Titus 1

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Titus 1
chapter 2 →
P032-Tit-1 11-15-II.jpg
Fragments of the Epistle to Titus 1:11-15 on Papyrus 32, from ca. AD 200.
Book Epistle to Titus
Bible part New Testament
Order in the Bible part 17
Category Pauline epistles

Titus 1 is the first chapter of the Epistle to Titus in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It is authored by Paul the Apostle and addressed to Saint Titus.[1][2]



This chapter can be grouped (with cross references to other parts of the Bible):

  • Titus 1:1-4 = Greeting
  • Titus 1:5-9 = Qualified Elders
  • Titus 1:10-16 = The Elders’ Task

Verse 1

New King James Version

Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness,[3]

Verse 4

New King James Version

To Titus, a true son in our common faith:
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ[a] our Savior.[4]
  • "mine own son" (KJV) (Greek: γνησίῳ τέκνῳ, gnēsiō teknō)

Also "my genuine child" (as in 1 Timothy 1:2), that is, "converted by my instrumentality" (1 Corinthians 4:17; Philemon 1:10).[5]

  • "after the common faith" (Greek: κατὰ κοινὴν πίστιν·; kata koinēn pistin)

Paul treated Titus as "a genuine son" in respect to (in virtue of) "the faith common to all the people of God", comprising in a common brotherhood Gentiles as well as Jews, therefore embracing Titus a Gentile (2 Peter 1:1; Jude 1:3).[5]

  • "Grace, mercy, and peace" (Greek: χάρις ἔλεος εἰρήνη; charis, eleos, eirēnē)

The word "mercy" is omitted in some of the oldest manuscripts. But one of the best and oldest manuscripts supports it (see 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2). There are many similarities of phrase in the Pastoral Epistles.[5]

Verse 5

New King James Version

For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you—[6]

Verse 12

New King James Version

One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”[7]
  • One of themselves, even a prophet of their own

This was Epimenides, in whose poems stand the words here cited; the apostle rightly calls him "one of themselves", since he was a Cretian by birth, of the city of Gnossus; it is reported of him, that being sent by his father to his sheep in the field, he by the way, at noon, turned aside into a cave, and slept 57 years[8] and he is very properly called a "prophet" of their own; for in Crete Jupiter had his prophets,[9] and he might be one of them: the priests among the Heathens were called prophets; so Baal's priests are called the prophets of Baal, and the prophets of the groves, (1 Kings 18:19). Besides, Epimenides was thought to be inspired by the gods: he is called by Apuleius,[10] a famous fortune teller; and is said by Laertius[8] to be very skilful in divination, and to have foretold many things which came to pass; and by the Grecians were supposed to be very dear to the gods; so Balaam, the soothsayer and diviner, is called a prophet, (2 Peter 2:16). Add to this, that the passage next cited stands in a poem of this writer, entitled, "Concerning Oracles"; and it is easy to observe, that poets in common were usually called "vates", or prophets; so that the apostle speaks here with great propriety. Now concerning the inhabitants of Crete, Epimenides, a native of the place, and a person of great character and repute among them,[11]

  • said, the Cretians are always liars:

living is a sin common to human nature, and appears in men as early, or earlier than any other; and all men are guilty of it, at one time or another; but all are not habitually liars, as it seems these Cretians were: lying was a governing vice among them; they were not only guilty of it in some particular instances, but always; not only for saying that Jupiter's sepulchre was with them, when it was the sepulchre of Minos his son, which they had fraudulently obliterated; and for which[12] Callimachus charges them with lying, and uses these very words of Epimenides; though he assigns a different reason from that now given, which is, that Jupiter died not, but always exists, and therefore his sepulchre could not be with them: but this single instance was not sufficient to fasten such a character upon them; it was a sin they were addicted to: some countries are distinguished by their vices; some for pride; some for levity, vanity, and inconstancy; some for boasting and bragging some for covetousness; some for idleness; some for effeminacy; some for hypocrisy and deceit; and others, as the Cretians, it seems, for lying; this was their national sin;[13] and this is said by others, as well as Epimenides. Crete is, by Ovid,[14] called "mendax Creta", lying Crete. Hence, with the Grecians, to "cretize", is proverbially used for to lie; this is a sin, than which nothing makes a man more like the devil, or more infamous among men, or more abominable to God. The Ethiopic version, instead of Cretes, or Cretians, reads "hypocrites". Other characters of them, from the same Heathen poet, follow,[11]

  • evil beasts: slow bellies;

by evil beasts are meant beasts of prey, savage and mischievous ones; see (Genesis 37:20 Genesis 37:33) and are so called, to distinguish them from other beasts, as sheep, and the like, which are not so; and perhaps Crete might abound with such evil beasts; for the Cretians are said[13] to excel in hunting; and to these they themselves are compared, by one of their own prophets, for their cruelty, and savage disposition: so cruel persecutors are compared to beasts, (1 Corinthians 15:30) and the false teachers, the apostle has respect to in citing this passage, were cruel, if not to the bodies, yet to the souls of men, whom they poisoned and destroyed. And the Cretians are called, by the poet, slow bellies partly for their intemperance, their gluttony and drunkenness: which suited with the false teachers, whose god was their belly, and which they served, and not the Lord Jesus; and partly for their sloth and idleness, eating the bread of others without working.[11]

See also


  1. ^ Halley, Henry H. Halley's Bible Handbook: an abbreviated Bible commentary. 23rd edition. Zondervan Publishing House. 1962.
  2. ^ Holman Illustrated Bible Handbook. Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee. 2012.
  3. ^ Titus 1:1
  4. ^ Titus 1:4
  5. ^ a b c A. R. Faussett, The Pastoral Epistles of Paul the Apostle to Timothy and Titus. Commentary by A. R. Faussett. In: A Commentary, Critical, Practical, and Explanatory on the Old and New Testaments by Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown [1882].
  6. ^ Titus 1:5
  7. ^ Titus 1:12
  8. ^ a b Laert. l. 1. Vita Epimenidis.
  9. ^ Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier, l. 4. c. 17.
  10. ^ Florida, sect. 15.
  11. ^ a b c John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible - Titus 1:12
  12. ^ Hymn. l. in Jovem, v. 8.
  13. ^ a b Alex. ab Alex. l. 4. c. 13.
  14. ^ De Arte Amandi, l. 1.

External links

  • Titus 1 NIV
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