Daily Devotion Text

August 15, 2017

Titus 1

By carmenhsu In Devotion Text, Titus with Comments Off on Titus 1
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A Study Through the Book of Titus

As the first verse states, this letter was written by the apostle Paul to his coworker Titus. In the last two centuries the Pauline authorship of Titus (as well as 1 and 2 Timothy) has been called into question. However, the criticisms in the end cannot disprove Pauline authorship, and the arguments for the authenticity of 1 and 2 Timothy also apply to Titus, providing a good basis for affirming the straightforward claim that the book of Titus was written by Paul. The text clearly claims to be from Paul, its theology aligns with Paul’s other letters, and the difference in style is certainly conceivable given the difference in situation.

As with 1 Timothy, critics of Pauline authorship point out that the letter to Titus does not seem to fit into the narrative of Acts. There are no accounts in Acts or Paul’s other letters of Paul doing mission work in Crete (Titus 1:5). However, neither Paul’s letters nor Acts claim to be comprehensive in their account of Paul’s ministry. The traditional understanding has been that Titus, like 1 Timothy, was written in the time between Paul’s first imprisonment (Acts 28) and a second imprisonment which led to his death (see Introduction to 1 Timothy: Date). In this case, Titus would have been written in the mid-60s A.D., around the same time as 1 Timothy. This is plausible in light of the strong similarities between the letters. [1]

In some ways Titus appears to be a smaller version of 1 Timothy, where false teaching prompted instruction on qualifications for church leadership; at the same time Paul addresses other matters that the false teachers have triggered. Hence, both the qualifications for elders and the indictment of the false teachers have some striking similarities to what is said about them in 1 Timothy.

But there are also some significant differences. The most noteworthy is the fact that Timothy was left in a situation where the church had been in existence for nearly twelve years, and he had to deal with elders who were leading the church astray. Titus has been left in Crete to set new churches in order. Thus, in this case, Paul begins with the qualifications for church leaders (1:5-9), before taking on the false teachers (1:10-16). This is followed by general instructions on how to deal with older and younger men and women and with slaves, with emphasis on doing good (2:1-10), which looks like an expansion of 1 Timothy 5:1-2 and 6:1-2. The rest of the letter then emphasizes, in light of the grace of God, their “doing good” in the world (2:11-3:8), which is again set in contrast to the false teachers (3:9-11). [2]

[1] ESV: Study Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles, 2008. 2345.

[2]  Fee, Gordon D, and Douglas K. Stuart. How to Read the Bible Book by Book: A Guided Tour. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2002. 383-384..




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