One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.
Comment: This rather shocking statement of Cretan character was apparently made by a Cretan poet named Epimenides. We are all prepared to make statements like ‘well we all know that …..s are……’ – then usually naming a national negative characteristic.
Paul then adds to this his personal judgement of what the church is like in Crete. I think that his accusations are mainly fired at those who are seeking to mislead the young inadequately taught church, which he loves as a father loves his own children. He is prepared to use strong words for a frightening, horrible situation. He does not want the church led into false belief nor evil practices! Hearing this letter read, if I were a Cretan and if I knew it was true, would make me squirm in my seat and hope to be changed by the gospel!
Prayer: Please put Your finger on the points in my life where I need to change, O God.
One thought on “Titus 1: 12-16…A national characteristic well known”
Thank you Barry for your comments on this passage. It is amazing how a bad reputation seems to spread very quickly. We humans seem to be very good at passing on scandalous news much more readily than good news. The Book of James talks about “gossip” and how this is not a trait for Christians to have. We are to have the “fruit of the Spirit”, and also think on things that are good, and lovely, and true and pure etc. God bless you.