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We read:

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people.

It trains us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, as we wait for the happy fulfillment of our hope in the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

He gave himself for us to set us free from every kind of lawlessness and to purify for himself a people who are truly his, who are eager to do good.

So communicate these things with the sort of exhortation or rebuke that carries full authority. Don’t let anyone look down on you.” ‭‭Titus‬ ‭2:11-15‬ ‭NET‬‬

I note in the NET translators note; they mention: (All men as generic, referring to both men and woman) {Paraphrased}. This is also based on the Greek.

Q: So what does Titus 2:11 mean in relation to “the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people”?

I’m not convinced of Universalism, yet this sounds very general. For example: True believers are saved by grace through faith (Eph 2:5,8,9).

False believers are distinguished from the true as being condemned, & liars, see: (1 John 2:3-4, Matthew 7:21-23)

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Ἐπεφάνη γὰρ ἡ χάρις τοῦ Θεοῦ ἡ σωτήριος πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις

is more literally something like

For the saving grace of God has appeared to all men

  • "Saving" (σωτήριος) is an adjective in the sentence, modifying grace (χάρις). The noun form "salvation" (σωτηρία) does not appear in the verse.

  • "All men" (πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις) appears in the dative case. It is the indirect object of the verb "appeared" (επεφάνη). It is not the direct object of σωτήριος, which would have been indicated by the accusative case.

The verse doesn't really read exactly the way the NET version suggests.

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Here I make a few comments on some words and then focus on "bringing salvation".

Titus 1:4 "..Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior". "Grace" is mentioned before "peace". Grace comes from God and leads to peace with Him.

"has appeared". In 1 John 1:2 "the life was made manifest. and we have seen it". Many people saw Jesus physically [scribes, soldiers etc:] and for some it was not just a physical seeing but recognition of who He was/is. i.e. "the life".

"all people". In this letter Paul mentions not just himself, [a Jew. Phil 3:5-6] but Cretans who are liars [1:12]. He mentions not just "older men" but "older women", "young women, and "younger men". Not just "slaves" but "masters". "all people" in the context of this letter may be seen as all types of people.

"bringing salvation". If person A brings a bottle of wine to person B's house, that fact by itself is not proof that B must therefore have drunk from that bottle. It is a possibility but not a proven one.

In Titus 2:11 "bringing salvation to all people" possibly might result in:

  1. Every single human that ever existed will be saved. or

  2. Salvation has been brought to all sorts of people.

As long as there are two possibilities the higher one cannot be assumed. The default position cannot be rejected unless positive proof can lift the argument up from the default position 2. to the higher possibility 1.

At the time of writing this I am confident that that positive proof is missing. Indeed the rest of this letter [e.g. the mention of "the elect" 1:1] goes against possibility 1.

In conclusion: "bringing salvation to all people" does not prove that all have fully drunk and become wholly dependant upon the grace that has been brought.

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  • Good insight, +1
    – Cork88
    Dec 1, 2022 at 16:25

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