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Chapter 3

3:1 Faithful is the saying [pistos ho logos]. Here the phrase points to the preceding words (not like 1:15) and should close the preceding paragraph. If a man seeketh [ei tis oregetai]. Condition of first class, assumed as true. Present middle indicative of [oregō], old verb to reach out after something, governing the genitive. In N.T. only here, 6:10; Heb 11:16. The office of a bishop [episkopēs]. Genitive case after [oregetai]. Late and rare word outside of LXX and N.T. (in a Lycaonian inscription). From [episkopeō] and means “over-seership” as in Ac 1:20.

3:2 The bishop [ton episkopon]. The overseer. Old word, in LXX, and inscriptions and papyri. Deissmann (Bible Studies, pp. 230f.) has shown it is applied to communal officials in Rhodes. See Ac 20:28 for its use for the elders (presbyters) in verse 17. So also in Tit 1:5,7. See Php 1:1. The word does not in the N.T. have the monarchical sense found in Ignatius of a bishop over elders. Without reproach [anepilēmpton]. Accusative case of general reference with [dei] and [einai]. Old and common verbal [a] privative and [epilambanō], not to be taken hold of), irreproachable. In N.T. only here, 5:7; 6:14. Of one wife [mias gunaikos]. One at a time, clearly. Temperate [nēphalion]. Old adjective. In N.T. only here, verse 11; Tit 2:2. But see [nēphō], to be sober in 1Th 5:6, 8. Soberminded [sōphrona]. Another old adjective (from [saos] or [sōs], sound, [phrēn], mind) in N.T. only here, Tit 1:8; 2:2,5. Orderly [kosmion]. See on 2:9. Seemly, decent conduct. Given to hospitality [philoxenon]. Old word (see [philoxenia] in Ro 12:13), from [philos] and [xenos], in N.T. only here, Tit 1:8; 1Pe 4:9. Apt to teach [didaktikon]. Late form for old [didaskalikos], one qualified to teach. In Philo and N.T. only (1Ti 3:2; 2Ti 2:24).

3:3 No brawler [mē paroinon]. Later word for the earlier [paroinios], one who sits long at (beside, [para] his wine. In N.T. only here and Tit 1:3. No striker [mē plēktēn]. Late word from [plēssō], to strike. In N.T. only here and Tit 1:3. Gentle [epieikē]. See on Php 4:5 for this interesting word. Not contentious [amachon]. Old word (from [a] privative and [machē], not a fighter. In N.T. only here and Tit 3:2. No lover of money [aphilarguron]. Late word [a] privative and compound [phil-arguros] in inscriptions and papyri (Nageli; also Deissmann, Light, etc., pp. 85f.). In N.T. only here and Heb 13:5.

3:4 Ruling [proistamenon]. Present middle participle of [proistēmi], old word to place before and (intransitive as here) to stand before. See 1Th 5:12; Ro 12:8. In subjection [en hupotagēi]. See verse 11.

3:5 If a man knoweth not [ei tis ouk oiden]. Condition of first class, assumed as true. How to rule [prostēnai]. Second aorist active infinitive of same verb [proistēmi] and with [oiden] means “know how to rule,” not “know that he rules.” How [pōs]. Rhetorical question expecting negative answer. Shall he take care of [epimelēsetai]. Future middle of [epimeleomai], old compound [epi], direction of care towards) verb, in LXX, in N.T. only here and Lu 10:34f. The church of God [ekklēsias theou]. Anarthrous as in verse 15, elsewhere with article (1Co 10:32; 15:9; 2Co 1:1; Ga 1:13). The local church described as belonging to God. No one in N.T. but Paul (Ac 20:28) so describes the church. This verse is a parenthesis in the characteristics of the bishop.

3:6 Not a novice [mē neophuton]. Our “neophyte.” Vernacular word from Aristophanes on, in LXX, and in papyri in the original sense of “newly-planted” [neos, phuō]. Only here in N.T. Lest [hina mē]. “That not.” Being puffed up [tuphōtheis]. First aorist passive participle of [tuphoō], old word (from [tuphos], smoke, pride), to raise a smoke or mist (a smoke-screen of pride). In N.T. only here; 6:4; 2Ti 3:4. He fall into [empesēi eis]. Second aorist active subjunctive with [hina mē], negative purpose, of [empiptō], old verb, to fall into. Note both [en] and [eis] as in Mt 12:11; Lu 10:36. The condemnation of the devil [krima tou diabolou]. See Ro 3:8 for [krima]. Best to take [tou diabolou] as objective genitive, though subjective in verse 7, “the condemnation passed on or received by the devil” (not just “the slanderer,” any slanderer).

3:7 From them that are without [apo tōn exōthen]. “From the outside (of the church) ones.” Paul’s care for the witness of outsiders is seen in 1Th 4:12; 1Co 10:32; Col 4:5. There are, of course, two sides to this matter. Reproach [oneidismon]. Late word from [oneidizō]. See Ro 15:3. The snare of the devil [pagida tou diabolou]. Here subjective genitive, snare set by the devil. [Pagis], old word from [pēgnumi], to make fast. So a snare for birds (Lu 21:35), any sudden trap (Ro 11:9), of sin (1Ti 6:9), of the devil (1Ti 3:7; 2Ti 2:26). Ancients used it of the snares of love. The devil sets special snares for preachers (conceit verse 6, money 6:9, women, ambition).

3:8 Deacons [diakonous]. Accusative case of general reference like the preceding with [dei einai] understood. Technical sense of the word here as in Php 1:1 which see (two classes of church officers, bishops or elders, deacons). Grave [semnous]. See Php 4:8. Repeated in verse 11; Tit 2:2. Not double-tongued [mē dilogous]. Rare word [dis, legō] saying same thing twice. Xenophon has [dilogeō] and [dilogia]. In Pollux, but LXX has [diglōssos] (double-tongued, Latin bilinguis). Only here in N.T. One placed between two persons and saying one thing to one, another to the other. Like Bunyan’s Parson “Mr. Two-Tongues.” Not given to much wine [mē oinōi pollōi prosechontas]. “Not holding the mind [ton noun] understood as usual with [prosechō], 1Ti 1:4) on much wine” [oinōi], dative case). That attitude leads to over-indulgence. Not greedy of filthy lucre [mē aischrokerdeis]. Old word from [aischros] (Eph 5:12) and [kerdos] (Php 1:21). “Making small gains in mean ways” (Parry). Not genuine in verse 3. In N.T. only here and Tit 1:7 (of bishops).

3:9 The mystery of the faith [to mustērion tēs pisteōs]. “The inner secret of the faith,” the revelation given in Christ. See for [mustērion] in Paul (2Th 2:7; 1Co 2:7; Ro 16:25; Col 1:26; Eph 3:9). In a pure conscience [en katharāi suneidēsei]. See 1:19. “The casket in which the jewel is to be kept” (Lock).

3:10 First be proved [dokimazesthōsan prōton]. Present passive imperative third plural of [dokimazō], old and common verb, to test as metals, etc. (1Th 2:4, and often in Paul). How the proposed deacons are to be “first” tested before approved Paul does not say. See Php 1:10 for the two senses (test, approve) of the word. Let them serve as deacons [diakoneitōsan]. Present active imperative of [diakoneō] (same root as [diakonos], common verb, to minister, here “to serve as deacons.” Cf. [diakonein] in Ac 6:2. See also verse 13. If they be blameless [anegklētoi ontes]. “Being blameless” (conditional participle, [ontes]. See 1Co 1:8; Col 1:22 for [anegklētos].

3:11 Women [gunaikas]. Accusative with [dei einai] understood [hosautōs], likewise) as in verse 8. Apparently “women as deacons” (Ro 16:1 about Phoebe) and not women in general or just “wives of deacons.” See Pliny (Ep. X. 97) ministrae. Not slanderers [mē diabolous]. Original meaning of [diabolos] (from [diaballō], Lu 16:1), the devil being the chief slanderer (Eph 6:11). “She-devils” in reality (Tit 2:3). “While men are more prone to be [dilogous], double-tongued, women are more prone than men to be slanderers” (White). Faithful in all things [pistas en pāsin]. Perhaps as almoners (Ellicott) the deaconesses had special temptations.

3:12 Of one wife [mias gunaikos]. At a time as in verse 2. Ruling well [proistamenoi kalōs]. As in 4.

3:13 Gain to themselves [heautois peripoiountai]. Present middle indicative of [peripoieō], old verb, to make besides [peri], around, over), to lay by. Reflexive (indirect) middle with reflexive pronoun [heautois] repeated as often happens in the Koinē. In N.T. only here, Lu 17:33; Ac 20:28 (Paul also, quoting Isa 43:21). A good standing [bathmon kalon]. Late word from [bainō], in LXX for steps at a door (1Sa 5:5). In plural the steps of a stair. In the inscriptions it means a good foothold or standing. The ecclesiastical writers (Theodoret) take it to be a higher grade or rank, but it is doubtful if Paul means that here. Much boldness [pollēn parrēsian]. A Pauline phrase (2Co 3:12; 7:4; Php 1:20). In the faith which is in Christ Jesus [en pistei tēi en Christōi Iēsou]. Pauline phrase again (Ac 26:18; Ga 3:26; Col 1:4; Eph 1:15; 2Ti 1:13; 3:15).

3:14 Shortly [en tachei]. Old idiom (locative case of [tachos], quickness, speed). See Ro 16:20. A pseudonymous writer would hardly have put in this phrase. Paul’s hopes were not to be realized, but he did not know that.

3:15 But if I tarry long [ean de bradunō]. Condition of third class with [ean] and the present active subjunctive of [bradunō], old verb, to be slow (usually intransitive), from [bradus] (slow, dull, Lu 24:25), in N.T. only here and 2Pe 3:9. That thou mayest know [hina eidēis]. Final clause with [hina] and second perfect active subjunctive of [oida], to know. How men ought [pōs dei]. “How it is necessary for thee” (supply [se] more naturally than [tina], any one). Indirect question. To behave themselves [anastrephesthai]. Present middle (direct) infinitive of [anastrephō], old verb, to turn up and down. See 2Co 1:12; Eph 2:3. In the house of God [en oikōi theou]. Probably here “household of God,” that is “the family of God” rather than “the house (or temple) of God.” Christians as yet had no separate houses of worship and [oikos] commonly means “household.” Christians are the [naos] (sanctuary) of God (1Co 3:16f.; 2Co 6:16), and Paul calls them [oikeioi tou theou] (Eph 2:19) “members of God’s family.” It is conduct as members of God’s family [oikos] that Paul has in mind. Which [hētis]. “Which very house of God,” agreeing (feminine) with the predicate word [ekklēsia] (church). The church of the living God [ekklēsia theou zōntos]. Probably here the general church or kingdom as in Colossians and Ephesians, though the local church in verse 5. The pillar and ground of the truth [stulos kai hedraiōma tēs alētheias]. Paul changes the metaphor again as he often does. Those words are in apposition to [ekklēsia] and [oikos]. On [stulos], old word for pillar, see Ga 2:9; Re 3:12 (only other N.T. examples). [Hedraiōma], late and rare word (from [hedraioō], to make stable) occurs here first and only in ecclesiastical writers later. Probably it means stay or support rather than foundation or ground. See Co 1:23; 2Ti 2:19 for similar idea. See also Mt 16:18f.

3:16 Without controversy [homologoumenōs]. Old adverb from the participle [homologoumenos] from [homologeō]. Here only in N.T. “Confessedly.” Great [mega]. See Eph 5:32. “A great mystery.” The mystery of godliness [to tēs eusebeias mustērion]. See verse 9 “the mystery of the faith,” and 2:2 for [eusebeia]. Here the phrase explains “a pillar and stay of the truth” (verse 15). See in particular Co 1:27. “The revealed secret of true religion, the mystery of Christianity, the Person of Christ” (Lock). He who [hos]. The correct text, not [theos] (God) the reading of the Textus Receptus (Syrian text) nor [ho] (neuter relative, agreeing with [mustērion] the reading of the Western documents. Westcott and Hort print this relative clause as a fragment of a Christian hymn (like Eph 5:14) in six strophes. That is probably correct. At any rate [hos] (who) is correct and there is asyndeton (no connective) in the verbs. Christ, to whom [hos] refers, is the mystery (Col 1:27; 2:2). Was manifested [ephanerōthē]. First aorist passive indicative of [phaneroō], to manifest. Here used to describe the incarnation [en sarki] of Christ (an answer also to the Docetic Gnostics). The verb is used by Paul elsewhere of the incarnation (Ro 16:26; Col 1:26) as well as of the second coming (Col 3:4). Justified in the spirit [edikaiōthē en pneumati]. First aorist passive indicative of [dikaioō], to declare righteous, to vindicate. Christ was vindicated in his own spirit (Heb 9:14) before men by overcoming death and rising from the dead (Ro 1:3f.). Seen of angels [ōphthē aggelois]. First aorist passive indicative of [horaō], to see, with either the instrumental or the dative case of angels [aggelois]. The words were probably suggested by the appearance of Jesus [ōphthē], the usual form for the resurrection appearances of Christ) of the angels at the tomb and at the ascension of Christ. See Php 2:10; 1Pe 3:22 for the appearance of Jesus to the angels in heaven at the ascension. Some would take “angels” here to be “messengers” (the women). Preached among the nations [ekēruchthē en ethnesin]. First aorist passive indicative of [kērussō], to proclaim. The word [ethnos] may mean “all creation” (Col 1:23) and not just Gentiles as distinct from Jews. Paul had done more of this heralding of Christ among the Gentiles than any one else. It was his glory (Eph 3:1,8). Cf. 2:7. Believed on in the world [episteuthē en kosmōi]. First aorist indicative passive again of [pisteuō], to believe (2Th 1:10). Cf. 1:15; 2Co 5:19. Received up in glory [anelēmphthē en doxēi]. First aorist passive again (six verbs in the same voice and tense in succession, a rhythmic arrangement like a hymn). Cf. Ro 8:29f. This time the verb is [analambanō], the verb used of the ascension (Ac 1:11, 22, which see). In a wonderful way this stanza of a hymn presents the outline of the life of Christ.

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