The Epistles of Bible are an amazing genre of literature! They are letters from Paul, Peter, John, and Jude to the churches. Particularly in Paul’s case, the letters are not to strangers, but to people with whom he was intimately familiar. Paul planted these churches and mentored these people. So he knew them well.
Therefore, when reading these letters, one should read them just as they were intended. One should hear Paul’s (and the other authors’) heart cry out to these people. Just as if you were reading a letter from a friend, you should also try to hear the message the way the original audience would have heard it.
In my recent Bible Interpretation class with Sarasota Bible College, my students were asked to do a short essay on their interpretation of a passage of their choice from an epistle. Here are the ones that wanted to share online…
- Galatians 5:16-26 (Anita G.)
- Galatians 5:13-18 (Justin G.)
- Philippians 1:1-2 (Nancy K.)
- 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (Tonya S.)
When studying the epistles, it is important to have a good commentary that will help you with things like historical and literary context. I have added a section to the BibleDude Store that will help you find a good commentary for the various epistles. There are two sections in the store that you may find useful…
I would love to hear about studies that you are doing in the epistles! Please let me know if you are doing something or if you would like to study something together with the!