Study of the Pastoral Epistles--Titus: Notes and Outlines
Posted by Bob Young

Background of the Letter
The letter was written to Titus whom Paul had left on the island of Crete to assist with the healthy development of the church
It is likely that the conversion of Titus was the result of the preaching of Paul in Antioch of Syria.
There are few biblical references to Titus outside this letter: 1 Cor 2:13; 7:6-7, 13-14; 8:6,16,23; 12:18; Gal 2:1,3; 2 Tim 4:10
The work of Titus on Crete has parallels to First Timothy, especially with respect to themes and literary style.

Purpose of the Letter
The purpose of the letter can be seen by considering the letter section by section.

  • 1:5, the purpose of the letter, can we identify other indications of the purpose as we continue to read the letter?
  • The importance of effective leadership
    How is this importance reflected in the letter?
    The importance and reason for leaving Titus on Crete, 1:5
    Qualifications or characteristics of the elders/bishops, 1:6-8
    The work and responsibility of the leaders, 1:9
    Teaching that leads to a healthy faith, 1:13
  • Understanding the nature of the opposition on Crete
    The nature of the opposition, false teachers, 1:5; 2:1,5-6,15; 3:9-11
    Characteristics of the false teachers, 1:10-16, 3:9-11
  • References to doctrine, 2:1,7-8,15; 3:9
    Instructions about faith and conduct
    The repetition of the phrase, "sound doctrine"
    Two summaries of Christian doctrine, 2:11-14; 3:4-7
  • Instructions for various groups in the church, 2:1-10 (2:1, 2, 8)

    Content of the Letter: Outlines
    Theme: that which is good: 1:8,16; 2:3,7,14; 3:1,8,14. What is the meaning of this phrase?

    1:1-4 Salutation, Salutación (salutio, laudatio)
    1:5-16 The importance of naming leaders of sound doctrine in view of the challenges and the opposition
    2:1-10 The importance of teaching various groups in the church about sound doctrine
    2:11-14 Doctrinal summary #1
    2:15 Therefore, teach, reprove, exhort....
    3:1-2 The importance of the Christian life in the public arena
    3:3-7 Doctrinal summary #2
    3:8 Therefore, emphasize this
    3:9-11 Final summary and warning concerning the opposition
    3:12-15 Conclusion

    Chapter 1: Notes and Outlines
    Textual Notes

  • 1:1
    Here "kata" expresses the aim of Paul's apostleship, not the standard by which he was selected. "Kata" is used in this sense (aim or goal) before faith, knowledge, and holiness
  • 1:2-3
    Three truths about God: God cannot lie, God promised, God made it known; in his time, compare 1 Tim. 2:6
  • 1:4
    Titus is not mentioned in Acts, possibly because he is Luke's brother. But one can get a clear picture of him by turning to 2Cor 2:13; 7:6-15; 8:6-24; 12:16-18; Gal 2:1-3; Tit 1:4; 3:12; 2Tim 4:10. Titus had succeeded in Corinth where Timothy had failed. Paul had left him in Crete to correct the work there. Now he writes him from Nicopolis (Tit 3:12).
    It is a faith (pistin) common to a Gentile (a Greek) like Titus as well as to a Jew like Paul and so common to all races and classes (Jude 3).
  • 1:5
    Perhaps apoleipo suggests a more temporary stay than kataleipo.
    epidiorthoo, to set straight (orthoo) thoroughly (dia) in addition (epi)
  • 1:7
    Same office as "elder" in Tit 1:5. "Elder is the title, oversight is the function"
  • 1:9
    Present middle participle of antecho, old verb, to hold back, in middle voice to hold oneself face to face with, to cling to, as in 1Th 5:14; Faithful word, See 1Tim 1:15; 6:3; Rom 16:17
  • 1:11
    Old and common verb, to turn up, to overturn. In NT only here and 2Tim 2:18.
  • 1:12
    "Their own prophet." Self-styled "prophet" (or poet), and so accepted by the Cretans and by Cicero and Apuleius, that is Epimenides who was born in Crete at Cnossos. It is a hexameter line and Callimachus quoted the first part of it in a Hymn to Zeus. It is said that Epimenides suggested to the Athenians the erection of statues to "unknown gods" (Acts 17:23).
    See 1Tim 1:10 for "liars". The Cretans had a bad reputation on this line, partly due to their claim to having the tomb of Zeus. "Idle bellies." Blunt and forceful. See Phil 3:9 "whose god is the belly" (he koilia).
  • 1:13
    Final clause with hina and present active subjunctive of hugiaino, see 1Tim 1:10.
  • 1:14
    See 1Tim 1:4 for prosecho and muthois, only here we have Jewish (Ioudaikois) added. Perhaps a reference to the oral traditions condemned by Christ in Mk 7:2-8. See also Col 2:22, apparently Pharisaic type of Gnostics.
  • 1:15
    Perfect passive articular participle of miaino, old verb, to dye with another color, to stain, in NT only here, Jude 8; Heb 12:15.

    Chapter 2: Notes and Outlines
    Textual Notes

  • 2:1
    healthful as in Tit 1:13; 2:2; 1Tim 1:10, common word in the Pastorals.
  • 2:2
    introducing a section on "family life"
  • 2:4
    Purpose clause, hina and present active subjunctive of sophronizo, old verb (from sophron, sound in mind, saos, phren, as in this vs), to make sane, to restore to one's senses, to discipline, only here in NT
  • 2:11
    "Did appear," the first Epiphany (the Incarnation). Second aorist passive indicative of epiphaino, old verb, in NT here, Tit 3:4; Luke 1:79; Acts 27:20.
  • 2:13
    The word epiphaneia (used by the Greeks of the appearance of the gods, from epiphanes, epiphaino) occurs in 2Tim 1:10 of the Incarnation of Christ, the first Epiphany (like the verb epephane, Tit 2:11), but here of the second Epiphany of Christ or the second coming as in 1Tim 6:14; 2Tim 4:1, 8.
  • 2:14
    Who gave himself for us (hos edoken heauton huper hemon). Paul's great doctrine (Gal 1:4; Gal 2:20; 1Tim 2:6).
    That he might redeem us (hina lutrosetai). lutroo, old verb from lutron (ransom), in NT only here, Lk 24:21; 1Pet 1:18.
    Purify to himself (katharisei heautoi). Final clause with subjunctive of katharizo, see Eph 5:26.

    Chapter 3: Notes and Outlines
    Textual Notes

  • 3:4
    kindness (he chrestotes). See Rom 2:4 for this very word used of God as here.

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    Last updated July 12, 2012