Titus 1:6

[bible passage=”Titus 1:6″]

What is the precise meaning of PISTA in Titus 1:6? Faithful, believing,
full of faith, trustworthy? Would you agree with the commentator below? Is this
an accurate conclusion based on NT usage etc.?

Pistos is a verbal adjective that passively means
“trustworthy”, or “faithful” (as KJV), and actively means to believe,
as rendered here. Some commentators believe that Paul is using only the
passive sense here and is simply referring to children who are
well behaved, who can be trusted to do what is right and are faithful to their

In the New Testament pistos is used
passively of God’s faithfulness (see, e.g., 1 Cor. 1:9; 10:13; 2 Cor. 1:18), of
Christ’s faithfulness (see e.g., 2 Thess.3:3; Heb. 2:17; 3:2), of the
faithfulness, or trustworthiness, of God’s words (see, e.g., Acts 13:34; 1 Tim.
1:15; 2 Tim. 2:11; Titus 1:9; 3:8). It is also used passively many times of
people in general. But it is significant that, except for this sometimes
disputed text (Titus 1:6), it always is used of people whom the context clearly
identifies as believers (see e.g., Matt. 25:21,23; Acts 16:15; 1 Cor. 4:2, 17;
Eph. 6:21; Col. 1:7; 4:7; Rev. 2:10, 13; 17:14). Unbelievers are never referred
to as faithful. That fact alone argues strongly for the rendering here of
children who believe, that is, who have placed their faith in
Jesus Christ. Even if the idea were that of faithfulness to parents, the use of
pistos in those other passages would argue for its referring to the
faithfulness of believing children.”


Mark Markham
Heidelberg, Germany

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