Titus 1:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Titus 1:13, NIV: "This saying is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith"

Titus 1:13, ESV: "This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith,"

Titus 1:13, KJV: "This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;"

Titus 1:13, NASB: "This testimony is true. For this reason reprimand them severely so that they may be sound in the faith,"

Titus 1:13, NLT: "This is true. So reprimand them sternly to make them strong in the faith."

Titus 1:13, CSB: "This testimony is true. For this reason, rebuke them sharply, so that they may be sound in the faith"

What does Titus 1:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The claim to truth is a reference to verse 12, and Paul's quote of Epimenides. This writer referred to Cretans as liars, evil beasts, and lazy gluttons. How was Titus to respond to people who acted in such ways? Paul commanded Titus to "rebuke" them. This word is from the Greek elegcho, which implies a sense of challenging, shaming, correcting, and exposing. The meaning is similar to "scold," but with an emphasis on teaching more than punishing.

This command has to be understood in light of several points. First, the "rebuke" is targeted at Christians who hold false teachings. Paul is referring to believers, or those pretending to be believers, who are spreading false teachings.

Second, they are to be corrected "sharply." The original Greek term can also mean "abruptly." This is not a topic suitable for gentleness—it is a controversy with potential to greatly damage the church. Titus is to directly and clearly rebuke those who taught Gentile Christians they had to follow Mosaic law in order to truly serve God.

Third, the goal is to make others "sound in the faith." Titus was not attempting to scare people away from the church. The purpose of the rebuke was to help them live according to God's true, accurate, and healthy teachings for His people. This scolding has a positive intention, similar to Proverbs 28:23.