In Titus 1:12-13, Paul, in quoting a Cretan poet, states that the people of Crete are “always liars”, along with accusing them of other sins, possibly equally as or similarly prominent.
Calling an entire culture/nation-state of people not just “liars” but “always liars” woulod, I thin, today be reprehensible to many people as “not PC”, and maybe een to many Catholics/Christians. How could Paul so generalize about an entire nation-state of people, about an entire culture? (I put the word “racist” in quotes because we are obviously not dealing necessarily with an issue of skin color, but, more one of national identity.)
If I were to say today, for example, that “blacks are always lazy”, I would be drummed out of town and worse! Then, is Paul’s statement any diferent? Are we allowed, then, to malign the reputation of an entire people in this way? Is such a thing perfectly biblical?
It does seem that Paul tries to soften the blow by quoting one of Crete’s own poets, born and raised there, who made the comments he cites, but one might argue that the poet himself may have been exaggerating, either for effect or for some other reason, or that even he might have had a warped view for whatevewr reason of the Cretan people.
Later, (v. 13), Paul not only has quoted this statement, but he even affirms it by saying that “this testimony is true”. How would he know? Has he lived his entire life there?
So, then, this being in an inspired text, are we to really believe that the Cretans were ALWAYS liars, without exception? What does this say as to how we are to understand other modern peoples, races, nations?
Please understand that I am not posting these questions to be intentionally hostile to either Paul or to Christianity/Catholicism. I am genuinely perplexed and even concerned about what Paul says here of an entire people.
However, I suppose that, if this is an inspired text, we should indeed believe that the Cretans, at least of Paul’s time, were indeed and truly ALWAYS liars?
Please, I would very much appreciate any help you could provide me with this issue.