Posted by: Ety W. | April 8, 2008

Who Are The “Older Women”?

Okay. After a brief detour to look at how to do word studies and some online Bible study tools and resources, I’d like to pick up from where we left off; looking at the women of Titus chapter 2.

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, that they may encourage the young women….. Titus 2:3-4a

We’ve already taken a look at how we all set an example no matter what our age, but verse 3 focuses on a particular group: “older women.” Our first question ought to be: who are they?

In the Greek, we’re actually dealing with one word here, πρεσβυτις, transliterated presbutis (Strong’s 4247). This is the feminine form of presbutes which means “old man”. Both are from the same root from which we get our terms “presbyters” or “church elders.”

Titus is the only place in the New Testament that uses presbutis (older or aged women). An argument might be made that it could refer not only to chronological age, but to spiritual maturity. This may be plausible, but if we examine the verses closely, we can pick up other clues as to whom the author is actually referring.

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands… Titus 2:3-5

We can note that “young women” are associated with “children” and “workers at home.” This doesn’t mean that the older women don’t have children and housework. After all, if they are to teach and encourage the young women in these things, then obviously they have the necessary knowledge and experience. However, we can also note that if the older women have enough time on their hands to waste it drinking and gossiping, then they probably don’t have young children around with all the extra housework that entails!

From the text itself we can see that we are looking at exactly what it says; two generations of women.

Seems pretty straightforward, so is there anything about “older women” that we can apply to our own lives? For those of us who are empty nesters, we see in these verses a pattern for the way we are to live our lives as mature Christian women. We are not to waste our time on fruitless pursuits, but are to set an example for the younger women by our behavior, attitudes, and words. Young women, you might assume that this doesn’t apply to you yet, but consider this. One day you too will be an older woman. Are you on that path to Christian maturity that will qualify you to be an example and teacher to others?

Next, let’s start to take a look at the characteristics of spiritual maturity that older women are supposed to display.Content copyright 2008 by If you find it anywhere else, it’s been stolen.
Next … Older Women Likewise: Women in Christian Leadership


  1. I very much appreciate your blog. Reading your testimony has blessed and encouraged me in my own walk with the Lord.

    I am in the process of getting caught up on this study, but am enjoying so far. Word studies are always fascinating to me. There is so much in scripture that becomes clear when we dig for the meaning and don’t just read to “get through it”.

    Thank you for starting a blog and being a godly example to me today!


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