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English Bible Dictionary

Titus

 

Our materials for the biography of this companion of St. Paul must be drawn entirely from the notices of him in the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, the Galatians, and to Titus himself, combined with the Second Epistle to Timothy. He is not mentioned in the Acts at all. Taking the passages in the epistles in the chronological order of the events referred to, we turn first to (Galatians 2:1,3) We conceive the journey mentioned here to be identical with that (recorded in Acts 15) in which Paul and Barnabas went from Antioch to Jerusalem to the conference which was to decide the question of the necessity of circumcision to the Gentiles. Here we see Titus in close association with Paul and Barnabas at Antioch. He goes with them to Jerusalem. His circumcision was either not insisted on at Jerusalem, or, if demanded, was firmly resisted. He is very emphatically spoken of as a Gentile by which is most probably meant that both his parents were Gentiles. Titus would seem on the occasion of the council to have been specially a representative of the church of the uncircumcision. It is to our purpose to remark that, in the passage cited above, Titus is so mentioned as apparently to imply that he had become personally known to the Galatian Christians. After leaving Galatia., (Acts 18:23) and spending a long time at Ephesus, (Acts 19:1; 20:1) the apostle proceeded to Macedonia by way of Troas. Here he expected to meet Titus, (2 Corinthians 2:13) who had been sent on a mission to Corinth. In this hope he was disappointed, but in Macedonia Titus joined him. (2 Corinthians 7:6,7,13-15) The mission to Corinth had reference to the immoralities rebuked in the First Epistle, and to the collection at that time in progress, for the poor Christians of Judea, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. (2 Corinthians 8:6) Thus we are prepared for what the apostle now proceeds to do after his encouraging conversations with Titus regarding the Corinthian church. He sends him back from Macedonia to Corinth, in company with two other trustworthy Christians, bearing the Second Epistle, and with an earnest request, ibid. (2 Corinthians 8:6,17) that he would see to the completion of the collection. ch. (2 Corinthians 8:6) A considerable interval now elapses before we come upon the next notices of this disciple. St. Paul's first imprisonment is concluded, and his last trial is impending. In the interval between the two, he and Titus were together in Crete. (Titus 1:5) We see Titus remaining in the island when St. Paul left it and receiving there a letter written to him by the apostle. From this letter we gather the following biographical details. In the first place we learn that he was originally converted through St. Paul's instrumentality. (Titus 1:4) Next we learn the various particulars of the responsible duties which he had to discharge. In Crete, he is to complete what St. Paul had been obliged to leave unfinished, ch. (Titus 1:5) and he is to organize the church throughout the island by appointing presbytery in every city. Next he is to control and bridle, ver. 11, the restless and mischievous Judaizers. He is also to look for the arrival in Crete of Artemas and Tychicus, ch. (Titus 3:12) and then is to hasten to join St. Paul at Nicopolis, where the apostle purposes to pass the winter. Zenas and Apollos are in Crete, or expected there; for Titus is to send them on their journey, and to supply them with whatever they need for it. Whether Titus did join the apostle at Nicopolis we cannot tell; but we naturally connect the mention of this place with what St. Paul wrote, at no great interval of time afterward, in the last of the Pastoral Epistles, (2 Timothy 4:10) for Dalmatia lay to the north of Nicopolis, at no great distance from it, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. From the form of the whole sentence, it seems probable that this disciple had been with St. Paul in Rome during his final imprisonment; but this cannot be asserted confidently. The traditional connection of Titus with Crete is much more specific and constant, though here again we cannot be certain of the facts. He said to have been permanent bishop in the island, and to have died there at an advanced age. The modern capital, Candia, appears to claim the honor of being his burial-place. In the fragment by the lawyer Zenas, Titus is called bishop of Gortyna. Lastly, the name of Titus was the watchword of the Cretans when they were invaded by the Venetians.

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