Titus 1:5
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.

New Living Translation
I left you on the island of Crete so you could complete our work there and appoint elders in each town as I instructed you.

English Standard Version
This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—

Berean Study Bible
The reason I left you in Crete was that you would set in order what was unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.

Berean Literal Bible
On account of this I left you in Crete, that you might set in order the things lacking and might appoint elders in every town, as I directed you,

New American Standard Bible
For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you,

King James Bible
For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The reason I left you in Crete was to set right what was left undone and, as I directed you, to appoint elders in every town:

International Standard Version
The reason I left you in Crete was to complete what still needed to be done and to appoint elders in every city, as I myself commanded you.

NET Bible
The reason I left you in Crete was to set in order the remaining matters and to appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.

New Heart English Bible
I left you in Crete for this reason, that you would set in order the things that were lacking, and appoint elders in every city, as I directed you;

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For this reason I had left you in Crete, that you might set right those things that are lacking, and ordain Elders in each city just as I ordered you:

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I left you in Crete to do what still needed to be done-appointing spiritual leaders in every city as I directed you.

New American Standard 1977
For this reason I left you in Crete, that you might set in order what remains, and appoint elders in every city as I directed you,

Jubilee Bible 2000
For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou should correct that which is lacking and set in place elders in every city, as I had commanded thee:

King James 2000 Bible
For this cause I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed you:

American King James Version
For this cause left I you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed you:

American Standard Version
For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that were wanting, and appoint elders in every city, as I gave thee charge;

Douay-Rheims Bible
For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and shouldest ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed thee:

Darby Bible Translation
For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou mightest go on to set right what remained [unordered], and establish elders in each city, as I had ordered thee:

English Revised Version
For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that were wanting, and appoint elders in every city, as I gave thee charge;

Webster's Bible Translation
For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldst set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

Weymouth New Testament
I have left you behind in Crete in order that you may set right the things which still require attention, and appoint Elders in every town, as I directed you to do;

World English Bible
I left you in Crete for this reason, that you would set in order the things that were lacking, and appoint elders in every city, as I directed you;

Young's Literal Translation
For this cause left I thee in Crete, that the things lacking thou mayest arrange, and mayest set down in every city elders, as I did appoint to thee;
Study Bible
Appointing Elders on Crete
4To Titus, my true child in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. 5The reason I left you in Crete was that you would set in order what was unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. 6An elder must be blameless, the husband of one wife, having children who are believers and are not open to accusation of indiscretion or insubordination.…
Cross References
Acts 11:30
This they did, sending their gifts to the elders with Barnabas and Saul.

Acts 14:23
Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church, praying and fasting as they entrusted them to the Lord, in whom they had believed.

Acts 27:7
After sailing slowly for many days, we arrived off Cnidus. When the wind impeded us, we sailed to the lee of Crete, opposite Salmone.

Acts 27:12
Since the harbor was unsuitable to winter in, the majority decided to sail on, if somehow they could reach Phoenix to winter there. Phoenix was a harbor in Crete facing both southwest and northwest.

Acts 27:13
When a gentle south wind began to blow, they thought they had their opportunity. So they weighed anchor and sailed along, hugging the coast of Crete.

1 Corinthians 4:17
That is why I have sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which is exactly what I teach everywhere in every church.

Titus 1:12
As one of their own prophets has said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons."
Treasury of Scripture

For this cause left I you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed you:

I left.

1 Timothy 1:3 As I sought you to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, …

Crete.

Acts 2:11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful …

Acts 27:7,12,21 And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over …

set.

1 Chronicles 6:32 And they ministered before the dwelling place of the tabernacle of …

Ecclesiastes 12:9 And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the …

Isaiah 44:7 And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order …

1 Corinthians 11:34 And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that you come not together …

1 Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

Colossians 2:5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, …

wanting, or, left undone. and.

Acts 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed …

2 Timothy 2:2 And the things that you have heard of me among many witnesses, the …

(5) For this cause left I thee in Crete.--The "cause" is discussed below. Crete--over whose Christian population Titus had been placed by St. Paul--was a well-known large and populous island in the Mediterranean. It lies geographically further south than any of the European islands, and, roughly speaking, almost at an equal distance from each of the three Old World continents--Europe, Asia, Africa. We identify it with the Caphtor of the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 2:23; Jeremiah 47:4; Amos 9:7). In modern times it is known by us as Candia. Very early it was the scene of an advanced civilisation. In the Odyssey it is mentioned as possessing ninety cities; in the Iliad as many as one hundred. Metellus added it, B.C. 69, to the Roman dominion. In the days of Augustus it was united into one province with Cyrene. It abounded with Jews of wealth and influence; this we learn from the testimony of Philo and of Josephus. It probably received the gospel from some of those of "Crete" who we are expressly told were present when the Spirit was poured on the Apostles on the first Pentecost after the Resurrection (Acts 2:11). The apparently flourishing state of Christianity on the island at this time was in great measure, no doubt, owing to the residence and labours among them of the Apostle St. Paul, whose work appears to have been mainly directed to preaching the gospel and to increasing the number of the converts, which, from the wording of Titus 1:5, was evidently very great, elders (presbyters) being required in every city.

The task of organising the Church had been left for a season. We are ignorant of the circumstance which summoned the old Apostle from the scene of what seems to have been most successful labours. He left behind him one of the ablest of his disciples, Titus--a tried and well-known Christian leader of the second half of the first century--to organise the church life and to regulate the teaching of the powerful and numerous Christian community of Crete.

The Epistle addressed to Titus contains the formal credentials of his high office, stamping all his acts with the great name and authority of St. Paul; hence the careful and elaborate phraseology of the first four verses. Though addressed to one, they would have to be referred to and read often among the elders (presbyters) and deacons in the various churches. St. Paul wrote the Letter, we are told, when on his way to Nicopolis to winter; we believe, soon after his arrival there he was arrested and sent to Rome to die. The date of this Letter, then, would be A.D. 65 or 66, and was probably written from some place in Asia Minor--perhaps Ephesus.

That thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting.--These words explain the "cause" of Titus' appointment in Crete. The "things that are wanting" were what St. Paul meant, no doubt, to have done himself, but was prevented by being hurried away--for him the end was nigh at hand. These "things" were want of church officials, lack of church government, want of cohesion between the churches of the island--in a word, there was plenty of Christian life, but no Christian organisation as yet in Crete. It was rather a number of Christian brotherhoods than one.

And ordain elders in every city.--The number of presbyters in each town or city is not specified, but is left to Titus' judgment. We know that in some churches there were certainly several of these presbyters (see Acts 14:23; Acts 15:22). The words "in every city" point to the wide extension of Christianity at that early period in Crete.

As I had appointed thee.--Or better, as I gave thee directions. These presbyters were to be most carefully selected, according to the special instructions Titus must remember St. Paul giving him in this important matter on some previous occasion. The more urgent of these qualifications for the presbyteral rank the Apostle now repeats for Titus' guidance.

Verse 5. - Were for are, A.V.; appoint for ordain, A.V.; gave thee charge for had appointed thee, A.V. Left I thee in Crete. We have no account of St. Paul's visit to Crete, nor do we know how the gospel was first brought to Crete. It may have been by some of those "Cretes" who were at Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost, and heard the apostles speak in their tongue "the wonderful works of God" (Acts 2:11), or by other Christian Jews visiting the Jewish community in Crete (note to ver. 1). If St. Paul was returning from Spain, and travelling by ship eastward, Crete would be on his way. The importance of the island, with which he made some acquaintance on his voyage from Caesarea to Rome (Acts 27:7, 8), and the large Jewish colony there, may naturally have inclined him to visit it. How long he remained there we do not know, but he did not stay long enough to organize the Church there completely. There were still things "wanting" (τὰ λείποντα), as it follows. This mention of Crete is an important chronological mark. The order of St. Paul's progress, as gathered from the three pastoral Epistles, is very distinct - Crete, Miletus, Troas, Macedonia, Corinth, Nicopolis, Rome. He dropped Titus at Crete, and left Timothy behind at Ephesus. The Epistle to Titus, therefore, is the first of the three pastoral Epistles, and this is borne out by another circumstance. When he wrote to Titus he had not made up his mind whether he should send Artemas or Tychicus to take his place in Crete when he rejoined the apostle (Titus 3:12). But when he wrote 2 Timothy he had sent Tychicus to Ephesus to replace Timothy (2 Timothy 4:12), and Titus had already joined him, and been sent on by him to Dalmatia, presumably from Nicopolis. Set in order (ἐπιδιορθώσῃ); only here in the New Testament, and not found in the LXX. nor in classical Greek, except as a technical word in the art of rhetoric. But διορθόω is very common in classical Greek (see ἐπανόρθωσις, 2 Timothy 3:16). The force of ἐπί in the compound here is "further," or "in addition." St. Paul had set the Church in order up to a certain point. But there were still certain things wanting, τὰ λείποντα (see Titus 3:13; Luke 18:22); and these Titus was to supply and give the finishing touch to. Appoint (καταστήσῃς). This is a better rendering than the A.V. "ordain," because it is a general word for "to appoint, make." Probably the A.V. "ordain" was not intended to be taken in a strictly technical sense, but is used as in Hebrews 5:1; Hebrews 8:3. The technical word was usually "to order." "The Ordering of Deacons," or "of Priests," is the title of the service in the Book of Common Prayer. "Meet to be ordered," "shall surcease from ordering," occur repeatedly in the rubrics, Elders (πρεσβυτέρους); i.e. presbyters, or priests (comp. Acts 14:23; and see Acts 11:30, note). In every city (κατὰ πόλιν); city by city. The phrase has a peculiar significance in Crete, which used to be famous for its hundred cities. It shows, too, that Christianity was widely spread among the cities of the island. The germ of the episcopal office, one bishop and many presbyters, is here very conspicuous. For this cause left I thee in Crete,.... Not in his voyage to Rome, Acts 27:7 but rather when he came from Macedonia into Greece, Acts 20:2. Crete is an island in the Mediterranean sea, now called Candy; See Gill on Acts 2:11. Here Paul preached the Gospel to the conversion of many; but not having time to finish what he begun, left Titus here for that purpose:

that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting; that is, form the young converts into Gospel order, into a regular Gospel church state; settle a proper discipline among them; instruct them more largely into the doctrines of the Gospel; and correct their manners, and direct them in everything, both with respect to faith and practice:

and ordain elders in every city: for this island, though it was not above fifty miles in breadth, and two hundred and seventy in length, yet had an hundred cities in it (d); and it seems as if the Gospel had been preached in most, if not all of them, and churches were formed: however, in as many of them as there were churches, the apostle would have Titus see to it, and take care that they had proper officers fixed in them, particularly elders, pastors, or overseers, to preach the Gospel, and administer the ordinances to them, to watch over them in the Lord, and put the laws of Christ's house in execution, and keep up a strict discipline in it, according to the will of God. What Titus was to do in this affair, was to put the churches upon looking out, and choosing from among themselves proper persons for such service, and to direct, assist, and preside at the elections and ordinations of them: for we are not to suppose, that the ordination of elders was the sole act of Titus, or alone resided in him; but in like manner as Paul and Barnabas ordained elders in every church, by the suffrages of the people, signified by the stretching out of their hands; in which they directed, presided, and also assisted in prayer, with fasting, Acts 14:23

as I had appointed thee; when he left him at Crete; when he gave him orders and instructions, both with respect to the persons, and their qualifications, whom he would have ordained, and with respect to the manner in which it should be done: the former of these he repeats in the following verses. From all which it clearly appears, that there were churches in Crete, and pastors placed over those churches; very probably the Cretes, who were at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2:11, and heard Peter's sermon, and were converted by him, some of them returning to their own country, might first bring the Gospel to this island, and lay the foundation of a Gospel church state here. It seems by what is said in this text, that the Apostle Paul was in this island himself, and preached the Gospel, and after him Titus, whom he left behind; and if any credit is to be given to the subscription of this epistle, he was the first bishop of the church in it: and it is certain, that in the "second" century there were churches in this island, particularly at Gortyna, and other places, to whom Dionysius (e), bishop of Corinth, wrote letters, in which he greatly extols Philip their bishop; and in another letter of his to the Gnossians, or to the church at Gnossus, another city in Crete, he makes mention of Pinytus as their bishop, and whom he commends for his orthodox faith, great knowledge of divine things, and care of his flock; and both these lived in the times of the Emperors Antoninus Verus and Commodus (f); which churches, no doubt, continued in the "third" century, since in the "fourth" we read of bishops sent from Crete to the synod at Sardica: and in the "fifth" century, a bishop of Gortyna in Crete is reckoned among the bishops in the council of Chalcedon: and in the "sixth" century, Theodorus, bishop of the same place, subscribed in the fifth synod at Constantinople: and in the "seventh" century, Paul archbishop of Crete, Basil bishop of Gortyna, with several other bishops of churches in the island, were present at the sixth synod at Constantinople: and in the "eighth" century, as appears from the acts of the Nicene synod, Helias was bishop of Crete, Anastasius bishop of Gnossus, a city in it, and Melito, Leontins, and Galatas, bishops of other places in the same island: and in the "ninth" century, a bishop of Gortyna, in defence of the cause of Christ, became a martyr (g); so far churches, and bishops, bearing the Christian name, are to be traced in this island.

(d) Plin. l. 4. c. 12. Mela, l. 2. c. 14. Solin, c. 16. (e) Apud Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 3. c. 24. (f) Sophronius in Hieron. Catalog. Script. Eccl. c. 38. 40. (g) Hist. Eccl. Magdeburg. cent. 4. c. 2. p. 5. c. 9. p. 425. cent. 5. c. 2. p. 6. cent. 6. c. 2. p. 6. cent. 7. c. 2. p. 4. c. 10. p. 255. cent. 8. c. 2. p. 6. cent. 9. c. 2. p. 4. 5. I left thee—"I left thee behind" [Alford] when I left the island: not implying permanence of commission (compare 1Ti 1:3).

in Crete—now Candia.

set in order—rather as Greek, "that thou mightest follow up (the work begun by me), setting right the things that are wanting," which I was unable to complete by reason of the shortness of my stay in Crete. Christianity, doubtless, had long existed in Crete: there were some Cretans among those who heard Peter's preaching on Pentecost (Ac 2:11). The number of Jews in Crete was large (Tit 1:10), and it is likely that those scattered in the persecution of Stephen (Ac 11:19) preached to them, as they did to the Jews of Cyprus, etc. Paul also was there on his voyage to Rome (Ac 27:7-12). By all these instrumentalities the Gospel was sure to reach Crete. But until Paul's later visit, after his first imprisonment at Rome, the Cretan Christians were without Church organization. This Paul began, and had commissioned (before leaving Crete) Titus to go on with, and now reminds him of that commission.

ordain—rather, "appoint," "constitute."

in every city—"from city to city."

as I … appointed thee—that is, as I directed thee; prescribing as well the act of constituting elders, as also the manner of doing so, which latter includes the qualifications required in a presbyter presently stated. Those called "elders" here are called "bishops" in Tit 1:7. Elder is the term of dignity in relation to the college of presbyters; bishop points to the duties of his office in relation to the flock. From the unsound state of the Cretan Christians described here, we see the danger of the want of Church government. The appointment of presbyters was designed to check idle talk and speculation, by setting forth the "faithful word."1:5-9 The character and qualification of pastors, here called elders and bishops, agree with what the apostle wrote to Timothy. Being such bishops and overseers of the flock, to be examples to them, and God's stewards to take care of the affairs of his household, there is great reason that they should be blameless. What they are not to be, is plainly shown, as well as what they are to be, as servants of Christ, and able ministers of the letter and practice of the gospel. And here are described the spirit and practice becoming such as should be examples of good works.
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