Directives, greetings and prayer


Paul's letter to Titus concludes with some personal notes, a summary statement of his major concern for the church in Crete, final greetings and a benediction.


i] Context: See 1:1-4.


ii] Background: See 1:1-4.


iii] Structure: The conclusion of Paul's letter to Titus:

Personal notes, v12-13:

travel plans, v12;

instructions, v13.

Concluding ethical statement, v14:

"let our people learn to devote themselves to good works."

Greetings, v15a.

Benediction / grace, v15b.


iv] Interpretation:

The conclusion of this letter to Titus is typical of Paul's letters in general. Those who regard the letter as pseudonymous suggest that these verses are either a fragment of a genuine Pauline letter, or were crafted to reflect Pauline style. The issue of authorship has been covered in the introductory notes, but it is worth noting that the difference between crafting a pseudonymous work as a testament to a departed great-one, and pretending to be that great-one. These verses highlight the difference between the two.

Text - 3:12

Personal notes, v12-13. Paul indicates that he will soon replace Titus with Artemas or Tychicus, and that Titus is to then join him in Nicopolis. There is no other mention of Artemas in the New Testament, but there are references to a Tychicus, cf., Acts 20:4, Eph.6:21, Col.4:7. Paul's note that he intends to winter at Nicopolis reflects the common practice at the time. Sea travel was very dangerous during winter and constant rain made the roads heavy going. The note implies that Paul is a free man, but he may still be under house arrest in Rome expecting an early release.

oJtan + subj. "as soon as" - when [i will send artemas to you or tychicus]. This construction serves to introduce an indefinite temporal clause.

elqein (ercomai) aor. inf. "[do your best] to come" - [do one's best, make haste] to come [to me in nicopolis]. The infinitive is complimentary, completing the sense of the verb "to make haste."

gar "because" - for. Introducing a causal clause explaining why Titus should make haste to come to Paul.

paraceimasai (paraceimazw) aor. inf. "[I have decided] to winter" - [i have decided] to spend winter [there]. Given that krinw, "to decide", is a cognitive verb, the infinitive is best classified as introducing a dependent statement of perception expressing what Paul has decided; "I have made up my mind to spend the winter there", Phillips.


Paul now gives instructions for the aid of Zenas and Apollos. There are numerous mentions of an Apollos in the NT, but of course, this is not necessarily the same person. There is no mention of a Zenas. The word nomikoV is used of an expert in Biblical law, so he is possibly a rabbi or scribe, but the word may also apply to a secular lawyer, or judge. It is possible that Zenas and Apollos have carried this letter from Paul to Titus.

spoudaiwV adv. "do everything you can to help" - eagerly [send forth zenas the lawyer and apollos]. Adverb of manner.

iJna + subj. "-" - that [nothing may be lacking]. Introducing a final clause expressing purpose; "in order that ....."

autoiV dat. pro. "they" - to them. Dative of interest, advantage, "for them"; "see that they lack nothing", ESV.


In a final word of exhortation / instruction Paul touches on a theme repeated a number of times in this letter - the importance of "doing what is good", cf., 1:16; 2:7; 14; 3:1; 8. Paul has asked Titus to look after Zenas and Apollos and now he extends the need for church members in Crete ("the ones that are ours") to learn to show similar care toward each other, particularly for the daily necessities of life.

de "-" - but/and. Transitional connective, indicating a step in the argument.

oi "[our] people" - [let] the [of our own]. The article serves as a nominalizer turning the possessive pronoun into a substantive, subject of the imperative verb "to learn"; "the people of our own" = "our own people", ie., those who belong to Paul and Titus = the members of Paul's mission churches.

kai "-" - also [learn]. Here adjunctive. The members of the Christian fellowship must also learn to do good = care for one another, in the same way Paul has urged Titus to care for Zenas and Apollos.

proistasqai (prosisthmi) pres. mid. inf. "to devote themselves to" - to be engaged in. The infinitive introduces a dependent statement of perception expressing what is learned, namely, "to be engaged in good works" = "to learn through practice", Marshall, the practical good of caring for the needs of others.

ergwn (on) gen. "doing what is" - [good] works. Genitive of direct object after the pro prefix verb "to engage in."

eiV + acc. "in order that / to" - for [the necessary needs]. The preposition serves here to express purpose, "in order that"; "in order to meet urgent needs", NRSV. Possibly causal, "because of." Needs that are "necessary" = "pressing / urgent / real."

iJna mh + subj. "and not" - that not = lest [they be unfruitful, unproductive, idle]. Introducing a negated purpose clause, "in order that they will not be unfruitful" = "otherwise they will be good for nothing", Kelly.


Greetings and a blessing concludes the letter. The blessing, as usual, is a request from God for grace. For Paul, GRACE IS ALL. As Knight notes, "grace alone brings salvation (2:11) and produces godly lives (2:12)." If, as suggested in these notes, the false teaching addressed by Paul is nomism (sanctification by obedience), then Paul's focus is not so much on the truth that grace bring salvation, but that it produces godly lives. This theological perspective is evident in all Paul's letters, particularly in Romans and Galatians. The false teachers were not focused on how a person gets saved, but how a person stays saved. For Paul, a person proceeds in the Christian life by the same means with which they began their Christian life, namely, by grace through faith, apart from works of the law.

oiJ "everyone" - [all] the ones [with me greet you]. The article serves as a nominalizer turning the prepositional phrase "with me" into a substantive, subject of the verb "to greet", and modified by the attributive adjective, "all".

touV filountaV (filew) pres. part. "[greet] those who love [us]" - [let ye greet] the ones loving [us]. The participle serves as a substantive, object of the imperative verb "to greet."

en + dat. "in [the faith]" - in [faith]. Probably local, sphere, "within the sphere of (Christian) faith", Mounce. Incorporated in the Christian faith = Christians bound to one another in love, "those who love us as Christians", Marshall, "love as believers", Towner. Simpson opts for an adverbial usage expressing manner, "those who love us faithfully" - most commentators recognise this syntactical possibility.

meta + gen. "with" - [grace be] with [you all]. Expressing accompaniment / association. An optative wish-prayer is assumed; "may the grace of God be with you all."


Titus Introduction


[Pumpkin Cottage]