Titus 2:13
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
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(13) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing.—The Greek should here be rendered, looking for the blessed hope and manifestation of the glory. And that holy life, just urged on the believer, of quiet self-restraint, of love to others, of piety towards God, must be lit up by a blessed hope, by a hope which is far more than a hope; that holy life of the faithful must be a continued waiting for a blessed hope—“the hope laid up for us in heaven” (Colossians 1:5). It may be asked, What is this hope? We answer, it is “the hope of glory” which we shall share with the Son of God, when we behold Him as He is. So for us the hope of glory is intimately bound up with the second coming of the Lord. Then the life of the lover of the Lord must be one continued looking for, waiting for, the coming of the Lord in glory—must be a looking for that hour when we shall see in all His divine majesty, Him who redeemed us. In that life and light, in that majesty and glory, His own will share.

Of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.—The translation here should run, of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. From the English version, it would seem that Paul’s idea was that the Christian should live waiting for the glorious appearing of the great God, accompanied with our Lord Jesus Christ. The rendering we have adopted, on what seems conclusive grounds, speaks of a Christian life, as a life ever looking for the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

In this sublime passage the glory of the only begotten Son alone finds mention. Taken thus, it is a studied declaration of the divinity of the Eternal Son, who is here styled “our great God and Saviour.” Reasoning merely on grammatical principles, either translation would be possible, only even then there is a presumption in favour of the translation we have adopted. (See Ellicott’s Note on this verse.) But other considerations are by no means so nearly equally balanced. The word “manifestation” (epiphany), the central thought of the sentence, is employed by St. Paul in his Epistles five times, and in every one of them to describe the manifestation of Christ, and in four of them to designate the future manifestation of His coming in glory, as here. The term epiphany is never applied to the Father.

Again, the whole of the context of the passage specially relates to the “Son of God.” The introduction of the epiphany “of the Father” would be a thought not merely strange to the whole New Testament, but would bring quite a new idea into this statement, which sets forth so sublimely the epiphany of Christ as the ground of the Christian’s hope—an idea, too, no sooner suggested than dropped, for the passage goes on to speak only of the Son. Perhaps, however, the weightiest argument that can be adduced is the consensus of the Greek orthodox fathers, who, with scarcely an exception, concur in the interpretation which understands the expression “of our great God” as used of Jesus Christ. To select two examples out of the long chain of fathers reaching from the apostolic age who have thus understood this text: “St. Paul here calls Christ the great God, and thus rebukes the heretical blasphemy which denies His Godhead” (Theodoret). “What can those persons say,” asks Chrysostom, referring to this passage, “who allege that the Son is inferior to the Father?” (See Wordsworth’s Note here.)



Titus 2:13.

THERE are two appearances spoken of in this context - the appearance of ‘the grace of God that bringeth salvation’; and parallel with that, though at the same time contrasted with it, as being in very important senses one in nature and principle, though diverse in purpose and diverse in manner, is what the Apostle here calls ‘the glorious appearing of the great God.’

The antithesis of contrast and of parallel is still more striking in the original than in our version, where our translators have adopted a method of rendering of which they are very fond, and which very often obscures the full meaning of the text. Paul wrote, ‘Looking for that blessed [or ‘happy’] hope, even the appearing of the glory of the great God and our Saviour,’ where you see he contrasts, even more sharply than our Bible makes him do, the past appearance of the grace, and the future appearance of the glory.

Then, further, this appearance of the glory; however bright with the terrible beauty and flashing lustre of divine majesty it may be, seems to the Apostle to be infinitely desirable, and becomes to him a happy hope. The reality, when it comes, will be pure joy. The irradiation of its approach shines from afar on his brightening face, and lightens his heart with a hope which is a prophetic joy. And the attitude of the Christian soul towards it is to be that of glad expectation, watching the dawning east and ready to salute the sun. And yet further, this attitude of happy expectation of the glory is one chief object to be attained by the grace that has appeared. It came ‘teaching,’ or rather {as the word more accurately means} ‘disciplining, that we should live looking for that happy hope.’

So, then, we have here for our consideration three points embodied in these words - The grace of God has appeared, the glory of God is to appear; the appearance of the glory is a blessed hope; the disciplining of the grace prepares us for the expectation of the glory.

I. First, then, take that thought - The appearance of the grace leads to the appearance of the glory.

The identity of the form of expression in the two clauses is intended to suggest the likeness of and the connection between the two appearances. In both there is a visible manifestation of God, and the latter rests upon the former, and completes and crowns it.

But the difference between the two is as strongly marked as the analogy; and it is not difficult to grasp distinctly the difference which the Apostle intends. While both are manifestations of the divine character in exercise, the specific phase {so to speak} of that character which appears is in one ease ‘grace,’ and in the other ‘glory.’ If one might venture on any illustration in regard to such a subject, it is as when the pure white light is sent through glass of different colours, and at one moment beams mild through refreshing green, and at the next flames in fiery red that warns of danger.

The two words which are pitted against each other here have each a very wide range of meaning. But, as employed in this place, their antithetical force is clear enough. ‘Grace’ is active love, exercised towards. inferiors, and towards those who deserve something else. So the grace of God is the active energy of His love, which stoops from the throne to move among men, and departing from the strict ground of justice and retribution, deals with us not according to our sins, nor rewards us according to our iniquities!

And then the contrasted word ‘glory’ has not only a very wide meaning, but also a definite and specific force, which the very antithesis suggests. The ‘glory of God,’ I believe, in one very important sense, is His ‘grace.’ The highest glory of God is the exhibition of forgiving and long-suffering love. Nothing can be grander. Nothing can be more majestic. Nothing, in the very profoundest sense of the word, can be more truly divine - more lustrous with all the beams of manifest deity, than the gentle raying forth of His mercy and His goodness.

But then, while that is the profoundest thought of the glory of God, there is another truth to be taken in conjunction with it. The phrase has, in scripture, a well marked and distinct sense, which may be illustrated from the Old Testament, where it generally means not so much the total impression of majesty and · power made upon men by the whole revealed divine character, but rather the visible light which shone between the cherubim and proclaimed the present God. Connected with this more limited sense is the wider one of that which the material light above the mercy-seat symbolised - and which we have no better words to describe than to call it the ineffable and inaccessible brightness of that awful Name. The contrast between the two will be suggested by a passage to which I may refer. The ancient lawgiver said, ‘I beseech thee show me thy glory.’ The answer was ‘I will make all my goodness pass before thee.’ The eye of man is incapable of apprehending the uncreated divine lustrousness and splendour of light, but capable of receiving some dim and partial apprehensions of the goodness, not indeed in its fulness, but in its consequences. And that goodness, though it be the brightest of ‘the glories that compose His Name,’ is not the only possible, nor the only actual manifestation of the glory of God. The prayer was unfulfilled when offered; for to answer it, as is possible for earth, would have been to antedate the slow evolution of the counsels of God. But answered it will be, and that on this globe. ‘Every eye shall see Him.’

The grace has appeared, when Divine Love is incarnate among us. The long-suffering gentleness we have seen. And in it we have seen, in a very real sense, the glory, for ‘we beheld His glory, full of grace.’ But beyond that lies ready to be revealed in the last time the glory, the lustrous light, the majestic splendour, the flaming fire of manifest Divinity.

Again, the two verses thus bracketed together, and brought into sharp contrast, also suggest how like, as well as how unlike, these manifestations are to be.

In both cases there is an appearance, in the strictest sense of the word, that is to say, a thing visible to men’s senses. Can we see the grace of God? We can see the love in exercise, cannot we? How? ‘He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?’ The appearance of Christ was the making visible, in human form, of the love of God.

My brother, the appearance of the glory will be the same - the making visible in human form of the light of throned and sovereign Deity. The one was incarnation; the other will be incarnation. The one was patent to men’s senses - so will the other be. The grace has appeared. The glory is to appear. ‘Why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go.’ An historical fact, a bodily visibility, a manifestation of the divine nature and character in human form upon earth, and living and moving amongst men i As ‘ Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many, ‘so unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.’ The two are strictly parallel. As the grace was visible in action by a Man among men, so the glory will be. What we look for is an actual bodily manifestation in a human form, on the solid earth, of the glory of God.

And then I would notice how emphatically this idea of the glory being all sphered and embodied in the living person of Jesus Christ proclaims His divine nature. It is ‘the appearance of the glory’ - then mark the next words - ‘of the great God and our Saviour.’

I am not going to enter upon the question of the interpretation of these words, which by many very competent authorities have been taken as all referring to Jesus Christ, and as being a singular instance in scripture of the attribution to Him directly, and without any explanation or modification, of the name, ‘the great God!’ I do not think that either grammar or dogma require that interpretation here. But I think that, if we take the words to refer distinctly to the Father and to the Son, the inference as to Christ’s true and proper divinity which comes from. them, so understood, is no less strong than the other interpretation would make it. For, in that case, the same one and indissoluble glory is ascribed to God the Father and to Christ our Lord, and the same act is the appearance of both. The human possesses the divine glory in such reality and fulness as it would be insanity if it were not blasphemy, and blasphemy if it were not absurdity, to predicate of any single man. The words coincide with His own saying, ‘The Son of Man shall come in His glory and of the Father,’ and point us necessarily and inevitably to the wonderful thought that the glory of God is capable of being fully imparted to, possessed by, and revealed through Jesus Christ; that the glory of God is Christ’s glory, and the glory of Christ is God’s. In deep, mysterious, real, eternal Union the Father and the Son, the light and the ray, the fountain and the source, pour themselves out in loving- kindness on the world, and shall flash themselves in splendour at the last, when the Son of Man ‘ shall be manifested in His own glory and of the Father!’

And then I must touch very briefly another remarkable and plain contrast indicated in our text between these two ‘appearings.’ They are not only unlike in the subject {so to speak} or substance of the manifestation, but also in the purpose. The grace comes, patient, gentle, sedulous, labouring for our training and discipline. The glory comes - there is no word of training there! What does the glory come for? The one rises upon a benighted world - lambent and lustrous and gentle, like the slow, silent, climbing of the silvery moon through the darkling sky. But the other blazes out with a leap upon a stormy heaven - ‘as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west,’ writing its fierce message across all the black page of the sky in one instant, ‘so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.’ Like some patient mother, the ‘grace of God’ has moved amongst men, with entreaty, with loving rebuke, with loving chastisement. She has been counsellor and comforter. She has disciplined and fostered with more than maternal wisdom and love. ‘Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.’ But the glory appears for another purpose and in another guise - ‘Who is this that cometh with dyed garments? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art Thou red in thine apparel? I have trodden the winepress alone - for the day of vengeance is in Mine heart, and the year of My redeemed is come.’

II. But we have now to look at the second thought which is involved in these words, and that is, the appearing of the glory is a blessed hope.

The hope is blessed; or as we have already remarked, the word ‘happy’ may perhaps be substituted with advantage. Because it will be full of blessedness when it is a reality, therefore it is full of joy, while it is but a hope.

The characteristics of that future manifestation of glory are not such that its coming is wholly and universally a joy. There is something terrible in the beauty, something menacing in the brightness. But it is worth noticing that, notwithstanding all that gathers about it of terror, all that gathers about it of awful splendour, all that is solemn and heart shaking in the thought of judgment and retribution for the past, the irreversible and irrevocable past, yet to Paul it was the very crown of all his expectations of, and the very shining summit of all his desires for, the future - that Christ should appear.

The primitive Church thought a great deal more about the coming of Jesus Christ than about death - thought a great deal more about His coming than about ‘Heaven.’ To them the future was not so much a time of rest for themselves as the manifestation of their Lord. To them the way of passing out of life was not so much seeing corruption as being caught up together in the air.

And how far the darkness, which our Lord declared to be the divine counsel in regard to that future coming, enwrapped even those who, upon all other points, received the divine inspiration which made and makes them for evermore the infallible teachers and authorities for the Christian Church, is a moot question. If it were certain that the Apostle expected Christ’s coming during his own lifetime, I do not know that we need be troubled at that as if it shook their authority, seeing that almost the last words which Christ spoke to His Apostles were a distinct declaration that He had not to reveal to them, and they were not to know’ the times and the seasons which the Father has put in His own power,’ and seeing that the office of that Holy Spirit, as whose organs Paul and the other writers of the New Testament are our authoritative teachers, is expressly declared to be the bringing all things to their remembrance, whatsoever Christ had revealed. If, then, He expressly excepts from the compass of His revelation this point, it can be no derogation from the completeness of an inspired writer’s authority, if he knows it not.

And if one takes into account the whole of Paul’s words on the subject, they seem to express rather the same double anticipation, which we too have to cherish, desiring and looking, on the one hand, for the Saviour from heaven; desiring on the other hand to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. The numerous places in which Paul speaks of his own decease, sometimes as longed for, sometimes as certain; and, latterly, as near, are inconsistent with the theory that he looked for Christ’s coming as certain in his own lifetime. So, too, are other anticipations which he expresses as to the future course of the Church, and progress of the Gospel in the world. He, like us, would appear to have had before his expectations the alternative. He knew not when the glory might burst upon the world, therefore he was ever standing as one that waits for his Lord. He knew not when he might have to die, therefore he laboured that, ‘whether present or absent, he might be pleasing to Him.’

But that is not the point upon which I want to say · a word. Dear brethren, the hope is a happy one. If we know the grace, we shall not be afraid of the glory.’ If the grace has disciplined in any measure, we may be sure that we shall partake in its perfection They that have seen the face of Christ looking down, as it were, upon them from the midst of the great darkness of the cross, and beneath the crown of thorns, need not be afraid to see the same face looking down upon them from amidst the blaze of the light, and from beneath the many crowns of the kingdoms of the world and the royalties of the heavens. Whosoever hath learnt to love and believe in the manifestation of the grace, he, and he only, can believe and hope for the manifestation of the glory.

And, Christian men and women, whilst thus the one ground upon which that assurance, ‘The Lord cometh,’ can be anything to us except a dread, if it is a belief at all, is the simple reliance upon his past work - let me urge the further consideration upon you and myself, how shamefully all of us neglect and overlook that blessed expectation! We live by hope. God, indeed, is above all hope. To that infinite eye, before which all things that were, and are, and are to come, lie open and manifest, or, rather, are ensphered in His own person and self; to Him, who is the living past, the abiding present, the present future, there is no expectation. The animal creation is below hope. But for us that live on the central level - half-way between a beast and God, if I may so say - for us our lives are tossed about between memory and expectation.

We all of us possess, and most of us prostitute that wonderful gift - of shaping out some conception of the future. And what do we do with it? It might knit us to God, bear us up amid the glories of the abysses of the skies. We use it for making to ourselves pictures of fools’ paradises of present pleasures or of successful earthly joys. The folly of men is not that they live by hope, but that they set their hopes on such things.

‘They build too low

Who build beneath the stars!’

As for every other part of human nature, so for this strange faculty of our being, the gospel points to its true object, and the gospel gives its only consecration.

Dear brethren, is it true of us that into our hearts there steals subtle, impalpable, but quickening as the land breeze laden with the fragrance of flowers to the sailor tossing on the barren sea, a hidden but yet mighty hope of an inheritance with Him - when He shall appear? With eye lifted above and fixed upon the heavens do I look beyond the clouds to the stars? Alas! alas! the world drives that hope out of our hearts It is with us as with the people in some rude country fair and scene of riot, where the booths and the shows and the drinking-places are pitched upon the edge of the common, and one step from the braying of the trumpets brings you into the solemn stillness of the night; and high above the stinking flare of the oil lamps there is the pure light of the stars in the sky, and not one amongst the many clowns that are stumbling about in the midst of sensual dissipation ever looks up to see that calm home that is arched above them! We live for the present, do not we? And there, if only we would lift our eyes, there, even now, is the sign of the Son of Man in the heavens. My friend, it is as much an element of a Christian’s character, and a part of his plain, imperative duty, to look for His appearing as it is to live’ soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world!’

III. Well then, finally, one word about the last consideration here, viz., The grace disciplines us to hope for the glory.

The very idea of discipline involves the notion that it is a preparatory stage, a transient process for a permanent result. It carries with it the idea of immaturity, of apprenticeship, so to speak. If it is discipline, it is discipline for some condition which is not yet reached. And so if the grace of God comes ‘disciplining,’ then there must be something beyond the epoch and era within which the discipline is confined.

And that just runs out into two considerations, upon which I have not time to dwell Take the characteristics of the grace - clearly enough, it is preparing men for something beyond itself. Yield to the discipline and the hope will grow.

Take the characteristics of the grace. Here is a great system, based upon a stupendous and inconceivable act of divine sacrifice, involving a mysterious identification of the whole race of sinful men with the Saviour, embodying the most wonderful love of God, and being the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. Here is a life perfectly innocent, perfectly stainless, brought to the extremity of evil, and having never swerved one inch from the divine commandments, yet dying at last under a consciousness of separation and desertion from God! Here are a cross, a resurrection, an ascension, an omnipotent Spirit, an all-guiding Word, a whole series of powers and agencies brought to bear! Does any man believe that such a wealth of divine energy and resource would he put forth and employed for purposes that break short off when a man is put into his coffin, and that have nothing beyond this world for their field?

Here is a perfect instrument for making men perfect, and what does it do? It makes men so good and leaves them so bad that unless they are to be made still better and perfected, God’s work on the soul is at once an unparalleled success and a confounding failure - a puzzle, in that having done so much it does not do more; in that having done so little it has done so much. The achievements of Christianity upon single souls, and its failures upon those for whom it has done most, when measured against, and compared with, its manifest adaptation to a loftier issue than it has ever reached here on earth, all coincide to say - the grace {because its purpose is discipline, and because its purpose is but partially achieved here on earth} demands a glory, when they whose darkness has been partially made ‘light in the Lord,’ by the discipline of grace, shall ‘blaze forth as the sun’ in the Heavenly Father’s Kingdom of Glory.

Yield to the discipline, and the hope will be strengthened. You will never entertain in any vigour and operative power upon your lives the expectation of that coming of the glory unless you live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.

That discipline submitted to is, if I may so say, like that great apparatus which you find by the side of an astronomer’s biggest telescope, to wheel it upon its centre and to point ‘its tube to the star on which he would look.

So our anticipation and desire, the faculty of expectation which we have, is wont to be directed along the low level of earth, and it needs the pinions and levers of that gracious discipline, making us sober, righteous, godly, in order to heave it upwards, full-front against the sky, that the stars may shine into it.

The speculum, the object-glass, must be polished and cut by many a stroke and much friction ere it will reflect ‘the image of the heavenly’; so grace disciplines us, patiently, slowly, by repeated strokes, by much rubbing, by much pain - disciplines us to live in self-restraint, in righteousness and godliness, and then the cleared eye beholds the heavens, and the purged heart grows towards ‘ the Coming’ as its hope and its life.

Dear brethren, let us not fling away the treasures of our hearts’ desires upon trifles and earth. Let us not set our hopes on that which is not, nor paint that misty wall that rings round our present with evanescent colours like the landscapes of a dream. We may have a hope which is a certainty, as sure as a history, as vivid as a present fact. Let us love and trust Him who has been manifested to save us from our sins, and in whom we behold all the grace and truth of God. If our eyes have learnt to behold and our hearts to love Him whom we have not seen, amid all the bewildering glares and false appearances of the present, our hopes will happily discern Him and be at rest, amid the splendours of that solemn hour when He shall come in His glory to render to every man according to His works.

With that hope the future, near or far, has no fears hidden in its depths. Without it, there is no real anchorage for our trembling hearts, and nothing to hold by when the storm comes. The alternative is before each of us, ‘having no hope,’ or ‘looking for that blessed hope.’ God help us all to believe that Christ has come for me! Then I shall be glad when I think that Christ will come again to receive me unto Himself!

Titus 2:13-14. Looking — With eager desire and lively expectation; for the blessed hope — That is, for the blessedness for which we hope; the grace of hope being here put for the object of it, future and eternal felicity. And the glorious appearing — Very different from his former appearance in a state of poverty, reproach, and suffering; of the great God and our Saviour — The original expression, επιφανειαν της δοξης του μεγαλου Θεου και Σωτηρος ημων, are literally, the appearing, or manifestation, of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: or, of the great God, even our Saviour Jesus Christ. If the words be taken in the former sense, the apostle may be considered as alluding to our Lord’s words, Luke 9:26, where the Lord Jesus is spoken of as coming in his own glory and in his Father’s, and of his holy angels; and, (Matthew 16:27,) the Son of man shall come in the glory of the Father with his angels. Beza, however, is of opinion, that one person only is spoken of, namely, Jesus Christ, to whom he thinks the title of the great God is given in this verse; and with him Whitby agrees, both because the article is wanting before Σωτηρος, Saviour, and because, as God the Father is not said properly to appear, so the word επιφανεια, appearing, never occurs in the New Testament but when it is applied to Jesus Christ. But to this Macknight answers, “1st, That the article wanting before Saviour may be supplied, as our translators have done here before επιφανεια, appearing, and elsewhere, particularly Ephesians 5:5, In the kingdom, του Χριστου και Θεου, of Christ and of God. and, 2d, That the apostle does not speak of the appearing of the Father, but of the appearing of the glory of the Father; agreeably to what Christ himself declared, that at his return to judgment he will appear surrounded with the glory of his Father.” Whitby, however, as an additional reason for thinking that Christ is only spoken of, observes, that “not only all the ancient commentators on the place do so interpret this text, but the Ante-Nicene Fathers also; Hippolytus speaking of the appearance of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ, and Clemens of Alexandria proving Christ to be both God and man, our Creator, and the Author of all our good things, from these very words of St. Paul.” Who gave himself for us — Namely, to die in our stead; that he might redeem us — Miserable bond-slaves; from all iniquity — As well from the power and the very being, as from the guilt of our sins; and purify to himself — From all pollution of flesh and spirit, (see on 2 Corinthians 7:1,) a peculiar people — Who should thankfully own themselves his property, and express their gratitude for such inestimable favours, by being not only careful to avoid the practice of evil, but zealous of good works — Active in all the duties of life, and in every office of righteousness and goodness to each other. “This is said in allusion to Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 7:6, where God calls the Jews a peculiar and a special people to himself, because he had made them his property by redeeming them from the bondage of Egypt, and had distinguished them from the rest of mankind as his, by rites and ordinances of his own appointment. Christ hath made believers his peculiar people by giving himself for them, to redeem them from all iniquity, and to purify them to himself, a people zealous, not of rites and ceremonies, but of good works. This being the great end of Christ’s death, how dare any person, pretending to be one of Christ’s people, either speak or think lightly of good works, as not necessary to salvation? — Macknight.

2:11-15 The doctrine of grace and salvation by the gospel, is for all ranks and conditions of men. It teaches to forsake sin; to have no more to do with it. An earthly, sensual conversation suits not a heavenly calling. It teaches to make conscience of that which is good. We must look to God in Christ, as the object of our hope and worship. A gospel conversation must be a godly conversation. See our duty in a very few words; denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, living soberly, righteously, and godly, notwithstanding all snares, temptations, corrupt examples, ill usage, and what remains of sin in the believer's heart, with all their hinderances. It teaches to look for the glories of another world. At, and in, the glorious appearing of Christ, the blessed hope of Christians will be complete: To bring us to holiness and happiness was the end of Christ's death. Jesus Christ, that great God and our Saviour, who saves not only as God, much less as Man alone; but as God-man, two natures in one person. He loved us, and gave himself for us; and what can we do less than love and give up ourselves to him! Redemption from sin and sanctification of the nature go together, and make a peculiar people unto God, free from guilt and condemnation, and purified by the Holy Spirit. All Scripture is profitable. Here is what will furnish for all parts of duty, and the right discharge of them. Let us inquire whether our whole dependence is placed upon that grace which saves the lost, pardons the guilty, and sanctifies the unclean. And the further we are removed from boasting of fancied good works, or trusting in them, so that we glory in Christ alone, the more zealous shall we be to abound in real good works.Looking for - Expecting; waiting for. That is, in the faithful performance of our duties to ourselves, to our fellow-creatures, and to God, we are patiently to wait for the coming of our Lord.

(1) We are to believe that he will return;

(2) We are to be in a posture of expectation, not knowing when he will come; and,

(3) We are to be ready for him whenever he shall come; see the Matthew 24:42-44 notes; 1 Thessalonians 5:4 note; Philippians 3:20 note.

That blessed hope - The fulfillment of that hope so full of blessedness to us.

The glorious appearing - Notes, 2 Thessalonians 2:8; compare 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 1:10; 2 Timothy 4:8.

Of the great God - There can be little doubt, if any, that by "the great God" here, the apostle referred to the Lord Jesus, for it is not a doctrine of the New Testament that God himself as such, or in contradistinction from his incarnate Son, will appear at the last day. It is said, indeed, that the Saviour will come "in the glory of his Father, with his angels" Matthew 16:27, but that God as such will appear is not taught in the Bible. The doctrine there is, that God will be manifest in his Son; that the divine approach to our world be through him to judge the race; and that though he will be accompanied with the appropriate symbols of the divinity, yet it will be the Son of God who will be visible. No one, accustomed to Paul's views, can well doubt that when he used this language he had his eye throughout on the Son of God, and that he expected no other manifestation than what would be made through him.

In no place in the New Testament is the phrase ἐπιφάνειαν τοῦ Θεοῦ epiphaneian tou Theou - "the manifestation or appearing of God" - applied to any other one than Christ It is true that this is spoken of here as the "appearing of the glory - τῆς δόξης tēs doxēs - of the great God," but the idea is that of such a manifestation as became God, or would appropriately display his glory. It is known to most persons who have attended to religious controversies, that this passage has given rise to much discussion. The ancients, in general, interpreted it as meaning" The glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ." This sense has been vindicated by the labors of Beza, Whitby, Bull, Matthaei, and Middleton (on the Greek article), and is the common interpretation of those who claim to be orthodox; see Bloomfield, Rec. Syn., and Notes, in loc. He contends that the meaning is, "the glorious appearance of that great being who is our God and Saviour." The arguments for this opinion are well summed up by Bloomfield. Without going into a critical examination of this passage, which would not be in accordance with the design of these Notes, it may be remarked in general:

(1) that no plain reader of the New Testament, accustomed to the common language there, would have any doubt that the apostle referred here to the coming of the Lord Jesus.

(2) that the "coming" of God, as such, is not spoken of in this manner in the New Testament.

(3) that the expectation of Christians was directed to the advent of the ascended Saviour, not to the appearing of God as such.

(4) that this is just such language as one would use who believed that the Lord Jesus is divine, or that the name God might properly be applied to him.

(5) that it would naturally and obviously convey the idea that he was divine, to one who had no theory to defend.

(6) that if the apostle did not mean this, he used such language as was fitted to lead people into error.


13. (Php 3:20, 21).

Looking for—with constant expectation (so the Greek) and with joy (Ro 8:19). This will prove the antidote to worldly lusts, and the stimulus to "live in this present world" conformably to this expectation. The Greek is translated, "waiting for," in Lu 2:25.

that—Greek, "the."

blessed—bringing blessedness (Ro 4:7, 8).

hope—that is, object of hope (Ro 8:24; Ga 5:5; Col 1:5).

the glorious appearing—There is but one Greek article to both "hope" and "appearing," which marks their close connection (the hope being about to be realized only at the appearing of Christ). Translate, "The blessed hope and manifestation (compare Note, see on [2533]Tit 2:11) of the glory." The Greek for "manifestation" is translated "brightness" in 2Th 2:8. As His "coming" (Greek, "parousia") expresses the fact; so "brightness, appearing," or "manifestation" (epiphaneia) expresses His personal visibility when He shall come.

the great God and our Saviour Jesus—There is but one Greek article to "God" and "Saviour," which shows that both are predicated of one and the same Being. "Of Him who is at once the great God and our Saviour." Also (2) "appearing" (epiphaneia) is never by Paul predicated of God the Father (Joh 1:18; 1Ti 6:16), or even of "His glory" (as Alford explains it): it is invariably applied to Christ's coming, to which (at His first advent, compare 2Ti 1:10) the kindred verb "appeared" (epephanee), Tit 2:11, refers (1Ti 6:14; 2Ti 4:1, 8). Also (3) in the context (Tit 2:14) there is no reference to the Father, but to Christ alone; and here there is no occasion for reference to the Father in the exigencies of the context. Also (4) the expression "great God," as applied to Christ, is in accordance with the context, which refers to the glory of His appearing; just as "the true God" is predicated of Christ, 1Jo 5:20. The phrase occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, but often in the Old Testament. De 7:21; 10:17, predicated of Jehovah, who, as their manifested Lord, led the Israelites through the wilderness, doubtless the Second Person in the Trinity. Believers now look for the manifestation of His glory, inasmuch as they shall share in it. Even the Socinian explanation, making "the great God" to be the Father, "our Saviour," the Son, places God and Christ on an equal relation to "the glory" of the future appearing: a fact incompatible with the notion that Christ is not divine; indeed it would be blasphemy so to couple any mere created being with God.

Looking for that blessed hope; the object or end of our hope, the salvation of our souls, Galatians 5:5 Colossians 1:5.

And the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; and in order thereunto, looking for the coming of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ, to the last judgment. The same person is here meant by the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

1. It is he whom God hath appointed to be the judge of the quick and dead.

2. ’ epifaneia, by us translated appearing, is attributed only to the Second Person in the Blessed Trinity, 2 Thessalonians 2:8 1 Timothy 6:14 2 Timothy 4:1,8. From this text the Divine nature of Christ is irrefragably concluded; he is not only called God, but megav yeov, the great God, which cannot be understood of a made God.

Looking for that blessed hope,.... Not the grace of hope; though that being a good hope through grace, and a hope of blessedness, may be called a blessed hope; yet this the saints have already implanted in their hearts in regeneration, and cannot be said to look for it: rather Christ, the object and ground of hope, who is our hope, and Christ in us the hope of glory, who is blessed for evermore; and in the enjoyment of whom the happiness of the saints hereafter will greatly consist; and whom they look for, and expect from heaven, and who is expressly mentioned in the next clause: but as this may be something distinct from that, it may be best, by this blessed hope, to understand the thing hoped for, eternal glory and happiness; called elsewhere the hope of righteousness, and the hope laid up in heaven, Galatians 5:5 and which will lie in the beatific vision of God and Christ; in a perfect knowledge of them, in communion with them, and conformity to them; and in the society of angels and glorified saints; and in a freedom from all evil, outward and inward, and in the possession of all good: and to be looking for this, is to be desiring it with the heart and affections set upon it, longing to be in the enjoyment of it, and yet waiting patiently in the exercise of faith and hope; for looking includes all the three graces, faith, hope, and love; and particularly the former, which is always attended with the latter; for it is such a looking for this blessedness, as that a man firmly believes he shall partake of it: and there is good reason for a regenerate man so to look for it; since it is his Father's gift of free grace, and is laid up for him; Christ is gone to prepare it by his presence, mediation, and intercession; yea, he is gone, as the forerunner, to take possession of it in his name: this man is begotten again to a lively hope of it; he is called by the grace of God unto it; he is a child of God, and so an heir of it; he has a right unto it, through the justifying righteousness of Christ, and has a meetness for it through the sanctifying grace of the Spirit; and who is in him as the earnest and pledge of it: now such a firm expectation of the heavenly glory does the Gospel, the doctrine of the grace of God, teach, direct, and encourage to; for these words must be read in connection with the preceding, as a further instruction of the Gospel, as well as what follows:

and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ; not two divine persons, only one, are here intended; for the word: rendered "appearing", is never used of God the Father, only of the second person; and the propositive article is not set before the word "Saviour", as it would, if two distinct persons were designed; and the copulative "and" is exegetical, and may he rendered thus, "and the glorious appearing of the great God, even our Saviour Jesus Christ"; who, in the next verse, is said to give himself for the redemption of his people: so that here is a very illustrious proof of the true and proper deity of Christ, who will appear at his second coming; for of that appearance are the, words to be understood, as the great God, in all the glories and perfections of his divine nature; as well as a Saviour, which is mentioned to show that he will appear to the salvation of his people, which he will then put them in the full possession of; and that the brightness of his divine Majesty will not make them afraid: and this appearance will be a glorious one; for Christ will come in his own glory, in the glory of his deity, particularly his omniscience and omnipotence will be very conspicuous; and in his glory as Mediator, which will be beheld by all the saints; and in his glory as a Judge, invested with power and authority from his Father, which will be terrible to sinners; and in the glory of his human nature, with which it is now crowned; and in his Father's glory, in the same he had with him before the world was, and which is the same with his, and in that which he will receive from him as man and Mediator, and as the Judge of the whole earth; and in the glory of his holy angels, being attended with all his mighty ones: to which may be added, that saints will be raised from the dead, and with the living ones appear with Christ in glory, and make up the bride, the Lamb's wife, having the glory of God upon her; so that this will be a grand appearance indeed. Now this the Gospel directs, and instructs believers to look for, to love, to hasten to, most earnestly desire, and yet patiently wait for, most firmly believing that it will be: and this the saints have reason to look for, with longing desire and affection, and with pleasure, since it will be not only glorious in itself, but advantageous to them; they will then be glorified with Christ, and be for ever with him.

{e} Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

(e) Christ is here most plainly called that mighty God, and his appearance and coming is called by the figure of speech metonymy, our hope.

Titus 2:13. Προσδεχόμενοι τὴν μακαρίαν ἐλπίδα] The strange collocation of προσδεχ. and ἐλπίδα is found also in Acts 24:15 : ἐλπίδα ἔχωνἣν καὶ αὐτοὶ οὗτοι προσδέχονται; so, too, in Galatians 5:5 : ἐλπίδαἀπεκδεχόμεθα. The reason of it is that ἐλπίς not only denotes actively the hope, but also passively the thing hoped for, the subject of the hope; comp. Colossians 1:5 : ἡ ἐλπὶς ἡ ἀποκειμένη ἐν τ. οὐρανοῖς; comp., too, Romans 8:24.

μακαρίαν] Paul thus describes the ἐλπίδα in so far as the expectation of it blesses the believer. Wolf wrongly interprets ἡ μακ. ἐλπίς as equivalent to ἡ ἐλπιζομένη μακαριότης.

This ἐλπίς is further defined by the epexegesis: καὶ ἐπιφάνειαν τῆς δόξης τοῦ μεγάλου Θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰ. Χριστοῦ] According to Hofmann, the adjective μακαρίαν as well as the genitive τῆς δόξης κ.τ.λ. belongs to both substantives, to ἐλπίδα and to ἐπιφάνειαν, because, as he thinks, ἡ μακαρία ἐλπίς is not a conception complete in itself. But Romans 15:4 shows this to be wrong. The genitive could only be construed with the two substantives by giving it a different reference in each case. Hofmann, indeed, maintains that this presents no difficulty, as it occurs elsewhere; but he is wrong in his appeal to Romans 15:4 (comp. Meyer on the passage) and to 1 Peter 1:2 and 2 Peter 3:11 (comp. my commentary on the passages).

Beyond doubt, the ἐπιφάνεια τῆς δόξης κ.τ.λ. denotes Christ’s second coming (1 Timothy 6:14); it may, however, be asked whether μεγάλου Θεοῦ is an independent subject or an attribute of Ἰησ. Χρ. The older expositors are of the latter opinion; the orthodox even appealed to this passage against the Arians. Ambrosius, however, distinguishes here between Christus and Deus Pater.[5] Erasmus, too, says: simul cum Patre apparebit eadem gloria conspicuus Dominus ac Servator noster J. Chr.; and Bengel says of ΘΕΟῦ simply: referri potest ad Christum. Among more recent expositors, Flatt, Mack, Matthies, Wiesinger, van Oosterzee, Hofmann, adopt the former view; while de Wette, Plitt, Winer, pp. 123 f.[E. T. p. 162], adopt the latter. Heydenreich leaves the question undecided.[6] It cannot be decided on purely grammatical grounds, for μεγ. Θεοῦ and σωτῆρος ἡμ. may be two attributes referring to Ἰησ. Χριστοῦ; still it may be also that σωτῆρ. ἡμῶν Ἰησ. Χρ. is a subject distinct from μεγ. Θεοῦ, even although only one article is used.[7] The question can only be answered by an appeal to N. T. usage, both for this passage and others like it: 2 Peter 1:1; Judges 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 1:12. In 2 Peter 1:11; 2 Peter 3:18, the unity of the subject is beyond doubt. The following points may be urged in favour of distinguishing two subjects:—(1) In no single, passage is Θεός connected directly with Ἰησοῦς Χριστός as an attribute (see my commentary on 2 Peter 1:1); i.e. there never occurs in the N. T. the simple construction ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν Ἰησ. Χρ., or ὁ Θεὸς Ἰησοῦς Χρ., or Ἰησ. Χρ. ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν, whereas κύριος and σωτήρ are often enough construed in this way. (2) The collocation of God (Θεός) and Christus as two subjects is quite current, not only in the Pastoral Epistles (1 Timothy 1:1-2; 1 Timothy 5:21; 1 Timothy 6:13; 2 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 4:1; Titus 1:4), but also in all the epistles of the N. T., Pauline or not, so much so, that when in some few passages the turn of the expression is such as to make Θεός refer grammatically to Christ also, these passages have to be explained in accordance with the almost invariable meaning of the expression. (3) The addition of the adjective μεγάλου indicates that Θεοῦ is to be taken as an independent subject, especially when it is observed how Paul in the First Epistle to Timothy uses similar epithets to exalt God’s glory; comp. 1 Timothy 1:17; 1 Timothy 4:10; 1 Timothy 6:15-16, especially Titus 1:11 : ἡ δόξα τοῦ μακαρίου Θεοῦ. It is true the expression ὁ μέγας Θεός is not found in the N. T., except in the Rec. of Revelation 19:17, but it occurs frequently in the O. T.: Deuteronomy 6:21; Deuteronomy 10:17; Nehemiah 9:32; Daniel 2:45; Daniel 9:4.[8]

For the unity of the subject only one reason can be urged with any show of force, viz. that elsewhere the word ἘΠΙΦΆΝΕΙΑ is only used in reference to Christ; but Erasmus long ago pointed out that it does not stand here ἘΠΙΦ. ΤΟῦ ΘΕΟῦ, but Τῆς ΔΌΞΗς ΤΟῦ ΘΕΟῦ. Wiesinger, too, has to admit “that, according to passages like Matthew 16:27, Mark 8:38, Christ appears in the glory of the Father and at the same time in His own glory (Matthew 25:31), and His appearance may therefore be called the appearance both of God’s glory and of His own.” Wiesinger, indeed, tries to weaken this admission by remarking that in reality it is Christ Himself who will appear ἘΝ ΔΌΞῌ ΤΟῦ ΠΆΤΡΟς, and not God, that therefore ΔΌΞΑ would be construed with the genitives in quite different relations, and that on grammatico-logical principles it must mean either ἘΝ ΣΩΤῆΡΙ ἩΜῶΝ ἸΗΣ. ΧΡΙΣΤῷ, or ΤΟῦ ΣΩΤῆΡΟς ἩΜῶΝ ἘΝ Τῇ ΔΌΞῌ ΤΟῦ ΜΕΓΆΛΟΥ ΘΕΟῦ (Matthies). But his remark is wrong. Even if the subjects be distinct, the genitive ΤΟῦ ΜΕΓ. ΘΕΟῦ stands in the same relation to Τῆς ΔΌΞΗς as does the genitive ΣΩΤῆΡΟς ἩΜ. Ι. ΧΡ. Nor is the form of expression necessary on which Matthies insists, because in the N. T. God and Christ are often enough connected simply by καὶ without marking their mutual relations. Wiesinger further remarks that no reason whatever can be found in the context for connecting ΘΕΌς here as well as Christ with the ἘΠΙΦΆΝΕΙΑ, but he has manifestly overlooked the relation of ΠΡΟΣΔΕΧΌΜΕΝΟΙ ΤῊΝ ἘΠΙΦΆΝΕΙΑΝ Τῆς ΔΌΞΗς ΤΟῦ ΜΕΓ. ΘΕΟῦ to ἘΠΕΦΆΝΗ Ἡ ΧΆΡΙς ΤΟῦ ΘΕΟῦ.[9]

Chrysostom rightly says: δύο δείκνυσιν ἐνταῦθα ἐπιφανείας· καὶ γάρ εἰσι δύο· ἡ μὲν πρότερα χάριτος, ἡ δὲ δευτέρα ἀνταποδόσεως. The χάρις of God has already appeared; the δόξα of God appears only at the day of completion, when Christ is made manifest in His δόξα, which is the δόξα of God. Though not so directly as it would have been if the subjects were identical, this passage is still a testimony in favour of the truth of the doctrine of Christ’s divinity.[10]

Matthies suggests that in the expression τοῦ μεγάλου Θεοῦ there is an allusion to the great Zeus worshipped in Crete, but that is more than improbable.

The genitive σωτῆρος is not dependent on ἐπιφάνειαν, but on τῆς δόξης. In 1 Peter 4:13 also Christ’s second coming is called the revelation of His δόξα.

[5] The words of Ambrosius are: hanc esse dicit beatam spem credentium, qui exspectant adventum gloriae magni Dei, quod revelari habet judice Christo, in quo Dei patris videbitur potestas et gloria, ut fidei suae praemium consequantur. Ad hoc enim redemit nos Christus, ut, puram vitam sectantes, repleti bonis operibus, regni Dei haeredes esse possimus.

[6] Heydenreich wrongly supposes that δόξα here is the glory which God and Christ will give to believers.

[7] Hofmann wrongly asserts that because σωτῆρος ἡμῶν stands before Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, and with μεγάλου Θεοῦ under one and the same article, therefore ἡμῶν must belong to μεγάλου Θεοῦ as much as to σωτῆρος, and μεγάλου to σωτῆρος as much as to Θεοῦ, and both together to Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ as predicate. There are instances enough of two distinct subjects standing under one article only, and we cannot see why these instances should not be quoted here. It cannot indeed be said that σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰ. Χρ. needs no article; for, although σωτήρ as well as κύριος may be construed with . Χρ. without the article, still there is no instance of κύριος ἡμῶν being without the article when construed with . Χρ. But the article before μεγ. Θεοῦ may, according to N. T. usage, be also referred to σωτῆρος Ἰ. Χρ. without making it necessary to assume a unity of subject; comp. Buttm. pp. 84 ff.; Winer, pp. 118 ff. [E. T. p. 158]. Hofmann is no less wrong in what he says regarding the necessity of the reference of μεγάλου and of ἡμῶν Paul, indeed, might have written: τοῦ μεγ. Θεοῦ καὶ Ἰησ. Χρ. τοῦ σωτῆρος ὑμῶν, but he could also express the same thought in the way he has written it.

[8] Usteri (Paul. Lehrb. 5th ed. p. 326) says: “God the Father did not need the extolling epithet μέγας;” to which it may be replied: “Did Christ need such an epithet?”—If Hofmann be right in remarking that Christ is not ὁ Θεός, which is the subject-name of the Father, then it is very questionable that Paul would Call Him ὁ μέγας Θεός.

[9] Van Oosterzee has advanced nothing new in support of the view disputed above. The appeal to 2 Peter 1:11 is of no use, unless it be proved in passages beyond dispute that Θεός, like κύριος, is joined with Ἰησοῦς Χριστός as an attribute.

[10] Calvin: Verum brevius et certius repellere licet Arianos, quia Paulus, de revelatione magni Dei locutus, mox Christum adjunxit, ut sciremus, in hujus persona fore illam gloriae revelationem, ac si diceret, ubi Christus apparuerit, tunc patefactum nobis iri divinae gloriae magnitudinem.

Titus 2:13. προσδεχόμενοι κ.τ.λ., as already stated, describes the glad expectancy which is the ruling and prevailing thought in the lives of men looking for their Lord’s return (Luke 12:36), προσδεχόμενοι τὸ ἔλεος τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ (Judges 1:21). Cf. Romans 8:19; 1 Corinthians 1:7; Php 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Hebrews 9:28; 2 Peter 3:12. Isaiah 25:9 is the basal passage. Cf. Acts 24:15, ἐλπίδα ἔχων εἰς τὸν Θεόν, ἣν καὶ αὐτοὶ οὗτοι προσδέχονται. In this quotation ἐλπίδα is the mental act, while the relative ἥν is the realisation of the hope. ἐλπίς is also passive—the thing hoped for—in Galatians 5:5; Colossians 1:5; 1 Timothy 1:1.

επιφάνειαν τῆς δόξης: The Second Coming of Christ will be, as we are assured by Himself, “in the glory of His Father” (Matthew 16:27; Mark 8:38). “We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:2, a passage which supports the view that δόξης here is dependent on ἐπλίδα as well as on ἐπιφάνειαν). von Soden takes ἐπιφάνειαν as epexegetical of ἐλπίδα. The Second Coming of Christ may, therefore, be regarded as an ἐπιφάνεια τῆς δόξης Θεοῦ, even though we should not speak of an ἐπιφάνεια τοῦ Πατρός, while ἐπιφάνεια Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ is normal and natural (See on 1 Timothy 6:14). τῆς δόξης having then an intelligible meaning, we are not entitled to treat it as merely adjectival, the glorious appearing (A.V.). The genitival relation does not differ in this case from τῇ ἐπιφανείᾳ τῆς παρουσίας αὐτοῦ in 2 Thessalonians 2:8. See also note on 1 Timothy 1:11. Again, there does not seem any reason why τοῦ σωτῆρος, κ.τ.λ., here should not depend on ἐπιφάνειαν, on the analogy of 2 Timothy 1:10. This may be thought too remote. In any case, the conception of the Second Coming as an occasion of manifestation of two δόξαι, that of the Father and of the Son, is familiar from Luke 9:26, ὅταν ἔλθῃ ἑν τῇ δόξῃ αὐτοῦ καὶ τοῦ πατρὸς, κ.τ.λ. On the whole, then, we decide in favour of the R.V.m. in the rendering of this passage, appearing of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. The grammatical argument—“the identity of reference of two substantives when under the vinculum of a common article”—is too slender to bear much weight, especially when we take into consideration not only the general neglect of the article in these epistles but the omission of it before σωτήρ in 1 Timothy 1:1; 1 Timothy 4:10. Ellicott says that “μεγάλου would seem uncalled for if applied to the Father”. To this it may be answered that (a) the epithet is not otiose here; as marking the majesty of God the Father it is parallel to the ὃς ἔδωκεν ἑαυτὸν, κ.τ.λ., which recalls the self-sacrificing love of the Son; both constituting the double appeal—to fear and to love—of the Judgment to come. (b) Again, St. Paul is nowhere more emphatic in his lofty language about God the Father than in these epistles; see 1 Timothy 1:17; 1 Timothy 6:15-16.

This is the only place in the N.T. in which μέγας is applied to the true God, although it is a constant predicate of heathen gods and goddesses, e.g., Acts 19:28. (See Moulton and Milligan, Expositor, vii., vii. 563). In view of the fact that the most probable exegesis of Romans 9:5 is that ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων, Θεός εὐλογητὸς, κ.τ.λ. refers to Christ, it cannot be said that ὁ μέγας Θεός, as applied to Him, is un-Pauline. But the proofs that St. Paul held Christ to be God Incarnate do not lie in a few disputable texts, but in the whole attitude of his soul towards Christ, and in the doctrine of the relation of Christ to mankind which is set forth in his epistles. St. Paul’s “declarations of the divinity of the Eternal Son” are not studied, as Ellicott admits that this would be if the R.V. rendering (our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ) be adopted. To this it may be added that the Versions, with the exception of the Aethiopic, agree with R.V.m. Ell. cites on the other side, of ante-Nicene writers, Clem. Alex., Protrept. § 7, and Hippolytus,—quoted by Wordsworth—besides the great bulk of the post-Nicene fathers. The text is one which would strike the eye of a reader to whose consciousness the Arian controversy was present; but it is safe to say that if it had read τοῦ σωτῆρος, the μεγάλου would have excited no comment. Consequently the papyri (all vii. A.D.) cited by J. H. Moulton (Grammar, vol. i. p. 84) “which attest the translation our great God and Saviour as current among Greek-speaking Christians” are too late as guides to St. Paul’s meaning here. The similar problem in 2 Peter 1:1 must be discussed independently. At least, even if it be granted that the R.V. there is correct, and that 2 Peter 1:1 is an example of the transference to Christ of the language used of deified kings “in the papyri and inscriptions of Ptolemaic and Imperial times,” it does not follow that the same account must be given of Titus 2:13.

13. looking for that blessed hope] The blessed hope, cf. Romans 8:24, where it is both the hope and the object of the hope; Colossians 1:5, ‘ “for the hope,” i.e. looking to the hope which is stored up; the sense of “hope,” as of the corresponding words in any language, oscillates between the subjective feeling and the objective realisation.’ Bp Lightfoot. Cf. 1 Timothy 1:1.

and the glorious appearing] So A.V., considering the two nouns as a Hebraism for a noun and an adjective; but R.V. better, literally, and appearing of the glory; this substantive, from the verb ‘hath appeared’ of Titus 2:11, is limited in N.T. use to St Paul, who has it six times, and always, except 2 Timothy 1:10, of the future appearing of Christ (see note on 1 Timothy 6:14). It comes three times in St Paul’s last letter, 2 Tim. The word has been adopted for all the epiphanies of the Son of God in O.T. days, as the angel of the covenant, at Bethlehem, to the Gentiles with ‘the doctors,’ in His miracles and parables, in the ‘infallible proofs’ of the ‘forty days,’ in ‘the powers of Pentecost,’ in the life of His Church and of each Christian soul by faith, until His ‘coming with power and great glory.’

the great God and our Saviour] So A.V., Winer, Alford, Conybeare, on the ground that St Paul’s usage is against ‘our great God Jesus Christ.’ Alford rightly says that it can be no objection to this that St Paul’s usage is also against ‘the manifestation of the Father God,’ because it is the appearing of the glory that St Paul speaks of, and this glory is certainly the Father’s and the Son’s, Matthew 16:27 compared with Matthew 25:31, ‘come in His Father’s glory,’ ‘come in His glory.’ Nor can the rule that the one article indicates the one subject, and that therefore the two expressions refer to one personality, be too strongly relied upon as decisive against this view. Bp Ellicott who opposes this A.V. rendering yet admits this, ‘there is a presumption in favour of it on this account, but on account of the defining genitive “of us,” nothing more;’ and in Aids to Faith (quoted in Winer, iii. § 19, 5, note), ‘the rule is sound in principle but in the case of proper names or quasi-proper names, cannot safely be pressed.’ The usage in 2 Peter 1:1, and in Judges 4, is also doubtful: R.V. which renders there ‘our God and Saviour,’ ‘our only Master and Lord,’ but adds the marginal ‘Or, our God and the Saviour,’ ‘Or, the only Master, and our Lord,’ here too gives our great God and Saviour, but adds in the margin, ‘Or, of the great God and our Saviour.’ The early Fathers are with R.V. Ignatius, ad Ephes. i., seems to quote it ‘according to the will of the Father and Jesus Christ our God.’ See Bp Lightfoot’s note. Chrysostom asks ‘Where are they who say that the Son is less than the Father?’ Jerome, ‘Magnus Deus Jesus Christus salvator dicitur.’ Compare the long list in Bp Wordsworth’s note; Calvin, Ellicott, Fairbairn, &c. among moderns. The objection raised on the ground of St Paul’s usage will be less felt, when the strong language of 1 Timothy 3:15-16 with the reading ‘He who,’ and of Php 2:6-7, Colossians 1:15-20 is weighed; and when the connexion of this Epistle in its language and thought with St Peter and St Jude is remembered, it may well seem that the later mode of speaking of Christ, in the now settled faith and conviction of the Church, is beginning to find place.

Titus 2:13. Προσδεχόμενοι, looking for) with joy.—ἐλπίδαΘεοῦ, hope—of God) This may be referred to Christ.[11]—σωτῆρος, Saviour) ch. Titus 3:4; Titus 3:6, where the mention of the Father and of the Son is made in very close connection, as here, ch. Titus 2:11; Titus 2:13. [Hope corresponds to the name of Saviour; the appearance of the glory, to that of God.—V. g.]

[11] See my note on 1 Timothy 5:21. This must refer to Christ; for ἐπιφάνεια, is never applied to God the Father, but always to the Son. And when two compatible attributives joined by a copula are thus preceded by but one article, they must refer to the one and the same person: of Him who is at once the great God and our Saviour: τοῦ, viz. ὄντος μεγ, Θεοῦ καὶ ωτ.—ED.

Verse 13. - The for that, A.V.; appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior for the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Savior, A.V. Looking for (προσδεχόμενοι); the word commonly applied to waiting for the kingdom of God (Mark 15:43; Luke 2:25, 38; Luke 12:36; Luke 23:51; Jude 1:21). The blessed hope. The hope here means the thing hoped for, as in Acts 24:14 (where both the subjective hope and the thing hoped for are included); Galatians 5:5; Colossians 1:5 (comp. too Romans 8:24, 25). Here the hope is called emphatically "the blessed hope," the hope of Christ's second coming in glory, that hope which is the joy and life, the strength and comfort, of every Christian soul. This is the only place in the New Testament where μακάριος is applied to an object which does not itself enjoy the blessing, but is a source of blessing to others. Of the fifty passages where it occurs it is applied in forty-three to persons, twice to God, three times to parts of the body (the Virgin's womb, and the eyes and ears of those who saw and heard Christ), once impersonally ("It is more blessed to give," etc., Acts 20:35), and once, in this passage, to the hope. And appearing of the glory. In construing this clause, as well as the following, the same difficulty occurs. There is only one article to the two subjects. The question arises - Can two different subjects stand under one article? Huther affirms that they can, and refers for proof to Buttman and Wince; and, indeed, it is impossible to treat "the hope" and the "appearing" as one subject. Accepting this, the clause before us should be rendered, Looking for the blessed hope, and the appearing of the glory of the great God. This is a description of the second coming of the Lord, of whom it is expressly said that he will "come in the glory of his Father" (Matthew 16:27; Mark 8:38). The appearing of Christ will be the appearing of the glory of the great God, not the appearing of God the Father, to whom the term ἐπιφανεία is never applied, but of the Son, who is the Brightness of his Father's glory. Our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. No doubt the Greek words can be so rendered, and perhaps (grammatically) most naturally, as e.g. in 2 Peter 1:11, where we read, "The kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ;" and so 2 Peter 3:18. But, on the other hand, according to what is said above, they need not be so rendered. "The great God" and "our Savior Jesus Christ" may be two separate subjects, as "the blessed hope" and "appearing of the glory" are. Anti we have to inquire, from the usual language of Scripture, which of the two is most probable. Alford, in a long note, shows that σωτὴρ is often used without the article (1 Timothy 1:1; 1 Timothy 4:10; Philippians 3:20); that in analogous sentences: where Κύριος is used as our Lord's title, an exactly similar construction to that in the text is employed, as 2 Thessalonians 1:12; 2 Peter 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:2; Ephesians 6:23, etc. He also observes, after Wince, that the insertion of ἡμῶν after Σωτῆρος is an additional reason for the omission of the article before Σωτῆρος, as in Luke 1:78; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3, and elsewhere; and that the epithet μεγάλου prefixed to Θεοῦ makes it still more difficult to connect Θεοῦ with Σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Ξριστοῦ; and lastly, he compares this passage with 1 Timothy 2:3, 5, 6, and thinks the conclusion inevitable that the apostle, writing two sentences so closely corresponding - written, it may be added, so near to one another in time - would have had in view, in both passages, the same distinction of persons which is so strongly marked in 1 Timothy 3:3, 5. On these grounds he pronounces against the rendering which is adopted by the Revised Version. Huther's conclusion is the same: partly from the grammatical possibility of two subjects (here Θεοῦ and Ἰησοῦ Ξριστοῦ) having only one article, which leaves the question of whether there are here one or two subjects to be decided on other grounds than simple grammar; and partly and chiefly from the double consideration that

(1) nowhere in Scripture is Θεός connected directly with Ἰησοῦς Ξριστός, as Κύριος and Σωτήρ so often are; and

(2) that the collocation of God (Θεός) and Christ as two subjects is of constant occurrence, as e.g. 1 Timothy 1:1, 2; 1 Timothy 5:21; 1 Timothy 6:13; 2 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 4:1; Titus 1:4; to which may probably be added 2 Peter 1:1; Jude 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 1:12; he decides, surely rightly, that the clause should be rendered, the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. Another question arises whether the glory belongs to both subjects. Probably, though not necessarily, it does, since we are told in Matthew 17:27 that "the Son of man shall come in the glory of the Father;" and in Matthew 25:31, "the Son of man shall come in his glory" (comp. Matthew 19:28). The whole sentence will then stand thus: Looking for the blessed hope, and for the appearing of the glory of the great God and of our Savior Jesus Christ, etc. The great God (τοῦ μεγάλου); not elsewhere in the New Testament (except in the T.R. of Revelation 19:17), but familiar to us from Psalm 95:3, "The Lord is a great God," and elsewhere, KS Deuteronomy 10:17; Deuteronomy 7:21; Psalm 77:14, etc. In Matthew 5:35' we read "the great King" of God. This grand description of τοῦ μέλλοντος αἰῶνος, "the world to come," is in contrast with τῷ νῦν οἰῶνι, "this present world," in which our present life is passed, but which is so deeply influenced by "the blessed hope" of that future and glorious world. Titus 2:13Looking for (προσδεχόμενοι)

In Pastorals only here. Comp. Mark 15:43; Luke 2:25; Luke 12:36. In this sense not in Paul. Primarily, to receive to one's self, admit, accept. So Luke 15:2; Romans 16:2; Philippians 2:29. That which is accepted in faith, is awaited expectantly.

That blessed hope (τὴν μακαρίαν ἐλπίδα)

The phrase N.T.o. Μακάριος blessed, very often in the Gospels. See on Matthew 5:3. In Pastorals, with the exception of this passage, always of God. In Paul, only of men, and so usually in the Gospels. Ἑλπίδα hope, the object of hope. Why the hope is called blessed, appears from 2 Timothy 4:8; Philippians 3:20, etc. Comp. Jde 1:21, and 1 Peter 1:13.

And the glorious appearing (καὶ ἐπιφάνειαν τῆς δόξης)

Καὶ is explanatory, introducing the definition of the character of the thing hoped for. Looking for the object of hope, even the appearing, etc. Glorious appearing is a specimen of the vicious hendiadys by which the force of so many passages has been impaired or destroyed in translation. Rend. appearing of the glory.

Of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ (τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Χριστοῦ Ἱησοῦ)

For Jesus Christ rend. Christ Jesus. Μέγας great with God, N.T.o , but often in lxx. According to A.V. two persons are indicated, God and Christ. Revelations with others rend. of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus, thus indicating one person, and asserting the deity of Christ. I adopt the latter, although the arguments and authorities in favor of the two renderings are very evenly balanced.

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