A Sample Passage from the Comments on Titus:

Chapter  2


1.  You yourself, however, keep on speaking what things continue being fitting for, suitable in and proper to sound and healthy teaching.


We should all really hear this.  Speak what brings soundness of spirit, soul and body, and which is based upon the Rock, Jesus Christ.  Speak things that are fitting and suitable for folks to hear, that are based upon something which they have in common with us: the Word, not our experiences.  Teaching should not be based upon experiences.  Speak of things from the new covenant, the new creation, the New Being – not things from the in-part and the shadow of reality.  Speak from an informed familiarity with your subject, basing it upon the historical context, life situation and world view of the people to whom your topic was originally written.  Speak only things that edify, building God's house (temple/people) with "gold, silver and precious stones."


2.  Old (or: Aged; Older) men are to habitually be moderate and sober in the use of wine, serious (grave; solemn; dignified; worthy of respect and honor), sound of mind with a rational (or: sane; sensible) and wholesome way of thinking and attitude, being continuously sound and healthy in the Faith (or: by trust; with loyalty; for confidence), in (or: by; with) the Love, in (or: by; with) the Remaining-under in support (or: the persistent, patient endurance).


They are to be respected members of the called-out community and be continuously sound and healthy: in faith, by trust, with loyalty and for confidence.  Next Paul highlights the central theme of the message of goodness: Love, and then includes one of the main ingredients of love: remaining under – a situation; people – in support of something or someone.  This also involves patient personal endurance throughout all of life.


3.  Old (or: Aged; Older) women, similarly (or: likewise), [are to be] women in a state and resultant condition proper and fitting for being engaged in the sacred (suitable in demeanor for serving the temple; or: = living a life appropriate [for] a person [being] a temple), not folks who thrust-through or hurl [a weapon, or something hurtful] through [someone] (or: not devils nor slanderous adversaries which bring division and hurt), nor women having been enslaved by (or: to) much wine.


"Proper and fitting for being engaged in the sacred."  What a picture; what an example to follow.  Each of us will have his/her own interpretation of these words, but should not make our understanding a law for others.  The paraphrase, which follows the = sign in the parenthetical expansion, is of hiero-prepes: that which is proper and fitting for a temple, or for sacred rites.  We should remember that we are His temple.


The phrase "folks who thrust-through or hurl... through" is a literal rendering of the elements of the Greek word dia-bolos.  This word is normally translated "devil."  Modern translations render it "adversaries; slanderers" in this verse, as I did in the parenthetical expansion.  This should give us a clear picture of 1st century use of this Greek word.  It is here in the plural.  It is talking about people who wound and hurt other people, and often cause divisions by their slanderous or adversarial words and deeds.  We may need to adjust our spiritual cosmology, in regard to this word "devil."  Too many of us have had a religious paradigm, a word of rebuke, or a controlling edict, etc., thrust through us.


The reference to "much wine" can be literal, or figurative of "too much 'spiritual ritual,' 'doctrines about religious laws,' or 'spiritual activities or experiences.'"


[They are to be] teachers of beauty and of what is fine, excellent and ideal,

4.  to the end that they can (or: may; would) habitually bring the young women to their senses (or: cause new [wives] to be sound-minded and with a healthy attitude) to habitually be affectionate, friendly, loving and fond of passionately kissing their husbands [and] children,


Teachers of beauty and of what is fine, excellent and ideal.  Ah, how we all need such instruction.  Consider how different a paradigm the young would have, as compared to the fare they receive in our culture – and sometimes in our religions.


The goal of this is to bring young women to their senses (in this example – keep in mind the century when this was written, and their culture; but it would be a fine thing for the older women among the called-out to do this for young women of marriageable age, or young wives).  It seems to me that the advice of the last part of this verse would help to promote healthy families and sound marital relationships.  The effects upon the whole called-out community would be very positive.


5.  ones sound of mind with a rational (or: sane; sensible; clear headed) and wholesome way of thinking and attitude, untouched so as to be undefiled and pure (chaste), workers at home (domestic; = mistress of the house), good (virtuous; with qualities of excellence), being women that are by habit supportively aligned to (or: continue being humbly arranged for) their own husbands, to the end that God's thought and idea (God's Logos; God's Word; God's message) can not be constantly blasphemed (abusively defamed; misrepresented).


The first couple admonitions are universal and for the ages.  Being "workers at home" speaks to that culture and time – and to many others – but is not universal, as it certainly does not fit the modern culture of an industrialized society – there being some exceptions, of course.  But the idea behind these specifics is to be industrious, productive and supportive of those with whom they are in relationships.  Anything less is not love, and would thus bring criticism from those outside the community of Christ.


The phrase "untouched so as to be undefiled and pure (chaste)" speaks figuratively to the entire community, as being the wife of Christ: untouched by false ideas about God, Christ or the work of the cross; undefiled by the culture or religions that do not come from the New Being – Christ.


6.  Similarly (or: Likewise), be repeatedly and habitually doing the work of a paraclete: calling the younger men alongside to give them relief or support, and to encourage them to be continuously sound in mind (sane; sensible) and to be keeping a wholesome attitude and way of thinking about everything –


The work of a paraclete is coming to a person's side to give aid, comfort, relief, support and encouragement – whatever they need.  This is what the Holy Spirit does for us.  God is our divine Paraclete (Comforter).  Being sound in mind (sensible) and keeping a wholesome attitude toward life is good advice for all.  Note again the practical admonitions for a life lived here on earth – not off in the psychic or supposedly "spiritual" realms of glory or the heavens.  We are to serve God by serving humanity.  We need to be sane and sensible.  The supernatural (God) has come to dwell with humans (Rev. 21:3).


7.  [while] constantly holding yourself at [their] side, offering (tendering; presenting; exhibiting) yourself [as] a model (example; pattern; an impression) of beautiful actions (fine deeds and ideal works), [exhibiting] incorruptness (absence of spoil or ruin; incapability of decay) [and] seriousness (gravity; dignity) [p32 & other MSS add: freedom from envy; willingness] within the teaching:


We are to stand beside folks and live our trust and understanding of the Christ-life.  As He lives His life through us, as us, we will produce beautiful actions, for it is our Father who does the works, which of course are fine and ideal, as well.  In so doing, incorruptness and seriousness of life will automatically issue from our new being, and we will be like a tree bringing forth fruit in season.  Note Paul's continued references to "the teaching."  We do not need new things to be taught, for the Scriptures (the teachings of Jesus and His sent-forth folks) have life enough for any situation.


8.  [presenting] a healthful message (a sound word; a thought or idea full of and promoting health): one without down-oriented knowledge and not bringing a downward experience, thus being unworthy of – and not containing any – condemnation (or: uncensurable), so that the person in the contrary and opposing position (or: [acting] out of contrariness) can (may; would) be turned back within himself (or: be put to shame and be made to show reverence and regard), continuing having nothing slight or mean (cheap; paltry; ill; sorry; good-for-nothing; thoughtless) to be saying about us.


And again he says, "a healthful message, a sound word, a thought or idea full of, and promoting, health."  We do not need "down-oriented knowledge" which brings "a downward experience" and leads to "condemnation."  If we are without these, the person behaving in a contrary way can be turned back within himself so as not to have anything slight or mean to say concerning us.


9.  [Encourage] slaves to habitually place themselves in subjection (or: to be continually in humble alignment, supportively arranged under) their own owners (or: masters) in all things – to be constantly well-pleasing and satisfying, not repeatedly speaking contrarily or refuting (or: talking back), nor embezzling (secretly putting aside for oneself; pilfering),


The new creation was inward, not on the outside; Christ did not start a revolution in society, but a transformation in the spirit.  So Paul tells Titus to encourage the slaves to remain in their station in life with proper behavior and supportive attitudes in all things.  Basically they are to love, and to live that love, with excellence and honesty.  The inward new creation would produce an outwardly transformed life.


10.  but to the contrary, habitually displaying all good faith (every virtuous trust, faithfulness, confidence, loyalty and reliability), so that they can progressively set the teaching, which pertains to, and whose source and origin is, God, our Deliverer (Savior; Rescuer; Restorer to health, wholeness and our original state of being), into the System – in all things, within every area and among all people!


Note the words "habitually displaying."  Folks were to be able to observe "all good faith, every virtuous trust, loyalty and reliability, etc."  This admonition has a purpose: to progressively set the teaching and message from God INTO the System – into the very system of slavery, as well as the cultural, political and religious systems – in all things, within every area, and among all people.  This same advice holds true for our day as well.  Our goal is to infuse the kingdom into our world.


11.  For God's saving grace


(the salvation-imparting influence and boon of undeserved kindness, favor and goodwill whose source is God and which brings deliverance, rescue, restoration and health) has been fully set in clear Light (was fully manifested and made to completely appear) for all mankind (or: to all humanity; in all people)


[other MSS: You see, the joyous favor of God: a Savior for (to; in) all mankind, has been fully displayed; or: So you see, the grace, which is God, was made to suddenly appear {as} a Savior for all humans],


This is the reason to be acting in the way that he admonished in vs. 10: God's saving grace is for all mankind, and it has been fully set in clear Light, first within Jesus, and now within His body.  We are the light of the world/system.


If we render the dative case function of the word "all" as location, then it means that God's saving grace is made to fully appear in all people.  The other MSS's readings tell us that God is a Savior in all humans and for all people.  This is a completely inclusive statement.


12.  progressively educating and training us so that, being people refusing (renouncing; denying; disowning; turning our backs on) the irreverence (lack of awe or pious fear; disrespect of and absence of duty to God) and over-desires (full-rushing passions) pertaining to the System (or: whose source is the world), we can (may; would) live sensibly (with clear-headed soundness of mind and wholesomeness of disposition and attitude) and equitably (fairly; justly; rightwisedly; relationally in a way which reflects the Way pointed out) and reverently (in devout goodness, awe and virtuous conduct, and with ease and well-being from relationship with God) within the current age (or: the present indefinite period of time, or eon),


This grace/favor progressively educates and trains us so that we can live sensibly and equitably within our own current age – this present indefinite period of time.  We are able to do this because Christ has transformed us into being people that now have the power, ability and freedom, by His Spirit, to refuse the irreverence and over-desires that come from the System of religion, culture, economy, politics and government.  We have become people infused with the Christ-life, which causes us to live with clear-headed soundness of mind and a wholesome disposition.  He has placed us in the Way (Christ, Himself) that has been pointed out to us, and He has turned us in the right direction (toward the Father), while making us fair, equitable and in right relationships – with God and with others.  His Spirit within us produces the fruit which is devout goodness in awe and virtuous conduct, while being at ease in the well-being of a relationship with God.


13.  being folks continuously receiving with welcoming focus, and granting access and admittance to, the happy expectation – even the full manifestation (the complete display in clear light) of the glory of our great God and Deliverer (or: Savior): Jesus Christ,

14.  Who gave (or: gives) Himself over us (= over our situation; on our behalf), to the end that He could loose and redeem us from all lawlessness – by payment of a ransom – and would cleanse and make pure in Himself (for Himself; by Himself; with Himself) a people being encircled around [Him], laid up as a super-abounding acquisition of property, zealous (bubbling up; or: boiling hot; = extremely enthusiastic) with regard to beautiful actions (or: for ideal works; from fine deeds).


In vs. 13 Paul continues describing who we now are: folks now continuously receiving with welcome focus "the happy expectation," which is the full manifestation, and complete display in clear light, of the glory of our great God and Deliverer/Savior: Jesus Christ.  Note that Paul here calls Jesus our great God, and that we continuously receive the full manifestation of His glory.  That manifestation of His glory is Jesus, Himself.  We need look for no other glory than Him.  The glory is not a realm, but God Himself, as manifested in Jesus, and Jesus is the One who gave and gives (aorist tense) Himself over our situation, to loose and redeem us from our bondage to lawlessness (our alienated nature), so that He would in, by, for and with Himself cleanse and make pure a people (= humanity, the new creation, the second Humanity) that would encircle Him and be His "super-abounding acquisition of property" – a people boiling hot with zeal to do beautiful actions, create ideal works, and perform fine deeds.


The phrase "continuously receiving with welcoming focus," in vs. 13, is a literal rendering of the present participle of pros-dechomaiDechomai means to welcome by taking into ones hands or arms, and thus to receive, grant access and admittance to something or someone.  The preposition pros, which is prefixed to this verb, emphasizes the direction or focus of this action: the happy expectation, which is the complete manifestation of the glory, which is our great God: Jesus, the Messiah.  This verb does not contain the idea of "waiting," as it is often translated.  In Col. 1:27 Paul tells the folks in Colossae that "the expectation of the glory" is Christ within them.  We receive from this expectation, and grant admittance to it, from the lives of the folks of the called-out communities – His body.


15.  Be constantly speaking these things, and habitually performing as a paraclete (calling folks alongside to support, give relief and encourage them), even be continuously putting [folks; situations] to the proof so as to convince by demonstration – or to refute by exposure of the test – with every complete disposition and full arrangement (precise placing in aligned order; or: injunction).

Let no one surround you with his intellect, mind-set, opinion or attitude (= don’t let anyone frame your way of thinking).


So Titus is to constantly tell this to people, and to habitually perform as a paraclete (Paul keeps saying this), while at the same time continuing to put folks and situations to the proof in a demonstrable way.  Or, he is to refute by exposure to the test of their spirits (1 John 4:1), or of their alignment to the Message.  He is to do these things "with every complete disposition and full arrangement (or: precise placing in aligned order)."  Paul does not give details of this, but it seems that he means to do a complete job of it.


His next warning is about not letting anyone surround him with their intellect, their personal mind-set, their opinion, or, their attitude.  This is a good word picture which he has drawn.  Folks can try to overpower you with themselves in this way.  The verb is peri-phronewPhronew means to be in a frame of mind, to focus the intellect, to be of an opinion, to have a mind-set or attitude.  The prefixed preposition peri means around, as a circle, and thus gives the verb the added meaning of "to surround, or to encircle."  The idea of "despise or disregard" (as it is often mistranslated here) is found in the verb kata-phronew.

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