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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Titus 1

Verse 1


A) Writer - Paul, Titus 1:1.

B) To - Titus, Pastor at Crete, Titus 1:4-5.

C) About 65 A.D.

D) Occasion 1) To warn those in Crete who were careless with the truth and 2) To correct moral, ethical, and doctrinal errors and set in order, worship and services in the church, Titus 1:5-6.



a) 1: 1-5 Greetings and Hope

b) 1:6 Setting in Order things locking & ordaining Elders

c) 1:7-9 Qualifications & Duties of Bishops


a) Pastoral Duties For age levels or Doctrine

1. Aged men v. 2

2. Aged women v. 3

3. Younger women v. 4-5

4. Younger men v. 6-8

5. Servants v. 9, 10

b) Saving, Separation, and Working Grace v. 11,12

c) looking for the Blessed Hope v. 13,15


a) Respect for civil government v. 1-3

b)Salvation revealed by mercy & grace v. 4-7

c) Maintaining good works v. 8

d) Avoiding contentions, strivings, etc., v. 9-11

e) Final Greetings and Exhortations, v. 12-15


A) Writer - Paul, Titus 1:1.

B) To - Titus, Titus 1:4-5.

C) About 65 A.D.

D) Occasion 1) To warn those in Crete who were careless with the truth and 2) To correct, set in order, worship and services in the church, Titus 1:5.

1) "Paul a servant of God." Once a slave to Satan and sin, but now as a (Gk. doulos) slave; from the slave-market, (purchased); he considered himself to be a slave to Jesus, swallowed up in the will of God. Romans 1:15-16.

2) "And an apostle of Jesus Christ." - (apostolos de ieson christon) "Moreover, an apostle of Jesus Christ" - The term (apostolos) indicates "one sent by special commission or designated authoritatively to act in behalf of the sender." Acts 9:15-16; Acts 22:15-18.

3) "According to the faith of God’s elect." (kata pistin eklekton theou) "According to the faith (system of teachings) of chosen, elected, or called out ones of God." Paul’s special call to preach the Gospel was in perfect accord with the call and commission of the church. Matthew 28:20.

4) "And the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness." (kai epignosin aletheias tes kat’ eusebeion) "And a full comprehension of the truth according to standards of piety." Paul established his identity as first a bondservant of God, wholly sold to his will, and sent authoritatively by Jesus Christ, according to the faith of the elect (church) to preach the truth, while living a standard of godliness. 1 Corinthians 11:1.

Verse 2

1) "In hope of eternal life." (ep’ elpidi zoes aionion)"In hope of eternal life." Wherever life eternal is expressed to be in the future for the child of God, it always refers to the resurrection of the body, at the coming of Jesus Christ, Titus 3:7; Romans 8:23-25; Ephesians 1:14; Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 6:18-19.

2) "Which God, that cannot lie, promised." (en epegeilato ho apseudes theos) ’Which the unlying God" - (the trinitarian) one "Promised," John 10:27-29.

3) "Before the world began." (pro chronon aionion) "before age-times" – 1 Peter 1:18-20; Ephesians 1:4-5; Ephesians 3:11-12.

Verse 3

1) "But hath in due times." (de kairois idios) "Yet in its own marked off periods" - periods of age-times.

2) "Manifested his word through preaching." (epanerosen ton logon autou en kerugmati) "He manifested his word in preaching." Through John the Baptist, Jesus, the apostles, and Paul, apostle to the Gentiles.

3) "Which is committed unto me." (ho episteuthen ego) "Which I was entrusted" (with) –Galatians 1:15-16; Acts 20:24. Paul also declared that God "put him into the ministry," 1 Timothy 1:12. He did not enter it of his own initiative - See 2.

4) "According to the commandment of God our Saviour." (kat’ epitagen tou sotiris hemon theou) "According to God, the Saviour of us" - In this passage Paul asserts that his call to the ministry was a direct trust from God, not men, or even the church, Romans 1:16; Galatians 1:11-12.

Verse 4

1) "To Titus, mine own son after the common faith." (tito gnesio tekno kata kainen pistin) "To Titus, a truly begotten child according to a common faith," 1 Timothy 1:1-2. It is generally believed that Titus was both a convert and later ordained of Paul’s ministry. Galatians 2:2-3; 2 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Corinthians 7:6.

2) "Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father," (charis kai eirene apo theou patros) "Grace and peace from God (the) Father." The term (mercy) is omitted in the original by Nestle.

3) "And the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour." (hai christon ieson tou soteros hemon) "And Christ Jesus the Saviour of us." What God had been to Paul in grace and peace, Paul prayed he might be to Titus.

Verse 5

1) "For this cause left I thee in Crete." (toutou apelipon se te krete) "For this cause or reason I let thee remain in Crete." Titus was left in Crete for two purposes: 1) to instruct the churches of Crete in matters of orderliness of life, and 2) to ordain elders in each congregation.

2) "That thou shouldest set in order." (hina ta leiponta) "In order that thou should set in order or rank." Order in leadership and orderliness in personal, family, and church life are necessary for church and Christian growth.

3) "The things that are wanting." (keiponta) "The things that are wanting or lacking." Certain things were lacking in the Crete church in leadership and in respect for persons of leadership ’and behavior in life - things Paul entrusted to the care of Titus.

4) "And ordain elders in every city." (kai katasteses kata polin presbuterous) "And shouldest appoint, or stand (in) upright order, elders in every city." Acts 15:2; Acts 15:4; Acts 15:6; Acts 15:22.

5) "As I had appointed thee." (hos ego soi dietaksamen) "As I gave charge to thee." Acts 14:23. It appears that a plural number of mature Christian men were appointed or ordained by Paul as elders in every city or congregation and that from their number there were men elected by the church for the office of deacon and the office of bishop - the only two New Testament church offices.

Verse 6

1) "If any be blameless." (ei tis estin enegkleton) "If any man be unreprovable or blameless" - not having indictable conduct.

2) "The husband of one wife." Was gunaikis aner) ") "a one-woman kind of man," not a polygamist, promiscuous, or woman chaser" appears to be a more accurate translation and interpretation of the Greek language and intent of the inspired writer, considering the contextual setting and conditions of the times when polygamy and loose promiscuity abounded among the Greeks and Romans of the area and era.

3) "Having faithful children." (tekna echon pista) "having believing children or children of fidelity."

4) "Not accused of riot or unruly." (me en kategoria asotias he anupotakta) "Not on accusation of low moral behavior or unruly." The appointed elders were required to have the above qualifications. From these (presbuterois) elders, the bishop or pastor (episcopos) was ordained, elected, or chosen as overseer of the congregation. The bishop’s qualifications were further restricted as follows:

Verse 7

1) "For a bishop must be blameless." (dei gar ton episkopon aneglekton einai) "For it behooves a bishop (overseer) to be unreprovable or blameless." - A person on whom moral, doctrinal, or ethical wrong cannot be proved.

2) "As a steward of God;" (hostheou oikonomon) "As an housekeeper, steward, guardian, or keeper of the law of God’s house, the church." 1 Timothy 3:15. As a good steward there are five things from which the bishop or pastor must restrain himself or refrain, as follows:

3) "Not self-willed." (me authade) "Not self-pleasing." As our Lord, the Great Shepherd came not to do his own will, so his undershepherds must not be self-willed or selfish. John 4:34; John 5:30; John 6:38.

4) "Not soon angry." (me orgilon) "Not passionate," or impulsive in temperament. Proverbs 15:1; Proverbs 19:11; Ecclesiastes 7:9; Colossians 3:8.

5) "Not given to wine." (me paroinon) "Not inclined to wine." Or not disposed to hang around wine sipping. Proverbs 20:1; Proverbs 23:30.

6) "No striker." (me plekton) "Not a striker or one who strikes back, retaliates, or seeks revenge" -Not one who returns evil for evil, Romans 12:17; 1 Peter 2:23.

7) "Not given to filthy lucre." (me aischrokerde) "Not greedy of base gain or covetous of material gain," 1 Timothy 6:10; 2 Peter 2:15; Judges 1:11.

Verse 8

1) "But a lover of hospitality." (alla philoksenon) "But an hospitable person" - One who is inclined to show friendship to people, that he really cares for others. Hebrews 13:2; Romans 12:13; 1 Timothy 3:2; 1 Peter 4:9.

2) "A lover, of good men." (philagathon) "A lover of good things and good men."

3) "Sober" - (sophona) "Sensible, a man of wisdom." 2 Timothy 1:7.

4) "Just" - (dikaion) "Just or righteous in conduct." Mark 6:20; Luke 2:25; Luke 23:50.

5) "Holy" - (hosion) "Holy or separated to godliness." Mark 6:20; Romans 12:1; Colossians 3:12; 1 Peter 1:15-16.

6) "Temperate" - (egkrata) "Self-control led," -having temper restraint, control over his body, passions, tongue, and impulses. 1 Corinthians 9:26-27.

Verse 9

1) "Holding fast the faithful word." (antechomenon tou kata ten didachen pistou logou) "Upholding the word of (the) faithful," (Jesus Christ). Emotionally, morally, and doctrinally-unstable-men are not quality material for the office of the bishop. They must know the Word and live by it.

2) "As he hath been taught." (kata ten didachen) "According to the teaching." This certifies that the bishop must have been taught the Word of God.

3) "That he may be able by sound doctrine." (hina dunatos he kai en te didaskalia te hupiainouse) "in order that he may be able even by healthy teaching" – 1 Peter 3:15.

4) "Both to exhort and to convince the gain-sayers.” (parakalein kai tous) "Both to exhort or compassionately call alongside the ones" (kai antilegontas elegchein) "And to convince with evidentiary reasoning those posing contradictory objections to the doctrines presented." 2 Timothy 2:15. Some may be turned from unsound doctrine by mere exhortation while others may be rescued only by strong reasoning with valid testimony.

Verse 10

1) "For there are many." (eisin gar polloi) "For there exist many." Evil babblers already existed in New Testament days, Mark 7:5-9.

2) "Unruly and vain talkers and deceivers." (anupotaktoi) "Unruly, irascible men" - (mataiologoi kai phrenapatai) "Vain or empty talkers and deceivers." Many vain babblers have a one cylinder brain and an eight cylinder tongue, making divine claims, but being emissaries of the Devil, false prophets –Matthew 7:21-23; 2 Peter 2:1-2; 2 Peter 2:17-18.

3) "Specially they of the circumcision." (malista hoi ek tes peritomes) "Specifically those of the circumcision," the Jews. It was professing Jews who reverted to ceremonies of Judaism that disturbed the Antioch, Jerusalem, and other New Testament churches, Acts 15:1-2; Acts 15:5; Acts 15:23-24. Their mouths must be stopped, their false claims answered, exposed by true prophets, pastors of God, James 1:26.

Verse 11

1) "Whose mouths must be stopped." (ous dei epistomizein) "Whose mouths it behooves to stop," or it is proper to shut up. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.

2) "Who subvert whole houses." (oitines holous oikous) "Who (of the circumcision) trip up, undermine, or subvert entire households or families." Matthew 23:14; These kind are domestic home-breakers who will lead-on captive, silly women, unthinking women for filthy lucre, base monetary gain. 2 Timothy 3:6.

3) "Teaching things which they ought not." (didaskontes ha me dei) "Teaching things which behooves not, or which ought not to be taught." 2 Timothy 3:7-9.

4) "For filthy lucre’s sake." (aischrou kerdous charin) "For the sake of base gain, or personal greedy financial profit to themselves." Peter asserted that such persons would make "merchandise" of God’s children for their own covetous gain. 2 Peter 2:2-3.

Verse 12

1) "One of themselves." (eipen tis eks auton) "One out of their own number" - One of the Cretian Jewish, vain talking, greedy, circumcision false prophets, living among the Cretian Greeks.

2) "Even a prophet of their own, said," (idios auton prophetes) "A prophet of their own midst" (had said). Even a false prophet speaks part truth, else he could not deceive and lead astray. Matthew 7:15-18.

3) "The Cretians are always." (kretes aei) "Cretians are always."

a) "Liars" - (pseustai) "Untruthful."

b) "Evil beasts." - (kaka) "Like vicious beasts."

c) "Slow bellies" - (gasteres argai) "Idle gluttons, lazy gorgers, or lard-bellies." The glutton and the drunkard are condemned alike in the law of the Lord as intemperate rebels against His commands, Deuteronomy 21:20; Proverbs 23:21. This excess of eating, gluttonous gorging, was condemned by Solomon and Peter. Proverbs 25:16; 1 Peter 4:3-4.

Verse 13

1) "This witness is true." (he martisria hauta estin aIethes) "This testimony is true." This is their habit of life. It appears that this habit pattern of gluttony and living like animals morally was over-lapping their Christian profession.

2) "Wherefore rebuke them sharply." (di’ hen aitian elegche autous apotomos) "On account of this, rebuke them severely or sharply." To rebuke for wrong is important in instructing in righteousness and an important factor in Christian growth, 2 Timothy 4:2.

3) "That they may be sound in the faith." (hina hugiainosin en te pistei) "In order that they may be healthy or secure in the practice of their faith." Truth and error like water and oil just will not harmoniously or usefully mix. Luke 16:13; 1 John 2:15.

Verse 14

1) "Not giving heed to Jewish fables." (me prosechontes ioudaikois muthois) "Not holding on to Jewish myths" - Myths and fables constituted a basis for the commandments of men and traditions of Jewish elders, which our Lord condemned. Matthew 15:1-14.

2) "And commandments of men." (kai entolais anthropon) "And commandments of men" - not of God. To set aside The commandments of God for the unsound, unbiblical philosophies of men, tends toward sure judgement. Mark 7:3-9.

3) "That turn from the truth," (apostrephomenon ten aletheian) "that continually turn or point away from the truth." Vain philosophy, deceit, and traditions of men may spoil a saint from Christian usefulness, Colossians 2:8. Against Jewish error, peddled as gospel truth, Paul warned the Colossian brethren, as well as Titus. Colossians 2:16; Colossians 2:18; Colossians 2:20; Colossians 2:22.

Verse 15

1) "Unto the pure all things are pure." (panta katharatois katharois) "All things (are) clean to those who are clean." To the Christians who had been cleansed from sin by faith in Christ, the Law had no jurisdiction over them, concerning "the clean and unclean," as regards meats, Colossians 2:16-17; Romans 14:14; Romans 14:20.

2) "But unto them that are defiled and unbelieving." (tois de memiammenois kai apistois) "but to those having been defiled or continually corrupt and unfaithful."

3) "Is nothing pure." louden katharon) "Not one thing is clean." Because the defilement of the hypocritical Cretian professors was so gross they considered nothing to be clean or pure. Romans 14:14.

4) "But even their mind and conscience is defiled." (alla memiantai auton kai ho nous kai he suneidesis) Romans 14:23; 2 Peter 2:12-13.

Verse 16

1) "They profess that they know God;" (theon homologousin eidenai) "They profess to know God." These claimed to know God, but their manner of life contradicted the profession. Our Lord advised "by their fruits ye shall know them." Matthew 7:15-20.

2) "But in works they deny him." (tois de ergois arnountai) "Yet in their works they deny him." 2 Peter 2:1; 2 Peter 2:10.

3) "Being abominable, and disobedient." (bdeluktoi ontes kai apeitheis) "Being abominable and disobedient or unpersuaded." Both Peter and Jude spoke severe words of condemnation against infiltrating professors among God’s people, false professors who lived lives of moral, ethical, and doctrinal hypocrisy, 2 Peter 2:17-19; Judges 1:4; Judges 1:8; Judges 1:10.

4) "And unto every good work reprobate." (kai pros pon ergon agathon adokimoi) "and toward every good work unseeming or reprobate." Judges 1:12-13.

Surely the presence of false Jewish professors in the Cretian congregations was an occasion for Paul’s concern that Titus set moral orderliness instructions in the congregations and ordain elders and Bishops to teach and oversee orderliness in the churches, Titus 1:5.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Titus 1". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. 1985.