home

 

1 in Faith: A Christian Bible Study

     

Home


 

   

Exegesis
  Confessions
  Inerrancy
  Rules 
NewTestament
  Paul 
  Gospels
  Acts
  Others
OldTestament 
  Pentateuch
  Writings 
  Prophets 
Worship  
  Hymns 
  Prayers    
  Scriptures 
  Sermons 
Ethics
  Ecology
  Rights 
  Sex 
  War 
Dialogue  
  Interfaith 
  Links
  Qs&As 
  References 
Parables 

Site Map

 

 

The Letters of Paul

The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible states: "Paul's letters are the oldest Christian documents we have. The first of them was written within 25 years of Jesus' death, and the last may have been written before any of the gospels." It lists the following letters in the New Testament as Paul's: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon.

The order of these letters in the New Testament is based on their length not on their date, because the letters are not dated and do not always contain evidence of the time they were written. Philemon is the shortest letter of Paul in the New Testament. He may have written other letters, of course, but these are the letters that the church had and chose to include in its new scripture.

Galatians

1 Corinthians

2 Corinthians

1 and 2 Thessalonians

Romans

Colossians

Ephesians

Philippians

1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon

In the letters of Paul we find the apostle to the Gentiles defending four teachings over against the leadership of the church in Jerusalem. First, Paul asserts that the Jewish law is not necessary for salvation. Moreover, the pursuit of perfection through the law, he believes, is doomed to failure. Therefore, he preaches that we can only be saved by the grace of God through faith.

Second, Paul argues that the most important spiritual gifts are those that build up the church, namely teaching and preaching, and especially love. The gift of love is also Paul's way of summarizing Jewish law, for those who believe the law is important. The law of love, according to Paul, is the will of God, which we know in Jesus Christ.

Third, Paul affirms that salvation is in Christ Jesus alone. Paul argues that the Son of the Father is the Lord, in whom the fullness of God dwells, who has been given all authority by the Father. The Spirit of God, Paul teaches, is united with God in Christ Jesus. Thus, Paul proclaims that there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one church.

Fourth, Paul asserts that the promise of the gospel is resurrection from the dead with new, spiritual bodies, to live in the kingdom of God under the eternal rule of the Lord Jesus Christ. The kingdom has not yet come, Paul believes, but is coming soon with the day of the Lord. Therefore, he warns, those who hope to be saved must be alert in their faith.

These teachings of Paul about faith, love, Jesus Christ, and the resurrection from the dead will appear over and over again in the gospel accounts of the New Testament. Paul's free interpretation of the Jewish scriptures will also be confirmed by the gospel accounts. Finally, as the gospels are clearly written for Gentiles as well as Jews, we should not be surprised to find that they generally reinforce the preaching of Paul.

 

 Home   Exegesis   Scripture   Worship   Ethics   Dialogue   Parables   Email

1 in Faith: A Christian Bible Study Copyright 2000 by Robert Traer