Paul apparently had a low opinion of the people of Crete. This is Titus 1:12-13:
The man Paul is talking about is Epimenides, and his statement is sometimes called the "Epimenides paradox". The supposed problem here is this: if the statement Epimenides made was true, then he wasn't lying... but he himself was a Cretan... so Cretans aren't always liars...
But this is an overly literal way of interpreting the phrase "always liars". There's nobody on Earth whose every statement is false. Indeed, such a person would be a very ineffective liar, since you could just assume that the opposite of what he said was the truth. Rather, someone who is "always a liar" lies only when he thinks it's in his interests to do so.
A more serious problem is the idea that a whole society can be as dishonest as Paul seems to think. But Paul also took a dim view of humankind generally, and so was not being much more harsh on Cretans than he would be on anyone else.
Back to errancy.org main index