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The letter to Titus is one of the letters that Paul wrote to only one person. The name 'Titus' according to some means: venerable, honoured; according to others: wild pigeon. Paul calls Titus his "true child by virtue of (our) common faith" (ch. 1:3). What applies to Timothy (see the part about the first letter to Timothy), also applies to Titus: he can be seen as an image of the church, the body of Christ. After all, the congregation is a (spiritual) child of Paul and, moreover, occupies a 'venerable' place; namely, in Christ above all things, and to the praise of His glory. The other meaning of Titus's name - wild dove - is also expressed in this; in line with pagans being seen as 'wild olive' in Romans 11.

Writer, origin and destination

Like the first letter to Timothy, Paul wrote this letter between his two captivity in Rome, probably in AD 67. It is not clear where Paul wrote the letter to Titus. What we do know is that he intended to go to Nicopolis (chap. 3:12). Titus was in Crete (chap. 1:5).

Although the letter is written to one person, we see that it closes with the prayer of grace that is characteristic of Paul. This prayer of mercy is addressed to "all of you", in the plural. So the apostle writes over the shoulders of Titus to superiors. We may also know that we are touched by what he puts forward in this letter.

Whole letter structure

A. 1:1-4 Letter style and greeting.
B. 1:5-9 Order within the congregations.
C. 1:10-16 Rebuke of the (quarrelsome) Cretans.
D. 2:1-10 The walk and works of believers. Titus as an example. E.a. 2:11 Reason: The grace of God has appeared to all.
b. 2:12-14 What we should be, as a result of the teaching of grace.
c. 2:15 Calling Titus to speak, admonish, and reprove.
E.c. 3:1 and 2 Calling Titus to remember.
b. 3:3 Reason: what we were without the grace.
a. Reason: The mercy of God has appeared.
D. 3:8 The walk and works of believers. Titus who has to encourage others to do so.
C. 3:9 Condemnation of the (quarrelsome) Cretans.
B. 3:10 and 11 Discipline within the congregations.
A. 3:12-15 Letter style, greeting and prayer.

Structure Titus 2

A. 1 Call to stand up for what is in line with sound doctrine.
B.1a. 2-5a Calling old men, old women and (indirectly) young women.
B.1b. 5b Reason: lest the word of God be blasphemed.
B.2a.. 6-8a Call to young men and the example of Titus.
B.2b. 8b Reason: that the adversary may have nothing bad to say of us to his shame.
B.3a. 9 and 10a Call to slaves.
B.3b. 10b Reason: That the teaching of God our Savior may be adorned in all things.
C.1. 11 Reason from verses 2-10: The grace of God has appeared; past.
C.2. 12 Effect of the grace of God; today.
C.3. 14 Hope of the grace of God; future.
C.1. 14a What Christ did for us; past.
C.2. 14b Effect of Christ's work; today.
A. 15 Call to speak, exhort, and reprove according to sound doctrine.

Purpose and content

The purpose of this letter is to urge Titus to "stand" before the message: see chapter 1:13; 2:1 and 15; 3:1 and 8. Titus needs these encouragements in his task on Crete to structure the believers (chap. 1:5ff).

All these exhortations are set against the background of "sound doctrine." And it is above all this sound doctrine that forms the content of this letter. That's what it's all about. This is also visible in the structure; see the 'Structure of the entire letter'. Everything in it works towards point E. where things are described that are directly related to sound doctrine.

If we then look at the 'Structure Titus 2', we see that the core of sound doctrine is the appearance of the grace of God. Connected to this grace is a tremendous hope, which in itself forms the core of sound doctrine: "...looking for the blessed hope, and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus" (v. 13).

core texts

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, to educate us, so that, forsaking wickedness and worldly lusts, we live soberly, righteously, and godly in this world, waiting for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus..." (chap. 2:11-13).