NT Epistles Wesley Seminary C.Works.
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- Paul uses a secretary, (an amanuensis)
- The secretary thames author's ideas and writes them down in his syntax
- typically report divine or transcendent visions that are granted to a seer and then interpreted by angels or others spiritual beings.
- symbolism is prominent
- content of visions often involves bizarre creatures, fantastic spectacles, and mysterious events similar to Revelation
- clear distinction between good and evil
- ex. themes: end of world or progress transformation of world, defeat of evil, vindication of righteousness
- things that symbolism reality of the historical time as well as unseen realities and future.
Authorship of Hebrews
- also collected under general Epistles(general issues)
- was circulated as being Paul
- Issue: no mention of Paul in the beginning, actually no author mentioned(Collective scholars believe Paul didn't write)
- Possible authors: Barnabas, Apollos, Priscilla maybe a woman(but most likely a man)
cited as an example of false prophet motivated by greed or avarice (2 Peter 2:15 "False teachers)
refers to O.T. account of Balaam in Numbers 22-24 "prophet for hire" King Balak hires to curse enemies, but of course God makes Balaam deliver blessings. But the main point is that he was a prophet for the money rather than for God's work to start.
- a man who can lead his household, married to only one woman
- God's very steward
- duties seem to include proclamation and teaching
- should not lead the church with false motives
- 1 Timothy 5:22 "Do not ordain anyone hastily, and do not participate in the sins of others, keep yourself pure." NRSV
Factors of Paul Writing Romans
- Expulsion of the Jews from Rome under Claudius
- possible church recontruction
- possible tensions b/w Jewish an gentile believers somewhat possible due to the expulsion of the Jews and there return.
- Paul seeking financial help in his ministry
- greek: Sarx
- the opponent of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8)
- Unpleasing to God
- Slavery, powerful
General or Catholic Epistles
James, 1 and 2 peter, 1,2,3 John, Jude an sometimes Hebrews
Not grouped in Pauline letters
- Directions concerning Marriage (1 Corinthians 7)
- Houseband love your wife just as Christ loved the church. wives respect your husband( Eph 5)
- Gender roles
- PLEASE SAY MORE NOT JUST THIS
appears in Revelation when John refers to unrepentant prophetess and falsely teaching. also refers to the O.T. Story of the name Jezebel
- Romans 1-4
- Legal imagery of redemption in Jesus Christ
- Everyone is guilty, but Jesus paid the penalty
- Language of the Christian New Testament and septuagint
- and most early church writers or church fathers and mothers
- imagery that is repeatedly used in the N.T. to refer to Jesus as the sacrifice,(pure,innocent)
- from the latin word septuaginta (meaning seventy)
- a translation of the hebrew bible into Koine Greek
- Roman numeral acronym LXX refers to the assumed seventy Jewish scholars who completed the translation as early as the late 2nd century BCE
- Mentioned in Genesis, Psalm 110, and Hebrews
- King of Salem and priest of the Most High God
- mysterious roots no mother or father mentioned
- Resembling the Son of God
- Important for the writer of hebrews because it ties Jesus to a priestly line as well as a royal line. Jesus also is THE high priest and well as the king of kings.
- Roman Emperor from 54 to 68
- Early Persecutor of christians
- Peter and Paul believed to be executed under his reign
- is a heretical sect that
- was in the area and mentioned in Revelation when John is talking about the
- church in Ephesus. Possibly that they were people that held the teachings of
- Balaam. Which also could be referring
- to the Conqueror of the people. Which would be Rome. (Rev. 2:6, 14-15)
- the second coming of Christ
- importance: because for those in the first generation or soon after Christ death and resurrection like Paul thought for most of his ministry this day was coming very soon, views change. But there is still and waiting for the return that influence all of the writings
- - The active role of
- trusting in the power of the Spirit of being baptized into the church means
- participating in Christ death and resurrection. This also means participating
- in the new age that Christ ushered in through the death and resurrection. Where
- the Spirit is the power and life is the result.
Pastoral epistles and the issue of authorship
- Often called
- Pastoral Epistles because they deal with church governances and doctrine
-Letters written to individuals instead of a group Timothy and Titus
- Authorship: The style and the vocabulary are
- different from the other Pauline letters as well as some of the other meanings
- of the words are different. Also difference in timeline of Paul’s life and
- ministry that clash with other letters.
Greek for Faith or placing your trust in something else. Requires actions and visible loyalty.
- Examples: Romans and James have different yet similar views of Faith
Paul- Faith leads to salvation and works isn’t all you need.
James- faith leads to salvation and should push you to do works
- Authors attributing their own writings to other
- people, such as a revered teacher or prominent church leader who had influenced
- their thinking. Also thought to be done to give their writings a larger public
- Examples: Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Peter,
- Thecla, possibly James, Timothy 1 and 2
- It refers to the
- “end times” but rather than the end of the world it lifts up the notion of
- focus on Jesus ministry ushered in with his birth, death and resurrection and his
- continued legacy. It’s not about the world is ending, but the world is being
- transformed by God through Jesus.
That the blessings and benefits of the end times can be experienced as a present reality
Shadow/Reality (according to Hebrews)
- Socrates allegory
- of two men chained in a cave watching shadow puppets on the wall taking this to
- be reality. Until one see where the shadows are coming from and then is open to
- the true reality of all things. Why would one go back?
- -With Hebrews: The author of Hebrews
- says that Christ is the real thing; Christ is the world outside the cave. To go
- back to following the old covenant, and prophets, and the Levites is like going
- back to the chained people in the cave. Why church would you want to go back.
- Once you have seen the reality of Christ there is no turning back.
Social Stratification of Pauline Churches
1 Corinthians and church unity
- Paul was not worried so much as to who was in the church, but what they were
Paul used two images one that the congregation is the temple of God and in the community the Spirit of God dwells in the whole community.
Secondly we are the body of Christ. Together we make up the whole body.
- This idea that Paul was concerned with the message of giving your self to Christ and then the social order and unity of the church would
- come together when we realize we are all connected.
- Paul talks a lot about living
- in the Spirit. And connects the Spirit to all creation and the power of life.
- This Spirit being the same Spirit that raised Christ from the grave and is the
- Spirit that rules and has power in the new age the already not yet.
- One of the seven churches in
- Asia Minor that the author of Revelation was writing to.
- Where we here about the false
- prophetess who was teaching that it was all right to eat sacrificed meat, and
- to honor other gods in order to get by. John calls her Jezebel which refers to
- the Hebrew scriptures of Jezebel.
Widows (in the Pastoral Epistles)
- Is a program the early church set
- up to care for the widows of the community? Widows that had no families or
- anyone to help.
- - The church would help if they
- devoted themselves to prayer and good works
- - Two problems arise some had
- family to help them and so they were taking money to help the family. And others were young and decided to
- drop the program and remarry and abused what they just used for the time being.
- -Example: 1 Timothy 5:3-16 this is
- why he puts limits on for “real widows”
That falling the Law is not a matter of getting into God's grace or earn your salvation
the witness that Law is a way of you responding to God's grace (remaining faithful)
Deutero-Pauline Writings and the issue of Authorship
- "Secondary" Pauline Epistles(letters that are difficult or easy to tell that it wasn't Paul's writing or thoughts) :
- stylistic and theological differences, writings under a false name (pseudepigraphon) common at the time
- some in the early writes did this for profit, others attributing to teachers the heard teach so secondary, other to get their work to a bigger mass of people and more attention.
- Roman Emperor 81-96 CE
- referred to himself as a god as did many kings and emperors and demanded to be worshipped similar to the image of the "beast" in Revelation
- But not known to have inflicted violent persecution on Christians that is prominent in Revelation.
- Example of symbols or imagery in revelation that refers to present realities in the historical context
- Referred to as also the "second Nero"
- Revelation is dated near the end of his reign in 95 CE
rites that honor the Emperor, his family , and gods of the household
- if that god was powerful enough to bring them to power than that god is worthy enough to be honored.
- roots back to the hellenistic ways when heroes were honored as if gods.
Factors for Paul writing 1 Corinthians
- 1st reason: sent to answer a letter sent by the Corinth church asking about laws to follow and so on. (Marriage status(ch7), eating sacrificed meats(8-10), spiritual gifts(12-14))
- 2nd reason: response to a report Chloe's people basically Chloe's people were telling on the Corinth church. Telling Paul what was maybe really going on. examples what teacher to follow Paul or Apollos, man sleeping with stepmother(ch. 5), suing each other (ch.6) abuses at lords supper (11:17-34) and more....
We make the mistake if we try to separate theology from the context of the audience to whom he or she is writing to.
Paul in much of the letter is talking about bringing Jews and Gentile on equal ground. Possible reasons for writing: sponsorship his mission to Spain, getting ready for trip to Jerusalem, or reconciling the Jews and Gentile difference
Major themes: Righteousness of God, Justification by faith, Obedience of Faith, Universal Availability of Salvation, Death and Resurrection, God and Israel, and Obedience to the government, helping the weak.
Major themes: call for church unity, wisdom and power, Christ crucified, Resurrection of the body, Christian freedom
Practical matters discussed in the book: Lord's Supper, Sexual morality, excommunication, Sacrificed food to idols, love, Spiritual gifts.
Paul was dealing with a church in need of guidance practical and spiritual. Paul is writing a response to what the church in Corinth need help with and what possible Chloe's people thought needed guidance.
Themes: Paul's Ministry, Fund-Raising, Apostolic authority, Boasting
Paul is writing back to a church that isn't getting it fully. and Paul is telling them where his authority comes from, and what his ministry is all about and why you should support the church and so on.
The majority of the letter is describing the person in relation to the Law. Following Christ and the Law. Also gentiles in the church and Law,
Themes; Mystery of God, Elevation of the Church, Idealized status of believers,
Paul is calling the church to act worthy of their calling as believers. in the first half of the book things are mostly good and conflict comes later half. Also describes a Christian household.
Themes: Incarnation, Humility, Suffering and Fellowship
Themes: Cosmic Christ, Realized Eschatology,Knowledge and maturity,
How to live and now what it means to live a new life in Christ.
Pastoral Epistles Themes to help with Scripture ID
These letters are similar to each other and differ from other letters because they are written to individual rather than a group or a church. Helps those in leadership and encourages.
They help with the governing of the church, False teaching and doctrine, Women in ministry, suffering and shame
Themes: Christianity and Judaism, Christology, Jesus as High Priest, Pilgrim people, rest, suffering and shame, warnings to the Hebrews,
Major important note is two things, Jesus is above all things and is the highest of all classes and etc. King of kings, high priest and etc... Also that Christians share in the history of the Jewish people because of this new birth into the Church through Jesus Christ
Most important thing is Works of faith. not that works will save you, but that because you are saved you should continue to do works. almost the way the Jewish faith believe in obedience to the law because it helps them be faithful to the grace already given.
1 Peter 2 Peter
- Stay firm on the knowledge of Christ,
- Suffering we endure bearable because of the suffering Christ endured. Remaining Faithful even when we don't know the time Christ is returning.
Themes: Humanity, Atonement, sin, Conflict and schism, love
Themes: Unveiling, Corruption of humanity and in the church communities, God's judgment, God controls the future, Worship.
realities of present historical context, and unseen realities to be interpreted, as well as future events,etc..
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