1 Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of God’s elect, and for the knowledge of the truth that leads to1 godliness; 2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before the world began,2 3 and then, at the appointed time, brought to light through the proclamation of his word, which was entrusted to me3 according to the commandment of God our Savior: 4 to Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father, and from Christ Jesus our Savior.
The Elders’ Qualifications
5 I left you in Crete so that you would finish putting things in order4 and appoint elders in every city, just as I instructed you. 6 Now a man is qualified to be an elder if he is blameless,5 if he is the husband of one wife, and if he has trustworthy6 children who are not accused of dissipation or insubordination. 7 For as a steward of God’s possessions an overseer must be above reproach: not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to drinking, not quarrelsome, not greedy for dishonest gain, 8 but instead hospitable, zealous for what is good, sensible, upright, devout,7 self-controlled, 9 and holding firmly to the trustworthy word, exactly as it was taught to him,8 so that he will be able not only to exhort and encourage our people with sound doctrine, but also to refute those who speak against it.
The Elders’ Ministry of Reproof
10 For there are many rebels, idle talkers, and deceivers—especially among the circumcision—11 whose mouths must be stopped: men who are overthrowing entire households, teaching things they shouldn’t for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, and lazy gluttons.”9 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith, 14 paying no attention at all to Jewish myths and the 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, for10 both their mind and their conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but in their actions they deny him, for they are11 detestable, disobedient, and unfit for any good work.
- Lit. that accords with
- Lit. before times eternal
- Lit. began, but manifested in his (its) own appointed times: his word in preaching, with which I was entrusted
- Lit. set in order the things that remain
- Lit. you: if any man is above reproach
- Or possibly believing
- Or pure
- Lit. according to the teaching
- A saying of the Cretan poet Epimenides
- Lit. but
- Lit. being
Sound Teaching on Christian Conduct
2 But as for you, teach those things that refelct sound doctrine:1 2 namely, that older men must be temperate, dignified, sensible, and sound in faith, love, and endurance.
3 Similarly, older women must be reverent in their conduct: not malicious gossips or slaves of too much wine, but teachers of what is good. 4 Then they can train2 the younger women to love their husbands, love their children, 5 and be sensible, chaste, diligent at3 homemaking, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not fall into reproach.
6 Likewise, urge the young men to be sensible and self-controlled. 7 In every respect you must present4 your own life5 as a model of good works; and in your teaching you must display incorruptibility, purity,6 8 and sound speech that is above criticism, so that any who oppose you7 may be put to shame,8 finding nothing evil to say about us.
9 Instruct slaves to submit to their own masters in all things, and to be well pleasing:9 neither talking back, 10 nor pilfering, but instead showing all good fidelity, so that they may adorn the teaching of God our Savior in every way.
The Fountainhead of Christian Instruction
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 devoutly in this present evil age, 13 eagerly watching for our blessed hope: the appearing10 of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us in order to redeem us from every lawless act, and to purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good works.
15 Speak of these things, and exhort, refute, and convict with all authority. Let no one despise or disregard you.
- Lit. the things that accord with sound instruction
- Or admonish, encourage
- Or devoted to
- Or and self-controlled in every respect. Present
- Lit. yourself
- Or dignity, sobriety
- Lit. the one from (the) opposite (side); an opponent, enemy
- Or possibly at a loss
- Or own masters, to be well pleasing in every respect
- Lit. looking for the blessed hope and (even) appearing
From Foolishness to Fruitfulness
3 Remind our people1 to submit to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be eager2 for every kind of good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable and gentle, showing perfect courtesy3 to all men. 3 For at one time we ourselves were also foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of deeds that we had done in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, through the washing of regeneration and the renewing work of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he richly poured out upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs of all that is ours through4 the hope of eternal life.
8 These are trustworthy words,5 and I want you to insist on them,6 so that those who have believed in God will be careful to engage in good deeds.7 Such things are good and profitable for men. 9 But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, feuds, and arguments about the Law, for they all are unprofitable and useless. 10 Reject a divisive man after the first and second warning, 11 realizing that such a person is warped and sinful, and that he stands self-condemned.8
Final Instructions and Farewell
12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 As for Apollos and Zenas the lawyer, make every effort to speed them on their journey, making sure they lack nothing. 14 And let our people also learn to engage in good works by meeting such pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful. 15 All who are with me send you greetings. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.
- Lit. them
- Lit. ready, prepared
- Or every consideration; lit. all humility, mildness
- Lit. heirs according to
- Lit. the word (saying) is trustworthy
- Lit. these things
- Or do (practice) what is right
- Lit. warped and sinning, being self-condemned