The Epistle of Paul to Titus

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The Epistle of Paul to Titus

  • Who Wrote: The Apostle Paul
  • Where Written: Macedonia (?)
  • When Written: c. 61–64 C.E.



1 Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of the chosen of God and the accurate knowledge[1] of the truth that is according to godliness, in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before times eternal, but at the proper time manifested, even his word, in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the command of our Savior, God,[2]

To Titus, my true child in a common faith:

Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

Titus to Appoint Qualified Elders In Crete

For this reason I left you in Crete, that you might set straight the things that were defective[3] and might make appointments of elders in city after city, as I ordered you, if there is any man above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe who are not accused of debauchery or rebelliousness. For as God’s steward, an overseer must be above reproach, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not a drunkard, not violent,[4] not greedy of dishonest gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sound in mind,[5] righteous, loyal, self-controlled, holding fast to the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.

Reprove Rebellious Ones

10 For there are many rebellious men,[6] empty talkers[7] and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 who must be silenced because they are subverting[8] whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 A certain one of them, a prophet of their own, said: “Cretans are always liars, wild beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.


Sound Teaching for Young and Old

2 But you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. Older men are to be sound in mind,[9] dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not slanderous nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be spoken of abusively.[10]

Likewise, exhort the young men to be self-controlled;[11] in all things show yourself to be an example of good works; in the teaching what is pure, dignity, sound speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.

Slaves must be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10 not stealing, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.

Instructions for Everyone

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,[12] 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good deeds.

Encourage and Rebuke with Authority

15 These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.


Proper Subjection

3 Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no man, not to be fighting, gentle, showing all mildness toward all men. For we also once were foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. 

Be Prepared for Good Works

But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, he saved us, not by deeds of righteousness that we have done, but because of his mercy, through the washing of regeneration[13] and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for men. 

Reject foolish arguments and sects

But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 Reject a divisive man after a first and second warning, 11 knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.

Personal Instructions and Greetings

12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, make every effort to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 Diligently help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way so that nothing is lacking for them. 14 Our people must also learn to engage in good works to meet necessary needs, so that they will not be unfruitful.

15 All who are with me greet you. Greet those who love us in the faith.

Grace be with you all.

[1] Epignosis is a strengthened or intensified form of gnosis (epi, meaning “additional”), meaning, “true,” “real,” “full,” “complete” or “accurate,” depending upon the context. Paul and Peter alone use epignosis.

[2] Lit of the Savior of us, God; Gr tou soteros hemon theou

[3] Or deficient; wanting

[4] A pugnacious, bully, violent person

[5] One who is sensible and moderate in his behavior

[6] Or unruly men; Lit not self-subjecting (ones)

[7] Or profitless talkers; one who engages in empty and idol talk

[8] To overturn, destroy, upset someone’s beliefs, to cause them difficulty

[9] to have understanding about practical matters and thus be able to act sensibly–‘to have sound judgment, to be sensible, to use good sense, sound judgment.’

[10] Lit may not be blasphemed

[11] Sound in Mind: (Gr. sophroneo) This means to be of sound mind or in one’s right mind, i.e., to have understanding about practical matters and thus be able to act sensibly, ‘to have sound judgment, to be sensible, to use good sense, sound judgment.’–Acts 26:25; Romans 12:3; 2 Timothy 1:7; Titus 2:6; 1 Peter 4:7

[12] Or, based on grammar and context, an alternative reading could be, of the great God and our Savior.

[13] Regeneration (Rebirth), Born Again, Born of God, Born of the Spirit: (Gr. palingenesiai; gennaō anōthen; gennaō theos; gennaō pneuma) This regeneration is the Holy Spirit working in his life, giving him a new nature, who repents and accepts Christ, placing him on the path to salvation. By taking in this knowledge of God’s Word, we will be altering our way of thinking, which will affect our emotions and behavior, as well as our lives now and for eternity. This Word will influence our minds, making corrections in the way we think. If we are to have the Holy Spirit controlling our lives, we must ‘renew our mind’ (Rom. 12:2) “which is being renewed in knowledge” (Col. 3:10) of God and his will and purposes. (Matt 7:21-23; See Pro 2:1-6) All of this boils down to each individual Christian digging into the Scriptures in a meditative way, so he can ‘discover the knowledge of God, receiving wisdom; from God’s mouth, as well as knowledge and understanding.’ (Pro. 2:5-6) As he acquires the mind that is inundated with the Word of God, he must also “be doers of the Word.”–John 3:3; 6-7; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Titus 3:5; James 1:22-25.

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