biblical intrigues

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Pauline Epistles

Today's class will look at the Pauline epistles. These are letters to churches or individuals which have been attributed to Paul. Conservative scholars maintain that Paul wrote them all. Liberal scholars assert that there are elements in some of the epistles which date them after Paul's death. Those epistles are considered pseudonymous (a word I would use much more often if it didn't trip on my teeth.) For the sake of this class, we are taking the liberal approach on authorship.

The Pauline and contested epistles are: Romans, 1 and 2Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians 1 and 2Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon. (Note that 2Thessalonians is contested but 1Thessalonians is not. And, don't take my word for it on these. I never could keep it straight at seminary. There are multiple websites that do this debate greater justice.)

There are also the general epistles of the Christian scriptures. We will not be covering these in today's class. And for more information on Hebrews see or The Pauline epistles and the general epistles are named according to the addressee.

In class we will look over several epistles to see their structure and unique elements. On my list are Romans, Corinthians, Philemon, and Timothy. We'll see how much we get through.

This class concludes the original "Understanding the Bible" 6 part series. We will begin a more in depth Bible study in mid-May in the 9:30 time slot. We will begin with Genesis in 3 parts. The Harper Collins Study Bible NRSV translation is the recommended text. All translations are welcome, however, and we will do multi-translation text analysis again.

Thank you for a lively and well-attended class. I look forward to future study with you. Yes, even you, Mr. Kilpatrick.


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