Man or God? Companion Study

This is the Companion piece to the actual Commentary – Please read 2nd

The first thing one must do in Bible study, is to determine who is talking / writing, who is being talked/written to, and why? The small book of Titus is in the Pauline Epistles and today it is directed to the Christian / Gentiles / Non-Jewish. Paul is Titus’ mentor. Paul is writing to Titus whom Paul left in Crete to find church leaders, and to instruct them.

So our verses are not taken out of context, it is helpful to read the first five verses in Titus, as follows:  : Titus 1:1-5 “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour; To Titus, [mine] own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, [and] peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour. For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:” (KJV)

The Verses for Comparison were at the end of an excellent commentary I read this morning, but used the New English Bible for a closing statement. Being confused, I decided to do a comparison:

Titus 2:11 – 14 “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, (KJV)

Titus 2:11 – 14 “For the grace of God has dawned upon the world with healing for all mankind; (NEB)

The words – For the grace of God that bringeth salvation

changed to – For the grace of God  . . . with healing for all mankind;

The theological definition of “salvation” is deliverance from the power and penalty of sin; redemption.

In looking up definition for “healing” there was no theological definition. The synonyms and antonyms make me certain that healing and salvation are not synonymous. [I.e. Synonyms 1. See cure. 2. compose, soothe. 3. purge, disinfect. Antonyms 1, 2. irritate. 3. soil, infect.]

AND

The words – hath appeared to all men

changed to – has dawned upon the world

Appeared to all men means ‘to come into the sight of all men.”

The word dawned . . . Synonyms 1. daybreak, sunrise. 5. appear, occur, break. Antonyms 1. sunset.

Dawned is a very weak replacemen word for appeared, which is a very clear word in its universal meaning. Why exchange a weak word, for one very strong in meaning.

++++++++++

Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, (KJV)

and by it we are disciplined to renounce godless ways and worldly desires, and live a life of temperance, honesty, and godliness (NEB)

The word –  teaching

changed to – disciplined,

Teaching is a positive process of a teacher passing on knowledge to others.

Disciplined brings other types of definitions to mine – and often negative definitions are visualized when hearing the word disciplined: systematic training in obedience to regulations and authority; or the state of improved behavior, resulting from such training or conditions; or punishment or chastisement.

AND

The words – ungodliness and worldly lusts

changed to – godless ways and wordly desires,

The only difference here is subtle, in that lust and desire can be synonyms; however, if the lust or desire is not defined at first blush most people see a preconceived meaning of the two words. Lust, without a qualifier, is almost always thought of as a bad thing. Desire, without a qualifier, is usually associated with one’s heart’s desire which could be as innocent as wanting to find a good spouse, and to have a family.

AND

The words – live soberly, righteously, and godly

changed to – live a life of temperance, honesty, and godliness

Soberly vs. temperance: Soberly means quiet and serious demeanor, or not intoxicated. Temperance means abstinence from alcohol, or self-restraint in action or statement. Soberly usually speaks more to the permanent nature of a person. Temperance usually speaks more to the behavior of a person in specific situations. Of course because of the 18th Amendment that prohibited the manufacture, transportation and sale of intoxicating liquors, and the 21st Amendment which reversed the 18th, we will tend to relate temperance with the restraint of drinking alcoholic beverages.

Righteously vs. honesty: Righteous living means moral and virtuous. Honest means truthful and sincere. These are both good words, but in meaning, honest cannot replace the word righteous and envelope the entire meaning of righteous.

Godly vs. Godliness:  Godly means to conform to the laws of God. Godliness is having a religious character. The difference is minimal.

in this present world; (KJV)

in the present age, (NEB)

The words – present world

changed to – present age

The world is the earth, humankind; the human race; humanity.

Present age represents an era.

++++++++++

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; (KJV)

looking forward to the happy fulfillment in our hope when the splendor of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus will appear. (NEB)

The words – Looking for that blessed hope

changed to – looking forward to the happy fulfillment in our hope,

“Looking for that blessed hope”, makes the Christian different from non-believers. On a daily basis we do think on good things, and at the top of that list is knowing we will meet the Lord one day. The Prospect of Death has “no sting” for us because of our blessed hope of either being raptured by the Lord in our lifetime, or the eternal life that will follow earthly death.

“Looking forward to the happy fulfillment in our hope”, is too casual a statement for what it is we are actually looking forward to.

AND

The words – and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ

changed to – when the splendor of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus will appear.

There isn’t much difference in these two statements splendor certainly describes the Lord. I prefer glorious because that is what our existence is all about – we exist in Christ for His glory.

++++++++++

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (KJV)

He it is who sacrificed Himself for us, to set us free from all wickedness, and to make us a pure people marked out for His own, eager to do good.” (NEB)

The words – Who gave himself for us,

changed to – He it is who sacrificed Himself for us,

When the meanings are basically the same, one must ponder why change the words at all.

AND

The words – that he might redeem us from all iniquity,

changed to = to set us free from all wickedness,

The meaning of why Jesus / our Lord came to us here in His Creation was to solve the problem of redemption. The words redeem and redemption in our Lord’s human purpose is the very core of defining why he came. Changing the wording to anything other than redemption is cheating the reader of the reminder of the story of redemption.

AND

The words – and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

changed to – and to make us a pure people marked out for His own, eager to do good.

It is his work of redemption which is the grace the Lord gives us thereby we are “uncommon” (peculiar) people compared to people who do not choose to accept the Lord’s gift of salvation. Because we are filled with the Lord’s Holy Spirit, our souls are changed, and it shows in our natural zeal to have a propensity for good works.

Redemption does not make us pure – but we are counted as pure by the work of the cross and by our free will, we choose to believe in the Gospel regarding Jesus Christ. Being counted for pure is a gift we do not earn with our good works; it is given only by our belief. Because the “mark of the beast” is such a common phrase, I would never use it to describe the grace the Lord gives us when we believe. We are His by the choice of our free will. Eager to do good could describe our attitude toward playing a sport, learning in a school class . . .  “eager to do good” just isn’t a wonderful enough phrase to describe what happens to us when we accept Christ into our lives.

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I was wondering if the tenth verse should have been included at the beginning of the quote:

Titus 2:10 “Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.

And also wondering if the verse was left out on purpose.

One thought on “Man or God? Companion Study

  1. Todd Bowser says:

    I agree with some of your assessments, and find some difference of opinion on others – Temperance, for example. Being one of the “virtues”, I don’t relate it to alcohol. Just goes to show you how having so many versions of the Truth opens the door to the enemy! Your point is made in this argument itself!!

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