BOOK ENDS. Seraphim, April 2009.
JB TITUS Chapter 1
THE LETTER FROM PAUL TO TITUS
1:1 From Paul, servant of God, an apostle of Jesus Christ to bring those whom God has chosen to faith and to the knowledge of the truth that leads to true religion;
1:2 and to give them the hope of the eternal life that was promised so long ago by God. He does not lie
1:3 and so, at the appointed time, he revealed his decision, and, by the command of God our saviour, I have been commissioned to proclaim it.
1:4 To Titus, true child of mine in the faith that we share, wishing you grace and peace from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our saviour.
The appointment of elders
1:5 The reason I left you behind in Crete was for you to get everything organised there and appoint elders in every town, in the way that I told you:
1:6 that is, each of them must be a man of irreproachable character; he must not have been married more than once, and his children must be believers and not uncontrollable or liable to be charged with disorderly conduct.
1:7 Since, as president, he will be God’s representative, he must be irreproachable: never an arrogant or hot-tempered man, nor a heavy drinker or violent, nor out to make money;
1:8 but a man who is hospitable and a friend of all that is good; sensible, moral, devout and self-controlled;
1:9 and he must have a firm grasp of the unchanging message of the tradition, so that he can be counted on for both expounding the sound doctrine and refuting those who argue against it.
Opposing the false teachers
1:10 And in fact you have there a great many people who need to be disciplined, who talk nonsense and try to make others believe it, particularly among those of the Circumcision.
1:11 They have got to be silenced: men of this kind ruin whole families, by teaching things that they ought not to, and doing it with the vile motive of making money.
1:12 lt was one of themselves, one of their own prophets, who said,[*a] ‘Cretans were never anything but liars, dangerous animals and lazy’:
1:13 and that is a true statement. So you will have to be severe in correcting them, and make them sound in the faith
1:14 so that they stop taking notice of Jewish myths and doing what they are told to do by people who are no longer interested in the truth.
1:15 To all who are pure themselves, everything is pure; but to those who have been corrupted and lack faith, nothing can be pure – the corruption is both in their minds and in their consciences.
1:16 They claim to have knowledge of God but the things they do are nothing but a denial of him; they are outrageously rebellious and quite incapable of doing good.
JB TITUS Chapter 2
Some specific moral instruction
2:1 It is for you, then, to preach the behaviour which goes with healthy doctrine.
2:2 The older men should be reserved, dignified, moderate, sound in faith and love and constancy.
2:3 Similarly, the older women should behave as though they were religious, with no scandalmongering and no habitual wine-drinking – they are to be the teachers of the right behaviour
2:4 and show the younger women how they should love their husbands and love their children,
2:5 how they are to be sensible and chaste, and how to work in their homes, and be gentle, and do as their husbands tell them, so that the message of God is never disgraced.
2:6 In the same way, you have got to persuade the younger men to be moderate
2:7 and in everything you do make yourself an example to them of working for good: when you are teaching, be an example to them in your sincerity and earnestness
2:8 and in keeping all that you say so wholesome that nobody can make objections to it; and then any opponent will be at a loss, with no accusation to make against us.
2:9 Tell the slaves that they are to be obedient to their masters and always do what they want without any argument;
2:10 and there must be no petty thieving – they must show complete honesty at all times, so that they are in every way a credit to the teaching of God our saviour.
The basis of the Christian moral life
2:11 You see, God’s grace has been revealed, and it has made salvation possible for the whole human race
2:12 and taught us that what we have to do is to give up everything that does not lead to God, and all our worldly ambitions; we must be self-restrained and live good and religious lives here in this present world,
2:13 while we are waiting in hope for the blessing which will come with the Appearing of the glory of our great God and saviour Christ Jesus.[*a]
2:14 He sacrificed himself for us in order to set us free from all wickedness[*b] and to purify a people so that it could be his very own[*c] and would have no ambition except to do good.
2:15 Now this is what you are to say, whether you are giving instruction or correcting errors; you can do so with full authority, and no one is to question it.
JB TITUS Chapter 3
General instruction for believers
3:1 Remind them that it is their duty to be obedient to the officials and representatives of the government; to be ready to do good at every opportunity;
3:2 not to go slandering other people or picking quarrels, but to be courteous and always polite to all kinds of people.
3:3 Remember, there was a time when we too were ignorant, disobedient and misled and enslaved by different passions and luxuries; we lived then in wickedness and ill-will, hating each other and hateful ourselves.
3:4 But when the kindness and love of God our saviour for mankind were revealed,
3:5 it was not because he was concerned with any righteous actions we might have done ourselves; it was for no reason except his own compassion that he saved us, by means of the cleansing water of rebirth and by renewing us with the Holy Spirit
3:6 which he has so generously poured over us through Jesus Christ our saviour.
3:7 He did this so that we should be justified by his grace, to become heirs looking forward to inheriting eternal life.
3:8 This is doctrine that you can rely on.
Personal advice to Titus
I want you to be quite uncompromising in teaching all this, so that those who now believe in God may keep their minds constantly occupied in doing good works. All this is good, and will do nothing but good to everybody.
3:9 But avoid pointless speculations, and those genealogies, and the quibbles and disputes about the Law – these are useless and can do no good to anyone.
3:10 If a man disputes what you teach, then after a first and a second warning, have no more to do with him:
3:11 you will know that any man of that sort has already lapsed and condemned himself as a sinner.
Practical recommendations, farewells and good wishes
3:12 As soon as I have sent Artemas or Tychicus to you, lose no time in joining me at Nicopolis, where I have decided to spend the winter.
3:13 See to all the travelling arrangements for Zenas the lawyer and Apollos, and make sure they have everything they need.
3:14 All our people are to learn to occupy themselves in doing good works for their practical needs as well, and not to be entirely unproductive.
3:15 All those who are with me send their greetings. Greetings to those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all.
END OF JB TITUS [3 Chapters].