Titus was a Greek who was converted to Christianity (probably
by the apostle Paul). He went with Paul and Barnabas to the
special assembly of the Christians held in Jerusalem (Acts
15) whcih was to decide whether Gentile Christians had to
follow Jewish practices. Titus is mentioned several times
in Paul's letters, often as a companion of Timothy. Paul had
a great regard for Titus. He called him "my true child
in a common faith" (1:4). The "common faith"
was the true Gospel, preached by the apostles. It is vital
that we also hold this, as the letter says.
Paul left Titus in Crete to "set in order" the
ecclesias (churches) and "appoint elders in every city".
"Unholy men, vain talkers and deceivers ... heretics"
(1:10, 3:10) were threatening to turn the members from the
Truth. As in other places, like Galatia, the followers of
Christ were in danger of being misled by "Jewish fables"
As in the letters to Timothy, Paul stresses the need for
"sound doctrine" (1:9, 2:1). Believers must "hold
fast to the faithful word" (1:9); they must be "sound
in faith" (1:13, 2:2), and set a good example of honesty
(3:14). All these words and phrases show how important doctrine
is, as the basis for the Christian life. True beliefs and
practices still matter today.