Titus 1J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
1 1-4 Paul, servant of God and messenger of Jesus Christ in the faith God gives to his chosen, in the knowledge of the truth that comes from a God-fearing life, and in the hope of the everlasting life which God, who cannot lie, promised before the beginning of time—(at the right moment he made his Word known in the declaration which has been entrusted to me by his command) to Titus, my true son in our common faith, be grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our saviour.
Men who are appointed to the ministry must be of the highest character
5-9 I left you in Crete to set right matters which needed attention, and gave you instructions to appoint elders in every city. They were to be men of unquestioned integrity with only one wife, and with children brought up as Christians and not likely to be accused of loose living or law-breaking. To exercise spiritual oversight a man must be of unimpeachable virtue, for he is God’s agent in the affairs of his household. He must not be aggressive or hot-tempered or over-fond of wine; nor must he be violent or greedy for financial gain. On the contrary, he must be hospitable, a genuine lover of what is good, a man who is discreet, fair-minded, holy and self-controlled: a man who takes his stand on the orthodox faith, so that he can by sound teaching both stimulate faith and confute opposition.
Be on your guard against counterfeit Christians
10-16 But there are many, especially among the Jews, who will not recognise authority, who talk nonsense and yet in so doing have managed to deceive men’s minds. They must be silenced, for they upset the faith of whole households, teaching what they have no business to teach for the sake of what they can get. One of them, yes, one of their prophets, has said: “Men of Crete are always liars, evil and beastly, lazy and greedy.” There is truth in this testimonial of theirs! Don’t hesitate to reprimand them sharply for you want them to be sound and healthy Christians, with a proper contempt for Jewish fairy tales and orders issued by men who have forsaken the path of truth. Everything is wholesome to those who are themselves wholesome. But nothing is wholesome to those who are themselves unwholesome and who have no faith in God—their very minds and consciences are diseased. They profess to know God, but their actual behaviour denies their profession, for they are obviously vile and rebellious and when it comes to doing any real good they are palpable frauds.