Introduction to Titus

The epistle of Paul to Titus is one of his three pastoral epistles, the others being I and II Timothy. It was written about the same time as I Timothy, sometime after Paul was released from his first imprisonment, about A.D. 64. It is also quite similar to I Timothy, each being written to a young friend and disciple for guidance in organizing and leading a church—Timothy at Ephesus, and Titus on the island of Crete.

Titus is not mentioned at all in Acts, although he was one of Paul’s own converts (note Titus 1:4). Titus was a Gentile and had been taken by Paul to the Jerusalem council, probably as living proof that God was saving Gentiles as well as Jews (note Galatians 2:1-3; Acts 15:12).

Titus was of great help to Paul in the work at Corinth and, in fact, is mentioned nine times in II Corinthians. He probably helped Paul in the writing of II Corinthians, and carried the letter for Paul from Macedonia to Corinth (II Corinthians 8:16-18).

When Paul visited Crete sometime after his release from prison, he took Titus, and then left him to help organize and supervise the new churches there (Titus 1:5). This was a very challenging assignment, for the Cretians were notoriously difficult to deal with (Titus 1:12). Paul’s letter to Titus was written to help him in this work and also to encourage him to stand firm in his convictions and his ministry. Finally, Paul requested Titus to meet him in Nicopolis, a city on the Macedonian coast (mentioned only in Titus 3:12) to help him minister during the winter. Some writers think it was in Nicopolis that Paul was again arrested and sent back to Rome.

Titus is mentioned in Paul’s last letter, as having gone to Dalmatia (II Timothy 4:10), a Roman province just northwest of Macedonia, presumably to evangelize and organize churches in that unreached area.

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