Archeology Titus


AUTHOR, PLACE AND DATE OF WRITING 
    Today many scholars deny that the Pastoral Epistles (1 and 2 Timothy and Titus) are Pauline, but arguments against Paul's authorship are not sufficiently compelling to overthrow the clear claim of the epistles themselves (see "The Authorship of the Pastoral Epistles" on p. 1957). 

    The letter to Titus was probably written from Nicopolis (3:12) in western Greece. It was delivered by Zenas and Apollos. who were on a journey that took them through Crete (3:13). 


AUDIENCE 
    This letter was written by Paul to one of his associates, Titus, a Gentile Christian (see Gal 2:1-3) who had probably been converted through Paul's ministry and was presently overseeing the churches on Crete. Titus had traveled with Paul and become his trusted associate. After Paul's release from his first Roman imprisonment (Ac 28), he and Titus had ministered briefly on Crete. When Paul departed he left Titus behind to continue the ministry, organize the churches and appoint elders (Tit 1:5). 


CULTURAL FACTS AND HIGHLIGHTS 
    Paul plainly stated that he had left Titus on Crete in order to set the churches there in order, both organizationally and doctrinally. The letter was intended to encourage Titus and to give him further instruction for accomplishing this task. Paul apparently regarded the Cretans as a particularly difficult group to work with (see "Crete" on p. 1972). In New Testament times life on Crete had sunk to a deplorable moral level. Those who had become Christians were immature in their faith and needed basic instruction concerning immorality and Christian conduct. In addition, false teachings of various kinds were troubling the Cretan churches (1:10-16). 


AS YOU READ
    List Paul's qualifications for effective church leaders. Note his instructions for living a godly life, including his guidelines for successful relationships with family, friends and community. Note that specific groups had special responsibilities but that every individual was accountable to live a life characterized by self-control, integrity and grace. 

DID YOU KNOW? 
  • Crete, the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, was a Roman province populated primarily by farmers and fruit growers (1:5). 
  • Roman slaves had no legal rights, their fates being entirely in their masters' hands (2:9-10).  
  • In the Jewish sense the term "lawyer" referred to an expert in the Mosaic Law, while in the Gentile context it referred to a Roman jurist (3:13). 
 
THEMES 
    Titus includes the following themes: 

1. Church leaders. Cretan culture was known for its moral decadence (1:12), and Paul instructed Titus that leaders in the church must be above reproach, as examples to others of the Christian life. When Christians are guilty of immoral behavior, they discredit the truth of the very gospel they proclaim. 

2. Self-control and integrity make the gospel attractive. Paul instructed Titus on directing various other groups besides leaders—older men (2:2); older women, who also taught younger women (2:3-5); younger men (2:6)—all were to exhibit self-control. Slaves (2:9-10) were to be respectful and honest. The gospel has a civilizing effect on all aspects of a Christian's life (2:11-14), including relationships within the home (2:4-5). 

3. False teachers. Like, Timothy, Titus had to contend with false teachers, about whom Paul spoke harshly (1:10-16). Paul clearly valued unity within the community and condemned anyone who threatened it. 



OUTLINE 
I. Greeting (1:1-4) 
        II. Concerning Elders (1:5-9) 
   A. Where to Appoint Elders (1:5) 
   B. Qualifications of Elders (1:6-9) 
       III. Concerning False Teachers (1:10-16) 
       IV. Concerning Various Groups in the Congregation (2) 
   A. Teaching for Different Groups (2:1-10) 
   B. Grace as the Foundation for Christian Living (2:11-14) 
   C. Charge to Titus (2:15) 
       V. Concerning Believers in General (3:1-8) 
   A. Believers as Citizens (3:1-2) 
   B. Doing What Is Good (3:3-8) 
      VI. Concerning Response to Spiritual Error (3:9-11) 
     VII. Conclusion (3:12-15) 





Crete

    TITUS 1 Crete,about 170 miles (274 km) south of the Greek mainland, is the largest of the Greek islands, at 156 miles (252 km) long (from east to west) and, at most, 35 miles (56 km) wide (from north to south). It was home to the Minoan civilization, a Mediterranean culture that reached its high point around 1500 B.C. but collapsed at the end of the Bronze Age,, in around 1200 B.c.2 The most spectacular remains of this civilization may be viewed at Knossos. Crete is referred to in the Old Testament as Caphtor (Dt 2:23; Jer 47:4), and the Philistines came to Canaan by way of Crete (Am 9:7). Crete does not figure significantly in history during the classical period,although the island is said to have been a base for pirates. It was brought under Roman rule in 67 B.C. 

    The island had a substantial Jewish population during the New Testament period (cf. Ac 2:11), and Paul was troubled by the negative influence of some of these Jews on the early Christians (Tit 114). The Cretan poet who labeled his fellow Cretans as liars and lazy gluttons (v. 12) is supposed to have been Epimenides, although the original text is no longer available. 




The Apocrypha


    TITUS 2 As the early church developed, Gentile believers needed to be taught "sound doctrine" (Tit 2:1). Although Paul and the apostles exclusively used the Old Testament as their canonical Bible, Gentiles also encountered many other Jewish religious texts among the Greek scrolls of the Scriptures. Many Gentile believers no doubt embraced these books as authoritative, and debate over their place in the churches has raged ever since. 

    The term "Apocrypha" (meaning"hidden away") refers broadly to a grouping of non-- canonical books. However, the collection commonly called the Apocrypha is limited to 14 or 15 documents that were for the most part written during the last two centuries B.C. and the first century A.D.The Apocrypha actually represents only a small portion of the extant noncanonical Jewish literature from this period. Second Esdras 14:45-46 explic-itly refers to the large amount of such maten-
The Apocrypha al known at that time. In this passage a dis-tinction is made between the canonical books of the Hebrew Old Testament—to be published for everyone—and "the seventy books which were written later"—to be reserved for the wise among the people. 

    The early manuscripts of the Greek Bible (the Septuagint) included the books now known as the Apocrypha. During the early Christian centuries Apocryphal texts were widely read and came to be regarded by some as canonical (cf. Augustine, The City of God, 18:36). Christian scholars, however, were aware of the discrepancies between the Greek and the Hebrew Bible. When Jerome published his Latin translation of the Bible (the Vulgate), he worked directly from the Hebrew Bible and carefully distinguished between what he considered canonical writings and the grouping of writings that he first designated as "the Apocrypha." Martin Luther (sixteenth century A.D.) opposed certain Apocryphal passages, such as 2 Maccabees 12:45-46, which had been used by the Roman Catholic Church to support the doctrine of purgatory and the selling of indulgences. In his 1534 German translation, Luther printed the books of the Apocrypha together in a separate appendix, rather than interspersing them among the canonical books. The Roman Catholic Council of Trent- -- in 1546 rejected Luther's distinction by decreeing that the books of the Apocrypha are "Deuterocanonical" (belonging to the "second canon").The Roman Catholic Deuterocanonical books, which remain a part of the Catholic Old Testament canon, are roughly equivalent to the Protestant Apocrypha. 

    Several books of the Apocrypha are pseudonymous, meaning that they purport to have been authored by a famous character of the Old Testament, such as Jeremiah, but were in fact written much later than the time of the alleged author. 




The Books of the Apocrypha 


    TITUS 2 The books of the Apocrypha are as follows: 
  • Tobit:Set during the Assyrian exile,Tobit is an implausible narrative about a pious Jew. Tobit, taken into exile in Nineveh, goes blind as a result of sparrow droppings falling into his eyes. He dispatches his son Tobias to Media to retrieve a stash of money, providing a guide, Azariah, who turns out to be the angel Raphael. Raphael instructs Tobias to catch a large fish and to preserve its liver, heart and gall because of their magical powers. The two encounter a lovely Jewess, Sarah, whose seven grooms have died on their respective wedding nights because of the demon Asmodeus. Raphael instructs Tobias in how to thwart Asmodeus through ritual magic. Tobias then marries Sarah, retrieves the money, returns to Nineveh and heals Tobit with the fish gall. 
  • Judith: This nonhistorical tale describes how a pious Jewish woman effects deliverance for her people.Written during the latter part of the second century B.C., it was unaccountably set in the days of "Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Assyrians" (Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon).
  • Ecclesiasticus/Sirach:This book is fundamentally a collection of hymns, prayers and instructions upholding traditional Jewish piety and wisdom.Written in approximately 180 B.C., it includes some justly celebrated passages, such as its catalogue of heroes of the faith (Eccus/Sir 44:1-49:16). 
  • Wisdom of Solomon: Written at the earliest during the first century B.C., this work exhorts the reader to pursue wisdom and right behavior. 
  • Baruch: Although purported to have been authored by Baruch, Jeremiah's scribe, the book was probably written long after Baruch's day., Drawing upon diverse parts of the Old Testament, it contains prayers, hymns and a passage that praises wisdom and claims it to be the special possession of Israel (Bar 3:9--4:4). 
  • First and Second Maccabees: These historical texts recount the persecution inflicted upon the Jews by Antiochus IV and the desecration of the temple that ignited the Maccabean revolt. First Maccabees was probably written around 100 B.C., while its counterpart may actually have come from a somewhat earlier date. Although the books are propagandistic in nature,they are a vital source for the history and religion of this period.3 
  • First Esdras: Written around 100 B.C., this is a loose retelling of Biblical history from Josiah's celebration of the Passover to Ezra's reforms. One part not copied from canonical Scripture is 1 Esdras 3:1--5:6, which records how a young Jewish man at the court of Darius solves a riddle about the strongest thing in the world (women are strongest, but truth conquers all).This Jewish man turns out to be Zerubbabel (Ezr 2:2). 
  • Second Esdras: This book is a composite of three writings, the latest of which may have been penned as recently as the third century A.D. Apocalyptic in nature,, it includes a reaction to the A.D. 70 destruction of the Jerusalem temple by the Romans.Ile central portion of the book (2Es 3:1— 14:48), dated to about a.o.100, is a fictitious series of visions supposedly given by the angel Uriel to Ezra and dealing with such issues as the justice of God. A Christian appendix (2Es 15:1-16:78) was added during the third century A.D. 
  • Epistle of Jeremiah: Loosely based on Jeremiah 29, this short, pseudonymous essay denounces the folly of idolatry. The writing most likely came from the third century B.C. or later. 
  • Prayer of Manasseh: A pseudonymous, penitential prayer beseeching God to cancel Israel's exile, this book claims to be the prayer of Manasseh mentioned in 2 Chronicles 33:12-13; it comes in fact from the second or first century B.C. The writing draws upon a number of Biblical texts, especially Psalm 51., 
  • Additions to Esther:This includes six supplements to Esther, adding pious language and motifs in an evident attempt to make up for the fact that the canonical book never mentions God. 
  • Additions to Daniel:These supplements to Daniel include the Prayer of Azariah, the Song of the Three Young Men, Susanna,and Bel and the Dragon (or Serpent). The dates of composition are unknown.