Easton's Bible Dictionary
honourable, Was with Paul and Barnabas at Antioch, and
accompanied them to the council at Jerusalem ( Galatians
3 ; Acts
15:2 ), although his name nowhere occurs in the Acts of the Apostles. He appears
to have been a Gentile, and to have been chiefly engaged in ministering to Gentiles;
for Paul sternly refused to have him circumcised, inasmuch as in his case the
cause of gospel liberty was at stake.
We find him, at a later period, with Paul and Timothy at Ephesus, whence he was
sent by Paul to Corinth for the purpose of getting the contributions of the church
there in behalf of the poor saints at Jerusalem sent forward ( 2
Corinthians 8:6 ; 12:18
). He rejoined the apostle when he was in Macedonia, and cheered him with the
tidings he brought from Corinth ( 2
Corinthians 7:6 -
15 ). After this his name is not mentioned till after Paul's first imprisonment,
when we find him engaged in the organization of the church in Crete, where the
apostle had left him for this purpose ( Titus
The last notice of him is in 2
Timothy 4:10 , where we find him with Paul at Rome during his second imprisonment.
From Rome he was sent into Dalmatia, no doubt on some important missionary errand.
We have no record of his death. He is not mentioned in the Acts.
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
Smith's Bible Dictionary
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 , 2:3 ) 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 , 7:7 , 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. ( 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 , 8:17 ) 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. Pauls 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. Pauls 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. 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.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
ti'-tus (Titos (2 Corinthians 2:13 ; 7:6 , 13 ; 8:6 ,
16 , 23 ; 12:18 ; Galatians 2:1 , 2:3 ; 2 Timothy 4:10 ; Titus 1:4)):
1. One of Paul's Converts:
A Greek Christian, one of Paul's intimate friends, his
companion in some of his apostolic journeys, and one of his assistants in Christian
work. His name does not occur in the Acts; and, elsewhere in the New Testament,
it is found only in 2 Corinthians, Galatians, 2 Timothy and Titus. As Paul calls
him "my true child after a common faith" (Titus 1:4), it is probable that he was
one of the apostle's converts.
2. Paul Refuses to Have Him Circumcised:
The first notice of Titus is in Acts 15:2, where we read
that after the conclusion of Paul's 1st missionary journey, when he had returned
to Antioch, a discussion arose in the church there, in regard to the question
whether it was necessary that Gentile Christians should be circumcised and should
keep the Jewish Law. It was decided that Paul and Barnabas, "and certain other
of them," should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders about this question.
The "certain other of them" includes Titus, for in Galatians 2:3 it is recorded
that Titus was then with Paul. The Judaistic party in the church at Jerusalem
desired to have Titus circumcised, but Paul gave no subjection to these persons
and to their wishes, "no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might
continue with you" (Galatians 2:5). The matter in dispute was decided as recorded
in Acts 15:13 - 29. The decision was in favor of the free promulgation of the
gospel, as preached by Paul, and unrestricted by Jewish ordinances. Paul's action
therefore in regard to Titus was justified. In fact Titus was a representative
or test case. It is difficult and perhaps impossible to give the true reason why
Titus is not mentioned by name in the Acts, but he is certainly referred to in
3. Sent to Corinth:
There is no further notice of Titus for some years afterward,
when he is again mentioned in 2 Corinthians. In this Epistle his name occurs 8
times. From the notices in this Epistle it appears that Titus had been sent by
Paul, along with an unnamed "brother," to Corinth as the apostle's delegate to
the church there (2 Corinthians 12:18). His chief business was evidently to deal
with the cases of immorality which had occurred there. His mission was largely
successful, so that he was able to return to Paul with joy, because his spirit
was refreshed by the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 7:13). His inward affection was
largely drawn out to them, and "he remembereth the obedience of you all, how with
fear and trembling ye received him" (2 Corinthians 7:15). At Corinth Titus seems
also to have assisted in organizing the weekly collections for the poor saints
in Jerusalem. See 1 Corinthians 16:1 , 2 compared with 2 Corinthians 8:6: "We
exhorted Titus, that as he had made a beginning before, so he would also complete
in you this grace also."
After the departure of Titus from Corinth, difficulty had again arisen in the
church there, and Titus seems to have been sent by Paul a second time to that
city, as the apostle's messenger, carrying a letter from him--referred to in 2
Corinthians 2:3 ; 7:8.
4. Paul Goes to Meet Him:
The state of the Corinthian church had been causing much
anxiety to Paul, so much so that when he had come to Troas to preach Christ's
gospel, and a door was opened to him of the Lord, he found no rest in his spirit,
because he found not Titus, his brother; so he left Troas, and went thence into
Macedonia, in order to meet Titus the sooner, so as to ascertain from him how
matters stood in Corinth. In Macedonia accordingly the apostle met Titus, who
brought good news regarding the Corinthians. In the unrest and fightings and fears
which the troubles at Corinth had caused Paul to experience, his spirit was refreshed
when Titus reached him. "He that comforteth the lowly, even God, comforted us
by the coming of Titus .... while he told us your longing, your mourning, your
zeal for me; so that I rejoiced yet more" (2 Corinthians 7:6 , 7).
Paul now wrote to the Corinthians again--our Second Epistle to the Corinthians--and
dispatched it to its destination by the hand of Titus, into whose heart 'God had
put the same earnest care for them' (2 Corinthians 8:16 - 18). Titus was also
again entrusted with the work of overseeing the weekly collection in the Corinthian
church (2 Corinthians 8:10 , 24).
5. Travels with Paul to Crete:
There is now a long interval in the history of Titus,
for nothing further is recorded of him till we come to the Pastoral Epistles.
From Paul's Epistle to him these details are gathered: On Paul's liberation at
the conclusion of his first Roman imprisonment he made a number of missionary
journeys, and Titus went with him, as his companion and assistant, on one of these--to
the island of Crete. From Crete, Paul proceeded onward but he left Titus to "set
in order the things that were wanting, and appoint elders in every city" (Titus
1:5) . Paul reminds him of the character of the people of Crete, and gives him
various instructions for his guidance; charges him to maintain sound doctrine,
and advises him how to deal with the various classes of persons met with in his
6. Paul Sends for Him:
Titus is informed that Artemas or Tychicus will be sent
to Crete so that he will be free to leave the island and to rejoin the apostle
at Nicopolis, where he has determined to winter. Such were Paul's plans; whether
they were carried out is unknown. But this at least is certain, that Titus did
rejoin Paul, if not at Nicopolis, then at some other spot; and he was with him
in Rome on the occasion of his 2nd imprisonment there, for he is mentioned once
again (2 Timothy 4:10) as having gone to Dalmatia, evidently on an evangelistic
errand, as the apostle was in the habit of sending his trusted friends to do such
work, when he himself was no longer able to do this, owing to his imprisonment.
"Paul regarded as his own the work done from centers where he labored, by helpers
associated with him, considering the churches thus organized as under his jurisdiction.
This throws light upon the statement in 2 Timothy 4:10, that Titus at that time
had gone to Dalmatia, and a certain Crescens to Gaul. There is no indication that
they, like Demas, had deserted the apostle and sought safety for themselves, or
that, like Tychicus, they had been sent by the apostle upon some special errand.
In either case it would be a question why they went to these particular countries,
with which, so far as we know, Paul, up to this time, had never had anything to
do. The probability is that Titus, who had long been associated with Paul (Galatians
2:3), who, as his commissioner, had executed difficult offices in Corinth (2 Corinthians
7 - 9), and who, not very long before 2 Timothy was written, had completed some
missionary work in Crete that had been begun by others, had gone as a missionary
and as Paul's representative and helper to Dalmatia. .... If by this means, beginnings
of church organizations had been made .... in Spain by Paul himself, in Gaul by
Crescens, in Dalmatia by Titus, then, in reality, the missionary map had been
very much changed since Paul's first defense" (Zahn, Introduction to the New Testament.
7. His Character:
Titus was one of Paul's very dear and trusted friends;
and the fact that he was chosen by the apostle to act as his delegate to Corinth,
to transact difficult and delicate work in the church there, and that he did this
oftener than once, and did it thoroughly and successfully, shows that Titus was
not merely a good but a most capable man, tactful and resourceful and skillful
in the handling of men and of affairs. "Whether any inquire about Titus, he is
my partner and fellow-worker to you-ward" (2 Corinthians 8:23).
bible commentary, bible history, bible reference, bible study, church in crete, companion of paul, convert of apostle paul, dalmatia, delegate to corinth, gentile, rome, titus, uncircumcised