12 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”
13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith,
14 not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.
prophet ( v.12) — My guess is that Paul was using a bit of sarcasm here, saying that one of the Judaizers, who claimed to be speaking the truth, had said this and, in this case, he was right. This self-styled prophet may have been quoting a poem, or, perhaps, Paul may have been referring to the poet directly. It depends on whether “of their own” refers to the Judaizers or the Cretans, or both.
prophet of their own (v.12) — This is a hexameter line from the Greek poet Epimenides, a native of Crete in the sixth century, B.C.; it is quoted by another poet, Callimachus, in his “Hymn to Zeus,” and was a well-known saying among the ancients, facts which expose the gross notoriety of the people of the island. There came into use a verb, to Cretanize, as a euphemism for lying. — Vine, page 237
always (v.12) = perpetually, incessantly
lazy gluttons (v.12) = lit. “slow bellies” — the term indicates one who is such a glutton that he has become identified by his stomach.
rebuke (v.13) = rebuke so as to bring conviction and agreement
sharply (v.13) = to cut off abruptly
that (v.13) = so that
Does the apostle give them the benefit of the doubt in implying that at least some of them might have been saved, though badly misled? At least he directs Titus to “rebuke them sharply that they may be sound in the faith” (v.13). — Stam, page 254.
sound (v.13) = healthy (see v.9)
giving heed (v.14) = hold to — giving consent and attention
fables (v.14) = myths — legendary Jewish stories of history (see 1 Timothy 1:4 and following)
turn (v.14) — tense indicates “turn themselves”