What is the import of this fiaraioXoyia we learn from i. 14, iii. 9.
<J>pn/a7raT77f only here, but (frpevarta-av is found in Gal. vi. 3. Both
expressions denote the evil, the cure of which can be wrought only
by the doctrine mentioned before.
The next words tell us from
what source this evil chiefly proceeds : chiefly they of the circumcision,
comp. with ver. 14. We learn from Josephus and Philo that great
numbers of Jews were at that time living in Crete. Comp. Winer,
R.W.B., on Crete. Those here alluded to are not to be conceived as
without the Christian pale, but as Jewish Christians, who do not abide
by the simple truth of the gospel, but mingling with it their own in-
gredients, obscure the truth, and hinder their own moral progress.
They have, however, had some success among the Gentile-Chris-
tians ; hence
TITUS I. 11, 12. 577
Ver. 11. 'Whose mouths must be stopped : K-niGroiii&iv is found
only here, os obturo, to muzzle ; in sense = t-Aey%v, ver. 9. Their
pernicious influence is described in what follows : who subvert whole
houses teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.
'AvarpeTrw = everto, here and in 2 Tim. ii. 18 ; in this passage it is
a figure corresponding to o'itcovg. The other passage shews the sense
of the word, as its object is there stated to be the faith of some.
This is the effect of their talking it leads of itself even further
from. faith and godliness, comp. 2 Tim. ii. 16. But were this vain
talking and vain babbling, together with the things mentioned in
ver. 14 and in iii. 9, in decided opposition to the truth, a heresy
strictly so called, and not rather an absorption in things which do
not lead to salvation, and are destitute of all moral efficacy, it is im-
possible to conceive how even a forger should have addressed to
Titus iii. 9, and repeatedly to Timothy i. 6-20, iv. 2-16, etc., the ad-
monition not to meddle with these things. This is conceivable only
on the supposition that they had a harmless appearance, but might
still lead gradually away from the true foundation of faith and life.
De Wette also coincides indirectly in this view, as he observes that
the expression, things ivhich they ought not, but vaguely defines the
heresy ; an expression, however, all the more suitable on our theory.
On \ii\ beside o? comp. Winer's Gr., 55, 3, p. 426, 1 Tim. v. 13.
For the sake of filthy lucre, comp. above on alcxpoaepdri and 1 Tim.
vi. 5-10. This motive imputed to these opponents, as well as the
entire description and confutation of them, shews that we have not
here the same hostile principle of Judaism as in the Epistles to the
G-alatians, Corinthians, and Philippians. There Jewish-Christians
are described whose zeal for the law made them the enemies of the
apostle ; here, people whose object is gain, and who seek to make
those ingredients with which they disfigure the Christian truth, and
which they give out for wisdom, subservient to their own selfish in-
terests. We find the same thing described in 1 Tim. i. 6, where the
expression vain talking is farther explained by the words, wishing
to be teachers of the law, ver. 7. * Comp. also the contentions about
the law, Tit. iii. 9 and i. 14.
Ver. 12. One of them, their own prophet has said, the Cretans,
etc. One of the three citations from heathen poets which we meet
with in the apostle's writings. We have here a complete hexameter.
Comp. Winer's Grr., 68, 4, p. 563. The other citations are in Acts
xvii. 28 ; 1 Cor. xv. 33. The poet whose words are cited is Epi-
menides of Gnossus in Crete, who flourished in the sixth century
before Christ ; they are said to be taken from a writing of his -rrepi
Xpijaptiv. The beginning of the verse Kpij-eg del ijjevaTai is found
also in Callimachus the Cyrenaean, who flourished in the third cen-
tury before Christ in his hymn in Jov. v. 8, where the charge of
VOL. V. 37
578 TITUS I. 12.
lying refers to the circumstance that the Cretans showed Jupiter's
tomb in their island. Theodoret considers the words as cited from
him, a view the incorrectness of which has been shewn by Jerome
and Epiphanius. Comp. against it Matthies. The words designate
the well-known national character of the Cretans, as described by
many other profane writers, comp. Winer R.W.B. on Crete. Kp?/-
ri&iv was used synonymously with ifrevdeadai, as noptvOid&iv = scor-
tari. Kad Orjpta denotes their wildness, rudeness, covetousness,
cunning. Tanrtp^ dpyai, for they had the reputation of being
drunkards, licentious, idlers ; the tarrying long at the wine was re-
garded by them as an accomplishment, comp. ii. 3 ; Hug Einl. ii.
p. 298, seq. The critics introduce several objections here. Refer-
ring the words one of themselves exclusively to the preceding they
of the circumcision, they regard the application of the verse as far-
fetched and unsuitable, since it can be applied properly only to
Cretans, while here it is applied to native Jews (comp. Baur die so.
g. Pastoral-briefe, p. 121.) De Wette himself has defended the
author of the epistle from this charge, and shewn that it is alto-
gether unnecessary to impute to him such an absurdity. He ob-
serves correctly that the indefinite reference in the words one of
themselves, applies to the Cretans not as being heretics, but et.s </iv-
ing consent to such, an idea already involved in the expression ivhole
houses, and pj -npoolxovTec, ver. 14. So Bottger, a a. Q. V., p. 21 :
" what Paul says from ver. 12 onwards, refers to those who may
have been led away by the heretics, and characterizes them as per-
sons whom it would not be at all difficult to lead away. The ex-
pression ivhole houses forms the transition from the heretics to the
church." Bottger shews also that the apostle, having in his mind
the proverb which begins with the Cretans, naturally said, one of
themselves, not one of the Cretans, in order to avoid repetition.
Accordingly, ver. 12 is to be taken not so much as a confirmation of
the preceding, as a reason for what follows ; still I am not inclined
to make so pointed a distinction, between the false teachers and
those whom they led away as Bottger does, who maintains that
Ihlyxeiv cannot apply to heretics, against which, however, are vers.
9, 10, iii. 10 ; as indeed the expression heretics in general is not
quite suitable. A further objection is brought by the critics against
the designation of Epimenides as a prophet. " It almost appears,"
says Baur, " as if the writer calls the poet a prophet, in order f hat
he may regard his saying as an immediate prophetical reference to
these very heretics of the circumcision." This view is naturally
adopted by the opposing critics, as furnishing a needed starting point.
They proceed to say : " a writer who, like the author of these epis-
tles, does not write from the actual state of things before him, but
must first create his material, naturally seizes hold of everything
TITUS I. 13. 579
that may serve his purpose . . . inasmuch as here, however, where
he was speaking of heretics, he thought it necessary to hring in the
anti-Judaism of the apostle, the application of this verse in such a
connexion was very infelicitous." But, according to Baur, the ob-
ject of the writer of this epistle was to gain over the Jewish Chris-
tian party. What inducement then had he to introduce here the
anti-Judaism of the apostle ? That Epimenides was really reputed
to he a prophet in ancient times, we learn from various authorities.
Plut. Solon, c. 12 ; Plato legg. 1, 642. Cicero de divin. 1, 18 (vati-
cinans per furorem.) " Whether the apostle himself held Epi-
menides for a prophet," observes Matthies justly, " is quite another
and a different point," and, " if heathen idols are loosely termed
gods, surely the apostle might, without doing violence to Christian
piety, give to an important heathen personage the name of prophet,
which was generally assigned to him." The context, however, shews
plainly why the apostle retains the appellation which the Cretans
assigned to Epimenides. " If he stood so high in their estimation,
then must a saying of his have come to them with authority," as
Bdttger rightly observes, p. 22. On the expression 6 itiiog avruv np.
comp. Winer's Gr., 22, 7, p. 139 ; the pronoun expresses only the
idea of " belonging to," the idiog makes the antithesis : their own
poet, not a strange one. Finally, the critics find the charge here
brought against the Cretans to be unjust (De Wette, p. 2-10),
since the apostle seems to have had so much success in his labours
amongst them, on which see the Introduction. The apostle, how-
ever, is just saying here, that precisely on account of this national
character Christianity in Crete was exposed to great danger.
Ver. 13. This testimony is true, the apostle adds, wherefore
rebuke them sharply that they may be sound in the faith, etc. Ver.
13, according to De Wette, applies not to the heretic^, but to those
whom they had seduced into error, or as I would be inclined to ex-
press it it designates the persons meant as those who had been led
away, but who themselves might again be the means of leading
away others ; comp. Matthies. The word tvherefore shews plainly
the reference of ver. 12 to what follows. Because that is true set
them right. The expression 8? fjv alriav occurs again only in 2
Tim. i. 6, 12 ; and Heb. ii. 11. The apostle here drops the refer-
ence to the bishops who were to be appointed, and lays on Titus
himself the charge of applying the proper remedy. Thus the term
eAey^e forms the natural transition to the further exhortation ad-
dressed to Titus, ii. 1, seq. "EAey^ as at i. 9, is set them right
with reprehension ; and he is to set them right sharply : the nature
of the people requires this. A hint worthy of practical consideration !
'A/rorojUWf is also found in other epistles of the apostle, and is used only
by him. As an adverb it occurs in 2 Cor. xiii. 10 as a substantive,
580 TITUS I. 13.
Rom. xi. 22"; in the latter passage it stands opposed to
in the former it is characterized as a means to edification. Sharp-
ness and severity are but the other side of love itself,, when the
wounds can be healed only by cutting. " Sharply, because such
persons could not be brought down by gentleness ; inflict, there-
fore, he says, a heavier stroke," Chrysostoin. The object of this
procedure is then stated that they may be sound in the faith.
There is no reason for taking Iva here = un. It expresses the same
thing as d$ olnodo^v in 2 Cor. xiii. 10 ; only the apostle adheres to
the metaphor employed in ver. 9. They are infected with the
malady of vain questions, etc., 1 Tim. vi. 4, comp. with Tit. iii. 9.
" Plainly not heretics," observes De Wette also here, and Matthies
is quite right when he says, that the words in the faith express pre-
cisely the thing in which, as unhealthy persons they need restoration.
" For their faith was infected with the heresy their evangelical na-
ture partly corrupted ; tv } however, is not = did, but denotes the
element of life in which they may rejoice in perfect health, if only
their faith is emptied of all foreign and morbid ingredients." It is-
evident from this, how entirely different the state of things here
from what we find for example in the Epistle to the Galutians,
where the apostle addresses those who had been led away in the
words, ye are removed unto another gospel, i. 6, and again, Christ
is made of none effect to you, v. 4. We have here not a doctrine
opposed directly to the gospel and the faith but an unsoundness in
the faith, and in the truth tvhich is according to godliness, as the
apostle indicates in the very outset of the epistle.
But the apostle himself proceeds, in ver. 14, to explain more
fully this unsoundness, by describing the malady of which the Cretan
Christians must be cured. It is plain from vers. 6-9 that he does
not intend to say, that all without exception have been infected
with this malady. " Not giving heed to Jewish fables and command-
ments of men that turn from the truth." On rrpoat'^v, comp. Wi-
ner's Gr., 52, 14), p. 384 ; vovv is not to be supplied, as in 1
Tim. i. 4, iv. 1, and elsewhere ; Ileb. ii. 1 ; Acts viii. 6, xvi. 14.
For the more general use of the word, 1 Tim. iii. 8, iv. 13, comp.
Heb. vii. 13. These fables are mentioned also in 1 Tim. i. 4, iv. 7 ;
2 Tim. iv. 4. In the passage first cited it occurs along with endless
genealogies, with which comp. Tit. iii. 9, where in like manner
genealogies are specified as the subject with which these opponents
employ themselves. In that passage also we find tJie questions and
strivings about the law which are mentioned in Tit. iii. 9 in the same
connexion, comp. 1 Tim. i. 7, vi. 4. Vain talking is also specified
there, in connexion with these errors, i. 6. We find there also the
same thing placed in opposition to those errors, namely, soundness, as
associated with the true doctrine, 1 Tim. i. 10, vi. 3 (voat-lv occurs ver.
TITUS I. 13. 581
4) and the same stress laid on the practical side of Christianity of
which we have an indication in the frequent use of the word godli-
ness, godly, 1 Tim. ii. 2, iii. 16, iv. 7, vi. 3, 6, 11. And the second
Epistle to Timothy partakes also in proportion of these peculiarities.
Everywhere do we find this error traced to the same state of mind
as its source, comp. Tit. i. 15, 16 ; 1 Tim. i. 19, vi. 5, etc., to the
same governing motive, Tit. i. 11 ; 1 Tim. vi. 9 ; and described as
leading to the same result, Tit. i. 11, 13 ; 1 Tim. i. 4, vi. 4 ; 2 Tim. ii.
14, seq., ii. 23. In short, there can be no question that by these
fables, together with the genealogies and the more indefinite desig-
nations such as questions, vain talking, strifes of words, etc., one
and the same error is to be understood, as indeed the most of expo-
sitions proceed upon this understanding.
If, now, we look more particularly at the passage under consid-
eration, it is manifest, as has already been observed, that the giving
heed to Jewish fables, together with what follows, denotes the mal-
ady with which the Christianity of the Cretans was infected, and of
which they must be cured in order to come to soundness in the faith.
The opposite of these errors is the sound doctrine, as we learn from
ver. 13 and ii. 1. That this doctrine, however, is nothing else than
the doctrine according to godliness, 1 Tim. vi. 3, or as it is called
in our epistle, i. 1, the truth which is according to godliness, is ad-
mitted by De Wette, and is in itself evident. Thus the fables, as
also the commandments of men, are designated here only as things
which do not tend to godliness, which do not promote true piety.
And quite the same thing is predicated of them in 1 Tim. i. 4, which
minister questions rather than godly edifying in faith. Titus as well
as Timothy is admonished not to meddle with these things ; comp.
1 Tim. i. 4, vi. 20 ; 2 Tim. ii. 16, 23, with Tit. iii. 9 ; and the being
taken up with these things is everywhere described, not as what is
directly opposed to the Christian truth, but as a tendency which is
vain and fruitless, not productive of true godliness but rather grad-
ually leading away from the truth which tends to godliness, and
from the faith. Comp. iii. 9 of this epistle with 1 Tim. i. 4, iv. 7,
vi. 4, 21 ; 2 Tim. ii. 14, 16, 17, 23. Commentators generally have
paid too little attention to the circumstances here noticed inasmuch
as they have characterized this error at once as a heresy and the
critics to whom we have referred still less. How weak and point-
less would be such designations as profitless, unfruitful, if errors di-
rectly opposed to the truth are meant ? How could the apostle
warn even Timothy and Titus against it if it were a heresy strictly
so called, and not rather things which appear harmless, but which
are in themselves useless and vain, and from being unfavourable to
moral earnestness become dangerous to the faith ? So much with
reference to the passage before us ; that the case is not otherwise
TITUS I. 13.
with the other passages will be shewn in the exposition. The ex-
pression pvdoi itself, which besides in the Pastoral Epistles occurs
only in 2 Pet. i. 16, is here sufficiently determined by being opposed
to the faithful word, etc., ver. 9, and by its connexion with com-
mandments of men, and must denote that which is not to be de-
pended on, which wants a sure foundation. Still more pointed is
2 Tim. iv. 4, where pvOot are opposed to dkrjdeia ; similarly 1 Tim.
i. 4, where -rrpooextiv fivdotg defines more exactly K-epodidaoKaXelv, and
1 Tim. iv. 7, where the (*vdoi stands opposed to the Aoyot TT/J- -rriarec^
KOI rfc Kahift didaaKaMas. To this corresponds the use of the word
in 2 Pet. i. 16, where following cunningly-devised fables is opposed
to being eye-witnesses of the event referred to. Again, the contents
of these fables evidently pertained to religion, for how otherwise
could soundness in the faith be opposed to them, or how could they
result in apostacy from the faith ? A more particular description
of them, however, cannot be obtained from the epistles, except that
we may suppose the fables to have been closely connected with the
genealogies on the authority of 1 Tim. i. 4, where they occur to-
gether, and Tit. iii. 9, where in the enumeration of the characteris-
tics of the general error to which they belong, the fables are not
mentioned, but the genealogies are put in place of them. We learn
only further from 1 Tim. iv. 7, that they were profane and old ivives'
fables (comp. the exposition), and from the passage before us that
they were of Jewish origin and character, like the commandments
of men with which they are connected ; a designation which cer-
tainly corresponds but little to the Valentinian system, the entire
character of which, according to Baur's own representation, rather
denies than betrays its Jewish origin (Gnosis, p. 122). Thus the
passage before us, in connexion with the kindred passages in the
other epistles, furnishes only certain general marks from which to
draw the special signification of nvdoi. These alone form the sure
results of the exegesis ; everything further belongs to historical re-
search, and we refer to the General Introduction, 4. Along with
the fables the apostle also mentions the commandments of men, who
turn away from the truth, as a source of unsoundness, comp. iii. 9.
So also 1 Tim. i. 7, wishing to be teachers of the law, iv. 8, bodily
exercise (iv. 3 goes further). The expression, commandments of
men, implies an antithesis to the commandments of God, whose
place they usurp, comp. Matth. xv. 9 ; Mark vii. 7 ; Col. ii. 22.
That also which in its nature and import is godly, may by a per-
verted application become the commandments of men. Men who
turn away from the truth, dTTovrpetyofievuv TIJV d^Oeiav. The verb
in an active signification, also in Rom. xi. 26, and the same as here,
Heb. xii. 25. The middle in a transitive signification, hence the
accus. Comp. Winer's Gr., 38, 2. With respect to the sense,
TITUS I. 13. 583
Matthies well observes, "they turn away from the truth in that
. . . . they let the revealed word of truth disappear amid
their selfish degenerate tendencies." We learn from vers. 15 and
16 to what these commandments referred, namely, to the dis-
tinction between clean and unclean, with which we naturally asso-
ciate the prohibitions in regard to food, and whatever else belongs
to a bodily exercise. But it is not the common Jewish view that is
here meant, which injured the faith by giving undue prominence to
the law : this is evident from the expression commandments of men,
and from the apostle's entire mode of opposing the error ; and it has
also been declared by Neander, and even by his opponent Baur (die
s. g. Pastoralbriefe, p. 22, seq.), while De Wette understands by it
not simply the Mosaic prohibitions with regard to food, but the tra-
ditional additions and exaggerations which these underwent. As
these seducers thought to improve Christian truth intellectually by
their additions, they would also promote its moral perfection by
their commandments, while in reality by both alike they hindered
true soundness in the faith. I coincide with Baur when he main-
tains (p. 230) that the opponents in this passage bear much less of
the common Judaistic character than the Colossian heretics, and
that the mode of opposing them here is quite different from that in
the Colossians, where the apostle certainly contrasts the inferior
position of Judaism with the higher one of Christianity. But what
right has Baur to throw this passage and 1 Tim. iv. 1, together,
when the expression, latter times, in that passage, points to a future
period, and forbids (as he himself maintains) our connecting it with
earlier and already existing heretics, such as were those in Colosse ?
Does the expression not then also forbid our thinking of contem-
porary errors, as required by Tit. i. 14 ? And how little does it
agree with the contents of our epistle to assert, that it differs from
that to the Colossians in the error which it opposes being more radi-
cally subversive of Christianity ? For where the trace of any such
radical contradiction to Christianity in our epistle ? Quite the
contrary is the case. Nowhere does it point to any fundamental
opposition to the truth ; it speaks only of perversities which pro-
mote neither genuine and essential knowledge, nor true godliness,
but rather lead away from these. If, however, the characteristics,
of the heretics in this epistle are to be regarded as applicable to
Marcion, and to him alone, then indeed must we attribute to them
a view of the world, as held by the Gnostics together with a dislike
of its Creator, opinions with which such epithets as profitless and.
vain, as well as the warning addressed to Titus against meddling
with such things, as illy accord as does the opposition to it implied in
the sound doctrine, i. 9, ii. 1. And even then it must still be shewn
that the characteristics can correspond only to Marcion. For the
584 TITUS I. 15.
Jewish Christians at Rome, according to Baur's own representation,
had a dualistic notion of the world radically akin to the later
Ebionitism. Or if it be objected, as by Baur, to this analogous
case, that there is a wide interval between the germ and the theo-
retically-developed system, then where do we find such a system in
this epistle ? All things are pure, says the apostle, in opposition
to these commandments of men, and he says just the same in Rom.
xiv. 20. And how shall it be proved that the germ which existed
in the church at Rome grew into a system such as that of the
pseudo-Clementine homilies ; and yet that from the ascetic princi-
ples of the opponents referred to in our epistle, only a Marcionite
system could result, as Baur maintains ; especially "when the notions
with respect to the world entertained by the writer of the Clemen-
tine homilies bear quite the character of the Marcionite dualism ?"
(Christ. Gnosis, p. 325.) We would simply say with reference to
the degree of asceticism represented in this passage, that although
it goes beyond the mere insisting on the Mosaical prohibitions of
meats, we can point to analogous manifestations in the apostolic
time, as at Rom. xiv., and in the Epistle to the Colossians.
Ver. 15. This ascetic tendency, which places the distinction of
clean and unclean in the things themselves, and consequently in the
use of these finds a hindrance or a furtherance to moral perfection,
is opposed by the apostle in the assertion, that the distinction does
not lie in the things themselves, but in the disposition of him who
uses them. Where that is pure, then all is pure ; in the other case,
nothing is pure. The phrase -ndvra nadapd (for fiev is to be cancelled
according to A.C.D.*E.F. C G., etc.) is found also at Rom. xiv. 20.
The sentiment is the same, the connexion in which it is there used
is different. There, it is an acknowledgement of the truth which
those whom the apostle is setting right bring forward in their de-
fence, and the but which follows, places in opposition to this truth
the other, which in consequence of it was forgotten by them. It
would be wrong to transfer this reference to the passage before us,
and he-re also to take the all things are pure as an acknowledgment
on the part of the apostle according to which he combats a false
view of Christian freedom. Against this is the expression, com-
mandments of men, and the form in which he opposes the error, as
we may see clearly by comparing the passage in Romans with 1