I’m just doing some work on Titus 1, and I’m intrigued that the well-known Pauline triad of faith, hope, and love here seems to be faith, hope, and knowledge:
Paul, a slave of God, apostle of Jesus Christ for the sake of the faith of the elect, and the knowledge of the truth which is in accordance with godliness, on the basis of the hope of eternal life…
Compare this to Colossians 1:4-5:
We have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope which is laid up for you…
And 1 Thessalonians 1:3:
We remember your work of faith and labour of love and endurance of hope in the Lord Jesus Christ…
And of course 1 Corinthians 13:13:
But now remain faith, hope, love, these three, and the greatest of these is love.
So why is it conspicuously different here in Titus? I’m not getting into the issue of authorship – it remains an intriguing question regardless of one’s take on that issue.
My guess is that it relates to the fact that in this letter, ethical deficiency is strongly linked to doctrinal deficiency. So Titus is summoned to appoint elders who are ethically blameless, and who will teach ‘sound doctrine,’ while convicting those who speak against it.
Perhaps for that reason, the central ethical virtue in the triad occurs not simply as ‘love,’ but as a longer phrase that ties together devotion and knowledge: knowledge of the truth which is in accordance with devotion/godliness.