You may read an introduction and outline of Titus, here.

A prayer from Gregory of Nazianus [ (329-389) an early Church father] for your use before reading.

Lord, as I read the psalms let me hear you singing. As I read your words, let me hear you speaking. As I reflect on each page, let me see your image. And as I seek to put your precepts into practice, let my heart be filled with joy. Amen.


I. 1:1-4 Salutation: Notice Paul is apostle and also slave. Titus is loyal- as opposed to those who disrupt the church (1:10).

II. 1:5-3:11 Body of letter

A. 1:5-16 Administration of the church

   1. 1:5-9 Elders: The distinction, if any, between Elders and bishops is unclear. This letter focuses on the qualifications for office, not the duties of the office nor the relationship between the offices. There are differences between the qualifications stated in 1 Timothy and Titus. Some commentators believe this is because 1 Timothy is written to established churches and Titus to new churches.

    2. 1:10-16 Rebellious people: In the ancient world, residents of Crete were stereotyped as “liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons”. Verse 16 is a quote from the Cretan poet Epimenides (c. 600 B.C.) Why do you think the author of Titus wrote about the members of the church his letter is addressed to in this way?

It appears that, besides difficulties within the church community, there were rival Jewish teachers (1:10,14,16).

B. 2:1-3:8a Proper Behavior

   1. 2:1-10  Instructions for various groups: Is there anything unusual about these instructions? The author appears to blend common Christian virtues and standard Hellenistic ethics. Do these instructions seem so basic that they don’t really bear mention? What is going on?  Luke Timothy Johnson writes, “…behavior this ordinary should fall into the category of “what goes without saying,” but here we find basic instructions being given in civility, the rudiments of civilized behavior…In Titus, therefore, the gospel itself takes on a civilizing function: it teaches people how to be members of society, a nuance often disguised by the English translation of the Greek.” (Johnson, 447)

    2. 2:11-15 Grace and Piety: These verses offer the theological basis for verses 1-10. Christian faith transforms lives and behaviors and thus society.

    3. 3:1-2 Instructions for the church

4. 3:3-8a Divine Goodness and Human Effort

C. 3:8b-11 Final Instructions

III. 3:12-15 Conclusion 

Read More About It

Bassler, Jouette M. “1,2 Timothy and Titus” in HarperCollins Bible Commentary, rev. ed.James L Mays, ed. (New York: Society of Bible Literature) 2000.

Johnson, Luke Timothy, The Writings of the New Testament: An Interpretation, rev. ed. (Minneapolis:Fortress Press) 1999. Chapter 19 “The Pastoral Letters:1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus.

Quanbeck, Warren,Beardslee, William A. “Titus”  in The New Oxford Annotated Bible, Bruce M. Metzger, Roland E. Murphy eds. (New York: Oxford University Press) 1994.