Use The Truth To Expose The Lie

Q. In Titus 1:12, Paul quotes the philosopher Epimenides in saying “All Cretins are liars”. But isn’t this quote referred to as the “Liars Paradox?”, that is, if Epimenides, a Cretin, is correct, then he is a liar because the statement is true. If Epimenides is wrong, then he is a liar because then all Cretins are not liars which is the opposite of what he said. So, when Paul said, “This statement is true”, was he making a play on the paradox, on Epimenides, or was he just making the simple observation that all Cretins are liars?

A. I think Paul was simply reminding Titus that there were many false teachers on Crete, especially among the followers of Judaism, and that he shouldn’t be surprised by this because even one of their own “prophets” accused the Cretins of being habitual liars. Therefore Titus had to be very direct in affirming the truth, so he could expose the lies of the false teachers and silence them. (Titus 1:13-14)

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