The Ministry of Rebuke
Titus 1:10-16
Rebuke false teachers so that they may be sound in the faith.
Published November 26th, 2018
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Main point summary
Main point summary
Rebuke false teachers so that they may be sound in the faith.
Titus 1:10-16
For there are many who are insubordinate, y empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of z the circumcision party. 1
Εἰσὶν γὰρ πολλοὶ [καὶ] ἀνυπότακτοι, ματαιολόγοι καὶ φρεναπάται, μάλιστα οἱ ἐκ τῆς περιτομῆς,
They must be silenced,
οὓς δεῖ ἐπιστομίζειν,
since a they are upsetting whole families
οἵτινες ὅλους οἴκους ἀνατρέπουσιν
by teaching b for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.
διδάσκοντες ἃ μὴ δεῖ αἰσχροῦ κέρδους χάριν.
c One of the Cretans, 1 a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 2
εἶπέν τις ἐξ αὐτῶν ἴδιος αὐτῶν προφήτης• Κρῆτες ἀεὶ ψεῦσται, κακὰ θηρία, γαστέρες ἀργαί.
This testimony is true.
ἡ μαρτυρία αὕτη ἐστὶν ἀληθής.
Therefore d rebuke them e sharply,
διʼ ἣν αἰτίαν ἔλεγχε αὐτοὺς ἀποτόμως,
that they f may be sound in the faith,
ἵνα ὑγιαίνωσιν ἐν τῇ πίστει,
g not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and h the commands of people i who turn away from the truth.
μὴ προσέχοντες Ἰουδαϊκοῖς μύθοις καὶ ἐντολαῖς ἀνθρώπων ἀποστρεφομένων τὴν ἀλήθειαν.
j To the pure, all things are pure,
πάντα καθαρὰ τοῖς καθαροῖς•
but to the defiled and k unbelieving, nothing is pure;
τοῖς δὲ μεμιαμμένοις καὶ ἀπίστοις οὐδὲν καθαρόν,
but both l their minds and their consciences are defiled.
ἀλλὰ μεμίανται αὐτῶν καὶ ὁ νοῦς καὶ ἡ συνείδησις.
m They profess to know God,
θεὸν ὁμολογοῦσιν εἰδέναι,
but they n deny him by their works.
τοῖς δὲ ἔργοις ἀρνοῦνται,
They are detestable, disobedient, o unfit for any good work.
βδελυκτοὶ ὄντες καὶ ἀπειθεῖς καὶ πρὸς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἀδόκιμοι.
Arcing Notes 1:10 : The "for" (gar) makes it clear that this whole passage is a grounds for Paul's call to appoint qualified men as elders in every church (verses 5–9). The idea is that elders must hold to sound doctrine and live godly lives and be able to rebuke false teachers (in stark contrast with the false teachers in verses 10–16) because false teachers are prevalent, infiltrating churches and poisoning them with false doctrine that leads to ungodliness. 1:10 : This verse lays out the situation: False teachers are infiltrating the church. The rest of the passage outlines the response Paul calls for (while giving more details about the false teachers): silence and rebuke them sharply. 1:11 & 1:13 : Paul prescribes the response in these two verses: silence and rebuke them sharply. 1:11–12 : Paul gives the grounds for those two responses. 1) Their influence - They are upsetting whole households. 2) Their message - They are teaching what they ought not to teach. 3) Their motive - They are teaching for shameful gain. 4) Their character - They are liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons. 1:13 : Paul gives the purpose or goal of the response he calls for - that they may be sound in the faith 1:14 : Paul unpacks the flip side of the purpose - that they may no longer devote themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. 1:15–16 : Paul explains the nature of the rebuke or what is theologically wrong with the false teachers/teaching. It seems they have a faulty understanding of what it means to be pure before God, much like the Pharisees did in Mark 7:1–23. So verses 15–16 explain both what is theologically wrong with both the false teachers and their teachings. In effect, verses 15–16 provide both the content and nature of the rebuke. There is also a sense in which verses 15–16 are a grounds for verses 11–14 in that they provide more reasons for the elders to silence and sharply rebuke the false teachers, but I think Id-Exp best encapsulates the arcing relationship. I have it explaining all of verses 10–14 (as opposed to only explaining verses 11–14) because it explains what is both empty and deceptive (verse 10) in their teaching: The man-made commands don't produce purity. These man-made purity commands were somehow rooted in Judaism ("circumcision" in verse 10, "Jewish myths" in verse 14) (I understand the circumcision party [Greek: "the circumcision"] to be a reference to Jews and Jewish converts to Christianity (Acts 10:45; 11:2; Rom 15:8; Col 4:11) and that this false teaching in Titus is of a different flavor from the arguments from "the circumcision" in Acts 15 that Christians need to be circumcised.)
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