Question:

Hello,

I hope this finds you doing well. I just wanted to let you know that I love your site. It helps me a lot in my studies of God's Word.

I heard a radio minister say that Titus deserted Paul. He used II Timothy 4:9-11 as his proof text. "Be diligent to come to me quickly; for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry." I don't believe Titus deserted Paul. I think he is understanding this text incorrectly. I just wanted your input on this.

Thanks.


Answer:

The wording of this passage is that Demas is not with Paul because he deserted Paul and left for Thessalonica. Only one person has deserted by the wording of this passage. Crescens left for Galatia, but the reason for his departure is not given. Since Demas is specifically stated to have deserted Paul, the lack of a reason for Crescens implies that he is gone with Paul's blessings. Most likely Paul sent him there to preach. The same goes for Titus who is currently in Dalmatia. Paul is explaining to Timothy why he is currently alone. Two men were sent off and the third man, who should have been with him, deserted Paul to go his own way.

Albert Barnes: "Paul does not mention the reason why Titus had gone there: but it is not improbable that he had gone to preach the gospel, or to visit the churches which Paul had planted in that region. The apostle does not suggest that he was deserving of blame for having gone, and it can hardly be supposed that Titus would have left him at this time without his concurrence. Perhaps when he permitted him to go, he did not know how soon events would come to a crisis with him; and as a letter would more readily reach Timothy at Ephesus than Titus in Dalmatia, he requested him to come to him, instead of directing Titus to return."