(1) From Paul, a minister (servant) of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to advance the faith of God’s chosen people, and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godly living. (2) Our faith rests in the hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised us before the beginning of the universe (times eternal). (3) At God’s perfect time, he brought to light (revealed) his gospel (good news) through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior. (4) To Titus, my true son in our common faith; may God the Father and Jesus Christ our Savior give you grace and peace!
Titus’ Ministry on the Island of Crete
(5) The reason I left you on the island of Crete was so that you could complete the unfinished work we started and ordain church elders in every town, as I directed you. (During Paul’s fourth missionary journey, after he had been released from his first Roman imprisonment, he left Titus in Crete; see footnote following Acts 28:31). (6) Church elders (presbyters) must be above reproach, faithful in their marriage (husband of one wife), and have children who believe and are not accused of living disobedient and rebellious lives.
(7) Since church overseers (episcopates, possibly referring to lead elders, pastors, or bishops) are stewards of God’s family, they must be above blame—not full of pride, quick-tempered, addicted to alcohol, violent, or seeking dishonest gain, (8) but hospitable, loving what is good, self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. (9) They must hold strong to the trustworthy message of faith as it has been taught, so that they can encourage others in sound teaching and give answers to those who oppose the truth.
False Teachers on the Island of Crete
(10) For there are many rebellious false teachers on the island of Crete—full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the Jewish “circumcision group” (who insist that Non-Jewish Christians must be circumcised to be saved). (11) They must be stopped and silenced, because they are disrupting entire families by teaching things that are false, for dishonest gain. (12) Even one of Crete’s prophets has said, “Cretans are always liars, evil animals, and lazy gluttons.” (13) Therefore, since this is a true testimony, Titus you must rebuke them severely, so that they will be true to the faith (14) and will stop devoting themselves to Jewish religious myths and to mere human commandments from those who reject the truth. (15) To the pure, all things are pure, but to the corrupt and unbelieving, nothing is pure because their thinking and consciences are corrupt. (16) They claim to know God, but they deny him by the way they live their lives. They are hateful, disobedient, and incapable of doing anything that is good.