Introduction to the Epistle of Titus
Paul the apostle (1:1). According to the
records of the Bible, Paul was formerly called Saul (Acts. 13:9), an Israelite,
of tribe of Benjamin (
II. The Time and Location the Book was Written
When this epistle was finished, Paul had not
arrived at Nicopolis (3:12). And therefore we could conclude that it must be
finished after he was released from the Roman prison for the first time. At
that time Paul worked in various places in the
III. The Recipient
The name of Titus was not mentioned in the
Acts of the Apostles, however, Paul mentioned him many times in his epistles.
Titus was an uncircumcised Greek (Gal. 2:3) and his home was at
When Paul was released
from his first imprisonment in Rome, he went to Crete with Titus and left him
alone there to set in order the things that are lacking (1:5) and charged him
to come to him at Nicopolis (3:12). Probably when Paul was arrested again,
Titus went to
From Titus’ being sent to Jerusalem, Corinth, Crete and other places, we could know that Titus was a brave and promising fellow-worker of Paul who was greatly used by him. Because the conditions in these places were quite particular and they need to face many difficulties in their work.
IV. The Motivation for Writing the Epistle
At that time Titus was laboring for the Lord
V. The Importance of This Book
The epistle of Titus is the briefest epistle in Paul’s epistles, except the epistle of Philemon. However, in the aspect of the contents, “although the spadger is small, it is completely of the available”. The main theologies, such as bibliology, the theory of deity, Christology, salvation, the morals of Christian life and etc., have been condensed into the brilliant words by the pocket and nuclear way. Moreover, the pastoral principles are quite copious and the personal touch is quite deep. It is a “pocket and practical pastoral handbook” suitable for various ages.
VI. General Description
The central message of this epistle is “the truth which accords with godliness” (1:1). “Godliness” and “the truth” interact with each other and are equally important. They penetrate the whole epistle. Preachers should not only be sound in the faith (1:13; 2:1) but also in all things show themselves to be a pattern of good works (2:7-8). As for the overseers and believers in the church, they should also pay attention to holding fast to the faith (1:9; 2:3) and walking blamelessly (1:6-8; 2:2-6, 9-10; 3:1-2, 8).
VII. Special Points
This epistle has the following features:
1) The beginning of this epistle is quite particular which describes Paul’s commission from God in detail. It makes a foundation stone for the remaining contents of this epistle and it is the “common faith” to all those who serve God (1:1-4).
2) This epistle has brief and clear narrative,
aiming at the features of heresies in the
3) This epistle stresses on the “sound” doctrine and teachings and “good works” which accord with “good things” again and again. It gives us the best examples of “matching one’s words with deeds” (1:6-9; 2:1-10; 3:1-2, 14).
4) This epistle makes brief and profound description of the truth of the salvation repeatedly and it concentrates on the main points to give us the best “general doctrine of Christianity” (2:11-14; 3:4-7).
VIII. Key Verses
“In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.” (Tit. 2:7-8).
“But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Tit. 3:4-5).
IX. Key Words
“The truth which accords with godliness” (1:1), “His word” (1:3), “common faith” (1:4), “the faithful word” (1:9), “sound doctrine” (1:9), “the faith” (1:13, 14), “sound doctrine” (2:1), “good things” (2:3), “the word of God” (2:5), “the doctrine of God our Savior” (2:10).
“Blameless” (1:6; 2:8), “sound” (1:13; 2:2), “sound” (1:9; 2:1), “sound” (2:8).
“A lover of what is good” (1:8), “every good work” (1:16; 3:1), “good things” (2:3), “good works” (2:7), “good works” (2:14), “good works” (3:8, 14).
X. Outlines of the Book
The Ministry and Messages of God’s Workers
I. The ministry of God’s workers (1)
A. the source and aim of the ministry of God’s workers (1:1-4)
B. the positive ministry of God’s workers------appointing the right leaders of the church (1:5-9)
C. the negative ministry of God’s workers------rebuking those who preach heresies (1:10-16)
II. The messages of God’s workers (2:1-3:11)
A. preaching sound doctrine to different believers (2:1-15)
B. teaching believers to walk worthily of the salvation in the society (3:1-8)
C. teaching believers to avoid those who depart from the truth in the church (3:9-11)
III. Epilogue and greeting (3:12-15)
── Caleb Huang《Christian Digest Bible Commentary Series》
Translated by Sharon Ren