|New International Version (©2011)|
One of Crete's own prophets has said it: "Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons."
New Living Translation (©2007)
Even one of their own men, a prophet from Crete, has said about them, "The people of Crete are all liars, cruel animals, and lazy gluttons."
English Standard Version (©2001)
One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons."
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
One of their very own prophets said, Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.
International Standard Version (©2012)
One of their very own prophets said, "Liars ever, men of Crete, savage brutes that live to eat."
NET Bible (©2006)
A certain one of them, in fact, one of their own prophets, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons."
Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
One man among them, their own Prophet said, “The children of Crete are always liars, wicked beasts and idle bellies.”
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Even one of their own prophets said, "Cretans are always liars, savage animals, and lazy gluttons."
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.
American King James Version
One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.
American Standard Version
One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, idle gluttons.
One of them a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slothful bellies.
Darby Bible Translation
One of themselves, a prophet of their own, has said, Cretans are always liars, evil wild beasts, lazy gluttons.
English Revised Version
One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, Cretans are alway liars, evil beasts, idle gluttons.
Webster's Bible Translation
One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.
Weymouth New Testament
One of their own number--a Prophet who is a countryman of theirs--has said, "Cretans are always liars, dangerous animals, idle gluttons."
World English Bible
One of them, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, and idle gluttons."
Young's Literal Translation
A certain one of them, a prophet of their own, said -- 'Cretans! always liars, evil beasts, lazy bellies!'
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:10-16 False teachers are described. Faithful ministers must oppose such in good time, that their folly being made manifest, they may go no further They had a base end in what they did; serving a worldly interest under pretence of religion: for the love of money is the root of all evil. Such should be resisted, and put to shame, by sound doctrine from the Scriptures. Shameful actions, the reproach of heathens, should be far from Christians; falsehood and lying, envious craft and cruelty, brutal and sensual practices, and idleness and sloth, are sins condemned even by the light of nature. But Christian meekness is as far from cowardly passing over sin and error, as from anger and impatience. And though there may be national differences of character, yet the heart of man in every age and place is deceitful and desperately wicked. But the sharpest reproofs must aim at the good of the reproved; and soundness in the faith is most desirable and necessary. To those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; they abuse, and turn things lawful and good into sin. Many profess to know God, yet in their lives deny and reject him. See the miserable state of hypocrites, such as have a form of godliness, but are without the power; yet let us not be so ready to fix this charge on others, as careful that it does not apply to ourselves.
Verse 12. - A prophet for even a prophet, A.V.; Cretan, s for the Cretinous, A.V.; idle gluttons for slow bellies, A.V. A prophet of their own; viz. Epimenides, a native either of Phaestus or of Cnossus in Crete, the original author of this line, which is also quoted by Callimachus. Epimenides is here called a prophet, not simply as a poet, but from his peculiar character as priest, bard, and seer; called by Plato θεῖος ἀνήρ, and coupled by Cicero with Bacis the B.C.eotian prophet, and the sibyl (Bishop Ellicott); described by other ancient writers as a prophet (Alford); "everything we hear of him is of a priestly or religious nature" ('Dict. of Gr. and Romans Biogr. and Mythol.'). Cretans are always liars, etc. So truly was this their characteristic, that κρητίζειν was used to denote" telling lies" - "to lie like a Cretan" (Plutarch, etc.). From their general bad character arose the line, Κρῆτες Καππάδοκοι, Κίλικες τρία κάππα κάκιστα; and Livy, Polybius, and Plutarch alike hear witness to their covetousness and dishonesty: Τις Κρητῶν οἴδε δικαιοσύνην; "When was there ever an upright Cretan?" asks Leonides in an ' Epigram' (Farrar, ' St. Paul,' vol. it. p. 534). Evil beasts. Θήριον is "a wild beast;" applied to men as a term of reproach (1 Corinthians 15:32), it implies brutality, stupidity, unreasonableness, and, with the epithet κακά, mischief, like the French mechante bete. The 'Epigram' above quoted calls them ληισταὶ καὶ ἁλιφθόροι, "pirates and wreckers." Idle gluttons; literally, idle bellies. The substantive denotes their gluttony and sensuality (comp. Romans 16:18; Philippians 3:19, where κοιλία is equivalent to γαστήρ), and the adjective their sloth (ἀργαί, i.e. ἀεργαί); in old Greek it is usually of the common gender.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
One of themselves, even a prophet of their own,.... This was Epimenides, in whose poems stand the words here cited; the apostle rightly calls him "one of themselves", since he was a Cretian by birth, of the city of Gnossus; it is reported of him, that being sent by his father to his sheep in the field, he by the way, at noon, turned aside into a cave, and slept fifty seven years (m) and he is very properly called a "prophet" of their own; for in Crete Jupiter had his prophets (n), and he might be one of them: the priests among the Heathens were called prophets; so Baal's priests are called the prophets of Baal, and the prophets of the groves, 1 Kings 18:19. Besides, Epimenides was thought to be inspired by the gods: he is called by Apuleius (o), a famous fortune teller; and is said by Laertius (p) to be very skilful in divination, and to have foretold many things which came to pass; and by the Grecians were supposed to be very dear to the gods; so Balaam, the soothsayer and diviner, is called a prophet, 2 Peter 2:16. Add to this, that the passage next cited stands in a poem of this writer, entitled, "Concerning Oracles"; and it is easy to observe, that poets in common were usually called "vates", or prophets; so that the apostle speaks here with great propriety. Now concerning the inhabitants of Crete, Epimenides, a native of the place, and a person of great character and repute among them,
said, the Cretians are always liars: living is a sin common to human nature, and appears in men as early, or earlier than any other; and all men are guilty of it, at one time or another; but all are not habitually liars, as it seems these Cretians were: lying was a governing vice among them; they were not only guilty of it in some particular instances, but always; not only for saying that Jupiter's sepulchre was with them, when it was the sepulchre of Minos his son, which they had fraudulently obliterated; and for which (q) Callimachus charges them with lying, and uses these very words of Epimenides; though he assigns a different reason from that now given, which is, that Jupiter died not, but always exists, and therefore his sepulchre could not be with them: but this single instance was not sufficient to fasten such a character upon them; it was a sin they were addicted to: some countries are distinguished by their vices; some for pride; some for levity, vanity, and inconstancy; some for boasting and bragging some for covetousness; some for idleness; some for effeminacy; some for hypocrisy and deceit; and others, as the Cretians, it seems, for lying; this was their national sin (r); and this is said by others, as well as Epimenides. Crete is, by Ovid (s), called "mendax Creta", lying Crete. Hence, with the Grecians, to "cretize", is proverbially used for to lie; this is a sin, than which nothing makes a man more like the devil, or more infamous among men, or more abominable to God. The Ethiopic version, instead of Cretes, or Cretians, reads "hypocrites". Other characters of them, from the same Heathen poet, follow,
evil beasts: slow bellies; by evil beasts are meant beasts of prey, savage and mischievous ones; see Genesis 37:20 and are so called, to distinguish them from other beasts, as sheep, and the like, which are not so; and perhaps Crete might abound with such evil beasts; for the Cretians are said (t) to excel in hunting; and to these they themselves are compared, by one of their own prophets, for their cruelty, and savage disposition: so cruel persecutors are compared to beasts, 1 Corinthians 15:30 and the false teachers, the apostle has respect to in citing this passage, were cruel, if not to the bodies, yet to the souls of men, whom they poisoned and destroyed. And the Cretians are called, by the poet, slow bellies partly for their intemperance, their gluttony and drunkenness: which suited with the false teachers, whose god was their belly, and which they served, and not the Lord Jesus; and partly for their sloth and idleness, eating the bread of others without working.
(m) Laert. l. 1. Vita Epimenidis. (n) Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier, l. 4. c. 17. (o) Florida, sect. 15. (p) Ib. (q) Hymn. l. in Jovem, v. 8. (r) Alex. ab Alex. l. 4. c. 13. (s) De Arte Amandi, l. 1.((t) Alex. ab Alex. ib.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
12. One—Epimenides of Phæstus, or Gnossus, in Crete, about 600. He was sent for to purify Athens from its pollution occasioned by Cylon. He was regarded as a diviner and prophet. The words here are taken probably from his treatise "concerning oracles." Paul also quotes from two other heathen writers, Aratus (Ac 17:28) and Menander (1Co 15:33), but he does not honor them so far as even to mention their names.
of themselves … their own—which enhances his authority as a witness. "To Cretanize" was proverbial for to lie: as "to Corinthianize" was for to be dissolute.
alway liars—not merely at times, as every natural man is. Contrast Tit 1:2, "God that cannot lie." They love "fables" (Tit 1:14); even the heathen poets laughed at their lying assertion that they had in their country the sepulchre of Jupiter.
evil beasts—rude, savage, cunning, greedy. Crete was a country without wild beasts. Epimenides' sarcasm was that its human inhabitants supplied the place of wild beasts.
slow bellies—indolent through pampering their bellies. They themselves are called "bellies," for that is the member for which they live (Ro 16:18; Php 3:19).
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