The Epistle of Paul to Titus

New Testament Teacher Resource Manual, (2002), 218–19


timeline

Author and Audience: Titus was a Greek convert and a faithful fellow laborer with Paul in spreading the gospel and organizing the Church (see Galatians 2:3; 2 Corinthians 8:16–23). The book of Titus was written by Paul (see Titus 1:1) and addressed “to Titus, mine own son after the common faith“ (v. 4).

Historical Background: Sometime after being released from his first Roman imprisonment, Paul visited the island of Crete with Titus. Paul was unable to remain on the island, so he left Titus there to set the Church in order (see Titus 1:5). Paul’s letter, written to strengthen and encourage Titus, provides definite instructions about the duties of those who minister in the Church. Specifically, the Apostle warns Titus to beware of false ministers and doctrines. He also speaks about the character and conduct befitting one who is called to priesthood leadership. This letter was written approximately A.D. 64 (see Bible Dictionary, (“Pauline Epistles,” p. 743).

Theme: Like Timothy, Titus had a difficult assignment. The main challenge that confronted him and the new leaders he would appoint lay in ensuring that the doctrine remained pure among the new members. Like so many other congregations of Saints, the branch in Crete was ravaged with false teachers and doctrines (see Titus 1:14; 3:9–11). Some of them were “unruly … teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake” (Titus 1:10–11). Paul encouraged Titus to be vigilant in sustaining the faith (see Titus 1:13–16; 2:15), to appoint strong and appropriate leaders (see Titus 1:1–9), and to teach the Saints the way to salvation (see Titus 2:11–3:8).