Pauline Epistles (letters)

Having finished the survey of the historical books (the Gospels and Acts), we now come to the twenty-one epistles of the New Testament, twenty-two if one includes Revelation as an epistle (which in reality it is [see Rev. 1:4]). Because of its unique apocalyptic nature, however, in this survey we are distinguishing it as The Prophetic Book of the New Testament.

  Pauline Introduction Menu   

 Pauline Introduction
  arrow {400} Introduction/Menu
  arrow {401} Background of Paul
  arrow {402} Conversion of Paul
  arrow {403} Distinctive Emphases of Paul’s Epistles

  Pauline Epistles Menu   

Pauline Epistles
  arrow {404} Romans
  arrow {405} First Corinthians
  arrow {406} Second Corinthians
  arrow {407} Galatians

  The Prison Epistles Menu   

The Prison Epistles
  arrow {408} Prison Epistles Introduction
  arrow {409} Ephesians
  arrow {410} Philippians
  arrow {411} Colossians
  arrow {412} First Thessalonians
  arrow {413} Second Thessalonians

  The Pastoral Epistles Menu   

The Pastoral Epistles
  arrow {414} Pastoral Epistles Introduction
  arrow {415} First Timothy
  arrow {416} Second Timothy
  arrow {417} Titus
  arrow {418} Philemon

The Epistles are generally divided into the Pauline Epistles and the Non-Pauline (General) Epistles. Paul’s epistles fall into two categories: nine epistles written to churches (Romans to 2 Thessalonians) and four pastoral and personal epistles (1 and 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon). This is then followed by eight Hebrew Christian epistles (Hebrews to Jude). Naturally, many questions would arise as to the meaning and application of the gospel for Christians. Thus, the Epistles answer these questions, give the interpretation of the person and work of Christ, and apply the truth of the gospel to believers


  Pauline Epistles – 13 Books   


Nature of Christ’s Work. A systematic examination of justification, sanctification, and glorification. Examines God’s plan for the Jews and the Gentiles.


Various Church Disorders. This letter deals with factions and corrections due to immorality, lawsuits, and abuse of the Lord’s Supper. Also mentions idols, marriage, and the resurrection.


Paul’s Vindication of His Apostleship. Paul’s defense of his apostolic position.


By Grace, Never by Law. Paul refutes the errors of legalism and examines the proper place of grace in the Christian’s life.


The Unity of the Church. The believer’s position in Christ and information on Spiritual warfare.


A Missionary Epistle. Paul speaks of his imprisonment, his love for the Philippians. He exhorts them to godliness and warns them of legalism.


The Deity of Jesus. Paul focuses on the preeminence of Jesus in creation, redemption, and godliness.


Jesus’s Second Coming. Paul’s ministry to the Thessalonians. Teachings on purity and mention of the return of Christ.


Jesus’s Second Coming. More about the Day of the Lord.


The Care for the Church. Instructions to Timothy on proper leadership and dealings with false teachers, the role of women, prayer, and requirements of elders and deacons.


Paul’s Final Words. A letter of encouragement to Timothy to be strong.


The Churches of Crete. Paul left Titus in Crete to care for the churches there. Requirements for elders.


Conversion of a Runaway Slave. A letter to the owner of a runaway slave. Paul appeals to Philemon to forgive Onesimus.

  Sources outside the New Testament that mention Paul include:   

Clement of Rome‘s epistle to the Corinthians (late 1st/early 2nd century);

Ignatius of Antioch‘s letter To the Romans (early 2nd century);

Polycarp‘s letter to the Philippians (early 2nd century);

• The 2nd-century document Martyrdom of Polycarp.