Titus 2:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Titus 2:9, NIV: "Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them,"

Titus 2:9, ESV: "Bondservants are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative,"

Titus 2:9, KJV: "Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;"

Titus 2:9, NASB: "Urge slaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be pleasing, not argumentative,"

Titus 2:9, NLT: "Slaves must always obey their masters and do their best to please them. They must not talk back"

Titus 2:9, CSB: "Slaves are to submit to their masters in everything, and to be well-pleasing, not talking back"

What does Titus 2:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Verse 9 continues Paul's instructions to Titus on how to guide various groups within the church. This verse is the first of two focused on "bondservants," or "slaves," from the Greek word doulous (plural). Paul considered himself a doulos (singular) of God (Titus 1:1). Paul was not bound to any person, but bondservants were a common part of first century culture and Paul included teachings for them in his letter. He showed concern for their well-being, including urging masters to free slaves whenever possible, such as in his letter to Philemon.

Paul's commands apply to anyone operating under the authority of someone else. According to this text, bondservants are to obey their master in everything. Further, they are to strive to be "well-pleasing." This phrase is similar to God the Father saying He was "well pleased" with Jesus the Son at His baptism (Matthew 3:17). It reflects a person successfully performing the will of the Master. Likewise, the servant is not to be argumentative. Instead of opposing his or her master, the bondservant is to comply, and seek the good of both the master and their household. The goal of this instruction is given in the next verse: so that the actions of the believer will bring glory to God, and His truth.