1923, p. 310) to prove that ὁ λόγος here and wherever it occurs in the Pastorals is used in the Johannine sense of the personal Word of God, on the analogy of πιστὸς ὁ Θέος, πιστὸς ὁ κύριος: but in 1:3 it does not suit the following words, ἐν κηρύγματι: in 1:9 the personal Logos could scarcely be described as “faithful according to the teaching”; in the phrase πιστὸς ὁ λόγος the personal use would be appropriate in 2 Timothy 2:11, but it is not needed there; it seems tautologous in 1 Timothy 1:15, and very inappropriate in 1 Timothy 3:1 and here; whereas the explanation of it as a quotation is appropriate in each passage.

τούτων the truths in 4-7, but also the commands in 2:1-3:8. It recalls ταῦτα in 2:15.

διαβεβαιοῦσθαι] here and 1 Timothy 1:7 only in N.T. φροντίζωσι; here only in N.T. “Make a point of”; cf. Grenfell and Hunt, Grk. Pap. ii. 121, φροντίσατε τὰ ἀναλωθέντα ἑτοιμάσαι: contrast 9.

καλῶν ἔργων] (cf. 2:14) προΐστασθαι from the technical use = “to stand before a shop as a tradesman selling his goods,” “to practise a profession” (cf. Plutarch, Vit. Per. 24, of Aspasia, οὐ κοσμίου προεστῶσαν ἐργασίας: Chrys., p. 443 C, of St. Paul, δέρματα ἔρῥαπτε καὶ ἐργαστηρίου προειστήκει, and other illustrations in Field, Ot. Norvic.). Here the application may be: (a) literal, “to profess honest occupations” (R.V. margin), “to engage in respectable trades.” Cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:11 ἐργάζεσθαι ταῖς χερσὶν ὑμῶν, Ephesians 4:28 ἐργαζόμενος τὸ ἀγαθὸν ταῖς χερσὶν ἵνα ἔχῃ μεταδιδόναι τῷ χρείαν ἔχοντι (cf. 14 inf.); Did. 12, μὴ ἄργος μεθʼ ὑμῶν ζήσεται Χριστίανος. In all the Church Orders certain trades are banned for Christians, such as the making of idols, acting, dancing on the stage, fighting as a gladiator, dealing in witchcraft. Cf. Egyptian Church Order, p. 149; Canones Hippol. §§ 65-67; Const. Apost. viii. 3; and Tertullian, de Idololatria, passim.

Or (b) metaphorical, “to make a business of all that is ex cellent,” to be active in all good works: “bonis operibus præesse,” Vulg.; “bona opera exercere,” Herm. Sim. x. 4; “ad bona opera docenda præesse”; Pelag. “misericordiæ studere,” Ambrosiast., and Chrys. (765 A-767 D) refers it to almsgiving. Cf. Clem. Rom. 34 (which seems to recall this chapter), προτρέπεται ἡμᾶς πιστεύοντας ἐπʼ αὐτῷ μὴ ἄργους μηδὲ παρειμένους εἶναι ἐπὶ πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθόν.

Here the wider sense is strongly supported by 2:14 and 3:2, where there is no limitation, and by the analogy of Ephesians 2:10; but the narrower reference may have been consciously included and seems to be the primary meaning in 14.

οἱ πεπιστευκότες] recalling πιστός. Those who have believed a message so worthy of belief.

ταῦτα] cf. περὶ τούτων 8, q.u. ὠφέλιμα in NT only here, 1 Timothy 4:8, 2 Timothy 3:16; not in LXX, but frequently in classical writers in combination with καλός; v. illustrations in Wetstein.

9. ζητήσεις] 1 Timothy 6:4, 2 Timothy 2:23; not in the earlier letters, but frequent in Acts.

γενεαλογίας] 1 Timothy 1:4 note. “Originum enumerationes,” Ambrost., who refers it to Jewish pride in their descent from the patriarchs, and to legends about the burial of Moses, the building of the Temple, etc. Similarly Jerome (whose note here with his account of Origen’s work on the O.T., and of the teaching of Isaac, his own contemporary at Rome, is full of historical interest).

περιΐστασο] here and 2 Timothy 2:16, only in N.T. in this sense, which is late and censured as a solecism by Lucian, but common in Josephus, M. Aurelius, etc.

ἀνωφελεῖς here and Hebrews 7:18 only in N.T.; cf. Ign. Magn. 8, μὴ πλανᾶσθε . . . μυθευμάσιν τοῖς παλαιοῖς ἀνωφελέσιν οὖσιν—perhaps a reminiscence of this verse.

10. αἱρετικόν here only in N.T. It is used in Plato (?), Def. 412 A = “having the power of choice”: here it is still an adjective, from the secondary meaning of αἵρεσις = either a self-chosen party, a sect (Acts 5:17, Acts 15:5, Acts 24:5 (of Jewish sects), Galatians 5:20, 1 Corinthians 11:19, 1 Corinthians 11:2 P 2:1 (of Christian)), or, self-chosen teaching, heresy (Ign. Eph_6Eph_6). Either is possible here. (a) factious (R.V. margin), partisan, “an auctor of sectes,” Cranmer: cf. φιλόνεικος, 1 Corinthians 11:16 “ambitiosos omnes, præfractos, contentiosos, qui libidine impulsi turbant Ecclesiæ pacem ac dissidia concitant … quod nomen, quamvis inter philosophos et politicos homines sit honorificum, merito infame est inter Christianos” (Calvin); or (b) “given to heresie,” Tynd., heretical (cf. Tert. de Præscr. 6). This suits vv. 9, 10 better, and cf. Galatians 1:6-9, Romans 16:17 τοὺς τὰς διχοστασίας καὶ τὰ σκάνδαλα παρὰ τὴν διδαχὴν . . . ποιοῦντας, which shows how close the two thoughts lay in St. Paul’s mind. This seems the earliest use of the adjective in this sense: it is not found in the Apostolic Fathers, but is frequent in Irenæus and Tertullian, as a substantive = “a heretic,” though it still preserved the sense of a “schismatic,” cf. Concil. Constant. Canon 6. with Dr. Bright’s Note and Suicer, Thes. s.v.

μετὰ μίαν καὶ δευτ. (For the reading, cf. Introd., p. xxxviii) νουθεσίαν (1 Corinthians 10:11, Ephesians 6:4 only in N.T.), either of private appeal (cf. Acts 20:31) or of public censure (2 Thessalonians 3:15, 1 Timothy 1:20). There may be a conscious allusion to Our Lord’s command, Matthew 18:15-17, and also a reminiscence of the practice of the Jews, under which there was a first admonition of an offending Rabbi lasting for thirty days: then a second for another thirty days: then excommunication was pronounced (Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus, ii. p. 183).

παραιτοῦ] a favourite word in P.E. not in the earlier letters: cf. 1 Timothy 4:7, 1 Timothy 4:5:11, 2 Timothy 2:23.

11. ἐξεστράπται (here only in N.T.), twisted out of straightness, perverted: cf. Deuteronomy 32:20 γενεὰ ἐξεστραμμένη, Ezekiel 13:20 ὑμεῖς ἐκστρέφετε τὰς ψυχὰς αὐτῶν.

ἁμαρτάνει] both as “factious” and as refusing to listen to admonition.

αὐτοκατάκριτος] Condemned “by his own action”; he can be left to God’s judgment; cf. Matthew 18:17, 1 Corinthians 5:12, 1 Corinthians 5:13; perhaps also “by his own conscience,” cf. Luke 19:22, John 8:9-11.

12-15. Cf. Introduction, p. xxxiv; Harrison, P.E., pp. 115-18.

12. Ἀρτεμᾶν] (For the name, probably a contraction of Artemidorus, cf. Pap. Oxyr. iii. 505); according to a later tradition, one of the Seventy and bishop of Lystra. τυχικόν of Asia, Acts 20:4, frequently trusted with messages by St. Paul. Ephesians 6:21, Colossians 4:7, 2 Timothy 4:12. The contrast with v. 13 suggests that whichever came might be meant to take Titus’ place in his absence, when he left for Nicopolis; cf. 2 Timothy 4:12 note.

Νικόπολιν] probably Nicopolis in Epirus: a good centre for missionary work in Dalmatia (cf. 2 Timothy 4:10) or for a journey to Rome. Here not many years later Epictetus settled and taught his pupils to live a life true to nature, possibly with some knowledge of St. Paul’s work and writings, but without the knowledge of the saving, enabling grace which would help them to live it.

13. Ζηνᾶν (contracted from Ζηνόδωρος), according to tradition bishop of Diospolis and author of an apocryphal “Acts of Titus.” τὸν νομικόν, possibly a converted Jew, τὸν τῶν Ἰουδαικῶν νόμων ἔμπειρον, Chrys.; cf. μάχας νομικάς 9, and so always in the Gospels: or a Roman lawyer, “jurisconsultum.” His association with Apollos, a Jew, makes the former more probable.

Ἀπολλώ contracted from Ἀπολλώνιος (which D reads in Acts 18:24) or from Ἀπολλόδωρος, a very common name (cf. M.M. s.v.), but here doubtless the same as in Acts 18:24, 1 Corinthians 1:12ff.

ἵνα . . . λείπῃ] probably a new sentence, not dependent on προπέμψον (so Hofmann and apparently Oecum. Theophyl.). “See that nothing is wanting to them,” cf. Mark 5:23 ἵνα ἐλθὼν ἐπιθῇς αὐτῇ τὰς χεῖρας: 2 Corinthians 8:7, Ephesians 5:33. This use of ἵνα is fairly common in letters, cf. Cic. ad Att. vi. 5, ταῦτα οὖν πρῶτον μέν, ἵνα πάντα σῴζηται, δεύτερον δέ, ἵνα μηδὲ τῶν τόκων ὀλιγωρήσῃς. Tebt. Pap. 408, σὺ δὲ περὶ ὧν βούλει γράφε, τὰ δʼ ἄλλα ἵνα ὑγιαίνῃς (cf. Moulton, Gk. Gr., Proleg. p. 176; Blass, § 64. 4, M.M. s.v. ἴνα).

14. καί “as well as yourself.” Yes, and let all our people be always prepared to help; perhaps also “as well as their pagan neighbours”; cf. note on ἄκαρποι.

οἱ ἡμέτεροι not to be limited to “all of our friends” (=τοὺς φιλοῦντας ἡμᾶς ἐν πίστει 15; cf. πάντες οἱ ἐμοί, Oxyr. Pap. i. p. 181, “les notres” of the Port Royalists) as opposed to the false teachers, 1:10: but = “the whole household of faith,” “our brothers and sisters,” in contrast to their pagan neighbours: cf. Mart. Polyc. c. 9, τῶν ἡμετέρων οἱ πάροντες: Iren. adv. Hær. v. 28. 4, ὡς εἶπέ τις τῶν ἡμετέρων.

καλῶν ἔργων προΐστ.] A special application of the general rule, with reference to a new purpose, and here peculiarly applicable to working at trades; cf. 8 note.

εἰς τὰς ἀναγκ. χρείας] common both in classical writers and in the papyri (cf. Wetstein and M.M. s.v.), will include both “for their own needs” (1 Thessalonians 4:12 ἵνα μηδενὸς χρείαν ἔχητε) and “for helping others” (Ephesians 4:28 ἵνα ἔχῃ μεταδιδόναι τῷ χρείαν ἔχοντι). Herm. Sim. x. 4: “Dic omnibus ut non cessent, quicunque (Qy. legendum, “quæcumque”) recte facere possunt, bona opera exercere; utile est illis. Dico autem omnem hominem de incommodis eripi oportere”; perhaps a reminiscence of this chapter. A comparison of 1 Thessalonians 4:12, Ephesians 4:28 with this place is very suggestive as to the gradual deepening of Christian motives, the desire of independence, the willingness to help individuals, the desire to be a useful member of society.

ἄκαρποι] cf. Romans 7:4, Romans 7:2 P 1:8, Judges 1:12, and the expansion of the simile in Herm. Sim. 4. But here the special reference seems to be to the Roman taunt that Christians were unprofitable to the State, as keeping apart from many trades, that they were “infructuosi in negotiis,” Tert. Apol. 42, and his reply, “Navigamus nos vobiscum et militamus et rusticamur et mercamur: proinde miscemus artes nostras, operas nostras publicamus usui vestro”; cf. notes on 3 and 8.

15. οἱ μετʼ ἐμοῦ] perhaps “my travelling companions,” as no place is mentioned; cf. Galatians 1:2.

ἄσπ. τοὺς φιλ.] cf. BGU. 332, Ἀσπάζου Ἀμμωνοῦν σὺν τέκνοις καὶ συμβίῳ καὶ τοὺς φιλοῦντάς σε, other and instances in A. Robinson on Eph., p. 281. Our real friends in contrast to false teachers, 1:9, 2:8.

ἐν πίστει] possibly “in loyalty”; cf. Fay. Pap. 118, τοῦς φιλοῦντας ἡμᾶς πρὸς ἀλήθιαν, but 1:4, 1 Timothy 1:2 make it almost certain that it is “in a common faith,” “in loyalty to Christ.”

μετὰ πάντων ὑμῶν] even with those to whom he could not send a warm greeting. This implies that the substance of the letter would become known to the whole church.

Tynd. Tyndale’s New Testament, 1534.

Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament, by Archbishop Trench, 8th edition, 1876.

Clem. Hom. Clementis Romani Homiliæ, ed. Dressel, 1853.

Pap. Oxyr. The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, ed. Grenfell and Hunt, vols. i.-xv., London, 1898-

R.V. Revised Version of the English Bible.

Const. Apost. Constitutiones Apostolorum, ed. P. A. de Lagarde, 1862.

To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.
When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.
Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.
And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.
All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.
ICC New Testament commentary on selected books

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