What End Titus Was Left in Crete. Qualifications for Elders: Gainsayers in Crete Needing Reproof.
1. servant of God—not found elsewhere in
the same connection. In Ro 1:1 it is
"servant of Jesus Christ" (Ga 1:10; Php 1:1; compare Ac 16:17; Re 1:1; 15:3). In Ro 1:1, there follows, "called to be an
apostle," which corresponds to the general designation of the
office first, "servant of God,"
here, followed by the special description, "apostle of Jesus
Christ." The full expression of his apostolic office answers, in
both Epistles, to the design, and is a comprehensive index to the
contents. The peculiar form here would never have proceeded from
according to the faith—rather, "for,"
"with a view to subserve the faith"; this is the object of my
apostleship (compare Tit 1:4, 9; Ro 1:5).
the elect—for whose sake we ought to
endure all things (2Ti 2:10).
This election has its ground, not in anything belonging to those thus
distinguished, but in the purpose and will of God from everlasting
(2Ti 1:9; Ro 8:30-33; compare Lu 18:7; Eph 1:4; Col
3:12). Ac 13:48 shows that all faith on the part of the
elect, rests on the divine foreordination: they do not become
elect by their faith, but receive faith, and so become
believers, because they are elect.
and the acknowledging of the
truth—"and (for promoting) the full knowledge of the
truth," that is, the Christian truth (Eph 1:13).
after godliness—that is, which belongs
to piety: opposed to the knowledge which has not for its object
the truth, but error, doctrinal and practical (Tit 1:11,
16; 1Ti 6:3); or even which
has for its object mere earthly truth, not growth in the divine life.
"Godliness," or "piety," is a term peculiar to the Pastoral Epistles: a
fact explained by the apostle having in them to combat doctrine tending
to "ungodliness" (2Ti 2:16;
compare Tit 2:11, 12).
2. In hope of eternal life—connected
with the whole preceding sentence. That whereon rests my aim as an
apostle to promote the elect's faith and full knowledge of the
truth, is, "the hope of eternal life" (Tit 2:13; 3:7; Ac 23:6; 24:15; 28:20).
that cannot lie—(Ro 3:4;
11:29; Heb 6:18).
promised before the world began—a
contracted expression for "purposed before the world began
(literally, 'before the ages of time'), and promised actually in
time," the promise springing from the eternal purpose; as in 2Ti 1:9, the gift of grace was the
result of the eternal purpose "before the world began."
3. in due times—Greek, "in its
own seasons," the seasons appropriate to it, and fixed by God for
manifested—implying that the
"promise," Tit 1:2, had
lain hidden in His eternal purpose heretofore (compare Col 1:26;
2Ti 1:9, 10).
his word—equivalent to "eternal life"
(Tit 1:2; Joh 5:24; 6:63; 17:3, 17).
"in preaching," of rather as Alford (see on 2Ti 4:17), "in
the (Gospel) proclamation (the thing preached, the Gospel) with
which I was entrusted."
according to—in pursuance of (compare
of God our Saviour—rather as
Greek, "of our Saviour God." God is predicated of
our Saviour (compare Jude 25; Lu 1:47). Also Ps 24:5; Isa 12:2; 45:15,
Applied to Jesus, Tit 1:4; Tit 2:13; 3:6; 2Ti 1:10.
4. Titus, mine own son—Greek, "my
genuine child" (1Ti 1:2), that
is, converted by my instrumentality (1Co 4:17; Phm 10).
after the common faith—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 (2Pe 1:1; Jude 3).
Grace, mercy, and peace—"mercy" is
omitted in some of the oldest manuscripts. But one of the best and
oldest manuscripts supports it (compare Notes, see on 1Ti 1:2; 2Ti 1:2). There are many
similarities of phrase in the Pastoral Epistles.
the Lord Jesus Christ—The oldest
manuscripts read only "Christ Jesus."
our Saviour—found thus added to
"Christ" only in Paul's Pastoral Epistles, and in 2Pe 1:1,
11; 2:20; 3:18.
5. I left thee—"I left thee
behind" [Alford] when I left the
island: not implying permanence of commission (compare
in Crete—now Candia.
set in order—rather as Greek,
"that thou mightest follow up (the work begun by me), setting
right the things that are wanting," which I was unable to complete by
reason of the shortness of my stay in Crete. Christianity, doubtless,
had long existed in Crete: there were some Cretans among those who
heard Peter's preaching on Pentecost (Ac 2:11). The number of Jews in Crete was large
1:10), and it is likely that
those scattered in the persecution of Stephen (Ac 11:19) preached to them, as they did to the
Jews of Cyprus, &c. Paul also was there on his voyage to Rome
27:7-12). By all these
instrumentalities the Gospel was sure to reach Crete. But until Paul's
later visit, after his first imprisonment at Rome, the Cretan
Christians were without Church organization. This Paul began, and had
commissioned (before leaving Crete) Titus to go on with, and now
reminds him of that commission.
in every city—"from city to city."
as I … appointed thee—that is,
as I directed thee; prescribing as well the act of constituting
elders, as also the manner of doing so, which latter includes
the qualifications required in a presbyter presently stated. Those
called "elders" here are called "bishops" in Tit 1:7. Elder is the term of
dignity in relation to the college of presbyters; bishop
points to the duties of his office in relation to the flock.
From the unsound state of the Cretan Christians described here, we see
the danger of the want of Church government. The appointment of
presbyters was designed to check idle talk and speculation, by
setting forth the "faithful word."
6. (Compare Notes, see on 1Ti 3:2-4.) The thing dwelt on here as the requisite in a
bishop, is a good reputation among those over whom he is to be set. The
immorality of the Cretan professors rendered this a necessary requisite
in one who was to be a reprover: and their unsoundness in
doctrine also made needful great steadfastness in the faith (Tit 1:9,
having faithful children—that is,
believing children. He who could not bring his children to
faith, how shall he bring others? [Bengel]. Alford
explains, "established in the faith."
not accused—not merely not riotous,
but "not (even) accused of riot" ("profligacy" [Alford]; "dissolute life" [Wahl]).
to "in subjection" (1Ti 3:4).
7. For … must—The emphasis is on
"must." The reason why I said "blameless," is the very idea of a
"bishop" (an overseer of the flock; he here substitutes for "presbyter"
the term which expresses his duties) involves the
necessity for such blamelessness, if he is to have influence
over the flock.
steward of God—The greater the master
is, the greater the virtues required in His servant [Bengel], (1Ti 3:15); the Church is God's house, over which
the minister is set as a steward (Heb 3:2-6; 1Pe 4:10, 17). Note: ministers are not merely
Church officers, but God's stewards; Church government is of
"self-pleasing"; unaccommodating to others; harsh, the opposite
of "a lover of hospitality" (Tit 1:6); so Nabal (1Sa 25:1-44); self-loving and imperious; such
a spirit would incapacitate him for leading a willing flock,
instead of driving.
not given to wine—(See on 1Ti 3:3; 1Ti 3:8).
not given to filthy lucre—not making
the Gospel a means of gain (1Ti 3:3, 8).
In opposition to those "teaching for filthy lucre's sake" (Tit
1:11; 1Ti 6:5; 1Pe 5:2).
8. lover of hospitality—needed
especially in those days (Ro 12:13; 1Ti 3:2;
Heb 13:2; 1Pe 4:9; 3Jo 5).
Christians travelling from one place to another were received and
forwarded on their journey by their brethren.
lover of good men—Greek, "a
lover of (all that is) good," men or things (Php 4:8, 9).
sober—towards one's self;
"discreet"; "self-restrained" [Alford],
(see on 1Ti 2:9).
holy—towards God (see on 1Th 2:10).
temperate—"One having his passions,
tongue, hand and eyes, at command" [Chrysostom]; "continent."
9. Holding fast—Holding firmly to
(compare Mt 6:24; Lu 16:13).
the faithful—true and trustworthy
word as he has been taught—literally,
"the word (which is) according to the teaching" which he has received
4:6, end; 2Ti 3:14).
by—Translate as Greek, "to
exhort in doctrine (instruction) which is sound";
sound doctrine or instruction is the element IN which his exhorting is to have place
… On "sound" (peculiar to the Pastoral Epistles), see 1Ti 1:10;
convince—rather, "reprove" [Alford], (Tit 1:13).
and—omitted in the oldest manuscripts.
"There are many unruly persons, vain talkers, and deceivers"; "unruly"
being predicated of both vain talkers and deceivers.
vain talkers—opposed to "holding fast
the faithful word" (Tit 1:9).
"Vain jangling" (1Ti 1:6);
"foolish questions, unprofitable and vain" (Tit 3:9). The source of the evil was corrupted
Judaism (Tit 1:14).
Many Jews were then living in Crete, according to Josephus; so the Jewish leaven remained in some of
them after conversion.
deceivers—literally, "deceivers of the
minds of others" (Greek, Ga 6:3).
11. mouths … stopped—literally,
"muzzled," "bridled" as an unruly beast (compare Ps 32:9).
who—Greek, "(seeing that they
are) such men as"; or "inasmuch as they" [Ellicott].
subvert … houses—"overthrowing"
their "faith" (2Ti 2:18).
"They are the devil's levers by which he subverts the houses of God"
for filthy lucre—(1Ti 3:3, 8;
12. One—Epimenides of Phæstus, or
Gnossus, in Crete, about 600. He was sent for to purify Athens from its
pollution occasioned by Cylon. He was regarded as a diviner and
prophet. The words here are taken probably from his treatise
"concerning oracles." Paul also quotes from two other heathen
writers, Aratus (Ac 17:28) and Menander (1Co 15:33), but he does not honor them so far as
even to mention their names.
of themselves … their own—which
enhances his authority as a witness. "To Cretanize" was proverbial for
to lie: as "to Corinthianize" was for to be
alway liars—not merely at
times, as every natural man is. Contrast Tit 1:2, "God that cannot lie." They love
"fables" (Tit 1:14);
even the heathen poets laughed at their lying assertion that they had
in their country the sepulchre of Jupiter.
evil beasts—rude, savage, cunning,
greedy. Crete was a country without wild beasts. Epimenides'
sarcasm was that its human inhabitants supplied the place of wild
slow bellies—indolent through
pampering their bellies. They themselves are called "bellies,"
for that is the member for which they live (Ro 16:18; Php
13. This witness—"This testimony (though
coming from a Cretan) is true."
sharply—Gentleness would not reclaim
so perverse offenders.
that they—that those seduced by
the false teachers may be brought back to soundness in the
faith. Their malady is strifes about words and questions (Tit 3:9; 1Ti
14. Jewish fables—(See on 1Ti 1:4; 1Ti 4:7; 2Ti 4:4). These formed the transition stage to subsequent
Gnosticism; as yet the error was but profitless, and not tending to
godliness, rather than openly opposed to the faith.
commandments of men—as to
ascetic abstinence (Tit 1:15; Mr 7:7-9; Col
2:16, 20-23; 1Ti 4:3).
that turn from the truth—whose
characteristic is that they turn away from the truth (2Ti 4:4).
15. all things—external, "are pure" in
themselves; the distinction of pure and impure is not in
the things, but in the disposition of him who uses them; in opposition
to "the commandments of men" (Tit 1:14), which forbade certain things as if
impure intrinsically. "To the pure" inwardly, that is, those purified
in heart by faith (Ac 15:9; Ro 14:20; 1Ti 4:3), all outward things are pure; all are
open to, their use. Sin alone touches and defiles the soul (Mt
23:26; Lu 11:41).
nothing pure—either within or without
mind—their mental sense and
conscience—their moral consciousness
of the conformity or discrepancy between their motives and acts on the
one hand, and God's law on the other. A conscience and a mind defiled
are represented as the source of the errors opposed in the Pastoral
Epistles (1Ti 1:19; 3:9; 6:5).
16. They profess—that is, make a
profession acknowledging God. He does not deny their theoretical
knowledge of God, but that they practically know Him.
deny him—the opposite of the previous
"profess" or "confess" Him (1Ti 5:8; 2Ti 2:12; 3:5).
abominable—themselves, though laying
so much stress on the contracting of abomination from outward things
(compare Le 11:10-13; Ro 2:22).
disobedient—to God (Tit 3:3; Eph
reprobate—rejected as worthless
when tested (see on Ro 1:28; 1Co 9:27; 2Ti 3:8).