Titus 2:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Titus 2:8, NIV: and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

Titus 2:8, ESV: and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.

Titus 2:8, KJV: Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

Titus 2:8, NASB: sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.

Titus 2:8, NLT: Teach the truth so that your teaching can't be criticized. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed and have nothing bad to say about us.

Titus 2:8, CSB: Your message is to be sound beyond reproach, so that any opponent will be ashamed, because he doesn't have anything bad to say about us.

What does Titus 2:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Verse 8 continues the list of attributes which Paul began in verse 6. Here, Paul commands young men to have "sound speech." This trait, also seen in 1 Timothy 4:12, was taught consistently in the early church. This is speech which is beyond criticism, so that those who attack it shame themselves. This mirrors Peter's instructions in 1 Peter 3:15–16. There, Peter instructs Christians to live so that anyone who attacks their character will embarrass themselves in the eyes of others. At the same time, Peter commands a gentle, respectful approach, and a readiness to answer those who question our faith.

The discipline of "apologetics" is summarized by this idea. Verses such as these encourage believers to know the reasons for their beliefs, and be prepared to explain them. The Greek term is apologia, which literally means, "to give an answer." It has nothing to do with apologizing. Rather, it is about communicating Christian truth to those who doubt or oppose it. Paul clearly teaches young men to stand strong in this area of faith. The result is that opponents will have nothing negative to say about them, a point also made about the prophet Daniel (Daniel 6).