The Epistle to Titus is one of the Pastoral Epistles, a name first used of the letters to Timothy and Titus by D. N. Berdot in 1703 and later popularized by Paul Anton of Halle in 1726. The appropriateness of the name has been debated by New Testament scholars, but its essential usefulness to denote the contents of these Epistles is evident.
Titus shares in the major problem common to the Pastorals, namely, authenticity. Until the time of Schleiermacher (1807) the Pauline authorship of these letters was universally recognized by the Church. True, Marcion rejected them, but that was to be expected because of his dogmatic presuppositions. The Chester Beatty papyrus (p. 46, third century) does not contain them, but since both the beginning and ending of this codex are not extant, no certain conclusions can be drawn from their exclusion.
Since Schleiermacher’s day the rejection of the Pauline authorship has been along the following lines: (1) doctrinal: the theology of the Pastorals is post-Pauline; (2) historical: the events of the Pastorals cannot be fitted into the life of Paul; (3) ecclesiastical: the church organization revealed in these letters is too advanced for Paul’s time; (4) linguistic: the vocabulary and style of the Pastorals are not Paul’s. It is not within the scope of this article to discuss all of these objections (the interested reader should consult the commentaries of Simpson and Guthrie). Since, however, the linguistic argument is the weightiest, a word about it is in order. It was Schleiermacher who first openly denied the authenticity of the Pastorals on linguistic bases. He was followed by other scholars, the most influential of whom was P. N. Harrison. His now famous, The Problem of the Pastorals ...1
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