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THE EPISTLE OF PAUL TO
TITUS, a disciple of St. Paul, was a Gentile by religion and birth (GAL. ii. 3), but was probably converted by St. Paul, who calls him his son (TIT. i. 4). St. Paul took him with him to Jerusalem, A. D. 49 (GAL. ii. 1), about the time of the discussion of the great question, whether the converted Gentiles should become subject to the ceremonies of the law. Some would then have obliged him to circumcise Titus; but neither he nor Titus would consent. He probably accompanied St. Paul in his second apostolical journey, and from that time he seems to have been constantly employed by him in the propagation of the Gospel; he calls him his partner and fellowhelper (GAL. ii. 1, &c). Paul sent him from Ephesus with his first Epistle to the Corinthians, and with a commission to inquire into the state of the Church at Corinth; and he sent him thither again from Macedonia with his second Epistle, and to forward the collections for "the saints in Judæa.' From this time we hear nothing of Titus till he was left by Paul in Crete, after his first imprisonment at Rome, to "set in order the things that were wanting, and to ordain elders in every city (TIT. i. 5)." It is probable that he went thence to join St. Paul at Nicopolis (TIT. iii. 12); that they went together to Crete, to visit the Churches there, and thence to Rome. During St. Paul's second imprisonment at Rome, Titus went into Dalmatia (2 TIM. iv. 10); and, after the apostle's death, he is said to have returned into Crete, and to have died there in the 94th year of his age; he is often called Bishop of Crete by ecclesiastical writers. St. Paul always speaks of Titus in terms of high regard, and intrusted him, as we have seen, with commissions of great importance.
It is by no means certain from what place St. Paul wrote his Epistle to Titus; but, as he desires Titus to come to him at Nicopolis [probably in Epirus], and declares his intention of passing the winter there, some have supposed that when he wrote it he was in the neighbourhood of that city, either in Greece or Macedonia (TIT. iii. 12); others have imagined that he wrote it from Colosse. As it appears that St. Paul, not long before he wrote this epistle, had left Titus in Crete for
the purpose of regulating the affairs of the Church, and, at the time he wrote it, had determined to pass the approaching winter at Nicopolis; and, as the Acts of the Apostles do not give any account of St. Paul's preaching in that island, or of visiting that city; it is concluded that this epistle was written after his first imprisonment at Rome, and probably in the year 64.
The principal design of this epistle was to give instructions to Titus concerning the management of the Churches in the different cities of the island of Crete. This island was the parent of Roman and Greek idolatry; and the Cretans so far excelled other nations in inventing gods, that they were called "The Liars." They had also intermixed the whims of Egyptian philosophy with Judaism. It was highly necessary that Titus should be well instructed how to conduct himself amongst them; and be very earnestly exhorted to zeal and activity, and fearlessness of suffering, in preaching the Gospel to them.
St. Paul, in this epistle, describes the qualifications necessary for the Christian ministry, and cautions Titus against persons of bad principles, especially Judaizing teachers: he informs him what instructions he should give to people in different situations of life, and exhorts him to be exemplary in his own conduct; he points out the pure and practical nature of the Gospel, and enumerates some particular virtues which he advises Titus to inculcate, and warns him to avoid foolish questions and frivolous disputes; and he particularly exhorts Titus to enforce on all those under his care a readiness to all good works, and to insist upon the great doctrines of practical religion, in opposition to all empty speculations and useless controversies.
1 For what end Titus was left in Crete: 6 how they that are to be chosen ministers ought to be qualified: 11 the mouths of evil teachers to be stopped, 12 and what manner of men they be.
A. D. 65. PAUL, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging2 of the truth which is after godliness;
1 to preach. Co. Ma. for. Ham. Dod. Whit. knowledge. Co. Ma. Cr. Bi. Gen. Rh. We.
a 2 TIM. ii. 25: In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.
b See on 1 TIM. vi. 3.
2 c In3 hope of eternal life, which God, that d cannot lie, promised before the world began ;5 3 But hath in due times 6 manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me 1 according to the commandment of God our Saviour;
4 To Titus, mine own son after the 1 common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour. 5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou
3 Under. Gen. Unto. To. With. Whit, For. A. V. 4 is without falsehood. Pu. 5 before the ancient times. Pu. 6 at the time appointed. Ma. Cr. Bi.
c2 TIM. i. 1: Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus. TIT. iii. 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
d NUMB. Xxiii. 19: God is not a man, that he should lie. 1 SAM. XV. 29: Also the Strength of Israel will not lie. 2 TIM. ii. 13: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. HEB. vi. 18: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.
MAT. xxv. 34: Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 2 TIM. i. 9, 10. See on Roм. xvi. 25, 26.
f See on GAL. ii. 7.
8 ROM. X. 14, 15: How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! b See on 1 TIM. i. 1.
12 COR. viii. 23: Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper. do. xii. 18: I desired Titus, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? walked we not in the same spirit? walked we not in the same steps? See on 2 COR. ii. 13.
See on 1 COR. iv. 17.
m See on Roм. i. 7.