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Titus 1:1 Paul, slave and apostle

28-04-2023 - Posted by Hans

Paul, a slave of God, yet an apostle of Jesus Christ…

A new letter from Paul is before us to be discussed: the Titus letter. Not a letter to an ecclesia but a personal letter from Paul to his co-worker Titus. Who this Titus was and what the background and cause of Paul’s writing is, will automatically be addressed during the discussion. At least, if the content of the text gives rise to it.

The fact that Paul introduces himself as a “slave of God” in the beginning of this letter is quite unique. It may be hard for us to imagine, but in the Bible the term “slave” certainly does not have the purely negative connotation it has with us today. A slave is a serf who is supposed to be in the service of his lord 24-7. But also someone for whom the owner is responsible because he is supposed to take care of him. That is the relationship in which Paul understands himself to God. He is not his own, but the property of God.

In relation to Jesus Christ, however, Paul typifies himself here as an apostle, that is, as a representative. Most personally called on the road to Damascus to make known God’s saving grace which has appeared to all humanity (Tit.2:11)!