Super ad Titum
Commentary on Titus
12:39 Hoc autem scitote, quoniam si sciret paterfamilias, qua hora fur veniret, vigilaret utique, et non sineret perfodi domum suam.
12:39 But know this, that if the householder knew at what hour the thief would come, he would surely watch, and would not suffer his house to be broken open.
1. Per patremfamilias significatur praelatus Ecclesiae propter tria, quae debet exhibere, scilicet generationem ad fidem, eruditionem ad salutem, custodiam ad securitatem.
1. By householder is signified a prelate of the Church on account of the three duties he must perform: first, he must engender the faith in others; second, instruct them for salvation; third, guard them securely.
Primum quidem, quia sicut est vita corporalis per animam, ita spiritualis per fidem. Ab. II, 4: iustus autem meus ex fide vivit. Et sicut ad vitam carnalem generatur quis per emissionem seminis corporalis: ita ad vitam spiritualem per infusionem seminis spiritualis, quod est verbum Dei, Matth. XIII, v. 3–17 et I Cor. IV, 15: per Evangelium ego vos genui. Item per eruditionem. Eccli. VII, v. 25: filii tibi sunt? Erudi illos. Is. XLVIII, v. 17: ego Dominus Deus tuus docens te utilia. Item per protectionem ac tutelam. Deut. XXXII, 10: circumduxit eum, et docuit, et cetera. Cuilibet enim praelato committitur cura subditorum. III Reg. XX, 39: custodi virum hunc, qui si lapsus fuerit, erit anima tua pro anima eius. Et Hebr. XIII, 17: ipsi pervigilant quasi rationem reddituri pro animabus vestris.
He must do the first because, just as bodily life depends on the soul, so spiritual life depends on faith: the righteous shall live by his faith (Hab 2:4); and just as one is engendered into physical life by the emission of bodily seed, so into spiritual life by the emission of a spiritual seed, which is the word of God: I became your father in Christ Jesus through the Gospel (1 Cor 4:15). Second, he must teach; do you have children? Instruct them (Sir 7:23); I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit (Isa 48:17). Third, he must guard his flock with care: he cared for him, he kept him as the apple of his eye (Deut 32:10). For every prelate is entrusted with the care of his subjects: keep this man; if by any means he be missing, your life shall be for his life (1 Kgs 20:39); they are keeping watch, as men who will have to give account for your souls (Heb 13:17).
Sed ad hanc generationem requiritur scientia. Os. IV, 6: quia tu scientiam repulisti, et ego repellam te, ne sacerdotio fungaris mihi. Et ideo dicit si sciret. Requiritur enim quod sciat.
But this engendering requires knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me (Hos 4:6). Hence he says, if the householder knew; for he is supposed to know.
Item, ultra eruditionem, requiritur quod sit sollicitus. Rom. XII, 8: qui praeest in sollicitudine. Lc. II, 8: pastores erant in regione eadem, vigilantes et custodientes vigilias noctis supra gregem suum. Ad custodiam vero fortitudo requiritur ad protegendum. I Mac. c. III, 3 de Iuda Machabaeo: induit se loricam sicut gigas, et succinxit se arma bellica sua in praeliis, et protegebat castra gladio suo. Et ideo dicitur et non sineret perfodi domum suam, id est, Ecclesiam. I Tim. III, v. 15: ut scias quomodo oporteat te conversari in domo Dei, quae est Ecclesia Dei. Haec domus est Dei, sicut Domini, et praelati sicut famuli. Hebr. III, 5: Moyses quidem erat fidelis in tota domo illius, tamquam famulus; Christus vero tamquam Filius in domo sua. Haec perfoditur a fure, id est, haeretico. Abd. cap. unico: si fures introissent ad te, si latrones per noctem, quomodo conticuisses? Qui dicitur fur, quia occulte venit, et graditur in tenebris. Unde fur a furno dicitur, quod est obscurus; sic isti per obscura dogmata. Prov. IX, 17: aquae furtivae dulciores sunt, et panis absconditus suavior. Item ex perversa intentione, quia intendunt occidere. Io. X, 10: fur non venit nisi ut furetur, et mactet et perdat. Item ex modo intrandi, quia non per ostium. I Io. IV, 3: et omnis spiritus, qui solvit Iesum, ex Deo non est, et hic est anti-Christus, et cetera.
Again, besides being erudite, it is required that he be careful: he who rules, with carefulness (Rom 12:8); and in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night (Luke 2:8). In a sentry, fortitude is required, if the camp is to be protected; he girded on his armor of war as a giant and waged battles, protecting the host by his sword (1 Macc 3:3). Hence it is said, he would not suffer his house, i.e., the Church, to be broken open: that you may know how one ought to behave in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God (1 Tim 3:15). This house belongs to God as to its Lord, and to prelates as to servants: now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant . . . but Christ as a Son in his own house (Heb 3:5). This is broken open by the thief, i.e., by the heretic; if thieves came to you, if plunderers by night – how you have been destroyed! (Obad 1:5) The heretic is called a thief, because he walks stealthily in the darkness; hence, a thief is so called from his obscureness as the heretic from his obscure dogmas: stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant (Prov 9:17); and from his perverse intention, which is to kill: the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10); and from his mode of entry, because he does not enter by the door: and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already (1 John 4:3).
2. Sic ergo ex praemissis trahitur convenienter intentio huius epistolae, in qua apostolus instruit Titum, quomodo regat ecclesiam, ut patet in argumento.
2. So it is easy to gather from the foregoing that the aim of this letter is to instruct Titus how to govern his church.
Ministri contra reprobatos
Ministers Against the Reprobate
1:1 Paulus servus Dei, apostolus autem Jesu Christi secundum fidem electorum Dei, et agnitionem veritatis, quae secundum pietatem est [n. 3]
1:1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of the elect of God and the acknowledging of the truth, which is according to godliness: [n. 3]
1:2 in spem vitae aeternae, quam promisit qui non mentitur, Deus, ante tempora saecularia: [n. 6]
1:2 Unto the hope of life everlasting, which God, who does not lie, has promised before the times of the world: [n. 6]
1:3 manifestavit autem temporibus suis verbum suum in praedicatione, quae credita est mihi secundum praeceptum Salvatoris nostri Dei: [n. 8]
1:3 But has in due times manifested his word in preaching, which is committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior: [n. 8]
1:4 Tito dilecto filio secundum communem fidem, gratia, et pax a Deo Patre, et Christo Jesu Salvatore nostro. [n. 9]
1:4 To Titus, my beloved son according to the common faith, grace and peace, from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Savior. [n. 9]
3. Haec epistola dividitur in salutationem et epistolarem narrationem, ibi huius rei.
3. This letter is divided into a greeting and a message, at for this cause I left you in Crete (Titus 1:5).
4. In prima, primo ponitur persona salutans, quae notificatur tripliciter, scilicet ex nomine, cum dicit Paulus, quod significat humilitatem. I Cor. XV, 9: ego sum minimus apostolorum, et cetera.
4. In the greeting, first, the person who sends the greeting is mentioned, and he is identified by certain marks: first, by his name; hence he says, Paul, which signifies humility: I am the least of the apostles (1 Cor 15:9);
Item ex conditione, cum dicit servus. Ps. CXV, 16: Domine, ego servus tuus.
second, by his state when he says, a servant of God: O Lord, I am your servant (Ps 116:16).
Contra, Io. XIV: iam non dicam vos servos. Respondeo. Sancti quandoque dicuntur servi, quandoque non, sed filii. Duplex enim est servitus. Una est ex timore, quae non competit filiationi Dei, sed condividitur contra eam. Rom. VIII, 15: non accepistis spiritum servitutis iterum in timore, et cetera. Alia ex amore, quae consequitur filiationem Dei. Et ratio huius distinctionis est, quia liber est qui est causa sui, qui operatur quod vult; servus vero est qui est causa alterius.
But this seems contrary to John: no longer do I call you servants (John 15:15). I answer that the saints are sometimes servants and sometimes not, but friends. For there are two kinds of servitude: one is from fear, which is not suitable to a son of God, but is contradistinguished against sonship: for you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of sonship (Rom 8:15); the other is from love, which follows upon sonship. The reason behind this distinction is that a free man is one who exists for his own sake, for he does what he wills; but a servant exists for someone else’s sake.
Sed triplex est causa, quae est principium operis, scilicet finalis, formalis et efficiens. Si ergo propter causam finalem, sic omnes sancti sunt servi Dei, quia propter Deum faciunt. I Cor. X, 31: sive manducatis, sive bibitis, vel aliud quid facitis, omnia in gloriam Dei facite. Et hoc est ex amore, a quo procedit, quod omnia operemur propter Deum. Si vero propter causam moventem, quae est extrinseca, et compellit, sic est servitus timoris, et est malorum. Si propter causam formalem, sic est habitus inclinans, et sic quidam sunt servi peccati, quidam servi iustitiae, qui secundum habitum inclinantur ad malum vel ad bonum.
But there are three causes which serve as the beginning of a work, namely, the final cause, the formal cause and the efficient cause. If we consider the final cause of one’s actions, then all the saints are servants of God, because they do all things for God’s sake: so, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31). And this springs from love, by which we do all for God. If we consider the efficient cause, which is extrinsic and compels one to act, one is a servant under fear, and such servitude belongs to wicked men. But if we consider the formal cause of actions, it is a habit causing an inclination: then some are servants of sin and others servants of justice, because a habit inclines a person either to good or to evil.
5. Item ex auctoritate, cum dicit apostolus. Lc. VI, 13: elegit, scilicet super omnes fideles, duodecim ex ipsis, quos etiam apostolos nominavit. Eph. IV, 11: primum quidem apostolos.
5. Third, he is identified by his authority when he says, and an apostle: he chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles (Luke 6:13); and his gifts were that some should be apostles (Eph 4:11).
Et describitur primo ab auctore, cum dicit Iesu Christi, quia ab ipso est electus. Gal. I, v. 1: non ab hominibus, neque per hominem, sed per Iesum Christum, et cetera. Item quia solum Christum annuntiabat. II Cor. IV, 5: non enim nosmetipsos praedicamus, sed Iesum Christum Dominum nostrum, nos autem servos vestros per Iesum. Item quia legatus Christi, cuius auctoritate utebatur. II Cor. V, v. 20: pro Christo ergo legatione fungimur. Eph. VI, 20: legatione fungor in catena. II Cor. II, 10: si quid donavi propter vos in persona Christi.
His apostleship is described in terms of its author, when he says, of Jesus Christ, because he was chosen by him: not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ (Gal 1:1). Or, of Jesus Christ, because he preaches only Christ: for what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’s sake (2 Cor 4:5); or because he is Christ’s representative whose authority he enjoys: so we are ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor 5:20); for which I am an ambassador in chains (Eph 6:20); what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ (2 Cor 2:10).
Item secundo describitur ex idoneitate; nam apostolus est annuntiator. Matth. ult.: docete omnes gentes, et cetera.
He is also identified by the specialty, for an apostle is one who preaches: make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:19).
Doctor autem debet habere fundamentum doctrinae, et perfectionem. Primum pertinet ad quemlibet, secundum vero pertinet ad praedicatores, et ad doctores. Et sicut in aliis scientiis sunt principia, sic in hac sunt articuli fidei, qui innotescunt cuilibet fideli secundum lumen infusum, et articuli sunt fundamenta fidei, quae est substantia rerum sperandarum, etc., Hebr. XI, 1. Et ideo dicit secundum fidem electorum Dei.
But a teacher should have a firm foundation in knowledge and be perfect: the first can belong to anyone, but the second is expected of preachers and teachers. And just as in the other sciences there are principles, so in the preacher’s knowledge there are principles, namely, the articles of faith which are known to every believer in virtue of an infused light. These articles are the foundation of faith, which is the substance of things to be hoped for; the conviction of things not seen (Heb 11:1). Therefore he says, according to the faith of the elect of God.
Item requiritur perfectio doctrinae. Unde dicit et agnitionem veritatis. Duplex autem habetur cognitio veritatis, scilicet perfecta in patria, scilicet quando videbimus facie ad faciem, et imperfecta per fidem, quam habent sancti. Io. VIII, 32: cognoscetis veritatem, et veritas liberabit vos.
Furthermore, the preacher should be perfect in doctrine; hence he says, and the acknowledging of the truth. For knowledge of the truth can be possessed in two ways: perfectly in heaven, when we shall see face to face; and imperfectly by faith, which the saints have: you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free (John 8:32).
Sed cuius veritatis? In agnitionem eius, quae est secundum pietatem. Religio enim et pietas, secundum Tullium, sunt partes iustitiae; et differunt, quia religio est cultus Dei. Sed quia Deus non solum est Creator, sed etiam est Pater, ideo non solum debemus ei cultum ut Creatori, sed amorem et cultum sicut Patri. Et ideo pietas quandoque pro cultu Dei sumitur. Iob XXVIII, 28: ecce pietas, ipsa est sapientia, secundum aliam translationem, ubi nostra sic habet: ecce timor Domini, ipsa est sapientia.
But what sort of truth? In the acknowledging of the truth, which is according to godliness. Now religion and godliness, according to Cicero, are parts of justice, but they differ: because religion is the worship of God. But since God is not only the Creator, but also a Father, we owe him worship not only as Creator, but also love and worship as to a Father; accordingly, godliness is sometimes taken for the worship of God: behold godliness itself is wisdom (Job 28:28); according to another text: lo, the fear of the Lord is wisdom.
6. Tertio describitur ex fine, et
6. He then describes apostleship from its objective:
primo ponit ipsum finem;
first, the objective is mentioned;
secundo eius dignitatem, ibi quam promisit.
second, its dignity, at which God, who does not lie.
Finis autem est spes vitae aeternae, quia etsi Moyses possit dici apostolus, quia a Domino missus; sed tamen non in spem vitae aeternae, sed terrae Hevei et Amorrhaei; sed Paulus est apostolus in spem vitae aeternae. Io. VI, 40: haec est voluntas Patris mei qui misit me, ut omnis qui videt Filium, et credit in eum, habeat vitam aeternam, et ego resuscitabo, et cetera. I Pet. I, 3: regeneravit nos in spem vivam. Rom. V, 2: gloriamur in spe gloriae filiorum Dei.
But the objective is hope of life everlasting, because even though Moses can be called an apostle, inasmuch as he was sent by the Lord, yet not in the hope of life everlasting, but of the land of the Hevite and Amorrhite. Paul, however, is an apostle in the hope of life everlasting: for this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day (John 6:40); by his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope (1 Pet 1:3); we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God (Rom 5:2).
7. Promissio autem haec est firma dupliciter: primo, ex parte promittentis; unde dicit qui non mentitur. Deus enim veritas est, cuius contrarium est mendacium. Num. c. XXIII, 19: non est Deus quasi homo ut mentiatur.
7. This promise is firm for two reasons: first, by reason of the one who promises; hence he says, God, who does not lie. For God is truth, the opposite of which is a lie: God is not a man, that he should lie (Num 23:19).
Secundo ex divino proposito dandi; unde dicit ante tempora saecularia. Saeculum, secundum Philosophum, est mensura durationis uniuscuiusque rei. Tempora ergo saecularia sunt tempora distincta secundum diversas successiones rerum; quasi dicat: antequam tempus successivum inciperet esse. Et quia incepit hoc tempus cum mundo, ideo fuit ante principium mundi.
Second, by reason of God’s intention to give; hence he says, has promised before the times of the world. For an age, according to the Philosopher, is the measure of a thing’s duration. The ages of the world, therefore, are times which are distinguished according to the successions of things. As if to say: before time began its march. And because this time began when the world began, God’s intention existed before the beginning of the world.
Alia littera habet, aeterna, id est, antiqua. Sic enim aliquando accipitur aeternum, id est, antiquum. Vel aeterna, non secundum veritatem, sed secundum imaginationem. Et ante ista promisit hoc, quia haec sunt successiva. Sed promittere est verbo nuntiare suam voluntatem de dando. Et Deus ab aeterno protulit Verbum suum in quo erat ut sancti haberent vitam aeternam. Eph. I, 4: elegit nos ante mundi constitutionem.
Another version has times eternal, i.e., olden times, for that is the meaning of the word ‘eternal,’ namely, old. Or eternal, not really, but in the imagination. And so, even prior to that, he promised this. But to promise is to declare one’s intention to give: and from all eternity God uttered his Word, in which was contained the promise that the saints would possess eternal life: he chose us in him before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4).
8. Confirmatur autem haec spes ex manifestatione promissionis, unde dicit manifestavit autem suis temporibus, et cetera. Et describitur haec manifestatio tripliciter.
8. This hope is confirmed by the manifestation of the promise; hence he says, but has in due times manifested his word. And he describes this manifestation in three ways.