In our home group, we're reading and discussing the book of Titus. This week we looked at chapter 1, verses 1-4.
Here it is in the New American Standard Version: 1 Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness,
2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago,
3 but at the proper time manifested, even His word, in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior,
4 To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
By the way, talk about a run-on sentence--that's 90 words in one sentence!
We took an interesting angle on the first 4 verses this week by rewriting them in our own words after first reading them in several different translations.
It was a fun exercise to do and helped us read and think more in depth about the message in the verses rather than just the words. It was a 5-minute on-the-spot exercise, so of course it's not honed writing. I thought some of you might enjoy doing this exercise yourself and/or reading ours. If you'd like to write one of your own, feel free to post it in the comments.
Here are the paraphrases we came up with. (You might want to skip reading our paraphrases until after you write your own if you're planning to do the exercise.)
1. From Paul:
I serve God and proclaim Jesus' truth, working to build the faith of the church and teaching the truth about God. The more we know, the better we obey. Everything I proclaim is based on our certainty, based on God's promise, that we will be with Him forever. He's had this in mind from the start, and is now using me to reveal it to the world.
To Titus: I introduced you to this journey. You're with me on it all the way. Remember how much God gives you through Jesus and rest in that!
2. Paul, God's messenger serving God by spreading faith in the word that leads to Godliness. The foundation of this faith is the hope of eternal life that God promised to us. God gave me his word when he thought the time was right and told me to spread it. To my brother Titus; God bless you.
3. Paul, who serves God & spreads the Good News of Jesus Christ for the people of the church that they may know the Word and live by it; because there is hope of eternal life which was guaranteed by God before we can comprehend, and in God's own time He delivered the truth through his messenger who he trusted to obey Him
To Titus, God's faithful son: know that the Lord is with you in your journey.
4. Hi! It's me, Paul.
I'm writing to you, Titus, my dear son in the faith: that faith which we both share because of God's faithfulness, as we also share the work He has given us. He chose this time and us as His messengers carefully, and gave us our instructions: to build up the faith and knowledge of those He has chosen, to bring us all to a closer walk and greater obedience to God.
May our father God and our Savior Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.