Timothy and Titus

Companions of St Paul

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Timothy and Titus
Timothy and Titus
Companions of St Paul

Picture courtesy of https://achristianpilgrim.wordpress.com

Timothy was the son of a Greek father and a Jewish mother, Eunice, who was a “believer”. He was already a disciple when Paul visited Lystra on his 2nd missionary journey. On the recommendation of the local church, Paul decided to take Timothy as his travelling companion and assistant. To avoid all suspicion from other Jews, Paul had Timothy circumcised (Acts 16:3).

The first mention of Titus (Galatians 2:1) is in connection with the visit of Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem for the Council in 48 AD. Since Titus, unlike Timothy, was wholly Greek, Paul did not think he needed to undergo circumcision, and later makes the point that the Jerusalem church did not insist on this either (Galatians 2:3).

Timothy and Titus both figure in Paul’s letters, each being mentioned about a dozen times. By contrast, in Acts, where Timothy’s name occurs 6 times, Titus is not referred to at all. The impression given by the various references is that Timothy took over from John Mark the role of close personal assistant to Paul and was sometimes entrusted by Paul with special missions, and that Titus was a rather older man, who first appears as part of the delegation from Antioch. Later, Paul sent him to the troubled church at Corinth (2 Corinthians 7 and 8). Later still according to the Pastoral Epistles, each was sent as Paul’s representative, Timothy to Ephesus (1Timothy 1:3) and Titus to Crete (Titus 1:5). Both are instructed to govern their respective churches and appoint officers of the church. This evidence is complicated by debates over the authenticity of the Pauline authorship of the Pastoral Epistles (1 and 2 Timothy and Titus).

Timothy and Titus are commemorated together on the day following the feast of the Conversion of St Paul. We remember them as devoted, hardworking and much-travelled companions of the great missionary and teacher. Later tradition regarded both men as bishops: Timothy as the first bishop of Ephesus and Titus as the first bishop of Crete. The much later Acts of Timothy records Timothy’s death as a martyr. Titus is said to have died on Crete.