Titus 3:1-15 . WHAT TITUS IS TO TEACH CONCERNING CHRISTIANS' BEHAVIOR TOWARDS THE WORLD: HOW HE IS TO TREAT HERETICS: WHEN AND WHERE HE IS TO MEET PAUL. SALUTATION. CONCLUSION.
8. Greek, "faithful is the saying." A formula peculiar to the Pastoral Epistles. Here "the saying" is the statement ( Titus 3:4-7 ) as to the gratuitousness of God's gift of salvation. Answering to the "Amen."
these things, &c.--Greek, "concerning these things (the truths dwelt on, Titus 3:4-7 ; not as English Version, what follow), I will that thou affirm (insist) strongly and persistently, in order that they who have believed God (the Greek for 'believed in God' is different, John 14:1 . 'They who have learnt to credit God' in what He saith) may be careful ('Solicitously sedulous'; diligence is necessary) to maintain (literally, 'to set before themselves so as to sustain') good works." No longer applying their care to "unprofitable" and unpractical speculations ( Titus 3:9 ).
These things--These results of doctrine ("good works") are "good and profitable unto men," whereas no such practical results flow from "foolish questions." So GROTIUS and WIESINGER. But ALFORD, to avoid the tautology, "these (good works) are good unto men," explains, "these truths" ( Titus 3:4-7 ).
9. avoid--stand aloof from. Same Greek, as in 2 Timothy 2:16 ;
foolish--Greek, "insipid"; producing no moral fruit. "Vain talkers."
genealogies--akin to the "fables" much direct heresy as yet is here referred to, as profitless discussions about genealogies of aeons, etc . . . which ultimately led to Gnosticism. Synagogue discourses were termed daraschoth, that is, "discussions." Compare "disputer of this world (Greek, 'dispensation')."
strivings about the law--about the authority of the "commandments of men," which they sought to confirm by the law ( Titus 1:14 ; and about the mystical meaning of the various parts of the law in connection with the "genealogies."
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 Titus 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.
11. is . . . subverted--"is become perverse."
condemned of himself--He cannot say, no one told him better: continuing the same after frequent admonition, he is self-condemned. "He sinneth" wilfully against knowledge.
12. When I shall send--have sent.
Artemas or Tychicus--to supply thy place in Crete. Artemas is said to have been subsequently bishop of Lystra. Tychicus was sent twice by Paul from Rome to Lesser Asia in his first imprisonment (which shows how well qualified he was to become Titus' successor in Crete); Ephesians 6:21 ; and in his second, 2 Timothy 4:12 . Tradition makes him subsequently bishop of Chalcedon, in Bithynia.
Nicopolis--"the city of victory," called so from the battle of Actium, in Epirus. This Epistle was probably written from Corinth in the autumn. Paul purposed a journey through Ætolia and Acarnania, into Epirus, and there "to winter." to the Pastoral Epistles.
13. Bring . . . on their journey--Enable them to proceed forward by supplying necessaries for their journey.
Zenas--the contracted form of Zenodorus.
lawyer--a Jewish "scribe," who, when converted, still retained the title from his former occupation. A civil lawyer.
Apollos--with Zenas, probably the bearers of this Epistle. In 1 Corinthians 16:12 , Apollos is mentioned as purposing to visit Corinth; his now being at Corinth (on the theory of Paul being at Corinth when he wrote) accords with this purpose. Crete would be on his way either to Palestine or his native place, Alexandria. Paul and Apollos thus appear in beautiful harmony in that very city where their names had been formerly the watchword of unchristian party work. It was to avoid this party rivalry that Apollos formerly was unwilling to visit Corinth though Paul desired him. HIPPOLYTUS mentions Zenas as one of the Seventy, and afterwards bishop of Diospolis.
14. And . . . also--Greek, "But . . . also." Not only thou, but let others also of "our" fellow believers (or "whom we have gained over at Crete") with thee.
for necessary uses--to supply the necessary wants of Christian missionaries and brethren, according as they stand in need in their journeys for the Lord's cause. Compare Titus 1:8 , "a lover of hospitality."
15. Greet--"Salute them that love us in the faith." All at Crete had not this love rooted in faith, the true bond of fellowship. A salutation peculiar to this Epistle, such as no forger would have used.
Grace--Greek, "The grace," namely, of God.
with you all--not that the Epistle is addressed to all the Cretan Christians, but Titus would naturally impart it to his flock.