Friday, October 26, 2012

Titus 2

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Teach Sound Doctrine (v. 1-15)

Older men should be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, love, and steadfastness.

This list looks pretty good, of course they have thrown faith in there, but that is to be expected. I'm not completely sure how I feel about steadfast, loyalty is good so long as it has been earned, and it is good as a rule of thumb, but too much can leave you open for being taken advantage of.

Older women are to be reverent, not slanderers, shouldn't drink to much wine, train young women to love their husbands and children, be self controlled, pure, work at home, kind and submissive to their husbands.

Many of these things are just about being a wife who is easily controlled by their husband, even the things that on the surface are good advice, are offensive when they are separated by sex in the way they have been. Don't be a drunk and slanderer are fine things to say, only putting those items toward women implies they have a tendency for those things.

Guzik of course thinks this is all fine, he is just giving different instructions to different groups. He addresses the wine comment by pointing out that it is a common failing of women at that place and time to be heavy drinkers. He also points out that Titus should not be the one teaching young women but instead the older women should teach them. He said it would be wrong and dangerous for Titus to teach them. How bad is his self-control? I guess if today's catholic church is any indication, it is very poor, it's too bad there wasn't a command against priests teaching children as well.

Younger men are urged to have self-control, and Titus is supposed to be an example to them with good works, integrity, dignity and sound speech. Your opponents should have nothing bad to say about you.

Good advice, but why is it focused on the young men?

Slaves should be submissive to their masters in everything. They should be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, show good faith.

More endorsement of slavery, and it basically is telling the slaves to be good slaves as well. It reminds me of something I read before, that the Christians didn't want Christian slaves to make them look bad, could this be the same thing?

As always, it is interesting to see how a Christian will try to defend terrible things in the bible such as slavery. Guzik for example, starts by pointing out that it is a bondservant and not a slave, but then the rest of it he uses the word slave, interesting. He quotes Spurgeon who said "I do not think for a moment Paul believed that the practice of slavery ought to exist. He believed to the fullest extent that the great principles of Christianity would overthrow slavery anywhere, and the sooner they did so the better pleased would he be". If that were the case, why didn't Paul ever say anything like that? If he thought it shouldn't exist, and that Christianity would overturn slavery, perhaps he would have mentioned it. This is complete nonsense as far as I'm concerned.

Matthew Henry avoids this trouble by calling them servants instead of slaves.

These guys say that Christianity talks so much of equality that there is a danger that slaves would forget their place and think of themselves as equals of their masters, that is why there is so much talk of slaves obeying their masters in the bible. That justification is truly disgusting.

The grace of God has brought us salvation, and trained us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions so that we can live self-controlled, upright and godly lives, waiting for Jesus to return.

Worldly passions are not always bad, and equating them with ungodliness is bad. Also, if we are just supposed to be sitting back and waiting for Jesus to come back, why is he taking so long? What's up with that?

For the overview post (If you think I should add or remove stuff from this list please let me know, I think it would make good conversation)


2:2 You should be sober-minded, dignified, and self-controlled

"Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness."

2:7 You should do good works and have dignity and integrity

"Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity,"

2:8 leave your enemies nothing bad to say about you

"and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us."


2:3-5 A woman's main goal should be to please her husband

"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled."

2:9 Endorsement of slavery

"Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative"


  1. This seems like another case where the bad outweighs the good. It seems like that happens often in the bible. Do think that is the case or is it more balanced than I am giving it credit for?

    1. I completely agree, the last few books have been pretty horrible. It's honestly to the point that I have a hard time understanding how anyone could read this and maintain their view that it is written by a perfect God. Granted, some of my complaints are nitpicky, but many are not. How many times does Paul have to endorse slavery before you decide maybe all of this ideas are not perfect?

      Currently, my next overview post has 18 good items and 32 bad items. And honestly, most of the good items are a bit of a stretch.

    2. That is how I have always viewed it. However, I have never read the entire thing with the attention and scope that you are currently embarked on...

  2. The submissive wives thing reminds me of when my girlfriend and I went to the Mennonite bakery outside of town. The food was absolutely delicious, but there was a guy at the register and those women were working really hard. I mean, really hard. For the most part, the men seemed to have it easy based on what I saw and the women were pretty submissive. As we were leaving, I cleaned up the table and threw the trash out. Not really a big deal, but as we exited, my girlfriend said that the women looked really confused as they were watching me clean up and throw stuff away. It was kind of funny, but also really sad.

    I did a quick translation comparison for verse 9.. Based on the "find word" function, slave comes up 25 times and servant comes up 18. A somewhat even split. Regardless of what was meant, I don't see any justification for either. Those arguments presented by those authors is appalling. Even nineteen centuries later, in our own country, we had slavery going on. Southerners were using the Bible to justify it. Those apologists that try to justify the verses with the rest of the world around them that has moved on is just ludicrous. I'm always just at a loss for words when I encounter that. I don't believe in an objective morality, but slavery is one of those things that I think is a big, across the board "nope!"

    1. That's funny about that bakery, I like when some small non-event for you can have a big effect on someone else.

      As for the slavery thing, I completely agree with you. The explanation is pretty ridiculous, but I remember coming across things that didn't fit with the religion as I understood it and doing mental gymnastics. I was never faced with the whole slavery thing when I was a Christian, I wonder how I would have justified it.


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