IS TRUE: e marturia aute estin (3SPAI) alethes:
This witness is true (KJV)
There is truth in this testimonial of theirs! (Phillips)
And this account of them is [really] true (Amp)
and that is a true statement (NJB)
This witness is true (BBE),
The words that prophet said are true (ICB)
= to witness) refers to evidence
given. Here the witness by one of the native Cretans which comes from one who should know the truth about
his own people people ("One of themselves" - Titus 1:12).
(alethes) means conforming to reality and thus unconcealed,
manifest and in accordance with fact. As such this testimony is
credible and is not to be rejected as a "witness".
FOR THIS CAUSE
REPROVE THEM SEVERELY: di en aitian elegche (2SPAM) autous
apotomos: (Titus 2:15;
Pr 27:5; 2Cor 13:10; 1Ti 5:20; 2Ti 4:2)
convict them sharply (YLT)
correct them with severity (Barclay)
Don't hesitate to reprimand them sharply (Phillips)
Because it is [true], rebuke them sharply [deal sternly, even severely
with them] (Amp)
So be severe in correcting them (NJB)
So say sharp words to them (BBE)
Therefore sternly denounce them (WNT)
So tell those people that they are wrong. You must be strict with them
So rebuke them as sternly as necessary (NLT)
So speak to the Christians there as sternly as necessary (TLB)
For this reason
(therefore, so) - (See discussion on
terms of conclusion
= a) Identifies a logical consequence or conclusion (b) Identifies a
statement which summarizes what was previously stated (c) Identifies a
deduction from (usually previously stated) facts, propositions,
experience, reasoning, etc (d) Sums up a preceding argument.
Do not count it a trifle to be sound in the faith. Do not think any
error to be harmless, for truth is very precious and error, even when we
do not see it to be so, may lead to the most solemn consequences of
mischief. In this world we see too much of salvation without Christ—I
mean we meet with many who believe that they are saved because they have
been baptized, or confirmed, or passed through the ceremonies of the
church to which they belong. They have not looked to the precious blood.
They are not depending simply upon the finished work of the Redeemer,
but something else than Christ has become their confidence. Now, avoid
that and buy the truth, which lies here: “Believe in the Lord Jesus and
you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). It is true that certain troublesome
heretics need to be rebuked sharply that they may be sound in the faith,
but discretion is needed, and a loving spirit to guide the discretion.
The sheep must not be driven as if they were swine. The tendency of
stern orthodoxy is to act toward an erring one as cruel fathers do when
they whip their boys without mercy, for they drive ten devils in while
they think they are whipping one out. A doubter may be worried into a
heretic before we are aware of it. Certain minds will learn anything
from those they love and nothing from those who are masterful with them.
The gentleness of Christ is a choice qualification for a pastor.
Heresies are better kept out by a full gospel than driven out by fierce
controversy. Sheep may be worried into worse straying, but they can be
held by their teeth most securely if they are led into plentiful
[word study] from elegchos
= bringing to light) means to bring to the light
(to reveal hidden things) with the implication that there is adequate
proof of wrongdoing. To shame or disgrace and thus to rebuke
another in such a way that they are compelled to see and to admit the
error of their ways. To show someone that they have done something wrong
and summon them to repent.
is a command for Titus
to continually reprove (see why it is so imperative in the next portion
of the verse)
Titus is to
reprove with such an effectual wielding of truth
as to bring his hearers at least to conviction of their erroneous stand
and possibly (hopefully) to the point that they are compelled to admit the error of
their ways. As someone has well said pastors are to afflict the
comfortable and comfort the afflicted.
In his final epistle Paul commanded
Timothy whether it was convenient or not to
word; be ready
season and out of season;
reprove (elegcho -
great patience and instruction" (see note
2 Timothy 4:2)
(Comment: Why was this pastoral function so critical? Paul
explained "For the time will come when they will not endure sound
doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate
for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires and will turn
away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths." - see
2 Timothy 4:3;
(apotomos from apo = from, a preposition indicating
separation or dissociation + temno = to cut as with a knife or
ax) is an adverb which means literally "in a manner which cuts off".
Figuratively apotomos means abruptly, curtly, sharply,
precipitously, harshly, rigorously.
TDNT has this note writing
that apotomos means...
“sharply cut,” and it then has the
more common derived sense of “steep,” “inaccessible,” and the
transferred sense of “sharp,” “keen,” “exact,” “careful,” “strict,” and
even “severe” or “pitiless.” (Kittel,
G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New
The only other Biblical use of
apotomos is also by Paul...
2Corinthians 13:10 For this
reason I am writing these things while absent, in order that when
present I may not use severity (apotomos) in accordance with the
authority which the Lord gave me, for building up and not for tearing
It would be enough to "reprove"
but because of the inherent danger, Paul commands Titus to do so "severely"
(sternly, seriously, vigorously, sharply, curtly, pungently, incisively) so that the reproof would cut with
The picture is to cut as with a knife or ax, as one
would do axing in a door of a house on fire with the occupants in
imminent danger. It is necessary to appear rude sometimes for safety, if
the house is on fire and life is in danger. As a physician I know that
the most thorough, certain cure to prevent the spread of cancer is
complete excision of the initial lesion. So too the surgeon of the soul
cuts to achieve a cure and make what is diseased sound.
There is a
temptation in the church today to not confront (ever in love)
destructive, divisive error and to be "mealy mouthed" and resist calling
such "spiritual cancer" what it really is.
Rocks in a Hard Place - Rebuke
them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith. —Titus 1:13 Has God
called you to live as a rock in a hard place? Let me explain what I mean
by that. In the first century, Titus was drafted by the apostle Paul to
live in a hard place called Crete. The people on this island were known
throughout the Mediterranean world as lazy workers and dishonest
merchants. They had a long history of despicable living, and possessed
the morals of an alley cat. A Cretan poet, Epimenides, who lived in the
sixth century before Christ, wrote, “Cretans are always liars, evil
beasts, lazy gluttons” (Titus 1:12). In Greek literature, “to cretanize”
meant “to lie.” Morally and spiritually, Crete was a hard place in which
to live. Yet Paul established a church there and asked Titus to organize
it and appoint leaders. Titus had to be a rock in a hard place. By his
teaching he was to expose error and proclaim truth; by his way of life
he was to be an example of what it means to live for Christ (2:7-8). Has
God called you to represent Him in a workplace where Christ’s name is a
curse word, or in a neighborhood where people have no time for God? Then
by all means you must know God’s truth and reflect that truth in your
life. A society such as ours needs Christians who live as rocks in a
Lord, grant that I may shed Your light
Where wickedness is rife,
And may it help some sinful soul
To find in You new life.
A rock-solid believer thrives even in a sin-hardened place.
THAT THEY MAY BE
SOUND IN THE FAITH: hina hugiainosin (3PPAS) en te pistei:
(Titus 2:2; Lev 19:17; Ps 119:80; 141:5; 2Cor 7:8, 9, 10, 11, 12; 1Ti
for you want them to be sound and healthy Christians (Phillips)
that they may grow healthy in the faith (Barclay)
so that they may be sound in the faith and free from error (Amp)
that they may be robust in their faith (WNT)
Then they will become strong in the faith (ICB)
to make them strong in the faith (TLB)
Who is "They"
in context? Although it might at first seem to refer to the false
teachers, the intended result ("sound
in the faith")
would support that Paul is here referring to the members of the local
So that (2443)
(hina) expresses purpose (see discussion of importance of
terms of purpose or result -
so that, in order that, that, as a result).
Here Paul gives us the intended goal of vigorous reproof -- it is not to
destroy but in fact to make them "sound
in the faith".
[word study] from hugies = healthy and
source of English hygiene) means to be healthy or in
good physical condition.
Hugiaino is used metaphorically here by Paul who
desires that the recipients of the reproof would be free from mixture
with error and deception and be in excellent "spiritual" condition.
uses hugiaino (and cognates) eight times in the pastoral
epistles and nowhere else. The other uses are by Luke (why might he be
familiar with this word?) and one by John.
Paul knows that church leaders must major on
sound doctrine because only sound doctrine will lead to holy living,
here described as those who are "sound
in the faith".
Personal spiritual health is always negatively affected when one takes
in unhealthy or unsound doctrine. The ultimate goal of discipline should be to recover the one who is in
error (Gal 6:1 2Th 3:14, 15).
Here are all 12 uses (minus the
current verse Titus 1:13) of this verb hugiaino in the NT...
Luke 5:31 And Jesus answered
and said to them, "It is not those who are well (hugiaino
- KJV has "whole" -
who need a physician, but those who are sick.
Luke 7:10 And when those who
had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good
health (hugiaino - KJV has "whole" -
Luke 15:27 "And he said to
him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened
calf, because he has received him back safe and sound (this
phrase translated by one Greek verb hugiaino -
1 Timothy 1:10 and immoral men
and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever
else is contrary to sound (present
1 Timothy 6:3 If anyone
advocates a different doctrine, and does not agree with sound (present
tense) words, those
of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness,
2 Timothy 1:13
Retain the standard of sound (present
tense) words which
you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 4:3
For the time will come when they will not endure sound (present
but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for
themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; (note)
holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching,
that he may be able both to exhort in sound (present
tense) doctrine and
to refute those who contradict. (note)
But as for you,
speak the things which are fitting for sound (present
tense) doctrine. (note)
Titus 2:2 Older
men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound (present
tense) in faith, in
love, in perseverance. (note)
3 John 1:2 Beloved, I pray
that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health (present
tense), just as
your soul prospers.
Hugiaino is found 11 times in
(Gen 29:6; 37:14; 43:27-28; Ex 4:18; 1 Sa 25:6; 2 Sa 14:8; 20:9; Pr
13:13; Dan 10:19)
be sound is
present tense (this is to be their lifestyle -
continued spiritual health) and
subjunctive mood (mood of possibility) is used here with
to express purpose -- the purpose of the unflinchingly stern reproof.
What are they to be sound,
healthy and free from error in?
(pistis) in the active sense defines belief directed toward a
person or thing (this is not the way pistis is used in this verse). Here
Paul refers instead to the specific faith which is the content of what
is believed. In other words "the faith" in this context is not referring to personal faith by which one is saved but
instead refers here to the
system of truth itself as taught. (for discussion of this use of "faith"
is that body of doctrine that was given by God through the Apostles to
the church and in context often refers to the truth of the gospel. While
individual teachers and preachers may disagree on the fine points of
theology, there is a basic body of truth ("the
to which all true Christians are committed. And so we see Jude appealing
to his readers to "contend earnestly for
which was once for all delivered to the saints."
Believers who had not yet heard of Paul's conversion described him as "He
who once persecuted us is now preaching
which he once tried to destroy."
Paul exhorts the Corinthians to "Be on the alert, stand firm in
act like men, be strong."