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Introduction to the New Testament: Romans to Revelation - Lesson 21

Pastoral Epistles

Paul writes to encourage and instruct Timothy and Titus, both of whom are young pastors. It is important for Titus to identify and train elders and deal effectively with factious people. 

Craig Blomberg
Introduction to the New Testament: Romans to Revelation
Lesson 21
Watching Now
Pastoral Epistles

IX. Pastoral Epistles

A. General Background

1. Letters to apostolic delegates

2. Stylistic differences from the rest of Paul

3. Uncertain setting in Pauline chronology

4. Doctrinal distinctives

B. Book by Book

1. Titus

a. Paul is free again

b. To Titus on Crete

c. Similar to heresy in Ephesus

2. 1 Timothy

a. Same as above but to Timothy in Ephesus

b. Hellenistic/Gnostic? issues clearer

3. 2 Timothy

a. Paul imprisoned again

b. Now almost certainly in Rome

C. Pseudonymity and the Pastorals

1. The Jewish world

2. The post-first-century Christian World

3. I. H. Marshall (ICC) and Allonymity

D. Titus: by Rachel Blomberg

1. Titus was a good guy

2. You should read Titus – it's short and sweet

3. Rachel likes Titus

4. Paul was smart

E. Titus Outline and Notes

1. Greetings – later abbreviated in 1 Timothy?

2. Instructions for various groups in the church (1:5-2:15)

3. Concluding exhortations – do what is good (3:1-15)

F. Titus as a Mandate Letter

1. Language of commanding (especially chapter 1)

2. Instructions regarding office of elder (1:5-9)

a. Compare 1:5 and 1:7 (elder = overseer)

b. Compare Acts 14:23 (practice established early)

3. Epiphany language (see especially 2:13)

4. Warnings about the factious (especially 3:10)

G. What’s Wrong with These Interpretations?

1. Children of elders must be believers (1:6)

2. Drugs, sex, alcohol pure for those who are pure (1:15)

3. Women must stay at home (2:5)

4. Baptism is necessary for salvation (3:5)

H. Key Texts for Background to 1 Timothy

1. 1:3 and another mandate letter

2. 1:7-11 on Judaizing

3. 4:1-4, 6:20 on Gnosticizing

4. 6:3-19, especially vv. 17-18 on wealthy

I. 1 Timothy Outline - How to pastor a church and turn it away from heresy

1. The reason for the letter: Stand fast against false teaching (1:1-20)

2. First method: Careful control over church worship and leadership (2:1-3:16)

3. Second method: True Godliness vs. Asceticism (4:1-16)

4. Third method: Proper respect for various kinds of people in the church (5:1-6:2)

5. Concluding warnings (6:3-21)

J. What's Wrong with These Interpretations?

1. 1 Timothy 4:8 as a motto for physical conditioning for Christians

2. We don't implement the commands in chapter 5 regarding widows so why be so concerned about gender roles in chapter 2?

3. 5:8 teaches that the man must be the primary breadwinner

4. Can't apply 5:19 if no one saw what happened

5. Money is the root of all evil (6:10)

6. It is impossible to be a good steward and enjoy riches (6:17-19)

K. The five uses of malista in the Pastorals

1. 1 Timothy 5:8 – Providing for relatives, namely, family

2. 1 Timothy 5:17 – Elders, namely, those who preach and teach

3. 2 Timothy 4:13 – My scrolls, namely, the parchments

4. Titus 1:10 – The rebellious people, namely the circumcision group

L. The Chain of Christian Leadership: Four Key Stages of 2 Timothy 2:2

1. Paul

2. Timothy

3. Faithful teachers

4. Others also

5. Summary: Your ministry requires disciples who will train others to keep passing the torch.

M. 2 Timothy Outline: "Pass it on" (A personal parenetic letter)

1. Thanksgiving and encouragement for faithfulness (chapter 1)

2. The commitment which faith requires (chapter 2)

3. Godlessness described and opposed (chapter 3)

4. Final charge (chapter 4)

N. Exegetical Highlights of 2 Timothy

1. 1:5 – Lois, Eunice key links in teaching Judaism/Christianity

2. 2:3-7 – key metaphors for single-mindedness

3. 2:13 – God's faithfulness in our faithlessness

4. 2:15 – the need for good exegesis

5. 3:1-9 – the last days have begun (but note when!)

6. 3:12 – key text on suffering as normal!

7. 3:16-17 – key text for inspiration (and relevance!) of Scripture

8. 4:7 – the need for perseverance


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  • Paul was trained as a Pharisee and persecuted Christians because he considered them enemies of God. After his conversion experience, he travelled in Asia Minor and Europe preaching the gospel and planting churches. Many of the letters in the New Testament are ones that he wrote to these churches.

  • Paul was trained as a Pharisee and persecuted Christians because he considered them enemies of God. After his conversion experience, he travelled in Asia Minor and Europe preaching the gospel and planting churches. Many of the letters in the New Testament are ones that he wrote to these churches.

  • Paul was trained as a Pharisee and persecuted Christians because he considered them enemies of God. After his conversion experience, he travelled in Asia Minor and Europe preaching the gospel and planting churches. Many of the letters in the New Testament are ones that he wrote to these churches.

     

  • Correlation of the accounts in Galatians and Acts on Paul's trip to Jerusalem. 

  • Galatians as a model of apologetics supporting Christianity.

  • Comparing faith and works in Judaism and Christianity. 

  • Paul faced persecution when he preached in Thessalonica. The return of Christ is a central theme in the letters to the Thessalonians.

  • One aspect of the subject of biblical eschatology is the timing and nature of the tribulation. 

  • Paul addresses the extremes of asceticism and hedonism, as well as concerns regarding marriage, spiritiual gifts and the resurrection.

  • Divisions in the Corinthian church were caused by both theology and lifestyle.

  • Whether or not believers should eat food that had been offered to idols was an issue in the Corinthian church. The importance and role of spiritual gifts was a major topic of discussion.

  • Paul updates the people in the church in Corinth about his travels. He also follows up on relationships and defends his apostolic ministry.

  • Paul responds to specific situations in the Corinthian church including emphasizing a correct perspective on giving and encouragement to see God's redemptive purpose in our suffering.

  • Knowing the key places as backgrounds for Romans, the timeline and the outline of the book are helpful to understanding the context and message.

  • Paul wrote Romans as a systematic exposition of the gospel.

     

  • In Colossians, Paul emphasizes the deity of Christ. Philemon was written to a gentlema Paul knows to encourage him to welcome back Onesimus, his runaway slave, who became a disciple of Christ and was returning.

  • Paul addresses how to live in different roles: husbands and wives, masters and slaves, elders and others in the church.

  • Paul describes the blessings of salvation and encourages believers to live in unity that transcends cultural and racial barriers. 

  • Paul describes to the followers of Jesus in Ephesus, who they are in Christ, and the ethical implications for how they should live their daily lives.

  • Paul contrasts the condescention and the exaltation of Christ, and addresses specific situations in the Philippian church.

  • Paul writes to encourage and instruct Timothy and Titus, both of whom are young pastors. It is important for Titus to identify and train elders and deal effectively with factious people. 

  • Paul instructs Timothy about how to pastor a church and turn it away from heresy.

  • Both 1 Timothy and 1 Corinthians contain key passages addressing the roles of men and women in the local church. Some of them address conduct when gathering for corporate worship.

  • 1 Timothy 2:11-15 gives some direction for gender roles in a worship service.

  • Key themes and catchwords in James include trials, wisdom, temptation, speech, doubt and perseverance.

  • James discusses the roles of faith and works in a believers life and the importance of prayer.

  • A prominent theme in Hebrews chapters 1-5 is the superiority of Christ to the angels and to Moses.

  • Hebrews 6:4-8 is a key warning passage. Christ's priesthood is superior to both the Levitical priesthood and also to Melchizedek. Chapter 11 remembers the heroes of the faith.

  • A major theme of 1 Peter is perseverance despite persecution.

  • The outline of 1 Peter has similarities to other letters of the first century that emphasize a high view of Christology.

  • Jude and 2 Peter both emphasize refuting false teachers.

  • In his epistles, John emphasizes themes that refute gnostic doctrines. He outlines the tests of life as keeping God’s commandments, loving one another and believing in Jesus as the God-man.

  • As you study and preach from the epistles of John, note the passages that Dr. Blomberg describes as, “gems from John.”

  • Revelation was written by the apostle John in the late first century using apocalyptic, prophetic and epistolary genres. A possible structure by time line would be the past (chapter 1), the present (chapters 2-5) and the future (chapters 6-22). 

  • In addition to the framework of eschatology, Revelation chapters 1-6 develops themes of Christology including a description of Jesus as the lion who is a lamb, as well as the spiritual condition of some of the churches in the first century. 

  • In both of the possible scenarios for the tribulation, believers are exempt from God’s wrath but they are not exempt from Satan’s attacks.

  • Revelation chapters 12-22 cover themes of salvation and judgment of nations, Armageddon, the millennium and the new heavens and new earth.

Using the English New Testament, this course surveys the New Testament epistles and the apocalypse. Issues of introduction and content receive emphasis as well as a continual focus on the theology of evangelism and on the contemporary relevance of the variety of issues these documents raise for contemporary life.

 

Dr. Craig Blomberg
Introduction to the New Testament: Romans to Revelation
nt512-21
Pastoral Epistles (Part 1)
Lesson Transcript

 

This is the 21th lecture in the online series of lectures on understanding the Epistles and Revelation, in complement with the textbook by Craig Blomberg’s Book, Acts through Revelation, An Introduction and Survey. 

 

The last three letters explicitly attributed to Paul in the New Testament have come to be known as the Pastoral Epistles. They are said to be written to Timothy and Titus, two of Paul’s co-workers who are now functioning as Pastors at the very least in the churches in Ephesus (Timothy) and Crete (Titus). Luke T. Johnson followed by Philip Toner and others have preferred to call these as Letters to Paul’s Apostle Delegates because they find evidence for Timothy and Titus functioning as more than ‘simple’ pastors but as delegates from the Apostle Paul and thus with a measure of derivative Apostle authority themselves. But it’s likewise clear that these two individuals are at the same time functioning in a pastoral context in Ephesus and Crete. And it’s not likely given the entrenched nature of the term ‘Pastoral Epistles’ in recent centuries that any other term will soon displace it. 

 

In terms of a general back ground to all three letters, in addition to the shared feature of writings to individuals with the issues of the churches they are currently serving, clearly in the back ground. 1st, 2nd Timothy and Titus has stylistic similarities among the three and particularly 1st Timothy and Titus which is much like Ephesians and Colossians taken together. These set the Pastoral Epistles off from the other Pauline letters, including Ephesians and Colossians with signs of greater amanuenses and greater literary freedom if not altogether pseudonymous authors. A third feature shared by these three letters in terms of general background is their uncertain setting in the chronology of Paul’s life, particularly as we can recover it from the Book of Acts. It would appear that they do not fit comfortably, in most scholars’ minds, into any portion of Paul’s life and ministry that is covered by the Book of Acts. In the case of Titus, there is obvious a living growing church on that Island and yet as late in Acts 27 when Paul in the ill-fated boat initially destined for Rome which would eventually ship wreck on the Island of Malta, the boat with Paul stops on more than one occasion at various places and at the shoreline of Crete. But there is no indication at all of Paul getting off as he had been allowed to do so elsewhere on that same journey to see fellow Christians or any indication of Christian communities at all as Luke likes to inform us of throughout the Book of Acts when such exists. This suggests that the letter must come from a time after the events of the Winter of 59 – 60 and because Paul remains in Prison for the rest of the period covered by the Book of Acts through 62 and after the period of Acts altogether. 

 

1st Timothy is a bit more ambiguous, Paul exhorts Timothy in chapter 1:3 to stay in Ephesus when Paul went into Macedonia. At the very least this would appear to be after Paul’s third missionary journey where he spent nearly three years in Ephesus. It’s possible that Timothy remained in Ephesus or came to Ephesus at the end of Paul’s stay as he continued his third missionary journey in route over land for Macedonia and Acacia as disclosed by 2nd Corinthians. On the other hand, the great similarities between 1st Timothy and Titus, not merely in style but in the nature of the heresy that Paul had to address could natural suggest that both were sent out at the same time. Both in terms of Paul’s circumstances and in terms of the circumstances of the men and the churches behind them who are addressed. In addition, Paul heads back to the vicinity of Ephesus, after revisiting the churches in Macedonia and Acacia as he then gets ready to sail to Jerusalem at the end of his third missionary journey. But in fact, he never does come to Ephesus per say but summons the Ephesians Elders to meet him at the nearby port city of Miletus. 

 

Thus when we read that Paul has not only charged Timothy to stay in Ephesus but in fact Paul is hoping to return (4:13). One wonders if this doesn’t reflect a later date after, not only the initial evangelization of the church in Ephesus but after Paul’s final visit to Ephesus and a period of time allowing for the development of the heresy described and refuted in 1st Timothy, of which there are no signs during any of Paul’s journey’s in the Book of Acts. In fact, Acts 20 as part of the address by Paul to the Ephesian elders at Miletus predicts the future coming of false teachers. If this is not a so-called prophecy after the fact, then again at a later date Paul is still free to travel after his third missionary journey which makes more sense. But because of his arrest and subsequent imprisonment in Jerusalem all the way to Rome, Paul writing later as a free man would have to be after his first Roman imprisonment as well if there was such. If this is correct, then 2nd Timothy which clearly refers to Paul in Prison and has an even bleaker outside on the future, at least in terms of Paul’s upcoming physical execution must come later and again reflect the church tradition of a second Pauline imprisonment in Rome. As our textbook, Acts to Revelation suggests that it is possible to make sense of 1st Timothy as tucked into that period of Paul’s third missionary journey between his departure from Ephesus for Greece and before his return to speak to the Ephesians elders at Miletus; there is no absolute proof that there were any Christians already on Crete and thus 2nd Timothy could be assigned to Paul’s first  and only imprisonment in Rome corresponding to the final two years of house arrest to which the Book of Acts closes. But this is a decidedly minority view among those who even adopt Pauline authorship. All of these problems plus the many doctrinal distinctives along with this general background, enumerated in more detail in the textbook, have left the majority of scholars and the vast majority outside of evangelical circles to assume that this book is pseudonymous. 

 

To review that background book by book, we can see that in Book of Titus, Paul is free again and Titus is on Crete facing a heresy similar to that found in Ephesus. In 1st Timothy, Paul is free, this time writing to Timothy who is in Ephesus with a similar Judaizing component as in Titus as we have seen repeatedly elsewhere but with an even clearer gnostic sense to them, not least with the closing verse of 1st Timothy that warns Timothy against the Godless opposing ideas of what is called gnosis which later is to become known as Gnosticism. Then is seems that in 2nd Timothy, Paul is imprisoned again, almost certainly in Rome and he will lose his life, as later church tradition supports, under the Emperor Nero and his pogrom against Christians, at least in and around Rome and particularly among their leaders. This enables us to date all three of these books somewhere between the Book of Acts in 62 and Nero’s suicide, ending his reign and the persecution with it in 68 AD. 

 

We will review as well the captive journey to Rome, such that once he returned to Israel, he is not a free man until after the Book of Acts ends leading to our hypothesis concerning the date of the Pastoral Epistles. We have already talked some about the issue of pseudonymity; we may review a portion of that as how culturally is was used in the Jewish world, particular in a pre-Christian Jewish world and even as late as the Mishna in AD200. Tradition could be recorded that a student speaking in his master’s name could use his master’s name. As a result, this pseudonymity was widely accepted, not as some form of deceptive or unethical device. However, the evidence remains in dispute as to whether any actual canonical work in the Hebrew Scriptures can be demonstrated to be pseudonymous and thus acceptable in that context. On the other hand, the post first century Christian world, more specifically from about the middle of the second century on, certainly showed an appreciation for the spiritual value of various non-canonical Christian works and included from time to time were those who authorship was either disputed or even disproven. 

 

Tertullian (Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus C 155- 240 AD, a Christian author from Carthage, the first Christian author to produce an extensive corpus of Latin Christian literature and a notable early Christian apologist) likewise makes comments to the effect that it’s acceptable for student to write in his master’s name but even more clearly even in Jewish circles in those discussions about what could be acceptably Canonized when the topic is broached, demonstratively pseudonymous work, always disqualifies itself from consideration for the Canon. Where in the history of Judaism in one of its branches, Jewish Christianity and its main branch by mid-second century, gentile Christianity did the attitude change even to a certain degree with non-canonical works? If indeed, it ever changed with respect to canonical works and as we noticed earlier there simply are no doubts at present to be able to answer that question. 

 

Howard Marshall by many people’s estimation, the dean of evangelical New Testament scholars, at the very least at the height of his academic career in the 1980’s and 90’s and at the end of that period with the help of Phil Counter, the Prestigious volume in the International Critical Commentary series on the Pastoral Epistles and after thoroughly discussing all of the issues surrounding authorship and the evidence that leads some people to support Pauline authorship and others to challenge it, believed on the one hand that no convincing evidence required a substantially later date than the final years or decade or a bit more after the end of Paul’s life but on the other hand the whole question of style, simply was unconvincingly solved on any standard conservative hypothesis and that inadequate evidence from the ancient world supported the notice that an emanuances would be given this much freedom in style as is found in the Pastoral Epistles. As a result Marshall creates a new term for what he admits is a new concept, recognizing the critique of those who have argued that pseudonymity demonstratively false descriptions of authorship was never or to date has not yet been determined as being deemed morally acceptable in Christian circles even though the evidence simply does not exist once we get beyond the second century, going backwards in time. He believes that this triage of letters must be associated with a writer other than Paul but at the same time recognizes that there must have been known attempts to deceive and that it must have been recognized as a transparent fiction without this intent to deceive. The view, in fact, that many holding the pseudonymous theory of authorship likewise support but Marshall recognizing that no clear Christian examples of these phenomena can be demonstrated even outside the Canon where false authorship has been proved in later Christian circles. Intent to deceive has been ascribed to the author of the document; Marshall thinks that it’s necessary to create a new term, allosnumaty from the Greek word allos meaning another, different from another word in Greek heteross which means another of a different kind but allos means another of the same kind. 

 

We turn now to the three Pastoral Epistles. If Titus and Timothy were both sent during that period of Paul’s new found freedom after the Book of Acts ends, there is really no way to determine which if either was sent before the other. Jerome Quinn has made an argument that the style of the introduction of 1st Timothy reads like an abbreviation of Titus with a longer introduction. But that is a very subjective argument. Nevertheless, we start with Titus as the short and sweet letter. Observe that it begins with greetings whether or not later abbreviated. That it omits the conventional thanksgiving which again as with Galatians suggests something very seriously wrong among the people to whom Paul is writing and as in Galatians a form of Judaizing heresy is the reason for that. In the body of the letter one turns immediately to instructions, and indeed the entire body to varying degrees is more exhortational than informational which is a form of Hellenistic letter writing though not the conventional or most common form that we have been discussing throughout our survey of Paul’s letters. Luke T. Johnston has in a number of studies including two commentaries on either two or three of the Pastoral Epistles made a very plausible case for seeing both Titus and 1st Timothy as following the Genre of a ‘mandate letter’. The mandate letter was the semipublic instructions sent from a superior in the Roman Provincial Government organizational system to a subordinate who was in charge of a province, army, local city council, etc. These instructions would have been read publicly so that those in whose care the subordinate was put in charge would know the guidelines he and others were expected to abide by, just as the letters to Titus and 1st Timothy would have been read publicly so that not only pastors but church members would know their contents. In this context, a series of largely instructional exhortations is exactly what one finds and expects. Nor are we surprised when we see that these instructions whichTitus is to pass on are arranged according to key groups including but not limited to church leaders. 

 

In this context we also find something along the lines of the domestic code though not as elaborate or clearly symmetrical structured as in Ephesians and Colossians or as in 1st Peter still to come. But there are clear commands in regards to submission of women and slaves as well as to the role of church elders and overseers having authority over the entire flock. We must therefore again address the vexed issue of submission about which we will say something more in our next lecture as we turn to collect and reflect on the most famous and extensive passages in Paul’s writings on gender roles. Since Titus two is not one of those, it is nevertheless a passage with significance for us and so we will make a few comments here on it, noting particular an evangelistic motive is most clearly attributed to these commands than in Colossians and Ephesians. Thus we read for example in Titus 2:5 that one of the reasons older women should urge younger women to love their husbands and for children to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home and to be kind and then wives to be subject to their husbands. 

 

The motive is that no one will malign the Word of God. Of course one cannot prevent all such malignancy but one can do their best to avoid unnecessary scandalizing elements of the Christian faith. One sees the same concept repeat itself in verse 7, ‘showing yourself to be an example and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and a sound message that cannot be criticized.’ By the end of verse 8, Paul again is reflecting on the outsider and not on those just on the inside. And in verse 9 with slaves being subject to their masters in everything, not stealing or talking back and in the process showing they can be fully trusted. And finally the clause in verse 10, in every way they will make the teaching about God our savior attractive. The key issue in cultures or sub-cultures in other times and places in church history where a very traditional and extensive form of women subjection to men or at least wives subjection to husbands is not the cultural norm as it was in the ancient Mediterranean world and if the purpose of these texts in Titus is to do that which would most commend the Gospel within the parameters of the flexibility that first century Christian leaders felt they had under God, then should not an application of these texts of cultures or sub-cultures today steeped in modern egalitarian thought accompany exactly the same thing but by a diametrically opposite application, namely encouraging the participation of women and wives in all social ecclesial and domestic roles precisely because that is what some cultures have come to assume is right, good and normative and therefore we don’t want to scandalize them and keep them out of the Kingdom of God. 

 

We will leave it to the reader to decide in light of all of Titus and all of Scripture, not least our upcoming lecture on Paul and gender roles, but we do make the following somewhat balancing observations from chapter three. This has been labeled, ‘In Order to Do Good,’ from the NIV labeling. The expression about ‘doing good or teaching what is good’ has appeared already in the letter. Consider, for example, chapter 2:3 or verse 7, verse 14 ends with God’s desire in Christ to create a people that are his very own, eager to do good and this theme now predominates with the evangelistic mode of receding into the background in chapter 3. Even as the command of submission in 3:1 between subjects and rulers and authorities continue. Paul in 3:1 says to Titus to remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, etc. Verse 8, I want you to insist on such truths, so that those who have placed their faith in God may be intent on engaging in good works. There appears to be some tension with the first motive for commands and authority in the ancient world, the sense not only that this furthers evangelism but that it is good in and of itself in a way that would suggest a more timeless enduring quality to the principle of submission even while the nature of that submission may change considerable in world history. 

 

We have already alluded to the possibility that Titus is a mandate letter. If we reflect back on this brief epistle, we see the language of commanding, beginning already in the introduction in verse 3, Paul is preaching, entrusted to him by the command of God; language that doesn’t appear in his previous letters and then as we have already noted, instructions to Timothy begins already in 1:5 and takes the form of commands for who should be appointed to the various offices or since it would appear at least in this letter, that elder and overseer is synonymous to the single office of chief authority in first century Christian church. Timothy is to appoint elders and in verse 7, a reason for the criterion for an elder. Paul goes on, since an overseers manages God’s household, apparently using this term from which we get the English term, Bishop, just as elder generates our English term presbyter, apparently used synonymous. The one reflects the general older age of religious leaders in the ancient world because of the assumption that with age and maturity comes religious wisdom but also a word for the function and oversite for their flocks. This was a practice already established according to Acts 14:23 where Paul and Barnabas wherever they planted churches; this was an established role in Jewish synagogues. So there is no reason for many have charged to see this so-called advanced ecclesiology or institutionalized church structure as that. It was there from the beginning and in pre-Christians Judaism as well. 

 

The language of epiphany however is new to the Pastoral Epistles, at least with the frequency one finds it here. Language of God as appearing Savior, that is very closely imitated in imperial edicts and language that is attributed to the various emperors by their subjects and at times and increasingly as the first century progressed, claimed for themselves by the emperors as well. If this is a letter coming as an epiphany from the one God who sent Christ as an epiphany to be passed along by channels not unlike those followed by Government mandate letters, then we should not be surprised to see that epiphany language here also. The most famous of these texts is undoubtedly 2:13 which refers to the coming blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and savior Jesus Christ. The grammatical construction there is more literally of the great God and Savior Jesus Christ and is explained more fuller in the textbook, the grammatical construction strongly favors though it doesn’t absolutely prove that Paul is using God and Savior of one and the same person, namely Jesus Christ. In which case, this is one of roughly half a dozen or so of the most significant and direct text describing deity to Jesus in the New Testament and highly significant as a result. The textbook deals with other passages also. We will select more passages as we did with Colossians to have the listeners reflect on. 

 

However now we will comment on one other mandate reflecting the probable literary sub-genre of this epistle and that is the warning of the factious, of those who repeatedly and unrepentantly cause divisions and rifts in churches and elsewhere in 3:10. This commands Titus to warn divisive people once and then a second time and after that have nothing to do with them. You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful, they are self-condemned. Tragically in many Christian contexts a group of people, perhaps at times only one individual whose influence may be exacerbated if he or she is in leadership. They seem to make a career out of opposing what the vast majority promote of making life difficult for fellow leaders, not in those rare places of such serious theological deviation where people’s salvation is at stake and where God’s people feel that they have to listen and put up with such individuals and treat them with ‘kid gloves’ as it were. Not so, cries Paul. Such people are to be warned undoubted similar to the church pattern of church discipline in Mathew 18, progressing from private to increasingly public, no doubt initially with the spirit of gentleness and tenderness as in Galatians 6:1 and elsewhere, but if all other measures fail then a final warning in a more serious tone of an ultimatum must be issued and if the person doesn’t show any signs of willingness to amend their ways, that individual must be turned away from fellowship so that those divisions and rifts, if the person insists on continuing to cause this will take place elsewhere and not do damage to the church of Jesus Christ in which they have been functioning.