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The Teaching of Sound Doctrine Qualities of a Sound Church The Pastor and the Flock Sound Doctrine Some Specific Moral Instructions
2:1-10 2:1-10 2:1-2 2:1-5 2:1-10
2:6-8 2:6-8
2:9-10 2:9-10
Trained by Saving Grace The Basis of the Christian Moral Life
2:11-15 2:11-15 2:11-14 2:11-14 2:11-14
2:15-3:8a 2:15 2:15

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


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.



A. Paul admonishes different groups of people

1. older men (Titus 2:1-2)

2. older women. Titus 2:3 (cf. 1 Tim. 2:9-15)

3. younger women (Titus 2:4-5)

4. younger men (Titus 2:6)

5. Titus, Titus 2:7-8,15 (cf. 1 Tim. 4:12-13)

6. slaves (Titus 2:9-10)


B. In Titus 2 the qualifications for church leaders found in Titus 1:5-9 and 1 Timothy 3 are extended to believers of both sexes and of all ages.


C. The purpose for Christians living godly lives is clearly expressed in Titus 2:11-14, which is one sentence in Greek.


D. Titus 2 is a real contrast to the lifestyles of the false teachers found in Titus 1:10-16.



÷TITUS 2:1-3

 1But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. 2Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.

2:1 "But as for you" The singular pronoun "you" is emphatic. This shows the vast difference between the false teachers and Titus, a true leader/teacher (cf. 1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 3:1,14).

▣ "speak" This is a present active imperative (cf. 1 Tim. 4:13; 2 Tim. 4:2). The gospel and its implications must be articulated.

▣ "the things which are fitting for sound doctrine" Sound teaching (healthy teaching) is a recurrent theme (cf. Titus 1:9,13; 2:1,2,8; 1 Tim. 1:10; 2 Tim. 1:13; 4:3). Notice that in this context the healthy teaching is not doctrinal, but practical lifestyle, people-centered Christlikeness. We must not separate justification from sanctification!

2:2 "Older men" This is the same word translated "elders" in Titus 1:5 and 1 Tim. 5:1,17, but this context demands a different translation (cf. Philemon 9). In this culture it would refer to men over 60. See SPECIAL TOPIC: ELDER at 1 Tim. 5:1.

NASB, NRSV"to be temperate"
NKJV, TEV"sober"

This is literally "be sober," which could refer to intoxication (cf. Titus 1:6,7). The term was also used metaphorically of mental alertness or vigilance (cf. 1 Tim. 3:2,11).

▣ "sensible" This term is used in Titus 2:2,4,5,6 and 12. See note on "prudent" at 1 Tim. 3:2.

NASB, NJB"reverent"

This term is used several times in the Pastoral Letters (cf. Titus 2:2,7; 1 Tim. 2:2; 3:4,8,11; and a form of the term in 2 Tim. 2:2; 3:4). According to the lexicon by Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich, and Danker, it can be translated "reverence, dignity, seriousness, respectfulness, holiness, or probity" (cf. p. 47).

This term is related to the Latin "Augustus" (cf. Acts 25:21,25; 27:11). It referred to the veneration or worship of someone, the Emperor, and came to describe how one should act or feel in his presence.

▣ "sound" This is the recurrent metaphorical use of the term from Titus 2:1, "healthy." Christians are to be healthy and stable in their faith, in their love, and in their perseverance (cf. 1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 3:10), as well as in their doctrine. For Paul, believing and living were inseparable — just the opposite of the false teachers.

▣ "perseverance" See Special Topic at 1 Tim. 4:16 and in a different form in 2 Tim. 2:11.

÷TITUS 2:3-5

 3Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

2:3 "reverent in their behavior" This is a compound term of hieros, that which is holy or sacred (from hierou, for temple) and prepei, that which is fitting or proper. Older Christian women are to behave in godly, holy ways (cf. 1 Tim. 2:10).

NASB"not malicious gossips"
TEV"not slanderers"
NJB"no slander-mongering

The term used here (diabolos) is the same as is used of the Devil, the "slanderer" (cf. John 6:20; 1 Tim. 3:6. See SPECIAL TOPIC: SATAN at 1 Tim. 3:6). However, it is plural and does not have the article (cf. 1 Tim. 3:11; 2 Tim. 3:3). John Calvin said that "talkativeness is a disease of women, and it is increased by age."

The problem referred to is not only tale-bearing but possibly the sharing of false information (cf. 1 Tim. 5:13). The young widows may have been the surrogate speakers for the false teachers in the homes and house churches of Ephesus (cf. 2 Tim. 3:5-7). Whether this phrase (cf. 1 Tim. 3:11; 2 Tim. 3:3) refers to the same problem is uncertain.

▣ "nor enslaved to much wine" This is a perfect passive participle. This is a stronger statement than Titus 1:7 or 1 Tim. 3:3,8. Alcoholism (see Special Topic at 1 Tim. 3:3) must have been a problem in Crete, which shows that NT guidelines may intensify or relax in certain cultures.

▣ "teaching what is good" Because of 1 Tim. 2:12 this apparently means teachers at home or mentors of younger women. Verses 4-5 give the content of the teaching. See Special Topic at 1 Tim. 3:3.

2:4 "encourage the young women" The root term sōphrōn is found in Titus 2:4,5,6, and 12. Its basic meaning is "to be of a sound mind." It advocates a self-controlled, balanced life.

▣ "to love their husband, to love their children" These two Greek words are found only here in the NT. God's will for married women is that they be lovers of husband and children. The false teachers were disrupting homes (cf. Titus 1:11; 2 Tim. 3:6).

2:5 The characterization of young women as obedient homemakers was the expected social norm of the first century Mediterranean culture (cf. 1 Tim. 2:10). Does this message apply to married women in all cultures in all times? This is not an easy question! Modern Christians must allow some freedom of interpretation here without dogmatism. Please read How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth by Fee and Stuart and The Gospel and Spirit by Gordon Fee.

▣ "sensible" See full note at 1 Tim. 3:2.

▣ "pure" This term is found only here in the Pastorals. Paul used it of a "pure bride" (i.e., the Church) in 2 Cor. 11:2.

NASB"workers at home"
NRSV"good managers of the household"
TEV"good housewives"
NJB"how to work in their homes"

There is a Greek manuscript problem in this phrase (see BAGD, p. 561). Most early uncial manuscripts (א*, A, C, D*, F, G, I), most early church Fathers, and most later minuscule manuscripts have the common term, houseworker (oikourgos, "house" + "worker"), but some ancient texts (אc, Dc, H, L, P) have housekeeper (oikouros, "house" + "guard"), which is similar to 1 Tim. 5:14, oikodesmoteu (household manager, "house" + "master").

This term, oikourgous, is a very rare term (Bruce M. Metzger, Commentary on the Greek New Testament, p. 654. One of the basic tenets of textual criticism is that the most unusual term or phrase is probably original because scribes would have been more likely to change it to something familiar.

▣ "subject to their own husbands" The term "subject" or "submit" comes from a military term that referred to a chain of command. This is a present middle participle (cf. Eph. 5:21ff; Col. 3:18; 1 Tim. 2;11-12; 1 Pet. 3:1). However, notice that Paul, in Eph. 5:21, links submission to being filled with the Spirit (cf. Eph. 5:18) and makes it a mutual responsibility of all Christians. Please read notes at 1 Tim. 2:11-12.


▣ "so that the word of God will not be dishonored" Believers' lifestyles are significant. This is a recurrent theme in the Pastoral Letters, "no handle for criticism" (cf. Titus 2:8,10; 1 Tim. 3:2,7,10; 5:8,14; 6:1; Titus 1:6-7,8,10). Believers' lives and words should bring others to Christ. True, sound, healthy teaching never separates justification from sanctification!

÷TITUS 2:6-8

 6Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; 7in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, 8sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.


NRSV, TEV"self-controlled"

The younger men are given only one guideline ("be sensible," cf. Titus 2:2,4,5). It is the only imperative in Titus 2:2-6. See the full note on this common Greek term at 1 Tim. 3:1. It characterized many of the Greek philosophers' basic guide to life (i.e., "the golden mean").

2:7 "in all things" It is grammatically uncertain whether the "in all things" of Titus 2:7 relates to this verse and is thereby another guideline for young men, or is related to the emphatic "yourself" of Titus 2:7, which would refer to Titus.

▣ "show yourself to be an example" This is a present middle participle used as an imperative (cf. 1 Tim. 4:12).

For "example" (tupos) see Special Topic: Form at 1 Tim. 4:12.

▣ "of good deeds" This is a recurrent emphasis (cf. Titus 1:16; 2:7,14; 3:1, 8, 14). Lifestyle change was the evidence of and an attraction to the Christian message.

NASB"with purity in doctrine"
NKJV"in doctrine showing integrity"
NRSV"in your teaching show integrity"
TEV"be sincere. . .in your teaching"
NJB"by sincerity. . .when you are teaching"

This seems to describe the way Titus is to teach (in contrast to the false teachers' impure lives and motives), not only the content of his preaching and teaching. Titus was to pass on the Apostolic truths he had received from Paul. If it does refer to content, then possibly it is an emphasis on the resurrection (cf. Rom. 2:7; 1 Cor. 15:42,53,54).

There are several Greek manuscript problems related to this phrase. In A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament Bruce M. Metzger says the term aphthorian (incorruption)

1. has the good manuscript support (i.e., א*, A, C, D*)

2. fits the context

3. explains the other variants

4. is the most unusual of the options

The most common option (i.e., אc, Dc, L, and most later minuscule manuscripts) is adiaphthorian (sincerity) (p. 654).

2:8 "sound in speech" This is the same recurrent term used in Titus 2:1 and 2 which meant "healthy" (metaphorically in contrast to the unhealthy message of the false teachers).


See full note at Titus 2:2.

▣ "which is beyond reproach" This is a guideline for both Christian leaders and believers in general (cf. Titus 1:6-7,8,10; 1 Tim. 3:2,7,10; 5:8,14; 6:1). See Special Topic at 1 Tim. 3:2.

▣ "the opponent" In context this could refer to (1) the false teachers of Titus 1:10-16 or (2) the unbelievers of society who criticized Christianity out of pagan ignorance. Believers' lives should silence both groups and attract them to the gospel.

 9Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.

2:9 "Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters" "To be subject" is a present middle infinitive (cf. Eph. 6:5-9; Col. 3:22-24: 1 Tim. 6:1-2). The verb "urge" is implied from Titus 2:6. Like women, slaves are urged to have a godly attitude toward cultural authority structures for Christ's sake. The issue is not personal freedom, but evangelism! See Special Topic: Paul's Admonitions to Slaves at 1 Tim. 6:1.

▣ "in everything" This phrase is repeated at the end of verse 10. It is significant that believers realize that their lives, in all areas, reflect on God. This concept is theologically parallel to mutual submission found in Eph. 5:21 and the submission of godly wives in Titus 5:22-6:9 (cf. H. E. Butt's The Velvet Covered Brick).

"to be well-pleasing" The unstated, but implied, meaning is not only to the slave owners, but supremely to God (cf. Rom. 12:1-2; Eph. 6:7-8).

NASB"not argumentative"
NKJV"not answering back"
NRSV, TEV"not to talk back"
NJB"without argument"

How believers handle even difficult situations and conditions is a clear, strong witness of their faith in Christ (cf. Eph. 6:5-9).

2:10 "not pilfering" This must have been a common problem for slaves (cf. Eph. 4:28).

"showing" This term meant to give outward and clear proof of something. Believing salves' lives must bring glory to God and evidence of the life-changing power of the gospel! One's social status was not the critical issue, but one's lifestyle was!

▣ "God our Savior" This was a common title used by and for Caesar. This is a characteristic phrase of the Pastorals Letters for deity (cf. Titus 1:3-2:10; 3:4). The same title is also repeatedly used of Jesus (cf. Titus 1:4; 2:13; 3:6). See full note at 2 Tim. 1:10.


A. This brief passage (Titus 2:11-14) gives the theological reasons for Christians living godly lives. This discussion is very similar to Titus 3:4-7 and 2 Timothy 1:8-10.


B. Titus 2:11 refers to the first coming of the Messiah, the Incarnation (cf. Titus 3:4; 2 Tim. 1:10). Titus 2:13, uses the same term, "appearing," to refer to the Second Coming of Christ (cf. 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 4:1,8). The first coming was characterized by God's grace; the second will be characterized by God's justice!


C. Titus 2:12 is a summary of the godly characteristics required of leaders in chapter 1:5-9 and all Christians in chapter 2:1-10.


D. Titus 2:13 sets the gospel in the characteristically Pauline category of "the already" (the Kingdom of God is present) and "the not yet" (the Kingdom of God is future). This tension is true of much of Paul's discussion about the Christian life.


E. Is Jesus alone being referred to in Titus 2:13 (cf. NASB, RSV, NEB, NIV) or is it a double reference to God the Father and to Jesus the Son (cf. KJV, ASV, Moffatt translation and 2 Peter 1:1)? There are several reasons why this seems to be a reference to Jesus' deity, clothed in titles used for the Roman Caesar:

1. only one article with both nouns

2. verse 14 relates only to Christ

3. the terms "great" and "appearing" are never used in the NT to refer to God the Father

4. there are several other passages in Paul and other NT authors where full deity is attributed to Jesus

5. the majority of the early church fathers also saw it as referring to Jesus. It should be noted, however, that the early versions tended to see the phrase as referring to YHWH and Jesus.


F. Verse 14 describes the Church in OT terms used of Israel. In some senses the Church is the fruition of God's desire for Israel (cf. Rom. 2:28-29; Gal. 6:16; 1 Pet. 2:5,9; Rev. 1:6).. Yet Israel remains an object of God's unique love and care (cf. Rom. 11).



÷TITUS 2:11-14

 11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

2:11 "For" Verses 11-14 are linked to 1-10, and give the theological basis for godly living.

▣ "the grace of God has appeared" This refers to the incarnation of Jesus (cf. 2 Tim. 1:10; Titus 3:4-7). The life, teaching, and death of Jesus fully revealed the Father's love, mercy and grace. When we see Jesus, we see God (cf. John 1:1-14; 14:8-11; Col. 1:15-19; Heb. 1:1-3).

The term epiphany (appearing) is used in Titus 2:13 for Christ's Second Coming (cf. Titus 2:11,13; 3:4; 2 Thess. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 1:10; 4:1,8). See Special Topic: NT Terms for Christ's Return at Titus 2:13.

▣ "bringing salvation to all men" God sent Christ to die for the sin of all humans (see Special Topic at 1 Tim. 4:10), but they must personally respond by repentance, faith, obedience, and perseverance. The following passages reflect the universal scope of Christ's work.

1. "for the world" (John 1:29; 3:16; 6:33,51; 2 Cor. 5:19; 1 John 2:2; 4:14)

2. "all men" (Rom. 5:18; 1 Cor. 15:22; 1 Tim. 2:4-6; Heb. 2:9; 2 Pet. 3:9)

See fuller note at 1 Tim. 2:4 and the Special Topic at 1 Tim. 4:10.

God made humans in His image (cf. Gen. 1:26-27). In Gen. 3:15 He promised to redeem all humans. He specifically mentions His worldwide agenda even in His call of Abraham (cf. Gen. 12:3) and of Israel (cf. Exod. 19:5). The OT promises to Israel (Jew vs. Gentile) have now been universalized to believer and unbeliever (cf. Eph. 2:11-3:13). God's invitation to salvation is worldwide, individually focused, and Spirit- energized.

SPECIAL TOPIC: Predestination (Calvinism) Versus Human Free Will (Arminianism)

2:12 "instructing us" This literally meant child discipline or training (cf. 1 Tim. 1:20; 2 Tim. 2:25; 3:16). Grace is personified as a loving parent (cf. Heb. 12:5ff).

▣ "ungodliness" This is a word play between asebeia (ungodliness, alpha privative) and eusebia (godliness, see Special Topic at 1 Tim. 4:7). They may reflect the "two ways" of the OT Wisdom Literature (cf. Jos. 24:14-15; Psalm 1; Pro. 4:10-19; Matt. 7:13-14). We are to turn from evil because Christ gave Himself to deliver us from evil; we are to turn to good because Christ set the example. Grace teaches us both a positive and negative lesson!

▣ "worldly desires" (cf. Titus 3:3; 1 Tim. 6:9; 2 Tim. 2:22; 3:6; 4:3)

▣ "sensibly" See full note at 1 Tim. 3:2.

▣ "righteously" See verses 2,4,5,6 and the Special Topic following.


▣ "in the present age" See Special Topic at 1 Tim. 6:17.

2:13 "looking for" This is a present middle which refers to a continual personal expectation of Christ's return.

▣ "the blessed hope" This is another reference to the Second Coming.

"the appearing" See Special Topic below.


▣ "of the glory" The phrase "of the glory" can be understood in two ways: (1) the "glorious appearing" (cf. NKJV) or (2) "the appearing of the glory" (cf. NASB, NRSV, TEV and NJB). Glory is often associated with God's presence in the OT (especially the Shekinah cloud of glory during the wilderness wandering period). Glory is from the Hebrew term kabod which refers to a radiant splendor. Two of the Greek terms associated with the Second Coming also refer to a brightness or radiance: epiphaneia, (cf. Matt. 25:31) and phanerōō (cf. Matt. 24:30). Jesus spoke of His and His Father's glory in John 17:1-5,22,24.


▣ "our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus" Jesus is here unambiguously given the title of God! The Caesars claimed similar titles (i.e., Ptolemy I). The terms "appearing" (which contextually relates to Christ's Second Coming) and "great" are never used of YHWH. Also, there is no article with "savior." The syntax of Koine Greek supports this as a title for Jesus because there is only one article with both nouns, thus linking them together (see NET Bible). Jesus is divine (cf. John 1:1; 8:57-58; 20:28; Rom. 9:5; Phil. 2:6; 2 Thess. 1:12; Heb. 1:8; 2 Pet. 1:1,11; 1 John 5:20). In the OT the Messiah (see Special Topic at 1 Tim. 1:1) was expected to be a divinely empowered person like the Judges. His deity surprised everyone (see SPECIAL TOPIC: MONOTHEISM at 1 Tim. 2:5)!

2:14 "who gave Himself for us" This follows the theology of Mark 10:45; 2 Cor. 5:21; and Heb. 9:14. It refers to the vicarious, substitutionary atonement (cf. Isa. 53; Gal. 1:4; 1 Tim. 2:5-6; Heb. 9:12-15; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). God the Father "sent" but the Son "gave Himself"!

▣ "to redeem us" The terms "ransom" and "redeem" have OT roots (the NASB prints Titus 2:14 as an OT quote). Both words refer to someone being bought back from slavery as Israel was redeemed from Egypt. This also implies that believers are free from the power of sin through Christ (cf. Romans 6). See SPECIAL TOPIC: RANSOM/REDEEM at 1 Tim. 2:6.

▣ "to purify" Refer to the Special Topic on "Righteousness" at Titus 2:13. The theological question is how does He purify people? Is it a free gift through Christ, given by divine decree or is it a mandated, repentant, obedient, persevering faith? Is it all of God or is a human response mandated?

For me, since I view the Bible as presenting truth in paradoxical pairs, it is both a free act of the holy God and a required initial act and a continuing act of a fallen individual (see Special Topic at Titus 2:11)! These are unified in the concept of "covenant" (see Special Topic at 2 Tim. 2:1).

▣ "a people for His own possession" This is OT covenant terminology (cf. Exod. 19:5; Deut. 14:2; 1 Pet. 2:5,9,10; Rev. 1:6). The church is spiritual Israel (cf. Gal. 6:16; Rom. 2:29). The church has the mandate to evangelize all humans (cf. Matt. 28:19-20; Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8) by sharing the gospel and living the gospel!

▣ "zealous of good deeds" The goal of Christianity is not only heaven when believers die but Christlikeness now (cf. Gal. 4:19; Eph. 1:4 2:10). God's people are characterized by an eager desire for good works (cf. James and 1 John).

÷TITUS 2:15

 15These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

2:15 "speak and exhort and reprove" There are three present active imperatives: continue teaching (cf. Titus 2:1), continue exhorting, and continuing reproving (cf. 2 Tim. 3:16). Church leaders must encourage the saints and recognize false teachers!

▣ "with all authority" Jesus is said to have all authority (exousia) in heaven and on earth (cf. Matt. 28:18). He delegated this authority to His Apostles (Paul being the last, one born out of due time). Paul delegated his authority (epitaē) to both Timothy and Titus as his personal representatives.

Since the death of these eye-witnesses, the written New Testament (as well as the OT) has become the authority "for all subsequent generations of believers" (cf. 2 Tim. 3:15-17).


▣ "let no one disregard you" This is a present active negated imperative (cf. 1 Tim. 4:12). This may refer to

1. those within the church with regard to Titus' age or delegated authority

2. those involved with the false teachers, possibly even a chief spokesperson.



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. Does this chapter speak of Christ's first coming or His Second Coming?

2. What is so significant about verse 13?

3. List the three tasks of the preacher is Titus 2:15.




4. Does Titus 2:15 close out chapter 2 or begin the discussion of chapter 3?


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