Reading 0,07 - 3 Chapters - 46 verses - 921 words
The author is Paul
The letter is addressed to Titus, one of Paul's convert (1:4) and a considerable help to Paul in his ministry. When Paul left Antioch to discuss the gospel with the Jerusalem leaders, he took Titus with him (Gal 2:1-3); acceptance of Titus (a Gentile) as a Christian without circumcision vindicated Paul's stand there (Gal 2:3-5). Presumably Titus, who is not referred to in Acts (but is mentioned 13 times in the rest of the NT), worked with Paul at Ephesus, during his third missionary journey. It is likely that he was the bearer of Paul's severe letter to the Corinthian church. Paul was concerned about the possible negative reaction of the Corinthians church to his severe letter, so he arranged to meet Titus at Troas (2Co 2:12-13). When Titus did not appear, Paul traveled on to Macedonia. There he met Titus and with great relief heard the good news that the worst of the trouble was over at Corinth (2Co 7:6-7,13-14). Titus, accompanied by two Christians brother, was the bearer of 2 Corinthians (2Co 8:23) and was given the responsibility for making final arrangements for the collections, begun a year earlier, in Corinth (2Co 8:6,16-17).
Following Paul's release from his first Roman imprisonment (Ac 28), he and Titus worked briefly in Crete (1:5), after which he commissioned Titus to remain there as his representative and complete some needed work (1:5; 2:14; 3:12-13). Paul asked Titus to meet him at Nicopolis when a replacement arrived (3:12). Later, Titus went on a mission to Dalmatia (2Ti 4:10), the last word we heart about him in the NT. Considering the assignments given him, he obviously was a capable and resourceful leader.
The fourth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, (Crete lies directly south of the Aegean also Paul's experiences there in Ac 27:7-13). In NT times life in Crete had sunk to a deplorable moral level. The dishonesty, gluttony and laziness of its inhabitants were proverbial (1:12).
Occasion and Purpose
Apparently Paul introduced Christianity in Crete when he and Titus visited the island, after which he left Titus there to organize the converts. Paul sent the letter with Zenas and Apollos, who were on a journey that took them through Crete (3:13), to give Titus personal authorization and guidance in meeting opposition (1:5; 2:1,7-8,15; 3:9), instructions about faith and conduct, and warnings about false teachers. Paul also informed Titus of his future plans for him (3:12).
Place and Date Writing
Paul possibly wrote from Macedonia, for he had not yet reached Nicopolis (3:12). The letter was written after he was released from his first Roman imprisonment (Ac 28), probably between A.D. 63 and 65 - or possibly at a later date if he wrote after his assumed trip to Spain.
Especially significant, considering the nature of the Cretan heresy, are the repeated emphases on loving and doing and teaching "what is good" (1:18,16; 2:3,7,14; 3:1,8,14) and the classic summaries of Christian doctrine (2:11-14; 3:4-7).
How to read Titus
This short letter shows that it has always been a challenge to develop a good church—even in New Testament days. It tells Titus, a young leader of an argumentative church, to refute false teachers, do away with church disunity, and find quality leaders. Even with God’s Spirit at work, church life can involve a lot of sacrificial work! But Paul encourages Titus to persevere. He states, “concerning these things I desire that you affirm confidently, so that those who have believed God may be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men” (Tit 3:8).
Paul intersperses doctrine and practice throughout this brief but powerful letter in a way that integrates eternal truth and day-to-day transformation. Look particularly at the testimony to God’s truthfulness in Tit 1:1-4. Then reflect upon his marvelous kindness and love and grace that not only redeems you but also motivates you to do what is good (Tit 2:11-14; 3:4-7). This is the essence of the gospel!
This book is a must for anyone who is eager to put the gospel into practice. In it you’ll find outlined the qualifications of church leaders, guidelines for a godly life—including successful relationships between family, friends, and society—and an emphasis on faith that overcomes division and disharmony among believers.
Titus Interpretive Challenges
The letter to Titus presents itself in a straightforward manner that should be taken at face value. The few interpretive challenges include: What is the “blessed hope” of 2:13?
God's character in Titus
God is kind - 3:4-6
God is loving - 3:4-7
God is merciful - 1:18; 3:5
God is promise keeper - 1:2
God is true - 1:2
Christ in Titus
The deity of Christ is strongly maintained in the Book of Titus: "Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (2:13). Paul refers to God and Christ as the Savior throughout the book, emphasizing both the person of Christ as God and the plan of salvation (1:3, 4; 2:10, 13; 3:4, 6).