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Bible Commentaries

Utley's You Can Understand the Bible

Titus 3

Titus 3:0

PARAGRAPH DIVISIONS OF MODERN TRANSLATIONS

USB4NKJVNRSVTEVNJB
Maintain Good DeedsGraces of the Heirs of GraceThe Pastor and the FlockChristian ConductGeneral Instructions for Believers
(Titus 2:1-11)
Titus 3:1-7Titus 3:1-8Titus 2:15-8aTitus 3:1-8aTitus 3:1-3
Titus 3:4-8a
Titus 3:8-11Avoid DissensionPersonal Advice to Titus
Titus 3:9-11Titus 3:8-11Titus 3:8-11Titus 3:8-11
Personal Instructions and GreetingsFinal MessagesFinal InstructionsFinal InstructionsPractical Recommendations, Farewells and Good Wishes
Titus 3:12-14Titus 3:12-14Titus 3:12-14Titus 3:12-14Titus 3:12-14
Farewell
Titus 3:15Titus 3:15Titus 3:15aTitus 3:15aTitus 3:15
Titus 3:15bTitus 3:15b

READING CYCLE THREE (from "A Guide to Good Bible Reading")

FOLLOWING THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR'S INTENT AT THE PARAGRAPH LEVEL

This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects. Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired but it is the key to following the original author's intent which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Third paragraph

4. Etc.

CONTEXTUAL INSIGHTS TO Titus 3:0

A. This chapter characterizes the themes of the entire book.

1. Christian character is emphasized in Titus 1:16; Titus 2:7, Titus 2:14; Titus 3:1-2, Titus 3:8

2. Christian doctrine is summarized in Titus 3:4 and 3:4-7

3. Believers are to live right because they have been made right with God. We are to take on the family characteristics of our Father. The goal of Christianity is not only heaven when we die, but Christlikeness now (cf. Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 4:19; Ephesians 1:4; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:3). The purpose of our new life is to reach the lost with the gospel (cf. Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 24:46-47; Acts 1:8). But Paul wants to make sure that his appeal to "good living" is not confused with "works righteousness."

B. The entire Trinity is active in mankind's salvation (see Special Topic at Titus 3:6)

1. Father's love (Titus 3:4)

2. Spirit's renewal and baptism (Titus 3:5)

3. Son's mediatorship (Titus 3:6)

C. Titus 3:9-11 is Paul's continuing warnings against false teachers and exhortation to good deeds, which is so characteristic of the Pastoral Epistles (cf. Titus 1:10-16; 1 Timothy 1:3-7).

D. Titus 3:12-15 forms a personal conclusion of encouragement and instructions to Titus.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought provoking, not definitive.

1. Why should Christians submit to civil government? What if the governing authorities are not Christians?

2. What is the major emphasis of Titus 3:4-7?

3. Is baptism necessary for salvation? Why? Why not?

4. Why are believers to be subject to civil authority?

5. What is a heretic?

6. Outline the theological statements of Titus 3:5-7.

7. What do the "good deeds" of Titus 3:8 and 14 involve?

8. Are the false teachers Jewish or Gnostic? Why?

Verses 1-11

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Titus 3:1-11 1Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, 2to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. 3For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. 4But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men. 9But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, 11knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.

Titus 3:1 "Remind them" This is a present active imperative, meaning "keep on reminding." This is obviously linked to Titus 2:15. Titus is to remind them of what they already know (cf. 2 Timothy 2:14; 2 Peter 1:12; 2 Peter 3:1-2; Jude 1:5). See SPECIAL TOPIC: VICES AND VIRTUES in the NT at 1 Timothy 1:9.

"to be subject" This a present middle infinitive, meaning "continue to put yourself under authority." It was a military term for the chain of command. This same term is used of Christian wives in Titus 2:5 and Christian slaves in Titus 2:9. It is also used of all Christians in Ephesians 5:20. It is basically an attitude of life for Christians in all areas. See Special Topic: Submission (hupotassô) at Titus 2:5.

"to rulers, to authorities" These two terms, exousia (see Special Topic at Titus 2:15) and archç (see Special Topic below), have a wide range of meaning in the Mediterranean world. There is, however, some semantic overlap in the sense of authority or power over another.

1. Exousia is used of civil authority in Romans 13:1 and Titus 3:1. 1 Timothy 2:2 and 1 Peter 2:13-17 are theologically parallel, though these two specific Greek terms are not used.

2. Exousia and archç are used for spiritual authorities and powers in Ephesians 2:2 and Colossians 2:15. In Ephesians 3:10 and 6:12 these two terms are linked with "in the heavenlies," which is unique to Ephesians and refers to the spiritual realm active in human history.

3. There are some Pauline texts that combine civil and spiritual authorities (i.e., 1 Corinthians 15:24; Ephesians 1:21; and Colossians 1:16).

See SPECIAL TOPIC: HUMAN GOVERNMENT at 1 Timothy 2:2.

SPECIAL TOPIC: ARCHÇ

"to be obedient" This is a present active infinitive. It is a compound word and word play on "obey" (peithomai) plus "rulers" (archç). It is found only here and in Acts 27:21 in the NT. The concept of submission and obedience is repeated in Paul's admonition to Christian wives, children, and slaves in Ephesians 5:21-9 and Colossians 3:18-25.

"to be ready for every good deed" This phrase in context may refer to believers' service to the civil authorities and/or community service to their fellow humans. However, similar phrases appear in Titus 3:1 and 3:17, where the context refers to godly living in general (cf. Titus 2:14; 2 Corinthians 9:8; Ephesians 2:10). The false teachers of Titus 1:16 are unqualified for any good work, secular or sacred.

Titus 3:2 This sentence lists four things that Christians should do in relation to their neighbors. Christians were the minority in their neighborhoods. How they acted was a crucial witness. Also, this list may reflect what false teachers do and true believers should not do.

This is good advice for modern believers involved in political action. How we act is as important as what we say! No cause supercedes evangelism!

NASB"to malign no one" NKJV, NRSV"to speak evil of no one" TEV"not to speak evil of anyone" NJB"not to go slandering other people"

This is literally the term "blaspheme" (cf. 1 Timothy 1:13, 1 Timothy 1:20; 2 Timothy 3:2; 1 Peter 4:4; 2 Peter 2:2, 2 Peter 2:10, 2 Peter 2:11, 2 Peter 2:12). It is usually used of speaking evil of God (cf. Matthew 26:65). It came to be used by Paul to assert that the gospel should not be spoken evil of because of Christian's conduct (cf. Romans 14:16; 1 Corinthians 10:30 and here). How believers live is crucial for the evangelistic witness of the church.

"to be peaceable" This, like all three of these terms, refers to believers' dealings with non-believers. See note at 1 Timothy 3:3.

"gentle" See note at 1 Timothy 3:3.

NASB"showing every consideration for all men" NKJV, NRSV"to show every courtesy to everyone" TEV"always to show a gentle attitude toward everyone" NJB"always polite to people of all kinds"

Again the phrase refers to believers' actions toward non-believers. In 2 Timothy 2:25 it relates to our actions toward believers (cf. 1 Timothy 6:11).

The theme of "everybody" is characteristic of the Pastoral Letters. God loves all people; Jesus died for all people; Christians must respond positively toward all people (cf. 1 Timothy 2:1, 1 Timothy 2:4, 1 Timothy 2:6; 1 Timothy 4:10; Titus 2:11).

Titus 3:3 "For we also once" The actions described in this verse characterize fallen mankind (Genesis 3:0; Romans 1:19-31), even Christians before they were saved (cf. Romans 1:29-31; 2 Corinthians 6:9-11; Ephesians 2:3; Ephesians 4:17-21; Galatians 5:19-21).

"foolish" This is the term for "thinking" or "reasoning" negated (cf. Luke 6:11; Luke 24:25; Romans 1:14, Romans 1:21; Galatians 3:1, Galatians 3:3; 1 Timothy 6:9; 2 Timothy 3:9). It is a strong term for wrong, inappropriate thinking.

"disobedient" This is the term "believing" negated. It was used of

1. King Agrippa in Acts 26:19

2. pagans in Romans 1:30; Ephesians 2:2; Ephesians 5:6

3. Jews in Luke 1:17; Romans 11:30, Romans 11:32; Hebrews 4:6

4. the false teachers in Titus 1:16; 2 Timothy 3:2

"deceived" This is a present active participle, which literally means "deceived" or "seduced." It originally referred to the wanderers (i.e., planets that did not follow the expected course of the constellations) of the night sky and came into English as "planet." It came to be used metaphorically for that which was in error. This term, like the previous two, is used in Paul's description of human sin in Romans 1:27 and 2 Thessalonians 2:11. Also notice its use in 1 Timothy 4:1-2; 2 Timothy 3:13; 1 Peter 2:25; 2 Peter 2:18; 2 Peter 3:17; and Jude 1:11.

The passive voice implies the action of an outside agent, here Satan or the demonic.

"enslaved" This is a present active participle, which literally means "serving as slaves" to human lusts (cf. Romans 6:6, Romans 6:12).

"to various" This is the adjective "multi-colored," which was used of the rainbow. It was used of many-sided things (i.e., [1] in 1 Peter 1:6 and James 1:2 of the many trials that face believers and [2] in 1 Peter 4:10 of the variegated, many-sided nature of God's grace).

"lusts" This is a compound term from "upon" (epi) and "the mind or soul" (thumos). It referred to a strong desire for something, often in a negative sense. This term is also used in Romans 1:24 to describe fallen mankind.

"pleasures" We get the English term "hedonism" from this Greek word (cf. Luke 8:14; James 4:1-3). Personal gratification can become a tyrant!

"spending our life in malice and envy" This is another description from Romans 1:29 of characteristics of fallen humanity.

NASB, NKJV"hateful, hating one another" NRSV"despicable, hating one another" TEV"others hated us and we hated them" NJB"hating each other and hateful ourselves"

This uses two synonymous Greek terms for hatred (the adjective stugçtos and the participle miseô). This list of problems reminds one of Matthew 7:0, "by their fruits you shall know them"! This context describes these believers before conversion, but hopefully not after. It still describes the false teachers and their duped followers.

Titus 3:4-7 This is one long sentence in Greek, which defines the gospel (similar to Titus 2:11-14). It may even be from a hymn, creed, or song (see Nestle-Aland Greek NT 26th and 27th editions).

Titus 3:4 "But when the kindness" Oh, what a contrast grace makes! We get the English term "philanthropy" from this word which is from two Greek terms: "brotherly love" (phileô) and "mankind" (anthropos). In the NT this word is only found here and in Acts 28:2. God loves people made in His image (i.e., Genesis 1:26-27), even fallen ones (cf. Romans 5:8).

"of God our Savior" This is a description of YHWH (cf. 2 Kings 13:5; Psalms 106:21; Isaiah 19:20; Isaiah 43:3, Isaiah 43:11; Isaiah 45:15, Isaiah 45:21; Isaiah 49:26; Isaiah 60:16; Luke 1:47). This may reflect the contemporary titles for the Emperor (cf. 1 Timothy 1:1). This is a characteristic phrase of the Pastoral letters. Notice that Jesus is called by the same title in Titus 3:6 (cf. 1 Timothy 1:1; 1 Timothy 2:3; 1 Timothy 4:10; Luke 2:11; John 4:42; Acts 5:31; Acts 13:23; 2 Timothy 1:10). Compare Titus 1:3-4; Titus 2:10-13; Titus 3:4-6. One way of uniting the Father and the Son was using the same titles for both! The very heart of the creator God is on saving, redeeming, forgiving, restoring, reuniting His rebellious creatures (cf. John 3:16; Romans 5:8). See full note at 2 Timothy 1:10.

"appeared" This refers to Jesus' first coming. The same term is used in Titus 2:13 for Jesus' Second Coming (cf. 1 Timothy 6:14). See Special Topic: NT Terms for Christ's Return at Titus 2:13. God's promised salvation (i.e., the Messiah, see Special Topic at 1 Timothy 1:1) was born at Bethlehem (cf. Titus 2:11).

Titus 3:5 "He saved us" This is an aorist active indicative, which implies completed action in past time. This is the main verb of the long Greek sentence from Titus 3:4 to Titus 3:7. See Special Topic: Greek Verb Tenses used for Salvation at 2 Timothy 1:9.

"not on the basis of deeds which we have done" This phrase is placed first in the Greek sentence for emphasis. Salvation is based not on mankind's efforts, but God's (cf. Titus 3:20,2-28; 4:4-5; Romans 9:11; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Philippians 3:9; 2 Timothy 1:9). This is the theological tension between "faith apart from works" and "faith seen in works" (cf. Ephesians 2:8-10; James 2:14-26). The Jewish Gnostic false teachers of the Pastorals were emphasizing human merit!

"in righteousness" Believers are to pursue righteousness (i.e. Christlikeness) after salvation (cf. 1 Timothy 6:11), but fallen humans can never approach a holy God on the merits of their own self-righteousness (cf. Isaiah 64:6 and the series of OT quotes in Romans 3:10-18). See SPECIAL TOPIC: RIGHTEOUSNESS at Titus 2:12.

"but according to His mercy" Fallen mankind's only hope is in the loving, merciful grace of God. It is His character and purposeful action that has brought the opportunity of forgiveness and restoration (cf. Genesis 3:15; Genesis 12:3; Exodus 19:5-6; Malachi 3:6; Ephesians 2:4-7; 1 Peter 1:3). See Special Topic at 1 Timothy 4:10.

"by the washing of regeneration" This is literally "through the bath of regeneration." The term washing (loutron) is used only twice in the NT (Ephesians 5:26 and here). It was rarely used in the Septuagint. It can refer to

1. the place of bathing

2. the water of bathing

3. the act of bathing

In Leviticus washings were a symbol of cleansing or purifying persons or things (cf. Dead Sea Scrolls). In Ephesians 5:26 the bathing refers to a ritual bath before marriage.

The term "regeneration" (palingenesia) is also a rare term, found only in Matthew 19:28 and here. It is a compound from "again" (palin) and "birth" (genesis). Therefore, it refers to the new birth brought about by the finished work of Christ and the wooing of the Spirit. The occasion of the new birth is water baptism, the agent is the Holy Spirit (cf. Titus 3:5-6), the means is the death and resurrection of Christ (cf. Titus 3:6), and the basis of it all is the love and mercy of the Father (cf. Titus 3:4). This is not a text that supports baptismal regeneration. Baptism was the occasion for the public confession/profession (cf. Acts 2:38) and the symbol of the believer's death, burial, and resurrection with Christ in symbolic action (cf. Romans 6:3-9; Colossians 2:12). In the early church baptism was the opportunity for a person's public profession of faith ("Jesus is Lord" cf. Romans 10:13). The focus is the action of the Holy Spirit (i.e. birthing and renewing).

SPECIAL TOPIC: BAPTISM

"renewing" This is also a rare term used only twice in the NT, here and Romans 12:2. It means to cause someone or something to become new. A related term is found in Colossians 3:10. Grammatically it is synonymous with "rebirth." There is only one preposition (dia) for both of them. Therefore, this is not two works of grace, but two aspects of one work. This implies they are one event administered by the Holy Spirit. This would be similar to John 3:5-8 and 1 Peter 1:23.

Titus 3:6 "poured out" This could refer to the Father (cf. Titus 3:4) or the Holy Spirit (cf. Titus 3:5). The same verb with the same ambiguity is used in Acts 2:17-18, Acts 2:33; Acts 10:45, which is taken from Joel 2:28-30.

"through Jesus Christ our Savior" The title "Savior" applied to God the Father in Titus 3:4 is now applied to God the Son. This same interchange of titles is found in Titus 1:3 and 4; and Titus 2:10 and 13.

SPECIAL TOPIC: THE TRINITY

Titus 3:7 "so that" This is a purpose statement (hina) like Titus 3:8, Titus 3:13 and 14.

NASB"being justified by His grace" NKJV, NRSV"having been justified by His grace" TEV"by His grace we might be put right with God" NJB"justified by his grace"

This is an aorist passive participle (cf. Romans 1:16-17; Romans 3:24) related to the word "righteousness." See full note at Titus 2:12. The passive voice implies the agency of the Spirit. "Justification by faith" is a forensic (legal) metaphor used so often by Paul emphasizing God's initiating grace (cf. 1 Timothy 1:2, 1 Timothy 1:14; 2 Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4). "Justify" and "justification," so common in Galatians and Romans, occur only twice in Paul's other letters (1 Corinthians 6:11 and here). Believers are forgiven and accepted because of who He is and what He has done, not because of who they are or what they have done!

"we would be made heirs" This is the ultimate application of the family metaphors used to describe believers (cf. Romans 4:13; Romans 8:14-17: Galatians 3:29; Galatians 4:7; Hebrews 6:7; James 2:5).

"eternal life" See note at Titus 1:2.

Titus 3:8 "This is a trustworthy statement" This is a common textual marker for five of Paul's theological affirmations in the Pastoral Letters (cf. 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Timothy 3:1; 1 Timothy 4:9; 2 Timothy 2:11). Exactly to what verses this refers has been debated among commentators; most assume Titus 3:4-7.

"to speak confidently" See note at 1 Timothy 1:7.

"so that" This is another hina (purpose clause), like Titus 3:7, Titus 3:13, and 14.

"those who have believed God" This is a perfect active participle, which describes a past act with continuing results which becomes a settled state of being. Usually in the NT the object of belief is Jesus, but often the pronoun (Him) used for deity is ambiguous and could refer to the Father or the Son. See SPECIAL TOPIC: BELIEVE, TRUST, FAITH, AND FAITHFULNESS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT (ןמא), Believe, and Trust at 1 Timothy 1:16.

"will be careful to engage in good deeds" The term "careful" is a form of the verb "to reason" or "to consider carefully," which is found only here in the NT. The infinitive "to engage" is from a word normally translated "manage" (cf. 1 Timothy 3:4, 1 Timothy 3:5, 1 Timothy 3:12). Believers must constantly think about and take the lead in living godly lives for the sake of the gospel. Paul affirms again that people are right with God apart from personal good works, but also that the goal of God for every believer is personal good works (cf. Ephesians 2:8-10 and James 2:14-23). The motivation is gratitude for the undeserved, unmerited grace of God; the effect is Christlikeness; the goal is evangelism.

"for men" Again, the universal emphasis is that God loves all mankind and wants all to be saved (John 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). A key way to draw unbelievers to God is the changed lives of believers (cf. Matthew 5:16; 1 Peter 2:12).

Titus 3:9 "But avoid" This is a present middle imperative, meaning "to continue to keep aloof from or avoid" (cf. 2 Timothy 2:16).

"foolish controversies" This term is first in the Greek text for emphasis (cf. 1 Timothy 6:4-5; 2 Timothy 2:14, 2 Timothy 2:23). Timothy is Paul's apostolic delegate. He is not to debate or speculate but to pass on apostolic truth with authority.

"genealogies" The same type of false teachers who were in Ephesus (cf. 1 Timothy 1:4) were on Crete. These genealogies were probably Jewish, relating to Messianic speculations, not Gnostic angelic levels (eons).

There is a series of nouns in Titus 3:9 connected by "and" (kai), which may refer to separate aspects or one general tendency (i.e., "controversies," "genealogies," "strifes," and "disputes").

"about the Law" This shows the Jewish element in this false teaching (cf. Titus 1:10, Titus 1:14; 1 Timothy 1:3-7). See Special Topic: Paul's View of the Mosaic Law at 1 Timothy 1:8.

"for they are unprofitable and worthless" Theological hair-splitting and speculations are not always helpful to the body of Christ. Titus, like Timothy, speaks with Paul's apostolic authority.

Titus 3:10 "reject" This is another present middle imperative, like Titus 3:9. The same term, "to refuse, reject, or decline," is used in 1 Timothy 4:7; 1 Timothy 5:11 and 2 Timothy 2:23. The same concept is used in Romans 16:17; Galatians 1:8-9; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-14.

In our attempt to dialog with factious people we must not give any gesture or greeting that could be seen as an acceptance or affirmation (cf. 2 John 1:10)!

NASB"a factious man" NKJV"divisive man" NRSV"anyone who causes divisions" TEV"to those who cause divisions" NJB"if someone disputes what you teach"

This is the Greek term hairetikos (which occurs only here in the NT), from which we get the English term "heretic." This term originally meant "to take sides" or "to choose for oneself." It is used in the NT

1. of "sects" in Acts 5:17; Acts 24:14

2. of "factions" in 1 Corinthians 11:19; Galatians 5:20

3. of "teachings" in 2 Peter 2:1

"after a first and second warning" This is consistent with the other NT passages on church discipline (cf. Matthew 18:15-17; Galatians 6:1; 2 Thessalonians 3:15; James 5:19). It may reflect Leviticus 19:17.

Titus 3:11 "knowing that such a man" This is a perfect active participle. Their actions clearly show and continue to show who they really are (cf. Matthew 7:0).

"is perverted" This is a perfect passive indicative. This form is found only here in the NT. This is a compound term from ek (from) and strephô (to turn), meaning therefore, to turn from. It is a word play on the term for turning to Christ (conversion) of Matthew 18:3 (epistrephô), which reflects the OT term for turning (shub) to God (Matthew 13:15; Mark 4:12; Luke 22:32; John 12:40; Acts 3:19; Acts 25:27; James 5:19-20). These false teachers are now turning from God (cf. Titus 1:14, apostrephô) to heresies and false teachings.

The passive voice implies an outside agent. In this context it has to be Satan or the demonic. For "Satan" see Special Topic at 1 Timothy 3:6 and for "the demonic" see Special Topic at 1 Timothy 4:2.

"and is sinning" This is a present active indicative, which implies habitual, on-going, lifestyle characteristics (cf. 1 Timothy 5:20, also note the present tense in 1 John 3:6, 1 John 3:9).

"being self-condemned" This is a present active participle. The form is found only here in the NT. Our actions and words reveal our hearts (cf. 1 Timothy 5:24; Matthew 7:0).

Verses 12-14

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Titus 3:12-14 12When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, make every effort to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. 13Diligently help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way so that nothing is lacking for them. 14Our people must also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful.

Titus 3:12 "Artemas" This man is unknown to us, but not to God.

"Tychicus" He is mentioned in Acts 20:4; Ephesians 6:21-22; Colossians 4:7-8 and 2 Timothy 4:12. He is the bearer of Paul's Prison Letters. These two men were to take Titus' leadership place on Crete so that he could join Paul for the winter.

This shows that the letter, although written to Titus, was meant to inform, instruct, and encourage the entire church on Crete. Many of Paul's statements to Titus do not make much sense if Titus were to leave soon after the letter was received unless it was obvious to the Christians that Paul was addressing them through his words to Titus.

"make every effort to come to me" This is an aorist active imperative. Paul did not want to be alone (cf. 2 Timothy 4:9, 2 Timothy 4:21), I think because he had severe eye problems probably dating back to his conversion on the Damascus road (cf. Acts 9:3-9, Acts 9:12, Acts 9:17-18). I believe his "thorn in the flesh" (cf. 2 Corinthians 12:7) was probably this eye problem. Notice the unusual statement in Galatians 4:15. Also in Galatians 6:11 Paul comments about his own handwriting being very large. He wrote the last few lines of his letters to authenticate them (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:2; 2 Thessalonians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 16:21; Colossians 4:18; Philemon 1:19).

"Nicopolis" There are several cities by this name, which means "victory-town." This was probably the coastal town close to the site of the battle of Actium.

Titus 3:13

NASB"diligently help. . .on their way" NKJV"send. . .on their journey with haste" NRSV"make every effort to send. . .on their way" TEV"do your best to help. . .to get started on their travels" NJB"help eagerly on their way"

This is the adverb spoudaiôs, which means "earnestly" or "eagerly" or "diligently" (cf. Luke 7:4 and a related term in Philippians 2:28). It is combined with the aorist active imperative propempô, which meant to furnish everything needed for a journey (cf. 3 John 1:6; and Acts 15:3). Apparently Zenas and Apollos were undertaking a mission activity. Paul asks for similar help from the house churches at Rome in Romans 15:24.

"Zenas the lawyer" Whether he was a Jewish or Greek lawyer is unknown.

"Apollos" He was a very eloquent preacher from Alexandria who was helped to fully understand the gospel by Priscilla and Aquila (cf. Acts 18:24, Acts 18:28; Acts 19:1; 1 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 3:5, 1 Corinthians 3:6, 1 Corinthians 3:22; 1 Corinthians 4:6; 1 Corinthians 16:12). These two men were probably the bearers of Paul's letter to Titus.

Titus 3:14 "Our people must also learn to engage in good deeds" This is a Present active imperative (cf. Titus 1:16; Titus 2:7, Titus 2:14; 3:18), encouraging missionaries is an evangelistic activity (cf. Titus 2:7, Titus 2:14; Titus 3:8).

"so that they will not be unfruitful" The term "unfruitful" is ambiguous. I think it is parallel to Paul's "in vain" (cf. eikç in 1 Corinthians 15:2; Galatians 3:4; Galatians 4:11 or kenos in 1 Corinthians 15:10, 1 Corinthians 15:58; 2 Corinthians 6:1; Galatians 2:2; Philippians 2:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:1; 1 Thessalonians 3:5), which refers to the establishment of effective evangelistic and mission-minded churches. Paul started churches in selected areas for the purpose of evangelizing the entire region. If for some reasonthese initial congregations lost sight of their "great commission" purpose, then their planting was in vain!

Verse 15

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Titus 3:15b 15bGrace be with you all.

"Grace be with you all" The "you" is plural. This letter was to be read to the house churches on Crete as were all the Pastoral Letters (cf. 1 Timothy 6:21; 2 Timothy 4:22).

The King James Version concludes with "Amen," but this is not present in the early Greek manuscripts P61, א*, A, C, or D*. Probably later scribes noticed its use in Romans 16:27; Galatians 6:18; Philippians 4:20; 2 Thessalonians 3:18; 1 Timothy 6:16; and 2 Timothy 4:18 and added it here as they did in Romans 15:33; Romans 16:20, Romans 16:24; 1 Corinthians 16:24; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 6:24; Philippians 4:23; 1 Thessalonians 5:28; 1 Timothy 6:21; 2 Timothy 4:22; and Titus 3:15. UBS4 rates its omission as "A" (certain).

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Bibliographical Information
Utley. Dr. Robert. "Commentary on Titus 3". "Utley's You Can Understand the Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ubc/titus-3.html. 2021.