Directions to Titus.
SUMMARY.--Why Titus was Left. The Qualifications of Elders. False Teachers who Must be Stopped. The Character of Cretans. Condition of the Cretan Church.
1-4. A servant of God. Paul usually calls himself a "servant of Christ." James 1:1 uses the form here. According to. His apostleship looked to the promotion of the faith of God's elect. And acknowledging of the truth. Bringing men to acknowledge the truth. 2. In hope of eternal life. All his work as an apostle was in hope, etc. 3. Manifested. God has manifested the eternal life promised by his word in the gospel. 4. To Titus, mine own son. Concerning Titus, see Introduction. The language here shows that he was one of Paul's converts.
5, 6. For this cause left I thee. Paul had then been in Crete, attended by Titus, and had left him there to set the churches in order. In Crete. See Introduction. The things that are wanting. Not only in organization, but in instruction and practice. Ordain. "Appoint," in the Revision. The mode of appointing is not here indicated. Elders. See notes on 1 Tim. 3:1-6. In every city. A plurality were to be appointed wherever there were churches. 6. If any be blameless. The appointment is conditioned on finding the right kind of men. For a discussion of the qualifications, see notes on 1 Tim. 3:1-6.
7-9. For a bishop. An elder and bishop were then different names for the same office. See notes on parallel passage in 1 Timothy. Must be. Unless he has these traits he must not be appointed. Blameless. No charge against him. Compare 1 Tim. 3:2, 3. See notes there. 8. A lover of hospitality. See note on 1 Tim. 3:2. 9. Holding fast the faithful word. Sound in the gospel doctrine, and able to teach it to others, as well as to refute opposers.
10-13. There are many unruly and vain talkers. The last sentence suggests to Paul to speak of the Cretan errorists. The allusions to the false teachers show that the Epistle belongs to the closing years of the apostle's life. Of the circumcision. Jews, perhaps Judaizing Christians who had so troubled the Gentile churches. See the Galatian letter. 11. Whose mouths must be stopped. Muzzled. The way to stop them is for the churches to refuse to hear them. All false teachers, or bad men, should now be stopped from preaching in the same way. Subvert whole houses. Subvert their faith. For filthy lucre's sake. For base gain. 12. One of themselves. Of the Cretans. A prophet. A Cretan sage, seer and teacher, Epimenides by name, who lived about 500 B. C. The Cretans are always liars. The hard testimony of his countrymen is quoted from a poem, now lost. 13. This witness is true. Paul's observations confirmed it. So do many ancient writers. Cretize (Cretanize) became a slang phrase for lying. Wherefore. Their bad conduct must be sharply rebuked until the gospel so transforms them that they will become sound in the faith.
14-16. Jewish fables. See note on 1 Tim. 1:4. Commandments of men. Commandments which are only the traditions of men, additions to God's ordinances. See Mark 7:4, 8. 15. Unto the pure all things are pure. In the "Jewish fables" just referred to were rigid regulations concerning foods and purifications. Hence Paul adds, "It is not food that makes one impure. To the pure all things are pure. When one is unbelieving and defiled, no food can make him pure." See notes on Rom. 14:14 and 1 Cor. 8:4-8. 16. They profess that they know God. These teachers of Jewish fables and carnal ordinances profess to know and serve God, yet their immoral lives are a denial of him.