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 Vol. 8, No. 1 

January 2006

Since You Asked

~ Page 20 ~

Image Names may be included at the discretion of the Editor unless querists request their names be withheld. Please check our Archive for the answer to your question before submitting it; there are over 1,000 articles in the Archive addressing numerous biblical topics. Submit a Question to GGO.

Authority in Titus 2:15

By Louis Rushmore

Image The Greek word translated "authority" in Titus 2:15 is epitage (ep-ee-tag-ay'); it appears seven times in the New Testament, and in each other instance it is translated as "commandment" (Romans 16:26; 1 Corinthians 7:6, 25; 2 Corinthians 8:8; 1 Timothy 1:1; Titus1:3). Whereas "authority" in Matthew 28:18 ASV is from the Greek exousia (ex-oo-see'-ah) and means "authority" in the sense of the "ability" (Biblesoft's) to do something, epitage seems to emphasize the assertion of authority or "authoritativeness" (Biblesoft's). "See 1 Cor 7:6; 2 Cor 8:8. Assertion of authority is sometimes necessary" (Robertson's). "It is also possible to translate this expression in Tt 2.15 as 'show that you have every right to command when you rebuke them'" (Louw and Nida).

Especially the apostle Paul (because he walked not with the disciples during the ministry of Jesus Christ and because he had persecuted the church, 1 Corinthians 15:8-9) needed to assert the authority delegated to him by Jesus Christ (Romans 1:1; 1 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1; Colossians 1:1; 1 Timothy 1:1; 2 Timothy 1:1; Titus 1:1). Likewise, the apostle Paul advised young evangelists not to permit anyone to despise their youthfulness as a means to offset the application of the Word of God that they preached (1 Timothy 4:12; Titus 2:15). The Holy Spirit's choice of the word epitage for authority (as in assertion of the authority inherent in the Word of God preached) in Titus 2:15 fittingly complements the admonition, "Let no man despise thee."Image

Works Cited

Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. CD-ROM. Seattle: Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, 1994.

Louw, Johannes P. and Eugene A. Nida. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament based on Semantic Domains. CD-ROM. New York: United Bible Societies, 1989.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament. Nashville: Broadman, 1985. CD-ROM. Seattle: Biblesoft & Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament, 1997.

Definition of Renewing in Titus 3:5

By Louis Rushmore

"Renewing" in Titus 3:5 means "renovation" (Biblesoft's). Vincent observes that "renewing" occurs once more in the New Testament, in Romans 12:2; there, renovation of one's mind is the order for Christians. Baptism ("washing of regeneration" in Titus 3:5) is man's part (obedience) in human redemption, whereas the renovation or "renewing" brought about by the Holy Spirit is a divine part of human redemption. First Corinthians 12:13 also observes simultaneous activity in human redemption by the mortal and the divine; "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."

Interestingly and along the same line of thought, Roy H. Lanier, Jr. compares Titus 3:5 with John 3:5. "Paul speaks further of the 'washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,' (Tit. 3:5), clearly similar to Jesus,' statement of being born again of water and Spirit (Jn. 3:5)'" (25). James W. Boyd makes the same comparison between John 3:5 and Titus 3:5 (182); so does Burton Coffman: "The twin elements of the new birth, as set forth in John 3:3-5, are present here." Michael Hatcher elaborates on the relationship of John 3:5 to Titus 3:5 and the activity of the Holy Spirit in salvation.

The salvation of man from sins resides in God. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. (Eph. 2:8). The gift of God. refers to salvation, not faith as some teach. Jesus certainly played an important role in the salvation of man by dying on the cross for the sins of man. However, the Spirit has a part in salvation. Within the regeneration process, Jesus taught that the Spirit is involved. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:5). Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost (Tit. 3:5). Since it is the Spirit that renews us; the Spirit must be God. (529-530)

Stated another way, Wayne Jackson observed: "'…the renewing of the Holy Spirit' (Tit. 3:5), which is equivalent to being 'justified by his grace' (Tit. 3:7) (194)." N.L. Evans summarizes:

Another striking parallel found in these three texts (John 3:5; Ephesians 5:26; Titus 3:5) is seen in the expression born of the Spirit, by or with the word, and renewing of the Holy Spirit. This is obviously the work of the Holy Spirit in one's conversion-the Spirit working through the sword of the Spirit, the word of God (Ephesians 6:17). (373)

Bauer, Gingrich and Danker define "renewing" (anakainosia) as "the spiritual rebirth of men"; this activity of the Holy Spirit occurs at the same time on the spiritual side of the divide between eternity and our earthly world, while baptism occurs on our side of that divide.

Wuest presents another, plausible explanation within the biblical context, explanation of "renewing of the Holy Spirit."

It is called 'the renewal of the Holy Ghost' inasmuch as He is the efficient cause, by whom alone this putting on of the new man, and the putting off the old, is brought about. "These two then are bound by the closest ties to one another; the second the following up, the consequence, the consummation of the first. The paliggenesia (paliggenesia) is that free act of God's mercy and power, whereby He causes the sinner to pass out of the kingdom of darkness into that of light, out of death into life; it is the 'born again' of John 3:3, the 'born of God' of I John 5:4,… the 'born of incorruptible seed' of I Pet. 1:23; in it that glorious word begins to be fulfilled, 'behold, I make all things new' (Rev. 21:5). In it,--not in the preparation for it, but in the act itself,--the subject of it is passive, even as the child has nothing to do with its own birth. With the anakainosis (ajnakainosi") it is otherwise. This is the gradual conforming of the man more and more to that new spiritual world into which he has been introduced, and in which he now lives and moves; the restoration of the divine image; and in all this, so far from being passive, he must be a fellow-worker with God." Rom. 12:2 in a fuller and expanded translation is as follows; "Stop perpetually assuming an outward expression which does not come from your inner being but is put on from the outside, an expression patterned after this age, but let your outward expression be changed, an outward expression which comes from your inner being, this changed outward expression being the result of the renewing of your mind, with a view to your putting to the test for the purpose of approving what is the will of God, that will which is good and well-pleasing and complete." Paul is exhorting the saints here to stop masquerading in the habiliments of the world, and instead to yield themselves to the ministry of the Holy Spirit who will gradually produce in them the mind of Christ.

Hence, "the washing of regeneration" refers to the transportation from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light (Colossians 1:13; Acts 26:19), and "the renewing [renovation] of the Holy Spirit" refers to the gradual and continual Christian quest to develop Christ-likeness (Romans 12:2; Philippians 2:5).

In any case, the problem lies with the English word "renewing," which suggests doing something again. The same confusion occurs respecting God's command to Adam and Eve to "replenish" the earth (Genesis 1:28) when the Bible represents Adam and Eve as the first pair; how could Adam and Eve do again respecting populating earth if it had never before been populated? The Hebrew word for "replenish" has a wide variety of meaning and does not require Adam and Eve to do again respecting populating the earth. Likewise, "renewing" in Titus 3:5 does not have to be translated or interpreted to carry the idea of doing again [e.g., renovation].Image

Works Cited

Bauer, Walter, F. Wilbur Gingrich and Frederick W. Danker. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. Chicago: U Chicago P, 1979.

Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. CD-ROM. Seattle: Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, 1994.

Boyd, James W. "Ye Must Be Born Again." Lessons in Lyrics. CD-ROM. Curtis A. Cates, ed. Memphis: Memphis School of Preaching, 1998. 177-186.

Coffman, James Burton. James Burton Coffman Bible Study Library. CD-ROM. Abilene: ACU P, 1989.

Evans, N.L. "How to Become a Christian." A Plea for Fundamentals. CD-ROM. William Woodson, ed. Henderson: FHU, 1977. 372-374.

Hatcher, Michael. "The Personality and Divinity of the Holy Spirit." The Godhead: A Study of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. CD-ROM. Southaven: Power Publications, 1998. 514-532.

Jackson, Wayne. "Receiving God's Righteousness." Receiving God's Righteousness: Grace and Glory in Romans. CD-ROM. David L. Lipe, ed. Henderson: FHU, 2000. 189-201.

Lanier, Roy H., Jr. "Is Baptism Essential to Salvation?" Spiritual Sword. CD-ROM. 25.1 (1993): 23-26.

Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament. CD-ROM. Seattle: Biblesoft, 1997.

Wuest, Kenneth S. Wuest's Word Studies in the Greek New Testament. CD-ROM. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997.

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