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RLGN1302 New Testament History


May have been written as a 'circular letter' Intended to be read in several ... are commanded to obey their parents (fathers) who are, in turn, commanded to ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: RLGN1302 New Testament History

RLGN1302New Testament History
  • The Pauline Epistles

The Pauline Epistles
  • Ephesians
  • May have been written as a circular letter
  • Intended to be read in several different churches
  • The words e? ?fes? are not in the oldest MSS
  • More general in nature
  • These characteristics have led some scholars to
    conclude that Ephesians is not really a genuine
    letter of Paul

The Pauline Epistles
  • Ephesians (Continued)
  • The first half of the letter deals with the
    indicative of Christian existence in Christhow
    God views believers
  • The second half deals with the imperative of
    Christian existence in Christthe goal toward
    which all Christians should press through the
    empowerment of the Holy Spirit

The Pauline Epistles
  • Ephesians (Continued)
  • In the opening sections of the letter, most of
    the verbs describing the believers relationship
    with or standing before God are past or perfect
    tense verbs.

The Pauline Epistles
  • Ephesians (Continued)
  • In this section of the letter, Paul describes the
    exalted status of the believer and explains how
    believers have come to attain it.
  • 28-10 is one of the most succinct statements of
    the source, method, and purpose of salvation in
    all of Pauls writings

The Pauline Epistles
  • Ephesians (Continued)
  • These three verses clearly state that salvation
    cannot be earned and that it is given for the
    purpose of conforming the life of the believer to
    the example of Christ.

The Pauline Epistles
  • Ephesians (Continued)
  • In 211, Paul begins a section that describes the
    benefits of the believers association with
  • 211-13-Inclusion in the covenant relationship
    with God from which they had formerly been
  • 214-15-??? and unity

The Pauline Epistles
  • Ephesians (Continued)
  • 216-22-Reconciliation with God
  • Chapter 3 is an extended doxology (word of
    praise) that serves as a transition to the
    practical application that Paul will make of the
    believers status with God through Christ.

The Pauline Epistles
  • Ephesians (Continued)
  • Chapter 4 begins the imperative section of the
    letter. Here Paul lays out the responsibility of
    each believer to appropriate the presence of God
    in his or her life in a responsible manner that
    demonstrates the character of God, embodied in
    Jesus as the Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit
    (Trinitarian Ethic)

The Pauline Epistles
  • Ephesians (Continued)
  • All believers are enjoined to live a life worthy
    of their calling by God, demonstrating the unity
    that God models and desires for His people.
  • God also places specially chosen persons in the
    churches to facilitate growth among His people

The Pauline Epistles
  • Ephesians (Continued)
  • These specially gifted persons are tasked
    (412-13)with the responsibility to either
  • Equip the saints, do the work of ministry, and
    build up the body of Christ (Catholic
    interpretation) or
  • Equip the saints for the work of ministry to
    build up the body of Christ (Protestant

The Pauline Epistles
  • Ephesians (Continued)
  • The goal is maturity which is Christlikeness
    manifested in a?ap? (413-16)
  • Paul develops the metaphor of the Church as the
    Body of Christ
  • For this reason, believers must abandon the old
    way of life and put on the new way of life
  • This new way of life is sketched in 425-519

The Pauline Epistles
  • Ephesians (Continued)
  • In 521-69 Paul adapts a Greco-Roman convention
    called the haustafel or house table. It is the
    list of rules provided by the owner of the house
    (the man) outlining his expectations for the
    various members. Because the man writes the
    rules, he is never addressed.

The Pauline Epistles
  • Ephesians (Continued)
  • In Pauls adaptation of this convention, which he
    uses to address the issue of interpersonal
    relationships, the man is actually addressed more
    than any of the others. By implication, this
    means that the man is responsible for providing a
    Christlike model for other members of the
    household to follow. This is the essence of

The Pauline Epistles
  • Ephesians (Continued)
  • The whole section begins with 521 in which Paul
    enjoins mutual submission upon all members of the
    community of faith without regard to status or
    gender or age. This submission is voluntary and
    is the basis of unity.

The Pauline Epistles
  • Ephesians (Continued)
  • In its particulars Paul says that women should
    submit to the leadership of their husbands who
    are responsible for demonstrating Christlike
    a?ap? for their wives (522-33)
  • Submission is not based on gender superiority and
  • ??ap? precludes the abuse of the wives voluntary
    submission by the husbands

The Pauline Epistles
  • Ephesians (Continued)
  • Children are commanded to obey their parents
    (fathers) who are, in turn, commanded to teach
    their children by word and example so that they
    are prepared for the Lords service (61-4),
    c.f., (Dt. 64-9).
  • Paul recognizes the need for fathers to model
  • He also recognizes the role that children have to
    play in the stability of the family and the

The Pauline Epistles
  • Ephesians (Continued)
  • Slaves are commanded to be genuinely obedient to
    masters, who are commanded to bear in mind that
    such earthly distinctions have no bearing with
    God who is the Master par excellence of all
    persons (65-9)

The Pauline Epistles
  • Ephesians (Continued)
  • Finally, Paul challenges his readers to avail
    themselves of all the provisions God has made for
    themthe whole armor of Godwhich will enable
    them to withstand evil and stand firm in their
  • The armor that is Pauls model is Roman armor
  • It is suitable only for forward movement and
    offers no protection for retreat

The Pauline Epistles
  • Philippians
  • The literary form of this letter is a thank you
  • Paul uses the occasion, however, to address a
    much more serious issue a lack of unity
  • Paul uses the thanksgiving section to affirm his
    confidence in his friends

The Pauline Epistles
  • Philippians (Continued)
  • In 127, however, Paul changes the tone to issue
    a mild challenge for the Philippians to be
    faithful in their conduct. He gently reminds
    them that their personal conduct is a powerful
    validation (or invalidation) of their faith.

The Pauline Epistles
  • Philippians (Continued)
  • In Ch. 2, Paul gets to the real meat of the
    letter. He reminds them that unity in the
    fellowship is one of the marks of Christlikeness
    that is essential to their testimony.

The Pauline Epistles
  • Philippians (Continued)
  • In 25-11 Paul uses a hymn fragment to show his
    readers that their model for the behavior Paul is
    espousing is no less that the Lord Himself
  • In 212-18 Paul teaches them that the application
    of the pattern of Christs humility is personal
    humility in their relationships with each other
    in the fellowship.

The Pauline Epistles
  • Philippians (Continued)
  • In 219-30 Paul gives an update on Epaphroditus,
    who was the Philippians emissary to Paul and
    actually carried their financial gift to Paul.
  • To make his point about the need for humility,
    Paul cites his own example. Here he gives a
    brief résumé of his Jewish pedigree.

The Pauline Epistles
  • Philippians (Continued)
  • Paul concludes, however, that his human and
    Jewish status profits nothing. He had come to
    realize that the only thing that was important
    pursuing Christlikeness. This was the goal of
    his faith.
  • He challenges all of them to follow his example
    and to be wary of those who dont.

The Pauline Epistles
  • Philippians (Continued)
  • Finally, in 42-3, Paul directly addresses the
    two women whose dispute in the fellowship has
    polarized the congregation. And attempts to
    enlist the help of other mature Christians in the
    community to help them resolve their

The Pauline Epistles
  • Philippians (Continued)
  • In 44-9 Paul lays out an approach to life in
    community that will produce unity in the
    fellowship and personal Christlikeness. This

The Pauline Epistles
  • Philippians (Continued)
  • An Awareness of the perception of those outside
    the community
  • An awareness the Lords presence and coming
  • Constant prayer
  • Determination to pursue high ideals personally
    and to look for these same ideal in others

The Pauline Epistles
  • Philippians (Continued)
  • In 410-20 Paul finally and formally thanks the
    Philippians for their gift. In a very
    Stoic-sounding section, Paul tells his friends
    that he has learned to be content in all of
    lifes circumstances because of the strength he
    receives from the Lord.

The Pauline Epistles
  • Colossians
  • In this letter, Paul challenges a heresy that
    devalues the deity of Christ
  • Paul refers to Christ as the head of the church
  • The macro-issue of this letter is the supremacy
    of Christ

The Pauline Epistles
  • Colossians (Continued)
  • Some scholars have challenged the Pauline
    authorship of this letter because of its high
  • All that is known of the so-called Colossian
    heresy is what can be discerned from the issues
    Paul addresses.

The Pauline Epistles
  • Colossians (Continued)
  • Some of the issues that Paul addresses in this
    section (26-23) are
  • Christological
  • Jesus as the image of the invisible God (115)
  • Supreme over creation (115)
  • The agent of creation and sustenance of all of
    creation (116-17)

The Pauline Epistles
  • Colossians (Continued)
  • Issues (Continued)
  • Christological (Continued)
  • The Head of the Church
  • The fullness of God ((119)
  • The agent of human reconciliation to God
  • Ritual issues-The heresy appears to have been an
    eclectic mixture of several religious and
    philosophical traditions. Paul warns his readers
    not to be swayed by such speculation. He reminds
    them that

The Pauline Epistles
  • Colossians (Continued)
  • Issues (Continued)
  • Ritual Issues (Continued)
  • Christ is the fullness of divinity in bodily form
  • Believers should not allow themselves to become
    entangled in ritual issues or fall prey to the
    temptation to mistake participation in such
    rituals for genuine spirituality

The Pauline Epistles
  • Colossians (Continued)
  • In ch. 3 Paul turns to the practical expressions
    of faith that validate the testimony of the
    community and its members
  • Put away old habits that belong to a worldly
    lifestyle (31-11)
  • Give practical expression to Christian character
  • Make sure that ??? flourishes (315-17)

The Pauline Epistles
  • Colossians (Continued)
  • Practical expressions (Continued)
  • A brief Haustafel (318-41) gives direction to
    interpersonal relationships
  • Constant prayer
  • Wisdom in relation to non-believers
  • Concluding Remarks

The Pauline Epistles
  • 1 Thessalonians
  • The macro-issue of both 1 and 2 Thessalonians
    is eschatology and events leading up to the
    pa???s?a (parousia) or Second Coming of Christ.
  • 1 Thessalonians may be the oldest of all writings
    in the Christian New Testament
  • According to Acts, Paul only spent about three
    weeks in the city before he was forced to move

The Pauline Epistles
  • 1 Thessalonians (Continued)
  • In the first chapter, Paul writes to compliment
    them on their faithfulness during persecution so
    soon after their conversion.
  • He also reminds (26-12) them of his gentle
    ministry among them.

The Pauline Epistles
  • 1 Thessalonians (Continued)
  • Through Chapter 3, Paul discusses his joy at
    learning of their faithfulness in spite of
    persecution and assures them of his desire to
    return to complete the teaching he had begun,

The Pauline Epistles
  • 1 Thessalonians (Continued)
  • Chapter 4 begins the practical section of the
    letter. Paul gives several admonitions about the
    nature of the Christian lifestyle. It includes
  • The avoidance of sexual immorality
  • The practice of a?ap?
  • The need to live in a responsible manner

The Pauline Epistles
  • 1 Thessalonians (Continued)
  • In 417, Paul begins a section on eschatological
    issues sparked, evidently, by the death of some
    members and their status.
  • Paul reminds them that those who die in the Lord
    are secure. They will be resurrected when the
    Lord comes back. This assurance should give
    grieving loved ones comfort.

The Pauline Epistles
  • 1 Thessalonians (Continued)
  • As an aside, the word a?pa?? in 417, translated
    caught up, is the basis of the doctrine of the
    rapture of the church. This is the only place in
    the New Testament where this word is used with
    this meaning.

The Pauline Epistles
  • 1 Thessalonians (Continued)
  • In relation to the certain return of Christ, in
    ch. 5 Paul gives some admonitions concerned with
    everyday living. Primarily, Christian living
    should be qualitatively different and morally
    superior to that of their non-Christian neighbors.

The Pauline Epistles
  • 1 Thessalonians (Continued)
  • This means that Christians must be model citizens
    who work to earn their own living while they wait
    on the Lord.
  • They should allow ??? to blossom and flourish
    among them, along with joyfulness, prayerfulness
    and thankfulness

The Pauline Epistles
  • 1 Thessalonians (Continued)
  • They should not put out the Spirits fire by
    disregarding prophetic admonitions. The should
    assess them carefully, implementing the good
    (that which facilitates ???) and reject that
    which is destructive either to the individual or
    the community.

The Pauline Epistles
  • 1 Thessalonians (Continued)
  • In his concluding remarks, Paul reminds his
    readers Gods aim is to produce ??? in the
    community as the evidence of His work among them.
    If this happens, they will be ready to meet the
    Lord when He comes.

The Pauline Epistles
  • 2 Thessalonians
  • Paul opens this letter by offering a word of
    encouragement to his readers
  • God will punish their persecutors
  • God will give them relief
  • Paul continues to pray for them

The Pauline Epistles
  • 2 Thessalonians (Continued)
  • Eschatological issues
  • When will the end come?
  • Not until the man of lawlessness is revealed
  • The man of lawlessness is part of the
    antichrist tradition in Jewish theology and
    religious speculation
  • For Paul, this person is the embodiment of
    everything that opposes God. (As opposed to the
    same concept in 1 and 2 John where it seems to be
    a prevailing attitude)

The Pauline Epistles
  • 2 Thessalonians (Continued)
  • Paul contends that this person has not yet been
    revealed because he is being restrained. Paul
    does not specify what the restraint is. Some
    suggestions that have been offered are
  • The Church (which will eventually be taken up,
    c.f. 1 Thes. 417)
  • The Holy Spirit
  • Human government (Which God has ordained
    precisely to restrain evil, c.f., Rom. 134-5)

The Pauline Epistles
  • 2 Thessalonians (Continued)
  • Other admonitions
  • Paul challenges them, in the mean time, to be
  • He asks them to continue to pray for Paul and his

The Pauline Epistles
  • 2 Thessalonians (Continued)
  • He warns themagainagainst idleness as they wait
    on the Lord (c.f., 1 Thes. 411-12, 514)
  • Such behavior is contrary to Pauls example
  • It is a negative representation of Christian
    faith to outsiders
  • Persons who will not work, should not eat
  • Shun those who disregard this admonition
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