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Introduction to Titus

 

I. Brief Background

 

A. Titus is part of the collection of Paul's letters known as "the Pastoral Letters." This is because 1 Timothy, Titus, and 2 Timothy deal with Paul's admonitions to his co-workers on

1. how to deal with false teachers

2. how to establish leadership in local churches

3. how to encourage godliness

The apparent chronological order of these books is: 1 Timothy and/or Titus then later, 2 Timothy. Titus deals with the same subjects as 1 Timothy. Titus may have been written first because its introduction is so lengthy and theologically involved, much like Romans.

B. The geographical movements of Paul and these co-workers do not fit into the geographical movements of Paul in Acts. Therefore, many (me included) assume that this is evidence that Paul was released from prison and conducted a fourth missionary journey.

 

C. The dates for this fourth missionary journey would have to be sometime between the early a.d. 60's to a.d. 68 because Paul was beheaded under Nero and Nero killed himself in A.D. 68 (many assume in the persecution of a.d. 65).

 

II. Titus, the Man

 

A. Titus was one of Paul's most trusted co-workers. This is evidenced by the fact that Paul sent him to the troubled churches of Corinth and Crete.

 

B. He was a full Gentile (Timothy was only half-Greek), converted under Paul's preaching. Paul refused to circumcise him (cf. Gal. 2:3).

 

C. He is mentioned often in Paul's letters (cf. II Cor. 2:13; 7:6-15; 8:6-24; 12:18; Gal. 2:1-3; 2 Tim. 4:10) and it is very surprising that Luke does not mention him in Acts. Some commentaries theorize that

1. he may have been a relative of Luke (possibly a brother) and to include his name would have been seen as an act of cultural impropriety on Luke's part

2. Titus is Luke's major source of information about Paul's life and ministry and, therefore, like Luke, would not be named

 

D. He accompanied Paul and Barnabas to the all important Jerusalem Council, recorded in Acts 15, where the issue of the new Gentile believers' relationship to the Mosaic Law was debated and settled.

 

E. This book focuses on advice Paul gives Titus about his ministry on Crete. Titus is acting as Paul's official surrogate/legate.

 

F. The last data in the NT about Titus is that he was sent to minister in Dalmatia (cf. 2 Tim. 4:10).

 

III. The False Teachers

 

A. There is obviously a group of false teachers on Crete who opposed Paul's gospel.

 

B. Their theological teachings led to conflict with the godly lifestyle that is expected of all believers.

1. references to godly living: 1:1,16; 2:7,14; 3:1,8,14

2. summaries of character qualities: 2:11-14; 3:4-7

 

C. There is an obvious Jewish flavor to this false teaching (cf. 1:10,14; 3:8-9). These heresies are a combination of Jewish legalism and Greek speculative thought (Gnosticism, see Special Topic at 1:1). They are similar to the false teachers addressed in 1 Timothy, Colossians, and Ephesians. The focus of the Pastoral Letters is on heresy, and not exclusively church organization.

 

READING CYCLE ONE (from "A Guide to Good Bible Reading")

This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Therefore, read the entire biblical book at one sitting. State the central theme of the entire book in your own words.

1. Theme of entire book

2. Type of literature (genre)

 

READING CYCLE TWO (from "A Guide to Good Bible Reading")

This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Therefore, read the entire biblical book a second time at one sitting. Outline the main subjects and express the subject in a single sentence.

1. Subject of first literary unit

2. Subject of second literary unit

3. Subject of third literary unit

4. Subject of fourth literary unit

5. Etc.

 

Related Topics: Introductions, Arguments, Outlines, Bible Study Methods