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Bible Commentaries

Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Titus 3

Verse 1

Titus 3:1 . Ἀρχαῖς καὶ ἐξουσίαις , to principalities and powers ) Crete was a Roman province. ὑποτάσσεσθαι , πειθαρχεῖν , to be subject, to obey ) The words, ἀνόητοι , foolish (comp. Psa 32:9 ), ἀπειθεῖς , disobedient , Titus 3:3 , are opposed to them.

Verse 2

Titus 3:2 . Ἀμάχους , no brawlers ) Such as do not attack. ἐπιεικεῖς , gentle ) Such as yield to any one attacking them. πάντας , all ) Crete was an island much frequented by men engaged in mercantile transactions); and they were generally such as are described, Titus 3:3 .

Verse 3

Titus 3:3 . Γὰρ , for ) As God has treated us, so we ought to treat our neighbour. καὶ ἡμεῖς , we also ) Ephesians 2:3 . ἀνόητοι , foolish ) We have not come to the knowledge of God of our own accord (of ourselves). [ This is the very exact image of human life without grace. Grace, and grace alone, is the remedy even for foolishness. Some, which may appear wonderful, though they excel in some things by singular skill and sagacity, yet in other things, when godliness or even mere natural equity is the point at issue, make the most wretched blunders, and permit themselves to be imposed upon, and their authority to be basely exercised . V. g.] ἀπειθεῖς , disobedient ) We did not obey God when revealing Himself. ἡδοναῖς , pleasures ) which consist even in evil speaking, not merely in the taste of the tongue ( i.e. the pleasures of the palate). ποικιλαῖς , various, divers ) 2 Timothy 3:6 . A remarkable epithet. Variety delights.

Verse 4

Titus 3:4 . Ἡ χρηστότης καὶ φιλανθρωπία , kindness and love to men ) Human vices of a quite contrary character are enumerated, Titus 3:3 . σωτῆρος , our Saviour ) The conjugate, ἔσωσεν , He saved , occurs Titus 3:5 .

Verse 5

Titus 3:5 . Οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων , not of [by] works ) The negative belongs to the whole sentence: we had not been in a state of righteousness; we had not done works in righteousness; we had no works by which we could be saved. So Moses to Israel, Deuteronomy 9:5 [13] διὰ λουτροῦ παλιγγενεσίας καὶ ἀνακαινώσεως Πνεύματος Ἁγιου , by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost ) The renewing is immediately construed with by; for as washing and regeneration , so renewing and He shed on us , are closely connected. Two things are mentioned: the washing of regeneration , which is a periphrasis for baptism into Christ; and the renewing of the Holy Spirit . Comp. Hebrews 2:4 , note. For in both places the benefits are praised, which have come to us by Christ and by the Holy Spirit. So it is called the work of divine grace, not only in respect of individuals, but in respect of the very abundant economy of the New Testament. This regeneration and renewing takes away all the death and the old state, under which we so wretchedly lay, and which is described, Titus 3:3 :2 Corinthians 5:17 .

[13] Ἔσωσεν ἡμᾶς , He saved us ) Christianity itself, as opposed to former misery (ver. 3), brings a most real and present salvation. V. g.

Verse 6

Titus 3:6 . Οὗ ) Πνεύματος Ἁγίου διὰ , through ) This depends on He saved , etc., Titus 3:5 ; as the conjugates saved and Saviour prove. [ Through Jesus our Saviour is not to be connected, as in Engl. Vers., with He shed on us .]

Verse 7

Titus 3:7 . Ἵνα , that ) This depends on He saved . δικαιωθέντες , being justified ) For formerly we were without righteousness , Titus 3:5 . ἐκείνου , His ) God’s, Titus 3:4-5 . ἐκεῖνος , He, or that person , points often to something remote. That which is more remote (as expressed by ἐκεῖνος ) is estimated from the position of the words, not exactly from the thought itself. The grace of God is an ordinary phrase; and it is of that grace that the kindness and love to men have appeared, to which all things are here attributed. God is supremely good, we are exceedingly evil. χάριτι , by grace ) An antithesis to works . κατʼ ἐλπίδα , according to the hope ) which we did not formerly possess. [ This hope truly softens the mind , 1 Peter 3:9 . V. g.] ζωῆς , of life ) Construed with heirs .

Verse 8

Titus 3:8 . Πιστὸς , faithful ) The reference is to what goes before. περὶ τούτων , concerning these things ) not concerning things frivolous: 1 Timothy 1:7 , at the end. φροντίζωσι , that they be careful ) no longer foolish , Titus 3:3 . [ Diligence is necessary . V. g.] καλὰ , good ) entirely and substantially so. The antithesis is, vain, in the next verse. ὠφέλιμα , profitable ) The antithesis is, unprofitable , ibid.

Verse 10

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 11

Titus 3:11 . Ἐξέστραπται ) It is thus the LXX. translate the Hebrew הפך , Deuteronomy 32:20 . ἁμαρτάνει , sins) Whatever he does and thinks, he is wrong. ὢν αὐτοκατάκριτος ) κρίσις ἑαυτοῦ , his own judgment, accompanies sin ( ἁμαρτίαν ), and κατάκρισις , condemnation, follows close after; Romans 14:22-23 .

Verse 12

Titus 3:12 . Ἀρτεμᾶν ἢ Τυχιχὸν , Artemas or Tychicus ) into whose hands Titus might deliver the lamp of the Gospel. ἐλθεῖν πρός με , to come to me ) when affairs in Crete shall have been more fully set in order. ἐκεῖ , there ) He does not say here . Paul was not yet at Nicopolis.

Verse 13

Titus 3:13 . Ἵνα μηδὲν , that nothing ) Titus therefore had the means. They did not go empty.

Verse 14

Titus 3:14 . Μανθανέτωσαν , let them learn ) by thy admonition and example. καὶ οἱ ἡμέτεροι , ours also ) not only we, but also ours, whom we have gained at Crete. These seem not to have given sufficient assistance to Zenas and Apollos, when they ought to have done so. [ It is not proper that some should ever and anon devolve the business in hand from themselves upon others . V. g.] Zenas and Apollos were already in Crete with Titus; for this is the reason why he distinguishes them from Artemas and Tychicus, who were not until afterwards to be sent. εἰς τὰς ἀναγκείας χρείας , for necessary uses ) even as spiritual necessity [ i.e. the tie which necessarily binds saints to help one another] requires; so χρεία , Acts 6:3 . Spiritual necessity [‘necessitudo,’ tie of necessary obligation or relationship] lays the foundation of obligations, so that one cannot withdraw from another [so as not to help him]. [15]

[15] Bengel, J. A. (1860). Vol. 4 : Gnomon of the New Testament (M. E. Bengel & J. C. F. Steudel, Ed.) (J. Bryce, Trans.) (317 326). Edinburgh: T&T Clark.

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Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Titus 3". Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. 1897.