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Titus 1:5 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that were wanting, and appoint elders in every city, as I gave thee charge;
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you,
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldst set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou mightest go on to set right what remained [unordered], and establish elders in each city, as *I* had ordered thee:
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— For this cause left I thee in Crete, that, the things remaining undone, thou mightest completely set in order, and mightest establish, in every city, elders, as, I, with thee arranged:—
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— For this cause left I thee in Crete, that the things lacking thou mayest arrange, and mayest set down in every city elders, as I did appoint to thee;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— For this cause I left thee in Crete: that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting and shouldest ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed thee:
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordaine Elders in euery citie, as I had appointed thee.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— For this I left thee in Kreta, that those things which were wanting thou mayest rectify, and constitute presbyters in every city as I commanded thee.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou mightest regulate the things deficient, and establish elders in every city, as I directed thee:

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
For this y5127
[5127] Standard
Genitive singular masculine or neuter of G3778; of (from or concerning) this (person or thing).
cause y5484
[5484] Standard
Accusative case of G5485 as preposition; through favor of, that is, on account of.
(5485) Complement
From G5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude).
(5127) Complement
Genitive singular masculine or neuter of G3778; of (from or concerning) this (person or thing).
left x2641
(2641) Complement
From G2596 and G3007; to leave down, that is, behind; by implication to abandon, have remaining.
I y2641
[2641] Standard
From G2596 and G3007; to leave down, that is, behind; by implication to abandon, have remaining.
<5627> Grammar
Tense - Second Aorist (See G5780)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 2138 plus 1 in a variant reading in a footnote
thee 4571
{4571} Prime
Accusative singular of G4771; thee.
in 1722
{1722} Prime
A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537); 'in', at, (up-) on, by, etc.
Crete, 2914
{2914} Prime
Of uncertain derivation; Crete, an island in the Mediterranean.
that 2443
{2443} Prime
Probably from the same as the former part of G1438 (through the demonstrative idea; compare G3588); in order that (denoting the purpose or the result).
thou shouldest set in order 1930
{1930} Prime
From G1909 and a derivative of G3717; to straighten further, that is, (figuratively) arrange additionally.
<5672> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Middle (See G5785)
Mood - Subjunctive (See G5792)
Count - 43
the things that are wanting, 3007
{3007} Prime
A primary verb; to leave, that is, (intransitive or passive) to fail or be absent.
<5723> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 2549
and 2532
{2532} Prime
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
ordain 2525
{2525} Prime
From G2596 and G2476; to place down (permanently), that is, (figuratively) to designate, constitute, convoy.
<5661> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Subjunctive (See G5792)
Count - 512
elders 4245
{4245} Prime
Comparative of πρέσβυς [[presbus]] (elderly); older; as noun, a senior; specifically an Israelite Sanhedrist (also figuratively, member of the celestial council) or Christian 'presbyter'.
in every y2596
[2596] Standard
A primary particle; (preposition) down (in place or time), in varied relations (according to the case [genitive, dative or accusative] with which it is joined).
city, 4172
{4172} Prime
Probably from the same as G4171, or perhaps from G4183; a town (properly with walls, of greater or less size).
(2596) Complement
A primary particle; (preposition) down (in place or time), in varied relations (according to the case [genitive, dative or accusative] with which it is joined).
as 5613
{5613} Prime
Probably adverb of comparative from G3739; which how, that is, in that manner (very variously used as shown).
I 1473
{1473} Prime
A primary pronoun of the first person, 'I' (only expressed when emphatic).
had appointed 1299
{1299} Prime
From G1223 and G5021; to arrange thoroughly, that is, (specifically) institute, prescribe, etc.
<5668> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Middle (See G5785)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 88
thee: 4671
{4671} Prime
Dative case of G4771; to thee.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Titus 1:5

_ _ I left thee — “I left thee behind” [Alford] when I left the island: not implying permanence of commission (compare 1 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.”

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Titus 1:5

_ _ Here is the end expressed,

_ _ I. More generally: For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldst set in order the things that are wanting. This was the business of evangelists (in which office Titus was), to water where the apostles had planted (1 Corinthians 3:6), furthering and finishing what they had begun; so much epidiorthoun imports, to order after another. Titus was to go on in settling what the apostle himself had not time for, in his short stay there. Observe, 1. The apostle's great diligence in the gospel; when he had set things on foot in one place, he hastened away to another. He was debtor to the Greeks and to the barbarians, and laboured to spread the gospel as far as he could among them all. And, 2. His faithfulness and prudence. He neglected not the places that he went from; but left some to cultivate the young plantation, and carry on what was begun. 3. His humility; he disdained not to be helped in his work, and that by such as were not of so high a rank in the ministry, nor of so great gifts and furniture, as himself; so that the gospel might be furthered and the good of souls promoted, he willingly used the hands of others in it: a fit example for exciting zeal and industry, and engaging to faithfulness and care of the flock, and present or absent, living and dying, for ministers, as much as in them lies, to provide for the spiritual edification and comfort of their people. We may here also observe, 4. That Titus, though inferior to an apostle, was yet above the ordinary fixed pastors or bishops, who were to tend particular churches as their peculiar stated charge; but Titus was in a higher sphere, to ordain such ordinary pastors where wanting, and settle things in their first state and form, and then to pass to other places for like service as there might be need. Titus was not only a minister of the catholic church (as all others also are), but a catholic minister. Others had power habitual, and in actu primo, to minister any where, upon call and opportunity; but evangelists, such as Titus was, had power in actu secundo et exercito, and could exercise their ministry wherever they came, and claim maintenance of the churches. They were every where actually in their diocese or province, and had a right to direct and preside among the ordinary pastors and ministers. Where an apostle could act as an apostle an evangelist could act as an evangelist; for they worked the work of the Lord as they did (1 Corinthians 16:10), in a like unfixed and itinerant manner. Here at Crete Titus was but occasionally, and for a short time; Paul willed him to despatch the business he was left for, and come to him at Nicopolis, where he purposed to winter; after this he was sent to Corinth, was with the apostle at Rome, and was sent thence into Dalmatia, which is the last we read of him in scripture, so that from scripture no fixed episcopacy in him does appear; he left Crete, and we find not that he returned thither any more. But what power had either Paul or Titus here? Was not what they did an encroachment on the rights of civil rulers? In no sort; they came not to meddle with the civil rights of any. Luke 12:14, Who made me a judge or a divider over you? Their work was spiritual, to be carried on by conviction and persuasion, no way interfering with, or prejudicing, or weakening, the power of magistrates, but rather securing and strengthening it; the things wanting were not such as civil magistrates are the fountains or authors of, but divine and spiritual ordinances, and appointments for spiritual ends, derived from Christ the king and head of the church: for settling these was Titus left. And observe, No easy thing is it to raise churches, and bring them to perfection. Paul had himself been here labouring, and yet were there things wanting; materials are out of square, need much hewing and fitting, to bring them into right form, and, when they are set therein, to hold and keep them so. The best are apt to decay and to go out of order. Ministers are to help against this, to get what is amiss rectified, and what is wanting supplied. This in general was Titus's work in Crete: and,

_ _ II. In special: To ordain elders in every city, that is, ministers, who were mostly out of the elder and most understanding and experienced Christians; or, if younger in years, yet such as were grave and solid in their deportment and manners. These were to be set where there was any fit number of Christians, as in larger towns and cities was usually the case; though villages, too, might have them where there were Christians enough for it. These presbyters or elders were to have the ordinary and stated care and charge of the churches; to feed and govern them, and perform all pastoral work and duty in and towards them. The word is used sometimes more largely for any who bear ecclesiastical function in the church, and so the apostles were presbyters or elders (1 Peter 5:1); but here it is meant of ordinary fixed pastors, who laboured in the word and doctrine, and were over the churches in the Lord; such as are described here throughout the chapter. This word presbyter some use in the same sense as sacerdos, and translate it priest, a term not given to gospel ministers, unless in a figurative or allusive way, as all God's people are said to be made kings and priests unto God (hiereis, not presbuterous), to offer up spiritual sacrifices of prayers, praises, and alms. But properly we have no priest under the gospel, except Christ alone, the high priest of our profession (Hebrews 3:1), who offered up himself a sacrifice to God for us, and ever lives, in virtue thereof, to make intercession in our behalf. Presbyters here therefore are not proper priests, to offer sacrifices, either typical or real; but only gospel ministers, to dispense Christ's ordinances, and to feed the church of God, over which the Holy Ghost has made them overseers. Observe, 1. A church without a fixed and standing ministry in it is imperfect and wanting. 2. Where a fit number of believers is, presbyters or elders must be set; their continuance in churches is as necessary as their first appointment, for perfecting the saints, and edifying the body of Christ, till all come to a perfect man in Christ, till the whole number of God's chosen be called and united to Christ in one body, and brought to their full stature and strength, and that measure of grace that is proper and designed for them, Ephesians 4:12, Ephesians 4:13. This is work that must and will be doing to the world's end, to which therefore the necessary and appointed means for it must last. What praise is due to God for such an institution! What thankfulness from those that enjoy the benefits of it! What pity and prayer for such as want it! Pray the Lord of the harvest that he will send forth labourers into his harvest. Faith comes by hearing, and is preserved, maintained, and made fruitful, through it also. Ignorance and corruption, decays of good and increase of all evil, come by want of a teaching and quickening ministry. On such accounts therefore was Titus left in Crete, to set in order the things that were wanting, and to ordain elders in every city; but this he was to do, not ad libitum, or according to his own will or fancy, but according to apostolic direction.

_ _ III. The rule of his proceeding: As I had appointed thee, probably when he was going from him, and in the presence and hearing of others, to which he may now refer, not so much for Titus's own sake as for the people's, that they might the more readily yield obedience to Titus, knowing and observing that in what he did he was warranted and supported by apostolic injunction and authority. As under the law all things were to be made according to the pattern shown to Moses in the mount; so under the gospel all must be ordered and managed according to the direction of Christ, and of his chief ministers, who were infallibly guided by him. Human traditions and inventions may not be brought into the church of God. Prudent disposals for carrying on the ends of Christ's appointments, according to the general rules of the word, there may, yea, must be; but none may alter any thing in the substance of the faith or worship, or order and discipline, of the churches. If an evangelist might not do any thing but by appointment, much less may others. The church is the house of God, and to him it belongs to appoint the officers and orders of it, as he pleases: the as here refers to the qualifications and character of the elders that he was to ordain: “Ordain elders in every city, as I appointed thee, such as I then described and shall now again more particularly point out to thee,” which he does from the sixth verse to the ninth inclusive.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Titus 1:5

The things which are wanting — Which I had not time to settle myself. Ordain elders — Appoint the most faithful, zealous men to watch over the rest. Their character follows, Titus 1:6-9. These were the elders, or bishops, that Paul approved of; — men that had living faith, a pure conscience, a blameless life.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Titus 1:5

(6) For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

(6) The first admonition: to ordain elders in every church.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
I left,
1 Timothy 1:3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,


Acts 2:11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
Acts 27:7 And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone;
Acts 27:12 And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, [and there] to winter; [which is] an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west.
Acts 27:21 But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.


1 Chronicles 6:32 And they ministered before the dwelling place of the tabernacle of the congregation with singing, until Solomon had built the house of the LORD in Jerusalem: and [then] they waited on their office according to their order.
Ecclesiastes 12:9 And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, [and] set in order many proverbs.
Isaiah 44:7 And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them.
1 Corinthians 11:34 And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.
1 Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
Colossians 2:5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.

or, left undone


Acts 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
2 Timothy 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
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1Ch 6:32. Ec 12:9. Is 44:7. Ac 2:11; 14:23; 27:7, 12, 21. 1Co 11:34; 14:40. Col 2:5. 1Ti 1:3. 2Ti 2:2.

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