The Epistle to Titus
- Recipients, Author and Time of Writing
- Subject and purpose of writing
- Contents (overview)
Titus was, as was Timothy also, a close co-worker of the apostle Paul. We conclude that Titus got converted through Paul as the apostle calls him "my own son after the common faith" (Titus 1:4). As Timothy could have been a real child of the apostle, so could have Titus (in respect of their age difference). The apostle admonishes Titus to be a pattern of good works to the young men especially (Titus 2:6-7). Compare also Titus 2:15 with 1 Tim. 4:12.
Titus is not mentioned once amid Paul's companions in the Acts. For this reason one has concluded – and maybe rightly so – that Titus was a brother of Luke, the author of the Acts of the Apostles.
Gal. 2:1-10 tells us that Titus must have been a co-worker of Paul quite early. This passage tells us of Barnabas' and Paul's journey to Jerusalem to the council of the apostles (see Acts 15). Contrary to the half-Jew Timothy, Titus, the Greek, was not forced to be circumcised. This demonstrated that the Christian is not under the law of Sinai.
Later on, on the Apostle's request, Titus worked in Corinth for a while. He fulfilled the given duties with great care. Timothy was a shy or timid man, whereas Titus was energetic. He was even respected by the Corinthians for they received him with fear and trembling (2 Cor. 7:15).
The Second Epistle to the Corinthians clearly shows how much Paul esteemed Titus. In chapter 2:13 he calls him “my brother” and in chapter 7:6.7.13 he is comforted by Titus. Paul also praises Titus' earnest care (chap. 8:16-17) and finally calls him his partner and fellow-helper in respect to the Corinthians (2 Cor. 8:23).
2 Timothy 4:10 mentions Titus for the last time. Paul writes that Titus had gone to Dalmatia (coastal line of Bosnia-Herzegovina), probably in his service for the Lord. Paul kept a very close relationship with Titus up to the end.
After Paul's release of his first imprisonment he also came to Crete where he left Titus behind. Paul had asked Titus to order divers matters in the churches there. (Some scientists think it possible Paul left Titus in Crete at the end of his second missionary journey.) Shortly after this Paul wrote his Epistle to Titus around the year 63 to 64 AC.
The common subject of First Timothy and Titus is the sound doctrine and the order of the church as the house of God. Both epistles, however, are not addressed to assemblies but to men who had been charged and deputed by the apostle Paul himself. First Timothy deals mainly with the doctrine whereas Titus' subject is more the outward order in the house of God. Apart from chapter 1:10 and 3:9 there is hardly any mention of false doctrine. This is why the style of the epistle to Titus is less agitated than the one in First to Timothy.
Christian doctrine of faith and Christian deportment do closely go together and are not to be separated. Thus one could quickly summarize the contents of the epistle to Titus. The epistle is divided into three parts by the chapters. Each division contains a doctrinal part and the resulting practical consequences.
In verses 1 to 4 of chapter 1 we are presented with the entire salvation in Christ. The spiritual leaders of the people of God (such as was Titus) must always be aware of that they not only serve the Lord but His chosen people also.
Chapter 2:11-14 presents a twofold appearing: Firstly the grace of God has appeared to bring salvation to all men and secondly our great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ will soon appear to the glory of his redeemed ones. This grace of God teaches the Christian to live a godly that is God-pleasing life.
Chapter 3:3-7 describes the believers' acceptance of God's salvation. The following new order of life is the foundation of a renewed conduct.
The epistle to Titus is an epistle on the practical side of the Christian living. This is stressed by the expression “good works” which appears six times: chapter 1:16; 2:7.14; 3:1.8.14.
Elders or Overseers
See section on elders in First Epistle to Timothy, paragraph 2.b).
Titus 1: The Truth which is after Godliness (verse 1): The Elders and the Sound Teaching
Titus 2: Things that become Sound Doctrine (verse 1): Behavioiur One With Another
Titus 3: Ready to Every Good Work (verse 1): Towards the World and Towards the Church
Translation by Veronique Fries