Titus is a short book that packs a punch. A quick reading reveals three concentrated chapters filled with authoritative language and blunt commands. Paul wasn’t messing around when he wrote this letter to Titus, a Greek follower of Jesus who helped Paul navigate tight situations (see Galatians 2:1-3 and 2 Corinthians 7-8). The book has an apologetic and urgent tone, even by Pauline standards. So what was going on in Crete, specifically in the churches established by Paul, that demanded a letter like this?
To answer that we have to dive deep into the historical and cultural backdrop of Crete, a large island off the coast of Greece, which underlies Paul’s entire letter. But hang tight––this journey into the ancient world is going to pay off with pretty powerful implications for modern day life.