All Faith Is Good? (Titus 2:10) -- By: Kenneth W. Yates

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 30:58 (Spring 2017)
Article: All Faith Is Good? (Titus 2:10)
Author: Kenneth W. Yates


All Faith Is Good? (Titus 2:10)

Kenneth Yates

Editor

I. Introduction

Recently, I was studying the book of Titus and came upon an interesting discussion of Titus 2:10 in the book on Greek grammar that I used in seminary. This discussion was valuable because it challenged the common translation of this verse.

The book suggested that the proper translation of this verse would support a Lordship view of salvation. The author maintains that Paul is saying that true faith results in good works that are demonstrated in the life of a genuine believer. I had never heard Titus 2:10 used in the debate between Lordship salvation and the Free Grace perspective. As such, I believe a closer look at it would be beneficial for the readers of the JOTGES. Certain lessons can also be learned from such a study.

In this article, I will discuss the common translation and interpretation of Titus 2:10. Then, I will look at the argument for a different way of translating it. Finally, I will discuss how it applies to the issue of saving faith and the lessons we can learn from this example.

II. The Common View Of Titus 2:10

When we look at Titus 2:10 and how it is understood, we find that there is a general consensus. This consensus is based upon an almost universally accepted translation of the verse.

A. The Translation

The KJV is representative of how this verse is commonly translated. It reads:

Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. (emphasis added)

The part of the verse in question involves the words, “shewing all good fidelity.” The Greek word for “fidelity” is the common word for “faith” in the NT (pistin). According to the leading Greek lexicon of the NT, one of the major meanings of the word is “the state of being one in whom confidence is placed.” It speaks of that person’s faithfulness, reliability, or fidelity in doing what is required or expected of them.1

The word “good” in the Greek (agathēn) is an adjective. Even though it is separated from the word “faith,” the KJV translates it as modifying the word. Hence, we have the translation “all good<...

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