Tit 1:5-9 For what two-fold purpose had Paul left Titus in Crete? Note: In the rest of chapter 1 Paul expounds on the appointment of elders, and in chapters 2 and 3 addresses the things that remain that Titus is to set in order. What is the first qualification Paul gives for an elder in Tit 1:6? See also 1 Tim 3:2. Is it significant that he repeats this qualification in Tit 1:7? Why does Paul say in Tit 1:7 that the overseer must be above reproach? What did Paul understand to be the difference between an elder (or presbyter, Tit 1:5) and an overseer (or bishop, Tit 1:7)? Note that there is no difference; “elder” describes one’s mature status for the office and “overseer”, together with “shepherd” or “pastor”, describes one’s function in the office. See also Acts 20:17,28, 1 Pet 5:1-2. In what area especially is an elder/overseer to be above reproach, and why is this area so important? See Tit 1:6, 1 Tim 3:4-5. What is “dissipation” (Tit 1:6; KJV = riot, NIV = wild). See Eph 5:18, and note that the word means literally “not saved”. How do the qualifications Paul gives for elders/overseers in these verses compare with those he gave in 1 Tim 3:2-7? Why is it important that God’s ministers not be fond of sordid gain? See Tit 1:11, 2 Pet 2:3. Why is it important that they “hold fast the faithful word”? See Tit 1:9. What does Tit 1:9 teach us about one of the primary roles of an elder/overseer?
Tit 1:10-13 Why is it so important that an elder be able to “exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict”? See Tit 1:10-11. Would those whom Paul describes in these verses appear to be profane or irreligious to the casual observer? See also Tit 1:16. What does Paul mean by “empty talkers”? See 2 Pet 2:18-19, Prov 7:5,21-23. Are there still preachers and teachers like this today who have an outward appearance of religion but whose talk is empty and who in reality are “mind-deceivers” (literal)? See also 2 Tim 3:13. For what ultimate purpose do false teachers teach the things they should not, and what is the result? See Tit 1:11 and again 2 Pet 2:3. What does Paul mean that in so doing they upset whole families (or, entire households)? Does he mean literal households, or perhaps also the household of God (1 Tim 3:15)? See also John 2:15 and 2 Tim 2:18 for the only other NT occurrences of the Greek word for “upset”, which is variously translated here as “subvert” (KJV) or “ruin” (NIV). What was the character of the Cretans that made them all the more susceptible to false teaching? Was Paul’s direction to Titus that he should meet the Cretans where they were at and bring them along slowly so as to not offend them? What does “reprove severely” mean? Cf. 2 Cor 13:10 for “severely”, which means literally to cut off. For what purpose is it sometimes necessary for a minister to rebuke sharply? See Tit 1:13.
Tit 1:14-16 What were the Jewish myths and commandments of men to which Paul refers in Tit 1:14? See Tit 1:10, 1 Tim 1:7, 4:3,7-8, Col 2:20-23. Would those to whom Paul refers have believed they had turned away from the truth (Tit 1:14)? See Tit 1:16; cf. 1 Tim 1:7. What does Paul mean that to the pure, all things are pure? See Rom 14:14,20, 1 Cor 6:12. What is the great danger of supposing that our purity before God is of the flesh and not of the heart? See Tit 1:15b-16. Note: “detestable” means abominable; see Mat 24:15; “worthless” in Tit 1:16 is the same word translated by the KJV as “reprobate” and “castaway”; it means unapproved, tested and found to have failed; see 1 Cor 9:27, 2 Tim 3:5-8. Is it by word or by deed that men most deny God? Considering the religious profession of those to whom Paul refers, what is the nature of the deeds by which they deny God? See Tit 1:14-15, Jn 9:40-41, Rom 2:17-24, Mat 23:23-28,33, 2 Tim 3:5.
1. Note: the Cretan prophet Paul refers to was Epimenides, who tradition says 6 centuries earlier was summoned by the elders of Athens to assist the city in turning back a terrible plague; he counseled them to erect an altar to the unknown God who was great and good enough to hear their pleas and overlook their ignorance for not knowing his name (see Acts 17:23).↩