Book of the Week 56: Titus

Greek Name: PROS TITON

Human Author: Paul                                                           

OT or NT: New Testament

Number of Chapters: 3

Basic Facts

  1. Titus is the fifty-sixth book of the Bible.

  2. In terms of literary genre, Titus is classified as an epistle, or letter.

  3. The Greek name for the book of Titus is PROS TITON, which means “to Titus” or “for the benefit of Titus.”

  4. Titus contains more information about the qualifications of elders than almost any other New Testament book (except for I Timothy).

  5. Paul’s letter to Titus, along with I and II Timothy, has historically been known as one of the Pastoral Epistles because it gives personal, pastoral instruction to an individual.

Story of the Book

Paul begins his letter by reviewing his calling as an apostle of the gospel of Christ, along with a greeting for Titus (Titus 1:1-4). Paul is writing to Titus, whom he left ministering in Crete. He instructs Titus to appoint elders in every town that he visits, along with a list of qualifications that each Elder must meet in order to qualify for their office (Titus 1:5-9). Paul warns Titus about false teachers who are insubordinate and lack integrity. In particular, Paul warns against a group known as the circumcision party (Titus 1:10-16). Paul instructs Titus to teach sound doctrine and to teach others to practice mature healthy relationships: men are to love their wives and be steadfast in faith, women are to be pure and instruct other women to love their husbands and their children, young men are to be self-controlled, and servants are to be obedient to masters (Titus 2:1-10). Titus is to instruct others concerning the grace of God that has been revealed in Christ, not allowing anyone to disregard him as a teacher (Titus 2:11-15). Paul gives Titus final instructions on how to teach other believers to be peaceful and patient with all people in sharing the Gospel, knowing that all believers were once lost in foolishness without God in the world (Titus 3:1-11). Paul concludes his letter with specific instructions, and with greetings concerning other disciples mentioned by name including Tychicus, Artemas, and Zenas. The letter ends as Paul gives instructions and final greetings for the general assembly (Titus 3:12-15).

Jesus Revealed in Titus

Jesus is revealed in Titus as the one who left a world-changing and life-transforming legacy through His unique, atoning work on the cross. Because Jesus died for all those who believe in Him, He left a legacy of faithfulness and an example of a holy life for all believers to follow. This legacy was passed along to many including Paul, whose life was radically transformed when Jesus appeared to him (Acts 9:1-19). In Paul’s letter to Titus, he is encouraging Titus to carry on the legacy of Jesus by following Christ wholeheartedly: making disciples and appointing elders everywhere he goes (Titus 1:5-9; 2:1-10). Just as Paul had modeled a life of following Jesus to Titus, he now commands Titus to model a life devoted to Christ by making disciples in every city and town he reaches. The legacy Jesus left for Paul, and then subsequently for Titus, ultimately involved a life of righteousness in which both men were called be obedient to the authorities and patient with those who persecute them, knowing that everyone was once lost and without God in the world (Titus 3:1-11). In the same way, we as believers in Christ must follow Jesus, using every opportunity to advance the message of the gospel. If we follow Christ, we too can carry on the legacy of discipleship that Jesus has passed down to us.