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Bible Commentaries

The People's Bible by Joseph Parker


- Titus

by Joseph Parker


(Macedonia, a.d. 64 or 57)

[Note. "Of Titus nothing more is certainly known than we find in the Epistles of Paul. From incidental allusions to him we learn that he was a Greek by birth, Galatians 2:3 , who had been converted to Christianity by the instrumentality of Paul, Galatians 1:4 . He went up with Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem, Galatians 2:1 , and afterwards accompanied Paul on his travels; and is repeatedly mentioned by him in terms of approbation and affection, 2 Corinthians 7:5-7 , 2Co 7:13-15 ; 2 Corinthians 8:16-24 ; 2 Corinthians 12:17-21 .

"Being the son of Gentile parents, and therefore in different circumstances from Timothy, he was not circumcised. Circumcision in his case would have involved, as Paul reasoned, a compromise of principle, Galatians 2:5 .

"At the time when this Epistle was written, Titus had been left by the Apostle in the island of Crete, that he might establish and regulate the churches there (i. 5). It is not easy to determine when this occurred; no opportunity for it having been afforded by the only visit to Crete, recorded in Acts 27:7-8 ; for he was then on his way to Rome as a prisoner, his stay was short, nor could he then expect to spend the ensuing winter in Nicopolis (see Tit 3:12 ).

"Some have supposed that Paul may have been at Crete on his voyage from Corinth to Ephesus, mentioned in Acts 18:18 ; and have written this Epistle subsequently from Ephesus, having formed the intention of spending the winter at a town named Nicopolis, between Antioch and Tarsus (see Tit 3:12 ). Others have placed Paul's visit to Crete between his leaving Ephesus for Macedonia and his second visit to Corinth, mentioned in Acts 20:2 . But the more general opinion is that the visit to Crete here referred to was upon a journey which Paul took after his first imprisonment at Rome, when he sailed to Asia, taking Crete in his way, and leaving Titus there; and that he wrote this Epistle from Macedonia, when on his way to Nicopolis.

"It is further supposed that Titus, according to Paul's desire, joined the Apostle at Nicopolis, and afterwards accompanied him on his last journey to Rome, being with him there during part of his second imprisonment, 2 Timothy 4:10 ; and having then gone into Dalmatia, probably to preach the gospel, or to visit churches already formed there. What became of him afterwards we are not informed. The tradition is that he returned to Crete, and died there at the age of 94.

"It is very observable in this Epistle, that those of the humblest rank are exhorted to adorn the gospel ( Tit 2:10 ), and that while our salvation is ascribed exclusively to grace ( Tit 2:11 ), to the 'kindness and love of God our Saviour' ( Tit 3:4 ), this fact is made the ground of most urgent exhortations to holiness (Titus 2:14 ; Tit 3:8 ).

"On the duties Christians owe to civil government, Titus 3:1 , see Romans 13:1-14 ; 1 Peter 2:13-17 ; 2 Peter 2:10 ; Jude 1:8 ." Angus's Bible Handbook.]