This letter bears the name of the person to whom it is addressed.
Verse 1 of the first chapter names Paul as the writer.
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.
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.
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.
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.