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Bible Commentaries

Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Titus 3

Verses 1-8

Titus 3:1-7 . Further Instruction on Christian Conduct.

( a) Titus 3:1 f. Behaviour to those Outside.— In his relation with unbelievers the Christian must show (i) towards those in authority, obedience ( 1 Timothy 2:1-7 *); (ii) towards his neighbours generally, right-living and forbearance; (iii) towards all alike, meekness.

( b) Titus 3:3-8 a . Its Doctrinal Basis.— Any other spirit than that of meekness is ruled out (i) by the character of the believer’ s own pre-Christian life ( Romans 1:28 ff., cf. 1 Timothy 1:12 ff.), (ii) by the fact that his own salvation was of God’ s grace (see on Titus 2:11-15). A difficulty follows. We have (i) a characteristically Pauline statement of evangelical doctrine (men are “ justified” not by “ works,” but by “ grace” ); (ii) an allusion to baptism which, to many, appears un-Pauline. If Titus 3:5 b implies that the rite of itself effects the cleansing from sin, it is certainly different from Paul’ s usual doctrine of baptism— that of the believer’ s mystical union with Christ’ s death. The teaching, however, is not that the regeneration is through the physical washing— a view which would require the sentence to be rewritten— but that God uses baptism as the act with which He associates cleansing from sin. This sacramental doctrine is apostolic ( Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16, Galatians 3:27. Ephesians 5:26, 1 Peter 3:21), and must not be confused with the very different theory that the act itself possesses a quasi-magical power. The latter view would place baptism among those very “ works” by which, the context affirms, we are not saved.

Titus 3:3 . cf. Introduction, § 2 .

Titus 3:8 a . The “ saying” covers Titus 3:4-6; 1 Timothy 1:15 *.

Verses 8-11

Titus 3:8 b Titus 3:11 . Final Charge to Titus.

( a) Maintain good works— a characteristic demand in the Pastorals; ( b) avoid useless controversy ( cf. 1 Timothy 1:3-11 *); ( c) shun the factious.

Titus 3:8 b . these things: the preceding counsels.

Titus 3:10 . heretical: rather, “ factious,” one whose presence has a divisive influence.— refuse: not “ excommunicate,” but “ avoid.”

Verses 12-15

Titus 3:12-15 . Closing Messages.

Paul will send Artemas or Tychicus to fill Titus’ post when he leaves for Nicopolis (doubtless the Nicopolis in Epirus). For Tychicus see 2 Timothy 4:12 *, which implies that he was not actually chosen for Crete. Of Artemas we know nothing. Zenas and Apollos may well have carried this letter to Titus. Zenas, like Arternas, is unknown: he would probably be a “ lawyer” in the Jewish sense. Apollos appears in Acts 18:24; Acts 19:1; 1 Corinthians 1:12. For the significance of the historical allusions see Introduction, at end of § 1 .

Titus 3:14 . necessary uses: e.g. such hospitality as Zenas and Apollos required.

( See also Supplement)

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Titus 3". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.