Commentary on Titus - Chapter One
By Jonathan Mitchell

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1. Paul, God's slave (a slave of God; one bound to, subjected under and owned by God), yet one sent away with a commission (as an emissary, envoy or ambassador) from, pertaining to and belonging to Jesus Christ (or: a representative of Jesus [the] Anointed), with a view to and corresponding to [the] faith of God's chosen folks (or: in line with a trust and loyalty possessed by and characteristic of God's selected and picked-out ones) and the full, accurate and precise, intimate knowledge and experiential insight of Truth and Reality – the [truth and reality] corresponding to and in accord with reverence (pious and devout relations; standing in awe of wellness, with adoration and healthful devotion in true relation to God) –

Paul was one sent away on a mission for Jesus Christ, the subject of which mission was the faith of God's chosen folks, and in line with their trust in and loyalty to Jesus Christ. He brought to them the full, accurate and precise intimate knowledge and experiential insight of the Truth of God, and the Reality in Jesus Christ. It was the truth and reality that corresponds to reverence toward God.

2. [based; standing] upon an expectation (or: hope) of eonian life (life having the quality and characteristics of, and its source in, the Age; life for and throughout the ages) which the non-lying God (the God without falseness) promised – before eonian times (prior to the times belonging to the ages).

This reverent knowledge is based upon an expectation of life for and through the ages, and which has the quality and characteristics of the Age of the Messiah, from whom this life comes. The truth-telling God promised this Life (the Christ life) before the ages were created. This is like the Lamb slain from the casting down of the ordered system (Rev. 13:8; 1 Pet. 1:20). This promise came before the creation of the universe, for eonian times began with its creation, but it could only come through the Christ (John 3:15; 17:2), and knowing the Father and Jesus (John 17:3).

3. Now He manifests (or: brought into clear light) His Logos (His Word; the Thought from Him; the Reason, Idea, communication and expression from Him; the discourse pertaining to Him; and message which is Him) in Its (or: His; or: their) own seasons, fitting situations and fertile moments within (or: in the midst of) a proclamation by a herald – which I, myself, was made to trust and believe – down from, in accord with and corresponding to a full arrangement (or: a setting-upon; a complete disposition; a precise placing in order; an injunction) of and from God, our Savior (Deliverer; Rescuer; Restorer to health, wholeness and our original condition).

God manifested His Word in Jesus, and He still does this in Its, or His, own seasons (note the plural), fitting situations and fertile moments. His method is to do this within a proclamation by a herald. So when the Word is proclaimed, the Word and Idea from God, the message which is Him, confronts the hearer.

Note the expanded expressions of the Greek "logos," and of "Him" in the genitive and ablative cases (the spelling for both is the same), and the final function of apposition of the genitive, which is that of definition ("which is").

Paul was one such herald. He was MADE (passive voice) to trust and believe, as God so arranged it, in accord with a precise placing of events and Paul himself in the right order. God "set upon" Paul, and Paul is an example of how God is our Savior – God does it all. When He does, all we can do is say, "Yes, Lord." It is He Who makes us trust Him and believe Him.

4. To Titus, a genuine born-one (legitimate child [one born in wedlock]) down from and corresponding to a common and partnered (equally owned, shared and participated-in) faith and trust: Grace (or: Favor), and peace [= shalom; A, C2 & others: mercy; compassion], [are; continue coming] from Father God (or: God [the] Father) – even Christ Jesus, our Deliverer (or: and [the] Anointed Jesus, our Savior, Rescuer and Restorer to health, wholeness and our original condition).

Titus was "born again" down from and in accord with their shared faith and trust. And in Rom. 10:17 Paul tells us,

"Consequently, the faith (or: the trust; confidence) [comes or arises] from out of the midst of, or from within, hearing, yet the hearing [comes] through a gush-effect of Christ, even through the result of a flow which is Christ (or: through Christ's utterance; through something spoken concerning Christ; or: by means of a declaration which is anointed, or from Christ; through a word uttered which is Christ; [other MSS: God's speech])."

So it was the flow of Christ from out of Paul that had brought a hearing within Timothy, and within that hearing was the faith and trust that gave birth to him. It is noteworthy that in vs. 3 God is called our Savior and in vs. 4 Jesus Christ is called our Savior.

5. From the source of, and because of, this grace and favor, I left [other MSS: was leaving] you off in Crete, so that you, yourself, could correct and amend – so as to be fully straight throughout the midst – the things habitually lacking, leaving defects or remaining undone, and [so] you, yourself, could thoroughly establish [the] older folks (or: correspondingly make [the] elders to stand fast and be firm), city by city, as I, myself, made thorough arrangements for you.

Grace and favor are the source and the reason for all that Paul did. Thus should it be with us. He dropped off Titus in Crete so that he could straighten things out there, throughout their midst: things that were lacking, things that left defects and things that remained undone. Titus was to establish the older folks so that the would stand firm in the Lord, as he went from city to city where Paul had made thorough arrangements for him.

6. [Now] if anyone is normally not one being called up, or arraigned, before a judge (= habitually exists being one free from reproach); [is] a husband of one woman (or: wife), having trusting and believing children (or: born-ones that are full of faith); [is] not one in the midst of a [legal] charge (or: an accusation; being considered in a category) of being a person without healthful wholeness (or: of being unwholesome; being in a desperate case without hope of safety; being prodigal; being wasteful; being on an unsaved course; being incorrigible; being dissolute and debauched) nor [of] insubordinate [qualities] (things not put in submission; things not placed under the arrangement; un-subjected and unruly [traits])

7. – for you see, it continues binding and necessary for the person who sets his eyes upon the distant goal, having a full-scope view, and successfully hits the target (or: the one who surveys, inspects and watches upon; the scout; the tender guardian who oversees with attentive care) to continue being one [that is] not normally called up, or arraigned, before a judge (= to habitually exist being one free from reproach). As God's house administrator (house manager; house dispenser and distributor; estate steward), [he should] not [be] one who pleases himself (or: gives himself to pleasure): not impulsive (prone to passion, irritation or anger; not ruled by his own mental bent, disposition or propensities; not one teeming with internal swelling or motion), not addicted to wine (or: beside himself with wine; = not a drunk), not quarrelsome and apt to strike another, not one eager for dishonorable, deformed or ugly gain.

I suggest that in vs. 6 Paul begins addressing some of the areas of a person's life that could be defects (vs. 5), or things in which there are lacks, and here he begins speaking about what the "straightened" life should look like.

The first clause of vs. 7 gives the reason for listing such qualities given in vs. 6, for he is speaking about one who lifts his eyes to the upward calling (Phil. 3:14), and who has in mind the goal of winning his race (1 Cor. 9:24). The word describing such a person can also refer to one who surveys a situation, or inspects and watches upon it, or people. It can refer to a scout, or to one who is a tender guardian who oversees folks with attentive care. Such folks often serve the body of Christ in dispensing life and spiritual food to the called-out community. They are people who would be good in administrating the affairs of God' house, and being stewards of the mystery of Christ, as was Paul (1 Cor. 4:1). Pouring forth love to others would be inhibited by the negative characteristics listed in the last part of the verse. Paul proceeds to the positive attributes in the following verses.

8. But to the contrary, [he should be] fond of strangers (have affection for foreigners; be hospitable), [be] fond of the good and have affection for virtue and excellence, [be] whole, healthy and liberated (sound) in frame of mind and disposition ([be] sane), [be] fair and equitable, and in rightwised relationships within the Way pointed out, [be] loyal, dutiful and pure from all crime, [produce] inner strength ([be] self-controlled),

9. habitually holding himself firmly to (or: clinging face-to-face to) the full-of- faith Word (message; thought; idea; Logos; or: the faithful word) – down from, corresponding to and in line with the Teaching and training – to the end that he can be powerful and able both to be constantly encouraging (habitually performing as a paraclete; repeatedly exhorting; continually calling folks alongside to give them assistance or relief) in the teaching that continues being sound and healthy, and to repeatedly put to the proof so as to convince by demonstration, or to refute by exposure of the test, the folks habitually speaking in opposition and contradicting.

In vs. 8-9 we see how a mature member of the called-out community should be and behave. These are the good works for which we were created in Christ (Eph. 2:10). Notice the first part of vs. 9: clinging face-to-face to the full-of-faith Word that is in line with the Teaching and which comes from the training. Paul so frequently emphasizes the importance of the message of the Christ and the unveiled Word which had been brought through the sent-forth folks. He ends vs. 9 by showing that action should be taken in response to folks who habitually contradict or speak in opposition.

10. You see, many folks, especially those from out of the Circumcision (= the Jews), are (constantly exist being) insubordinate ones (not submitted to the arrangement; un-subjected to the order), empty, vain and profitless talkers, even seducers of the intellect (deceivers of the mind; people who mislead thinking),

11. who it continues necessary to repeatedly muzzle (gag; put something upon their mouth; or: reign them in), who are habitually turning-back whole households [i.e., into the Law cultus of Judaism] (or: = constantly upsetting entire families), repeatedly teaching things which it is binding to not [teach]: a “grace” of ugly (deformed; disgraceful) profit, gain or advantage!

Vs. 10 and 11 give specific examples of those who oppose the message of grace, and we see that this especially came from the Judaizers (those who wanted to mix Law with grace) – or even those who held to the old covenant religion. Paul wanted them silenced – reigned in and gagged! They taught a false grace which promoted using the kingdom of God in a way that gave them advantage over others, which produced ugly profit, and disgraceful gain.

12. A certain one of them, their own prophet (= poet), said, "Cretans [are] always (or: ever) liars, worthless little wild animals (little beasts of bad quality), inactive and idle bellies (= unemployed gluttons)."

13. This witness (or: testimony [of the poet Epimenides]) is true (genuine; real). Because of which case and cause, be repeatedly cross-examining them abruptly while cutting away [at the case] and bringing the question to the proof, so as to test and decide the dispute and expose the matter – to the end that they can be sound and healthy within the Faith and in union with trust,

14. not habitually holding to (having [a propensity] toward; heeding and clinging in the direction toward) Jewish myths (or: fictions; or, possibly: oral traditions) and to implanted goals (impartations of a finished product within; inward directives; commands) whose source and origin is people (or: human commandments) [thus] continually being twisted and turned away from the Truth (or: reality).

Vs. 12 shows us that prejudice was a part of their deformed grace, and in vs. 13 Paul affirms that Epimenides said this. So because of this situation, Paul admonishes them to repeatedly cross-examine these folks, while cutting away at this case and bringing the question of what they are doing to the proof, testing and deciding the dispute and exposing the matter. The goal is for them to be sound and healthy within the Faith, and in union with the trust from Christ.

Vs. 14 advises them not to heed, cling to or have a propensity toward Jewish myths, which implant the wrong goal within people. Holding to people's fictions or oral traditions which are not founded upon Scripture will twist and turn people away from the Truth.

15. To the pure folks, everything [is] pure (or: All things [are] clean for, with and in the clean ones). Yet to (or: for; in; with) those having been stained and remaining defiled (corrupted; polluted), and to (or: for; in) faithless people (those without trust; unbelieving ones), nothing is pure or clean – but rather, their mind and conscience has been stained, defiled and corrupted.

16. They are repeatedly adopting the same terms of language, and habitually making confession and avowing to have perceived and now know God, yet they are constantly denying (repudiating; disowning; refusing) [this] by the works (in the actions and things done), continuing being detestable (abominable), incompliant (stubborn; disobedient; unpersuasive) and disqualified (disapproved; rejected after trial) with a view toward every good work (excellent and virtuous activity).

Keep in mind that the first statement in vs. 15 is not a Pharisaic maxim which leads to pietism. It is a promise of freedom to those who have been made clean through the Word which Jesus brought (John 15:3), and in Lu. 11:41 He said that all is clean to us (cf Acts 10:15, and Jesus' words to Peter). At the same time, for folks who have not yet come into this reality (who are without faith and remain unbelieving), and existentially remain stained and defiled, this is not the case and to them nothing is pure or clean because of the condition of their mind and their way of thinking about things.

Vs. 16 shows that these folks have a religion, for they profess to know God, yet their lives prove otherwise. And religious folks are often the most self-righteous and condemning of others, having an exclusive world view that their group is the only right group, with the result being that they themselves are detestable, incompliant and disqualified with regard virtuous actions. And such folks often invade the called-out communities.

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Commentary on Titus
Chapter Two

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 experience. Speak of things from the new covenant, the new creation, the New Being – not things from the in part and the shadow of reality.

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 or 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 our own interpretation of these words, but should not make our understanding a law for others. I like my paraphrase, which follows the = sign in the parenthetical expansion. We should remember that we are His temple. 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.

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 (repeatedly spoken of abusively).

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.

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.

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, 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.

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; should) live sensibly (with soundness of mind and wholesomeness of disposition and attitude) and equitably (fairly; justly; rightwisedly; relationally in a way which reflects the Way pointed out) 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, by His Spirit, to refuse the irreverence and over-desires that come from the System of religion, culture, economy, politics and government.

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 action, create ideal works, and perform fine deeds.

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. 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.

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Commentary On Titus
Chapter Three

1. Repeatedly bring folks under recollection, constantly causing them to think again and remember to be habitually placing themselves in subjection to (or: to be supportively aligned with; be continually arranged under by) governments (or: rulers; sovereignties; originating headships) – to (or: by) those having the right of authority – [and] to continuously comply in persuaded obedience, yielding to these authorities; to constantly be ready ones: facing and progressing toward every good work (or: virtuous action);

2. to be in the habit of speaking injuriously of (blaspheming; slandering) no one; to be folks who are non-contentious (not disposed to fighting or quarreling), gentle and suitably reasonable, constantly displaying all kindness and gentle tenderness toward everyone (all mankind; all humanity).

First of all, he is basically saying to be good citizens and be supportive to others. Next, be ready and focused with a view to all sorts of good works and virtuous actions. Then, he tells us to love, to be non-injurious in our speaking, to be non-contentious, but rather to be gentle and reasonable, and to display ALL kindness and gentle tenderness toward everyone. This is a beautiful picture of Christ, and should also be a picture of us.

3. You see, we also were, ourselves, at one time people habitually being foolish, senseless and without understanding (without perception or proper use of our minds) – noncompliant and disobedient ones, folks being constantly caused to wander and being led astray (or, as a middle: repeatedly deceiving ourselves; habitually going astray), continuously being and performing as slaves to various (a diversity of many kinds of) full-rushing passions and pleasures (enjoyments; gratifications), habitually carrying ugly worthlessness (bad quality or malice) and envy (or: jealousy) throughout (= leading a bad life): detestable ones (abhorrent folks) continuously hating one another.

This is a sad picture of the first Adam, our estranged and alienated human nature, before we were born back up again into the Last Adam with a regenerated human nature of the New Being. Note that he says that we were performing as slaves. We were not free. Until Christ made us free we did not have a free will. So we should not expect those who are still in bondage "to various full-rushing passions and pleasures," etc., to be able to freely choose Christ. God must first impart life and freedom into them, and then transform them. Until He does, His inherent fervor (or: wrath) is continuously dwelling upon them (John 3:36), and we observe these negative behaviors.

4. Yet, when the beneficial usefulness in meeting needs and the affectionate friendship for mankind (the fondness for, the liking of, and the love – as shown in kissing – for humanity) of God (or: coming from, and which is, God), our Deliverer (Savior; Rescuer; Healer; Restorer), was fully set in clear Light (was made to completely appear; was fully manifested) – Oh, what a beautiful picture of God: beneficial usefulness to humanity; meeting the needs of mankind; affectionate friendship for people; fondness for and the liking of humans; love for mankind. This is our heavenly Father; this is God, our Savior! He has manifested Himself in Jesus, and now is doing so in us. What a contrast to the human predicament, as described in vs. 3. This is the solution for all mankind – a God Who is lovingly helpful to all.

5. not from out of works (actions; deeds) [which arise from] within religious performance which we ourselves do (or: not froth from actions in union with an act of righteousness which we, ourselves, did; not in a relationship based upon our own performance; not [done] in a system of justice, equity and fairness which we, ourselves, constructed), but to the contrary, down from and corresponding to His mercy, He delivered us (or: He saves, rescues and restores us to the wholeness and health of our original condition) through a bath of a birth-back-up-again (or: [the] bathing of a regeneration; note: can = a ritual immersion pool of rebirth) and a making back-up-new (of a different kind and quality) again from a set-apart Breath-effect (or: of a renewal and renovation whose source is [the] Holy Spirit; or: a set-apart spirit's creating or birthing [us] back-up-new-again; a renewal which is a holy spirit) –

I think that the first clause, along with the parenthetical expansions, speaks for itself. Our deliverance and salvation, comes down from His mercy – not from any ritual we may perform or mantra which we may be coerced to speak, but from His mercy. Mercy is something that is given to us; it is an act on our behalf; it is performed for us. It is thus, in this way, that HE delivered US.

The "bath" refers to immersion for cleansing, or in this case for rebirth. But note that it denotes a renewal which is holy spirit, and comes from The Holy Spirit, God's Breath- effect. We see this pictured in the symbol of water baptism, but this is but a figure of that which takes place by being immersed into His Spirit, which includes being immersed (baptized) into His death (Rom. 6:3). The birth-back-up-again and the making back-up-new-again happened universally when, after being buried together with Him into His death (Rom. 6:4), we were also raised up with Him so that "thus also we can walk around (or: we also should likewise conduct ourselves and order our behavior) within newness of life (in union with life characterized by being new in kind and quality, and different from that which was former)" (Rom. 6:4b). Existentially this happens to us one at a time, as in our own group, or order, we are made alive in Him (1 Cor. 15:23).

As He is the One Who delivered us, so also He is the One Who gives us birth by raising us up again, into His Life. The whole operation is the action of God, and we are but passive subjects being acted upon by Him. It is just like a natural birth – a baby is born because of the love and union of its parents; the baby has nothing to do with it, but is the result of what the parents did. We are like Adam in the beginning: formed soil into which He breathes life.

6. which (or: from which source) He pours forth (or: poured from out of) upon us richly through Jesus Christ, our Deliverer (Savior; Healer; Rescuer; Restorer),

Note again, that He "pours forth upon us" His Spirit, His Breath-effect (vs. 5) – giving us life, and this happened "through Jesus Christ, our Rescuer." And all the action is His. We CAN do nothing, until He gives us life.

7. to the end that, being rightwised, and set in right relationship in the Way of fairness and equity which has been pointed out – by and in the grace and favor of That One – we can (could; may) come to be (or: be birthed; be made to exist being) heirs (possessors and enjoyers of the allotment), corresponding to, in line with, and down from [the] expectation (or: a hope) from eonian life (or: of life whose character, origin, source and realm is the Age; or: a life of unspecified duration which leads on into the ages; [the] life of and for the ages).

Next, He turns us in the right direction (rightwises us) and sets us in right relationship in the Way of fairness and equity, which has been pointed out in Him Who IS the Way, the Truth and the Life. This is done "by and in the grace and favor of That One." The end in view is that we can and would come to be heirs (possessors and enjoyers of the allotment) of that which comes down to us from, and in line with, the expectation from eonian life. This life of Christ (the life whose character, origin, source and realm is the Age of the Messiah, and is of and for the ages) gives us Him as our inheritance (as Yahweh was the inheritance for the tribe of Levi, in type). This life is pregnant with expectation that comes from a dynamic God in a new creation.

8. The Idea (The Logos; The Word; The Message; The Thought) [is] full of faith (or: faithful; trustworthy), and I am continuing in intending (determining; designing; or: wishing; wanting) to progressively set you on thoroughly good footing (to make you continue thoroughly stabilized and confidently insistent) about (or: concerning) these things – to the end that those having put trust in God (or: the ones having believed God and now having faith in God) can habitually give careful thought and concern to constantly put themselves in the forefront (or: to continually promote, maintain and stand themselves for the interests) of beautiful deeds (ideal works; fine actions). These things continue being beautiful (fine; ideal), as well as augmenting a furtherance for humanity (profitable to mankind; beneficial in people).

The Idea (Christ) is all that he has been sharing from vs. 4 through vs. 7 – and this Idea is full of faith, and this is a trustworthy message. Paul is sending this Word with the intent and design to set Titus on thoroughly good footing and to make him continue thoroughly stabilized and confidently insistent about these things. This was also so that the folks having put trust in God can habitually give careful thought and concern to constantly put themselves in the forefront of beautiful deeds, and fine actions. Paul's thrust is always towards living the life of Christ with ideal works – it is not about us going to heaven some day!

Now look at the next statement: "these things (the good works) continue being ideal and beautiful, as well as augmenting a FURTHERANCE for HUMANITY!" What a vision! This unveils God's purpose for mankind: growth and furtherance via His reign among people.

9. Yet habitually set yourself at the periphery (or: step around) so as to avoid unintelligent (stupid; foolish) questionings (or: seekings; investigations) and genealogies (studies into births or descents), also strife [other MSS: quarrels] and fights (contentions; conflicts; battles) about Laws (or: customs; or: = things related to the Torah), for they are contrary to progress (without benefit; unprofitable; regressive) and ineffectual (futile; vain).

Titus is to stay with the main objective, as stated in vs. 8, and not get involved in stupid questions or unintelligent investigations – which include genealogy studies and strife/quarrels about customs or things related to the Torah. Why? Because they are "contrary to progress" (as expressed in vs. 8) and are futile!

10. After one, and then a second, putting-into-the-mind (= impartation; admonition) of a person who chooses or promotes a sect or party (or: of a factious person), progressively decline yourself (or: repeatedly excuse yourself),

11. having seen and thus knowing that such a one has been and remains a person turned from out of the midst (or: twisted inside-out; perverted) and continues missing the target (constantly fails to properly aim toward the goal; habitually errs; repeatedly makes a mistake), being continually a person having made a decision corresponding to himself (or: one separating himself down and out of line; or: self-condemned and sifted to his own level).

Now consider the context of this directive to Titus. It is someone who wants to break away from the community and form his own sect. Also, such a person is turned away from the central focus of the group (furtherance of humanity) and thus is constantly failing to properly aim in the right direction – toward the goal of the called-out folks. He or she is concerned about himself, his/her own kingdom (or: project), and their personal spiritual path or experiences – and such as this make decisions that correspond to themselves. But the result is condemning themselves to being sifted down to their own level – which is out of line with the body of Christ.

12. Whenever I shall send Artemas or Tychicus toward you, urgently endeavor to come toward me in Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there.

13. With urgent endeavor and diligence, at once send on ahead Zenas, the expert in the Law (or: the lawyer), and Apollos, so that nothing may be lacking for them.

14. Now let our people (our own folks) be progressively learning how to habitually put themselves in the forefront (to continually promote, maintain and stand themselves for the interests) of beautiful actions (fine deeds; ideal works) [directed] into the indispensable needs (or: wants of compressed necessity), so that they may not exist being unfruitful ones. Vs. 12-13 are personal directions for Titus re: the other folks listed. Vs. 14 restates what he told Titus in the last part of vs. 8, but here specifying the "indispensable needs" of the community, so that no one would be unfruitful. Beautiful acts and ideal works make both those doing them fruitful, and engender growth for ideal deeds (fruit) in those being helped.

15. All those with me continue embracing and greeting you. Greet and embrace our friends in [the] faith (or: those who have love and affection for us in trust and loyalty). Grace and favor [are] with all you folks! It is so (Amen).

Paul here expresses the affection of himself and those with him, and in spirit sends their embrace and solidarity to Titus, and wants him to pass the same on to their "friends in [the] faith." Note that this last could also be rendered as I did in the parenthetical expansion. Then he give them all his usual reminder, that grace and favor are with them all. And yes, "It is so!"

[Titus was written circa A.D. 57 – Based on the critical analysis of John A.T. Robinson]

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