Where the world comes to study the Bible

An Argument Of The Book Of Titus

Related Media

Message Statement:

Paul Writes Titus As His Representative In Crete To Aid The Churches In A Prophylactic Way Against Jewish False Teachers By Appointing Those In Leadership Who Are Able To Manage God’s Household Well And Stand Against The False Teachers, And By Exhorting All Believers To Excel In Good Works So That They Might Reach Those Outside Of The Church With The Gospel

I. OPENING GREETING--SALUTATION: Paul, a bond-servant and apostle of Christ Jesus in order to help the elect come to faith and to have a deep knowledge of the truth writes to his true son in the faith, Titus, and prays that he might receive grace and peace from God the Father and their Savior Christ Jesus 1:1-4

A. The Writer: Paul writes as a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ in order to help the elect come to faith and a deep knowledge of the truth which is in keeping with godliness based upon the hope of eternal life which God promised and brought to light in Paul’s gospel 1:1-3

1. Who Paul Is: Paul presents himself as a bond-servant (δοῦλος) of God1 and apostle of Jesus Christ2 1:1a

2. Purpose of Paul’s Apostleship:3 Paul affirms that his apostleship is for the purpose of the (coming to) faith of the elect and their deep knowledge of the truth which is in keeping with godliness based upon the hope of eternal life which God promised and brought to light in Paul’s gospel 1:1b-3

a. The Goal--Faith of the Elect: Paul affirms that his apostleship is for the purpose of (κατὰ)4 the (coming to) faith of those chosen of God5 1:1b

b. The Goal--Deep Knowledge of the Truth: Paul affirms that his apostleship is for the elect’s deep knowledge (ἐπίγνωσιν) of the truth which is in keeping with godliness based upon the hope of eternal life which God promised and brought to light in the gospel entrusted to Paul 1:1c-3

1) Deep Knowledge of the Truth: Paul affirms that his apostleship is for the elect’s deep knowledge (ἐπίγνωσιν) of the truth which is in keeping with godliness (κατ᾿ εὐσέβειαν)6 1:1c

2) The Foundation of the Truth--Hope: Paul affirms that the truth which is in keeping with godliness rests on the hope (ἐπ᾿ ἐλπίδι) of eternal life which God truthfully promised7 before all time8 and manifested (now)9 in the gospel which Paul entrusted10 1:2-3

B. The Reader: Paul writes to Titus as his true son in a common faith11 1:4a

C. The Greeting:12 Paul greets Titus with a prayer for grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus their Savior13 1:4b

II. SETTING THE CHURCH IN ORDER AGAINST FALSE TEACHERS: Paul left Titus in Crete to set the churches in order by appointing elders who are qualified to manage God’s house and to defend the faith against false teachers who must be silenced so that they (the false teachers/congregation) may be sound in the faith because the false teachers are defiled unbelievers 1:5--16

A. Setting the Church in Order--The Appointment of Elders:14 Paul left Titus in Crete to complete the unfinished task for which he was instructed of setting the church in order and appointing elders in all of the churches who are blameless and above reproach in their households because they will be God’s household managers and defenders of the faith who are not to be identified with vices but with virtues 1:5-9

1. The Task--to Set in Order and Appoint: Paul left Titus in Crete15 to complete the unfinished task, just as he instructed Titus, of setting the church in order and appointing elders16 in all the churches 1:5

2. The Qualifications for Elders: The content of Paul’s instruction to Titus for appointing leaders in the church is that they are to be blameless, above reproach, in their households because they will be God’s household managers and defenders of the faith 1:6-9

a. General Qualification--Blameless:17 Paul affirms that Titus is to appoint elders in every city if they are blameless (ἀνέγκλητος)18 1:6a

b. Private Qualifications--Household Matters:19 Paul affirms that Titus is to appoint elders in every city if they are the husband of one wife, and have children who believe (are faithful) and not unruly or rebellious 1:6b-d

1) Husband of One Wife: Paul affirms that Titus is to appoint elders in every city if they are the husband of one wife (μεᾶς γυναικὸς ἀνήρ)20 1:6b

2) Children Who Believe: Paul affirms that Titus is to appoint elders in every city if they have children who believe (or are faithful, τέκνα ε῎χων πιστά) 1:6c

3) Children Not Accused of Dissipation or Rebellion: Paul affirms that Titus is to appoint elders in every city if their children are not accused of a lack of self-control, or of rebellion (μὴ ἐν κατηγορίᾳ ἀσωτίας η῎ ἀνυπότακτα21) 1:6d

c. Public Qualifications--Negative and Positive: The reason why the church leader must be “blameless” as a husband and father is because he must be above reproach as God’s household manager (steward) and defender of the faith by not being tied to vices, but to virtues 1:7-9

1) Five Vices to Be Avoided: The reason why the church leader must be “blameless” as a husband and father is because he must be above reproach as God’s household manager (steward) by not being  tied to vices 1:7

a) God’s Steward Above Reproach: The reason why the church leader (ἐπίσκοπον here, “overseer”) must be “blameless” as a husband and father (1:6) is because (γὰρ) he must be (δεῖ) above reproach as God’s household manager (steward) 1:7a

b) Not Self-willed or Quick-tempered:22 It is necessary that the church leader not be self-willed (μὴ αὐθάδη)23 or quick tempered (μὴ ὀργίλον) 1:7b-c

c) Not Addicted to Wine or Violent:24 It is necessary that the church leader not be addicted to wine (μὴ πάροινον)25 or violent (μὴ πλήκτην) 1:7d-c

d) Not Fond of Sordid Gain: It is necessary that the church leader not be fond of sordid gain (μὴ αἰσχροκερδῆ)26 1:7f

2) Six Virtues to Be Sought: In contrast to the above vices the church leader must be “blameless” as a husband and father by being virtuous because he is God’s household manager and defender of the faith 1:8-9

a) Hospitable: It is necessary that the church leader be hospitable (φιλόξενον)27 1:8a

b) Loving Good: It is necessary that the church leader be one who loves good (φιλάγαθον)28 1:8b

c) Sensible: It is necessary that the church leader be sensible (σώφρονα)29 1:8c

d) Just: It is necessary that the church leader be just (δίκαιον), devout (ο῞σιον)30, and self-controlled (ἐγκρατῆ )31 1:8d-e

e) Holding Forth the Word:32 It is necessary that the church leader hold firmly to the trustworthy message just as it has been taught in order that he may exhort in sound doctrine and refute those who contradict sound doctrine33 1:9

B. Warnings Against False Teachers: The reason that Titus must appoint worthy elders is because there are many false teachers who must be silenced so that they (the false teachers/congregation) may be sound in the faith because the false teachers are defiled unbelievers 1:10-16

1. Reason to Appoint Worthy Elders--False Teachers: The reason that Titus must appoint worthy elders is because there are many false teachers who must be silenced  1:10-13a

a. Many False Teachers: The reason that Titus must appoint worthy elders (1:5-9) is because (γὰρ) there are many false teachers 1:10

1) Rebellious Men: The reason that Titus must appoint worthy elders is because there are many rebellious34 men 1:10a

2) Empty Talkers and Deceivers: The reason that Titus must appoint worthy elders is because there are many empty talkers and deceivers especially (in particular) of the Jews (circumcision)35 1:10b

b. Who Must Be Silenced: The reason that Titus must appoint worthy elders is because there are many false teachers who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families with their teaching for self-interest (a judgment of Cretans which is supported by a Cretan prophet and confirmed by Paul) 1:11

1) Statement: The reason that Titus must appoint worthy elders is because there are many false teachers who must be silenced 1:11a

2) Reason: The reason the false teachers must be silenced is because they are upsetting whole households36 by false teaching which is motivated by their own greed (sordid gain)37 1:11b

3) Support: Paul supports and confirms his accusation that the false teachers are acting out of self-interest by citing a Cretan poet/religious-teacher who indicts the Cretans as being liars, beasts, and idle sensualists 1:12-13a

a) The Testimony of a Cretan: Paul supports his judgment of the Cretan false teachers as being consumed with self-interest when he cites the Cretan poet/religious teacher38 who describes his own people as being always liars,39 evil beasts, and lazy gluttons40 1:12

b) The Confirmation of Paul: Paul confirms the Cretan teacher as being true in his description of the Cretan false teachers 1:13a

2. The Response to the Situation: Because there are many false teachers who need to be silenced Paul urges Titus to rigorously correct them in order that they (the false teachers/church) may be sound in the faith 1:13b-14

a. Exhortation to Reprove False Teachers: Because there are many false teachers who need to be silenced Paul urges Titus to severely reprove (rigorously correct)41 them 1:13b

b. Purpose in Reproving False Teachers: Paul urges Titus to severely reprove false teachers in order that (ι῞να) they42 may be sound in the faith by which he means not paying attention to Jewish myths43 and commandments of men44 who turn away from the truth45 1:13c-14

3. The Condemnation of False Teachers: Paul condemns the false teachers as being defiled in their mind and conscience and denying their profession of knowing God because through their evil actions 1:15-16

a. They Are Defiled:46 Unlike that pure for whom all things are pure, the false teachers are defiled and unbelieving in their mind and conscience and are thus defiled  1:15

1) The Pure: Paul affirms that all things are pure47 when one is pure 1:15a

2) The Defiled: In contrast to those who are pure nothing is pure when one is (morally) defiled and unbelieving--their mind and their conscience are defiled48 1:15b

b. They Lack Good Deeds: Although the false teachers profess to know God,49 their deeds deny their profession being detestable, disobedient and worthless50 1:16

III. WHAT GOD WANTS BY WAY OF GOOD WORKS:51 Paul instructs Titus to exhort different groups of believers to consider Christ’s redemption of them and thus to avoid the evil works of the false teachers and to live in such a way that those outside of the church may be attracted to the gospel 2:1--3:11

A. Instructions for Different Groups of Believers: In contrast to the false teachers Titus is instructed to speak to the congregation the things which are in accord with sound doctrine, namely, that the Cretan believers live in such a way that those outside of the church may be attracted to the gospel by their behavior 2:1-10

1. Instructions to Titus: In contrast (Σὺ δὲ) to the false teachers (1:10-16) Titus is instructed to speak to the congregation the things which are in accord with sound doctrine (upright living) 2:1

2. Instructions to Different Age Groups:52 Paul exhorts Titus to urge older men and women, young women and men, and bondslaves to live in such a way that those outside of the church may be attracted to the gospel by their behavior 2:2-10

a. Older Men: Titus instructs older men53 to be respectable in every way and especially exemplary of the cardinal Christian virtues of faith towards God, love towards all, and endurance to the End 2:2

1) Respectable: Older men should be respectable in every way 2:2a

a) Sober: Older men should be temperate/or sober (νηφάλιους)54

b) Respect: Older men should be worthy of respect/or dignity (σεμνούς)

c) Sensible: Older men should be sensible (σώφρονα)55

2) Cardinal Christian Virtues: Older men should be exemplary of the cardinal Christian virtues of faith, love and endurance 2:2b

a) Hope: Older men should be sound in faith (τῇ πίστει) [towards God]

b) Love: Older men should be sound in love (τῇ ἀγάπῃ) [towards one another]

c) Perseverance: Older men should be sound in perseverance (ὑπομονῇ) to the End56 2:2

b. Older Women: Paul instructs Titus to teach older women to be reverent, not slanderers or those addicted to wine, but teachers of what is good 2:3

1) Reverent: As with older men (ὡσαύτως), Paul instructs Titus to teach older women (Πρεσβύτιδας) to be reverent57 in the way that they live 2:3a

2) Not Slanderers: Paul instructs Titus to teach older women not to be slanderers (malicious gossips (διαβόλους) 2:3a

3) Not Addicted to Much Wine: Paul instructs Titus to teach older women not to be slaved to much wine58 2:3b

4) Teaching Good: Paul instructs Titus to teach older women to teach what is good59 2:3c

c. Younger Women: Paul exhorts the older women to advise the younger women with respect to their responsibilities as wives  2:4-5

1) Love Husbands and Children: Paul exhorts the older women to advise60 the younger women (νέας) with respect to loving their husbands and children61 2:4

2) Self-Controlled and Pure: Paul exhorts the older women to advise the younger women with respect to their being virtuous and chaste62 2:5a

3) Keepers of the Home and Kind: Paul exhorts the older women to advise the younger women with respect to being workers at home and kind (to servants?) 2:5b

4) Subject to Husbands: Paul exhorts the older women to advise the younger women with respect to being subject to their own husbands in order that (ι῞να) the word of God may not be dishonored (βλασφημῆται)63 2:5c

d. Young Men: As with the above (ὡσαύτως) Paul urges Titus to in instruct younger men (νεωτέρους) to be sensible (σωφρονεῖν)64 in all respects 2:6-7a

e. Titus (as a Younger Man): Paul urges Titus to fulfill the Apostolic role of modeling genuine Christian behavior in order that the opponent might be won over (not have a reason to accuse him) 2:7b-8

1) An Example of Good Works:65 Paul urges Titus to put himself forward as an example of good works66 with integrity and seriousness in teaching,67 sound in speech which is beyond contradiction (ἀκατάγνωστον) 2:7b-8a

2) Purpose of Good Works: The purpose of Titus’ good works in the community is so that (ι῞να) the opponent68 may be put to shame69 having nothing bad (evil) to say about Christian leaders (Paul and Titus and Christians in general)70 2:8b

f. Bondslaves: Paul exhorts Titus to urge bondslaves to subject themselves to their own masters in everything so that will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive 2:9-10

1) Subject Themselves to Masters: Paul exhorts Titus to urge bondslaves to subject themselves (ὑποτάσσεσθαι; middle voice) to their own masters in everything--to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing good faithfulness 2:9-10a

2) Purpose of Subjection: Paul exhorts Titus to urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything in order that (ι῞να) they may wear (in an attractive way; κοσμῶσιν) the teaching of God their Savior in every respect 2:10b

B. The Theological Basis for Christian Living:71 Paul affirms that Titus should instruct believers that they should exhibit good works as a proper response to Christ’s redemption and out of a concern for the lost for whom salvation has appeared 2:11-15

1. Concern for the Outsider: The reason that God’s people should live as commanded in 2:2-10 is because (γὰρ) God’s grace has appeared bringing salvation to all men 2:11

2. The Grace of Salvation Instructs Behavior:72 Paul affirms that Christ’s redemption of believers was to result in good works as they renounce what is evil and cling to what is good in expectation of Christ’s glorious return 2:12-14

a. Negatively:73 Paul affirms that the grace of God instructs believers to renounce ungodliness74 and worldly desires75 2:12

b. Positively:76 Paul affirms that the grace of God instructs believers to live sensibly (σωφρόνως), righteously (δικαίως) and godly (εὐσεβῶς) in the present age as they look for the hope that brings blessing, namely, the appearing of the glory of their great God and Savior,77 Christ Jesus78 2:13

c. Basis: The basis of Christian behavior is Christ Himself who gave Himself for believers79 in order that he might redeem them from every lawless deed, and purify them for himself as a people for his own possession--zealous for good works80 2:14

3. Consequent Exhortation: Paul urges Titus to speak these things (above), and to authoritatively81 exhort and reprove others letting no one disregard him82 2:15

C. Good Works for the Sake of the Outsider--Instructions for Living in State and Society:83 Paul urges Titus to remind the Cretans to do good works with respect to civil authorities and all people because God saved them from their fallen state that they might be heirs of eternal life and share this with others 3:1-8

1. A Reminder to Good Works: Paul urges Titus to remind the Cretans that they are to be subject and obedient to civil authorities, and ready for every good work by not maligning anyone, not being quarrelsome, being conciliatory, and showing humility toward all men 3:1-2

a. Government Authorities: Paul urges Titus to remind the Cretans that they are to be subject to rulers and authorities,84 to be obedient, and to be ready for every good work85 2:1

b. All Man: Paul urges Titus to remind the Cretans that they are to malign no one,86 to be uncontentious (not quarrelsome), gentle (conciliatory), and showing consideration (true humility) for all men 2:2

2. A Theological Basis for Good Works: The reason Paul appeals for the believing Cretans to do good works toward outsiders is because God saved them from their fallen state in order that they might be heirs according to the hope of eternal life 3:3-7

a. The Former State of Believers--Fallen: The reason Paul appeals for the believing Cretans to do good works toward outsiders is because (γάρ) of their former falleness 3:3

1) Foolish: Believers were once foolish87 themselves 3:3a

2) Disobedient: Believers were once disobedient (to God)88 3:3b

3) Deceived: Believers were once deceived89 3:3c

4) Enslaved: Believers were once enslaved90 to various lusts and pleasures spending their lives in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another 3:3d

b. God’s Response to the Human Condition--Salvation:91 Even through believers were in their fallen state God saved them in accordance with His mercy in order that they might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life 3:4-6

1) God Saved Rebellious Man: Even though believers were in their fallen state (δὲ) God saved them when the Savior’s kindness and love appeared92 3:4-5a

2) God’s Salvation Was According to Mercy:93 God saved believers according to His mercy by the washing94 of regeneration95 and (that is the) renewal (ἀνακαινώσεως)96 by the Holy Spirit97 Whom He richly poured out upon them98 through Jesus Christ their Savior and not by works of righteousness which they had done99 3:5b-6

3) God’s Justification Was Designed For Heirship: The purpose of God’s justification100 (ι῞να) was in order that they might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life 3:7

3. Desire for Others: Because of the trustworthiness of God’s merciful work among believers Paul urges Titus to confidently speak of God’s gracious work so that those who have believed may be careful to do good works for the profit of all men 3:8

a. God’s Salvation is Trustworthy: Paul confirms that the above affirmation of God’s merciful work among believers is trustworthy101 3:8a

b. Speak the Above Confidently: Paul urges Titus to speak of God’s merciful salvation102 confidently 3:8b

c. The Goal--Good Works: Paul desires for Titus to speak of God’s merciful salvation confidently so that those Cretan’s who have believed in God may be careful to enter into good works (because) good works are good and profitable103 for men 3:8c

D. Good Works in Contrast to False Teachers--Final Exhortations and Warnings against Errors:104 In a negative contrast to the good deeds which are exhorted above Paul exhorts Titus to urge the Cretan believers to avoid the evil works of the false teachers and to reject them if they persist in being divisive 3:9-11

1. Do Not Argue Over the Law: In a negative contrast to the good deed which are exhorted above (δὲ) Paul exhorts Titus to urge the Cretan believers to avoid unprofitable disputes concerning the Law 3:9

a. Cretan believers are to avoid foolish controversies105 3:9a

b. Cretan believers are to avoid genealogies106 3:9b

c. Cretan believers are to avoid strife and disputes about the Law107 3:9c

d. Reason: The reason Cretan believers are to avoid unprofitable disputes concerning the Law is because they are unprofitable and worthless 3:9d

2. Reject a Divisive Person: Paul urges Titus to instruct the Cretan believers to reject a factious108 man after a second warning109 with the knowledge that such a man has become perverted110 and is continuing in his sinning111 thus bringing self-condemnation112 3:10-11

IV. CONCLUSION--PERSONAL INSTRUCTIONS AND GREETINGS: Paul closes with some concluding instructions for Titus to come to him after his replacement arrives and to help Zenas and Apollos on their way, whereupon, he sends greetings, and prays that they might all receive God’s grace 3:12-15

A. Concluding Instructions: Paul concludes his instructions by urging Titus to come to him at Nicopolis, to help Zenas and Apollos on their way, and to help their people to learn to engage in good works (for others) in order that they (others) might be fruitful 3:12-14

1. Come to Nicopolis: Paul urges Titus to make every effort to come to him at Nicopolis where he has decided to spend the winter after Paul sends either Artemas or Tychicus to him113 3:12

2. Help Zenas and Apollos: Paul urges Titus to help Zenas the lawyer114 and Apollos115 on their way so that nothing is lacking for them116 3:13

3. Help Believers to Be Fruitful: Paul urges Titus to help their people to also learn to engage in good works117 and to meet pressing needs (of others) in order they (others) may not be unfruitful 3:14

B. Personal Greetings: Paul sends greetings from all of those who are with him to Titus and to all who love them in the faith 3:15a-b

1. Paul Sends Greetings Titus: Paul sends greetings from all of those who are with him to Titus 3:15a

2. Paul Gives Greetings to Believers: Paul greets all of those who love him and those with him118 in the faith 3:15b

C. Closing Benediction: Paul closes by praying that grace might be with all of them 3:15c


1 See the similar identifications in Romans 1:1; Philippians 1:1; Galatians 1:10. Paul is “God’s Agent” (cf. Josh. 1:2; Jer. 7:25; Amos 3:7).

2 This latter description expresses Paul’s authority.

3 This emphasis upon the “purpose of Paul’s apostleship” is an expansion which emphasizes the purpose of this letter. Titus did not need this explanation. The letter was no doubt meant to confirm Titus who represented Paul so that the message might be extended in accordance godliness in daily life (D. Edmond Hiebert, “Titus,” Expositors Bible Commentary, 11:427).

4 Here it is with the sense of goal of purpose (BAGD, II,4).

5 Here Paul is describing the believers as God’s people in continuity with OT language (cf. Ps. 105:43; Isa. 65:9, 15). Perhaps this is for the benefit of the false teachers who require a Jewish approach to salvation (see 1:10, 14; 3:8-9).

6 This is “truth and its visible expression in correct behavior” (Fee, 1 and 2 Timothy, p. 66). See 1 Timothy 2:2 and 3:16; 4:7-8).

7 See Numbers 23:19 (cf. Heb. 6:18).

8 This does not just refer to OT prophecy, but the eternal counsels of God (cf. 1 Cor. 2:7-10; 2 Tim. 1:9; Eph. 1:4)

9 Romans 16:25-26; Col. 1:25-26.

10 Again, Paul is probably writing so that the purity of this message might be preserved.

11 This is very similar to 1 Timothy 1:2a and probably is an authentication of Titus as a legitimate one to carry on Paul’s ministry. Perhaps the emphasize upon “common” is to stress the unity of Jew (Paul) and Gentile (Titus; Gal. 2:3).

Titus is never found in the book of Acts and is only noted in the following scriptures (Gal. 2:1, 3; 2 Cor. 2:13; 7:6, 13, 14; 8:6, 16, 23; 12:18; 2 Tim. 4:10). In view of Galatians 2 it seems probable that Titus was from Syrian-Antioch and was converted as a Gentile during the early ministry of Paul and Barnabas there (cf. Acts 11:25-26). Later, Paul brought Titus to Jerusalem as an example of how a Gentile does not have to follow the code of the Mosaic Law (be circumcised) for him to be a Christian (Galatians 2:1-3; cf. Acts 11).

The next time Titus is mentioned is in the writings of 2 Corinthians. This was during Paul’s third missionary journey while Paul was in Ephesus. On Paul’s third missionary journey Ephesus became his base of operations for three years (Acts 18:23; 19:1--20:1, 31). From Ephesus Paul made a visit to Corinth which was not recorded in the book of Acts. Paul then wrote an epistle which the church does not now possess (cf. 1 Cor. 5:9, “I wrote you in my letter ....”). Paul later sent Timothy to Corinth by way of Macedonia (1 Cor. 4:17; 16:10-11; Acts 19:22). It is doubtful whether Timothy reached Corinth before the writing of 2 Corinthians. After the sending of Timothy, news of conflicts in the Church at Corinth reached Paul through “Chloe’s people” (Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus) (1 Cor. 1:11-12; 16:17). Paul wrote 1 Corinthians in response to the reports from “Chloe’s people” and probably sent it by Titus (cf. 1 Cor. “περὶ δὲ,” and 2 Cor. 7:12-15). Either Titus, or whoever delivered 1 Corinthians, probably told the Corinthians of Paul’s intention to visit the Corinthians twice as is reported in 2 Corinthians 1:15--2:4. Paul seemed to have agreed with Titus to meet him in Troas when Titus returned from delivering the letter of 1 Corinthians to Corinth to report on the response to the Corinthian church to Paul’s severe letter of correction (2 Cor. 2:13). But Paul could not find Titus and thus went on to Macedonia (2 Cor. 2:12-13). Paul found Titus in Macedonia (2 Cor. 7:5-6) and when he heard of the response of the church to 1 Corinthians, he wrote 2 Corinthians from Macedonia (2 Cor. 7:5-16; 8:1; 9:2-4) and sent it back with Titus and two other men (2 Cor. 8:6, 7, 13-15, 18-20) to administer the love gift for the Jerusalem church.

When Paul later came to Corinth and wrote the book of Romans, it does not appear that Titus is still present since his name does not appear in the greetings to the Romans in Romans 16:21-23.

Titus is not heard of again until the Pastoral Epistles. Paul left him on the island of Crete (Titus 1:5). He had probably been working there for quite a while when this letter arrived and was to leave when a replacement arrived and to join Paul in Nicopolis (Titus 3:12) where apparently Paul had further Plans for Titus. Finally, Paul writes to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:10 that Titus had gone to Dalmatia. Therefore, it may be assumed that he was with Paul during his second imprisonment, and had gone to Dalmatia on Christian service.

As Hiebert writes, “These scanty references to Titus reveal that he was a trustworthy, efficient, and valued young co-worker. He possessed a forceful personality, was resourceful, energetic, tactful, skillful in dealing with difficult situations, and effective in conciliating people” (“Titus”EBC, 11:422).

12 As with 1 Timothy, so is it in Titus that Paul begins without a word of thanksgiving. He moves directly to business. This is not exactly a personal letter to Titus. No doubt the church would read this aloud.

13 Note Paul’s high Christology by interchanging “our Savior” with God and then Christ Jesus (1:4; 3:4, 6).

14 It seems that Titus is more in line with preventative measures than with prescriptive measures (as with 1 Timothy). In these young churches the best offense against false teachers is a good defense by appointing leaders in the church who can stand against the false teachers. Perhaps that is why Paul begins here with the appointing of elders rather than with addressing the false (Jewish teachers, cf. 1:10) as in 1 Timothy.

In the list that follows many similarities exist with 1 Timothy 3:1-7 (five qualities are identical and five or six have points of correspondence). But there are some significant differences: (1) Titus is to appoint elders and these are qualifications for that appointment, (2) one item of duty is spelled out in this list [that they be teachers of the truth able to refute error, v.9], and (3) the list has a more orderly progresses [household matters, followed by five vices to avoid, and six virtues to be sought].

15 It is difficult to know when this was accomplished. It does not seem probable that this occurred during Paul’s trip to Rome in Acts 27:7-8. Therefore, this probably was after his first Roman imprisonment and before his second. It seems that he came to Crete with Titus, began to set things in order, and then had to leave. But he had Titus remain to continue the task which he had started (note the terms, “left,” “remains,” “directed”).

16 The term is πρεσβυτέρους. Acts 20:17, 28 and Titus 1:5 and 7 indicate that the terms for “overseers” (ἐπισκοποι--Acts 20:28; Titus 1:7) and “elders” (πρεσβυτεροι--Acts 20:17; Titus 1:5) are interchangeable. Therefore, these “elders” are probably also church leaders, “overseers.”

17 The first of the guidelines given in verse six are not in the imperative mood, but are actually indirect questions and might better read, “Is a man blameless?” (ει῎ τίς ἐστιν ἀνέγκλητος ).

18 This term describes one as being above reproach in that he cannot be “called against,” “called to account,” he is “unreprovable,” “unaccused,” and thus, “blameless” (cf. 1 Cor. 1:8; Col. 1:22; 1 Tim. 3:10; Thayer,s.v.” ἀν-έγκλητος,” p. 44).

19 This category is also present in the list in 1 Timothy 3:4-5. The way which one acts in one’s home is an indication of how one will act with the church (the household of God).

20 There are several views as to the meaning of this character quality: (1) a church leader must be married, (2) a prohibition against polygamy, (3) a prohibition against all second marriages (especially in the case of widowhood), (4) an exhortation to marital fidelity to one’s wife, and (5) a prohibition against divorce and remarriage (e.g., a one-woman man).

Meanings 1-3 above are unlikely: (1) 1 Corinthians 7:25-38 argues against the suggestion that Paul would be insisting that one must be married. It is possible that Timothy himself was not married, (2) the use of the same phrase in 1 Timothy 5:9 for widows argues against the probability that Paul is addressing polygamy since widows were not known to have multiple husbands, and (3) Romans 7:1-2 and Paul’s exhortations to widows in 1 Timothy 5:14ff make it unlikely that Paul would restrict marriage for widowers.

Therefore meanings 4 and 5 above are the most likely interpretations of the options. Also meaning four may be inclusive of meaning 5 since one’s divorce and remarriage would not demonstrate one to be a one-woman man. Our culture seems to want to work the conclusion in just the opposite direction (e.g., all one needs to be is a “one-woman” man in the relationship which one is presently engaged). Such an understanding seems to miss the overall characteristic of “above reproach.”

In any case Paul’s concern is for church leaders to lead an exemplary life in the realms of their marriage.

21 This term for rebellion is used of the false teachers in 1:10 (rebellious men, “ἀνυπότακτοι”). See also the LXX of 1 Sam. 10:27 with respect to Eli’s sons.

22 The household manager is to be a servant (cf. Mk. 10:41-45; 1 Cor. 3:5-9; 4:1-2).

23 Overbearing.

24 See 1 Timothy 3:3.

25 The term literally means, “alongside of wine.” Paul is not affirming that the church leader is to necessarily be a total abstainer (cf. 5:23), but that he is not to be addicted to wine or a drunkard (cf. 3:8; Titus 1:7). Jesus himself turned the water into true wine at the Wedding in Cana (John 2). Reasons for abstaining from alcoholic beverages relate more to one’s love for others than to a biblical prohibition (Romans 12:10;14; 1 Cor. 8). Nevertheless, one is not to be addicted to strong drink, or to be drunk (cf. M. & M. p. 496).

26 See 1 Timothy 3:8; Titus 1:11 of the false teachers. Clearly, this list has special application in view of the false teachers in Crete (1:10-13).

27 This is one who loves strangers and thus welcomes them into his home. See 1 Timothy 3:2.

28 Perhaps especially good people.

29 This is descriptive of one who is thoughtful and self-controlled; he has his “wits about him”. See 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 2:2, 5.

30 See the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:23.

31 Together these three terms may describe one’s relationship with (1) other people, (2) with God [cf. Luke 1:75; Eph. 4:24; 1 Thess. 2:10] and then (3) with one’s self.

32 This verse is transitionary in that this qualification is a duty which has particular significance in the next unit which deals with false teachers.

33 It is of some interest to note that the thirteenth-century MS 460 includes the following addition: “Do not appoint those who have been married twice, nor make them deacons; nor may they have wives from a second marriage; neither let them approach the altar for divine service. As a servant of God, rebuke the rulers who are unjust, swindlers, liars, and merciless” (Fee, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, p. 176 n. 1:9; the Greek reads as follows: μη ζειροτονειν διγαμους μηδε διακονους αυτους ποιειν μηδδε γυναικας εχειν εκ διγαμιας, μηδε προσερχεσθωσαν εν τω θυσιαστηριω λειτουργειν το θειον. τους αρχοντας τους αδικοκριτας και αρπαγας δαι ψευστας και ανελεημονας ελεγχε ως θεου διακονος.”

34 This term was used in 1:6.

35 See Acts 10:45; 11:2; Galatians 2:7-9, 12. While these false teachers may not have been promoting the same error as the Jews in Galatians, they do seem to be promoting Jewish themes (1:14-16).

36 The early church met in the homes of people (cf. Philemon 1:2). As Fee writes, “The picture that emerges is one of a somewhat less than cohesive church structure in which a lot of the teaching activity takes place in various households. In some cases, whole households are being overturned by the false teachers, rather than, as some have suggested, some families being upset by the defection of one or two within them” (1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, p. 178).

37 See 1:7.

38 Epimenides--c. 600 BC.

39 These are mere talkers, and deceivers (ψεῦσται; see 1:10).

40 In other words the actions of the false teachers is very “Cretan.”

41 This term, ε῎λεγχε, is used in 1:9 as a necessary qualification for an elder (e.g., “refute those who contradict;” see also 1 Tim. 5:20; 2 Tim. 3:16; Titus 2:15).

42 Contextually, Paul probably has the false teachers in view here (cf. 2 Tim. 2:25-26), but he may also have the congregation as a whole in view (e.g., correct the false teachers so that the congregation may be sound in the faith).

43 See 1 Tim. 1:4; 4:7. Perhaps, they were an attempt by the Jews to emphasize physical heritage (e.g., pedigrees of the patriarchs) or “far-fetched minutiae of rabbinical exegesis to the detriment of the gospel” (cf. Book of Jubilees, or Philo’s Questions and Answers on Genesis, or Pseudo-Philo’s Book of Biblical Antiquities; J. N. D. Kelly, A Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles, pp. 44-45; Fee, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, p. 7).

44 See Isaiah 29:13; Mark 7:7 = Matt. 15:9; Col. 2:22.

45 The “truth” is the truth of the Gospel which emphasizes salvation by grace rather than by religious rules and regulations.

46 This may well be speaking of Jewish food laws. They believed that some foods would defile one (cf. Acts 11).

47 See Romans 14:20; Mark 7. All things are ritually pure.

48 Paul’s point is that when one is unclean, all that one touches is unclean (cf. Hag. 2:10-14; Philo, On the Special Laws 3.208-209). Since the false teachers are unclean within, their “ritual law” does not cleanse anything. The problem is an internal one, not an external one.

As Fee writes, “his devastating punch is that, instead of becoming or keeping themselves pure by eating only pure things, they very fact that they consider anything impure and therefore need regulations for their own purity is the demonstration that the false teachers are themselves corrupted. They are so precisely because they also do not believe, that is, they do not put their trust in Christ. Thus in the Age of the Spirit, everything is new. The one who seeks purity by obedience to regulations, that is, human commandments, turns out not to be one of God’s people at all, but among the unbelieving” (1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, p. 181).

49 This need not be a reference to the gnostics. The Jews are in view here, and they claimed to know God (1 Thess. 4:5; 2 Thess 1:8; Galatians 4:8; Romans 2:17-18; 1 John 2:4; James 2:14-16).

50 They find abominations everywhere, but they are an abomination; they obey human commands, but they disobey God, therefore, they are unqualified for any good work.

Paul will now describe the good which which God wants in 2:1--3:11.

51 It seems that the logical progression between chapters one and two is one of contrast. Fee writes, “the concern throughout the passage is on observable behavior, obviously in contrast to that of the ‘opponents’ described in 1:10-16, who are finally judged as unqualified for any good work. The language used is quite general and very much that which was current in pagan philosophical and religious circles, here adapted to Christian life. One gets the feeling, therefore, that the passage does not so much address ad hoc problems in Crete as it does in a more general way call for good works and a lifestyle in the part of Christians that will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive (v. 10) [1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, p. 184]. Likewise Hiebert writes, “Paul here stresses the importance of building up the inner life of believers as the best antidote against error. Sound doctrine must lead to ethical conduct in the lives of all the groups in the congregations. Emphasis falls on the family groups; the false teachers there had apparently done their greatest damage (1:11) [“Titus,” EBC, 11:435].

52 These instructions are similar to the groupings found in 1 Timothy 5:1-2. This material may be distinct from the “house codes” in Colossians 3:18--4:1, Ephesians 5:21--6:9, and 1 Peter 2:18--3:7 because these instructions are not as concerned with relationships as with character and conduct in general for the sake of the gospel’s reputation with outsiders (see Fee, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, p. 184, 191).

53 These are those from among whom elders would have probably been chosen (Πρεσβύτας). This explains the correlation of character traits with those of elders and overseers.

54 This term describes one who is “temperate in the use of alocholic beverages”--sober (1 Tim. 3:2,11; Tit. 2:2; BAGD, p. 538). Figuratively, it may have the sense of being free from spiritual drunkenness, excess, passion, rashness, or confusion (e.g., well balanced; cf. νήφω; 2 Tim. 4:5).

55 This is descriptive of one who is thoughtful and self-controlled; he has his “wits about him”; he is sound minded. See 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 2:5.

56 This last term may be a variation of the triad “faith, love, and hope” as in 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Timothy 6:11 (cf. 2 Timothy 3:10).

57 The term describes one as fitting for temple service since one is holy (ἱεροπρεπεῖς; cf. 4 Macc. 9:25; 11:20).

58 The passage reads, “μὴ οι῎νῳ πολλῷ δεδουλωμένας.” See 1 Timothy 3:8, 11.

59 The term is unique in all Greek literature, “καλοδιδασκάλους.” This may be a teaching by word and example.

60 The term is σοφρονίζωσιν which occurred in 2:2 above meaning “sensible,” or “to bring one to one’s senses.” Paul may be urging the older women to “wise up” the younger women with their responsibilities as wives.

61 In the culture of Paul’s day most younger women would be married.

62 As Fee writes, “The next work, self-controlled, is identical to what was said of the older men in verse 2. However, this is one of the most frequent words used by contemporary writers to describe a good wife, and most often it intends to describe her as a virtuous woman .... Therefore, in this context self-controlled and pure probably mean ‘virtuous and chaste” (1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, p. 187).

63 This presents the first of several statements that good works are for the sake of nonbelievers (cf. 2:10, 11, 14; 3:2, 8, 14).

64 See 2:2, 4, 5 above. This is descriptive of one who has his wits about him.

65 These good works are probably related to Titus’ responsibilities in the community.

66 This is in contrast to the false teachers in 1:16, “worthless for any good work.” Titus is to set himself along side of the young men as “type,” “shadow,” “example” of good works (σεαυτὸν παρεχόμενος τύπον καλῶν ε῎ργων).

67 This is in contrast with the false teachers of 1:10-16.

68 The word is singular not plural as in the NIV (ὁ ἑξ ἐναντίας). Suggestions of identity have been Satan, those within the church (1:10-16), either of the above, and those outside of the church. It is difficult to know for certain.

69 Two senses are possible here: (1) that the opponent might be ashamed in a judgment [e.g., disgraced], or (2) that the opponent might be shamed into repentance (cf. 2 Thess 3:14; Rom. 12:17-21). The latter is the more probable contextually. Paul is not so concerned with sending people to judgment as with winning them over to the truth.

70 As Fee writes, “Paul’s point is not that the opponent should not be able to point out evil in Titus’ doctrine--although that would follow--but in his conduct, which in turn would also implicate Paul (about us).

71 This section provides the theological basis for the imperatives given in 1:10--2:10. Note that Fee writes, “It should be noted that this concern for ‘good works’ is not non-Pauline, as some suppose. Paul avoids this language in the earlier controversial letters because his opponents were trying to establish a righteousness based on ‘works of Law.’ But from the beginning Paul expected the encounter with grace to issue in proper behavior, which only later he calls ‘good woks’ (cf. Eph. 2:8-10) [1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, p. 199].

72 Paul often speaks in negative and positive ways about Christian behavior (Rom. 6:5-14; Gal. 5:16-26; Col. 3:8-14).

73 This statement corresponds with the first goal of Christ’s redemption of believers in 2:14.

74 See Romans 1:18. The term is ἀσέβειαν which is the opposite of εὐσεβεια.

75 These are passions or desires (ἐπιθυμίας) which are enticed by the world-system (κοσμικὰς) which is opposed to God (cf. 1 John 2:15-17).

76 This corresponds with the second goal of Christ’s redemption of believers in 2:14.

77 This is one person, Christ Jesus. The article before great controls both God and Savior (τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ καὶ σοτῆρος ἡμῶν). The Father is nowhere else said to be joining the Son in the Second Coming.

78 Christ is the manifestation of God’s glory.

79 See Galatians 1:4; Mark 10:45.

80 Paul is adapting language for the people of God in the OT to NT saints (cf. Ps. 130:8; Ezk. 37:23; Ex. 19:5; Deut. 7:6; 14:2; 26:18).

81 This is with the authority which Titus has in his relationship with Paul.

82 This may be similar to 1 Timothy 4:12 only Titus’ youth is not mentioned. Perhaps he was older than Timothy.

83 As Fee writes, “This section, however, makes a decided turn in the argument. In 2:1-14 the concern for ‘good works’ had to do largely with relationships between believers, which when seen by outsiders would keep them from ‘maligning the gospel’ (2:5) and perhaps would even attract them to it (2:10). Now the interest centers in the effect of Christian behavior upon outsiders (3:1-2, 8).

84 See Romans 13:1-8; Acts 4:19; 1 Timothy 2:2; Revelation 6:9-11; 12:11; 13-14.

85 See the false teachers in 1:16. This good work may not only be a reference to that which is civic duty. It could also be transitionary to the list that follows in verse 2.

86 Note that the term is βλασφημεῖν (to insult). This is unlike the false teachers (3:9).

87 Without understanding (ἀνόητοι).

88 See 1:16.

89 Or misguided (πλανώμενοι) as by Satan (cf. 1 Tim. 4:1-2; 2 Cor. 4:4).

90 The term is δουλεύοντες.

91 This sentence (verses 4-7) is creedal presenting Pauline soteriology in a highly condensed form (Fee, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, p. 203).

92 While there is a historical time when God’s kindness appeared in the incarnate Christ, this appearance may better be understood to be an individual experience of His kindness and love at the time of their rebirth and renewal (3:5).

93 Note that the trinity are involved in this salvation--God the Father, Son and Spirit.

94 The washing is probably more in line with spiritual cleansing than with baptism. But if baptism is in view it is the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

95 Rebirth (παλιγγενεσίας; cf. Matt. 19:28).

96 Romans 12:2; cf. also 2 Cor. 5:14-17.

97 Three basic view are held to regarding the meaning of this larger phrase: (1) The washing refers to conversion (or baptism) and renewal refers to the coming of the Spirit referring to two realities (a Holiness-Pentecostal view), (2) The washing refers solely to baptism and “regeneration and renewal” are controlled by it in that the Spirit effects these things at baptism (baptismal regeneration), and (3) the washing alludes to baptism but is a metaphor for spiritual cleansing and emphasizes the cleansing, regenerative work of the Holy Spirit (e.g., “through the washing by the Holy Spirit that brings rebirth and renewal) (Fee, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, pp. 204-205). This third view is correlates best with Pauline theology elsewhere (1 Cor. 2:6-16; Rom. 6--8) and conforms to the emphases of the sentence itself.

98 See Joel 2:28-30; Acts 2:17-18.

99 Ephesians 2:8-9; Phil. 3:9; 2 Timothy 1:9.

100 The term is δικαιωθέντες--a very Pauline expression.

101 See also 1 Timothy 1:15; 3:1; 4:9; 2 Timothy 2:11. This is the second instance where the saying follows the point (cf. 1 Tim. 4:9). The “statement” is verses 4-7 since they are one complete sentence in Greek.

102 And possibly all of 3:1-7.

103 They are profitable not only because of the good impact they have upon people, but because they lead them to the gospel.

104 Fee discusses the argument of this unit well with the following observations: “With these final exhortations Paul brings the ‘argument’ of the letter, which began in 1:5, to its fitting conclusion. Actually these verses do not so much form a new paragraph as bring the paragraph begun in 3:1 to a conclusion, by way of some contrasts with verse 8 (through the motif of profitable and unprofitable deeds). At the same time, however, the contrasts in verse 9 also reach back to 1:10-16, thus bringing the whole letter to conclusion.

The net result is that the argument form 1:10 (which hinges on 1:9) to 3:11 forms a kind of chiasmus:

a 1:10-16--warnings against the false teachers, with their ‘false works’

  b 2:1-14--specific ‘good works’ for specific believers, with the outsider in view, plus their theological basis

  b’ 3:1-8--once again, ‘good works’ for outsiders, this time directed toward them, and again with their theological basis

a 3:9-11--final warning against the false teachers and their ‘false works’” (1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, p. 210).

105 See 1 Timothy 6:4; 2 Tim. 2:23. Perhaps these are questions, word battles resulting in division in the community (see the warnings in Galatians 5:21 and Romans 1:29).

106 See 1 Timothy 1:4. They were probably some kind of Jewish discussions about origins. It is not possible to be specific beyond this. Perhaps, they were an attempt by the Jews to emphasize physical heritage (e.g., pedigrees of the patriarchs) or “far-fetched minutiae of rabbinical exegesis to the detriment of the gospel” (cf. Book of Jubilees, or Philo’s Questions and Answers on Genesis, or Pseudo-Philo’s Book of Biblical Antiquities; J. N. D. Kelly, A Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles, pp. 44-45; Fee, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, p. 7).

107 This is an important clue that the false teachers were in some way related to Judaism. These disputes were related to the Law!

108 This term (αἱρετικὸν) became transliterated and later identified with the concept of a heretic! But this may be saying too much because the issue was one’s behavior (e.g., divisiveness), and not simply one’s theology. Therefore, the issue is not so much whether one agrees with another as much as whether one is dividing the body with their views. Fee’s words may be appropriate, “Unfortunately, all too often in the church the ‘orthodox,’ in ferreting out ‘heretics’ (i.e., people who hold different views from mine), have become the divisive ones!” (1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, p. 211).

109 These warnings are to be admonishments.

110 This is a perfect tense, ἐξέστραπται.

111 This is a present tense, ἁμαρτάνει.

112 In other words, “by his very persistence in his sinful behavior he has condemned himself, thus putting himself on the outside, hence to be rejected by Titus and the church” (1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, p. 212). This is not necessarily speaking of his eternal state. Note that there is a similar warning at the end of Romans (16:17-20).

113 It seems that either Artemas or Tychichus was to be a replacement for Titus in Crete. Nothing is known about Artemas, but Tychichus is mentioned in Acts 20:4; Colossians 4:7 and Ephesians 6:21). Fee writes, “On the basis of Paul’s eventually having sent Tychicus to Ephesus (2 Tim. 4:12) and of Titus’ departure for Dalmatia (2 Tim. 4:10), up the coast from Nicopolis, we may safely conjecture that the plan eventually materialized with the sending of Artemas” (1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, p. 214.

114 Perhaps an expert in Roman law (e.g., a jurist).

115 He is the well known Alexandrian preacher/teacher (Acts 18:24--19:1; 1 Cor. 1:12; 3:4-22; 16:12).

116 Perhaps they are the ones who have delivered the letter to Titus from Paul. Such assistance was a common Christian practice (Acts 15:3; 21:5; Rom. 15:24; 1 Cor. 16:6, 11; 2 Cor. 1:16; 3 John 6).

117 See 3:8.

118 Probably some of the Cretans have been disloyal to Paul and his companions with the gospel.

Related Topics: Introductions, Arguments, Outlines