Titus 1 – A Mission for Titus
A. Introduction and greeting.
1. (1) The Apostle Paul, author of this letter to Titus.
Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness,
a. Paul: In writing his own name first, Paul followed the letter-writing customs of his day. First the writer was mentioned, and then the reader, and then a greeting was given.
i. From Titus 1:5 we learn that Paul and Titus worked together in Crete, spreading the gospel and establishing churches – but Paul had to leave. Titus stayed and worked among the congregations there. Since Titus was left behind to do a difficult work, Paul wanted to instruct and encourage him – and he did so with this letter.
ii. “That St. Paul had been in Crete, though nowhere else intimated, is clear from this passage. That he could not have made such an important visit, and evangelized an island of the first consequence, without it being mentioned by his historian, Like, had it happened during the period embraced in the Acts of the Apostles, must be evident. That the journey, therefore, must have been performed after the time in which St. Luke ends his history, that is, after St. Paul’s first imprisonment at Rome, seems almost certain.” (Clarke)
iii. Paul wrote this as two other Christian workers (Zenas and Apollos, mentioned in Titus 3:13) were about to go to Crete, so Paul sent this letter with them.
iv. This letter was written to Titus, but it was also written to the Christians on the island of Crete. Paul knew this letter would be publicly read among the churches on the island. So, in the structure of opening the letter, Paul took great care to tell the Christians of Crete what his credentials were, and where he stood on important issues. Paul didn’t think like a politician who often responds to what the crowd wants and to what pleases the crowd.
b. Paul, a bondservant of God: Of all the titles Paul could use, he first chose “bondservant of God.” If Paul had a modern day business card, that would be his title on the card.
i. Significantly, when Paul used the term bondservant, he chose the ancient Greek word doulos. This word not only designated a low slave (one Greek scholar called it “the most abject, servile term in use among the Greeks for a slave”), it was also the word for a slave by choice.
ii. Paul was only a bondservant – yet he had a high place, because He was a bondservant of God. It is never a low thing to be a servant of a great God.
c. And an apostle of Jesus Christ: God gave Paul a special role to play among His servants. Paul’s particular call and function was as a special messenger of God – an apostle. Paul knew his call and purpose among the body of Christ, and so should each Christian today also know for themselves.
d. According to the faith: Paul wasn’t an apostle because of the faith of God’s elect, but in harmony with the faith (in the sense of a specific, common body of doctrine) shared among God’s elect.
i. God’s elect are those whom He chose from before the foundation of the world to receive His salvation. We can identify God’s elect because they respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ and live their lives after that gospel.
e. The acknowledgement of the truth: For Paul it wasn’t enough to just know the faith, he also had to acknowledge it for what it really was.
f. Which accords with godliness: Paul stood in accord with godly living. All truth is God’s truth; but not all truth is really relevant to godliness, which promotes “God-likeness”. Much of science or psychology may be true and admirable – but it won’t save a soul from Hell. It is not the truth which accords with godliness.
2. (2) Paul was an apostle in the hope of eternal life.
In hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,
a. Eternal life: This is the life of the Eternal God living within us. It is present now, but will be completed later.
i. “The Christian gospel does not in the first place offer men an intellectual creed or a moral code; it offers them life, the very life of God.” (Barclay)
b. Which God, who cannot lie, promised: This eternal life is not a wish, but a hope. In this sense, hope is an anticipation founded not on wishful thinking, but on a promise from the God who cannot lie.
3. (3) Paul was an apostle who believed in preaching the word.
But has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior;
a. But in due time manifested His word through preaching: Paul knew that preaching is the way that God’s eternal work meets people today. Preaching is the way God’s word is made evident (manifested).
i. But has in due time manifested His word: Christianity came into the world at a time when it was uniquely possible for its message to spread rapidly.
· There was a common language (Greek), which was the language of trade, business, and literature.
· There were virtually no frontiers because of the vast nature of the Roman Empire.
· Travel was comparatively easy. It was slow, but relatively safe because of the security that the Roman Empire brought to roads and sea routes.
· The world was largely at peace under the pax Romana.
· The world was uniquely conscious of its need for a messiah and savior. “There was never a time when the hearts of men were more open to receive the message of salvation which the Christian missionaries brought.” (Barclay)
b. Which was committed to me: Paul knew the work of preaching was entrusted to him, but not to him only. Preaching is a work committed to all believers.
4. (4) The reader: Titus, Paul’s convert and his true (faithful) son.
To Titus, a true son in our common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.
a. To Titus: Significantly, we don’t know anything about Titus from Acts. He is strangely absent from that record, though he must have been an associate of Paul during the time covered by Acts. Yet we do read about him in 2 Corinthians 2:13, 8:23, and 12:18.
i. “2 Corinthians 8:18 and 2 Corinthians 12:18 both say that when Titus was sent to Corinth another brother was sent with him, described in the former passage as ‘the brother who is famous among all the churches,’ and commonly identified with Luke. It has been suggested that Titus was Luke’s brother.” (Titus)
ii. Though we read nothing about Titus in Acts, we still know something of his character and personality.
· Titus was a true son in our common faith (Titus 1:4).
· Titus was a genuine brother to the Apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 2:13).
· Titus was a partner and a fellow worker with Paul (2 Corinthians 8:23).
· Titus walked in the same spirit as Paul (2 Corinthians 12:18).
· Titus walked in the same steps as Paul, in the same manner of life (2 Corinthians 12:18).
· Therefore, Titus could be a pattern to other believers (Titus 2:7).
iii. “He seems to have been a man of great common sense; so that, when Paul had anything difficult to be done, he sent Titus. When the collection was to be made at Corinth on behalf of the poor saints at Jerusalem, Paul sent Titus to stir the members up, and with him another brother to take charge of the contributions.” (Spurgeon)
b. A true son in our common faith: Paul stood in support of a common faith. It is a common faith, not an isolated one. Paul was for the church and the community of all believers.
i. “It must not be restricted to a faith shared only by St. Paul and Titus; but, like [Jude 3], it is common to all Christians.” (White)
c. Grace, mercy, and peace: In his greeting Paul used words typical for a greeting in the ancient world. But when Paul used these words, they were not used just as a formality because Paul knew the source of all grace, mercy, and peace. They come from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.
i. God the Father and God the Son share in the gift of salvation. “The Son has brought to us salvation from the Father, and the Father has bestowed it through the Son.” (Calvin)
B. Paul’s mission for Titus.
1. (5) The challenge given to Titus.
For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you;
a. For this reason I left you in Crete: After a successful evangelistic campaign on the island of Crete, there were a lot of young Christians to take care of. Paul left Titus behind to build stable churches with mature, qualified pastors for the people. This was especially needed in Crete, because the people of Crete were a wild bunch, well known as liars and lazy people. Titus had to find and train capable leaders for the Christians of the island of Crete.
i. When a job is hard, there are basically two kinds of people. With one you say, “The job is really hard, so we can’t send him.” With the other you say, “The job is really hard, so we must send him.” Titus seemed to be of the second kind.
ii. I left you in Crete uses the same wording as Paul used in 2 Timothy 4:13 and 4:20 where he spoke of a cloak and an associate temporarily left behind. The idea is that he left Titus in Crete on a limited basis to solve these problems, establish godly leadership, and then move on (probably to catch up again with Paul).
b. Set in order the things that are lacking: This was the job Titus was given. The church needed order and leadership. Titus was commanded to set in order the churches, and to do it by appointing godly leaders.
i. “That phrase is a medical term; it was applied to the setting of a crooked limb.” (Wiersbe) There were crooked things that had to be set straight among the congregations of Crete.
ii. If we compare the work of Titus in Crete to the work of Timothy in Ephesus (as shown by 1 and 2 Timothy), it shows there was much more lacking among the congregations of Crete. Paul specifically told Titus to set in order the things that are lacking, and gave no such command to Timothy.
Apparently the Ephesian congregations were ready for both elders and deacons, but only elders are mentioned in Titus.
c. And appoint elders in every city: Paul told Titus to appoint elders, who are also called bishops in Titus 1:7. The word elder is used broadly in the New Testament, mainly describing the maturity necessary in leaders. Elders and bishops describe pastors over congregations in different cities on Crete.
i. “The number of presbyters is not specified; the meaning is that the order of presbyters should be established all over the island.” (White)
ii. As I commanded you: “In the phrase as I had appointed thee (rsv better ‘as I directed you’) the I is emphatic, bringing out not Paul’s egotism, but his authoritative endorsement of the elder-system.” (Guthrie)
d. In every city: This was a big job, because Crete was famous for having many cities.
i. “It should be carefully noted that churches cannot safely remain without the ministry of pastors, so that, wherever there is a considerable body of people, a pastor should be appointed over them. In saying that each town should have a pastor he does not mean that none should have more than one, but only that no town should be without pastors.” (Calvin)
e. Appoint elders: This means Paul delegated a lot of authority to Titus. These elders were not chosen by popular vote, and they were not chosen through their own self-promotion. It was Titus’ job to look for men of the kind of character Paul would describe in the following passage and to appoint them as elders in congregations.
i. Calvin notes that this means Paul gave Titus a tremendous amount of authority, and that under Paul’s direction (and the direction of the Holy Spirit), this authority was in Titus and not in a group or a committee. “But he may seem to give Titus too much authority when he tells him to appoint ministers for all the churches. This would be almost royal power and would deprive individual churches of their right to elect and the college of pastors of their right to judge, and that would be to profane the whole administration of the Church.” (Calvin)
ii. Calvin goes on to suggest that the answer is easy – that Titus actually just approved or ratified the leaders that the congregations themselves selected. There is not a hint of this in the text of Titus or anywhere else. Plainly, God intended Titus as one man to have this authority and for him to use it in a godly manner.
iii. The list in the following passage means that God has specific qualifications for leaders in the church. Leaders should not to be chosen at random, or just because they volunteer, or because they aspire to the position, or even because they are “natural leaders.” Leaders should be chosen because they match the qualifications listed here. It is fine if a man thinks he is “called.” Yet he must also be qualified.
iv. The qualifications for leadership in the following passage have nothing to do with giftedness. Paul didn’t say to Titus “Find the most gifted guys.” We might say that it is easy for the Lord to grant gifts by the Holy Spirit as He wills (1 Corinthians 12:11), but developing character takes time and a real relationship with Jesus Christ.
· Going to seminary doesn’t make one qualified for spiritual leadership.
· Being a good talker doesn’t make one qualified for spiritual leadership.
· Natural or spiritual gifts in themselves do not qualify one for spiritual leadership.
· What one gives in money or volunteer time does not qualify them for spiritual leadership.
· What qualifies a man for spiritual leadership is godly character – and godly character established according to the clear criteria Paul will list.
v. However, this is not a rigid list which demands perfection in all areas. It provides both goals to reach for and general criteria for selection. We should take this list and ask “Does the man in question desire all these things with his whole heart? Does that desire show itself in his life?” Titus was to take the following list, find the men who best fit the description, and then use the list as a training guide to disciple these men.
vi. As well, these qualifications are valuable for every person – not only those who aspire to leadership. They are clear indicators of godly character and spiritual maturity; they can give a true measure of a man.
3. (6-8) What Titus must look for in the appointment of leaders.
If a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled,
a. If a man is blameless: This word literally means “nothing to take hold upon.” There must be nothing in the life of the leader that others can take hold of and attack his life or the church.
i. This is a broad term for a man who lives a righteous life that can be seen as righteous. No one could stand up and rightfully accuse the man of grievous sin.
ii. This is important, because he was a steward of God’s house. The greater the master is, the greater the servants are expected to be.
b. Husband of one wife: The idea is of “a one-woman man.” It does not mean that a leader must be married. If that were the case, then both Jesus and Paul would be disqualified from leadership. Nor is it the idea that a leader could never remarry if his wife had passed away or if he were Biblically divorced. The idea is that the leader has his focus upon one woman – that being his wife.
c. Having faithful children: The leader must have raised his children well. His ability to lead the family of God must be first demonstrated by his ability to lead his own children. Here the emphasis is on the idea that his children are believers also.
i. “If they remained pagans, it would throw into question the father’s ability to lead others to the faith.” (Hiebert) “A wise father first wins his own family to Christ and then gives them a chance to grow before he pulls up stakes and moves to bible school. We would have fewer casualties in the ministry if this policy were followed more often.” (Wiersbe)
ii. “It is significant that the moral requirements of the pastor’s children are more mildly expressed in 1 Timothy 3:4,5,12. There it is the father’s power to keep order in his own house that is emphasised; here the submission of the children to discipline and restraint.” (White)
iii. “The family of the elder must be such that they cannot be accused of [dissipation]. The Greek word is asotia. It is the word used in Luke 15:13 for the riotous living of the prodigal son. The man who is asotos is incapable of saving; he is wasteful and extravagant and pours out his substance on personal pleasure; he destroys his substance and in the end ruins himself.” (Barclay)
d. Not self-willed: Basically selfish people are disqualified from leadership. They show their self-willed nature in arrogance, stubbornness, and a proud self-focus.
i. “Not one who is determined to have his own way in every thing; setting up his own judgment to that of all others; expecting all to pay homage to his understanding.” (Clarke)
e. Not quick-tempered: The quick-tempered are also disqualified from leadership, as are those who drink more than is proper (not given to wine), the violent, and those greedy for money.
i. Not quick-tempered: The ancient Greek word used here (orgilos) actually refers more to a settled state of anger than the flash of an occasional bad temper. It speaks of a man who has a constant simmering anger and who nourishes his anger against others – close to the idea of a bitter man.
ii. Violent: “The Greeks themselves widened the meaning of this word to include, not only violence in action, but also violence in speech. The word came to mean one who browbeats his fellow-men, and it may well be that it should be so translated here.” (Barclay)
iii. Not greedy for money: “There are no regulations here laid down for deacons; so we are entitled to conclude that in Crete, at this time, presbyters performed the duties of every church office. Hence they should have the appropriate deaconal virtue [as in 1 Timothy 3:8].” (White)
f. But hospitable: A leader among God’s people must be a hospitable man, and one who loves what is good. Men who love the base and the sordid things of this world are not yet qualified to be leaders among God’s people.
g. Soberminded: This describes the person who is able to think clearly and with clarity. They are not constant joke-makers, but know how to deal with serious subjects in a serious way.
i. Wiersbe on soberminded: “This does not man he has no sense of humor, or that he is always solemn and somber. Rather it suggests that he knows the value of things and does not cheapen the ministry or the Gospel message by foolish behavior.” (From Wiersbe’s commentary on 1 Timothy)
ii. In the mind of the Apostle Paul, this was an important quality in a leader. He used this word ten times in his short letters to Timothy and Titus.
h. Just, holy, self-controlled: A pastor or leader in the church must be just (right toward men), holy (right towards God), self-controlled (right towards himself).
i. “How unfit are those to govern a church who cannot govern themselves!” (Matthew Henry)
C. What leaders in the church are supposed to do.
1. (9a) Titus must appoint elders who will hold fast to the word of God.
Holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught,
a. Holding fast the faithful word: This means first that the leader must be sure of the faithful word for himself. When he brings the word of God to people he must bring it with confidence and authority, not mixed with theological speculation and academic doubts.
i. “There is not need of fancy words, but of strong minds, of skill in the scriptures, and of powerful thoughts.” (Chrysostom)
b. Holding fast the faithful word: This means also that the leader will stick to God’s word, instead of a focus on fads and programs for the church. If a man will not first stick to the word, and will not then stick with the word of God, he is not qualified for leadership in God’s church.
c. As he has been taught: This means that the leader has been under the teaching of someone else. A qualified leader doesn’t necessarily need to go to Bible College or Seminary, but they do need to be taught and discipled by someone, not just themselves.
2. (9b) Titus must appoint leaders who will also use the word properly.
That he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.
a. That he may be able . . . both to exhort and convict those who contradict: A godly leader will use his solid foundation in God’s word to exhort (encourage) those who are on the right track. He will also use it to convict (discourage) those who are on the wrong track, those who contradict.
i. “A preacher must be both soldier and shepherd. He must nourish, defend, and teach; he must have teeth in his mouth and be able to bite and fight.” (Luther)
b. By sound doctrine: A godly leader deals with those who contradict, and he does it with sound doctrine. He doesn’t do it with pompous authority and political backstabbing. He brings correction with sound doctrine.
i. If a leader does not have a basis in sound doctrine to either exhort or convict an individual, he probably shouldn’t do it. Leaders need to stand on the foundation of the word.
D. Why it was important for Titus to appoint these qualified leaders.
1. (10-11) Those who must be confronted and how to stop them.
For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain.
a. For there are many insubordinate: The word insubordinate indicates someone who will not submit to God’s order of authority. The ancient Greek word translated insubordinate is the negative form of the word submit – an insubordinate man will not submit.
i. God has established an order of authority in several different areas of life. There is an order of authority in the home, in the church, in the workplace, and in the community. God wants us to recognize the places where He has place an order of authority in our lives, and He wants us to submit to that authority.
ii. If there were many contentious and “problem people” among God’s people in Paul’s day, so soon after the apostle himself had been among them, then we should also expect that there would be such people today. There are still many insubordinate.
b. Idle talkers and deceivers: These problem people will make themselves known by their unwise speech and by their deception.
i. Idle talkers: “The main idea was of a worship which produced no goodness of life. These people in Crete could talk glibly but all their talk was ineffective in bringing anyone one step nearer goodness.” (Barclay)
c. Especially those of the circumcision: Paul was particularly concerned with the effect of some Christians from a Jewish background, who thought the key to acceptance before God was keeping the Law of Moses.
i. The words insubordinate and of the circumcision taken together show that these were Christians from a Jewish background, or at least they were Christians in name. “We cannot call those persons unruly on whose obedience we have no claim.” (White)
ii. “They tried to persuade them that the simple story of Jesus and the Cross was not sufficient, but that, to be really wise, they needed all the subtle stories and the long genealogies and the elaborate allegories of the Rabbis. Further, they tried to teach them that grace was not enough, but that, to be really good, they needed to take upon themselves all the rules and regulations about foods and washings which were so characteristic of Judaism.” (Barclay)
iii. We can understand why it might be more difficult for Christians who came from Judaism and why they might tend to be more of a source of trouble in the early churches. Christians from pagan backgrounds immediately knew that they had to reject everything about their prior understanding about the gods. Yet Christians from Judaism had to take some things and leave others, and this is often more difficult.
d. Whose mouths must be stopped: Titus had to train the elders he chose to simply “shut up” these problem people. They should not to be allowed to gain a hearing, because if allowed, they would subvert whole households.
i. Whose mouths must be stopped: “That does not imply that they are to be silence by violence or persecution . . . it became the normal word for to silence a person by reason.” (Barclay)
e. Teaching things which they ought not: There are at least three things which should not be taught among Christians. First, false doctrineought not to be taught. Second, insubordinate things ought not to be taught. Third, unprofitable things ought not to be taught.
i. In 1 Timothy 1:4, Paul warned Timothy to not give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith. There are certain spiritual subjects that are not edifying, and are not profitable. All they do is cause speculations and arguments. When Titus found men teaching things which they ought not, he was supposed to stop it.
f. For the sake of dishonest gain: These problem people were motivated by gain. Paul’s main idea was of dishonest financial gain, and there are many who fit that description today. However, the dishonest gain some seek from the gospel is emotional instead of financial. They serve for the sake of the gain that comes when others recognize or admire them as a spiritual leader.
2. (12-14) Why the problem is difficult, and what to do about it.
One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.
a. Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons: The problem was difficult because of the general character of the Cretans. Even prophets among the Cretans described the island people as liars, evil beasts, and lazy gluttons, it indicates that there is a character problem.
i. If the Cretans had this basic character, it shows why it was so important for Titus to appoint elders to lead the church. If these congregations were left to themselves, chaos and error would dominate the churches.
ii. A prophet of their own: Paul did not mean that the Cretan writer he quotes here was an inspired prophet of God. But that writer did have it correct when he described the character of the people of Crete. As Paul wrote, this testimony – not the entire testimony of this writer – is true.
iii. “There was a Cretan prophet once who told plain truths to his countrymen. The whole line occurs, according to Jerome, in the [works] of Epimenides, a native of Cnossus in Crete.” (White)
iv. “So notorious were the Cretans that the Greeks actually formed a verb kretizein, to cretize, which means to lie and to cheat; and they had a proverbial phrase, kreitzein pros Kreta, to cretize against a Cretan, which meant to match lies with lies, as diamond cuts diamond.” (Barclay)
v. Paul didn’t say to Titus, “Cretans are liars and cheats and gluttons, with one of the worst reputations of any group in the Roman Empire. You should look for an easier group to work with.” Instead he said, “I know how bad they are. Go out and change them with the power of Jesus and for His glory.”
b. Therefore rebuke them sharply: Because of the generally hardened character of the people of the island of Crete, they must be dealt with directly. Titus himself must rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, and he must also appoint leaders who will do the same.
c. Not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth: As mentioned before (especially those of the circumcision, Titus 1:10) the particular point of contention in the churches of Crete had to do with a Jewish legalism. It was not centered not on God’s word, but on Jewish fables and the commandments of men who turn from the truth.
3. (15-16) The character of these difficult people.
To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.
a. To the pure, all things are pure: With their attraction to Jewish legalism, the difficult people Titus had to confront seemed to believe that nothing is pure. They denied Christians basic and godly pleasures that were not sin.
i. Timothy had to deal with the same kind of people. Paul warned Timothy about those forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth (1 Timothy 4:3). Paul knew that if a Christian walked in the purity of the Lord, these things were pure to him. But to those of a legalistic mind (those who are defiled and unbelieving), they seemed to believe nothing is pure. The problem was with their defiled and unbelieving minds and consciences, not with the things themselves.
ii. All things are pure: Of course, Paul does not mean that obviously sinful things (pornography, illicit drugs, and the like) are pure. Paul has in mind those things which are permitted by Scripture, but forbidden by legalists in a mistaken attempt to earn favor with God.
iii. “Paul was refuting the false teaching of these legalists with reference to foods. They were teaching that Jewish dietary laws still applied to Christian believers.” (Wiersbe)
iv. “The ‘all things’ refers to everything which is non-moral; such as appetite and food, desire and marriage, exchange and commerce, weariness and recreation, and so on through all the varied realm of life. To the pure all these things are pure, and they will be maintained in purity. To the impure, every one of them may be made the vehicle and occasion of impurity.” (Morgan)
b. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him: These difficult people Titus had to deal with were all the more difficult because they talked like Christians. Their profession was all in order, but in works they deny Him. We can’t just go by what a person says. We have to also look at how they live.
i. “They acted as if this Supreme Being was a mere metaphysical abstraction, out of all moral relation to human life, as if He were neither Saviour nor Judge.” (J.H. Bernard, cited in White)
c. Being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work: These are strong words, but Paul means it. These difficult people probably pretended to have a higher spirituality than Titus or other godly leaders. But Paul saw right through their spiritual façade and wanted Titus – and all the Christians on Crete – to see through it also.
i. The word abominable has the idea of polluted by idolatry.
ii. Disqualified: The ancient Greek word is adokimos, and was used in many different ways:
· It was used to describe a counterfeit coin.
· It was used to describe a cowardly soldier who failed in battle.
· It was used of a candidate rejected for elected office.
· It was used of stone rejected by builders. If a stone had a bad enough flaw, it was marked with a capital A (for adokimos) and set aside as unfit.
©2013 David Guzik – No distribution beyond personal use without permission