Titus 1:6
If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
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(6) If any be blameless.—The candidate for the holy office must have naught laid to his charge; he must be of such a character that no one could bring a reasonable accusation against him. Blameless must be his life, spotless his name. As it has been well said, “the office of presbyter must never be allowed to cover or condone damaged reputations.”

The husband of one wife.—See Notes on 1Timothy 3:2.

Having faithful children.—Better, believing children. In searching out these presbyters, whose charge would involve so many and such responsible duties, Titus must look for men of ripe age. There were even grave objections to the appointment of the comparatively young to this office. We have seen how anxious St. Paul was for Timothy, his well-known and trusted friend, on account of his want of years. Timothy must have been at least approaching forty years of age when St. Paul warned him so earnestly of his behaviour and his life, “Let no man despise thy youth.” These presiding Cretan elders should be married men, with children already, so to speak, grown up.

These requirements evidently show that Christianity had been established in Crete for a very considerable period. We must remember some thirty-three years had passed since that memorable Pentecost feast of Jerusalem, when “Cretes” were among the hearers of those marvellous utterances of the Spirit. Besides the children of the candidates for the presbyter’s office being professing Christians, they must also be free from all suspicion of profligacy.

Not accused of riot.—More accurately rendered, dissoluteness. The Greek word here rendered “riot” implies a self-indulgent or even a reckless expenditure. Such careless selfishness well-nigh always ends in profligacy. In the case of men whose duties included the superintendence of the Church’s funds, it was imperatively necessary that their homes and families should be free from all suspicion of anything like that reckless waste or extravagance which in so many cases imperceptibly passes into dissoluteness and profligacy.

Or unruly.—That is, disobedient to their parents. If the presbyter was incapable of teaching his own children obedience and order, what hope was there that his influence would be of any value with his flock? All these early instructions to the master-builders whose task it was to lay the early storeys of the Christian Temple are very decisive as to the state of St. Paul’s mind; and we must not forget whence St. Paul directly drew his wisdom. The Apostles of the Lord never seem to have thought of the Christian priesthood of the future developing into a caste or order. Anything more diametrically opposed to the mediæval notion of church government than the Pastoral Epistles can hardly be imagined. The writer of the Epistles to Timothy and to Titus never dreamed of building up a priestly order with views, thoughts, hopes, and joys differing from those of the ordinary worker of the world. St. Paul’s presbyters were to be chosen, among other qualities, for the white and blameless lives of their families. The presbyter’s home in Crete and Ephesus must supply a fair pattern for the many other Christian homes in that luxurious, dissolute age in which Titus lived.

Titus 1:6-9. If any be blameless — As to his conduct, shunning the appearance of evil, and walking in all the ordinances and commandments of God; the husband of one wife — See on 1 Timothy 3:2; having faithful, or believing children — As τεκνα πιστα may be properly rendered; that is, not infidels, but such as embrace the Christian faith; not accused of riot Ασωτιαστυ of luxury, or intemperance; or unruly Ανυποτακτα, refractory or disobedient. The apostle required that the children of the person who was to be ordained an elder should be believers in Christ, and of a sober, exemplary behaviour, because the infidelity and vices of children never fail to reflect some blame on their parents. And the children of ministers ought certainly, from that consideration, as well as in order to the salvation of their own souls, carefully to avoid every irregularity, and even impropriety of conduct. For a bishop — Or elder, as he is called, Titus 1:5; must be blameless — In order to his being useful; as the steward of God — One intrusted by God with the care of immortal souls, and with the dispensation of the mysteries of the gospel; not self- willed Αυθαδη, literally, pleasing himself; but all men for their good to edification; not soon angry — Or easily provoked: as οργιλον means; not given to wine, &c. — See on 1 Timothy 3:2-7; sober — Or prudent: as σωφρονα may be properly rendered. It implies, especially, the proper government of our angry passions; so that on all occasions we behave with prudence; temperate — In the use of every sensual pleasure; one who has so the command of himself that he keeps all his appetites under due restraint. Holding fast the faithful word — That is, the word of the truth of the gospel. There is a great beauty, says Macknight, in the word αντεχομενον, as here used. It signifies the holding fast the true doctrine, in opposition to those who would wrest it from us; as he hath been taughtΚατα την διδαχην, according to the teaching, namely, of the apostles; that by sound, or salutary doctrine, he may be able both to exhort — Believers to zeal and diligence in the performance of their duty; and to convince gainsayers — Those that oppose the truth, of their errors and sins.

1:5-9 The character and qualification of pastors, here called elders and bishops, agree with what the apostle wrote to Timothy. Being such bishops and overseers of the flock, to be examples to them, and God's stewards to take care of the affairs of his household, there is great reason that they should be blameless. What they are not to be, is plainly shown, as well as what they are to be, as servants of Christ, and able ministers of the letter and practice of the gospel. And here are described the spirit and practice becoming such as should be examples of good works.If any be blameless, the husband of one wife - See the notes at 1 Timothy 3:2.

Having faithful children - See the notes at 1 Timothy 3:4-5. That is, having a family well-governed, and well-trained in religion. The word here - πιστὰ pista - applied to the children, and rendered faithful, does not necessarily mean that they should be truly pious, but it is descriptive of those who had been well-trained, and were in due subordination. If a man's family were not of his character - if his children were insubordinate, and opposed to religion - if they were decided infidels or scoffers, it would show that there was such a deficiency in the head of the family that he could not be safely entrusted with the government of the church; compare the notes at 1 Timothy 3:5. It is probably true, also, that the preachers at that time would be selected, as far as practicable, from those whose families were all Christians. There might be great impropriety in placing a man over a church, a part of whose family were Jews or heathens.

Not accused of riot - That is, whose children were not accused of riot. This explains what is meant by faithful. The word rendered "riot" - ἀσωτία asōtia - is translated excess in Ephesians 5:18, and riot in Titus 1:6; 1 Peter 4:4. It does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament, though the word riotous is found in Luke 15:13; see it explained in the notes at Ephesians 5:18. The meaning here is, that they should not be justly accused of this; this should not be their character. It would, doubtless, be a good reason now why a man should not be ordained to the ministry that he had a dissipated and disorderly family.

Or unruly - Insubordinate; ungoverned; see the notes, 1 Timothy 1:9; Luke 3:4.

6. (Compare Notes, see on [2517]1Ti 3:2-4.) 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" [Wahl]).

unruly—insubordinate; opposed to "in subjection" (1Ti 3:4).

If any be blameless: the apostle now directs what kind of persons should be made elders or officers in the church. It is an elliptic speech, where must be something understood to perfect the sense. Do not make every one an elder, but if any be anegklhtov, see the notes on 1 Timothy 3:10, such a one, as though possibly he may be clamoured on by ill men, yet cannot be justly charged with or accused of any notorious crime.

The husband of one wife; one that doth not take the sinful liberty, taken by the Jews and heathens, (but contrary to the rule of Christ), to have at the same time more than one wife: see the notes on 1 Timothy 3:2.

Having faithful children; having also a religious family, children that are believers, or at least honest in a moral sense (so then ministers in those days might marry).

Not accused of riot; the Greek is, under an accusation of aswtiav, we translate it by a general word, riot, and undoubtedly our English words, sots and sottishness, comes from this word. The word signifieth any kind of luxury, drunkenness, whoredom, prodigality.

Unruly; sons of Belial, ungoverned, disorderly persons, like soldiers that will not keep their ranks, or rather, like cattle untamed, that will not endure any yoke.

Objection. But why must none be put into the ministry that have such children? The fathers may be good men, though the children be bad.


1. Because the honour and repute of the church is more to be regarded than the interest of any private person.

2. Because it is an ill sign that the parents of such children have not ruled their own houses well, keeping their children in all subjection and gravity under authority, and are therefore very unfit to rule the greater society of a church.

If any be blameless,.... In his outward life and conversation, not chargeable with any notorious crime; See Gill on 1 Timothy 3:2,

the husband of one wife; See Gill on 1 Timothy 3:2,

having faithful children; legitimate ones, born in lawful wedlock, in the same sense as such are called godly and holy, in Malachi 2:15 1 Corinthians 7:14 for by faithful children cannot be meant converted ones, or true believers in Christ; for it is not in the power of men to make their children such; and their not being so can never be an objection to their being elders, if otherwise qualified; at most the phrase can only intend, that they should be brought up in the faith, in the principles, doctrines, and ways of Christianity, or in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Not accused of riot; or chargeable with sins of uncleanness and intemperance, with rioting and drunkenness, chambering and wantonness; or with such crimes as Eli's sons were guilty of, from which they were not restrained by their father, and therefore the priesthood was removed from the family: "or unruly" not subject, but disobedient to their parents; See Gill on 1 Timothy 3:4. See Gill on 1 Timothy 3:5.

If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or {g} unruly.

(g) This word is used of horses and oxen, who will not tolerate the yoke.

Titus 1:6. Εἴ τις ἐστίν] This form is not, as Heinrichs and Heydenreich think, selected to express a doubt whether such men could be found among the corrupt Cretans. The meaning is rather: “only such an one as.”

ἀνέγκλητος] see 1 Timothy 3:10; ἀνεπίληπτος is used in 1 Timothy 3:2. The objection which de Wette raises on the ground that Titus is in the first place to have regard to external blamelessness, has been proved by Wiesinger to have no foundation whatever.

μιᾶς γυν. ἀνήρ] see 1 Timothy 3:2.

τέκνα ἔχων πιστά] comp. 1 Timothy 3:4-5; πιστά, in contrast to those that were not Christian, or were Christian only in name.

μὴ ἐν κατηγορίᾳ ἀσωτίας] “qui non sunt obnoxii crimini luxus” (Wolf); ἀσωτία is a debauched, sensual mode of life (1 Peter 4:4; Ephesians 5:18). Chrysostom: οὐκ εἶπε μὴ ἁπλῶς ἄσωτος, ἀλλὰ μηδὲ διαβολὴν ἔχειν τοιαύτην, μηδὲ πονηρᾶς εἶναι δόξης.

ἢ ἀνυπότακτα] see 1 Timothy 3:5. Comp. the picture of the sons of Eli in 1 Samuel 2:12 ff. As the bishop is to be an example to the church, his own house must be well conducted.

Titus 1:6. ἀνέγκλητος: See notes on 1 Timothy 3:2; 1 Timothy 3:10.

μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἀνήρ: See on 1 Timothy 3:2.

τέκνα πιστά: It must be supposed that a Christian father who has unbelieving children is himself a recent convert, or a very careless Christian. The fact that St. Paul did not think it necessary to warn Timothy that such men were not eligible for the presbyterate is a proof that Christianity was at this time more firmly established in Ephesus than in Crete.

μὴ ἐν κατηγορίᾳ ἀσωτίας ἤ ἀνυπότακτα: It is significant that the moral requirements of the pastor’s children are more mildly expressed in 1 Timothy 3:4-5; 1 Timothy 3:12. There it is the father’s power to keep order in his own house that is emphasised; here the submission of the children to discipline and restraint.

6. if any be blameless, the husband of one wife] ‘Blameless’; the word has occurred 1 Timothy 3:10, to the same effect as ‘without reproach’ in 1 Timothy 3:2, that word describing a character ‘such as cannot be laid hold of,’ this denoting a life ‘such as cannot be called in question,’ Vulg. ‘sine crimine.’ For the importance of this primary qualification see note on 1 Timothy 5:7. It fits exactly with the next, ‘husband of one wife.’ This also was what the ordinands were to be before they were appointed presbyters; hence ‘husband of one wife’ refers to the prevalent polygamy, and has nothing to do with prohibition of a second marriage after ordination. We see in this here as elsewhere in the Pastoral Epistles (see note on 1 Timothy 3:2) ‘a solemn demand for purity and blamelessness in the marriage relation amid widespread concubinage and licence.’ Dr Reynolds, Expositor, Vol. viii. p. 74. Technically, ‘not a bigamist.’

having faithful children] ‘Faithful’ is ambiguous, implying either ‘trustworthy’ or ‘believing’; no doubt the latter is intended; the presbyter’s household must not be one where the influence and teaching have been such that the children have still remained heathen; nor yet one where ‘faith’ and ‘duty’ have been severed; for they must also be neither chargeable with riotous living nor unruly, but living ‘in temperance, soberness and chastity,’ and submitting themselves ‘to all that are put in authority.’ ‘Riotous living’ is perhaps better than R.V. ‘riot’ (which is also substituted for the A.V. rendering of the same word ‘excess’ in Ephesians 5:18), as recalling the typical instance of the character in the ‘Prodigal Son,’ Luke 15:13. ‘The prodigal is one who cannot save or spare, to use Spenser’s word, ‘scatterling.’ The word forms part of Aristotle’s ethical terminology, the truly liberal man being one who keeps the golden mean between the two extremes, prodigality on one side and stinginess on the other.’ Trench, N.T. Syn. § 16.

Titus 1:6. Πιστὰ, faithful) For he who could not bring his children to the faith, how shall he bring others?—ἀσωτίας, of luxury, of riot) which would be wrongfully supported at the expense of the church.

Verse 6. - Any man is for any be, A.V.; children that believe for faithful children, A.V.; who are not for not, A.V. Blameless (ἀνέγκλητος); see 1 Timothy 3:10, note. The husband of one wife (see 1 Timothy 3:2, note). Having children that believe (see 1 Timothy 3:4). Mark the importance given to the "elder's" family as well as to his personal character. Not accused (μὴ ἐν κατηγορίᾳ κ.τ.λ..); literally, not under an accusation (see 1 Timothy 5:19). Riot (ἀσωτίας); see Ephesians 5:18; 1 Peter 4:4; Luke 15:13. Used in Plato and Aristotle for "debauchery" or "profligacy," with the kindred words ἄσωτος ἀσωτεύομαι, etc. Unruly (ἀνυπότακτα); ver. 10 and 1 Timothy 1:9, note (comp. 1 Timothy 3:4, where the children are required to be ἀν ὑποταγῇ, "under rule," in subjection). Titus 1:6Faithful children (τέκνα πιστά)

Better, believing children; or, as Rev., children that believe. Comp. 1 Timothy 3:4.

Not accused of riot (μὴ ἐν κατηγορίᾳ ἀσωτίας)

Lit. not in accusation of profligacy. For κατηγορία see on 1 Timothy 5:19. Ἁσωτία, lit. unsavingness; hence, dissoluteness, profligacy. Comp. Luke 15:13, of the prodigal son, who lived unsavingly (ἀσώτως). Only here, Ephesians 5:18, and 1 Peter 4:4 (note).

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