Reading the Letter to Titus in Light of Crete

Dynamics of Early Christian Identity Construction


This volume argues that Titus’s invocation of Crete affected the ways early readers developed their identities. Using archaeological data, classical writings, and early Christian documents, he describes multiple traditions that circulated on Crete and throughout the Roman Empire concerning Cretan Zeus, Cretan social structure, and Cretan Judaism. He then uses these traditions to interpret Titus and explain how the letter would intersect with and affect readers’ identities. Because readers had differing conceptions of Crete based on their location and access to and evaluation of Cretan traditions, readers would have developed their identities in multiple, conflictual, even contradictory ways.

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Michael Scott Robertson, Ph.D. (2021), Liverpool Hope University, is junior fellow at the Beyond Canon Collaborative Research Group at Universität Regensburg.


1 Titus, Crete, and Memory
 1 Memory, Space, and Lieux de Mémoire
 2 Titus as Lieu de Mémoire
 3 Reception of Titus vis-à-vis Crete
 4 Conclusion

2 Zeus
 1 Pre-Roman Crete and Zeus
 2 Rome, Crete, and the Development of the Zeus Myth
 3 Conclusion

3 Cretan Society
 1 Pre-Roman Period
 2 Society in Roman Crete
 3 Conclusion

4 Cretan Judaism
 1 Crete and Judaism
 2 Jewish-Cretan Connection Myth
 3 Judaism and Zeus
 4 Summary

5 No Cretans Allowed?
 1 The Not-Lying God and His Associates
 2 One of Us?
 3 Group Organization
 4 Conclusion

6 Our Great God and Savior: A New Foundation Myth
 1 Epiphanies from God
 2 Reception of Titus 2:13
 3 A Unique People and Foundation Myths
 4 Counter-Memories
 5 Conclusion




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