Titus 1:4
To Titus, my own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) To Titus.—We know comparatively little of Titus’ earlier career. In the Acts he, singularly enough, is never mentioned; for what knowledge of him we possess we are entirely dependent upon a few casual allusions to him in the Epistles. This presbyter, in charge of the Cretan Church, was a Greek, the son of Gentile parents, and uncircumcised. It has been suggested, but upon very slight grounds, that his family was resident at Antioch in Syria. He owed his conversion to Christianity to St. Paul, with whom ever after he seems to have been connected by ties of intimate friendship, though he was by no means the Apostle’s constant companion, as was Timothy, or Silas, or Luke. He was with St. Paul and Barnabas when they went up together to Jerusalem to plead for Gentile liberty but in no other of the journeys of St. Paul is he directly mentioned as one of the companions of the Apostle. Only during the Apostle’s long residence at Ephesus (nearly three years) Titus appears to have been, for at least part of the time, closely associated with St. Paul, and his confidant in his complicated relations with foreign churches. It is clear that during this long Ephesian residence he was drawn into close and intimate friendship with St. Paul, who then had opportunity of becoming acquainted with Titus’ varied powers and evident skill in administration and in dealing with men and women.

From the several casual notices in the Second Corinthian Epistle, we gather considerable insight into the character and powers of the Gentile convert. The Church of Corinth was perhaps the largest and most wealthy of all the churches founded by St. Paul. It was soon, however, rent asunder by party divisions, and was ever distracted and disturbed by moral disorders among its members. Yet, in spite of this, the great Greek congregation of believers was full of life and zeal and earnestness, ready evidently to make the greatest sacrifices for its Master’s cause. Delegated apparently by St. Paul to restore order and to introduce a severer discipline in this great and turbulent Christian centre—the example for good or for evil to so many smaller and less important churches—Titus seems to have fulfilled with rare tact, and with admirable prudence and wisdom, his difficult mission. Amongst other works, he apparently completed the collection St. Paul had set on foot in the various Gentile churches for the poor Jewish Christians at Jerusalem. His services, assisting materially to bring this famous work of charity to a successful issue, seem not to have been the least among his titles to St. Paul’s friendship and high esteem. The great importance and difficult nature of this collection for the poor saints at Jerusalem are little understood or thought of now. Three weighty points connected with it deserve mention, as Titus’ special task it probably was to complete and bring it to a successful issue. (1) It seems to have been the first public relief fund ever collected to help a foreign and a strange race—the first of a long line of gallant acts of self-sacrifice men have made for men for Christ’s sake; but when Titus, at St. Paul’s bidding, took charge of it, it was a thing unheard of in the Pagan world. Hence the many obstacles which appear to have cropped up so perpetually during the collection. (2) It was the right hand of fellowship offered by Gentile to Jew. It was the welding together, by an unprecedented act of kindness, of the two opposing and hostile elements of Christendom into one Church. (3) It was the silent yet eloquent protest of St. Paul and his school against the attempted communism of the Church of the very first days—that fatal misunderstanding of some of the Master’s words which had brought ruin and poverty on the Jerusalem Christians. Titus acted as St. Paul’s commissioner in the matter—which he evidently successfully completed. We know nothing of his work and employment from this period, A.D. 57, until the date of this Epistle, A.D. 65-66, early Christian history being silent respecting him. In these nine years of restless activity and burning zeal on the part of the Christian leaders, Titus, no doubt, did his part without falling short of his early promise; as we find him again, in the last years of his old master, occupying in the Christian community a post so high and responsible as that of chief presbyter of the churches of the wealthy and populous island of Crete.

Mine own son.—Alluding, no doubt, to the relation between them in religion. St. Paul converted Titus to the faith, and ever after Titus stood to St. Paul in the position of a son in the faith, without being to him what Timothy was for so long a time—his constant companion. Titus still evidently (see preceding Note) filled with St. Paul the position of one of his most trusty disciples, of one who knew the inmost thoughts of his master. The tone of the Epistle to Titus is somewhat different from St. Paul’s Letter to Timothy. There was evidently a greater intimacy between St. Paul and Timothy than between the Apostle and Titus.

Grace, mercy, and peace . . .—Many of the older authorities omit “mercy.” (See Notes on 1Timothy 1:2.)

Our Saviour.—This expression is a rare one. We find it only in these Pastoral Letters. (See Note above on St. Paul’s using it also of the “Father.”)

1:1-4 All are the servants of God who are not slaves of sin and Satan. All gospel truth is according to godliness, teaching the fear of God. The intent of the gospel is to raise up hope as well as faith; to take off the mind and heart from the world, and to raise them to heaven and the things above. How excellent then is the gospel, which was the matter of Divine promise so early, and what thanks are due for our privileges! Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God; and whoso is appointed and called, must preach the word. Grace is the free favour of God, and acceptance with him. Mercy, the fruits of the favour, in the pardon of sin, and freedom from all miseries both here and hereafter. And peace is the effect and fruit of mercy. Peace with God through Christ who is our Peace, and with the creatures and ourselves. Grace is the fountain of all blessings. Mercy, and peace, and all good, spring out of this.To Titus - See the Introduction, Section 1.

Mine own son - Notes, 1 Timothy 1:2.

After the common faith - The faith of all Christians; - equivalent to saying "my son in the gospel." That is, Paul had been the means of converting him by preaching that gospel which was received by all who were Christians.

Grace, mercy, and peace ... - See the notes at Romans 1:7.

4. Titus, mine own son—Greek, "my genuine child" (1Ti 1:2), that is, converted by my instrumentality (1Co 4:17; Phm 10).

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 Gentile (2Pe 1:1; Jude 3).

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 [2515]1Ti 1:2; [2516]2Ti 1:2). There are many similarities of phrase in the Pastoral Epistles.

the Lord Jesus Christ—The oldest manuscripts read only "Christ Jesus."

our Saviour—found thus added to "Christ" only in Paul's Pastoral Epistles, and in 2Pe 1:1, 11; 2:20; 3:18.

Mine own son after the common faith; from hence we learn that Titus was converted to Christianity by Paul. Timothy was so called, 1 Timothy 1:2. The salutation is the same with that to Timothy, 1 Timothy 1:2 2 Timothy 1:2, and in most of the Epistles, with small variation: See Poole on "1 Timothy 1:2", See Poole on "2 Timothy 1:2", and in the beginning of most of the Epistles. To Titus, mine own son after the common faith,.... Not in a natural, but in a spiritual sense; the apostle being the instrument of his conversion, as he was of the conversion of Onesimus, and of many of the Corinthians, and therefore is said to beget them, Plm 1:10 and so was their spiritual father, and they his children: Titus was, in this sense, his "own son", or a true son, a legitimate one; a true convert; one really born again; a sincere believer, an Israelite indeed: and this he was "after the common faith"; either the doctrine of faith, which is but one, and is common to all the saints; or the grace of faith, which though different in degrees, yet is alike precious faith in all; the same for nature, kind, object, operation, and effects: and this phrase is used to show in what sense Titus was son to the apostle; as he was a believer, and no otherwise.

Grace, mercy, and peace, &c. which is the apostle's usual salutation; see 1 Timothy 1:2. The word "mercy" is left out in the Claromontane copy, and in the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions.

{4} To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: {5} Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.

(4) The apostle exhorts the Cretians to hear Titus, by setting forth his consent and agreement with them in the faith, and in addition shows by what special note we may distinguish true ministers from false.

(5) There is but one way of salvation, common both to the pastor and the flock.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Titus 1:4. Τίτῳ γνησίῳ τέκνῳ κατὰ κοινὴν πίστιν] On γνησίῳ τέκνῳ, see 1 Timothy 1:2. Κατὰ κοινὴν πίστιν gives the point of view from which Titus can be considered the genuine son of the apostle. Beza: i.e. fidei respectu quae quidem et Paulo patri et Tito filio communis erat. There is nothing to indicate that in using κοινήν Paul was thinking of an original difference between them, he being a Jewish Christian, Titus a Gentile Christian.

χάρις [ἔλεος], εἰρήνη κ.τ.λ.] see on 1 Timothy 1:2.

The designation appended to Χριστοῦ, viz. τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν, is peculiar to this epistle.Titus 1:4. γνησίῳ τέκνῳ: See note on 1 Timothy 1:2.

κατὰ κοινὴν πίστιν, like ἐν πίστει in 1 Timothy 1:2, qualifies τέκνῳ, but is less ambiguous than ἐν πίστει. It must not be restricted to a faith shared only by St. Paul and Titus; but, like the κοινὴ σωτηρία (Judges 1:3), it is common to all Christians who “have obtained a like precious faith with us” (2 Peter 1:1).

χάρις κ.τ.λ.: See on 1 Timothy 1:2.

σωτῆρος: for the more usual κυρίου, 1 Timothy 1:2, 2 Timothy 1:2. The Father and the Son are here co-ordinated as Saviours.4. to Titus, mine own son] With R.V. render my true child, as in 1 Timothy 1:2, where the force of the phrase is drawn out. On the connexion of Titus with St Paul see Introduction, p. 67 sqq.

after the common faith] The insertion of ‘the’ implies ‘the faith common to the Church, to believers generally’: as the words stand without an article, it is rather the faith common to St Paul and Titus, in a common faith, or ‘in communion of faith;’ see note on 1 Timothy 1:2.

Grace, mercy, and peace] The mss. authority is against the insertion of ‘mercy’ here, though occurring in the salutation of both the letters to his other ‘true child’ Timothy. If the reason for the insertion in Timothy’s case suggested on 1 Timothy 1:2 be true, its absence is appropriate here in the case of Titus. Though true son and trusted colleague, he had not been, like Timothy, the constant companion and the alter ego of one who, while ‘fain to serve the best,’ was ever ‘conscious most of wrong within.’

from God the Father] The later form in these Epistles for ‘our Father,’ cf. 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2.

For the sense of the ‘Father’ see Bp Westcott, add. note on 1 John 1:2. ‘St John does not use the Pauline phrase “our Father” in his own writings; in the Epistles he uses uniformly the absolute title “the Father” without any addition; and in the Apocalypse “his (my) Father” but not “the Father.” “The Father” suggests those thoughts which spring from the consideration of the moral connexion of God and man in virtue of the creation of man “in the image of God”; “my Father” points to those which spring from the revelation of the connexion of the Incarnate Son with God and with man, “the Son of God,” “the Christ.” In his latest writings S. John regards the relation of the Divine Fatherhood in its eternal, that is, in its present realisation—“the Father” from its absolute side.’

and the Lord Jesus Christ] This fullest and most emphatic title, according to the true text, occurs only in 1 Timothy 6:3 (note there and on 1 Timothy 1:1) and 1 Timothy 6:14. Read here, Christ Jesus.

our Saviour] See note on 1 Timothy 1:1 for this title given to Christ in the Pastoral Letters and in St Peter. It occurs not seldom in the Prayer Book, though much less often than ‘Jesus Christ our Lord’; e.g. in the 2nd and 3rd Collects for Evening Prayer, Collect for 2nd S. in Advent, Septuagesima, Easter Even, Prayer of Consecration, &c.Titus 1:4. Κοινὴν, common) Otherwise Titus, who was born of Gentile parents, would fall short of 1Verse 4. - My true child for mine own son, A.V.; a common for the common, A.V.; grace and peace for grace, mercy, and peace, A.V. and T.R.; Christ Jesus for the Lord Jesus Christ, A.V. and T.R. My true child (γνησίῳ τέκνῳ: 1 Timothy 1:2) after a common faith (κατὰ κινὴν πίστιν). In 1 Timothy 1:2 it is ἐν πίστει (where see note). Beyond all doubt, Alford is right in both cases in rendering "the faith" (see his note on 1 Timothy 1:2). The "common faith" means the faith of all God's elect. Grace and peace. So the R.T., omitting ἔλεος, mercy, which is found in 1 Timothy 1:2 and 2 Timothy 1:2. But the manuscripts vary, and the critics are divided as to whether ἔλεος ought to be retained here or not. Own (γνησίῳ)

See on 1 Timothy 1:2.

According to the common faith (κατὰ κοινὴν πίστιν)

The phrase N.T.o. Κοινός common, usually in contrast with καθαρός pure or ἅγιος holy, as Acts 10:14; Acts 11:8; Revelation 21:27. In the sense of general as here, Acts 2:44; Acts 4:32; Jde 1:3. Comp. 2 Peter 1:1. The "catholic" faith. Κατὰ according to, as Titus 1:1.

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