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An Exposition Of the Epistles Of Saint Paul And Of The Catholic Epistles Volumes 1&2

Introduction

TITUS was born of Gentile parents; it would appear, that he had been converted by St. Paul; for, he calls him his “beloved son” (chapter 1 verse 4). He shared largely in the Apostle’s confidence, and was entrusted by him with commissions of great importance. Among the rest, he was sent to Corinth, of which city many suppose him to have been a native, with full power to remedy the evils of that Church and put a stop to its dissensions. The Apostle finally appointed him chief Bishop of the Island of Crete (now called Candia), to perfect the work of the Gospel which the Apostle himself had first preached there on his return from Rome to the East, after being released from his first imprisonment.

Although the Apostle might have delivered orally all the instructions contained in this Epistle, at Nicopolis, where he instructed Titus to meet him, and spend the winter with him (chap. 3:12), and, most likely, the latter was fully instructed in the matters it contained, and more, when he was appointed to govern the Church of Crete; still, he thought fit to commit them to writing on account of their very great importance, and for the instruction of all future Pastors of the Church. Hence it is, that St. Augustine (de Doctrina Christ., c. 16) recommends to all the Pastors and teachers of the Church the constant perusal of this and the two Epistles to Timothy. The argument of the three Epistles is the same. They are chiefly employed in describing the duties of the chief Pastors of the Church, hence termed “Pontifical,” or “Hierarchical.”

This Epistle is nothing more than a compendium of the Epistles to Timothy. In the first chapter, Titus is instructed to appoint “Priests,” i.e., Bishops, as St. Chrysostom, St. Jerome, &c., interpret it, throughout the different cities of the island; in it also, the qualities necessary for a Bishop are briefly summed up. In the second, are marked out the duties which a Bishop should inculcate on persons in the different conditions of life, with due consideration for the several grades and ages in each. In the third, are marked out certain duties common to all the faithful, particularly that of due obedience and subjection, according to circumstances.

WHERE AND WHEN WAS THIS EPISTLE WRITTEN?—The Greek and Syriac versions testify, that it was written at Nicopolis. The same also appears from chap. 3 verse 12; but, it is disputed which Nicopolis is referred to; St. Jerome understands it of Nicopolis in Epirus; St. Chrysostom and others, of Nicopolis in Thrace.

It was written at a time that St. Paul was not in prison; for, in it, he makes no allusion to his chains; moreover, he says, “he is determined to winter at Nicopolis” (chap. 3 verse 12), which proves, he was then perfectly free. Baronius fixes its date before the Apostle’s first imprisonment; St. Chrysostom, between his first and second imprisonment. The date of it is commonly referred to the year 64.








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