Epistle to Titus

Epistle to Titus

The Epistle to Titus is one of the Pastoral Epistles.
The Epistle to Titus is a book of the canonic New Testament, one of the three so-called "pastoral epistles" (with 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy). It is offered as a letter from Paul to the Apostle Titus. Its purpose is to describe the requirements and duties of elders and bishops.

Many scholars today consider the pastoral epistles not to have been written by Paul. They may have been written by an anonymous Christian schooled in Paul's doctrine, writing between 90 and 140.

Authorship and date

Scholars consider the Pastoral epistles to all be written by the same author. Titus has a very close affinity with 1 Timothy, sharing similar phrases and expressions and similar subject matter. While these epistles are traditionally attributed to Paul of Tarsus, many scholars today consider them pseudepigraphical.

In favour of Pauline authorship

The author of Titus identifies himself as "Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ." According to Easton's Bible Dictionary, "Paul's Authorship was undisputed in antiquity, as far as known, but is frequently doubted today. It was probably written about the same time as the First Epistle to Timothy, with which it has many affinities."

Scholars who believe Paul wrote Titus such as Donald Guthrie date its composition from the circumstance that it was written after Paul's visit to Crete (Titus 1:5). That visit could not be the one referred to in the Book of Acts 27:7, when Paul was on his voyage to Rome as a prisoner, and where he continued a prisoner for two years. Thus traditional exegesis supposes that after his release Paul sailed from Rome into Asia, passing Crete by the way, and that there he left Titus "to set in order the things that were wanting." Thence he would have gone to Ephesus, where he left Timothy, and from Ephesus to Macedonia, where he wrote the First Epistle to Timothy, and thence, according to the superscription of this epistle, to Nicopolis in Epirus, from which place he wrote to Titus, about 66 or 67.

Against Pauline authorship

The Pastoral epistles are regarded by many secular scholars as being pseudepigraphical. On the basis of the language and content of the pastoral epistles, many secular scholars today doubt that they were written by Paul, and believe that they were written after his death. Critics examining the text fail to find its vocabulary and literary style similar to Paul's unquestionably authentic letters, fail to fit the life situation of Paul in the epistles into Paul's reconstructed biography, and identify principles of the emerged Christian church rather than those of the apostolic generation.

Those scholars who consider Titus to be pseudepigraphical date the epistle from the 80s up to the end of the 2nd century.


One of the secular peculiarities of the Epistle to Titus is the inclusion of text which has become known as the Epimenides paradox. According to the World English Bible translation, Titus 1:12-13 reads (in part) "One of them, a prophet of their own, said, 'Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, and idle gluttons.' This testimony is true." The statement by a member of a group that all members are liars is now a famous logic problem. In this section of the letter, Paul does not go after the character of the Cretans but rather makes observations of their false teachers. He leaves the character judgment of the people on Crete up to their own prophet.

See also


External links

Online translations of the Epistle to Titus:

Exegetical papers on Titus:

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