Acts of Titus

Acta Titi

Standard abbreviation: Acts Titus

Other titles: Vita Titi

Clavis numbers: CANT 298, BHG 1850z

Category: Apocryphal Acts

Related literature: Acts of Paul

Compiled by Richard Pervo, professor emeritus of the University of Minnesota.

Citing this resource (using Chicago Manual of Style): Pervo, Richard. “Acts of Titus.” e-Clavis: Christian Apocrypha. Accessed DAY MONTH YEAR.

Originally posted January 2016; updated February 2017.


The Acts of Titus has three parts: his early life (chs. 1-3), his time as a companion of Paul, (chs. 4-6), and his time in office as bishop of Gortyna (chs. 7-12). The text is attributed to a certain “Zenas the lawyer” (from Titus 3:13). The author reveals that Titus grew up in a noble home in Crete (indeed, he is said to be of the lineage of Minos, king of Crete). At the age of 20, a voice tells him that his classical education is of no benefit to him, so he turns to reading Hebrew scripture. His uncle, the proconsul, sends Titus to Jerusalem to investigate the activity of Jesus. There he witnesses the miracles, death, and resurrection of Jesus and becomes a believer. Titus receives ordination from the apostles and becomes Paul’s companion in his missionary endeavours. The two journey to Crete, where Titus encounters his brother-in-law Rustillus who tells Titus not to preach against the pagan gods but becomes a believer after Paul restores his deceased son to life. Together with Luke and Timothy, Titus remains with Paul until the apostle’s execution under Nero. Then Titus returns to Crete, where he destroys pagan temples and establishes churches. Titus dies in peace at the age of 94. The former polytheist temple in which he is laid to rest becomes a healing shrine. The text concludes with a brief chronology of Titus’s life.

Named historical figures and characters: Aphphia, Apollo, Artemis, Barnabas, Chrysippus, Dionysius the Aeropagite, Erastus, Euphemia (sister of Titus), Gamaliel, Herod Agrippa, Homer, Isaiah (prophet), Jesus Christ, James (son of Zebedee), John (son of Zebedee), Luke (evangelist), Minos, Onesiphorus, Panchares, Paul (apostle), Peter (apostle), Rustillus, Secundus, sister of Titus, Stephen (martyr), Timothy, Titus, Trajan, Vespasian, Zenas.

Geographical locations: Antioch, Asia, Caesarea, Cantanus, Chersonesus, Cisamus, Cnossus, Colossae, Corinth, Crete, Cydonia, Cyprus, Damascus, Derbe, Eleutherna, Ephesus, Gortyna, Greece, Hierapytna, Iconium, Jerusalem, Lampa, Lystra, Pamphylia, Paphos, Perga, Philippi, Pisidian Antioch, Rome, Salamis, Seleucia.



3.1 Manuscripts and Editions

Menology 1 (the earliest recension), represented by two manuscripts:

Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, gr. 548 (10th cent.)

Vatican, Biblioteca apostolica, Ottoboni gr. 411 (copied in 1445)

Menology 2, represented by two manuscripts:

Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, hist. gr. 45 (11th cent.)

Athens, Benaki Museum, 141 (11th cent.)

Halkin, Francois, “La légende crétoise de saint tite.” AnBoll 79 (1961): 241–56.

3.2 Modern Translations

3.2.1 English

Pervo, Richard I. “The Acts of Titus.” Pages 406-–15 in New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures. Vol. 1. Edited by Tony Burke and Brent Landau. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2016.

Pervo, Richard I. “The Acts of Titus: A Preliminary Translation, with an Introduction and Notes.” Pages 455–82 in SBL Seminar Papers, 1996. Atlanta: Scholars Press: 1996.

Pervo, Richard I. The Acts of Paul: A New Translation and Commentary. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2014 (chs. 1–7 of Acts Titus reproduced p. 331–34).

3.2.2 French

Rordorf, Willy. “Actes de Tite.” Pages 605–15 in volume 2 of Écrits apocryphes chrétiens. Edited by Pierre Geoltrain and Jean-Daniel Kaestli. Bibliothèque de la Pléiade 516. Paris: Gallimard, 2005.

3.3 General Works

Czachesz, István, Commission Narratives. A Comparative Study of the Canonical and Apocryphal Acts. SECA 8. Leuven: Peeters, 2007 (see p. 212–13).

Elliott, Neil, and Mark Reasoners, eds. Documents and Images for the Study of Paul. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2011 (see p. 337–40).

James, Montague Rhodes. “The Acts of Titus and the Acts of Paul.” JTS 6 (1905): 549–56.

Lipsius, Richard A. Die apokryphen Apostelgeschichten und Apostellegenden, 2 vols. in 3 parts. Braunschweig, 1883–1890 (see vol. 2.2:401–406).

Nicklas, Tobias. “Die Akten des Titus: Rezeption ‘apostolischer’ Schriften und Entwicklung antik-christlicher ‘Erinnerungslandschaften.’” Early Christianity 6 (2016) (forthcoming).