Titus 1 is the first chapter of the Epistle to Titus in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The letter is traditionally attributed to Paul the Apostle, sent from Nicopolis of Macedonia (Roman province), addressed to Titus in Crete.[1][2] There are charges that it is the work of an anonymous follower, after Paul's death in the first century AD.[3][4] This chapter contains the greetings and instructions for Titus on dealing with deceivers.[5]

Titus 1
P032-Tit-1 11-15-II.jpg
Fragments of the Epistle to Titus 1:11-15 on Papyrus 32, from ca. AD 200.
BookEpistle to Titus
CategoryPauline epistles
Christian Bible partNew Testament
Order in the Christian part17


The original text was written in Koine Greek. This chapter is divided into 16 verses.

Textual witnessesEdit

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter are:

Opening Greeting (1:1–4)Edit

The opening of the epistle to Titus is Paul's longest and most intricate, exceeding the openings of most other Pauline epistles.[6]

Verse 1–3Edit

1Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, 2in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, 3but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior;[7]

Paul includes in this opening a summary of the gospel message, expounding the God's plan of salvation punctuated by the assertion that 'God never lies'.[5]

Verse 4Edit

To Titus, a true son in our common faith:
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.[8]
  • "A true son" (NKJV; KJV: mine own son"; Greek: γνησίῳ τέκνῳ, gnēsiō teknō): Also "my genuine child" (as in 1 Timothy 1:2), that is, "converted by my instrumentality" (1 Corinthians 4:17; Philemon 10).[9]
  • "In our common faith" (NKJV; KJV: "After the common faith"; Greek: κατὰ κοινὴν πίστιν·; kata koinēn pistin): Paul treated Titus as "a genuine son" in virtue of "the faith common to all the people of God", a common brotherhood of Gentiles as well as Jews, thus embracing Titus who is a Gentile (2 Peter 1:1; Jude 1:3).[9]
  • "Grace, mercy, and peace" (Greek: χάρις ἔλεος εἰρήνη; charis, eleos, eirēnē): The word "mercy" is omitted in some of the oldest manuscripts. But one of the best and oldest manuscripts supports it (see 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2). There are many similarities of phrase in all 'Pastoral Epistles' (that is Epistles to Titus, 1 and 2 Timothy).[9]

The appointment of church officers (1:5–9)Edit

The instructions for Titus run parallel to those for Timothy in 1 Timothy 3, but with some significant variations based on the distinct situation in Crete.[10]

Verse 5Edit

For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you—[11]
  • "Crete": an island in the Mediterranean which was mentioned in Acts 27, when Paul's ship sailed past on his way to Rome).[5]

Instructions on Dealing with Deceivers (1:10–16)Edit

Verse 12Edit

One of them, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons."[12]
  • "One of them, a prophet of their own": refers to Epimenides, who wrote the cited words in one of his poems. Paul called him "one of them" (one of the Cretans), since Epimenides was a Cretian by birth, of the city of Gnossus, and according to a legend was sent by his father to his sheep in the field, when he at noon turned aside into a cave, and slept 57 years.[13] The designation as a "prophet" is because in Crete there were prophets of Jupiter,[14] and Epimenides might be one of them, but the word 'prophets' can also refer to the priests among other cults, for examples, Baal's priests were called the prophets of Baal, and the prophets of the groves (1 Kings 18:19). Epimenides was thought to be inspired by the gods in writing his poems that he is called by Apuleius,[15] a famous fortune teller; and is said by Laertius[13] to be very skilful in divination, and to have foretold many things which came to pass; also by the Grecians were supposed to be very dear to the gods; likewise, Balaam, the soothsayer and diviner, is called a prophet (2 Peter 2:16). Add to this, that the passage next cited stands in a poem of this writer, entitled, "Concerning Oracles"; and it is easy to observe, that poets in common were usually called "vates", or prophets; so that the apostle speaks here with great propriety.[16]
  • "Cretans are always liars": Epimenides wrote of the living of the inhabitants of the Crete as a sin common to human nature, that lying was "always" a governing vice among them, for instances, for saying that Jupiter's sepulchre was with them, when it was the sepulchre of Minos his son, which they had fraudulently obliterated; and for which[17] Callimachus charges them with lying, and uses these very words of Epimenides; though he assigns a different reason from that now given, which is, that Jupiter died not, but always exists, and therefore his sepulchre could not be with them, but more than that, seemingly the Cretians regard lying as their national sin;[18] and beside Epimenides, also said by others. Crete is, by Ovid,[19] called "mendax Creta", lying Crete. Hence, with the Grecians, to "cretize", is proverbially used for to lie; this is a sin, than which nothing makes a man more like the devil, or more infamous among men, or more abominable to God. The Ethiopian version, instead of Cretes, or Cretians, reads "hypocrites".[16]
  • "Evil beasts": are meant beasts of prey, savage and mischievous ones (Genesis 37:20; Genesis 37:33), to distinguish them from other beasts, as sheep, and the like.[16] Perhaps Crete might abound with such evil beasts; for the Cretans are said[18] to excel in hunting; and to these they themselves are compared, by one of their own prophets, for their cruelty, and savage disposition: so cruel persecutors are compared to beasts, (1 Corinthians 15:30) and the false teachers, who were cruel, if not to the bodies, yet to the souls of men, whom they poisoned and destroyed.[16]
  • "Lazy gluttons" (NKJV; KJV: "slow bellies"): This expression by Epimenides is partly for the intemperance, gluttony and drunkenness of the Cretans, whose god was their belly, not the Lord Jesus, and partly for their laziness, eating other people's bread without working.[16]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985.
  2. ^ King James Version subscription after Titus 3:15 states "It was written to Titus, ordained the first bishop of the church of the Cretians, from Nicopolis of Macedonia."
  3. ^ S.J., Felix Just,. "Deutero-Pauline Letters". catholic-resources.org.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  4. ^ Drury 2007, p. 1220.
  5. ^ a b c Drury 2007, p. 1231.
  6. ^ Towner 2006, p. 662.
  7. ^ Titus 1:1–3 NKJV
  8. ^ Titus 1:4 NKJV
  9. ^ a b c A. R. Faussett, The Pastoral Epistles of Paul the Apostle to Timothy and Titus. Commentary by A. R. Faussett. In: A Commentary, Critical, Practical, and Explanatory on the Old and New Testaments by Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown [1882].
  10. ^ Guthrie 1994, p. 1312.
  11. ^ Titus 1:5 NKJV
  12. ^ Titus 1:12 NKJV
  13. ^ a b Laert. l. 1. Vita Epimenidis.
  14. ^ Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier, l. 4. c. 17.
  15. ^ Florida, sect. 15.
  16. ^ a b c d e John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible - Titus 1:12
  17. ^ Hymn. l. in Jovem, v. 8.
  18. ^ a b Alex. ab Alex. l. 4. c. 13.
  19. ^ De Arte Amandi, l. 1.


External linksEdit