Titus header

AT-A-GLANCE

Chapters 1:1-2:10

Leading by Lifestyle

Chapters 2:11-3:15

Transformed by God

QUICK FACTS

Author: Paul the Apostle

Original Reader: Titus

Date Written: c. AD 63

Written From: Possibly Achaia or Macedonia, on the way to Nicopolis

Key Verse: 2:11-14

Major Themes: Proper behavior; Sound doctrine

DISCOVER THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF TITUS

HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE INDUCTIVELY

OBSERVE

What does the text say?

There’s no better way to understand the literary context than carefully observing what is said.

INTERPRET

 What does the text mean?

In light of both the literary and historical context, what was the original intended meaning of this passage?

APPLY

How do I apply what the text means?

In order for us to grow and mature more into Christ’s likeness, we must apply the truths we discover in our lives.

Chapter 1:1-2:10 Leading by Lifestyle

OBSERVE

  • 1:2-3 — What gives Paul hope for eternal life?
  • 1:5-9 — What are the qualifications that Titus is to look for in an elder? According to verse 9, why are these qualifications important? 
  • 1:10-13 — How does this group of people contrast with the elders in 1:5-9?
  • Compare 1:2 with 1:12. 
  • 1:13-14 — How is Titus to respond to this group of people? What does Paul say is the goal?
  • 1:15-16 — What are the marks of those whom Paul calls corrupt/defiled and unbelieving?
  • 2:1 — How is Titus to contrast with the people he just mentioned in chapter 1? How is he to be a model to the people he is about to talk about in chapter 2?
  • 2:2 — What are the instructions for the older men? 
  • 2:3-5 — What are the instructions for the older women and the younger women? What are the results that Paul wants to see through these instructions?
  • 2:6 — What are the instructions for the younger men?
  • 2:7-8 — What are the instructions for Titus? What is the result that Paul wants to see through these instructions?
  • 2:9-10 — What are the instructions for slaves? What is the result that Paul wants to see through these instructions?

INTERPRET

  • 1:5-9 — Why are these qualifications important for an elder? How do you think these qualifications would make an impact on the Cretan church, and Cretan culture as a whole?
  • 1:10-13 — How are they to determine who falls into this category?
  • 1:15-16 — In light of the context, who are those who are corrupt/defiled and unbelieving? What does Paul mean when he says that to them ‘nothing is pure, and they profess to know God, but deny him by their works’?
  • 2:1-10 — How do these qualities compare to the qualities of the general Cretan population at the time? What impact do you think a community like this would have on the general population of Crete?

APPLY

  • 1:5-9 — In 1 Peter 2:9, we are called ‘a royal priesthood’. In light of this, how does this list apply to each one of us? What area(s) do I need to pay extra attention to in my own life?
  • 1:13-14 — Am I bold enough to bring correction when it is needed? When I bring correction, do my intentions line up with what Paul says here?
  • 2:1-10 — Look over these instructions again. Are there any that God is highlighting to me to be more faithful? How can I impact the world around me through being more obedient in these areas?

* HELPFUL NOTES

  • 1:1 — This is the only place where Paul refers to himself as “a servant of God”.
  • 1:5, 7 — Elder vs overseer: Most scholars understand that Paul is using these two terms interchangeably, rather than describing two different offices. 
  • 1:10 — “Those of the circumcision” (NRSV, NKJV, KJV); “Those of the circumcision party” (ESV); “Those with Jewish connections” (NET) — This is likely referring to the group of teachers claiming that Gentiles are required to uphold the rites of Jewish conversion in order to become followers of Christ.
  • 1:12 — This is a quotation from a Cretan poet named Epimenides, from approximately 600 BC. While his works no longer exist, both he and his works are well attested to in the ancient world by Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch and Diogenes Laertius.
  • 2:9-10 — Slavery played a major role in the Roman Empire at this time. Some estimate that as much as 1/3 of the urban population at this time was slaves (Source: Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary, vol. 4, p. 505).

Chapter 2:11-3:15 Transformed by God

OBSERVE

  • Observe and note any repeated words or phrases.
  • Compare the description of ‘the grace of God’ and our proper response in 2:11-13, with the description of Jesus and our proper response in 2:14. 
  • 3:1-7 — What commands does Paul give? In verses 3-7, what does he say are the reasons for upholding these commands?
  • 3:8-11 — Why does Paul say that he insists on the commands and truths he just listed in 3:1-7?

INTERPRET

  • 2:11-14 — Who is ‘the grace of God’ in 2:11? Why does Paul describe him in this way?
  • 3:1-2 — Why might these specific commands be important for the Cretan church to apply?
  • 3:3-7 — Why might these specific truths be important for the Cretan church to remember?

APPLY

  • 3:1-2 — How can I apply these commands today?
  • 3:3-7 — Why did God save me? How should I respond to what God has done?
  • In what ways can our obedience to Christ make a positive impact on our culture today?
  • 3:8-11 — How am I doing in the areas that Paul mentions here? Do controversies and quarrels follow me around? If so, what can I do differently?

  * HELPFUL NOTES

  • 2:13 — “our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” — This is a clear indication of the divinity of Christ. In Greek grammar, when two common nouns are listed in this way, they always refer to the same person, with no exceptions in any Greek literature having been found to date. This is similar to how the New Testament uses “God and Father” to describe only one Person. 
  • 3:4-7 — In the Greek, this is poetry and likely an early Christian hymn that Paul quotes. 

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