Titus 1:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Titus 1:16, NIV: "They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good."

Titus 1:16, ESV: "They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work."

Titus 1:16, KJV: "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate."

Titus 1:16, NASB: "They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed."

Titus 1:16, NLT: "Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good."

Titus 1:16, CSB: "They claim to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for any good work."

What does Titus 1:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

These are Paul's final words regarding Crete's false teachers. He clearly does not consider these phony figures to be true believers in Christ. They claimed to know God, but their actions proved they were not genuine believers. Christians can never be entirely sure of what is happening in another person's heart (1 Samuel 16:7). However, we can gauge others' actions to see if they're compatible with a redeemed life (1 John 1:6; James 2:26). In this case, Paul sees no reason to think these men are truly saved.

Paul states three additional characteristics of these false teachers: Calling these men "detestable" connected with the Jewish teaching of those who had not kept the Torah. For example, Jews who ate unclean food were called detestable (Leviticus 7:21), as were false gods and idols (2 Chronicles 15:8). These men claimed to obey God, yet Paul called them "disobedient." They were ultimately hypocrites, teaching obedience while living in disobedience themselves. Third, as a result, they were "unfit for any good work." These men stood in contrast with godly elders (Titus 1:5–9), who were to be above reproach and known for their good works.