Reference: Titus, Epistle To
was probably written about the same time as the first epistle to Timothy, with which it has many affinities. "Both letters were addressed to persons left by the writer to preside in their respective churches during his absence. Both letters are principally occupied in describing the qualifications to be sought for in those whom they should appoint to offices in the church; and the ingredients of this description are in both letters nearly the same. Timothy and Titus are likewise cautioned against the same prevailing corruptions, and in particular against the same misdirection of their cares and studies. This affinity obtains not only in the subject of the letters, which from the similarity of situation in the persons to whom they were addressed might be expected to be somewhat alike, but extends in a great variety of instances to the phrases and expressions. The writer accosts his two friends with the same salutation, and passes on to the business of his letter by the same transition (comp. 1Ti 1:2-3 with Tit 1:4-5; 1Ti 1:4| with Tit 1:13-14; 3:9; 1Ti 4:12 with Tit 2:7,15).", Paley's Horae Paulinae.
The date of its composition may be concluded from the circumstance that it was written after Paul's visit to Crete (Tit 1:5). That visit could not be the one referred to in Ac 27:7, when Paul was on his voyage to Rome as a prisoner, and where he continued a prisoner for two years. We may warrantably suppose that after his release Paul sailed from Rome into Asia and took Crete by the way, and that there he left Titus "to set in order the things that were wanting." Thence he went to Ephesus, where he left Timothy, and from Ephesus to Macedonia, where he wrote First Timothy, and thence to Nicopolis in Epirus, from which place he wrote to Titus, about A.D. 66 or 67.
In the subscription to the epistle it is said to have been written from "Nicopolis of Macedonia," but no such place is known. The subscriptions to the epistles are of no authority, as they are not authentic.
This Epistle was written by St. Paul (Tit 1:1) to Titus while the latter was acting as his delegate in Crete (Tit 1:5). It may have been a reply to a request from Titus for guidance, or may have been written by the Apostle on his own initiative, to assist his delegate in the difficulties that faced him. St. Paul had come to Crete in company with Titus (Tit 1:5), but, having to leave before he could complete his work there, he left Titus behind to 'set in order things that were wanting.'
As far as our records tell us, this was the first missionary visit of St. Paul to the island. No doubt on his journey as prisoner from C
One of the Pastoral Epistles, so called because addressed to an individual servant of the Lord. It was apparently written after Paul's first imprisonment at Rome (when otherwise could he have left Titus at Crete? Tit 1:5), and before his second imprisonment. From whence it was written is not known: its date may be about A.D. 64. The epistle urges the maintenance of good works and order in the church, and states the principles on which they are founded.
After the introductory salutation in which the counsels of God are referred to, and the acknowledging of truth which is according to piety, Paul states for what purpose he had left Titus at Crete: 1, to set in order things that were still left incomplete; and 2, to establish elders in every city, which elders are in Tit 1:7 called 'bishops,' or overseers. The qualifications for such an office are then given: no particular gift is essential, but blameless moral character is indispensable, and soundness in the faith. There were at Crete many deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped.
The Cretans had a bad reputation nationally, as appears from one of themselves who had said, "The Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons." (The quotation is from Epimenides, a poet of the sixth century B.C. His sayings were quoted as oracles, which may account for his being called a 'prophet.') They were to be rebuked sharply that they might be sound in the faith. To the pure all things are pure, but nothing is pure to the defiled and unbelieving, the mind and conscience being defiled.
Titus 2. Titus was to speak things that became sound teaching, with exhortations suited to those of different ages, and to servants, himself being in all things a pattern of good works, and his teaching such as could not be condemned. Then follows a summary of Christianity as a practical power in man, by the teaching of grace. The grace of God that carries salvation for all has appeared, teaching how a Christian is to live, awaiting the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of the great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who died to redeem such from all lawlessness, and to purify to Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Titus 3. Titus was to teach subjection to worldly powers and obedience to every good work. They had been characterised by ungodliness, but the kindness and love of the Saviour-God having appeared, He according to His mercy had saved them by the washing of regeneration (the moral cleansing connected with the new order of things in Christianity: cf. Mt 19:28), and renewal of the Holy Spirit, which He had richly poured out upon them through Jesus Christ their Saviour (the 'renewal' is more than new birth, it is the Spirit's active energy in the believer), that, having been justified by His grace, they should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus was to insist on the maintenance of good works, but foolish questions were to be avoided. A heretic, after two admonitions, was to be abandoned: he was self-condemned. A few personal details are added, and the epistle closes with the benediction.
Titus, Epistle to.
There are no specialties in this epistle which require any very elaborate treatment distinct from the other Pastoral Letters of St. Paul. It was written about the same time and under similar circumstances with the other two i.e., from Ephesus, in the autumn of 67 in the interval between Paul's two Roman imprisonments.