Titus 2:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Titus 2:3, NIV: "Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good."

Titus 2:3, ESV: "Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good,"

Titus 2:3, KJV: "The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;"

Titus 2:3, NASB: "Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,"

Titus 2:3, NLT: "Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good."

Titus 2:3, CSB: "In the same way, older women are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not slaves to excessive drinking. They are to teach what is good,"

What does Titus 2:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

After discussing older men in verse 2, Paul discusses the traits of "older women." As with the men, they were to be "reverent in behavior." This again means clear thinking, slow to anger, and not prone to drunkenness. Three other attributes are given in this verse. These are added to a command to "train the younger women" in verse 4.

The first of these three traits is not to be "slanderers," or "malicious gossips." Slandering involved speaking badly of others, which includes all forms of gossip. This sin was also condemned in the Torah (Leviticus 19:16). In the New Testament, Jesus also spoke against slander (Matthew 15:19; Mark 7:22). So did Peter (1 Peter 2:1; 1 Peter 3:16) and John (Revelation 2:9). Paul mentions slander, or gossip, more than a dozen times in his writings.

The second of the three traits was not to be "slaves to much wine." This parallels the qualifications of elders in Titus 1:5–9. Drinking alcohol was not itself condemned, and people commonly drank fermented drink in this time. What is forbidden is being controlled by it. The Greek phrase here is either translated as "slaves" to wine, or "addicted to" wine. It is the same Greek word translated "servant" in Titus 1:1, referring to Paul as a servant of God. Like the older men and elders, older women were to "teach what is good." Unlike the men, however, their teaching has a uniqueness seen in verses 4–5, focusing on helping younger women.