Titus

Author

    Some scholars say Paul wrote the letter, and other scholars believe a follower of Paul wrote the letter.

 

Place and Time of Writing

·         The place is unknown

·         As with I Timothy, we do not know where Paul traveled after he was released from house arrest.

·         63

 

Unique Characteristics

·         One of the Pastoral Epistles

Repeats much of the same information that is included in I Timothy.

 

Audience

·         Titus

·         He traveled much with Paul and was one of his chief assistants; for example, Titus is mentioned ten times in II Corinthians.

·         Titus was with Paul at the Council of Jerusalem, which was approximately thirteen years earlier.

·         Paul was with Titus in Crete and then left him in Crete so that Titus could continue working to solve the problems there.

 

Theme

·         Instructions for a church leader leading house churches with problems. 

 

Opening Titus Up

 

Why did Paul write the letter?

After Paul was released from house arrest in Rome, he traveled to different places.  According to this letter, he traveled to the island of Crete with Titus and then left, but he left Titus behind to help handle problems that the house churches still struggled with. 

·         1:5:  “The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.”

The overall purpose or reason for Paul writing this letter is perplexing.  It covers much of the same information that I Timothy does.  It is easy to understand why Paul wrote I Timothy:  Timothy was a young man who was a pastor probably for the first time, and he needed a general instruction manual.  But Titus had traveled with Paul for many years and fully understood the instructions that Paul included in this letter.  He probably did not need to be reminded of them.  Therefore, Paul may have sent this letter to Titus as a “stamp of approval” on what Titus was trying to do.  The letter shows that the house churches had much dissension, and perhaps this letter gave Titus more legitimacy since it was from Paul.

 

Paul discusses the qualifications of different church leaders in this letter.  The vast majority of churches today use one of four different leadership styles.  Go here to learn about these four.

 

Verses from the letter of Titus

·         2:11, 12:  “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.”

·         3:9, 10 = “But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.  Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time.  After that, have nothing to do with him.”

 

Outline

 

Chapters

1:1-4:  Greetings

1:5-16:  Choosing leaders and warning about rebellious church members

2:  Instructions on leading different groups of people

3:1-8:  Reminder of the example set by Jesus

3:9-11:  How to resolve issues with rebellious church members

3:12-15:  Closing remarks

 

Timeline so far      Additions are boldfaced     All dates are approximate

 

63BC

Rome Empire conquered Israel without fighting

44BC

Julius Caesar assassinated by Brutus, Cassius, and others.  Mark Antony tries to seize power, and he and Octavian (Caesar’s nephew) fight for power.

40BC

The Roman Empire made Herod the Great king of Israel

37BC

Antony married Cleopatra in Egypt

31BC

Octavian’s forces defeated Antony and Cleopatra’s forces; they committed suicide the next year.

27BC

Octavian is given name of Augustus, becomes Augustus Caesar.  This is the beginning of Pax Romana

4 BC

Jesus born

4 BC

Joseph, Mary, and Jesus flee to Egypt because Herod the Great wanted to kill Jesus

4 BC

Herod the Great died

4 BC

After Herod the Great died, the kingdom of the Jews was divided and given to Herod’s three sons:

The northern part, north of Nazareth, went to Philip.

The middle part called Galilee, north of Jerusalem but where Nazareth was located, went to Herod Antipas.  (He is referred to as “Herod” in the Gospels and so this can be confusing.)

The southern part called Judea, where Jerusalem and Bethlehem was located, went to Herod Archelaus. 

AD

All years after this point are AD

Before

6

Joseph, Mary, and Jesus returned to Nazareth instead of moving to Bethlehem

6

Archelaus was removed from power because he was so brutal

6 and after

The Romans did not choose another of Herod’s descendants to control Judea (southern Israel) but instead appointed Roman governors

8

Jesus lost in Jerusalem at age 12; Joseph and Mary found him in the Temple; possible Bar Mitzvah

8-27

Jesus probably worked as a carpenter

26-36

The Roman governor in charge of southern Israel was Pilate

27

Jesus baptized by John the Baptist

27-30

Jesus traveled in Israel and preached, taught, and performed miracles

30

1.  Jesus was crucified under the Roman governor Pilate, raises from the dead three days later and ascends out of sight about a month-and-a-half later

2.  The Apostles return to Jerusalem and pick a replacement for Judas

3.  Day of Pentecost

4.  Over 3000 people become Christian

5.  Christianity spreads outside of Israel

30-50

Peter was the leader of the Christian movement

33

Paul became a Christian

48-50

Paul went on his First Missionary Trip

50

Council of Jerusalem

51-90

We do not know what John did during this time period

50-55

Paul went on his Second Missionary Trip

·         Paul wrote Galatians, I Thessalonians, and II Thessalonians

54-68

Nero was Roman emperor

55-60

Paul went on his Third Missionary Trip

·         Paul wrote Romans, and I & II Corinthians

60-62

Paul arrested in Jerusalem, taken to Rome, and lived under house arrest

·         Paul wrote Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians

63

Paul released from prison and travelled; he may have gone to Spain

  • Paul wrote I Timothy and Titus

64

Fire in Rome.  The emperor Nero blamed, persecuted, and killed many Christians.  This was the first Roman persecution of Christians. 

65

1.  Paul back in Rome

2.  Paul wrote II Timothy

3.  Peter and Paul martyred around this year in Rome

66

Some of the Jews got tired of the Roman rule and killed many Roman soldiers.  They thus took back the land of Israel for the Jews.

66-70

The Romans counter-attacked.  The Romans lost one battle, but won the war.

68

Mark written around this year

70

The Romans captured Jerusalem and burned the Temple. 

80

Matthew and Luke written around this year

81-96

Domitian is Roman emperor

90

John and Acts written around this year

95

1.  Persecution of Christians

2.  John was placed on the island of Patmos as a prisoner of Domitian

96

1.  Domitian died

2.  John was probably released from Patmos; he probably traveled to Ephesus where he stayed for the rest of his life

100

John died

367

First listing of the 27 books in a letter written by an Egyptian bishop

390s

Two councils “closed” the NT canon to those 27 books

1200s

NT divided into chapters

1500s

NT divided into verses

 

 

©2016 Mark Nickens All Rights Reserved

 

Questions/comments, contact Mark at marknickens@gmail.com