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 Main Index : Commentaries : PNT : PNT Vol. 2 : Summary of the Epistles


      The Epistles differ in their nature from any other portion of the Scriptures. They are a series of letters to the newly planted churches of the first century, or to individual church members, written, with possibly two or three exceptions, by apostles. These letters are twenty-one in number. I give a list of them with the number of chapters in each in the following table.

Romans 16 Chapters Titus 3 Chapters
I. Corinthians 16 " Philemon 1 "
II. Corinthians 13 " Hebrews 13 "
Galatians 6 " James 5 "
Ephesians 6 " I. Peter 5 "
Philippians 4 " II. Peter 3 "
Colossians 4 " I. John 5 "
I. Thessalonians 5 " II. John 1 "
II. Thessalonians 3 " III. John 1 "
I. Timothy 6 " Jude 1 "
II. Timothy 4 "      

      THE AUTHORS.--The writers of these Letters were Peter, James, John, Jude, and Paul. Other of the apostles may have written, but if so, their productions have not come down to us.

      THE PURPOSE.--These Letters were written, some to particular congregations of believers; some to the church at large, and others to individuals; to encourage, reprove, correct false teaching, and give special instruction in doctrine and practical duties.

      THE SOURCE.--The authors of the Epistles all being apostles or inspired evangelists were under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and all their utterances, as apostles, were by divine dictation.

      CLASSIFICATION.--The Epistles may be classified as follows:
      1. The Pauline Epistles, or those written by the Apostle Paul. These may be subdivided into:
      (1) The Doctrinal, addressed to special churches--Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, and Hebrews.
      (2) Pastoral, addressed to the evangelists, Timothy and Titus.
      (3) Special, addressed to an individual--Philemon.
      2. General Epistles, addressed to the church at large. These are, (1) One of James; (2) Two of Peter; (3) Three of John; (4) One of Jude.

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