Monday in Week 32

Titus 1.1-9; Psalm 23; Luke 17.1-6

The two letters of St Paul to Timothy, along with those to Titus and Philemon, are collectively referred to as the ‘pastoral epistles’. By contrast to the other Pauline letters, these four are addressed to individuals rather than to churches. They are placed in the New Testament canon at the close of the section of Paul’s letters because those letters are arranged in diminishing order of length, from Romans, the longest, to Philemon, in most Bibles less than a page of English text. (The epistle to the Hebrews, attributed to Paul in some Bibles, has from ancient times been considered of dubious authorship. Few today consider it to have been authored by St Paul.)

Apart from Philemon, whose Pauline authenticity is virtually universally accepted, the authorship of the pastorals is often debated. These letters seem to date from a time when church offices had been more carefully defined than in Paul’s earlier letters. (Compare the careful specification of the duties of bishops and elders with Paul’s much broader list of officers in I Corinthians 12.4-11.)

The historical Titus, one of Paul’s companions on his missionary journeys, [II Corinthians 7.6; Galatians 2.1] was ordained by Paul as Bishop of Crete. Later Paul summoned Titus to join him at Nicopolis [Titus 3.12]. The New Testament does not record Titus’ death.

Posted in Daily Reflection.