Titus 1:10
For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
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(10) For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers.—Nominally in the congregations of Christians, but in reality refusing all obedience, acting for themselves, factious, insubordinate. Titus would, alas, discover many such; these often would be found to be possessed of the gift of fluent and deceptive speech, and would deceive many. Professor Reynolds characterises such restless, uneasy spirits as loquacious, restless talkers, “who must say something, and who have broken the peace of many a home and shattered the prosperity of many a church; the multitude of teachers who have nothing true to say is the curse of the kingdom of God.”

Specially they of the circumcision.—Here St. Paul points out to Titus where he must look for the origin of this hostility. These unhappy men evidently did not belong to the stern and rigid Jewish party who hated with a bitter hate all the followers of the Nazarene, but were of the number of those sleepless opponents of St. Paul and his school—the Judaising Christians.

Titus 1:10-11. For there are many unruly — Subject to no order; and vain talkers Ματαιολογοι, persons who utter a multitude of foolish and trifling things, especially concerning genealogies and fables; and deceiversΦρεναπαται, deceived in their own minds, or deceivers of the minds of others; who delude their disciples with false opinions, in order to reconcile their consciences to wicked practices; specially they of the circumcision — Namely, the Jewish teachers, who, though converted to Christianity, taught the necessity of observing the Jewish law, together with faith in Christ, Acts 21:20. Whose mouths must be stopped — Namely, by conviction from reason and Scripture; who subvert whole houses — Overthrow the faith of whole families by their false doctrine, and as he seems to mean, carry them over to Judaism; teaching things which they ought not — Which are most false and mischievous; for filthy lucre’s sake — For the sordid purpose of drawing money from their disciples.

1:10-16 False teachers are described. Faithful ministers must oppose such in good time, that their folly being made manifest, they may go no further They had a base end in what they did; serving a worldly interest under pretence of religion: for the love of money is the root of all evil. Such should be resisted, and put to shame, by sound doctrine from the Scriptures. Shameful actions, the reproach of heathens, should be far from Christians; falsehood and lying, envious craft and cruelty, brutal and sensual practices, and idleness and sloth, are sins condemned even by the light of nature. But Christian meekness is as far from cowardly passing over sin and error, as from anger and impatience. And though there may be national differences of character, yet the heart of man in every age and place is deceitful and desperately wicked. But the sharpest reproofs must aim at the good of the reproved; and soundness in the faith is most desirable and necessary. To those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; they abuse, and turn things lawful and good into sin. Many profess to know God, yet in their lives deny and reject him. See the miserable state of hypocrites, such as have a form of godliness, but are without the power; yet let us not be so ready to fix this charge on others, as careful that it does not apply to ourselves.For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers - There are many persons who are indisposed to submit to authority (see the word unruly in Titus 1:6); many who are vain talkers - who are more given to talk than to the duties of practical religion (see the character of "Talkative," in the Pilgrim's Progress); and many who live to deceive others under the mask of religion. They make great pretensions to piety; they are fluent in argument, and they urge their views in a plausible manner.

Specially they of the circumcision - Jews, spoken of here as "of the circumcision" particularly, because they urged the necessity of circumcision in order that men might be saved; Notes, Acts 15:1. This proves that there were not a few Jews in the island of Crete.

10. unruly—"insubordinate."

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" (Tit 1:9). "Vain jangling" (1Ti 1:6); "foolish questions, unprofitable and vain" (Tit 3:9). The source of the evil was corrupted Judaism (Tit 1:14). 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" (Greek, Ga 6:3).

For there are many unruly and vain takers: we have had both of these words before; the first signifieth stubborn, unruly men; the second, idle, foolish, vain talkers: the apostle saith, that in that age there were many of these.

And deceivers; and such who were deceivers of other men’s souls, or had their own souls deceived.

Specially they of the circumcision; especially (he saith) the Jews, who mixed the law with the gospel; pressed the necessary observance of their ceremonies, and taught that all the Jews should be saved: of these there were many in Crete, they at this time being scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.

For there are many unruly,.... Persons who are not subject to the law of God, or Gospel of Christ; whose spirits are not subject to the prophets; and who will not submit themselves to them that have the rule over them, nor attend to the admonitions of the church, nor be brought into any regularity and order; and there were many of this sort, who were not sent forth by Christ, or his churches, but went forth of themselves, and were corrupters of the word; and therefore Christ's ministers ought to hold fast the faithful word, and convince such opposers by sound doctrine;

and vain talkers; who deliver out in their discourses empty, trifling, superficial, and frivolous things; which have no solidity and substance in them, nor do they tend to edification; only great swelling words of vanity, vain jangling and babbling about things to no profit.

And deceivers; both of themselves and others; who lie in wait to deceive, and are deceitful workers; and by their good words, and fair speeches, deceive the hearts of the simple; and so are dangerous persons, and of pernicious consequence:

especially they of the circumcision; or "of the Jews", as the Ethiopic version renders it; that is, not the unbelieving Jews, but such as professed Christianity, judaizing Christians, who joined Moses and Christ and blended the law and Gospel together; who taught that circumcision, and the observance of other ceremonies of the law, were necessary to justification and salvation; and hereby did a great deal of mischief among the churches.

{10} For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the {l} circumcision:

(10) An applying of the general proposition to a particular: the Cretians above all others need sharp reprehensions: both because their minds are naturally given to lies and slothfulness, and because of certain covetous Jews, who under a pretence of godliness, partly combined certain vain traditions, and partly old ceremonies with the Gospel.

(l) Of the Jews, or rather of those Jews who went about to join Christ and the Law.

Titus 1:10. Εἰσὶ γάρ] γάρ shows that this verse serves to explain the preceding words.

πολλοὶ [καὶ] ἀνυπότακτοι] If καί be read, the phrase should be explained by the usage common in Greek of joining πολλοί with an adjective following it (see Matthiae, § 444, 4, p. 830), and ἀνυπότακτοι taken as an adjective. If καί be omitted, ἀνυπότακτοι may be taken as a substantive. The heretics are so named because they set themselves in opposition to the gospel and refuse obedience to it; the word is found also in 1 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:6.

The heretics are further styled ματαιόλογοι] see 1 Timothy 1:6, and φρεναπάται (ἅπ. λεγ.; the verb in Galatians 6:3), “misleaders,” almost synonymous with γόητες, 2 Timothy 3:13.

μάλιστα οἱ ἐκ περιτομῆς] A name for the Jewish-Christians, as in Galatians 2:12.

μάλιστα indicates that the preachers of heresy in Crete were chiefly Jewish Christians, but that they had also found followers among the Gentile Christians. These appended words do not compel us to take ἀνυπότακτοι as the predicate, and the Christians of Crete as the unexpressed subject of εἰσίν (in opposition to Hofmann). Of course Paul by εἰσὶν γὰρ κ.τ.λ. means to say that Crete is the place where such chatterers are to be found.

Titus 1:10-16. I have just mentioned rebuke as a necessary element in a presbyter’s teaching. This is especially needful in dealing with Cretan heretics, in whom the Jewish strain is disagreeably prominent. Alike in their new-fangled philosophy of purity, and in their pretensions to orthodoxy, they ring false. Purity of life can only spring from a pure mind; and knowledge is alleged in vain, if it is contradicted by practice.

10–16. The unruly rival teachers are to be repressed

10. many unruly] Add men, leaving the pair of attributes to go together, as in the Pauline usage, empty talkers and deceivers of the mind. Both compounds occur only here in N.T.; but the substantive, meaning vaniloquentia, has occurred 1 Timothy 1:6, where the meaning is defined in what follows, ‘though they understand neither what they say, nor whereof they confidently affirm;’ and the verb, meaning seducit, is used Galatians 6:3 and defined by the context ‘if a man thinketh himself to be something when he is nothing.’ Peile translates ‘self-deceivers,’ i.e. visionary enthusiasts, comparing Isaiah 44:20 and James 1:26.

specially they of the circumcision] Judaizing Christians. Jews from Crete are named among the visitors to Jerusalem Acts 2:11, and the Christianising of the island cannot have been quite recent, even from Titus 1:6, ‘having faithful children.’

Titus 1:10. Ματαιολόγοι καὶ φρεναπάται, vain-talkers and deceivers) Two nouns, of which the epithet is ἀνυπότακτοι, unruly. As to who are vain-talkers, see 1 Timothy 1:6-7. φρεναπάται, those who deceive men’s minds: ἀνυπότακτοι, unruly; like horses, that hold the bit with their teeth, they are unwilling to submit to the obedience of the faith.

Verse 10. - Unruly men for unruly and, A.V. and T.R. Unruly (ἀνυπότακτοι); see ver. 6. Vain talkers (ματαιολόγοι); only here in the New Testament, not found in the LXX., and rare in classical Greek (see ματαιολογία, 1 Timothy 1:6). Κενολόγος and κενολογία are used in the same sense of "vain, empty, talking." Deceivers - (φρεναπάται); here only in the New Testament, not found in the LXX. or in classical Greek - literally, soul-deceivers, or, as some take St, self-deceivers (compare φρεναπατάω, Galatians 6:3, and for the sense James 1:26; but in both these instances the idea of self-deceiving is imported by the context, ἑαυτὸν and καρδίαν αὐτοῦ). Here the word means "deceivers," whoso character is described in 2 Peter 2:14 as "beguiling unstable souls." They of the circumcision; Judaizing Christians, the most obstinate and difficult adversaries with whom St. Paul had to cope (see Galatians passim; Philippians 3:2, 3, etc.). Titus 1:10Vain talkers (ματαιολόγοι)

N.T.o. olxx, oClass. See on vain jangling, 1 Timothy 1:6.

Deceivers (φρεναπάται)

N.T.o. olxx, oClass. See on φρεναπατᾶν to deceive, Galatians 6:3.

They of the circumcision (οἱ ἐκ τῆς περιτομῆς)

The phrase only here in Pastorals. Ὁι ἐκ περιτομῆς Acts 10:45; Acts 11:2; Romans 4:12; Galatians 2:12; Colossians 4:11. There can be no doubt of the presence of Jews in Crete. Tacitus (Hist. v. 2) even makes the absurd statement that the Jews were Cretan exiles; and that from their residence in the vicinity of the Cretan Mount Ida they were called Idaei, whence Judaei. There appears to have been some confusion between the Palestinians and the Philistines - the Cherethim or Cherethites, who, in Ezekiel 25:16; Zephaniah 2:5 are called in lxx Κρῆτες Jews were in the island in considerable numbers between the death of Alexander and the final destruction of Jerusalem. In 1 Macc. 15:23 the Cretan city of Gortyna is mentioned among the places to which letters were written by Lucius, the Roman consul, on behalf of the Jews when Simon Maccabaeus renewed the treaty which his brother Judas had made with Rome. Josephus (Ant. 17:12, 1; Bell. Jude 2:7, 1) says that Herod's pseudo-son Alexander imposed on the Cretan Jews on his way to Italy. Philo (Leg. ad Cai. 36) makes the Jewish envoys say to Caligula that all the principal islands of the Mediterranean, including Crete, were full of Jews.

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