The Pauline epistles are the fourteen books in the New Testament traditionally attributed to Paul the Apostle, although many dispute the anonymous Epistle to the Hebrews as being a Pauline epistle.. Each outline contains the dates that the epistles are believed to have been written, the purpose or theme, and special verses to be aware of in the letter. That Paul is the author of this epistle is supported by both external and internal evidence. The letter is written to Philemon, the owner of Onesimus, one of the millions of slaves in the Roman Empire, who had stolen from his master and run away. The Ministry of Reconciliation (5:11–6:10), K. A Spiritual Father’s Appeal to His Children (6:11–7:4), II. Concerning Elders and Deacons (3:1-13), V. Instructions Concerning Dangers (4:1-16), B. Various forms of the words “righteous” and “righteousness” are sprinkled abundantly throughout Romans. 1 … Because of this, he could appeal to Caesar as a citizen of Rome while imprisoned in Philippi (Acts 16:37-39). It also appears Titus worked with Paul at Ephesus during the third missionary journey. Characteristics: A letter that is both personal and pastoral. It is contrary to the method of inspiration, as explained by Paul himself, to suppose that these crowning revelations were made apart from deep meditation, demanding quietness, and earnest seeking. In 1 Thessalonians, the focus was on Christ coming for His Church (4:13-18) where as in 2 Thessalonians, the focus is on Christ coming with His Church in judgment on the unbelieving world (1:5-10; 2:3, 12). And these are the chief themes of the Epistles written by Paul from Rome, and commonly called the Prison Epistles--Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians. Bookmarks Edit. This is expressed in a number of ways like, “being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose” (2:2); “standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together” (1:27), and “be in harmony” (4:2). Paul had several obvious purposes in writing this letter to the Philippians: (1) He sought to express his love and gratitude for the gift they had sent him (1:5; 4:10-19); (2) to give a report about his own circumstances (1:12-26; 4:10-19); (3) to encourage the Philippians to stand firm in the face of persecution and rejoice regardless of circumstances (1:27-30; 4:4); (4) to exhort them to live in humility and unity (2:1-11; 4:2-5); (5) to commend Timothy and Epaphroditus to the Philippian church (2:19-30); and (6) to warn the Philippians against the legalistic Judaizers and the libertarian antinomians who had slipped in among them (ch. 2 shows that the heresy there referred to is noticeably less developed than the Gnosticism of leading Gnostic teachers of the second and third centuries. Thus, in the synagogues of Damascus, he proclaimed Christ as Savior. 11–12), Paul identifies himself as the author of this epistle with the words, “Paul an apostle.” Apart from a few 19th-century scholars, no one has seriously questioned his authorship. 2 Timothy 3. This may well account for the period spent in Arabia and Damascus before his first visit to Jerusalem (Gal. And though prosperous with a thriving commerce, from man’s point of view, Paul and his associates may have wondered about what kind of success the gospel of God’s righteousness would have in a city like Corinth. The first nine epistles were addressed to various churches in Greece and in Asia Minor. Though scholars differ on whether Paul wrote Ephesians while he was imprisoned at Caesarea (Acts 24:27) in A.D. 57-59, or in Rome (28:30) in A.D. 60-62, the evidence favors the Roman imprisonment. Summary and Analysis The Pauline Letters Approximately one third of the New Testament consists of letters, or epistles, written by the apostle Paul and addressed to the Christian churches of his day. 19-19). It is true that there a… 6:21-22; Col. 4:7-8) and is probably the same letter that is called “my letter … from Laodicea” in Col. 4:16.55. But the topics contained in these letters can generally be classified into three major themes. The apostle was not only ready “to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome” (1:15), but he wanted them to have a clear understanding of its meaning and ramifications in all of life—past (justification), present (sanctification), and future (glorification). This means he wrote it in A.D. 60-61 (see the discussion on the date of Ephesians and Philippians). Text Settings. 2. Concerning the Day of the Lord (5:1-11), 1. These epistles were meant to inspire each of us in our daily Christian walks. In this letter we have a wonderful example. Saul stood by “consenting unto his death.” But when the Lord Jesus spoke to Saul on the day of the great experience outside Damascus, he knew that Stephen had been right and he had been wrong. First, Paul was released from his house arrest in Rome (where we find him at the end of Acts). Learn. Moral Disorders in the Church (5:1–6:20), B. LEAVEN. It was also included in the canon of Marcion and in the Muratorian fragment.”70 As to the internal evidence, Paul refers to himself as the author in verses 1, 9, and 19. 1 Cor. In other words, Galatians insists on Christian liberty from any doctrine of salvation that requires human effort in addition to divine grace. 276.69, I. Salutation and Opening Greetings (1:1-4), II. A recap of the events pertinent to this epistle will help give some idea of a probable date for Titus, though the exact time is unknown. Since the epistle clearly names the author in the opening verse, it is not necessary to theorize that Ephesians was written by one of Paul’s pupils or admirers, such as Timothy, Luke, Tychicus, or Onesimus.54. He is the source of our calling, strength, faith, and love so needed for ministry (1:12-14), the one who came to save sinners (1:15), “the one Mediator between God and men” (2:5), “God manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory (3:16), and “the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe” (4:10). Fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. To express his plans to join Titus again in Nicopolis for the winter (3:12). The Comfort of a Faithful Servant (4:6-18), Since the Pastoral Letters have been treated previously on the matter of authorship, see 1 Timothy. This would include such things as: qualification for elders and deacons (chap. 1:1, Tit. Marked social and economic differences existed among them (7:20-24; 11:21-34); some of them had even been steeped in pagan vices (6:9-11). Paul was known for many years as Saul of Tarsus. The Beginner’s Guide, Application: what Christians should do with doctrine. This is evident from their writing style. In the first two chapters Paul vindicated his apostleship and message. In fact, in this epistle, 18 out of 47 verses (38 percent) deal with this subject. The Pauline Epistles expound on the doctrines of sanctification, justification, redemption, and reconciliation. Also, the seeds of what later became the full-blown Gnosticism of the second century were present in the first century and already making inroads into the churches. 2); (4) to give guidance regarding numerous issues that would arise and to show how they should be handled. 3), proper behavior toward the various age groups—towards elders and widows (chap. Their authorship is undispute d. S ome have how ever suggested that Second Corinthians is in fact a collection of several Pauline letters. In the early church, all who speak on the subject of authorship ascribe it to Paul. What is so significant about that? In view of the theme or purpose, the key words are “wealth,” “walk,” and “warfare.”. The internal evidence is obvious. Some critics have claimed that chapters 10–13 were not a part of this letter in its original form because of a sudden change of tone. James was particularly focused on us upholding those commandments. The term, “pastoral,” is an 18th century designation that has stuck down through the years,63 and though not entirely accurate, it is a somewhat appropriate description of these three letters. He had denied the Christian claim that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God. Good deeds are not to be the product of human ingenuity or dead religion, but the work of God’s grace through faith in the power of God as manifested in Christ, the Savior. Primarily Apologetic: Explanation of Paul’s Conduct and Apostolic Ministry (chs. What concerned Paul preeminently was the presence of false teachers, claiming to be apostles, who had entered the church. Further, there is no evidence for so partitioning 2 Corinthians.45. In his campaign against Christians, both men and women, he traveled with letters of arrest from the high priest and went to other cities to waste the church of Jesus Christ (Acts 26:10-11; Gal. Design an experience for a small group that simulates the situation of the recipients and the achievement of the goal(s) of the author. Gospels and Pauline Epistles: Major Themes and Characteristics. The Expression of Thanks for Timothy (1:3-7), III. The Believer’s Position in Christ (2:9-10), C. The Obligations of the True Teaching (2:16-3:4), 1. The book of Romans is a good example: As you read these epistles, keep an eye out for these themes. He was born of Jewish parentage in the city of Tarsus of Cilicia. The life setting of each letter is related to Paul’s journeys described in the book of Acts. As a young Pharisee, he was present when Stephen was stoned and murdered (Acts 7:58-83). In Relation to the New Creation (1:18), 3. It is thought that there are differences in the vocabulary (ten words not used elsewhere), in the style (it is said to be unexpectedly formal) and in the eschatology (the doctrine of the “man of lawlessness” is not taught elsewhere). Divide the group into five teams. 3:1; 4:1; 6:20). This is one of those times. It was written from Corinth, while completing the collection for the poor in Palestine. The earliest explicit references we have to a collection of letters by Paul are to be found in other early Christian letter-collections. Because the historical circumstances are very similar to those of 1 Thessalonians, most believe it was written not long after the first letter—perhaps about six months. and 2 Cor.). Thus, the apostle writes to refute their false gospel of works and demonstrates the superiority of justification by faith and sanctification by the Holy Spirit versus by the works of the Law. The New Position in the Heavenlies (2:1-10), 2. All we need for life is found in Him. Notably Pauline them es, however, are 1. These m ake up the norm for Pauline letters. The Description of Righteousness (3:21-31), B. 10-17). I. From 56-60 Paul was slowly making his way through the Roman courts, arriving ultimately at Rome. The playwright Philetaerus (Athenaeus 13. Fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. These epistles deal with church polity, policies, and practice, all of which are concerns vital to the pastoral health of the church. Among these epistles are some of the earliest extant Christian documents. Application: the Practice of Righteousness in Service (12:1–15:13), F. In Relation to Other Christians (14:1–15:13), VII. God preserved many of those letters for us as books of the Bible. However, Paul’s authorship of this epistle has been questioned more often than that of 1 Thessalonians, even though it has more support from early church writers. The church at Philippi was the first church founded in Europe. Organization, or better, the organic and unified growth of a church, must be based on right teaching, which is based on rightly handling the Word, i.e., God’s objective truth along with the use of those people who are qualified and spiritually right with God. What I heard, I tried to ignore. Instructions Concerning Prayer (2:1-7), B. A major theme of this book, especially chapters 1-2, is the return of Christ in judgment when He will put down all rebellion and bring retribution. Is this selection to be carried out by the board of elders, by the congregation, or by both working together? Colossians 2. These people belong to different countries, different race, culture and different religion. The city was filled with shrines and temples with the most prominent being the temple of Aphrodite that sat on top of an 1800-foot promontory called the Acrocorinthus. Then, either from Macedonia or Nicopolis, Paul wrote the epistle to Titus to encourage and instruct him. 39 Frank E. Gaebelein, General Editor, The Expositor's Bible Commentary, New Testament, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1976-1992, electronic media. The phrase “our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” is one of the christologically significant texts affected by the Granville Sharp rule. Then Jesus directly intervened. 1:4]). The theme is the fruitful and effective power of the gospel message which heralds the supremacy, headship, and the utter sufficiency of Christ to the church which is His body. There he met Titus, who brought good news about the general well-being of the Corinthian church but bad news about a group who were standing in opposition to Paul and his apostleship. 61 The outline used here is taken from an outstanding series of 12 studies by Dr. S. Lewis Johnson in Bibliotheca Sacra, “Studies in the Epistle to the Colossians,” beginning Vol. 1:1; 2 Tim. It has also been suggested that Onesimus became a minister and later bishop of the church at Ephesus (Ignatius, To the Ephesians, 1).71, Key words or concepts are, “Oneness,” and “forgiveness in Christ.”, The forgiveness that the believer finds in Christ is beautifully portrayed by analogy in Philemon. 19-21). As the letter states, Paul is the author (see 1:1). Sponsored link. At the end of chapter 15, he discusses his plans to visit, and the final chapter of Romans includes many greetings to Christians in the area. As was his custom, Paul first preached in the synagogue but was eventually forced out by Jewish opposition. He offers His righteousness as a gracious gift to sinful men, having borne God’s condemnation and wrath for their sinfulness. Paul presents Jesus Christ as the Second Adam whose righteousness and substitutionary death have provided justification for all who place their faith in Him. Because of this, 1 Timothy must be dated after his first release, around the spring of A.D. 63, but before the outbreak of the Neronian persecutions in A.D. 64. 49 Merrill F. Unger, The New Unger’s Talking Bible Dictionary, Original work copyright 1957 The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, electronic media. FREE IN CHRIST! However, he simply moved next door to the house of Titius Justus where he continued his ministry (Acts 18:7). Corinth was a large metropolis (approximately 700,000; about two-thirds of whom were slaves) located on a narrow isthmus between the Aegean Sea and the Adriatic Sea that connected the Peloponnesus with Northern Greece. In August of 2001 he was diagnosed with lung cancer and on August 29th, 2002 he went home to be with the Lord. The theme, then, is the life-changing power of the gospel to reach into the varied social conditions of society and change our relationships from bondage to brotherhood. Pauline Epistles from Prison. Add Bookmark. The purpose and burden of the apostle in writing to the Thessalonians can be summarized as follows: to express his thankfulness for what God was doing in the lives of the Thessalonians (1:2-3), to defend himself against a campaign to slander his ministry (2:1-12), to encourage them to stand fast against persecution and pressure to revert to their former pagan lifestyles (3:2-3; 4:1-12), to answer a doctrinal question pertaining to the fate of Christians who had died (4:1-13), to answer questions regarding the “Day of the Lord” (5:1-11), and to deal with certain problems that had developed in their corporate life as a church (5:12-13; 19-20). Our freedom must never be used “as an opportunity to indulge the flesh” but rather as a basis for loving one another by walking in the strength of the Spirit (5:13, 16, 22-25). Though accused by the Jews before the Roman governor Gallio (a charge that was dismissed) Paul remained 18 months in Corinth (Acts 18:1-17; 1 Cor. 2:1). 43 Henry Clarence Thiessen, Introduction to the New Testament, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1943, pp. According to this rule, in the article-noun-kaiv-noun construction the second noun refers to the same person described by the first noun when (1) neither is impersonal; (2) neither is plural; (3) neither is a proper name. The Present Walk of the New Life (4:20-32), 4. 2:13) and receive news about conditions in Corinth. Vocabulary used to describe church organization, for instance, would be expected to be different from that used to teach the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Because of its unique apocalyptic nature, however, in this survey we are distinguishing it as The Prophetic Book of the New Testament. Onesimus had made his way to Rome, where, in the providence of God, he came in contact with the apostle Paul, who led him to trust in Christ (v. 10). Test. A final purpose was to express Paul’s thanksgiving for Philemon and to request preparation for lodging for him when he was released from prison (vv. Paul lays aside his rights (v. 8) and becomes Onesimus’ substitute by assuming his debt (vv. The four themes act as benchmarks in … You can learn more about Philemon’s role here. BIBLE 185 – PAULINE EPISTLES 9 VI. * Sometimes I’ll partner with organizations to help more people know about their resources—in return, they give me a kickback when people purchase. Introduction How is the theology of the Pastoral Letters to be understood in ... around four themes or principles and two texts in which those themes converge. 1:3–5 I urge you, as I did when I was on my way to Macedonia, to remain in Ephesus so that you may instruct certain people not to teach any different doctrine, and not to occupy themselves with myths and endless genealogies that promote speculations rather than … Several passages stand out in pointing us to the person and ministry of the Savior. Instead, it is to be dated during Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome, where he spent at least two years under house arrest (see Ac 28:16-31).58. The Warning Against Legalistic Judaizers (3:1-4a), V. The Peace of the Christian Life: Knowing the Presence of Christ (4:1-23). If the letter was written to Christians in South Galatia, the churches were founded on the first missionary journey, the letter was written after the end of the journey (probably from Antioch, ca. He then visited Crete, leaving Titus there to put in order the remaining matters in the churches of Crete. Thus, Paul writes about the believer’s wealth, walk, and warfare. The date when Paul penned this letter depends on the destination of the letter. With almost no exception, from the early church this epistle has been credited to Paul. So here are some suggestions to think about: Suggestion 1. Themes. Moreover, the books declare Paul as the author (1 Tim. James … In the Home and Household Life (3:18-4:1), IV. The 13 "Pauline" epistles. Clement of Rome speaks of 1 Corinthians as “the Epistle of the blessed Apostle Paul,” in his Epistle to the Corinthians and even cited 1 Corinthians in regard to their continuing factions. Practical: The Gospel of Grace, Justification by Faith Applied (5:1–6:18), A. It is because organization and administration are not primary. The general epistles contain three themes: faith, hope, and love. It has therefore been dubbed as “the charter of Christian Liberty.” Luther considered it in a peculiar sense his Epistle.51 Galatians stands as a powerful polemic against the Judaizers and their teachings of legalism. Tit. Several things indicate that Ephesians was a circular letter, a doctrinal treatise in the form of a letter, to the churches in Asia Minor. There’s so much we can learn from the Epistles! Paul’s only other long series of greetings is in Colossians—a letter also sent to a church he had not visited.40. In the process of this, Paul then launches into a grand revelation regarding the humility and exaltation of Christ in 2:5-11. Closely associated with this is a short section on the believer’s warfare with the onslaughts of Satan (6:10-18). Important issues discussed in the letter include qualifications for elders (1:5-9), instructions to various age groups (2:1-8), relationship to government (3:1-2), the relation of regeneration to human works and to the Spirit (3:5), and the role of grace in promoting good works among God’s people (2:11-3:8). The purpose of gifts: unity in diversity (12:12-31), 3. 1. In doing so he pursued three broad purposes. The phrases “justification by faith” and “freedom from the Law” form the key words of the epistle. The Consequences of Denying the Resurrection (15:12-19), E. The Christian’s Victory Through Christ (15:51-58), VIII. Nine of the epistles that Paul wrote were written to churches and four of them were written to individuals. While 1 Timothy is in many ways a manual on leadership and the conduct of the church, a key term is “sound doctrine” which is emphasized in a number of places (see 1:10; 4:6; 6:1-3). 1-7); (2) he sought to remind the believers of their commitment to the offering for the Christians in Judea (chaps. These, then, are the first Roman imprisonment letters, whereas 2 Timothy is the second Roman imprisonment letter.52. Since it was written during Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome, it was written around A.D. 61. The Practice of Liberty: Serve and Love One Another (5:13-15), C. The Power of Liberty: Walk by the Spirit (5:16-26), D. The Performance of Liberty: Do Good to All Men (6:1-10). The style of these letters is characteristic of the Pauline epistles as a whole, as B. Rigaux has shown. The Pauline Epistles contain significant teachings on difficult theological issues such as election, predestination, foreknowledge, the deity/humanity of Christ, God’s ongoing relationship with Israel, and the Judgment Seat of Christ. He was not only a Jew, but by his own testimony, he was a Pharisee and a son of a Pharisee (Acts 23:6), was a Hebrew of Hebrews (spoke Hebrew or Aramaic), was of the tribe of Benjamin (Phil. As with many of Paul’s epistles, picking a key chapter is difficult, but perhaps chapter 6 stands out because of its very important revelation regarding the nature of our warfare with Satan (6:10-18). At the same time, Paul offered to pay personally whatever Onesimus owed. As to One’s Self and the Church (5:19-21), D. The Believer’s Walk in Warfare (6:10-20), 2. Polemical: The Heretical Problems in Light of Union With Christ (2:4-3:4a), A. 20-26) suggest he was writing from Rome. The first epistle was written during the earlier part of that period just after Timothy had returned from Thessalonica with news of the progress of the church. Related Content previous next. The stress on forgiveness of sins, from which the Torah cannot justify, offered to believers (13.38), corresponding to the them e of faith rather than To rah in Rm. By this, we see much of what believers have through their position in the Savior. Petition of Paul for Onesimus (vv. This letter was written about A.D. 55. toward the end of Paul’s three-year residency in Ephesus (cf. The Prayer That Their Hearts Might Be Established in Holiness (3:13), II. It was not until the 19th century that certain questions were raised about the authorship of this epistle. While we are blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ (1:3), we are nevertheless faced with a formidable enemy for which we need the armor of God. Exhortation Regarding the Philosophy of the False Teachers (2:8), B. Paul did not establish the church in Rome, but as the apostle to the Gentiles, he had longed for many years to visit the believers in Rome (15:22-23) that he might further establish them in the faith and preach the gospel there as well (1:13-15). 22), and following his release he made several trips, wrote 1 Timothy and Titus, was rearrested, wrote 2 Timothy, and was martyred (see the Introduction to Titus, Titus 1:1 book note). Chapters 4 and 5 undoubtedly stand out as key chapters because of their teaching on both the coming of the Lord for the church, the rapture (4:13-18), and the day of the Lord (5:1-11), the time in the future when He will intervene in human events to consummate His redemption and judgment. Special attention is given to the major theological themes of the epistles. 1:14). Paul’s Greeting to the Colossians (1:1-2), 2. If the letter was written to Christians in North Galatia, the churches were founded on the second missionary journey and the epistle was written on the third missionary journey, either early from Ephesus (about A.D. 53) or later (about 55) from Macedonia. 6:5-9; Col. 3:22; 4:1). Negative: Emancipation from Ascetic Ordinances (2:20-23), 3. Being written to the church at Corinth, this epistle came to be known as Pros Corinthious A, which in effect means First Corinthians. Paul’s a very organized writer, and these epistles can usually be split into sections based on these issues. The Doctrine of the Resurrection (15:1-58), A. 8–9), B. Titus and His Companions Sent to Corinth (8:16–9:5), III. Paul’s Prayer for the Colossians’ Growth (1:9-14), 3. Because Ephesians gives no hint of Paul’s release from prison, as in Philippians (1:19-26) and Philemon (v. 22), many believe that Ephesians was written in the early part of his imprisonment about A.D. 60, while Paul was kept under house guard in his rented quarters (Acts 28:30). Again as indicated in the opening salutation, Paul is the author of this letter. It is possible that Philemon did free Onesimus and send him back to Paul (v. 14). Speaks numerous times of the Kingdom of Heaven. Having energetically and consistently persecuted the church of Jesus Christ, while on the road to Damascus, Paul had an encounter with the glorified resurrected Christ, which had revolutionary effects on his life. 1886-1887. Paul could easily say, “I am become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some” (1 Cor. Those are big concepts but in Volume 12: Letters From Paul, Phil Vischer breaks those concepts down into terms that easier for kids (and parents!) 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