Titus is one of three letters Paul wrote specifically to individual co-workers in his ministry. (The others were both to Timothy.) Although he is never mentioned in the book of Acts, we can piece together some information about Titus from 2 Corinthians, Galatians, and 2 Timothy. Before Paul left him on the island of Crete, Titus served as an itinerant apostle under the authority of Paul in Corinth and Dalmatia.
The theme of Titus has to do with Christian ministry, specifically the good works we are to do in light of Christian faith and doctrine.
Chapter one introduces Titus’ mission and the purpose of the letter. Paul began with an introduction that does not match any of his other letters. Rather than focusing on his role as an apostle of the gospel, Paul emphasized his work in furthering believers’ faith and gave a unique description of the gospel. Titus’ mission was to finishing establishing the local churches, especially appointing the elders to lead each church. Paul gave Titus a specific set of qualifications for these elders. Some are similar to the list in 1 Timothy 3, focusing on the character traits of the men, but there is an emphasis in Titus on the men’s doctrinal integrity and teaching capability as well. The reason for this emphasis was two-fold. First, there seems to have been widespread false doctrine being taught on Crete, and the local elders needed to be able to refute it and teach sound doctrine. Secondly, for Paul, false doctrine was directly related to lack of good works. This was evident in the lives of the false teachers and the lives of those following their false doctrine.