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New Testament Survey: The Book Of Titus

Written By: Steve Shirley

The Book Of Titus

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 book.
  • 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.

The Stats:

  • Chapters: 3
  • Verses: 46

Date Written:

  • 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

About Titus:

  • 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 (9 of them in 2nd Corinthians). 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 “my partner and fellowhelper” (2 Cor 8:23).
  • The first mention of Titus in the New Testament (chronologically) 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 “certain other of them” (Acts 15:2).) This being the case, Titus accompanied Paul and Barnabas from Antioch to Jerusalem, where a council meeting was held (the “Jerusalem Council”) 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 62 A.D.). Apparently, he accompanied Paul on some of the journeys he made after his imprisonment (We discussed possible “journey” places in “2nd Timothy Survey” under “Date Written.”), 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 (Titus 3:13).
  • 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.

Key Verses:

(Titus 1:2,15-16)(Titus 2:11-14)(Titus 3:1-7,9-11)

Purpose:

  • 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). (***Note: From [2 Tim 4:12], we can see that Tychicus was sent to Ephesus, so it was probably Artemas.) Paul also asked Titus 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 from 7 to 30 miles wide. It was a very prosperous and populous island that was mountainous, but fertile. It also had a large harbor at Phoenix (Acts 27:12), which helped make it an important place of commerce.
  • Crete was a Roman province, captured by the Romans in 68 – 66 B.C. (From “Unger’s Bible Dictionary”) – “The Cretans had a name in ancient times for being good sailors, skilled archers, and experts in ambush.”
  • 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). “Unger’s” adds, “The classics abound with allusions to the untruthfulness of the Cretans; and it was so frequently applied to them that kertizein, “to act the Cretan,” was a synonym for to play the liar.”
  • 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.
  • As Paul was on the way to appear before Caesar in Rome (where he would begin the first of his two imprisonments: Acts 28:16-31), the ship he was aboard briefly stopped at a port in Crete called “Fair Havens” (Acts 27:1-13). 

Special Emphasis:

  • Doing “good works” is emphasized in Titus (Titus 1:16)(Titus 2:3,7,14)(Titus 3:1,8,14).
  • The words “Saviour” (Gr: “soter“) (Titus 1:3,4)(Titus 2:10,13)(Titus 3:4,6), and “sound” (Gr: “hugiaino”)(Titus 1:9,13)(Titus 2:1,2) are used more in Titus than any other book in the New Testament.
  • The word “doctrine” (Gr: “didaskalia“) is used 4 times in Titus. Only in 1st Timothy did Paul use this word more.

Survey:

  • 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)

Copyright: https://JesusAlive.cc © Steve Shirley