AUTHOR: The apostle Paul, as stated in the salutation (1:1). The testimony of church history also provides overwhelming support that Paul is the author.
RECIPIENT: Titus, Paul's "true son in common faith" (1:4). There is no mention of Titus by name in the book of Acts, but we can glean much about him from the epistles of Paul. He was a Gentile by birth (Ga 2:3), and accompanied Paul to Jerusalem during the controversy over circumcision (Ac 15:1-2; Ga 2:1-5).
During Paul's third missionary journey, Titus became his personal emissary to the church at Corinth, seeking to learn how they received his first letter. When Titus did not return to Troas as expected, Paul anxiously went on to Macedonia (2 Co 2:12-13). It was there that Paul and Titus finally connected, much to the relief and comfort of Paul when Titus reported how well he was received by the Corinthians (2 Co 7:5-7,13-15). Paul then sent Titus and two others back to Corinth, bearing the letter we call Second Corinthians, and exhorting the brethren to complete their collection for the needy saints in Jerusalem (2 Co 8:16-9:5).
At the time of the epistle to Titus, he had been left on the island of Crete by Paul to "set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city" (Ti 1:5). If Paul's plans as expressed in this epistle materialized, then Titus left soon after the arrival of Artemas or Tychicus, and met Paul at Nicopolis in northwest Greece (cf. Ti 3:12). We last read of Titus that he had gone to Dalmatia (in modern day Yugoslavia) during the final days of Paul's life (2 Ti 4:10).
TIME AND PLACE OF WRITING: The general consensus is that following his first imprisonment in Rome the apostle Paul was released and allowed to travel for several years before being arrested again. The following itinerary has been proposed by the Ryrie Study Bible:
It cannot be established with certainty, but it possible that Paul wrote this letter from Corinth, sometime around 63-66 A.D.
PURPOSE OF THE EPISTLE: Like his first epistle to Timothy, this letter is written to a young preacher assigned a difficult task. Evidently the churches on the island of Crete were in need of maturation, and this letter is designed to assist Titus in that work. Therefore, Paul wrote to encourage Titus:
THEME OF THE EPISTLE: The key phrase in this epistle is "good works" (1:16; 2:7,14; 3:1,8,14). An appropriate theme for this epistle might therefore be:
"MAINTAIN GOOD WORKS!"
KEY VERSE: Titus 3:8
"This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable for men."