The Agora
Bible Articles and Lessons: T

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Titus the man

Titus was a companion and helper of Paul for a period of about 20 years, possibly longer, but he is only mentioned four times during that period:

  1. Paul probably converted Titus, a Cilician Gentile, in Antioch, 45 AD (Acts 13:1). He went with Paul from Antioch to Jerusalem (about 50 AD) regarding the issue of the Gentiles being circumcised and keeping the Law. Titus, a Gentile, was the test case (Gal 2:1-3). Paul refused to let him be circumcised, and the apostles supported him, and the freedom of Gentiles from the Law was established. Thereafter Titus was a living symbol of that freedom, as Timothy was of not needlessly offending Jews (Acts 16:3; 1Co 9:20).
  2. About five years later, during Paul's three-year stay at Ephesus, Titus was sent twice to Corinth concerning the ecclesial troubles there, as we learn from the Corinthian letters (2Co 7:5,6; 8:6). He was successful in correcting the problems and reconciling the brethren there To Paul. Due to the seriousness of the matter and Paul's great concern, Paul apparently considered Titus his most qualified fellow-laborer.
  3. About ten years later (65 AD), as we learn from this letter to him, Titus was left in Crete (Tit 1:5) to complete the work Paul had begun in organizing ecclesias in various cities there, appointing suitable elders, and setting up a strong discipline for guiding the new ecclesias in constructive godliness. Here again he is chosen for an important and difficult task; when the foundations were laid, he was to be relieved by Tychicus or Artemas, who would carry on, so that Titus could join Paul at Nicopolis (Tit 3:12) to be used for pressing work there. Clearly he was one of Paul's primary helpers.
  4. Finally, a few years later, in Paul's second letter to Timothy, in his second imprisonment shortly before his death, he writes that Titus has gone to Dalmatia (just north of Nicopolis) -- probably again carrying out ground-breaking work in the establishment of the Truth (2Ti 4:10).
Whereas Timothy seems to have had an inborn timidity and shyness against which he had to struggle (2Ti 1:7) and "oft infirmities" to put up with (1Ti 5:23), Titus seems to have had something of Paul's own aggressiveness. Titus was perhaps older than Timothy, since Paul makes no reference to his youthfulness, as he does to Timothy's (1Ti 4:12; 2Ti 2:22) -- though it may be simply that Timothy was only more conscious of his youth than was Titus. Titus was a man of resourcefulness and initiative, able not only to take orders, but also to go ahead on his own (2Co 8:16,17) -- a man of contagious enthusiasm (2Co 7:13).
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