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by John Gill
INTRODUCTION TO THE EPISTLE OF PAUL TO TITUS
Titus, to whom this epistle is inscribed, was a Greek, an uncircumcised Gentile, and so remained; nor did the apostle circumcise him, as he did Timothy, when he became his companion; nor did the apostles at Jerusalem oblige him to be circumcised, when Paul took him with Barnabas along with him thither, Galatians 2:1. He was a man of great grace, and large gifts, and very dear to the apostle: he calls him his brother, his partner, and fellow helper, and says he walked in the same spirit, and in the same steps, 2 Corinthians 2:13. He was employed by the apostle much, and sent into various parts, on different occasions: he sent him to Corinth, to finish there the collection for the poor saints at Jerusalem, 2 Corinthians 8:6 and to Dalmatia, to know the state of the saints there, and to confirm them in the faith, 2 Timothy 4:10. As he was a Greek, so his name is a Greek name, yet used among the Romans, as Titus Vespasian, and others a; and among the Jews, so we read of R. Chijah bar טיטס, "Titas" b, and of R. Judah ben Titas c: when and where this epistle was written, is not very easy to determine; some think it was written between the first and second time the apostle was in bonds at Rome; and certain it is, that he was not in bonds when he wrote it, for he desires Titus to meet him at Nicopolis, Titus 3:19 from whence some have supposed it to be written, as the subscription shows; but others think it was wrote much earlier, and when the apostle was at Ephesus, towards the close of his three years stay there, before he went into Macedonia; but it seems rather that it was written when he returned from Macedonia into Greece: he left Titus at Crete, and staying in Greece three months, he intended to have sailed to Syria, but was prevented by the Jews lying in wait for him, upon which he steered his course to Macedonia again; and as he was going there, or when there, writes this letter to Titus, to come to him at Nicopolis. The occasion of it was partly the judaizing preachers, and false teachers, that got into that island, and were corrupting the principles of the people; and partly the unbecoming conversation and practices of some professors of religion: and whereas the apostle had left Titus in Crete, to finish what he had begun, and to put the churches in order, and see that they had proper officers, particularly pastors over them, that they might be taken care of, both with respect to doctrine and practice; the design of this epistle is to lay before Titus the several qualifications of a pastor, which might be instruction to him, and to the churches, in the choice and ordination of them; and to stir him up to zeal and diligence in refuting false teachers, and dealing with heretics; and to put him upon exhorting the saints to the discharge of their duty, in every branch of it, from the best principles, by arguments taken from the grace of God, and the doctrines of it. This epistle is supposed to be written about the year 55.
a Vid. Martial. Epigram. l. 1. ep. 18. l. 7. ep. 48. b T. Hieros. Trumot, c. 8. fol. 45. 3. c T. Hieros. Trumot Biccurim, fol. 65. 4. & Succa, fol. 55. 4.
the Fifth Sunday after Epiphany