Titus 2.10 says we are to make the gospel attractive. Attractive. The Greek word is kosmeo. It means to adorn. We get words like cosmetics and cosmopolitan from this word. Cosmopolitan Magazine is about being attractive. Let’s tease out this meaning further.

I would like to introduce you to two kinds of word studies. These have only been readily available to the average person in recent years. They taught us to do these studies in Greek class. I remember thinking, “Well, that is really cool, but who has time for that?” Today, there is an app for that. You can do in seconds what it used to take hours to do.

In addition to looking a word up in a dictionary, I’d invite you to look at vertical and horizontal word studies.

  • A vertical word study looks at how this underlying Greek or Hebrew word is used in this translation in other places. (Stay with me; this is possible with no knowledge of Greek or Hebrew.)
  • A horizontal word study is when we look at how the various translations translate this word in this verse. Often, there is not a one-to-one relationship between a word in one translation and a word in another translation. Translators speak of a pool of meaning. By looking at a number of translations, we dip into the whole pool.

So, let’s look at this word, kosmeo, as it is translated by the NIV in other places: [1]


We see that this word has the sense of adorning or decorating the gospel. It is like tasteful makeup on a woman’s face. It accents the beauty that is already there. This is what a good introduction does. Indeed, this is what good teaching does—it accents the full beauty of the gospel.

Let’s look at a horizontal word study of kosmeo. Here is the rendering from a few translations:

  • So that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive. Titus 2:10b (NIV)
  • Adding luster to the teaching of our Savior God. Titus 2:10b (MSG)
  • In this way, they will make people want to believe in our Savior and God. Titus 2:10b (TLB)
  • So that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior. Titus 2:10b (ESV)
  • So that in everything they may be an ornament and do credit to the teaching [which is] from and about God our Savior. Titus 2:10b (AMP)
  • Then everyone will show great respect for what is taught about God our Savior. Titus 2:10b (CEV)
  • Then they will show the beauty of the teachings about God our Savior in everything they do. Titus 2:10b (GW)

A good introduction—indeed all teaching—shows the beauty of the teachings about God our Savior.

[1] Copyright Faithlife Corporation, makers of Logos Bible Software – www.logos.com