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Titus chapter 1

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King James Version

New King James Version

What does Titus chapter 1 mean?

Titus is one of three Pastoral Epistles written by the apostle Paul, along with 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy. Chapter 1 addresses two major topics: church leadership qualifications (Titus 1:5–9), and dealing with offenders in the church (Titus 1:10–16). Paul addresses the recipient as Titus, a fellow missionary. Paul left Titus in Crete to serve as a church leader with the important task of selecting elders for individual house churches on the island (Titus 1:5).

In the introduction, Paul clearly identifies himself as the letter's author, and an apostle of Jesus Christ. Paul calls himself a "bondservant" of God, from the Greek word doulos. This term is an important metaphor. One who voluntarily gives up his service, according to someone else's will, is a doulos of that other person. It means committing one's time, energy, and efforts to the benefit of someone else. In this case, it describes Paul's Christian commitment to God, at the cost of his own interests.

Verses 5–9 provide a list of elder qualifications which Titus was to use in selecting or appointing church leaders. This list, along with 1 Timothy 3:1–7, includes the qualifications which have been used to select elders and pastors—church leaders—since New Testament times. They include character, family leadership, and teaching ability. This last trait includes an ability to "rebuke those who contradict" sound doctrine (Titus 1:9).

Verses 10–16 speak about false teachers in Crete. These men taught that circumcision was required for Christians (Titus 1:10), upsetting entire families in the process (Titus 1:11). Paul commanded Titus to rebuke them sharply, with the goal that they would be "sound," or accurate, in their faith (Titus 1:13).
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