Titus 2:13 - ECW

Steven Avery

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

This is the only Granville Sharp verse that has significant support for an identity translation. However, even for this verse, not in the Ante-Nicene era, only around 400 AD, when the interpretations are mixed.

For the early writers, there are two that are referenced, both Greek:

Clement of Alexandria


The supposition of Wordsworth and Wace that Ignatius (Eph. c. i) refers to this passage has, so far as I can see, no foundation. - Ezra Abbot, below
The first Ante-Nicene reference is :

Exhortation to Abandon the Impious Mysteries of Idolatry for the Adoration of the Divine Word and God the Father.
Clement of Alexandria

This Word, then, the Christ, the cause of both our being at first (for He was in God) and of our well-being, this very Word has now appeared as man, He alone being both, both God and man—the Author of all blessings to us; by whom we, being taught to live well, are sent on our way to life eternal. For, according to that inspired apostle of the Lord, “the grace of God which bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for the blessed hope, and appearing of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”

This is the New Song, the manifestation of the Word that was in the beginning, and before the beginning. The Saviour, who existed before, has in recent days appeared. He, who is in Him that truly is, has appeared; for the Word, who “was with God,” and by whom all things were created, has appeared as our Teacher. The Word, who in the beginning bestowed on us life as Creator when He formed us, taught us to live well when He appeared as our Teacher; that as God He might afterwards conduct us to the life which never ends.

The translation itself looks to be done straight-arrow, sans GSR rigging. You can find other translations like this one from Edward Burton that go the GSR way, at least Burton informs you that it was his translation decision, not impelled by the text.

Testimonies of the Ante-Nicene Fathers to the Divinity of Christ (1829)
Edward Burton
... looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Ezra Abbot pointed out that there is no reason to see Clement taking the verse in the identity fashion.

On the construction of Titus ii. 13 (1881)
Ezra Abbot

(e) Bishop Ellicott's last argument is that "apparently two of the ante-Nicene (Clem. Alexand. Protrept. 7 [ed. Pott.] and Hippolytus quoted by Words.) and the great bulk of post-Nicene writers concurred in this interpretation." -

As to this, I would say that Clement of Alexandria does not cite the passage in proof of the deity of Christ, and there is nothing to show that he adopted the construction which refers the τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ to him.

The second Ante-Nicene reference is :

Hippolytus of Rome
Treatise on Christ and Antichrist

These things, then, I have set shortly before thee, O Theophilus, drawing them from Scripture itself, in order that, maintaining in faith what is written, and anticipating the things that are to be, thou mayest keep thyself void of offence both toward God and toward men, "looking for that blessed hope and appearing of our God and Saviour," when, having raised the saints among us, He will rejoice with them, glorifying the Father. To Him be the glory unto the endless ages of the ages. Amen.
The GSR apologists apparently quote this ending with Saviour, not following through to "glorifying the Father". Ezra Abbot dealt with this question in his article on Titus 2:13:

Again, Ezra Abbot, from the page above, is spot-on.


James White Bogus Claim

Granville Sharp's Rule
Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1

"Granville Sharp correctly identified a rule of grammar that the ancient koine Greek writers faithfully followed"


Conclusion - Ante-Nicene ECW and Titus 2:13

The final result is that there is no real indication that any Ante-Nicene writers understood Titus 2:13 as an identity translation, nor was it used in that matter in Ante-Nicene Christology exposition and apologetics.

You can simply carefully read the two passages in context and see that Ezra Abbot was correct in his dismissal of claims that there was support for the identity translation. It is also worthwhile to mention that due to the Sabellian controversies being a major factor in the Ante-Nicene era, the silence and non-use of the verse by so many writers is an indication that there was no tendency toward an identity translation understanding.


Psalm 119:140

Thy word is very pure:
therefore thy servant loveth it.


Steven Avery
Last edited:

Steven Avery



Steven Avery

Tyndale, Geneva, AV-1611 and AV today

From a CARM discussion:

"...the verse as it was understood by the learned men of the Reformation Bible era"

Tyndale Bible 1525
"lokyng for that blessed hope and glorious apperenge of the myghty God, and of oure savioure Jesu Christ."

Geneva 1560
Loking for the blessed hope, and appearyng of the glorie of the mightie God, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

AV - 1611
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Sauiour Iesus Christ,

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

New testament octapla (1962)