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Conduct Toward Those Outside the Church

Remind them to be subject to rulers and[a] authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work. They must not slander[b] anyone, but be peaceable, gentle, showing complete courtesy to all people. For we too were once foolish, disobedient, misled, enslaved to various passions and desires, spending our lives in evil and envy, hateful and hating one another. [c] But “when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, he saved us not by works of righteousness that we have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us in full measure[d] through Jesus Christ our Savior. And so,[e] since we have been justified by his grace, we become heirs with the confident expectation of eternal life.”[f]

Summary of the Letter

This saying[g] is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on such truths,[h] so that those who have placed their faith in God may be intent on engaging in good works. These things are good and beneficial for all people. But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies,[i] quarrels, and fights about the law,[j] because they are useless and empty. 10 Reject a divisive person after one or two warnings. 11 You know[k] that such a person is twisted by sin[l] and is conscious of it himself.[m]

Final Instructions and Greeting

12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 Make every effort to help[n] Zenas the lawyer[o] and Apollos on their way; make sure they have what they need.[p] 14 Here is another way that our people[q] can learn[r] to engage in good works to meet pressing needs and so not be unfruitful. 15 Everyone with me greets you. Greet those who love us in the faith.[s] Grace be with you all.[t]


  1. Titus 3:1 tc Most later witnesses (D1 0278 1241 1505 M lat sy) have καί (kai, “and”) after ἀρχαῖς (archais, “rulers”), though the earliest and best witnesses (א A C D* F G Ψ 33 104 1739 1881) lack the conjunction. Although the καί is most likely not authentic, it has been added in translation due to the requirements of English style. For more discussion, see TCGNT 586.
  2. Titus 3:2 tn Or “discredit,” “damage the reputation of.”
  3. Titus 3:4 tn Verses 4-7 are set as poetry in NA28. These verses probably constitute the referent of the expression “this saying” in v. 8.
  4. Titus 3:6 tn Or “on us richly.”
  5. Titus 3:7 tn This is the conclusion of a single, skillfully composed sentence in Greek encompassing Titus 3:4-7. Showing the goal of God’s merciful salvation, v. 7 begins literally, “in order that, being justified…we might become heirs…”
  6. Titus 3:7 tn Grk “heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
  7. Titus 3:8 sn This saying (Grk “the saying”) refers to the preceding citation (Titus 3:4-7). See 1 Tim 1:15; 3:1; 4:9; 2 Tim 2:11 for other occurrences of this phrase.
  8. Titus 3:8 tn Grk “concerning these things.”
  9. Titus 3:9 tn Cf. 1 Tim 1:4.
  10. Titus 3:9 sn Fights about the law were characteristic of the false teachers in Ephesus as well as in Crete (cf. 1 Tim 1:3-7; Titus 1:10, 14).
  11. Titus 3:11 tn Grk “knowing” (as a continuation of the previous clause).
  12. Titus 3:11 tn Grk “is perverted and is sinning.”
  13. Titus 3:11 tn Grk “is sinning, being self-condemned.”
  14. Titus 3:13 tn Grk “Eagerly help.”
  15. Titus 3:13 tn Although it is possible the term νομικός (nomikos) indicates an expert in Jewish religious law here, according to L&N 33.338 and 56.37 it is more probable that Zenas was a specialist in civil law.
  16. Titus 3:13 tn Grk “that nothing may be lacking for them.”
  17. Titus 3:14 tn Grk “that those who are ours” (referring to the Christians).
  18. Titus 3:14 tn Grk “and also let our people learn.”
  19. Titus 3:15 tn Or “faithfully.”
  20. Titus 3:15 tc Most witnesses (א2 D1 F G H Ψ 0278 1241 1505 M lat sy bo) conclude this letter with ἀμήν (amēn, “amen”). Such a conclusion is routinely added by scribes to NT books because a few of these books originally had such an ending (cf. Rom 16:27; Gal 6:18; Jude 25). A majority of Greek witnesses have the concluding ἀμήν in every NT book except Acts, James, and 3 John (and even in these books, ἀμήν is found in some witnesses). It is thus a predictable variant. Further, early and excellent witnesses (א* A C D* 048 33 81 1739 1881 sa) lack the particle, rendering the omission the preferred reading.