1 Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle (special messenger, personally chosen representative) of Jesus Christ, for the faith of God’s chosen ones and [to lead and encourage them to recognize and pursue] the knowledge of the truth which leads to godliness, 2 based on the hope and divine guarantee of eternal life, [the life] which God, who is ever truthful and without deceit, promised before the ages of time began, 3 and at the appointed time has made known His word and revealed it as His message, through preaching, which was entrusted to me according to the command of God our Savior—
4 To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace [inner calm and spiritual well-being] from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
Qualifications of Elders
5 For this reason I left you behind in Crete, so that you would set right what remains unfinished, and appoint [a]elders in every city as I directed you, 6 namely, a man of unquestionable integrity, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of being immoral or rebellious. 7 For the [b]overseer, as God’s steward, must be blameless, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not violent, not greedy for dishonest gain [but financially ethical]. 8 And he must be hospitable [to believers, as well as strangers], a lover of what is good, sensible (upright), fair, devout, self-disciplined [above reproach—whether in public or in private]. 9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy word [of God] as it was taught to him, so that he will be able both to give accurate instruction in sound [reliable, error-free] doctrine and to refute those who contradict [it by explaining their error].
10 For there are many rebellious men who are empty talkers [just windbags] and deceivers; especially those of the circumcision [those Jews who insist that Gentile believers must be circumcised and keep the Law in order to be saved]. 11 They must be silenced, because they are upsetting whole families by teaching things they should not teach for the purpose of dishonest financial gain. 12 One of them [Epimenides, a Cretan], a [c]prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This description is true. So rebuke them sharply so that they will be sound in the faith and free from doctrinal error, 14 not paying attention to Jewish myths and the commandments and rules of men who turn their backs on the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure; but to the corrupt and unbelieving, nothing is pure; both their mind and their conscience are corrupted. 16 They profess to know God [to recognize and be acquainted with Him], but by their actions they deny and disown Him. They are detestable and disobedient and worthless for good work of any kind.
- Titus 1:5 The words elder, overseer, and bishop are used interchangeably to indicate the spiritually mature men who were qualified and selected to serve as leaders and shepherds over the church of God (v 7; cf Acts 20:17,28; 1 Tim 3:1-7; 1 Pet 5:1, 2).
- Titus 1:7 Or bishop.
- Titus 1:12 Epimenides was a highly regarded sixth century b.c. poet and philosopher from Crete. His description of his own people had by this time become a proverb.