The Letter to Titus INTRODUCTION
THE Letter to Titus belongs to the same period as those written to Paul's other staunch travel companion and supporter, Timothy. The charge given to Timothy concerned the ecclesia in Ephesus; Titus, however, had the task of ordaining elders "in every city" in Crete (1:5). There is no certain record of any apostolic mission to Crete such as is suggested in this epistle. Probably the early preaching in the island had been undertaken by those Cretan Jews of the Dispersion who had been present in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:11). If this be so, then the ecclesias which had sprung up may well have been organised—insofar as there was any organisation at all— after the pattern of the synagogue, or even of the Jerusalem Ecclesia. Such organisation, however, would have been without the authoritative guidance of the apostles and have known nothing of the developments described in Acts 6:1-4. Nor would they have had the benefit of such care as Paul and Barnabas exercised on the First Missionary Journey, when they "returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch ... And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord" (Acts 14:21-23).
It is possible that Paul's brief sojourn at Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea in Crete, on his journey to Rome (Acts 27:8), had been sufficient for him to gather some news of the brethren there and kindle the desire to return should opportunity permit. At any rate, we must assume a later visit, together with Titus, in the period between his first acquittal and his final imprisonment. Further evidence for this assumption we shall glean from a consideration of the text itself. In our "Suggested Table of the Last Years of Paul's Life" we have set the date of the Letter to Titus somewhere between that of the First and Second Letters to Timothy, probably in AD 67.