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Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

1:9 Holding fast. Compare II Timothy 1:13. It is vital that pastors and teachers guard both the Word and its words against its opponents.

1:9 gainsayers. It is important not only to exhort those who believe the Word to act on it, but also to convince those who reject it, being ready always to give an appropriate answer to problems and objections (I Peter 3:15).

1:10 the circumcision. The inhabitants of Crete were generally belligerent and were of a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds, including many displaced Jews. This posed a great challenge to those who would establish sound Christian churches there, and Paul wanted to counsel and help Titus in whatever way he could.

1:12 prophet of their own. Here Paul is quoting a Cretian poet and reputed prophet by the name of Epeminides who lived about six hundred years before Christ. Paul confirmed that this deplorable reputation was still valid in his day (Titus 1:13).

1:12 slow bellies. That is, “lazy gluttons.”

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