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Introduction to Titus


Summary of the Book of Titus

This summary of the book of Titus provides information about the title, author(s), date of writing, chronology, theme, theology, outline, a brief overview, and the chapters of the Book of Titus.


The author is Paul (see 1:1 and note; see also Introduction to 1 Timothy: Author).


The letter is addressed to Titus, one of Paul's converts (see 1:4 and note) 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 (see map, p. 1724). It is likely that he was the bearer of Paul's severe letter to the Corinthian church (see Introduction to 2 Corinthians: Occasion). Paul was concerned about the possible negative reaction of the Corinthian 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 Christian brothers, was the bearer of 2 Corinthians (2Co 8:23) and was given the responsibility for making final arrangements for the collection, begun a year earlier, in Corinth (see 2Co 8:6,16-17 and notes).

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; 2:15; 3:12-13). Paul asked Titus to meet him at Nicopolis (see map, p. 2487) when a replacement arrived (see 3:12 and note). Later, Titus went on a mission to Dalmatia (see 2Ti 4:10 and note), the last word we hear 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 Sea (see map and inset, p. 2308; cf. note on 1Sa 30:14; cf. 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 of Writing

Paul possibly wrote from Macedonia, for he had not yet reached Nicopolis (see 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.

Distinctive Characteristics

Especially significant, considering the nature of the Cretan heresy, are the repeated emphases on loving and doing and teaching "what is good" (1:8,16; 2:3,7,14; 3:1,8,14) and the classic summaries of Christian doctrine (2:11-14; 3:4-7).


I.           Greetings (1:1-4)

  1. Concerning Elders (1:5-9)

A.   Reasons for Leaving Titus in Crete (1:5)

    • Qualifications of Elders (1:6-9)

                   III.        Concerning False Teachers (1:10-16)

  1. Concerning Various Groups in the Congregations (ch. 2)
    • The Instructions to Different Groups (2:1-10)
    • The Foundation for Christian Living (2:11-14)
    • The Duty of Titus (2:15)

V.        Concerning Believers in General (3:1-8)

    • Obligations as Citizens (3:1-2)
    • Motives for Godly Conduct (3:3-8)

VI.           Concerning Response to Spiritual Error (3:9-11)

  1. Conclusion, Final Greetings and Benediction (3:12-15)

──New International Version


Introduction to Titus

This epistle chiefly contains directions to Titus concerning the elders of the Church, and the manner in which he should give instruction; and the latter part tells him to urge obedience to magistrates, to enforce good works, avoid foolish questions, and shun heresies. The instructions the apostle gave are all plain and simple. The Christian religion was not formed to answer worldly or selfish views, but it is the wisdom of God and the power of God.

── Matthew HenryConcise Commentary on Titus

Titus General Review
AUTHOR:  The apostle Paul, as stated in the salutation (1:1).  The
testimony of church history also provides overwhelming support that
Paul is the author.
RECIPIENT:  Titus, Paul's "true son in common faith" (1:4).  There is
no mention of Titus by name in the book of Acts, but we can glean much
about him from the epistles of Paul.  He was a Gentile by birth (Ga
2:3), and accompanied Paul to Jerusalem during the controversy over
circumcision (Ac 15:1-2; Ga 2:1-5).
During Paul's third missionary journey, Titus became his personal
emissary to the church at Corinth, seeking to learn how they received
his first letter.  When Titus did not return to Troas as expected, Paul
anxiously went on to Macedonia (2 Co 2:12-13).  It was there that Paul
and Titus finally connected, much to the relief and comfort of Paul
when Titus reported how well he was received by the Corinthians (2 Co
7:5-7,13-15).  Paul then sent Titus and two others back to Corinth, 
bearing the letter we call Second Corinthians, and exhorting the 
brethren to complete their collection for the needy saints in Jerusalem
(2 Co 8:16-9:5).
At the time of the epistle to Titus, he had been left on the island of
Crete by Paul to "set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint
elders in every city" (Ti 1:5).  If Paul's plans as expressed in this 
epistle materialized, then Titus left soon after the arrival of Artemas
or Tychicus, and met Paul at Nicopolis in northwest Greece (cf. Ti
3:12).  We last read of Titus that he had gone to Dalmatia (in modern
day Yugoslavia) during the final days of Paul's life (2 Ti 4:10).
TIME AND PLACE OF WRITING:  The general consensus is that following
his first imprisonment in Rome the apostle Paul was released and
allowed to travel for several years before being arrested again.  The
following itinerary has been proposed by the Ryrie Study Bible:
   * Paul was released from his house arrest in Rome (where we find him
     at the end of Acts), probably because his accusers did not choose
     to press their charges against him before Caesar (Ac 24:1; 28:30).
     Their case, therefore, was lost by default, and Paul was freed.
   * Paul visited Ephesus, left Timothy there to supervise the
     churches, and went on to Macedonia (northern Greece).
   * From there he wrote 1 Timothy (1 Ti 1:3).
   * He visited Crete, left Titus there to supervise those churches,
     and went to Nicopolis in Achaia (southern Greece, Ti 3:12).
   * Either from Macedonia or Nicopolis, he wrote this letter to 
     encourage Titus.
   * He visited Troas (2 Ti 4:13), where he was suddenly arrested,
     taken to Rome, imprisoned, and finally beheaded.
   * From Rome, during this second imprisonment, he wrote 2 Timothy.
It cannot be established with certainty, but it possible that Paul
wrote this letter from Corinth, sometime around 63-66 A.D.
PURPOSE OF THE EPISTLE:  Like his first epistle to Timothy, this letter
is written to a young preacher assigned a difficult task.  Evidently
the churches on the island of Crete were in need of maturation, and
this letter is designed to assist Titus in that work.  Therefore, Paul
wrote to encourage Titus:
   * To see that qualified elders were appointed in every city (1:5-9)
   * To preach things befitting "sound doctrine" (2:1)
   * To exhort the brethren to be "zealous for good works" (2:14; 3:1,
THEME OF THE EPISTLE:  The key phrase in this epistle is "good works"
(1:16; 2:7,14; 3:1,8,14).  An appropriate theme for this epistle might
therefore be:
                         "MAINTAIN GOOD WORKS!"
KEY VERSE:  Titus 3:8
   "This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm
   constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful
   to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable for
   C. FOR THE SERVANTS (2:9-14)
CONCLUSION (3:12-15)
1) What were the circumstances in which we first find Titus and Paul 
   together? (Ga 2:1-5)
   - Titus had accompanied Paul in attending the conference in 
     Jerusalem regarding circumcision
2) Why was Paul adamant in not allowing others to compel Titus to be 
   circumcised? (Ga 2:3-5)
   - Titus was a Greek, not a Jew; to force him to be circumcised would
     violate the truth of the gospel
3) With what church did Titus serve as Paul's messenger? (2 Co 7:6-7,
   - The church at Corinth
4) Why did Paul send Titus along with the second letter to Corinth? 
   (2 Co 8:16-9:5)
   - To make sure that the Corinthians' gift for the needy saints in
     Jerusalem would be ready
5) From where and when was this epistle to Titus possibly written?
   - From Corinth, sometime between 63-66 A.D.
6) Where was Titus when this letter was written to him? (1:5)
   - On the island of Crete
7) In this epistle, what three things does Paul exhort Titus to do?
   (1:5-9; 2:1; 3:1,8,14)
   - To see that qualified elders were appointed in every city
   - To preach things befitting "sound doctrine"
   - To exhort the brethren to be "zealous for good works"
8) What is the theme of this epistle, as suggested in the introductory
   - Maintain Good Works!
9) What is proposed as the key verse?
   - Titus 3:8
10) According to the outline above, what are the main points of this
   - Instructions concerning church organization
   - Instructions concerning Christian conduct


--《Executable Outlines