1.1–4 :

Epistolary opening. The longest opening in the Pastorals names the writer, the recipient, and God as agents of truth, preparing for the attack on the false teachers ( 1.12–14 ).

1 :

Servant, literally “slave,” of God, form the roots of this expression in the Hebrew Scriptures, see 2 Sam 7.5; Jer 7.25 . In the undisputed letters Paul uses “servant of Christ” (Rom 1.1; Gal 1.10; Phil 1.1 ).

3 :

Command, literally “order upon.” The Greek word is related to other terms in the letter: “directed” ( 1.5 ); “submissive” ( 2.5, 9 ); “authority” ( 2.15 ); “subjected” ( 3.1 ). Savior, see 1.4; 2.10, 13; 3.4, 6; see also 2.11; 1 Tim 2.3; 4.10 .

4 :

Loyal child, see 1 Tim 1.2; 2 Tim 1.2; 2.1 .

1.5–16 :

Instructions on church order. The letter contrasts the elders and the false teachers: The false teachers are motivated by sordid gain (v. 11 ); the elders must not be greedy for gain (v. 7 ). The false teachers upset whole families (v. 11 ); the elders must be able to control their own families (v. 6 ).

5 :

Paul, while a captive, spent time at Crete (Acts 27.7–15 ), but neither Acts nor his own letters says he started a mission there. Furthermore, after Crete Paul is taken on to Malta, not Nicopolos (Acts 28.1 ).

5–7 :

Elders and bishops seem to be the same.

9 :

The determination of sound (healthy or correct) doctrine is based on the reasoning of a community; see 1.13; 2.1, 2, 8; 1 Tim 1.10; 6.3; 2 Tim 1.13; 4.3 .

12 :

A stereotype attributed by some early Christians (Clement of Alexandria, Chrysostom, and Jerome) to Epimenides, a Cretan poet from the sixth century BCE.

16 :

Work, see 1.16; 2.7, 14; 3.1, 8 ).