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Titus - Introduction

INTRODUCTION

OCCASION OF WRITING.--Corrupt elements soon showed themselves in the Cretan Church, similar to those noticed in the Epistles to Timothy, as existing in the Ephesian Church, Judaism, false pretensions to science, and practical ungodliness. Paul, on his late visit, had left Titus in Crete to establish Church government, and ordain presbyters (deacons are not mentioned). Titus had been several times employed by Paul on a mission to the Corinthian Churches, and had probably thence visited Crete, which was within easy reach of Corinth. Hence the suitableness of his selection by the apostle for the superintendence of the Cretan Church. Paul now follows up with instructions by letter those he had already given to Titus in person on the qualifications of elders, and the graces becoming the old, the young, and females, and warns him against the unprofitable speculations so rife in Crete. The national character of the Cretans was low in the extreme, as EPIMENIDES, quoted in Titus 1:12 LIVY [History, 44.45], stigmatizes their avarice; POLYBIUS [Histories, 6.46.9], their ferocity and fraud; and [Histories, 6.47.5], their mendacity, so much so, that "to Cretanize" is another name for to lie: they were included in the proverbial three infamous initials "K" or "C," "Cappadocia, Crete, Cilicia."

NOTICES OF TITUS.--It is strange that he is never mentioned by this name in Acts, and there seems none of those mentioned in that book who exactly answers to him. He was a Greek, and therefore a Gentile ( Galatians 2:1 Galatians 2:3 apostle on the deputation sent from the Church of Antioch to Jerusalem, to consult the apostles respecting the circumcision of Gentile converts ( Acts 15:2 circumcised. He was in company with Paul at Ephesus, whence he was sent to Corinth to commence the collection for the Jerusalem saints, and to ascertain the effect of the First Epistle on the Corinthians ( 2 Corinthians 7:6-9 ; 8:6 ; 12:18 next proceeded to Macedon, where he joined Paul, who had been already eagerly expecting him at Troas ( 2 Corinthians 2:12 2 Corinthians 2:13 2 Corinthians 7:6 collection for the poor saints in Judea, and became the bearer of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians ( 2 Corinthians 8:16 2 Corinthians 8:17 2 Corinthians 8:23 him "my partner and fellow helper concerning you." His being located in Crete ( Titus 1:5 shortly before the second, about A.D. 67, ten years subsequent to the last notice of him in Second Corinthians ( 2 Corinthians 12:18 A.D. 57. He probably met Paul, as the apostle desired, at Nicopolis; for his subsequent journey into Dalmatia, thence (or else from Rome, whither he may have accompanied Paul) would be more likely, than from the distant Crete ( 2 Timothy 4:10 In the unsettled state of things then, Titus' episcopal commission in Crete was to be but temporary, Paul requiring the presence of Titus with himself, whenever Artemas or Tychicus should arrive in Crete and set him free from his duties there.

Tradition represents him to have died peaceably in Crete, as archbishop of Gortyna, at an advanced age.

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