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The Pauline epistles, Epistles of Paul, or Letters of Paul, are the 13 New Testament
New Testament
books which have the name Paul (Παῦλος) as the first word, hence claiming authorship by Paul the Apostle. Among these letters are some of the earliest extant Christian documents. They provide an insight into the beliefs and controversies of early Christianity and as part of the canon of the New Testament
New Testament
they are foundational texts for both Christian theology
Christian theology
and ethics. The Epistle to the Hebrews, although it does not bear his name, was traditionally considered Pauline for a thousand years, but from the 16th century onwards opinion steadily moved against Pauline authorship and few scholars now ascribe it to Paul, mostly because it does not read like any of his other epistles in style and content.[1] Most scholars agree that Paul really wrote seven of the Pauline epistles, but that four of the epistles in Paul's name are pseudepigraphic; scholars are divided on the authenticity of two of the epistles. The Pauline epistles
Pauline epistles
are usually placed between the Acts of the Apostles and the general epistles in modern editions. Most Greek manuscripts, however, place the General epistles first,[2] and a few minuscules (175, 325, 336, and 1424) place the Pauline epistles
Pauline epistles
at the end of the New Testament.

Contents

1 Order 2 Authenticity 3 Lost Pauline epistles 4 See also 5 References 6 Bibliographic resources 7 External links

Order[edit] In the order they appear in the New Testament, the Pauline epistles are:

Name Addressees Greek Latin Abbreviations

Full Min.

Romans Church at Rome Πρὸς Ῥωμαίους Epistola ad Romanos Rom Ro

First Corinthians Church at Corinth Πρὸς Κορινθίους Αʹ Epistola I ad Corinthios 1 Cor 1C

Second Corinthians Church at Corinth Πρὸς Κορινθίους Βʹ Epistola II ad Corinthios 2 Cor 2C

Galatians Church at Galatia Πρὸς Γαλάτας Epistola ad Galatas Gal G

Ephesians Church at Ephesus Πρὸς Ἐφεσίους Epistola ad Ephesios Eph E

Philippians Church at Philippi Πρὸς Φιλιππησίους Epistola ad Philippenses Phil Phi

Colossians Church at Colossae Πρὸς Κολοσσαεῖς Epistola ad Colossenses Col C

First Thessalonians Church at Thessaloniki Πρὸς Θεσσαλονικεῖς Αʹ Epistola I ad Thessalonicenses 1 Thess 1Th

Second Thessalonians Church at Thessaloniki Πρὸς Θεσσαλονικεῖς Βʹ Epistola II ad Thessalonicenses 2 Thess 2Th

Hebrews* Hebrew Christians Πρὸς Έβραίους Epistola ad Hebraeus Heb H

First Timothy Saint Timothy Πρὸς Τιμόθεον Αʹ Epistola I ad Timotheum 1 Tim 1T

Second Timothy Saint Timothy Πρὸς Τιμόθεον Βʹ Epistola II ad Timotheum 2 Tim 2T

Titus Saint Titus Πρὸς Τίτον Epistola ad Titum Tit T

Philemon Saint Philemon Πρὸς Φιλήμονα Epistola ad Philemonem Philem P

This ordering is remarkably consistent in the manuscript tradition, with very few deviations. The evident principle of organization is descending length of the Greek text, but keeping the four Pastoral epistles addressed to individuals in a separate final section. The only anomaly is that Galatians precedes the slightly longer Ephesians.[3] In modern editions, the formally anonymous Epistle to the Hebrews
Epistle to the Hebrews
is placed at the end of Paul's letters and before the General epistles. This practice was popularized through the 4th century Vulgate
Vulgate
by Jerome, who was aware of ancient doubts about its authorship, and is also followed in most medieval Byzantine manuscripts. With hardly any exceptions, though, the manuscripts do include Hebrews somewhere among Paul's letters.[3] The placement of Hebrews among the Pauline epistles
Pauline epistles
is less consistent in the manuscripts:

between Romans and 1 Corinthians
1 Corinthians
(i.e., in order by length without splitting the Epistles to the Corinthians): Papyrus 46
Papyrus 46
and minuscules 103, 455, 1961, 1964, 1977, 1994. between 2 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
and Galatians: minuscules 1930, 1978, and 2248 between Galatians and Ephesians: implied by the numbering in B. However, in B, Galatians ends and Ephesians
Ephesians
begins on the same side of the same folio (page 1493); similarly 2 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians
ends and Hebrews begins on the same side of the same folio (page 1512).[4] between 2 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians
and 1 Timothy
1 Timothy
(i.e., before the Pastorals): א, A, B, C, H, I, P, 0150, 0151, and about 60 minuscules (e.g. 218, 632) after Philemon: D, 048, E, K, L and the majority of minuscules. omitted: F and G

Authenticity[edit] Main article: Authorship of the Pauline epistles In all of these epistles except the Epistle
Epistle
to the Hebrews, Paul does claim to be the author and writer. However, the contested letters may have been forgeries, as that seems to have been a problem among the early church as a whole.[5] Seven letters (with consensus dates) [6] considered genuine by most scholars:

First Thessalonians (c. 50 AD) Galatians (c. 53) First Corinthians (c. 53–54) Philippians
Philippians
(c. 55) Philemon (c. 55) Second Corinthians (c. 55–56) Romans (c. 57)

The letters on which scholars are about evenly divided:[7]

Colossians Second Thessalonians

The letters thought to be pseudepigraphic by about 80% of scholars:[7]

Ephesians First Timothy Second Timothy Titus

Finally, Epistle
Epistle
to the Hebrews, though anonymous and not really in the form of a letter, has long been included among Paul's collected letters, but most scholars now regard it as not written by Paul.[7] Lost Pauline epistles[edit] Paul's own writings are often thought to indicate several of his letters that have not been preserved:

A first epistle to Corinth,[8] referenced at 1 Corinthians
1 Corinthians
5:9 A third epistle to Corinth, also called the Severe Letter, referenced at 2 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
2:4 and 2 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
7:8–9 An earlier epistle to the Ephesians
Ephesians
referenced at Ephesians
Ephesians
3:3–4 The Epistle
Epistle
to the Laodiceans,[9] referenced at Colossians
Colossians
4:16

See also[edit]

Bible
Bible
portal

New Testament
New Testament
athletic metaphors New Testament
New Testament
military metaphors

References[edit]

^ The New Jerome
Jerome
Biblical Commentary, publ. Geoffrey Chapman, 1989, chapter 60, at p. 920, col. 2 "That Paul is neither directly nor indirectly the author is now the view of scholars almost without exception. For details, see Kümmel, I[ntroduction to the] N[ew] T[estament, Nashville, 1975] 392–94, 401–03" ^ Metzger, Bruce M. (1987). The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance (PDF). pp. 295–96. ISBN 0198261802. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-06-01.  ^ a b Trobisch, David (1994). Paul's Letter Collection: Tracing the Origins. pp. 1–27. ISBN 0800625978.  ^ Digital Vatican Library (DigiVatLib), Manuscript - Vat.gr.1209 ^ Joseph Barber Lightfoot
Joseph Barber Lightfoot
in his Commentary on the Epistle
Epistle
to the Galatians writes: "At this point [Gal 6:11] the apostle takes the pen from his amanuensis, and the concluding paragraph is written with his own hand. From the time when letters began to be forged in his name (2 Thess 2:2; 3:17) it seems to have been his practice to close with a few words in his own handwriting, as a precaution against such forgeries... In the present case he writes a whole paragraph, summing up the main lessons of the epistle in terse, eager, disjointed sentences. He writes it, too, in large, bold characters (Gr. pelikois grammasin), that his handwriting may reflect the energy and determination of his soul." ^ Robert Wall, New Interpreter's Bible
Bible
Vol. X (Abingdon Press, 2002), pp. 373. ^ a b c New Testament
New Testament
Letter Structure, from Catholic Resources by Felix Just, S.J. ^ Also called A Prior Epistle
Epistle
of Paul to the Corinthians"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-06-23. Retrieved 2006-06-29.  or Paul’s previous Corinthian letter.[1], possibly Third Epistle
Epistle
to the Corinthians ^ "Apologetics Press – Are There Lost Books of the Bible?". apologeticspress.org. 

Bibliographic resources[edit]

Aland, Kurt. “The Problem of Anonymity and Pseudonymity in Christian Literature of the First Two Centuries.” Journal of Theological Studies 12 (1961): 39–49. Bahr, Gordon J. “Paul and Letter Writing in the First Century.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly
Catholic Biblical Quarterly
28 (1966): 465–77. idem, “The Subscriptions in the Pauline Letters.” Journal of Biblical Literature 2 (1968): 27–41. Bauckham, Richard J. “Pseudo-Apostolic Letters.” Journal of Biblical Literature 107 (1988): 469–94. Carson, D.A. “Pseudonymity and Pseudepigraphy.” Dictionary of New Testament Background. Eds. Craig A. Evans and Stanley E. Porter. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2000. 857–64. Cousar, Charles B. The Letters of Paul. Interpreting Biblical Texts. Nashville: Abingdon, 1996. Deissmann, G. Adolf. Bible
Bible
Studies. Trans. Alexander Grieve. 1901. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1988. Doty, William G. Letters in Primitive Christianity. Guides to Biblical Scholarship. New Testament. Ed. Dan O. Via, Jr. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1988. Gamble, Harry Y. “Amanuensis.” Anchor Bible
Bible
Dictionary. Vol. 1. Ed. David Noel Freedman. New York: Doubleday, 1992. Haines-Eitzen, Kim. “‘Girls Trained in Beautiful Writing’: Female Scribes in Roman Antiquity and Early Christianity.” Journal of Early Christian Studies 6.4 (1998): 629–46. Kim, Yung Suk. A Theological Introduction to Paul's Letters. Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books, 2011. Longenecker, Richard N. “Ancient Amanuenses and the Pauline Epistles.” New Dimensions in New Testament
New Testament
Study. Eds. Richard N. Longenecker and Merrill C. Tenney. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1974. 281–97. idem, “On the Form, Function, and Authority of the New Testament Letters.” Scripture and Truth. Eds. D.A. Carson and John D. Woodbridge. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1983. 101–14. Murphy-O’Connor, Jerome. Paul the Letter-Writer: His World, His Options, His Skills. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical, 1995. Richards, E. Randolph. The Secretary in the Letters of Paul. Tübingen: Mohr, 1991. idem, “The Codex and the Early Collection of Paul’s Letters.” Bulletin for Bulletin Research 8 (1998): 151–66. idem, Paul and First-Century Letter Writing: Secretaries, Composition, and Collection. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2004. Robson, E. Iliff. “Composition and Dictation in New Testament Books.” Journal of Theological Studies 18 (1917): 288–301. Stowers, Stanley K. Letter Writing in Greco-Roman Antiquity. Library of Early Christianity. Vol. 8. Ed. Wayne A. Meeks. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1989. Wall, Robert W. “Introduction to Epistolary Literature.” New Interpreter’s Bible. Vol. 10. Ed. Leander E. Keck. Nashville: Abingdon, 2002. 369–91.

External links[edit]

The Marcionite Prologues to the Pauline Epistles Chronological Order of Paul's Letters Chronology of Paul's Letters

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