To Previous Book
- THE TITLE
This letter bears the name of the person to whom it is addressed.
- THE WRITER
Verse 1 of the first chapter names Paul as the writer.
- THE ADDRESSEE
The epistle is addressed to "Titus, my true child after a common faith" (1:4). Since Titus is not mentioned in Acts of Apostles, all that we know of him is found in the epistles of Paul. He was a Greek by birth (Galatians 2:3), but was converted to Christianity by Paul (Titus 1:4). He went up with Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem for the conference on the circumcision of the Gentiles (Galatians 2:1; Acts 15). Later he went with Paul on his preaching tours, and is often mentioned by the Apostle in terms of approbation and affection (II Cor 2:13; 7:5-7, 13-15; 8:6, 16-24; 12:17,18; II Tim 4:10). Being the son of Gentiles, Titus was not circumcised (Gal 2:3-5). From the important services he was called upon to perform we conclude that he was highly responsible and respected.
- TIME AND PLACE OF WRITING
This letter was probably written from Macedonia or Corinth about A.D. 67, some time between I and II Timothy (Titus 3:12; II Timothy 4:20). One thing seems evident, namely -- it belongs to a period when Paul was not a prisoner.
- THE GOSPEL IN CRETE
Crete is a large, mountainous island south of Greece in the Mediterranean Sea. Nothing is known of the first introduction of the gospel there. Jews from Crete were present on Pentecost (Acts 2:11), and perhaps returned with the good tidings. On his voyage to Rome as a prisoner, Paul stopped at Fair Havens, a harbor in the island (Acts 27:7-15). Some writers think that he visited there again after his first imprisonment in Rome, and at this time he left Titus to look after the work. We do know that Titus had been left there (Titus 1:5). Creditable evidence indicates that Paul had done some preaching in Crete, but had left hurriedly before the churches were regularly organized (Titus 1:5). The island abounded with wealthy and influential Jews. A combination of moral weaknesses made Cretans proverbial for their vices. Classical writers tell of their greed, ferocity and fraud, falsehood, and gluttony. This state of general depravity was confirmed by the testimony of their own writers (Titus 1:12; Cf. Epimenides). Titus had the tremendous task of working among and helping to organize the churches of Crete.
- PURPOSE AND CONTENTS OF THE LETTER
The purpose of the book was to console Titus regarding the work Paul had left him to do. The Cretans have been described as unsteady, untruthful, quarrelsome, licentious and intemperate (Titus 1:10-16). The work of Titus among such people must have been difficult.
- Qualifications of elders (1:5-9).
- How to deal with false doctrines (1:10-16).
- Instructions concerning aged men and women (2:1-8), and servants (2:9,10).
- The grace of God (2:11-14; 3:4-8).
- Exhortations to Titus (2:15; 3:1-3, 8-15).
- EXERCISES FOR STUDENT ACTIVITY
- List the number of times the word Savior is used in the book.
- Give the qualifications of elders as set forth in Titus (1:5-9).
- Compare these qualifications (1:5-9) with those given in I Timothy 3.
- What instructions are given concerning aged men? aged women? younger men? younger women? servants? (2:1-10).
- What is said in Titus about the grace of God (2:11-14; 3:4-8).
- Note how many times the key-words "good works," "good tidings" occur.
- How many times does the expression "sound doctrine" occur?
- The thought of sober-mindedness occurs at least six times in Titus. What impressions does this fact give? List the references.
- Why did Paul have Timothy circumcised, but not Titus? (Galatians 2:3-5; Acts 16:1-3).
- Make a list of the different persons named in Titus.
- How do you account for the fact that the name of such a valued and trusted man as Titus is not mentioned in Acts of Apostles?
- What does the Epistle to Titus teach concerning congregational independence?
- Was Titus left in Crete for a temporary purpose or a more permanent one?
- What evidence is there that the Cretan churches were not in existence when Paul passed by Crete on his voyage to Rome? (Acts 27).
Published in The Old Paths Archive