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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Titus 3

Verses 1-15

The Substance and Manner of the Teaching to be Given. Farewell

1-15. ’Remind the Cretans to be loyal citizens, good neighbours. As, through no merit of ours, God won us to Himself, so we must live good lives. Never argue with stubborn hearted people. Warn a heretic twice; then drop him. Come to me at Nicopolis, when Artemas or Tychicus leaves me, and see that Zenas and Apollos get well started on their missionary journey. We all greet you all.’

1. To principalities and powers] better (as RV), ’to rulers, to authorities.’ We should be apt to say, ’to the government.’ To obey magistrates] The original meaning of the Gk. word is ’to obey one’s superiors’: ’to obey’ or ’to be obedient’ (RV) is, therefore, a better translation.

3. We ourselves] i.e. we Christians. Were sometimes] ’Were’ (standing first in the Gk. sentence is emphatic) ’at one time’ (RV ’aforetime’).

4. Alford translates this v., ’But when the goodness and love-toward-men’ (one Gk. word) ’of our Saviour, God, was manifested.’

God our Saviour] the Father. Appeared] ’was manifested’; i.e. in the coming, life, and death of Christ.

5. By the washing of regeneration] For ’washing,’ ’laver’ (i.e. place where the washing took place) is better. Baptism is referred to here. Renewing of the Holy Ghost] The baptism to be efficient must be both by water and by the Spirit. It is not a mere outward act.

6. Which he shed on us] When? At Pentecost, or, generally, to each individual? Probably both meanings should be included.

7. Heirs according to the hope of eternal life] better (as RM), ’heirs, according to hope, of eternal life.’

8. Faithful saying] i.e. a condensed reflection, an axiom in rhythmical form, a Christian proverb. Scholars disagree whether the ’faithful saying’ here includes Titus 3:4-7 or only Titus 3:7. The presence of ’faithful sayings’ shows that a religious movement is no longer in its infancy: men have reflected about it for some time: cp. 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Timothy 3:1; 1 Timothy 4:8; 2 Timothy 2:11.

Believed in God] better (as RV), ’believed God’; i.e. trusted His word.

9. Every Christian minister learns the futility of arguments to persuade the prejudiced. Living reasonable lives, teaching positively and reasonably, we convince men; not otherwise.

10. Heretick] A heretic, to St. Paul, was never one who held erroneous opinions only, but one whose error sprang from moral crookedness, issuing at last in evil life. There seems always a sensual element in what St. Paul calls heresy; for he classes it with the sins of the flesh (Galatians 5:20). The heresies of the Corinthian Church were moral rather than intellectual (1 Corinthians 11:19). Ephesians 4:18. exactly describes heresy, though the word itself is not mentioned. It is not important, but interesting to note that the word ’heretic’ occurs only here in the NT. ’Heresy’ is common. Reject] This is not excommunication. ’Refuse,’ ’avoid,’ ’shim,’ ’decline to have intercourse with,’ have been suggested as better translations.

12. Artemas] Nothing is known of him beyond this mention. Tradition says that he was later bishop of Lystra. Tychicus] cp. Acts 20:4; Ephesians 6:21; Colossians 4:7; 2 Timothy 4:12. Nicopolis] Several towns had this name. This may be the one in Epirus.

13. Zenas.. and Apollos] Perhaps the bearers of the Epistle. Zenas was probably a Jewish scribe. For Apollos see Acts 18:24; 1 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 16:12. The mingling of old names with new is a strong critical argument for the Pauline authorship; a pupil wishing to imitate would hardly be apt to mention any but well-known names.

14. Our’s] ’our people’ (RV); i.e. the Christian community in Crete. For necessary uses] i.e. for helping such persons as Zenas and Apollos to give their time to Church extension. We should say, ’See that the people of the different congregations give good missionary offerings.’

15. In the faith] lit. ’in faith.’

The subscription appended to the Epistle in the AV is certainly spurious.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Titus 3". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.