11-4 I, Paul, am God’s slave and Christ’s agent for promoting the faith among God’s chosen people, getting out the accurate word on God and how to respond rightly to it. My aim is to raise hopes by pointing the way to life without end. This is the life God promised long ago—and he doesn’t break promises! And then when the time was ripe, he went public with his truth. I’ve been entrusted to proclaim this Message by order of our Savior, God himself. Dear Titus, legitimate son in the faith: Receive everything God our Father and Jesus our Savior give you!
A Good Grip on the Message
5-9 I left you in charge in Crete so you could complete what I left half-done. Appoint leaders in every town according to my instructions. As you select them, ask, “Is this man well-thought-of? Is he committed to his wife? Are his children believers? Do they respect him and stay out of trouble?” It’s important that a church leader, responsible for the affairs in God’s house, be looked up to—not pushy, not short-tempered, not a drunk, not a bully, not money-hungry. He must welcome people, be helpful, wise, fair, reverent, have a good grip on himself, and have a good grip on the Message, knowing how to use the truth to either spur people on in knowledge or stop them in their tracks if they oppose it.
10-16 For there are a lot of rebels out there, full of loose, confusing, and deceiving talk. Those who were brought up religious and ought to know better are the worst. They’ve got to be shut up. They’re disrupting entire families with their teaching, and all for the sake of a fast buck. One of their own prophets said it best:
The Cretans are liars from the womb,
barking dogs, lazy bellies.
He certainly spoke the truth. Get on them right away. Stop that diseased talk of Jewish make-believe and made-up rules so they can recover a robust faith. Everything is clean to the clean-minded; nothing is clean to dirty-minded unbelievers. They leave their dirty fingerprints on every thought and act. They say they know God, but their actions speak louder than their words. They’re real creeps, disobedient good-for-nothings.
1我保罗做上帝的奴仆和耶稣基督的使徒，是为了使上帝拣选的人有信心、明白真理，从而过敬虔的生活， 2有永生的盼望。这永生是从不说谎的上帝在亘古以前应许的。 3祂在所定的时候，借着人的传扬将自己的道显明出来。我奉我们救主上帝的命令传扬这道。
5当初，我把你留在克里特岛，是要你完成未办完的事工，并照我的指示在各城选立长老。 6做长老的必须无可指责，只有一位妻子，儿女都信主、没有放荡不羁的行为。 7身为上帝的管家，做监督的必须无可指责，不傲慢，不暴躁，不酗酒，不好斗，不贪财。 8他必须好客、乐善、自制、正直、圣洁、自律， 9持守所领受的真道，以便能够以纯正的教导劝勉人，驳倒那些反对的人。
10因为有许多悖逆之人喜欢空谈，善于欺骗，尤其是那些奉行割礼的人。 11你一定要堵住他们的口，因为他们为了不义之财教不该教的，误导了别人全家。 12克里特人自己的一位先知说：“克里特人说谎成性，邪恶如兽，好吃懒做。” 13这话是真的。因此你要严正地斥责他们，使他们有纯正的信仰， 14不理会犹太人荒诞的传说和那些违背真理之人的诫律。 15对洁净的人而言，一切都是洁净的；对污秽不信的人而言，什么都不洁净，连他们的思想和良心都是污秽的。 16他们自称认识上帝，在行为上却否认祂。他们令人可憎，悖逆成性，一无是处。