Titus 2:13 - Ambrose (Hilary) per Erasmus and Commentaries

Steven Avery

Ambrose per Erasmus

This he says is the blessed hope of believers, who await the coming of the glory of God in his greatness, a thing he will reveal through Christ the judge, in whom the power and the glory of God the Father will be seen, that they may ....


Paraphrase - Erasmus


Erasmus Latin
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Steven Avery

John Owen

Grotius agrees with our catechists, but says not one word more for the proof of his interpretation, nor in way of exception to ours, than they say, as they say no more than Socinus against Bellarmine, nor he much more than Erasmus before him, from whom Grotius also borrowed his comment of Ambrose, which he urges in the exposition of this place; which, were it not for my peculiar respect to Erasmus, I would say were not honestly done, himself having proved that comment under the name of Ambrose to be a paltry, corrupted, depraved, foisted piece: but Grotius hath not a word but what hath been spoken to.

Steven Avery



1 The words of Arobrosius are : hanc esse dieit beatam sj>em credentinm, qui
exspectant advontum gloriae magni Dei, quod revelari liabet judice Christo, in
quo Dei patris vidcbitur potostas et gloria, ut fidei suae praemium conscquantur.
Ad hoc euim redcmit nos Christ us, ut, purain vitara scctantcs, repleti bonis
operibtu, regni Dei haeredes esse possimus.
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Steven Avery


These three comprising our παιδεία in faith and love, he now comes to hope): looking for (this expectation being an abiding state and posture,—not, like ζήσωμεν, the life following on and unfolded from the determining impulse co-ordinate with the ἀρνήσασθαι,—is put in the pres., not in the aor.) the blessed hope (here, as in reff. Gal. and Acts, Colossians 1:5 al., nearly objective,—the hope, as embodying the thing hoped for: but keep the vigour and propriety both of language and thought, and do not tame down the one and violate the other, with Grot., by a metonymy, or with Wolf, by a hypallage of μακαρία ἐλπίς for ἐλπιζομένη μακαριότης) and manifestation (ἐλπίδα κ. ἐπιφ. belong together) of the glory (δύο δείκνυσιν ἐνταῦθα ἐπιφανείας· καὶ γάρ εἰσι δύο· ἡ μὲν προτέρα χάριτος, ἡ δὲ δευτέρα ἀνταποδόσεως, Chrys. Nothing could be more unfortunate than the application here of the figure of hendiadys in the E.V.: see below) of the great God (the Father: see below) and of our Saviour Jesus Christ (as regards the sense, an exact parallel is found in Matthew 16:27, μέλλει γὰρ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἔρχεσθαι ἐν τῇ δόξῃ τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ, compared with Matthew 25:31, ὅταν ἔλθῃ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐν τῇ δόξῃ αὐτοῦ. See also 1Peter 4:13. The glory which shall be revealed at the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ is His own glory, and that of His Father (John 17:5; 1Thessalonians 3:13). This sense having been obscured by the foolish hendiadys, has led to the asking (by Mr. Green, Gr. Test. Gram., p. 216), “What intimation is given in Scripture of a glorious appearing of God the Father and our Lord in concert?” To which the answer is, that no such appearing is even hinted at in this passage, taken as above. What is asserted is, that the δόξα shall be that τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ. And we now come to consider the meaning of these words. Two views have been taken of them: (1) that τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος̣ ἡμῶν are to be taken together as the description of Ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ,—‘of Jesus Christ, the great God and our Saviour:’ (2) that as given above, τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ describes the Father, and σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ the Son. It is obvious that in dealing with (1), we shall be deciding with regard to (2) also. (1) has been the view of the Greek orthodox Fathers, as against the Arians (see a complete collection of their testimonies in Dr. Wordsworth’s “Six Letters to Granville Sharp on the use of the definite article in the Greek text of the N. T.” Lond. 1802), and of most ancient and modern Commentators. That the former so interpreted the words, is obviously not (as it has been considered) decisive of the question, if they can be shewn to bear legitimately another meaning, and that meaning to be the one most likely to have been in the mind of the writer. The case of ἵνα in the preceding verse (see note there), was wholly different. There it was contended that ἵνα with a subjunctive, has, and can have, but one meaning: and this was upheld against those who would introduce another, inter alia, by the fact that the Greek Fathers dreamt of no other. The argument rested not on this latter fact, but on the logical force of the particle itself. And similarly here, the passage must be argued primarily on its own ground, not primarily on the consensus of the Greek Fathers. No one disputes that it may mean that which they have interpreted it: and there were obvious reasons why they, having licence to do so, should choose this interpretation. But it is our object, not being swayed in this or any other interpretation, by doctrinal considerations one way or the other, to enquire, not what the words may mean, but what they do mean, as far as we may be able to ascertain it. The main, and indeed the only reliance of those who take (1), is the omission of the article before σωτῆρος. Had the sentence stood τοῦ μεγ. θεοῦ καὶ τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰ. χ., their verdict for (2) would have been unanimous. That the insertion of the article would have been decisive for (2), is plain: but is it equally plain, that its omission is decisive for (1)? This must depend entirely on the nature and position of the word thus left anarthrous. If it is a word which had by usage become altogether or occasionally anarthrous,—if it is so connected, that the presence of the article expressed, is not requisite to its presence in the sense, then the state of the case, as regards the omission, is considerably altered. Now there is no doubt that σωτήρ was one of those words which gradually dropped the article and became a quasi proper name: cf. 1Timothy 1:1 (I am quite aware of Bp. Middleton’s way of accounting for this, but do not regard it as satisfactory); 4:10; which latter place is very instructive as to the way in which the designation from its official nature became anarthrous. This being so, it must hardly be judged as to the expression of the art. by the same rules as other nouns. Then as to its structural and contextual connexion. It is joined with ἡμῶν, which is an additional reason why it may spare the article: see Luke 1:78: Romans 1:7: 1Corinthians 1:3 (1Corinthians 2:7; 1Corinthians 10:11): 2Corinthians 1:2, &c. Again, as Winer has observed (edn. 6, § 19, 5 b, remark 1), the prefixing of an appositional designation to the proper name frequently causes the omission of the article. So in 2Thessalonians 1:12: 2Peter 1:1: Jude 1:4: see also 2Corinthians 1:2; 2Corinthians 6:18: Galatians 1:3: Ephesians 1:2; Ephesians 6:23: Philippians 1:2; Philippians 2:11; Philippians 3:20 &c. If then σωτὴρ ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦς χριστός may signify ‘Jesus Christ our Saviour,’—on comparing the two members of the clause, we observe, that θεοῦ has already had its predicate expressed in τοῦ μεγαλου; and that it is therefore natural to expect that the latter member of the clause, likewise consisting of a proper name and its predicate, should correspond logically to the former: in other words, that τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰη. χρ. would much more naturally suit (1) than τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμ. Ἰη. χρ. In clauses where the two appellative members belong to one expressed subject, we expect to find the former of them without any predicative completion. If it be replied to this, as I conceive on the hypothesis of (1) it must be, that τοῦ μεγάλου is an epithet alike of θεοῦ and σωτῆρος, ‘our great (God and Saviour),’ I may safely leave it to the feeling of any scholar, whether such an expression would be likely to occur. Let us now consider, whether the Apostle would in this place have been likely to designate our Lord as ὁ μέγας θεὸς καὶ σωτὴρ ἡμῶν. This must be chiefly decided by examining the usages of the expression θεὸς ὁ σωτὴρ ἡμῶν, which occurs six times in these Epistles, once in Luke (1:47), and once in the Epistle of Jude. If the writer here identifies this expression, ‘the great God and our Saviour,’ with the Lord Jesus Christ, calling Him ‘God and our Saviour,’ it will be at least probable that in other places where he speaks of “God our Saviour,” he also designates our Lord Jesus Christ. Now is that so? On the contrary, in 1Timothy 1:1, we have κατʼ ἐπιταγὴν θεοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν, καὶ χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ τῆς ἐλπίδος ἡμῶν: where I suppose none will deny that the Father and the Son are most plainly distinguished from one another. The same is the case in 1Timothy 2:3-5, a passage bearing much (see below) on the interpretation of this one: and consequently in 1Timothy 4:10, where ἐστιν σωτὴρ πάντων ἀνθρώπων corresponds to θέλει πάντας σωθῆναι in the other. So also in Titus 1:3, where the σωτὴρ ἡμῶν θεός, by whose ἐπιταγή the promise of eternal life was manifested, with the proclamation of which St. Paul was entrusted, is the same αἰώνιος θεός, by whose ἐπιταγή the hidden mystery was manifested in Romans 16:26, where the same distinction is made. The only place where there could be any doubt is in our ver. 10, which possible doubt however is removed by ver. 11, where the same assertion is made, of the revelation of the hidden grace of God (the Father). Then we have our own ch. 3:4-6, where we find τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν θεοῦ in ver. 4, clearly defined as the Father, and διὰ Ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν in ver. 6. In that passage too we have the expression ἡ χρηστότης καὶ ἡ φιλανθρωπία ἐπεφάνη τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμ. θεοῦ, which is quite decisive in answer to those who object here to the expression ἐπιφάνειαν τῆς δόξης as applied to the Father. In the one passage of St. Jude, the distinction is equally clear: for there we have μόνῳ θεῷ σωτῆρι ἡμῶν διὰ Ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν. It is plain then, that the usage of the words ‘God our Saviour’ does not make it probable that the whole expression here is to be applied to the Lord Jesus Christ. And in estimating this probability, let us again recur to 1Timothy 2:3, 1Timothy 2:5, a passage which runs very parallel with the present one. We read there, εἷς γὰρ θεός, " εἷς καὶ μεσίτης θεοῦ καὶ ἀνθρώπων, ἄνθρωπος χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς, ὁ δοὺς ἑαυτὸν ἀντίλυτρον κ.τ.λ. Compare this with τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ " καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ, ὃς ἔδωκεν ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἵνα λυτρώσηται κ.τ.λ. Can there be a reasonable doubt, that the Apostle writing two sentences so closely corresponding, on a point of such high importance, would have in his view the same distinction in the second of them, which he so strongly lays down in the first? Without then considering the question as closed, I would submit that (2) satisfies all the grammatical requirements of the sentence: that it is both structurally and contextually more probable, and more agreeable to the Apostle’s way of writing: and I have therefore preferred it. The principal advocates for it have been, the pseudo-Ambrose (i.e. Hilary the deacon, the author of the Commentary which goes by the name of that Father: whose words are these, “hanc esse dicit beatam spem credentium, qui exspectant adventum gloriæ magni Dei quod revelari habet judice Christo, in quo Dei Patris videbitur potestas et gloria, ut fidei suæ præmium consequantur. Ad hoc enim redemit nos Christus, ut” &c.), Erasm. (annot. and paraphr.), Grot., Wetst., Heinr., Winer (ubi supra, end), De W., Huther (the other view,—not this as stated in my earlier editions, by inadvertence,—is taken by Ellicott). Whichever way taken, the passage is just as important a testimony to the divinity of our Saviour: according to (1), by asserting His possession of Deity and right to the appellation of the Highest: according to (2), even more strikingly, asserting His equality in glory with the Father, in a way which would be blasphemy if predicated of any of the sons of men), who (our Saviour Jesus Christ), gave Himself (“the forcible ἑαυτόν, ‘Himself, His whole self, the greatest gift ever given,’ must not be overlooked: cf. Beveridge, Serm. 93, vol. iv. p. 285.” Ellicott) for us (‘on our behalf,’ not ‘in our stead:’ reff.), that He might (by this assertion of the Redeemer’s purpose, we return to the moral aim of verses 11, 12, more plainly indicated as in close connexion with Christ’s propitiatory sacrifice) redeem (λυτροῦσθαι, ‘to buy off with a price,’ the middle including personal agency and interest, cf. καθαρίσῃ ἑαυτῷ below. So in Diod. Sic. v. 17, of the Balearians, ὅταν τινὲς γυναῖκες ὑπὸ τῶν προσπλεόντων λῃστῶν ἁλῶσιν, ἀντὶ μιᾶς γυναικὸς τρεῖς ἢ τέτταρας ἄνδρας διδόντες λυτροῦνται. Polyb. xvii. 16. 1, of King Attalus and the Sicyonians, where only personal agency is implied in the middle, τὴν ἱερὰν χώραν τοῦ Ἀπόλλωνος ἐλυτρώσατο χρημάτων αὐτοῖς οὐκ ὀλίγων. See note, 1Timothy 2:6: and cf. ref. 1 Pet., where the price is stated to have been the precious blood of Christ) us from all lawlessness (see reff. and especially 1John 3:4, ἡ ἁμαρτία ἐστὶν ἡ ἀνομία and might purify (there is no need to supply ἡμᾶς, though the sense is not disturbed by so doing. By making λαόν the direct object of καθαρίζῃ, the purpose of the Redeemer is lifted off from our particular case, and generally and objectively stated) to Himself (‘dat. commodi’) a people (object: not, as De W., Wies., al., predicate, ‘(us) for a people’) peculiarly His (see note on Ephesians 1:14, and cf. the reff. here in the LXX, from which the expression is borrowed. See also 1Peter 2:9, and Ellicott here. The ἐξειλεγμένον of Chrys., though expressing the fact, says too much for the word,—as also does the acceptabilis of the Vulg.: egregium of Jerome, too little: the οἰκεῖον of Thdrt. is exact: that which περίεστιν αὐτῷ), zealous (an ardent worker and promoter) of good works.
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Steven Avery

This is from the second of two posts in CARM

We can see some of Erasmus here:

Text in Annotations in:


Magni Dei, et Salvatoris nostri Jesu Christi [of God in his greatness and our Saviour Jesus Christ]:261
I showed that this passage can be read in two ways, by combining and by dividing. If you read magni and Salvatoris in combination, both words refer to Christ; if you read the phrase by dividing the terms, magni Dei refers to the Father, Salvatoris to Christ. I do not deny that Jerome262 and Chrysostom,263 and264 his follower Theophylact,265 interpret it in the sense that both terms apply to Christ. They rejoice, as it were, and celebrate a victory over the Arians, although the passage is plainly ambiguous, and in fact supports the Arians more than us.

Here Lee instructs us that the words cannot refer to anyone but Christ.266 He relies on the argument that we frequently read of the coming of Christ but nowhere of the coming of the Father. Even if I concede to Lee that we nowhere read about the coming of the Father, there is nothing in the expression itself that prevents it from being understood as two separate phrases, with the first part referring to the Father. This at any rate is how Ambrose interprets it, whose words I quote in case someone distrusts me: This he says is the blessed hope of believers, who await the coming of the glory of God in his greatness, a thing he will reveal through Christ the judge, in whom the power and the glory of God the Father will be seen, that they may ...
(continues but not available online)

261 Cf the annotation dei et salvatoris (on Titus 2:13) Reeve 698-9. This Note is out of sequence.
262 Comm in Titum pl 26 (1884) 622B
263 Horn in Titum 5.2 pg 62 690
264 and his follower Theophylact] Added in 1522
265 Exp in Titum pg 125 164A
266 Lee fol cxxv

Erasmus text in Paraphrase

We are to look instead for that surpassing reward of immortality, which will come to us when, at the end of this age15 in which the members of Christ are still being trained through suffering and ignominy, God the Father will crush all evil and will reveal his glory and greatness before his worshippers. He will then appear no longer lowly but glorious and terrifying to the ungodly.16 Conspicuous with the same glory, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will appear together with the Father and will impart to his members the same glory of immortality with which he himself shines forth.'17

Footnotes in Paraphrase

15 when, at the end of this age ... shines forth] March 1521. The 1520 editions, and presumably the missing part of the first edition, read 'when God and our Saviour Jesus Christ will appear, no longer humble but glorious.'

16 This attribution to the Father of the humiliation undergone by the Son is probably not deliberate, but the result of careless rewriting of the original sentence. See the preceding note.

17 Erasmus follows Ambrosiaster, who virtually alone among the early church Fathers understands the phrase 'our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ' to refer to the Father and the Son separately and not just to Jesus. This position involved Erasmus in endless controversy, especially with Lee, Sancho Carranza, and a group of Spanish monks; cf the annotation on Titus 2:13 (magni dei et salvatoris) LB VI 971C; Respotisio ad annotationes Lei LB IX 273B-274B; Apologia ad Carranzam LB IX 411D-412C; and Apologia adversus monachos lb ix 1043c. Modem scholars are equally at odds over the meaning of the phrase; cf Fee Titus, Kelly Pastoral Epistles, and Spicq Epitres pastorales on 2:13, and Murray J. Harris, 'Titus 2:13 and the Deity of Christ' Pauline Studies: Essays Presented to Professor F.F. Bruce on His 70th Birthday edited by Donald A. Hagner and Murray J. Harris (Exeter and Grand Rapids, Mich 1980) 262-77.

18 Cf Ambrosiaster Comm in Titum 2:13 CSEL 81/3 330:23-5: 'Christ redeemed us to this end, that pursuing a pure life and filled with good works we can be heirs of the kingdom of God.' Cf also 3:7 n11 below.

Steven Avery

The previous post:

The same essential things was noted centuries ago by Glassius and Beza--your interpretation was an innovation of the Socinians in particular.

Nonsense. The post right above points out that Erasmus, long before Socinians, Beza and Glassius does not accept the identity translation. And Erasmus uses Ambrose (who may be given as Hilary or Ambrosius). Ambrose uses Matthew 16:27 as an "exact parallel" (Henry Alford) to Titus 2:13, and Matthew 16:27 is clearly two subjects, essentially ending the Titus 2:13 debate.

These two verses confirm Matthew 16:27.

Mark 8:38 (AV)
Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation;
of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed,
when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

Luke 9:26 (AV)
For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words,
of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory,
and in his Father's,
and of the holy angels.

Just to show that Ambrose saw the Matthew analogy verse, however this should be confirmed.

A Treatise on Christian Doctrine: Compiled from the Holy Scriptures Alone - (c. 1660, 1825 edition)
John Milton
The next passage is Tit. ii. 13. the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. Here also the glory of God the Father may be intended, with which Christ is to be invested on his second advent, Matt. xvi. 27- as Ambrose understands the passage from the analogy of Scripture.

Ambrose Latin from Alford
The principal advocates for it have been, the pseudo-Ambrose (i.e. Hilary the deacon, the author of the Commentary which goes by the name of that Father: whose words are these,

“hanc esse dicit beatam spem credentium, qui exspectant adventum gloriæ magni Dei quod revelari habet judice Christo, in quo Dei Patris videbitur potestas et gloria, ut fidei suæ præmium consequantur. Ad hoc enim redemit nos Christus, ut” &c.),
And given as Ambrosiaster

Exspectantes beatam spem, et adventum [Rom. edit., gloriae magni Dei . . . . sibi populum peculiarem.] gloriae beati Dei, et Salvatoris nostri Iesu Christi, qui dedit semetipsum pro nobis; ut redimeret nos ab omni iniquitate, et emundaret sibi populum abundantem, aemulatorem bonorum operum. Hanc esse dicit beatam spem credentium; quia exspectant adventum gloriae magni Dei, quod revelari habet, iudice Christo, in quo Dei Patris videbitur potestas et gloria; ut fidei suae praemium consequantur.

This is the earlier post
Matthew 16:27 (AV)
For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels;
and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

How many "persons"?

Ambrose (or Ambrosius or Hilary) gave this as his analogy verse. And this counters the identity interpretation of Titus 2:13 (Ambrose did not bother with that interp.) And Ambrose was properly noted by Erasmus and Grotius.

Sometimes it is best simply to keep it simple :).

Titus 2:13 (AV)
Looking for that blessed hope,
and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

If you need this in a more complex fashion, I see Henry Alford as quite excellent.
Alford also gives additional analogy verses from Paul.
Click to expand...

Various early church writers reference Titus 2:13 without an identity translation.
That would have to be a separate study.