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Titus


Training for a Christian life

  1.Salutation late spring 57ce

1FROM PAUL,

SERVANT of God and apostle of Jesus Christ, marked as such by faith and knowledge and hope—the faith of God's chosen people, knowledge of the truth as our religion has it, and the hope of eternal life. [Or: apostle of Jesus Christ, to bring God's chosen people to faith and to a knowledge of the truth as our religion has it, with its hope for eternal life.] 2Yes, it is eternal life that God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago, 3and now in his own good time he has openly declared himself in the proclamation which was entrusted to me by ordinance of God our Saviour.

4To Titus, my true-born son in the faith which we share, grace and peace from God our Father and Christ Jesus our Saviour.

Titus' Work in Crete

5My intention in leaving you behind in Crete was that you should set in order what was left over, and in particular should institute elders in each town. In doing so, observe the tests I prescribed: 6is he a man of unimpeachable character, faithful to his one wife, [See note on 1 Timothy 3.2.] the father of children who are believers, who are under no imputation of loose living, and are not out of control? 7For as God's steward a bishop must be a man of unimpeachable character. He must not be overbearing or short-tempered; he must be no drinker, no brawler, no money-grubber, 8but hospitable, right-minded, temperate, just, devout, and self-controlled. 9He must adhere to the true doctrine, so that he may be well able both to move his hearers with wholesome teaching and to confute objectors.

10There are all too many, especially among Jewish converts, who are out of all control; they talk wildly and lead men's minds astray. 11Such men must be curbed, because they are ruining whole families by teaching things they should not, and all for sordid gain. 12It was a Cretan prophet, one of their own countrymen, who said, 'Cretans were always liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons'— 13and he told the truth! All the more reason why you should pull them up sharply, so that they may come to a sane belief, 14instead of lending their ears to Jewish myths and commandments of merely human origin, the work of men who turn their backs upon the truth.

15To the pure all things are pure; but nothing is pure to the tainted minds of disbelievers, tainted alike in reason and conscience. 16They profess to acknowledge God, but deny him by their actions. Their detestable obstinacy disqualifies them for any good work.


  2.The Teaching of Sound Doctrine

1For your own part, what you say must be in keeping with wholesome doctrine. 2Let the older men know that they should be sober, high-principled, and temperate, sound in faith, in love, and in endurance. 3The older women, similarly, should be reverent in their bearing, not scandal-mongers or slaves to strong drink; they must set a high standard, 4and school the younger women to be loving wives and mothers, 5temperate, chaste, and kind, busy at home, respecting the authority of their own husbands. Thus the Gospel will not be brought into disrepute.

6Urge the younger men, similarly, to be temperate 7in all things, and set them a good example yourself. In your teaching, you must show integrity and high principle, 8and use wholesome speech to which none can take exception. This will shame any opponent, when he finds not a word to say to our discredit.

9Tell slaves to respect their masters' authority in everything, and to comply with their demands without answering back; 10not to pilfer, but to show themselves strictly honest and trustworthy; for in all such ways they will add lustre to the doctrine of God our Saviour.

11For the grace of God has dawned upon the world with healing for all mankind; 12and by it we are disciplined to renounce godless ways and worldly desires, and to live a life of temperance, honesty, and godliness in the present age, 13looking forward to the happy fulfilment of our hope when the splendour of our great God and Saviour [Or: of the great God and our Saviour ...] Christ Jesus will appear. 14He it is who sacrificed himself for us, to set us free from all wickedness and to make us a pure people marked out for his own, eager to do good.

15These, then, are your themes; urge them and argue them. And speak with authority: let no one slight you.


  3.Maintain Good Deeds

1Remind them to be submissive to the government and the authorities, to obey them, and to be ready for any honourable form of work; [Or: ready always to do good.] 2to slander no one, not to pick quarrels, to show forbearance and a consistently gentle disposition towards all men.

3For at one time we ourselves in our folly and obstinacy were all astray. We were slaves to passions and pleasures of every kind. Our days were passed in malice and envy; we were odious ourselves and we hated one another. 4But when the kindness and generosity of God our Saviour dawned upon the world, 5then, not for any good deeds of our own, but because he was merciful, he saved us through the water of rebirth and the renewing power of [Or: the water of rebirth and of renewal by ...] the Holy Spirit. 6For he sent down the Spirit upon us plentifully through Jesus Christ our Saviour, 7so that, justified by his grace, we might in hope become heirs to eternal life. 8These are words you may trust.

Such are the points I should wish you to insist on. Those who have come to believe in God should see that they engage in honourable occupations, which are not only honourable in themselves, but also useful to their fellow-men. [Or: should make it their business to practice virtue. These precepts are good in themselves and useful to society.] 9But steer clear of foolish speculations, genealogies, quarrels, and controversies over the Law; they are unprofitable and pointless.

10A heretic should be warned once, and once again; after that, have done with him, 11recognizing that a man of that sort has a distorted mind and stands self-condemned in his sin.

Personal Instructions and Greeting

12When I send Artemas to you, or Tychicus, make haste to join me at Nicopolis, for that is where I have determined to spend the winter. 13Do your utmost to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their travels, and see that they are not short of anything. 14And our own people must be taught to engage in honest employment to produce the necessities of life; they must not be unproductive.

15All who are with me send you greetings. My greetings to those who are our friends in truth. [Or: our friends in the faith.] Grace be with you all!


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