Click here to get started today!
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
(Graecized Τιτος , a common Latin name, e.g. of the celebrated Roman emperor whose triumphal arch [q.v.] still stands in Rome; once in the Apocrypha [2 Maccabees 11:34] of a Roman ambassador to the Jews, (See MANLIUS) ), a noted Christian teacher, and fellow-laborer of Paul. He was of Greek origin (possibly a native of. Antioch), but was converted by the apostle, who therefore calls him his own son in the faith (Galatians 2, 3; Titus 1, 4). This is all that we know of his early history. The following is an account of his later movements and of the epistle to him. King (Who was St. Titus? [Dublin, 1853,.8vo]) tries to identify him with Timothy.
1. Sources of Information. — Our materials for the biography of this companion of Paul must be drawn entirely from the notices of him in the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, the: Galatians, and to Titus himself, combined with the Second Epistle to Timothy. He is not mentioned in the Acts at all. The reading Τίτου Ι᾿ούστου in Acts 18:7 is too precarious for any inference to be drawn from it. Wieseler, indeed, lays some slight stress upon it (Chronol. des apost. Zeit. [Gö tt. 1848], p. 204), but this is in connection with a theory which needs every help. As to a recent hypothesis that Titus and Timothy were the same person (King, Who was St. Titus? [Dublin, 1853]), it is certainly ingenious, but quite untenable (see 2 Timothy 4:10). The same may be said of the suggestion of Mircker (Meining. 1861),.that Titus of the epistles is the same person with Silvanus, or Silas, of the Acts, although there is nothing that absolutely forbids such an identification.
2. His, Known Journeys. — Taking the passages in the epistles in the chronological order of the events referred to, we turn first to Galatians 2:1; Galatians 2:3. We conceive the journey mentioned here to be identical with that (recorded in Acts 15) in which Paul and Barnabas, went from Antioch to Jerusalem to the conference which was to decide the question of the necessity of circumcision to the Gentiles (A.D. 47). Here we see Titus in close association with Paul and Barnabas at Antioch. He goes with them to Jerusalem. He is, in fact, one of the τινὲς ἄλλοι of Acts 15:2, who were deputed to accompany them from Antioch. His circumcision was either not insisted on at Jerusalem, or, if demanded, was firmly resisted (οὐκ ἠναγκάσθη περιτμηθῆναι ). He is very emphatically spoken of as a Gentile (῎Ελλην ), by which is most probably meant that both his parents were Gentiles. Here is a double contrast from Timothy, who was circumcised by Paul's own directions, and one of whose parents was Jewish (Acts 16:1; Acts 16:3; 2 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 3:15). Titus would seem, on the occasion of the council, to have been specially a representative of the church of the uncircumcision.
It is to our purpose to remark that, in the passage cited above, Titus is so mentioned as apparently to imply that he had become personally known to the Galatian Christians. This, again, we combine with two other circumstances, viz. that the Epistle to the Galatians and the Second Epistle to the Corinthians were probably written within a few months of each other (See GALATIANS, EPISTLE TO), and both during the same journey. From the latter of these two epistles we obtain fuller notices of Titus in connection with Paul. After leaving Galatia (Acts 18:23), and spending a long time at Ephesus (Acts 19:1-20; Acts 19:1), the apostle proceeded to Macedonia by way of Troas. Here he expected to meet Titus (2 Corinthians 2:13), who had been sent on a mission to Corinth. In this hope he was disappointed [see TROAS], but in Macedonia Titus joined him (2 Corinthians 7:6-7; 2 Corinthians 7:13-15). Here we begin to see not only the above-mentioned fact of the mission of this disciple to Corinth, and the strong personal affection which subsisted between him and Paul (ἔν τῇ παρουσίᾷ αὐτοῦ , 2 Corinthians 7:7), but also some part of the purport of the mission itself. It had reference to the immoralities at Corinth rebuked in the first epistle, and to the effect of that first epistle on the offending Church. We learn, further, that the mission was so far successful and satisfactory: ἀναγγέλλων τὴν ὑμῶν ἐπιπόθησιν (2 Corinthians 7:7), ἐλυπήθητε εἰς μετάνοιαν (2 Corinthians 7:9), τὴν πάντων ὑμῶν ὑπακοήν : (2 Corinthians 7:15); and we are enabled also to draw from the chapter a strong conclusion regarding the warm zeal and sympathy of Titus, his grief for what !was evil, his rejoicing over what was good: τῇ παρακλήσει ῃ παρεκλήθη ἐφ᾿ ὑμῖν (2 Corinthians 7:7); ἀναπεπαυται τὸ πνεῦμα αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ πάντων ὑμῶν (2 Corinthians 7:13); τὰ σπλάγχνα αὐτοῦ περισσοτέρως εἰς ὑμᾶς ἐστιν (2 Corinthians 7:15).
But if we proceed further we discern another part of the mission with which he was entrusted. This had reference to the collection, at that time in progress, for the poor Christians of Judaea — καθὼς προενήρχατο , 2 Corinthians 8:6, a phrase which shows that he had been active and zealous in the matter, while the Corinthians themselves seem to have been rather remiss. This connection of his mission with the gathering of these charitable funds is also proved by another passage, which contains, moreover, an implied assertion of his integrity in the business (μή τι ἐπλεονέκτησεν ὑμᾶς Τίτος, 2 Corinthians 12:18), and a statement that Paul himself had sent him on the errand (παρεκάλεσα Τίτον , ibid.). Thus we are prepared for what the apostle now proceeds to do after his encouraging conversations with Titus regarding the Corinthian Church. He sends him back from Macedonia to Corinth, in company with two other trustworthy Christians, (See TROPHIMUS); (See TYCHICUS), bearing the second epistle, and with an earnest request (παρακαλέσαι 1 Corinthians 8:6; τὴν παράκλησιν, 2 Corinthians 8:17) that he would see, to the completion of the collection; which he had zealously promoted on his late visit (ἵνα καθὼς προενήρξατο, οὕτως καὶ ἐπιτελέσῃ, 2 Corinthians 7:6), Titus himself being in nowise backward in undertaking the commission. On a review of all these passages, elucidating as they do the characteristics of the man, the duties he discharged, and his close and faithful co-operation with Paul, we see how much meaning there is in. the apostle's short and forcible description of him (Εἴτε ὑπὲρ Τίτου, κοινωνὸς ἐμὸς καὶ εἰς ὑμᾶς συνεργός , 2 Corinthians 8:23).
All that has preceded is drawn from direct statements in the epistles; but by indirect though fair inference we can arrive at something further, which gives coherence to the rest, with additional elucidations of the close connection of Titus with Paul and the Corinthian Church. It has generally been considered doubtful who the ἀδελφοί were (1 Corinthians 16:11-12) that took the first epistle to Corinth. Timothy, who had been recently sent thither from Ephesus (Acts 19:22), could not have been one of them (ἐὰν ἔλθῃ Τιμοτηψ 1 Corinthians 16:10), and Apollos declined the commission (1 Corinthians 16:12). There can be little doubt that the messengers who took that first letter were Titus and his companion, whoever that might be, who is mentioned with him in the second letter (Παρεκάλεσα Τίτου, καὶ συναπέστειλα τὸν ἀδελφόν, 2 Corinthians 12:18). This view was held by Macknight, and very clearly set forth by him (Transl. of the Apostolical Epistles, with Comm. [Edinb. 1829], 1, 451, 674; 2, 2, 7,124). It has been more recently given by Prof. Stanley (Corinthians, 2nd ed. p. 348, 492), but it has been, worked out by no one so elaborately as by Prof. Lightfoot (Camb. Journal of Classical and Sacred Philology, 2, 201, 202). There is some danger of confusing Titus and the brother (2 Corinthians 12:18), i.e. the brethren of 1 Corinthians 16:11-12, who (according to this view) took the first letter, with Titus and the brethren (2 Corinthians 8:16-24) who took the second letter. As to the connection between the two contemporaneous missions of Titus and Timotheus; this observation may be made here, that the difference of the two errands may have had some connection with a difference in the characters of the two agents. If Titus was the firmer and more energetic of the two men, it was natural to give him the task of enforcing the apostle's rebukes, and urging on the flagging business of the collection.
A considerable interval now elapses before we come upon the next notices of this disciple. Paul's first imprisonment is concluded, and his last trial is impending. In; the interval between the two, he and Titus were together in Crete (ἀπέλιπόν σε ἐν Κρήτῃ, Titus, 5). We see Titus remaining in the island when Paul left it, and receiving there a letter written to him by the apostle. From this letter we gather the following biographical details: ‘ In the first place, we learn that he, was originally converted through Paul's instrumentality; this must be the meaning of the phrase γνήσιον τέκνον , which occurs so emphatically in the opening of the epistle (Titus 1:4). Next we learn the various particulars of the responsible duties, which he had to discharge in Crete. He is to complete what Paul had been obliged to leave unfinished (ἵνα τὰ λείποντα ἐπιδιορθώσῃ, Titus 1:5), and he is to organize the Church throughout the island by appointing presbyters in every city. (See GORTYNA); (See LASEA).
Instructions are given as to the suitable character of such presbyters (Titus 1:6-9); and we learn, further, that we have here the repetition of instructions previously furnished by word of mouth (ὡς ἐγώ σοι διεταξάμην , Titus 1:5). Next he is to control and bridle (ἐπιστομιζειν, Titus 1:11) the restless and mischievous Judaizers, and he is to be peremptory in so doing (ἔλεγχε αὐτοὺς ἀποτόμως , Titus 1:13 ). In;junctions in the same spirit are reiterated (Titus 2:1; Titus 2:15; Titus 3:8). He is to urge the duties of a decorous and Christian life upon the women (Titus 2:3-5), some of whom (πρεσβύτιδας, Titus 2:3), possibly, had something of an official character (καλοδιδασκάλους, ἵνα σωφρονίζωσι τὰς νέας , Titus 2:3-4). He is to be watchful over his own conduct (Titus 2:7); he is to impress upon the slaves the peculiar duties of their position (Titus 2:9-10); he is to check all social and political turbulence (3:1), and also all wild theological ‘ speculations (Titus 2:9); and to exercise discipline on the heretical (Titus 2:10). When we consider all these particulars of his duties, we see not only the confidence reposed in him by the apostle, but the need there was of determination and strength of purpose, and therefore the probability that this was his character; and all this is enhanced if we bear in mind his isolated and unsupported position in Crete, and the lawless and immoral character of the Cretans themselves, as testified by their own writers (1, 12, 13). (See CRETE).
The notices which remain are more strictly personal. Titus is to look for the arrival in Crete of Artenmas and Tychicus (Titus 3:12), and then he is to hasten (σπούδασον ) to join Paul at Nicopolis, where the apostle is proposing to pass the winter (ibid.). Zenas and Apollos are in Crete, or expected there; for Titus is to send them on their journey, and supply them with whatever they need for it (Titus 2:13). It is observable that Titus and Apollos are brought into juxtaposition here, as they were before in the discussion of the mission from Ephesus to Corinth. The movements of Paul, with which these later instructions to Titus are connected, are considered elsewhere. (See PAUL); (See TIMOTHY).
We need only observe here that there would be great difficulty in inserting the visits to Crete and Nicopolis in any of the journeys recorded in the Acts, to say nothing of the other objections to giving the epistle any date anterior to the voyage to Rome. (See TITUS, EPISTLE TO).
On the other hand, there is no difficulty in arranging these circumstances, if we suppose Paul to have traveled and written after being liberated from Rome, while thus we gain the further advantage of an explanation of what Paley has well called the affinity of this epistle and the first to Timothy. Whether Titus did join the apostle at Nicopolis we cannot tell. But we naturally connect the mention of this place with what Paul wrote at no great interval of time afterwards, in the last of the Pastoral Epistles (Τίτος εἰς Δαλματίαν , 2 Timothy 4:10); for Dalmatia lay to the north of Nicopolis, at no great distance from it. (See NICOPOLIS).
From the form of the whole sentence, it seems probable that this disciple had been with Paul in Rome during his final imprisonment: but this cannot be asserted confidently. The touching words of the apostle in this passage might seem to imply some reproach, and we might draw from them the conclusion that Titus became a second Demas: but, on the whole, this seems a harsh and unnecessary judgment.
3. Traditionary Close of his Career. — Whatever else remains is legendary, though it may contain elements of truth. Titus is connected by tradition with Dalmatia, and he is said to have been an object of much reverence in that region. This, however, may simply be a result of the passage quoted immediately above: and it is observable that of all the churches in modern Dalmatia (Neale, Ecclesiological Notes on Dalm. p. 175) not one is dedicated to him. The traditional connection of Titus with Crete is much more specific and constant, though here again we cannot be certain of the facts. . He is said to have been permanent bishop in the island, and to have died there at an advanced age (Eusebius, Hist. Ecclesiastes 3, 4, 2; Theodoret, Ad 1 Timothy 3, 1; Const. Aost. 7:46; Jerome, Ad Titus 2, 7; Isidore, Vit. Sanct. 87). The modern capital, Candia, appears to claim the honor, of being his burial-place (Cave, Apostolici, 1716, p. 42). In the fragment De ita et Actis Titi, by the lawyer Zenas (Fabricius, Cod. Apoc. N.T. 2, 831, 832), Titus is called bishop of Gortyna; and on the old site of Gortyna is a ruined church, of ancient and solid masonry, which bears the name of St. Titus, and where service is occasionally celebrated by priests from the neighboring hamlet of Metropolis (Falkener. Remacins in Crete,fronz a MSS. History of Candia, by Onorio Belli, p. 23). The cathedral of Megalo Castron, in the north of the island, is also dedicated to this saint. Lastly, the name of Titus was the watchword of the Cretans when they were invaded by the Venetians; and the Venetians themselves; after their conquest of the island, adopted him to some of the honors of a patron saint; for as the response after the prayer for the Doge of Venice was "Sancte Marce, tu nos adjuva," so the response after that for the duke of Candia was "Sancte Tite, tu nos adjuva" (Pashley, Travels in Crete, 1, 6. 175). The day on which Titus is commemorated is Jan. 4 in the Latin calendar, and Aug. 25 in the Greek.
We must not leave unnoticed the striking though extravagant panegyric of Titus by his successor in the see of Crete, Andreas Cretensis (published, with Amphilochius and Methodins, by Combefis, Paris, 1644). This panegyric has many excellent points, e.g. it incorporates well the more important passages from the Second Epistle to the Corinthians. The following are stated as facts. Titus is related to the proconsul of the island: among his ancestors are Minos and Rhadamanthus (οἱ ἐκ Διός ). Early in life he obtains a copy of the Jewish Scriptures, and learns Hebrew in a short. time. He goes to Judaea, and is present on the occasion mentioned in Acts 1, 15. His conversion takes place before that of Paul himself, but afterwards he attaches himself closely to the apostle. Whatever the value of these statements may be, the following description of Titus (p. 156) is worthy of quotation: ὁ πρῶτος τῆς Κρήτων ἐκκλησίας θεμέλιος· τῆς ἀληθείας ὁ στῦλος· τὸ τῆς πίστεως ἔρεισμα· τῶν εὐαγγελικῶν κηρυγμάτων ἡ ἀσίγητος σάλπιγξ· τὸ ὑψηλὸν τῆς Παύλου γλώττης ἀπήχημα .
See Walch, De Tito Viro Apostolic. (Jen. 1741; also in his Miscellan. Sacra [Amst. 1744], p. 708 sq.); Howson, Companions of St. Paul (Lond. 1871), ch. 5.
These files are public domain.
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Titus'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/t/titus.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25