Titus 3:10
A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject;
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(10) A man that is an heretick.—The Greek word translated “heretick” in the New Testament occurs here only. The term “heresies” occurs twice (1Corinthians 11:19; Galatians 5:20). In neither, however, of these passages does the word signify there a fundamental or doctrinal error. This sense belongs to a usage of later times. From the meaning of the word “heresy” in these passages of St. Paul, we are able to deduce the signification of the term “heretic” here. The “heretic” of the Church in Crete appears to have been a man who, dissatisfied with the organisation and discipline introduced by Titus into the Christian community—not improbably considering himself in some way slighted—withdrew himself from the common body, and gathering round him other discontented spirits, established what might be termed a rival Church in Crete. Although at first, perhaps, no marked erroneous teaching forms part of the practice of such schismatics, still the tendency in such small rival communities is ever more and more to distinguish between their teaching and that of the larger body from whom they, in the first instance, cut themselves adrift.

After the first and second admonition reject.—The Greek word rendered “reject” would be more accurately translated shun, or avoid. There was, no doubt, some self-willed factious party leader in Crete well known to St. Paul to whom he referred here; but partly out of a loving hope that Titus would win him to his side, partly from the knowledge that this Letter was a public instruction to many a Church besides that of Crete, the disturber remained nameless. He was to be exhorted once, twice, and then if he remained contumacious he was to be left simply alone to his own devices. The community over which Titus presided in the place of Paul no longer were to know the obstinate heretic as a brother.

Titus 3:10-11. A man that is a heretic — Greek, αιρετικον, a party or schism-maker, namely, in the church, among the true, genuine people of God; or one that causes divisions among those that are united in Christian fellowship; see on Romans 16:17; after the first and second admonition — From thee and the elders of the church, given with proper solemnity; reject — Avoid, and declare him unfit to be any longer looked upon as a member of your community. “This is the only place in the whole Scripture where this word heretic occurs; and here it evidently means a man that obstinately persists in contending about foolish questions, and thereby occasions strifes and animosities, schisms and parties, among the faithful. This, and this alone, is a heretic in the Scripture sense. And his punishment likewise is here fixed. Shun, avoid, leave him to himself, have no fellowship with him. As for the Popish sense of the word, ‘A man that errs in fundamentals,’ although it crept, with many other things, early into the church, yet it has no shadow of foundation either in the Old or New Testament.” — Wesley. Knowing that such a one — Who is so fond of his own darling notions, that he will ruin the peace of the church: and will not submit to thy remonstrances, and those of the wiser and better part of the society; is subverted — Or perverted, as εξεστραπται maybe properly rendered; and sinneth — In making such obstinate efforts to diffuse his notions, and form a party to himself; being condemned of himself — Convinced in his own conscience that he acts wrong, as he cannot but see it to be evil to cause strife, animosity, contention, and disunion among those that fear God, and were, before he thus troubled them, united in Christian love. “In the first age, when the doctrines of the gospel were delivered by the apostles in person, under the guidance of inspiration, and when the true meaning of the doctrines was not liable to any doubt, because it was ascertained by the apostles themselves, if any teacher taught differently from them, and made a party in the church in opposition to them, he must have done these things contrary to his conscience, either from the love of money, or the lust of power, or from an immoderate propensity to sensual pleasures.” — Macknight; who observes further, “This method of treating heretics is worthy of attention; for the Spirit of God doth not order heretics to be banished, and their goods confiscated; far less doth he order them to be imprisoned, tortured, and burned, if they will not retract their errors. He doth not even give allowance to rail at or speak evil of them. Such methods of treating heretics never proceeded from the college of the apostles, but from the synagogue of Satan. To disown a wicked man as a Christian brother, and to avoid all familiar society with him, and to cast him out of the church by a public sentence of excommunication, is what the church and every society hath a right to do, agreeably to our Lord’s rule, (Matthew 18:15; Matthew 18:17,) and is all that should be done in such a case.”3:8-11 When the grace of God towards mankind has been declared, the necessity of good works is pressed. Those who believe in God, must make it their care to maintain good works, to seek opportunities for doing them, being influenced by love and gratitude. Trifling, foolish questions must be avoided, and subtle distinctions and vain inquiries; nor should people be eager after novelties, but love sound doctrine which tends most to edifying. Though we may now think some sins light and little, if the Lord awaken the conscience, we shall feel even the smallest sin heavy upon our souls.A man that is an heretic - The word "heretic" is now commonly applied to one who holds some fundamental error of doctrine, "a person who holds and teaches opinions repugnant to the established faith, or that which is made the standard of orthodoxy." Webster. The Greek word here used αἱρετικὸς hairetikos occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. The corresponding noun (αἵρεσις hairesis) occurs in the following places: Acts 5:17; Acts 15:5; Acts 24:5; Acts 26:5; Acts 28:22, where it is rendered "sect;" and Acts 25:14; 1 Corinthians 11:19; Galatians 5:20; 2 Peter 2:1, where it is rendered "heresy," and "heresies;" see the notes at Acts 24:14. The true notion of the word is that of one who is a promoter of a sect or party. The man who makes divisions in a church, instead of aiming to promote unity, is the one who is intended. Such a man may form sects and parties on some points of doctrine on which be differs from others, or on some custom, religious rite, or special practice; he may make some unimportant matter a ground of distinction from his brethren, and may refuse to have fellowship with them, and endeavor to get up a new organization. Such a man, according to the Scripture usage, is a heretic, and not merely one who holds a different doctrine from that which is regarded as orthodoxy. The spirit of the doctrine here is the same as in Romans 16:17, and the same class of persons is referred to. "Mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have received; and avoid them." See the notes at that passage. The word here used is defined by Robinson (Lexicon), "one who creates dissensions, introduces errors, a factious person." It is not found in classic Greek, but often in ecclesiastical writers; see Suicer's Thesaurus.

After the first and second admonition - Compare Matthew 18:15-17. That is, do not do it hastily and rashly. Give him an opportunity to explain himself, and to repent and abandon his course. No man is to be cut off without giving him a proper opportunity to vindicate his conduct, and to repent if he has done wrong. If after the first and second admonition a man who is undoubtedly doing wrong, will not repent, then he is to be cut off. The apostle does not say in what way this admonition is to be given, or whether it should be public or private. The language which he uses would justify either, and the method which is to be adopted is doubtless to be determined by circumstances. The thing which is to be reached is, that his fault is to be fairly set before his mind.

Reject - παραιτοῦ paraitou. This word is rendered "excuse" in Luke 14:18-19; "refuse," Acts 25:11; 1 Timothy 4:7; 1 Timothy 5:11; Hebrews 12:25; "avoid," 2 Timothy 2:23, and "entreated," Hebrews 12:19. Its prevailing meaning, as used in connections like the one before us, is to reject in relation to an office; that is, to decline appointing one to an office. It probably had a primary reference to that here, and meant that a man who was given to making dissensions, or who was a factious person, should not be admitted to an office in the church. The general direction would also include this, - that he should not be admitted to the church. He is neither to be owned as a member, nor admitted to office; compare Matthew 18:17. "Let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican." In regard to this passage, then, we may observe:

(1) That the utmost limit which this allows is mere exclusion. It does not allow us to follow the offender with injury.

(2) it does not authorize us to oppose one on account of his mere private opinions. The essential idea is that of a factious, division-making man; a man who aims to form sects and parties, whether on account of opinions, or from any other cause.

(3) it does not make it right to deliver such a man over to the "secular arm," or to harm him in body, soul, property, or reputation. It gives no power to torture him on the rack, or with thumb-screws, or to bind him to the stake. It authorizes us not to recognize him as a Christian brother, or to admit him to an office in the church - but beyond this it gives us no right to go. He has a right to his own opinion still, as far as we are concerned, and we are not to molest him in the enjoyment of that right.

(4) it demands that, when a man is undoubtedly a heretic in the sense here explained, there should be the utmost kindness towards him, in order if possible to reclaim him. We should not begin by attacking and denouncing his opinions; or by formally arraigning him; or by blazoning his name as a heretic; but he is to be dealt with in all Christian kindness and brotherly fidelity. He is to be admonished more than once by those who have the right to admonish him; and then, and then only, if he does not repent, he is to be simply avoided. That is to be an end of the matter so far as we are concerned. The power of the church there ceases. It has no power to deliver him over to anyone else for persecution or punishment, or in any way to meddle with him. He may live where he pleases; pursue his own plans; entertain his own opinions or company, provided he does not interfere with us; and though we have a right to examine the opinions which he may entertain, yet our work with him is done. If these plain principles had been observed, what scenes of bloody and cruel persecution in the church would have been avoided!

10. heretic—Greek "heresy," originally meant a division resulting from individual self-will; the individual doing and teaching what he chose, independent of the teaching and practice of the Church. In course of time it came to mean definitely "heresy" in the modern sense; and in the later Epistles it has almost assumed this meaning. The heretics of Crete, when Titus was there, were in doctrine followers of their own self-willed "questions" reprobated in Tit 3:9, and immoral in practice.

reject—decline, avoid; not formal excommunication, but, "have nothing more to do with him," either in admonition or intercourse.

A man that is an heretic: two things make up a heretic according to the common acceptation of the term now:

1. An error in some matters of faith.

2. Stubbornness and contumacy in the holding and maintaining of it.

Whether it so signified so early I cannot tell; it seems to refer to the former verse, supposing some that, notwithstanding all the endeavours of Titus, would be striving and contending for niceties about questions, genealogies, &c.

After the first and second admonition reject: for such, saith the apostle, admonish them once and again; if they will not have done, refuse them, reject them. Whether excommunication can be certainly built upon this text, may be doubted; paraiteomai signifies no more than to avoid, reject, or refuse. A man that is an heretic,.... An heretic, according to the notation of the word, is either one that makes choice of an opinion upon his own judgment, contrary to the generally received sense of the churches of Christ, and prefers it to theirs, and obstinately persists in it; separates from them, forms a party, and sets himself at the head of them, whom he has drawn into the same way of thinking with himself: or he is one that removes and takes away a fundamental doctrine of Christianity, which affects particularly the doctrine of the Trinity, the deity, and personality of Father, Son, and Spirit, and especially the doctrines relating to the person, office, and grace of Christ; one that brings in, or receives damnable doctrines; speaks or professes perverse things, and draws away disciples after him; or is among such disciples: for though schism and heresy do differ, and every schismatic may not be an heretic, yet every heretic is a schismatic; he makes a rent in the doctrine of Christ, and makes parties and divisions in his church; and such are not always to be contended and disputed with, but to be avoided and rejected:

after the first and second admonition reject; have nothing to do with him; have no society with him; admit him not to private conversation; and eject him from church communion, after he has been publicly admonished twice by the order of the church; for this is not to be understood of private admonition, by a particular person or persons; as in the case of private offences, Matthew 18:15 but of public admonition, in the name of the church. An admonition with the Jews did not continue less than seven days (a); some say (b) thirty; that is, there were so many days before it was out, or between one and another.

(a) T. Bab. Moed Katon, fol. 16. 1.((b) Bereshit Rabba, sect. 33. fol. 28. 3.

{4} A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;

(4) The ministers of the word must at once cast off heretics, that is, those who stubbornly and seditiously disquiet the Church, and will pay no attention to ecclesiastical admonitions.

Titus 3:10-11. An injunction regarding behaviour towards the heretics.

Αἱρετικὸν ἄνθρωπον] αἱρετικός (ἅπ. λεγ.) is not equivalent to contentiosus, but is, according to Calvin: quisquis sua protervia unitatem ecclesiae abrumpit, any one who causes departure from the pure sound doctrine of the gospel. With this Wiesinger agrees, only that he wishes to consider the divisions as not brought about by heresies, but by “eccentricities and perversities.” The word αἱρέσεις is often used by Paul of ecclesiastical divisions, 1 Corinthians 11:19; Galatians 5:20. So, too, in 2 Peter 2:1, where it expressly refers to heresies. Comp. also Romans 16:17 : παρακαλῶ ὑμᾶς σκοπεῖν τοὺς τὰς διχοστασίας καὶ τὰ σκάνδαλα παρὰ τὴν διδαχὴν ἣν ὑμεῖς ἐμάθετε ποιοῦντας καὶ ἐκκλίνατε ἀπʼ αὐτῶν.

μετὰ μίαν καὶ δευτέραν νουθεσίαν παραιτοῦ] Vitringa (De Vet. Synag. iii. 1. 10) understands παραιτοῦ to mean the formal excommunication, and νουθεσία the excommunicatio privata, as these were appointed among the Jews for certain cases. But he is wrong; Paul is not speaking here of excommunication proper. Νουθεσία (1 Corinthians 10:11; Ephesians 6:4) is equivalent to “reprimand,” including both blame and exhortation. This is not to be employed once, but several times: “after one or two.”

παραιτοῦ] 1 Timothy 4:7. Bengel: monere desine, quid enim juvat? laterem lavares.

Titus 3:11. εἰδώς] see 2 Timothy 2:23.

ὅτι ἐξέστραπται ὁ τοιοῦτος] “that such an one is perverse;” comp. Deuteronomy 32:20 : ὅτι γενεὰ ἐξεστραμμένη ἐστιν, דּוֹר תַּחְפֻּחֹת; it shows the total perversion of thought and endeavour. Baur says arbitrarily and wrongly: “he has turned away from us, and departed out of the communion of believers.”

καὶ ἁμαρτάνει ὢν αὐτοκατάκριτος] defines the preceding words more precisely. Ὢν αὐτοκατάκριτος is connected with ἁμαρτάνει, but not with ἐξέστραπται also (Hofmann). The perversity shows itself in the fact that he sins condemning himself. Αὐτοκατάκριτος is equivalent to κεκαυτηριασμένος τὴν ἰδίαν συνείδησιν, 1 Timothy 4:2, qui suopte judicio est condemnatus. The meaning is: he sins with the consciousness of his guilt and of his own condemnation, so that there is no hope of his return.Titus 3:10. αἱρετικὸν ἄνθρωπον: St. Paul passes from the reprehensible opinions to the man who propagates them. He is the same kind of man as the φιλόνεικος of 1 Corinthians 11:16; or “he that refuseth to hear the church” of Matthew 18:17; he is of “them which cause divisions and occasions of stumbling,” Romans 16:17. The term αἵρεσις is applied in a non-offensive sense to the sects of Judaism, Acts 5:17; Acts 15:5; Acts 26:5. St. Luke represents the Jews as so speaking of the Christian Church (Acts 24:5; Acts 28:22), and St. Paul as resenting this application of the term (Acts 24:14). The Apostle himself uses the word in an unfavourable sense (1 Corinthians 11:19; Galatians 5:20), as does 2 Peter 2:1. A comparison of 1 Corinthians 11:19 with 1 John 2:19 suggests that αἵρεσις involved the formation of a separate society (so R.V.m. here, factious), not merely the holding of aberrant opinions, or the favouring a policy different from that of the Church rulers. The νουθεσία addressed to a member of such a αἵρεσις would be of the nature of a verbal remonstrance, pointing out the essentially unchristian character of needless separation. It is evident that the αἱρετικὸς ἄνθρωπος would be beyond any Church discipline. The permission of a second attempt at reconciliation is probably not unconnected with our Lord’s counsel, Matthew 18:15.

παραιτοῦ: Have nothing to do with him. See note on 1 Timothy 4:7. The word does not necessarily imply any formal excommunication. Such procedure would be unnecessary. Excommunication has no terrors for those who deliberately separate themselves. “Monere desine. quid enim iuvat? laterem lavares” (Bengel).10. This and the next verse seem to close the last instruction; St Paul reviews the counsel given as to doctrine and discipline; similarly at the close of 1 Tim. See summary at beginning of ch. vi.

A man that is a heretick] This being so, it would be unnatural if the epithet here were required to have the definite narrowed meaning which we now give to the word ‘heretic’. The internal consideration favours a meaning which covers quarrelsome opinionative controversy and speculation, contentiousness in faith and morals. The external consideration is from St Paul’s usage of the word and its substantive. Prof. Reynolds misrepresents Bp Ellicott as saying ‘St Paul uses the word for contentious conduct, not heterodox opinions: divisions, not doctrinal error.’ His words are, ‘the word does not imply specially the open espousal of any fundamental error in 1 Corinthians 11:18-19; Galatians 5:20; but more generally, “divisions in church matters,” possibly of a somewhat maturer kind.’ In that early day the ‘self chosen divergence,’ which is the essence of the word, included both religious belief and practice. Theod. Mops. Lat. Comm. defines ‘haereticum—illum qui ea quae contraria sunt pietatis praeelegit.’ And Augustine’s definition was exact, ‘haeresis schisma inveteratum.’ it was not till later that Jerome’s distinction held good, ‘haeresis perversum dogma habet; schisma propter Episcopalem dissensionem ab ecclesia separatur.’ This distinction as to doctrine and discipline found illustration in the Council of Nicæa, Arius being condemned as a heretic for maintaining that Christ was a Divine being but created, Meletius as a schismatic for ordaining bishops without the authority of his metropolitan or consent of his fellow bishops in the province of Egypt. Here the R.V. by its rendering heretical and its marginal ‘factious’ adopts this more general meaning for the word.

after the first and second admonition, reject] A first and second admonition. Cf. Ephesians 6:4, ‘nurture them in the chastening and admonition of the Lord.’ ‘Discipline’ or ‘chastening’ (see the verb ch. Titus 2:11) is per poenas, ‘admonition’ is verbis, encouraging or reproving words according to the occasion. Here the reference must be to Titus 1:13, the reproof of confutation and condemnation. ‘Reject’ should be rather refuse, as in 1 Timothy 4:7 where see note; and (of the widows) 1 Timothy 5:11; refuse, that is, to argue with, or to countenance. St Paul’s use is against the interpretation which has classical support, ‘exclude’ from Church membership, as in Lucian of divorcing a wife. But his use is for a stronger meaning than ‘avoid.’Titus 3:10. Αἱρετικὸν, a heretic) one following, according to his own will, the things which are found fault with at Titus 3:9.—παραιτοῦ, reject) cease to admonish him, for of what advantage is it? We should be labouring in vain.[14] Matthew 7:6.

[14] The proverb is, we should be washing a brick.Verse 10. - Heretical for an heretick, A.V.; a for the, A.V.; refuse for reject, A.V. Heretical (αἱρετικόν); only here in the New Testament, not found in the LXX., but used in classical Greek for "intelligent," i.e. able to choose. The use of it here by St. Paul is drawn from the use of αἵρεσις for "a sect" (Acts 5:17; Acts 15:5; Acts 24:5, 14; Acts 26:5; Acts 28:22; 1 Corinthians 11:19; Galatians 5:20; 2 Peter 2:1), or the doctrines taught by a sect. The heretic is one who forsakes the truth held by the Church, and chooses some doctrine of his own devising (αἵρεσις). The tendency of such departures from the doctrine of the Church to assume more and more of a deadly character, and to depart wider and wider from the truth, gave to the name of heretic a darker shade of condemnation in the mouth of Church writers as time advanced. But even in apostolic times some denied the resurrection (2 Timothy 2:11, 12); others denied the Lord that bought them (2 Peter 2:1); and there were some who were of the synagogue of Satan (Revelation 2:9); so that already an heretical man, drawing away disciples after him, was a great blot in the Church. Admonition (νουθεσία); as 1 Corinthians 10:11; Ephesians 6:4. After a first and second admonition refuse (παραιτοῦ); see 1 Timothy 4:7; 1 Timothy 5:11. It does not clearly appear what is intended by this term In 1 Timothy 5:11 it meant refusing admission into the college of Church widows. If these had been persons seeking admission into the Church, or ordination, it would mean "refuse them." Vitringa (Huther) thinks it means "excommunication." Beza, Ellicott, Huther, Alford, etc., render it "shun," "let alone," "cease to admonish," and the like. A man that is an heretic (αἱρετικὸν ἄνθρωπον)

Ἁιρετικός heretical, N.T.o. For αἵρεσις heresy see on 1 Peter 2:1.

Admonition (νουθεσίαν)

Only here, 1 Corinthians 10:11; Ephesians 6:4 (note). See on νουθετεῖν to admonish, Acts 20:31.

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