Conduct Consistent with Sound Teaching
1 But as for you, communicate the behavior that goes with#tn Grk “say what is fitting for sound teaching” (introducing the behavior called for in this chapter.). sound teaching. 2 Older men are to be temperate, dignified, self-controlled,#tn Or “sensible.” sound in faith, in love, and in endurance.#sn Temperate…in endurance. See the same cluster of virtues in 1 Thess 1:3 and 1 Cor 13:13. 3 Older women likewise are to exhibit behavior fitting for those who are holy, not slandering, not slaves to excessive drinking, but teaching what is good. 4 In this way#tn Grk “that they may train” (continuing the sentence of 2:3). they will train#tn This verb, σωφρονίζω (swfronizw), denotes teaching in the sense of bringing people to their senses, showing what sound thinking is. the younger women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be self-controlled,#tn Or “sensible.” pure, fulfilling their duties at home,#tn Grk “domestic,” “keeping house.” kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the message#tn Or “word.” of God may not be discredited.#tn Or “slandered.” 6 Encourage younger men likewise to be self-controlled,#tn Or “sensible.” 7 showing yourself to be an example of good works in every way. In your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and a sound message that cannot be criticized, so that any opponent will be at a loss,#tn Or “put to shame.” because he has nothing evil to say about us. 9 Slaves#tn See the note on the word “slave” in 1:1. are to be subject to their own masters in everything,#tn Or “to be subject to their own masters, to do what is wanted in everything.” to do what is wanted and not talk back, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith,#tn Or “showing that genuine faith is productive.” At issue between these two translations is the force of ἀγαθήν (agaqhn): Is it attributive (as the text has it) or predicate (as in this note)? A number of considerations point in the direction of a predicate ἀγαθήν (e.g., separation from the noun πίστιν (pistin) by the verb, the possibility that the construction is an object-complement, etc.), though is not usually seen as an option in either translations or commentaries. Cf. ExSyn 188-89, 312-13, for a discussion. Contextually, it makes an intriguing statement, for it suggests a synthetic or synonymous parallel: “‘Slaves should be wholly subject to their masters…demonstrating that all [genuine] faith is productive, with the result [ecbatic ἵνα] that they will completely adorn the doctrine of God.’ The point of the text, then, if this understanding is correct, is an exhortation to slaves to demonstrate that their faith is sincere and results in holy behavior. If taken this way, the text seems to support the idea that saving faith does not fail, but even results in good works” (ExSyn 312-13). The translation of ἀγαθήν as an attributive adjective, however, also makes good sense. in order to bring credit to#tn Or “adorn,” “show the beauty of.” the teaching of God our Savior in everything.
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people.#tn Grk “all men”; but ἀνθρώποις (anqrwpois) is generic here, referring to both men and women. 12 It trains us#tn Grk “training us” (as a continuation of the previous clause). Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started at the beginning of v. 12 by translating the participle παιδεύουσα (paideuousa) as a finite verb and supplying the pronoun “it” as subject. to reject godless ways#tn Grk “ungodliness.” and worldly desires and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 as we wait for the happy fulfillment of our hope in the glorious appearing#tn Grk “the blessed hope and glorious appearing.” of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.#tn The terms “God and Savior” both refer to the same person, Jesus Christ. This is one of the clearest statements in the NT concerning the deity of Christ. The construction in Greek is known as the Granville Sharp rule, named after the English philanthropist-linguist who first clearly articulated the rule in 1798. Sharp pointed out that in the construction article-noun-καί-noun (where καί [kai] = “and”), when two nouns are singular, personal, and common (i.e., not proper names), they always had the same referent. Illustrations such as “the friend and brother,” “the God and Father,” etc. abound in the NT to prove Sharp’s point. The only issue is whether terms such as “God” and “Savior” could be considered common nouns as opposed to proper names. Sharp and others who followed (such as T. F. Middleton in his masterful The Doctrine of the Greek Article) demonstrated that a proper name in Greek was one that could not be pluralized. Since both “God” (θεός, qeos) and “savior” (σωτήρ, swthr) were occasionally found in the plural, they did not constitute proper names, and hence, do fit Sharp’s rule. Although there have been 200 years of attempts to dislodge Sharp’s rule, all attempts have been futile. Sharp’s rule stands vindicated after all the dust has settled. For more information on Sharp’s rule see ExSyn 270-78, esp. 276. See also 2 Pet 1:1 and Jude 4. 14 He#tn Grk “who” (as a continuation of the previous clause). gave himself for us to set us free from every kind of lawlessness and to purify for himself a people who are truly his,#tn Or “a people who are his very own.” who are eager to do good.#tn Grk “for good works.” 15 So communicate these things with the sort of exhortation or rebuke#tn Or “reproof,” “censure.” The Greek word ἐλέγχω (elencw) implies exposing someone’s sin in order to bring correction. that carries full authority.#tn Grk “speak these things and exhort and rebuke with all authority.” Don’t let anyone look down#tn Or “let anyone despise you”; or “let anyone disregard you.” on you.