1.a New Testament book containing Saint Paul's epistle to Titus; contains advice on pastoral matters
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Epistle to Titus (n.)
|Books of the
|Matthew · Mark · Luke · John|
|Acts of the Apostles|
1 Corinthians · 2 Corinthians
Galatians · Ephesians
Philippians · Colossians
1 Thessalonians · 2 Thessalonians
1 Timothy · 2 Timothy
Titus · Philemon
Hebrews · James
1 Peter · 2 Peter
1 John · 2 John · 3 John
|New Testament manuscripts|
The Epistle of Paul to Titus, usually referred to simply as Titus, is one of the three Pastoral Epistles (with 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy) traditionally attributed to Saint Paul and is part of the New Testament. It is addressed to Titus and describes the requirements and duties of elders and bishops. Like 2 Timothy, the Epistle to Titus is usually considered Paul's final instructions to early church leaders before his death.
Not mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, Titus was noted in Galatians (cf. Gal. 2:1, 3) where Paul writes of journeying to Jerusalem with Barnabas, accompanied by Titus. He was then dispatched to Corinth, Greece, where he successfully reconciled the Christian community there with Paul, its founder. Titus was later left on the island of Crete to help organize the Church, although he soon went to Dalmatia, Croatia. According to Eusebius of Caesarea in the Ecclesiastical History, he served as the first bishop of Crete. He was buried in Cortyna (Gortyna), Crete; his head was later translated to Venice during the invasion of Crete by the Saracens in 832 and was enshrined in St. Mark’s, Venice, Italy.
Scholars are not unanimous about the authenticity of the pastoral epistles. Titus is usually one of the three Pastoral epistles attributed to Paul. Titus has a very close affinity with 1 Timothy, sharing similar phrases and expressions and similar subject matter. While these epistles are traditionally attributed to Paul of Tarsus, there are a few scholars who consider them pseudepigraphical. Generally, and historically, however, it is accepted by Catholic, Orthodox, and Evangelical Christians as the work of Paul. Upon recently completing a journey to Crete and the establishment of new churches there, he wrote to instruct the church leaders (i.e., Titus). In order to see that these churches were properly established (as was Paul's typical pattern, see Acts 14:21–23), Paul left Titus in Crete. The existence of false teachers (Titus 1:10–16) amid the fledgling churches heightens the intensity of the situation.
The author of Titus identifies himself as "Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ." According to Easton's Bible Dictionary, "Paul's authorship was undisputed in antiquity and was probably written about the same time as the First Epistle to Timothy, with which it has many affinities."
Scholars who believe Paul wrote Titus date its composition from the circumstance that it was written after Paul's visit to Crete (Titus 1:5). That visit could not be the one referred to in the Book of Acts 27:7, when Paul was on his voyage to Rome as a prisoner, and where he continued a prisoner for two years. Thus traditional exegesis supposes that after his release Paul sailed from Rome into Asia, passing Crete by the way, and that there he left Titus "to set in order the things that were wanting." Thence he would have gone to Ephesus, where he left Timothy, and from Ephesus to Macedonia, where he wrote the First Epistle to Timothy, and thence, according to the superscription of this epistle, to Nicopolis in Epirus, from which place he wrote to Titus, about 66 or 67.
However, works written under a false name would have been very problematic since the early church clearly excluded from the apostolic canon any works they thought to be pseudonymous. While critics point to the common practice of pseudonymous writing in the ancient world, they usually fail to point out that this practice, though common in the culture, was not common in personal letters, and was categorically rejected by the early church (cf. 2 Thess. 2:2; 3:17; also Muratorian Canon 64–67; Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 6.12.3). Tertullian (c. a.d. 160–225) wrote that when it was discovered that a church elder had composed a pseudonymous work, The Acts of Paul (which included a purported Pauline letter, 3 Corinthians), the offending elder “was removed from his office” (On Baptism 17). Accepting as Scripture letters that lie about their origin is also a significant ethical problem. Thus, there is a good basis for affirming the straightforward and traditional claim that the Epistle to Titus was authentically written by Paul.
The Pastoral epistles are regarded by some scholars as being pseudepigraphical. On the basis of the language and content of the pastoral epistles, these scholars today doubt that they were written by Paul and believe that they were written after his death. The early Church did not agree. Critics claim the vocabulary and style of the Pauline letters could not have been written by Paul according to available biographical information and reflect the views of the emerging Church rather than the apostle's. These scholars date the epistle from the 80s CE up to the end of the 2nd century.
One of the secular peculiarities of the Epistle to Titus is the inclusion of text which has become known as the Epimenides paradox. According to the World English Bible translation, Titus 1:12-13 reads (in part) "One of them, a prophet of their own, said, 'Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, and idle gluttons.' This testimony is true." The statement by a member of a group that all members are liars is now a famous logic problem. He leaves the character judgment of the people on Crete up to their own prophet.
“1. From Saul, slave of God and emissary of Jesus the anointed, for the sake of the faith of God's chosen, and their knowledge of the truth which is in accordance with the fear of Heaven”
“7. Does not, in accordance with his stewardship of the house God, the administrator need to be a man who has no flaw in him, who is not perverse, not bad tempered, not given to wine, not a brawler, not a pursuer of ill-gotten gain? 8. Rather” [he should be] “hospitable, a lover of the good, settled in his opinion, wise, holy, self controlled,”
“9. and a grasper of the faithful word according to our doctrine, for the encouragement of sound moral instruction, and also to rebuke the opposition. 10. For there are many, particularly from the circumcised, who urge vain and misleading words upon listeners, 11. and who ought to shut their mouths. They destroy whole families teaching their flawed words, and this for base profit. 12. One of their own prophets said: 'Cretans are always liars; they are evil beasts and slothful gluttons.'”
“15. All is pure to the pure, but to the defiled, and to those who do not believe, nothing is pure because both their mind and their conscience are defiled.”
“16. They declare that they know God, but in their deeds deny him, they are loathsome and unruly, and do not succeed in anything.”
“1. And speak the word that is fitting to our sound doctrine, 2. that the elders (aged men) be sober, serious, restrained, and sound in faith, in love, and in patience.”
"3. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the younger women..."
"4...teach the younger women to be sober, to love their husbnds, to love their children," "5. to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their husbands..." "6. Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded"
“9. It is for slaves to submit to their masters in everything; to satisfy their wants and not to be refractory. 10. Do not pilfer; rather show full faithfulness, so that everything will increase the glory of the law of the God our savior.”
“11. Thus the mercy of God will appear to the salvation of all men, 12. to guide us in departing from the evil and passions of the world, so that we can live in this world in chastity and in righteousness and in piety, 13. in expectation of the realization of the blessed hope and the glorious appearance of the great God, and our savior Jesus the anointed …”
It should also be noted that the Greek text for "our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ" follows the Granville Sharp Rule (also known as the GSR which has never been debunked. The construction in Greek is as follows:
“When the copulative kai connects two nouns of the same case, if the article ho, or any of its cases, precedes the first of the said nouns or participles, and is not repeated before the second noun or participle, the latter always relates to the same person that is expressed or described by the first noun or participle ...”
There has been many attempts over the last 200 years to dislodge the GSR, yet the GSR stands vindicated after all the dust settles.
“1-2. Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.”
“3. Once we too were lacking in knowledge, rebellious, wrong, slaves to all kinds of passions and cravings, wasting our time in malice and envy, hateful,” [Στςγητοι, stugetoi] “and each hating his brother.”
“8. The word is trustworthy, and I want you stand upon its authority so that the believers in God turn their heart to engage in good works.”
“9… refrain from investigations of foolish questions, from research into the histories of the genealogies, and from quarreling and disputes about the Law; there is no value in them; they are pointless.”
“12. When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.”
Online translations of the Epistle to Titus:
Exegetical papers on Titus:
Epistle to Titus
Books of the Bible
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