Please join me for a simple straight forward Word study of Titus 2:4-5 over the next couple months.
There are plenty of indepth resources on this on the web. Feel free to share what you find in the comments. But for now, I’m going to dissect the key words. I’m using a Greek lexicon and my KJV Bible. I will show the key word, in the NIV and Amp as well, using biblegateway.com. I encourage you to look these up in your own Bible and pray about how you can apply the Word to your marriage this week.
Part One: Be Sober
Titus 2:4-5 KJV (Following an exhortation to older women to teach the young. I’ve only did a study on what the young women need to know.)
“4 That they may teach the young women to be SOBER, to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
SOBER (4994)- a verb, Greek: sophronizo – to voluntarily place limitations on one’s own freedom. Sound minded. Self controlled.
This Greek word is only used in this verse. So there are no cross references. But we do see the use of the English word “sober” in 1 Peter 5:8 (which I’ll quote at the end).
This is strange but so far, the other translations ( Amp, NIV, NKJV, and ESV) are all leaving this word out from verse 4. They skip to the next part. So you may not have this in your translation. I do however, see versions of “discreet” in verse 5 of the other versions, and they sound similar: self controlled, sensible. But the Greek word for Sober in verse 4 is completely removed from those versions. If you find “Sober” in any form in verse 4 of another translation please share. I take note when versions start leaving out Greek words. Maybe it’s because the two words are so similar, but still I don’t like it.
I find it interesting that this is the only use of this particular Greek word in the Bible, too. It gives a deeper picture of Biblical submission. We are free, but we choose to limit ourselves to honor our husbands and do what is best for our families. We can see a boundary as a protective fence or a prison. Personally, things work much better when I treat God and my husband as allies…not my enemies. I choose a nice picket fence. I’ll plant some flowers by it.
Another Lexicon (Thayers) says: to restore one to his senses, to moderate, curb, discipline, to hold one to his duty.
I get this picture of an older Godly woman (like the one from War Room) shaking a young wife and saying “Get it together, soldier!” Or even saying this to ourselves…when I look in the mirror during a hard day, “Sober up, girlfriend! Don’t act a fool! Get your mind together. We got work to do!” That’s the Amber version with a little bit of Mr. T. He he he. Okay, enough of my commentary. Moving on…
Strong’s Dictionary is basically the same: to discipline or correct; to make of sound mind.
Earlier I mentioned that 1 Peter 5:8 uses the English word “sober”. Remember that this is a different Greek word than the one used in Titus. Sober (Nepho) in this instance means to abstain from wine. In the Amp. version we see it listed as well balanced and self disciplined.
“8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
Here is where the verses compliment each other. In Titus we are called to have our wits about us, as we are called to our wifely duty. We are called in 1 Peter 5:8 to have a right mind so we won’t be surprised when the enemy attacks. Life is a battle. Marriage is a battle. The enemy wants to destroy both. If we don’t get our heads where they need to be, we will be caught off guard when the enemy attacks. We have been called to a holy mission to keep our home. We stand at the boundary lines, and rather than hop over them and join the enemy as he tries to tear our families down….we stand watching…keeping…guarding…alert…sober. How your call to duty looks in your personal life is between you and God. God addresses the heart in these verses, not the exact details. You will need to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide you.
You see? This is exciting! Titus 2 isn’t a picture of a door mat or a boring prude. We, Christian wives, have this mighty calling. Our role in marriage reflects the relationship between Christ and the church. It also shows how the Holy Trinity responds to each other. The home is important. Our home is the heart of society. It is where all adventures, all wars, all great stories begin. We set the stage. We prepare the way. God wants to use us to build up, not tear down. Ah, there is so much I want to say on that point, but it goes with another section.
Wooh! And this is just the first key word! I hope you’re getting excited! I know when I first started studying what being a home maker actually means it fired me up, and also gave me relief. The call of the homemaker has been so misrepresented by societies. Rather than look to the world for the definition, I want to know what God says.
Anywho, I hope you will meditate on this scripture through the week, and dive deeper in your own studies. Next time (Lord willing), we will be looking at “love” as in “love their husbands”.
God bless & remember the High King lives! ~ Amber Dover
Sources: The Complete Word Study New Testament KJV
Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament
KJV Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible
The New Strong’s Complete Dictionary of Bible Words
The first three were required text books during my brief 6 months in Bible college. They were highly recommended, and I’ve enjoyed the Key-Word Study Bible as my main Bible for 12 years. I can do pretty indepth word studies even without looking at other books.
If you’re interested you can find it here: http://www.biblio.com/…/hebrew-greek-key-word-s…/d/732422886
The newer versions are probably a lot cheaper. I don’t know how similar they are though.
They still sell the separate Word Studies though:http://www.christianbook.com/complete-word-study-pa…/…/81848
Part 2 of this series