1 Paul, a slave of God and apostle of Jesus Christ for the sake of the faith of God’s chosen ones and the recognition of religious truth,
in the hope of eternal life that God, who does not lie, promised before time began,
who indeed at the proper time revealed his word in the proclamation with which I was entrusted by the command of God our savior,
to Titus, my true child in our common faith: grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our savior.
2 For this reason I left you in Crete so that you might set right what remains to be done and appoint presbyters in every town, as I directed you,
on condition that a man be blameless, married only once, with believing children who are not accused of licentiousness or rebellious.
For a bishop as God’s steward must be blameless, not arrogant, not irritable, not a drunkard, not aggressive, not greedy for sordid gain,
but hospitable, a lover of goodness, temperate, just, holy, and self-controlled,
holding fast to the true message as taught so that he will be able both to exhort with sound doctrine and to refute opponents.
3 For there are also many rebels, idle talkers and deceivers, especially the Jewish Christians. 4
It is imperative to silence them, as they are upsetting whole families by teaching for sordid gain what they should not.
One of them, a prophet of their own, once said, “Cretans have always been liars, vicious beasts, and lazy gluttons.” 5
That testimony is true. Therefore, admonish them sharply, so that they may be sound in the faith,
instead of paying attention to Jewish myths and regulations of people who have repudiated the truth.
To the clean all things are clean, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is clean; in fact, both their minds and their consciences are tainted.
They claim to know God, but by their deeds they deny him. They are vile and disobedient and unqualified for any good deed.
1 [1-4] On the epistolary form, see the note on ⇒ Romans 1:1-7. The apostolate is the divinely appointed mission to lead others to the true faith and through it to eternal salvation (1-3).
2 [5-9] This instruction on the selection and appointment of presbyters, substantially identical with that in ⇒ 1 Tim 3:1-7 on a bishop (see the note there), was aimed at strengthening the authority of Titus by apostolic mandate; cf ⇒ Titus 2:15. In ⇒ Titus 1:5, 7 and ⇒ Acts 20:17, ⇒ 28, the terms episkopos and presbyteros (“bishop” and “presbyter”) refer to the same persons. Deacons are not mentioned in Titus. See also the note on ⇒ Philippians 1:1.
3 [10-16] This adverse criticism of the defects within the community is directed especially against certain Jewish Christians, who busy themselves with useless speculations over persons mentioned in the Old Testament, insist on the observance of Jewish ritual purity regulations, and thus upset whole families by teaching things they have no right to teach; cf ⇒ Titus 3:9; ⇒ 1 Tim 1:3-10.
4  Jewish Christians: literally, “those of the circumcision.”
5  Cretans . . . gluttons: quoted from Epimenides, a Cretan poet of the sixth century B.C.