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chapter ;1 but whether before or after Paul's intended visits to Philippi, Colossæ, and Spain—which, according to an ancient tradition originating in the first century, he did visit—it is quite impossible to say. Various routes have been sketched by which Paul may have travelled after his release from Rome, comprising visits to the places just mentioned and also to Ephesus, Crete, Nicopolis, and Troas ; but they are all more or less conjectural.3 While it is impossible to ascertain the precise movements of the apostle after his release, or the exact year in which this epistle was written, we may safely place its composition between 64 A.D., the year after Paul's release, and 67 A.D., shortly before his death, the date usually assigned to the latter event being 68 A.D., the last year of Nero, under whom, according to the general tradition, Paul suffered martyrdom. The most probable date for the epistle is 67 A.D., which gives an interval of several years to account for the change in the apostle's style and in the condition of the Church, and makes the three Pastoral Epistles very nearly contemporaneous.
4. Its Character and Contents. These have been already indicated in the general remarks on the Pastoral Epistles (p. 186.ff.). The letter is partly official, partly personal. While addressed to Timothy individually, it contains Paul's apostolic instructions to guide him in the work of supervision assigned to
li. 3, 4: “As I exhorted thee to tarry at Ephesus, when I was going into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge certain men not to teach a different doctrine, neither to give heed to fables and endless genealogies, the which minister questionings, rather than a dispensation of God which is in faith; so do I now."
2 Phil. ii. 24: “But I trust in the Lord that I myself also shall come shortly"; Philemon, ver. 22 :
But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I hope that through your prayers I shall be granted
unto you”; Rom. xv. 24:
“Whensoever I go unto Spain (for I hope to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first in some measure I shall have been satisfied with your company).",
3 Titus i. 5 : “ For this cause left I thee in Crete”; Titus iii. 12: “Give diligence to come unto me to Nicopolis : for there I have determined to winter"; 2 Tim.
“ The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, bring when thou comest, and the books, especially the parchments.
him at Ephesus. The anticipations of evil which Paul had expressed to the Ephesian elders at Miletus 2 had already in some measure been realised, and there was great need for wisdom in the rulers of the Church. It is not easy to trace any regular sequence in the topics discussed ; but the contents of the epistle may be summarised as follows:
The folly and danger of the Judaic fancies with which false teachers were overlaying the Gospel (chapter i.); exhortations to catholicity of spirit as well as to reverence and decorum in acts of worship (ii.); the qualifications requisite in the office-bearers of the Church (bishops and deacons), and the need for fidelity and care on their part in view of the increasing corruption (iii.); counsels regarding Timothy's treatment of the elders and other classes in the congregation (iv., v.); cautions against covetousness, and exhortations to the rich to make a good use of their means—concluding with an appeal to Timothy to guard that which was committed to his trust, and to avoid
profane babblings and oppositions of the knowledge which is falsely so called” (vi.).
Although in some respects on a humbler level intellectually than most of Paul's writings, and bearing traces of the writer's advancing years, this epistle contains not a few golden texts to be held in everlasting remembrance.3
3 i. 5:
li. 1-4 (quoted p. 194, note 1).
2 Acts xx. 29, 30: “I know that after my departing grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves shall men arise, speaking perversethings; to draw away the disciples after them.'
“But the end of the charge is love out of a pure heart and a good conscience and faith unfeigned"; ver. 15: “Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners"; ii. 3-6: “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who willeth that all men should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself man,
Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all” ; ii. 16: “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; He who was manifested in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, received up in glory”; vi. 6: “But godliness with contentment is great gain"; ver. 10: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil: which some reaching after have been led astray from the faith, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows"; ver. 12 : “Fight the good fight of the faith, lay hold on the life eternal, whereunto thou wast called, and didst confess the good confession in the sight of many witnesses.'
“ THE EPISTLE OF PAUL TO TITUS."
To the general remarks already made (p. 186 ff.) we may add the following notes of genuineness :
(1) The quotation made from Epimenides 1 is in accordance with the manner of St. Paul, who is the only New Testament writer that quotes heathen authors. At the same time, the use of the word "prophet” in this passage, as compared with “poet” in the quotation reported in the Book of Acts, is against the supposition of imitation.
(2) The introduction of such unknown names as Artemas and Zenas, as well as of Nicopolis, which are mentioned nowhere else in the New Testament, and the unique designation of the apostle himself, 4 are at variance with the idea of forgery.
2. The Reader.
“To Titus, my true child after a common faith.” 5 Although Titus is never mentioned in the Book of Acts, it would appear, from the allusions made to him in Paul's
3 iii. 12, 13: “When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, give diligence to come unto me to Nicopolis : for there I have determined to winter. Set forward Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them." 4 i. 1:
Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ."
5 i. 4.
epistles, that he was the ablest and most reliable of all the friends and coadjutors whom the apostle had about him in his later years. As an uncircumcised Gentile who had been converted by Paul, he represented in his own person the breadth and freedom of the Gospel, for which the apostle had so zealously and successfully contended.
His conversion had taken place at a comparatively early period in the apostle's ministry, for he accompanied Paul and Barnabas on their visit from Antioch to Jerusalem to vindicate the freedom of the Gentiles from the ceremonial law of the Jews. We find him figuring prominently at another crisis in the apostle's ministry, when the strife and confusion in the Corinthian Church threatened to destroy St. Paul's influence. His remarkable success in the difficult mission then assigned to him (pp. 115-6), which called for the exercise of combined firmness and tact, and from which Apollos appears to have shrunk, marked him out as an able and trustworthy delegate, and explains his selection ten years later for the important and difficult position which he temporarily held in Crete when this letter was addressed to him.3 Of the state of the Church in Crete we know very
little except what may be gathered from this epistle. In all probability the Gospel had been first brought to the island by those of its inhabitants who witnessed the outpouring of the spirit on the day of Pentecost. More than thirty years had passed since then, and there were now,
i Gal. ii. 1-4: “Then after the space of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus also with me. And I went up by revelation ; and I laid before them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately before them who were of repute, lest by any means I should be running, or had run, in vain. But not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised : and that because of the false brethren privily brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which
we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage.'
2 1 Cor. xvi. 12: “But as touching Apollos the brother, I besought him much to come unto you with the brethren: and it was not at all his will to come now; but he will come when he shall have opportunity.”
3 In the subsequent history of the island, Titus has figured prominently as the patron-saint of the community.
4 Acts ii. “Cretans and Arabians, we do hear them speaking in our tongues the mighty works of God."
probably, quite a number of congregations in the island, which was 140 miles long and was famous for its hundred cities.
Paul had been there once before, on his way from Cæsarea to Rome; but being a prisoner at the time he could have had little or no opportunity of preaching. It may have been on that occasion, however, that he saw the necessity for organising the various congregations, as he was now seeking to do through the instrumentality of Titus. It was a difficult task, for the Cretans bore a bad character. “ Liars, evil beasts, idle gluttons,” was the description which had been given of them long before by
one of themselves "1—a testimony confirmed by several other ancient writers. They were a mixed population of Greeks and Asiatics, with a considerable infusion of Jews. To the influence of these latter, acting on native superstition, the corruption of Christian doctrine, of which we hear in the epistle, appears to have been largely due.2
3. Date and Place of Composition. The striking resemblance of this epistle to i Timothy justifies us in assigning it to the same year—say 67 A.D. It may have been written in Asia Minor when the apostle was on his way to Nicopolis.
4. Character and Contents. Although addressed to a friend, this letter, like I Timothy, has to a certain extent an official character. This is evident from the greeting : “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ. . . ." 3 intended to furnish Titus, as the apostle's representative in Crete, with the same assistance in his work as had already been rendered to Timothy. It would appear that the apostle had heard of opposition being offered to Titus,