Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown
I left thee—"I left thee behind" [ALFORD] when I left the island: not implying permanence of commission (compare I Timothy 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 (Acts 2:11). The number of Jews in Crete was large (Titus 1:10), and it is likely that those scattered in the persecution of Stephen (Acts 11:19) preached to them, as they did to the Jews of Cyprus, etc. Paul also was there on his voyage to Rome (Acts 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 Titus 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."
Other Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown entries containing Titus 1:5:
1 Timothy 3:1
1 Timothy 5:22
2 Timothy 4:10
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