Author: Paul (Titus 1:1)
(For more on Paul see: Survey: Biography Of Paul)
As we stated previously in the surveys of 1st and 2nd Timothy, a few have questioned the Pauline
authorship of the "Pastoral Epistles," but most scholars easily refute these claims and do not
give them much credibility. These early church fathers (Clement of Rome, Irenaeus, Clement of
Alexandria, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Origen, Eusebius) affirmed that Paul was the author of this
This is the 2nd of the "Pastoral Epistles" that Paul wrote after being released from his first
Roman imprisonment, so called because they deal more intensely with church organization, church
culture, and the work of the pastor of a church than any of the other Epistles.
This letter shares several things in common with 1st Timothy:
Both were addressed to men who Paul left behind to supervise churches in their
respective cities: Compare (1 Tim 1:2-3) to (Titus 1:4-5)
Both describe what qualifications leaders in the church should have:
Compare (1 Tim 3:1-13) to (Titus 1:5-9)
Paul urges both Titus and Timothy to live their lives as an example to others
and not let anyone look down on them: Compare (1 Tim 4:12) to (Titus 2:7,15)
A majority of scholars believe that this was the 12th of the 13 Epistles that Paul wrote.
Likely 63 or 64 A.D. (Written shortly after Paul was released from his first Roman imprisonment
as described in Acts 28, and shortly after he wrote 1st Timothy.)
Place Written: Uncertain, but likely Macedonia or Corinth.
Written To: Titus in Crete
Titus was Greek and a Gentile (Gal 2:3), probably from Antioch in Syria. Paul almost certainly
lead Titus to the Lord calling him "mine own son" (Titus 1:4). This was probably before or
during his 1st missionary journey.
Titus is mentioned by name 13 times in the New Testament. Paul had many positive things to say
about Titus (i.e. 2 Cor 7:13-15, 8:16-17) and he called him "my brother" (2 Cor 2:13) and
partner and fellowhelper" (2 Cor 8:23).
The first mention of Titus in the New Testament is found in (Gal 2:1-3). (This is almost
certainly the same journey mentioned in Acts 15, and Titus would have been one of the
other of them" (Acts 15:2).) This being the case, Titus accompanied Paul and Barnabas from
Antioch to Jerusalem, where a council was meeting to decide the question of whether or not
Gentiles needed to be circumcised to be saved. Titus was an example that they did not, and Paul
refused to have him circumcised (Gal 2:3-5).
Later, Titus was the bearer of the "severe letter" (see 2nd Corinthians survey) that Paul sent
to Corinth. He later rejoined Paul in Macedonia with a wonderful report that his letter had a
positive result with the Corinthians (2 Cor 7:5-16).
Some time after that, we find Titus with Paul and Timothy at Ephesus, where he was sent back to
Corinth, with two other trustworthy Christians, for the purpose of gathering a collection for
the saints at Jerusalem (2 Cor 8:6,16-24)(2 Cor 12:18).
After this, we do not find him mentioned again until after Paul was released from his first
imprisonment in Rome (about 10 years later). Apparently, he accompanied Paul on some of the
journeys he made after his imprisonment (unrecorded in Acts), because one took him to Crete
where Paul left him behind to minister to the churches there (Titus 1:5). Paul continued on
to Macedonia, where he likely wrote his letter to Titus and sent it back with Zenas and Apollos
In his letter, Paul asked Titus to rejoin him in Nicopolis (on the west coast of Greece)
(Titus 3:12), but it is unknown if he did so.
(As mentioned in the 2nd Timothy Survey, some believe Paul may have been arrested in Nicopolis
and taken back to Rome.)
The final mention of Titus is found in (2 Tim 4:10), which Paul wrote during his second
imprisonment in Rome, and said that Titus was in Dalmatia (modern Yugoslavia). It is believed
that Titus joined Paul in Rome briefly, and then was sent by Paul on a mission to Dalmatia.
Tradition says that Titus later returned to Crete and became its first bishop. He lived out his
life there and died a natural death at an advance age.
To encourage Titus and instruct him on how to organize and supervise the churches at Crete.
To instruct Titus to appoint elders to help oversee the various churches in Crete, and what
qualifications these men should have (Titus 1:5-9).
To tell Titus that either Artemas or Tychimus were being sent to replace him at Crete so that
he could come to him in Nicopolis (Titus 3:12)(from 2 Tim 4:12 we can see that Tychicus was sent
to Ephesus so it was probably Artemas), and to ask him to make sure Zenas and Apollos had
everything they needed for their next journey (Titus 3:13).
About The City:
Crete (today also called Candia: population app. 650,000) was the 4th largest island in the
Mediterranean Sea, about 160 miles long and 35 miles wide. It was a very prosperous and
populous island that was mountainous, but fertile. It also had a large harbor at Phoenix,
which helped make it an important place of commerce.
Crete was well known for several things in Paul's time:
The island had 100 cities.
Its largest mountain (Mt Ida: 8193' high) was famous in Greek legend as the birthplace of Zeus.
Its people were notorious for being "liars, evil beasts, and lazy gluttons"
(Titus 1:12). In fact, "To Cretanize" or "To play the Cretan" became synonymous with lying.
People from Crete were present at Pentecost (Acts 2:11). It is believed that some became
Christians at this time, and then carried the Gospel back to Crete and planted the first
churches there. When Paul and Titus arrived, there were already churches, although they were
unorganized, which is why Titus remained.
Doing "good" (works/deeds) is emphasized in Titus (Titus 1:8,16)(Titus 2:3,7,14)(Titus 3:1,5,8,14).
The words "Saviour" (Titus 1:3,4)(Titus 2:10,13)(Titus 3:4,6), "sober" (Titus 1:8)(Titus 2:2,4,6), and "sound" (Gr: hugiaino)(Titus 1:9,13)
(Titus 2:1,2,8) are used more in Titus than any other book in the New Testament.
The word "doctrine" is used 4 times in Titus. Only in 1st Timothy did Paul use this word more.
There are two divisions:
1. The qualifications and functions of elders, 1:1-16.
2. The pastoral work of the true elder, 2:1-3,15.
(Survey from Scofield Reference Notes [1917 ed.]: Public Domain)