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Published Date: July 17, 2009

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Published Date: July 17, 2009

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Walter Liefeld on Titus 2

Titus 2:3-10

3 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. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

9 Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, 10 and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.

 

Women, Authority and the Bible. pgs.142-143

  
When we further link this with Paul’s principles in Titus 2, we see a wider pattern. Women should “be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God” (Tit 2:5). Titus was also to instruct the young men to be self-controlled “so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us” (vv.6-8). Finally, slaves were to be “subject to their masters in everything…so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive” (vv.9-10) Clearly Paul puts the subjection of women and that of slaves in the same category in that passage. The reason for that subjection was to avoid social criticism that might hinder the gospel. Those interpreters who say that culture has nothing to do with such instructions have missed the thrust of these verses. They would certainly not say Paul was teaching that slaves should, as a universal and permanent theological principle, live in subjection. The subjection of slaves-and of women-was to communicate the value of the gospel to their society. This is also made explicit in 1 Peter 3:1-2 (see all 2:13-20). If this impinged on the equality taught in Galatians, it was for the cause of the gospel.

What do you think about Liefeld’s take on Titus 2?  What do you agree with, and what do you disagree with?  Share your own thoughts on this Scripture.