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Morrish Bible Dictionary

Titus, Epistle to


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One of the Pastoral Epistles, so called because addressed to an individual servant of the Lord. It was apparently written after Paul's first imprisonment at Rome (when otherwise could he have left Titus at Crete? Titus 1:5 ), and before his second imprisonment. From whence it was written is not known: its date may be about A.D. 64. The epistle urges the maintenance of good works and order in the church, and states the principles on which they are founded.

After the introductory salutation in which the counsels of God are referred to, and the acknowledging of truth which is according to piety, Paul states for what purpose he had left Titus at Crete: 1, to set in order things that were still left incomplete; and 2, to establish elders in every city, which elders are in Titus 1:7 called 'bishops,' or overseers. The qualifications for such an office are then given: no particular gift is essential, but blameless moral character is indispensable, and soundness in the faith. There were at Crete many deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped.

The Cretans had a bad reputation nationally, as appears from one of themselves who had said, "The Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons." (The quotation is from Epimenides, a poet of the sixth century B.C. His sayings were quoted as oracles, which may account for his being called a 'prophet.') They were to be rebuked sharply that they might be sound in the faith. To the pure all things are pure, but nothing is pure to the defiled and unbelieving, the mind and conscience being defiled.

Titus 2 . Titus was to speak things that became sound teaching, with exhortations suited to those of different ages, and to servants, himself being in all things a pattern of good works, and his teaching such as could not be condemned. Then follows a summary of Christianity as a practical power in man, by the teaching of grace. The grace of God that carries salvation for all has appeared, teaching how a Christian is to live, awaiting the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of the great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who died to redeem such from all lawlessness, and to purify to Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Titus 3 . Titus was to teach subjection to worldly powers and obedience to every good work. They had been characterised by ungodliness, but the kindness and love of the Saviour-God having appeared, He according to His mercy had saved them by the washing of regeneration (the moral cleansing connected with the new order of things in Christianity: cf. Matthew 19:28 ), and renewal of the Holy Spirit, which He had richly poured out upon them through Jesus Christ their Saviour (the 'renewal' is more than new birth, it is the Spirit's active energy in the believer), that, having been justified by His grace, they should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus was to insist on the maintenance of good works, but foolish questions were to be avoided. A heretic, after two admonitions, was to be abandoned: he was self-condemned. A few personal details are added, and the epistle closes with the benediction.


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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Titus, Epistle to '. Morrish Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/mbd/t/titus-epistle-to.html. 1897.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 20th, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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