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The Scofield Bible Commentary, by Cyrus Ingerson Scofield, [1917], at

Titus Chapter 1

Titus 1:3

tit 1:3


(See Scofield) - (Rom 1:16).

Titus 1:4

tit 1:4


(See Scofield) - (Rom 1:16).

Titus 1:5

tit 1:5


It is not at all a question of the presence in the assembly of persons having the qualifications of elders, made overseers by the Holy Spirit (Act 20:28) that such persons were in the churches of Crete is assumed; the question is altogether one of the appointment of such persons.

These assemblies were not destitute of elders; but were "wanting," in that they were not duly appointed. There is a progress of doctrine in respect of the appointing of elders.

Compare (Tit 1:5), note.


Elder (Greek, "presbuteros") and bishop (Greek, "episcopos" means "overseer") designate the same office, (compare (Tit 1:7); (Act 20:17); (Act 20:28), the former referring to the man, the latter to a function of the office. The eldership in the apostolic local churches was always plural.

There is no instance of one elder in a local church. The functions of the elders are: to rule; (Ti1 3:4); (Ti1 3:5); (Ti1 5:17) to guard the body of revealed truth from perversion and error (Tit 1:9) to "oversee" the church as a shepherd his flock; (Act 20:28); (Joh 21:16); (Heb 13:17). (Pe1 5:2). Elders are made or "set" in the churches by the Holy Spirit, (Act 20:28), but great stress is laid upon their due appointment. (Act 14:23); (Tit 1:5).

At first, they were ordained (Greek, "kathistēmi", "to elect," "to designate with the hand,") by an apostle; for example, (Act 14:23), but in Titus and First Timothy, the qualifications of an elder become part of the Scriptures for the guidance of the churches in such appointment. (Ti1 3:1-7).

Next: Titus Chapter 2