Titus 1

Verse 17. That the man of God] The preacher of righteousness,

the minister of the Gospel, the person who derives his commission

from God, and always appears as his herald and servant.

May be perfect] αρτιος. From αρω, to fit or adapt.

It properly signifies an integer or whole number in arithmetic,

to which nothing needs to be added to make it complete.

Throughly furnished] εξηρτισμενος. From εξ, intensive,

and αρτιος, complete; see above. Not only complete in himself as

to his integrity, religious knowledge, faith in Jesus, and love

to God and man, but that he should have all those qualifications

which are necessary to complete the character, and insure the

success of a preacher, of the Gospel. Timothy was to teach,

reprove, correct, and instruct others; and was to be to them a

pattern of good works.

From what the apostle says here concerning the qualifications

of a Christian minister, we may well exclaim: Who is capable of

these things? Is it such a person as has not intellect sufficient

for a common trade or calling? No. A preacher of the Gospel

should be a man of the soundest sense, the most cultivated mind,

the most extensive experience, one who is deeply taught of God,

and who has deeply studied man; one who has prayed much, read

much, and studied much; one who takes up his work as from God,

does it as before God, and refers all to the glory of God; one who

abides under the inspiration of the Almighty, and who has hidden

the word of God in his heart, that he might not sin against him.

No minister formed by man can ever be such as is required here.

The school of Christ, and that alone, can ever form such a

preacher.

THE

EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE

TO

TITUS.

Chronological Notes relative to this Epistle.

-Year of the Constantinopolitan era of the world, or that used

by the Byzantine historians, 5573.

-Year of the Alexandrian era of the world, 5567.

-Year of the Antiochian era of the world, 5557.

-Year of the Julian period, 4775.

-Year of the world, according to Archbishop Usher, 4069.

-Year of the world, according to Eusebius, in his Chronicon,

4293.

-Year of the minor Jewish era of the world, or that in common

use, 3825.

-Year of the Greater Rabbinical era of the world, 4424.

-Year from the Flood, according to Archbishop Usher, and the

English Bible, 2413.

-Year of the Cali yuga, or Indian era of the Deluge, 3167.

-Year of the era of Iphitus, or since the first commencement of

the Olympic games, 1005.

-Year of the era of Nabonassar, king of Babylon, 812.

-Year of the CCXIth Olympiad, 1.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to Fabius Pictor,

812.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to Frontinus, 816.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to the Fasti

Capitolini, 817.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to Varro, which was

that most generally used, 818.

-Year of the era of the Seleucidae, 377.

-Year of the Caesarean era of Antioch, 113.

-Year of the Julian era, 110.

-Year of the Spanish era, 103.

-Year from the birth of Jesus Christ according to Archbishop

Usher, 69.

-Year of the vulgar era of Christ's nativity, 65 or 66.

-Year of Gessius Florus, governor of the Jews, 1.

-Year of Vologesus, king of the Parthians, 16.

-Year of L. C. Gallus, governor of Syria, 1.

-Year of Matthias, high priest of the Jews, 3.

-Year of the Dionysian period, or Easter Cycle, 66.

-Year of the Grecian Cycle of nineteen years, or Common Golden

Number, 9; or the first after the third embolismic.

-Year of the Jewish Cycle of nineteen years, 6, or the second

embolismic.

-Year of the Solar Cycle, 18.

-Dominical Letter, it being the first after the Bissextile, or

Leap Year, F.

-Day of the Jewish Passover, according to the Roman computation

of time, the VIIth of the ides of April, or, in our common mode

of reckoning, the seventh of April, which happened in this year

on the day after the Jewish Sabbath.

-Easter Sunday, the day after the ides of April, or the XVIIIth

of the Calends of May, named by the Jews the 22d of Nisan or

Abib; and by Europeans in general, the 14th of April.

-Epact, or age of the moon on the 22d of March, (the day of the

earliest Easter Sunday possible,) 28.

-Epact, according to the present mode of computation, or the

moon's age on New Year's day, or the Calends of January, 5.

-Monthly Epacts, or age of the moon on the Calends of each month

respectively, (beginning with January,) 5, 7, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,

11, 12, 12, 14, 14.

-Number of Direction, or the number of days from the

twenty-first of March to the Jewish Passover, 17.

-Year of the reign of Caius Tiberius Claudius Nero Caesar, the

fifth Roman emperor computing from Augustus Caesar, 12.

-Roman Consuls, A. Licinius Nerva Silanus, and M. Vestinius

Atticus; the latter of whom was succeeded by Aninius Cerealis,

on July 1st.

CHAPTER I.

The apostle's statement of his character, his hope, and his

function, 1-3.

His address to Titus, and the end for which he left him in

Crete, 4,5.

The qualifications requisite in those who should be appointed

elders and bishops in the Church of God, 6-9.

Of false teachers, 10, 11.

The character of the Cretans, and how they were to be dealt

with, 12-14.

Of the pure, the impure, and false professors of religion,

15, 16.

NOTES ON CHAP. I.

Verse 1. Paul, a servant of God] In several places of his

other epistles St. Paul styles himself the servant of Jesus

Christ, but this is the only place where he calls himself the

servant of God. Some think that he did this to vindicate himself

against the Jews, who supposed he had renounced God when he

admitted the Gentiles into his Church. But if thus to vindicate

himself was at all necessary, why was it not done in his Epistle

to the Romans, the grand object of which was to prove that the

Gentiles came legally into the Church on believing in Christ, with

out submitting to circumcision, or being laid under obligation to

observe the rites and ceremonies of the Jewish law? This reason

seems too fanciful. It is very likely that in the use of the

phrase the apostle had no particular design; for, according to

him, he who is the servant of Christ is the servant of God, and he

who is God's servant is also the servant of Christ.

The faith of God's elect] The Christians, who were now chosen

in the place of the Jews, who, for their obstinate rejection of

the Messiah, were reprobated; i.e. cast out of the Divine favour.

The acknowledging of the truth] For the propagation of that

truth, or system of doctrines, which is calculated to promote

godliness, or a holy and useful life.

Verse 2. In hope of eternal life] In expectation of a state

of being and well being which should last through eternity, when

time should be no more. This includes, not only the salvation of

the soul and its eternal beatification, but also the resurrection

of the body. This was a point but ill understood, and not very

clearly revealed, under the Mosaic law; but it was fully revealed

under the Gospel, and the doctrine illustrated by the resurrection

and ascension of Christ.

Which God, that cannot lie, promised] We have often seen that

the phrase, the foundation of the world, means the Jewish economy,

and, before the foundation of the world, the times antecedent to

the giving of the law. This is evidently the meaning here.

See 2Ti 1:9-11.

Supposing the word αιωνιων in this verse to signify eternal,

says Dr. Macknight, the literal translation of προχρονωναιωνιων

would be, before eternal times; but that being a contradiction in

terms, our translators, contrary to the propriety of the Greek

language, have rendered it before the world began, as Mr. Locke

observes on Ro 16:25.

The true literal translation is before the secular times,

referring us to the Jewish jubilees, by which times were computed

among the Hebrews, as among the Gentiles they were computed by

generations of men. Hence, Col 1:26,

The mystery which was kept hid αποτωναιωνωνκαιαποτωνγενεων,

from the ages and from the generations, signifies the mystery

which was kept hid from the Jews and from the Gentiles.

Verse 3. But hath in due times] καιροιςιδιοις. In its own

times. See 1Ti 2:6; Ga 4:4; Eph 1:10; 2:7. God caused the

Gospel to be published in that time in which it could be published

with the greatest effect. It is impossible that God should

prematurely hasten, or causelessly delay, the accomplishment of

any of his works. Jesus was manifested precisely at the time in

which that manifestation could best promote the glory of God and

the salvation of man.

Manifested his word] τονλογοναυτου. His doctrine-the

doctrine of eternal life, by the incarnation, passion, death, and

resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Which is committed unto me] That is, to preach it among the

Gentiles.

According to the commandment of God our Saviour] This

evidently refers to the commission which he had received from

Christ. See Ac 9:15: "He is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my

name before the Gentiles." For, "I have appeared unto thee for

this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these

things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I

will appear unto thee; delivering thee from the people and from

the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee; to open their eyes, to

turn them from darkness to light," &c,; Ac 26:16, &c. This is

the commandment; and according to it he became the apostle of the

Gentiles.

God our Saviour.-As the commission was given by Jesus Christ

alone, the person whom he terms here God our Saviour must be Jesus

Christ only; and this is another proof that St. Paul believed

Jesus Christ to be GOD. This eternal life God had promised in a

comparatively obscure way before the foundation of the world, the

Jewish dispensation; but now under the Gospel, he had made it

manifest-produced it with all its brightness, illustrations, and

proofs.

Verse 4. To Titus, mine own son] Him whom I have been the

instrument of converting to the Christian faith; and in whom, in

this respect, I have the same right as any man can have in his own

begotten son. See the preface; and See Clarke on 1Ti 1:2.

Verse 5. For this cause left I thee in Crete] That St. Paul

had been in Crete, though nowhere else intimated, is clear from

this passage. That he could not have made such an important

visit, and evangelized an island of the first consequence, without

its being mentioned by his historian, Luke, had it happened during

the period embraced in the Acts of the Apostles, must be evident.

That the journey, therefore, must have been performed after the

time in which St. Luke ends his history, that is, after St. Paul's

first imprisonment at Rome, seems almost certain.

Set in order the things that are wanting] It appears from this

that the apostle did not spend much time in Crete, and that he was

obliged to leave it before he had got the Church properly

organized. The supplying of this defect, he tells Titus, he had

confided to him as one whose spiritual views coincided entirely

with his own.

Ordain elders in every city] That thou mightest appoint,

καταστησης, elders-persons well instructed in Divine things, who

should be able to instruct others, and observe and enforce the

discipline of the Church. It appears that those who are called

elders in this place are the same as those termed bishops in

Tit 1:7. We have many proofs that bishops and elders were of

the same order in the apostolic Church, though afterwards they

became distinct. Lord Peter King, in his view of the primitive

Church, has written well on this subject.

In every city.-καταπολιν. This seems to intimate that the

apostle had gone over the whole of the hecatompolis or hundred

cities for which this island was celebrated. Indeed it is not

likely that he would leave one in which he had not preached Christ

crucified.

Verse 6. If any be blameless] See Clarke on 1Ti 3:2,

&c.

Having faithful children] Whose family is converted to God.

It would have been absurd to employ a man to govern the Church

whose children were not in subjection to himself; for it is an

apostolic maxim, that he who cannot rule his own house, cannot

rule the Church of God; 1Ti 3:5.

Verse 7. Not self-willed] μηαυθαδη. Not one who is

determined to have his own way in every thing; setting up his own

judgment to that of all others; expecting all to pay homage to his

understanding. Such a governor in the Church of God can do little

good, and may do much mischief.

Not soon angry] μηοπγιλον. Not a choleric man; one who is

irritable; who is apt to be inflamed on every opposition; one who

has not proper command over his own temper.

Verse 8. A lover of hospitality] φιλοξενον. A lover of

strangers. See Clarke on 1Ti 3:2. Instead of

φιλοξενον, one MS. has φιλοπτωξον, a lover of the poor.

That minister who neglects the poor, but is frequent in his visits

to the rich, knows little of his Master's work, and has little of

his Master's spirit.

A lover of good men] φιλαγαθον. A lover of goodness or of

good things in general.

Sober] Prudent in all his conduct. Just in all his dealings.

Holy in his heart. Temperate-self-denying and abstemious, in his

food and raiment; not too nice on points of honour, nor

magisterially rigid in the exercise of his ecclesiastical

functions. Qualifications rarely found in spiritual governors.

Verse 9. Holding fast the faithful word] Conscientiously

retaining, and zealously maintaining, the true Christian doctrine,

κατατηνδιδαχην, according to the instructions, or according to

the institutions, form of sound doctrine, or confession of faith,

which I have delivered to thee.

That he may be able by sound doctrine] If the doctrine be not

sound, vain is the profession of it, and vain its influence. It

is good to be zealously affected in a good thing; but zeal for

what is not of God will do no good to the souls of men, how

sincere soever that zeal may be.

To exhort] Them to hold the faith, that they may persevere.

And to convince] Refute the objections, confound the

sophistry, and convert the gainsayers; and thus defend the truth.

Verse 10. There are many unruly] Persons who will not receive

the sound doctrine, nor come under wholesome discipline.

Vain talkers] Empty boasters of knowledge, rights, and

particular privileges; all noise, empty parade, and no work.

Deceivers] Of the souls of men by their specious pretensions.

They of the circumcision] The Judaizing teachers, who

maintained the necessity of circumcision, and of observing the

rites and ceremonies of the Mosaic law, in order to the perfecting

of the Gospel.

Verse 11. Whose mouths must be stopped] Unmask them at once;

exhibit them to the people; make manifest their ignorance and

hypocrisy; and let them be confounded before the people whom they

are endeavouring to seduce.

Subvert whole houses] Turn whole Christian families from the

faith, attributing to the broad way what belongs only to the

strait gate; ministering to disorderly passions, and promising

salvation to their proselytes, though not saved from their sins.

Verse 12. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own]

This was Epimenides, who was born at Gnossus, in Crete, and was

reckoned by many the seventh wise man of Greece, instead of

Periander, to whom that honour was by them denied. Many fabulous

things are related of this poet, which are not proper to be

noticed here. He died about 538 years before the Christian era.

When St. Paul calls him a prophet of their own, he only intimates

that he was, by the Cretans, reputed a prophet. And, according to

Plutarch, (in Solone,) the Cretans paid him divine honours after

his death. Diogenes Laertius mentions some of his prophecies:

beholding the fort of Munichia, which guarded the port of Athens,

he cried out: "O ignorant men! if they but knew what slaughters

this fort shall occasion, they would pull it down with their

teeth!" This prophecy was fulfilled several years after, when the

king, Antipater, put a garrison in this very fort, to keep the

Athenians in subjection. See Diog. Laert., lib. i. p. 73.

Plato, De Legibus, lib. ii., says that, on the Athenians

expressing great fear of the Persians, Epimenides encouraged them

by saying "that they should not come before ten years, and that

they should return after having suffered great disasters." This

prediction was supposed to have been fulfilled in the defeat of

the Persians in the battles of Salamis and Marathon.

He predicted to the Lacedemonians and Cretans the captivity to

which they should one day be reduced by the Arcadians. This took

place under Euricrates, king of Crete, and Archidamus, king of

Lacedemon; vide Diog. Laert., lib. i. p. 74, edit. Meibom.

It was in consequence of these prophecies, whether true or

false, that his countrymen esteemed him a prophet; that he was

termed ανηραθειος, a divine man, by Plato; and that Cicero, De

Divin., lib. i., says he was futura praesciens, et vaticinans per

furorem: "He knew future events, and prophesied under a divine

influence." These things are sufficient to justify the epithet of

prophet, given him here by St. Paul. It may also be remarked that

vates and poeta, prophet and poet, were synonymous terms among

the Romans.

The Cretians are always liars] The words quoted here by the

apostle are, according to St. Jerome, Socrates, Nicephorus, and

others, taken from a work of Epimenides, now no longer extant,

entitled περιχρησμων. Concerning Oracles. The words form a

hexameter verse:-

κρητεςαειψευσταικακαθηριαγαστερεςαργαι

The Cretans are always liars; destructive wild beasts; sluggish

gluttons.

That the Cretans were reputed to be egregious liars, several of

the ancients declare; insomuch that κρητιζειν, to act like a

Cretan, signifies to lie; and χρησθαικρητισμω, to deceive. The

other Greeks reputed them liars, because they said that among them

was the sepulchre of Jupiter, who was the highest object of the

Greek and Roman worship. By telling this truth, which all others

would have to pass for a lie, the Cretans showed that the object

of their highest admiration was only a dead man.

Evil beasts] Ferocious and destructive in their manners.

Slow bellies.] Addicted to voluptuousness, idleness, and

gluttony; sluggish or hoggish men.

Verse.13. This witness is true.] What Epimenides said of them

nearly 600 years before continued still to be true. Their

original character had undergone no moral change.

Rebuke them sharply] αποτομως. Cuttingly, severely; show no

indulgence to persons guilty of such crimes.

That they may be sound in the faith] That they may receive the

incorrupt doctrine, and illustrate it by a holy and useful life.

Verse 14. Not giving heed to Jewish fables] See on

1Ti 1:4; 4:7.

Commandments of men] The injunctions of the scribes and

Pharisees, which they added to the law of God.

That turn from the truth.] For such persons made the word of

God of none effect by their traditions. Sometimes the verb

αποστρεφομαι signifies to be averse from, slight, or despise.

So, here, the persons in question despised the truth, and taught

others to do the same.

Verse 15. Unto the pure all things are pure] This appears to

have been spoken in reference to the Jewish distinctions of clean

and unclean meats. To the genuine Christian every kind of meat

proper for human nourishment is pure, is lawful, and may be used

without scruple. This our Lord had long before decided.

See on Lu 11:39-41.

But unto them that are defiled] In their consciences, and

unbelieving, απιστοις, unfaithful both to offered and

received grace, nothing is pure-they have no part in Christ, and

the wrath of God abides upon them. Their mind is contaminated

with impure and unholy images and ideas, and their conscience is

defiled with the guilt of sins already committed against God.

Verse 16. They profess that they know God] He still speaks

concerning the unbelieving Jews, the seducing teachers, and those

who had been seduced by their bad doctrine. None were so full of

pretensions to the knowledge of the true God as the Jews. They

would not admit that any other people could have this knowledge;

nor did they believe that God ever did or ever would reveal

himself to any other people; they supposed that to give the law

and the prophets to the Gentiles would be a profanation of the

words of God. Hence they became both proud, uncharitable, and

intolerant; and in this disposition they continue till the present

day.

But in works they deny him] Their profession and practice were

at continual variance. Full of a pretended faith, while utterly

destitute of those works by which a genuine faith is accredited

and proved. Dio Cassius represents Caesar as saying of his

mutinous soldiers: ονομαρωμαιωνεχονταςεργαδεκελτωνδρωντας.

"Having the name of Romans, while they had the manners of the

Gauls." How near are those words to the saying of the apostle!

Being abominable] βδελυκτοι. This word sometimes refers to

unnatural lusts.

And disobedient] απειθεις. Unpersuadable, unbelieving, and

consequently disobedient. Characters remarkably applicable to the

Jews through all their generations.

Unto every good work reprobate.] αδοκιμοι. Adulterate; like

bad coin, deficient both in the weight and goodness of the metal,

and without the proper sterling stamp; and consequently not

current. If they did a good work, they did not do it in the

spirit in which it should be performed. They had the name of

God's people; but they were counterfeit. The prophet said;

Reprobate silver shall men call them.

1. THOUGH the principal part of this chapter, and indeed of the

whole epistle, may be found in nearly the same words in the First

Epistle to Timothy, yet there are several circumstances here that

are not so particularly noted in the other; and every minister of

Christ will do well to make himself master of both; they should be

carefully registered in his memory, and engraven on his heart.

2. The truth, which is according to godliness, in reference to

eternal life, should be carefully regarded. The substantial

knowledge of the truth must have faith for its foundation,

godliness for its rule, and eternal life for its object and end.

He who does not begin well, is never likely to finish fair. He

who does not refer every thing to eternity, is never likely to

live either well or happily in time.

3. There is one subject in this chapter not sufficiently

attended to by those who have the authority to appoint men to

ecclesiastical offices; none should be thus appointed who is not

able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convince the

gainsayers. The powers necessary for this are partly natural,

partly gracious, and partly acquired. 1. If a man have not good

natural abilities, nothing but a miracle from heaven can make him

a proper preacher of the Gospel; and to make a man a Christian

minister, who is unqualified for any function of civil life, is

sacrilege before God. 2. If the grace of God do not communicate

ministerial qualifications, no natural gifts, however splendid,

can be of any avail. To be a successful Christian minister, a man

must feel the worth of immortal souls in such a way as God only

can show it, in order to spend and be spent in the work. He who

has never passed through the travail of the soul in the work of

regeneration in his own heart, can never make plain the way of

salvation to others. 3. He who is employed in the Christian

ministry should cultivate his mind in the most diligent manner; he

can neither learn nor know too much. If called of God to be a

preacher, (and without such a call he had better be a galley

slave,) he will be able to bring all his knowledge to the

assistance and success of his ministry. If he have human

learning, so much the better; if he be accredited, and appointed

by those who have authority in the Church, it will be to his

advantage; but no human learning, no ecclesiastical appointment,

no mode of ordination, whether Popish, Episcopal, Protestant, or

Presbyterian, can ever supply the Divine unction, without which he

never can convert and build up the souls of men. The piety of the

flock must be faint and languishing when it is not animated by the

heavenly zeal of the pastor; they must be blind if he be not

enlightened; and their faith must be wavering when he can neither

encourage nor defend it.

4. In consequence of the appointment of improper persons to the

Christian ministry, there has been, not only a decay of piety, but

also a corruption of religion. No man is a true Christian

minister who has not grace, gifts, and fruit; if he have the grace

of God, it will appear in his holy life and godly conversation.

If to this he add genuine abilities, he will give full proof of

his ministry; and if he give full proof of his ministry, he will

have fruit; the souls of sinners will be converted to God through

his preaching, and believers will be built up on their most holy

faith. How contemptible must that man appear in the eyes of

common sense, who boasts of his clerical education, his sacerdotal

order, his legitimate authority to preach, administer the

Christian sacraments, &c., while no soul is benefited by his

ministry! Such a person may have legal authority to take tithes,

but as to an appointment from God, he has none; else his word

would be with power, and his preaching the means of salvation to

his perishing hearers.

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