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Titus 1:12

Jun 1, 2018   //   by Charlie Garrett   //   Daily Writing, Epistles, Epistles (written), Titus, Titus (written), Writings  //  6 Comments

Friday, 1 June 2018

One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” Titus 1:12

Here we have an interesting verse. Paul has been speaking to Titus on the island of Crete about those who teach things contrary to the truth. Now, speaking specifically of those on Crete, he cites a hexameter line by a Cretan poet – whom he calls “a prophet” – Epimenides, of Knossus. As he was from Crete, Paul rightly notes that he was “One of them, a prophet of their own.”

Epimenides lived around 600BC and was considered by Plato to be a divine man. The reason for calling him a prophet here is because the word “prophet” was quite often applied to poets. Poets were considered to have a breath of inspiration in them that elevated their thoughts to oracles, or prophecies. In this case, Epimenides said that “Cretans are always liars.”

This is known as the Epimenides Paradox. It is a problem of logic. Epimenides was from Crete. The problem, or paradox, then rests on what he said. If what he says is true, then he is also describing himself, as he is from Crete. Thus, he is a liar. But if he is describing himself (being a liar), then his statement must be false because he says that Cretans are “always” liars. It is therefore false. But if the statement is false, then it must be true because he is from Crete and he is a liar. This may seem trivial, but all our words must square with logic or we are not really making sense. Paul understood this, and so he included the words of Epimenides this verse.

The state of man is confusion. We don’t normally think clearly. We attribute design to evolution, but then we confirm that we believe the laws of logic, physics, and the other such principles and laws which deny order can come from chaos. So even in our attempt to deny God, we think in a confused way. Paul is carefully warning Titus (and thus us!) that man must rely on the word of God and the absolute truth which stems from it. This verse then, which describes those Paul has been warning against in verses 10 & 11, is given in contrast to verses 1 & 2 which spoke of “the truth which accords with godliness,” and which stem from “God, who cannot lie.”

Along with being liars, Paul then continues the quote concerning those in Crete by saying they are “evil beasts.” Crete is an island that was without wild beasts, and so Epimenides, in a most sarcastic way, says that what is lacking in Crete, in reality, is made up for by the human occupants of the island. Instead of being civilized, they ran amok and lived in a ferocious, animal-like way.

Finally, he finishes the line with, “lazy gluttons.” Here, two vices are combined into one description. Despite being evil beasts, they were slothful in their work. A beast that will not work for its food will perish. But being gluttons they were “all stomach” in their motivation. Again, it is almost a paradoxical thought for an evil beast to be a lazy glutton. The two ideas contradict. A lazy evil beast cannot survive, even though he lives for his stomach.

Paul will explain the reason for quoting Epimenides in the next verse, but it is already obvious that there was a moral lack in those on Crete which necessitated Titus being all the more ready to refute those who came against the truth of the gospel.

Life application: The world is full of contradictions, and man can devise words which produce confusion in logic and order. As this is so, it will naturally be man’s desire to produce confusion in the thoughts and minds of those who pursue God by calling God’s word into question. They can do this by attempting to find contradictions in the Bible, or they can do this by proclaiming doctrines which are contrary to the Bible while calling them correct. Either way, we must be on guard against such attacks. In God, there is no contradiction, and thus in His word there is no contradiction. The people of God are to be logical, think rationally, and rightly divide the word at all times.

Lord God, you have created man to be a logical being who thinks rationally, and who is to pursue that which is morally correct. And yet we certainly fail in this. Our thoughts are often illogical, we do not think in a rational manner, and our morals fail. However, the cure is found in a careful study and right application of Your word. Help us to emulate You by applying this precious gift to our lives. Help us to emulate You as we walk this path of life. Amen.

6 Comments

  • Well this Epimenides must have contributed to that move the Princes Bride as the poison wine sceen mirrors what he is saying lol
    Is it or isn’t it lol

    Yes I totally agree there are no contradictions in God but I am still having some issues with this Mandela effect! Try as I may to put it out of my head I still can’t shake the lion and the lamb / Wolf and the lamb???
    I watched a video the other day about this ( Truth Shock TV.. They make excellent timely videos) and they made some pretty compelling points! The lion and the lamb the lion of Juda and the lamb of god. Both representing Jesus! The Wolf and the lamb??? The Wolf is always associated with Evil sooo the connection doesn’t quit work as I see it. They also showed example after example of people reading out of the bible or singing or just conversation where the lion and the lamb is used not the wolf and the lamb! Again I trust in God to guide me Us on this but we have to keep in mind this is still satans world and he can use anything to decieve us as God can use evil to advance his agenda Satan can use Good to advance his agenda by sprinkling it with seeds of doubt. We need to trust God and still be vigilant and decerning about everything Ok then I did not expect to go on like this fingers slipped into auto pilot I will just say my trust and faith in God has not wavered over this it has only heightened my level of decernment to everything around me. I can’t wait to get home with the lord and not have to deal with the lies and deceptions of this world! Sorry for running off at the fingers here
    Grace Mercy and Peace to you and yours
    God bless my friend

  • BLESS GOD PRAISE JESUS , other comment too long don’t think it posted , oh well I ramble
    signed the rambler -Shane
    Go check out Charlie’s web site wonderful 1.com if you haven’t ,maybe even click the yellow box to vote for it to be #1 Christian website , I try and read a little and vote everyday to hopefully get more people blessed and cause I like Charlie , even if he is not perfect ,,he leads people to the ONE who is.:)

  • Great blessing to is to get to read Charlie’s daily Bible teaching along with my own daily readings, wow, what a BLESSING! THANK YOU PASTOR CHARLIE AND TEAM FOR KEEPING THIS WEB PAGE GOING!! God bless each of you! AND Amen, Shane! My prayer is that many more people find it, meaning: may God lead many others to Charlie who leads us all to the One Who Is the Way, Truth, and Life!ys

  • Gordon, I just read Job 10. Really!!!! Part of my daily Bible reading. I think there’s something in there that sheds some light on your issue. Read it over and you’ll discover something pertaining to God being compared to a lion and why. God bless you!

  • Gordon, the problem is exactly the fact that people have misquoted this verse for so long because they have equated the lion with Jesus and the lamb with Jesus. The wolf was specifically selected because it is at enmity with the lamb, but in the future it won’t be that way. The mandala effect is a non-starter. Don’t listen to folks that make that stuff up.

  • Ok I like your explanation Charlie. I try not to get caught up in this but the deception is everywhere and growing in ways we can’t imagine.
    God I want to go home and leave this insanity.
    Thanks Charlie
    God bless my Friend

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