What were “the things” Paul urged Titus to preach? • Specific instructions to those who made up the church to possess an inward righteousness that adorns the gospel of Christ.
“Evidence Before Information” • People need to see the evidence of Christianity in us before they will hear the information about Christianity from us!
Cultural Background • “The coming of Roman values in no way diminished the gains Cretan women had secured. The change in Rome with married women able to hold property provide the inhabitants of the imperial capital with one of the powerful levers that secured for them greater financial independence from the late Republic onwards, and hence a measure of social freedom. It will be suggest that the emergence of the “new” Roman women in the first century could only fortify the long-established legal gains that already provided a measure of independence for the women of Roman Crete” (Winter, p. 144).
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, (Titus 2:3-4)
Reverent in behavior • katastema—demeanor or describing a state of mind • hieroprepes—related to the Greek word for temple and means “suited to a sacred character”. • Thus, the idea is that older women carry into daily life the demeanor of priestesses in a temple” (Guthrie, quoting Dibelius)
Addicted to wine • dulow—to be enslaved to something • polus--much • oinos—wine • In view of our earlier study on wine in the NT, the idea is “the use of wine for intoxication.”
Not slanderers • Diabolos—a word reserved for the devil who is a slanderer of God to men and men to God. • Athenaeus in the “Learned Banquet” quotes Epicharmus who observed the problems of gossip or slander at dinner parties: “But after drinking comes mockery, and after mockery filthy insults, and after insults a lawsuit” (Deipnosophists, 2.36 quoted by Winter in Roman wives, Roman widows,, p. 154.)
Teach what is good • “kalodidaskaloi”—good teachers • “ina”—in order that • Sophonizo—“to call one to his/her senses”. • Younger women need role models and guidance in the work of being a wife and mother. • Older women should seek out opportunity to help those who are younger by giving them the wisdom of experience
More freedom and power….. …more temptation • Women and men who are not married are brought together in close working relationships that have fostered adulterous affairs. • A woman’s freedom and power in secular life can carry over into spiritual life resulting in more assertive attitudes and occupation of roles forbidden to them by God. • The obligations of work can take a heavy toll on the relationship of a woman with her husband and her children. • Privileges of public life can lead to involvement in the sins of alcoholism and slander.
Exhortations to older women • Show the younger women how to participate in the Lord’s work meaningfully while respecting the leadership limitations God has placed upon you. • Be a “good teacher” ready to “call the younger women to their senses” when they lose sight of the divinely given priorities.