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Titus Discussion

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Bishka, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    First of all, I'd like to thank everyone that will be participating in this thread. I believe this will be a good discussion for all involved. My aims in this thread are to help us all understand and discuss in an intelligent and kind manner about what we see in the Epistle to Titus and hopefully continue this onto other discussions.

    To start out, I would like everyone who wishes to be involved introduce themselves with a short paragraph. If you could include your religious persuasion and what you hope to get out of this thread, that would help us all understand where you are coming from.

    And to start out this thread, from reading the Epistle to Titus what would you say would be the overlying/underlying (??) theme and provide one or two verses supporting your idea.

    Lets get this ball rolling...


    Edit: To give a little more historical context and visual aid, here is a map in which represents Paul's day and his missionary travels. The Epistle to Titus has to do with the island of Crete, because that is where Titus was assigned as a Church Leader by Paul.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Mister Emu

    Mister Emu Emu Extraordinaire
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    I'm Mister Emu,

    I will be speaking from the viewpoint of a Catholic(though not greatly educated on the Vatican's interpretation of many verses). I hope to learn more about various viewpoints on this epistle, and share my own. I will be quoting from the KJV.

    I think the theme is a letter to Titus about the general running of the Church at Crete.

    Ordaining Elder/Criteria(1:6-9)
    Rebuking the lapsing(1:13)
    Right actions(2:1-7, etc.)
    Things to avoid(1:14,3:9)
    Removing heretics from the community(3:10)
    Further instructions regarding personel(3:12-13)
     
  3. wizanda

    wizanda One Accepts All Religious Texts
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    Isa 42:21
    (21) The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable.

    Isa 51:7
    (7) Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.
     
  4. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    My name is Becky and I am a Christian; specifically I belong to the LDS Church. Similar to Mister Emu, I will also be using the KJV Version of the Bible in this discussion as it is the version of the Bible that my Church uses and that I find to be the most correct.

    From my perspective, I see this epistle to have a theme running in the direction of good works; this theme is mentioned several times within these short three verses and I see it to be very important.

    Titus 1:16
    Titus 2:7

    Titus 2:12 (Things that are works)
    Titus 2:14
    Titus 3:1
    Titus 3:8
    Titus 3:14

    This does not happen to be the only theme within Titus, but the one that stood out most to me in the last few weeks. I have been studying Titus the last few weeks and every time that I have read, the theme of the importance and necessity of good works has stood out to me.

    As Mister Emu has already pointed out -- there are many themes that one can see from this block of scripture. Do you think the themes that we have noticed are correct, what other themes could you add to this list? How does the theme of good works apply to yourself?


    Mister Emu mentions 'things to avoid' in:

    Titus 1:14
    "Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth."


    Titus 3:9
    "But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain."


    Without insulting anyone's faith (Christian or not), what does this mean to you and how does this apply today and what do you think in a historical context Paul was referring to?
     
  5. Mister Emu

    Mister Emu Emu Extraordinaire
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    A) Wiz, what do you believe the quote from 1 Timothy adds to the discussion on Titus?

    B) In what way do the quotes following the passage pertain to said paqssage?
     
  6. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    Wizanda, what you did is something I would like to avoid in this thread. Responding to scripture with scripture is not going to get us anywhere if we do not discuss it, please refrain from posting blocks of scripture without interpretation, and please stick to the theme of this thread which is friendly discussion on the epistle of Titus. Thank you.

     
  7. Mister Emu

    Mister Emu Emu Extraordinaire
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    With regards to the first verse, I do not know what if any specific fables were being told in Crete at the time, though I have heard it was an issue of legalism, but I can't confirm that... the latter portion, "commandments of men", I would think is easily udnerstood, laws/orders which do not derive their source from God(Scripture/Apostolic teachings).

    As for the second verse... I don't know the historical background for the geneaologies and if they were used improperly(such as "I have a better family line than you"/etc.) or if Paul just believes in general the profit man nothing and are vain. The other three however seem to be plain, don't engage is foolish questions(I would take this to mean hypothetical questions which have no use), don't be contentious, and don't strive about the law.
     
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  8. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    For any Latter-day Saints participating within this thread, in Titus 1:7-9, what strikes you about these particular verses? For non-LDS, what do you make of them and how do they apply to today (if you see them applying)? For everyone, in your mind who does this apply to?

    Titus 1:7-9

    "7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
    8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
    9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers."
     
  9. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    In Titus 1:2 it states,

    "2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;"

    What does this verse mean to you? Does it have a certain significance within your theology? Was there a pre-existence, He promised us eternal life before this world began as it states in verse two. From a Latter-day Saint perspective, this is interpreted as having a pre-existence, that God the Father promised us that we would have eternal life if we would follow Him. As many Christians believe, we also believe that God cannot lie.​
     
  10. doppelganger

    doppelganger Through the Looking Glass

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    Titus is one of the "Pastoral" epistles. It is hotly contested between historians and bible scholars whether Paul wrote the epistle to Titus. It has the feel of a much later document when there was already an established church hierarchy, suggesting mid-second century as the likely time of authorship. It was not included among the Pauline letters in Marcion's canon, and the first extant reference to this or the other two Pastorals (1 and 2 Timothy) was by Ireneaus near the end of the second century.

    There are a number of scholarly arguments for why Titus is non-Pauline. The one I find most compelling is that it lacks the style characteristic of the genuine epistles, and there is no hint of the philosophy of Paul's writings. The Pastorals are more about authority, which in itself seems at odds with the Pauline philosophy we find in Romans and Galatians.
     
  11. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    Do you personally believe that this was a Pauline epistle?
     
  12. doppelganger

    doppelganger Through the Looking Glass

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    My opinion is that it is more likely than not a non-Pauline product of the latter second century.
     
  13. Mike182

    Mike182 Flaming Queer

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    hey everyone!

    i'm Mike, i'm a Pagan, but i'm interested in this thread because i only have an understanding of Paul's writings, and i would like to get a broader knowledge of biblical writers.

    i would have posted yesterday when the thread started but my university internet was down and i couldn't get online :eek:
     
  14. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    From your studies, who do you think wrote it? Why do you think it is attributed to Paul and who do you think made the change?
     
  15. doppelganger

    doppelganger Through the Looking Glass

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    I haven't seen any solid evidence of who wrote it. It is first attributed to Paul by Ireneaus near the end of the second century, and clearly after a discernible Church hierarchy has been developed - with elders and whatnot. Considering that Ireneaus is also the first attestation of the Gospel authorship (of the four canonical gospels), and Acts, my suspicion is that Ireneaus or other proto-orthodox in the second century began attributing this to Paul as part of their program for unifying the major forms Christianity had taken by that time. But I don't know.
     
  16. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    Could you point out the differences in Paul's writing and why you think Titus does not fit it without the other Pauline epistles?
     
  17. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Titus 1:1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— 2 a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, 3 and at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior, -NIV

    I hope you don't mind if I post just the first three verses and glean what I can out of them.

    First, the letter is apparently from Paul. It says so right there. Was this a different Paul? I doubt it. If we cannot accept this first statement as being the truth, then there is no reason to spend any more time on this letter. While I don't think that people were above lying back then, I just don't see the sense in misrepresenting this letter to be from someone else other than the author. It just doesn't make any sense.

    Second, I LOVE the way Paul introduces himself. Being a servant comes BEFORE apostle and is more important than being an apostle. Only in Philippians does he start off with calling himself a servant. Most others he identifies himself as an apostle, though one epistle he cites himself as a prisoner.

    There was a thread recently that asked how we identified our religion. I really try to adopt this kind of attitude: a servant FIRST. I think that those we minister to can see that attitude at work in us. They know when we are putting them first. It's critical.

    He also mentions "faith" and "knowledge" in the same sentence twice. Apparently, that is his mission as an apostle: to bring us faith and knowledge. I have to admit that I have as of yet to figure out what my mission on this earth is. That he so firmly states this is convicting. He KNOWS what he is all about when it comes to the Gospel.

    Of course, there is that bit about our HOPE. It supports that faith and knowledge. I don't think my hope is where it should be yet. I am sure my faith and knowledge will increase by a quantum leap when it does. I think I need to study more on hope (Alethea???).
     
  18. doppelganger

    doppelganger Through the Looking Glass

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    How do you feel about the Gospel of Thomas?

    "These are the secret sayings that the living Jesus spoke and Didymos Judas Thomas recorded."
     
  19. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    What does this verse mean to you Pete? Is it just hope of eternal life or is there an actual eternal life waiting for us? When Paul states "promised before the beginning of time," does that show to you there was something before here, or what is your interpretation on it?
     
  20. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    As soon as I understand all of the Scripture in the current Bible, I will move on to other books that claim to be scripture. However, I feel that this is the subject of another thread entirely.

     
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