New Testament Epistles

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The Seven Unquestionably Authentic Letters of St. Paul

Date Letter Salient Features
30-36? Conversion Stories: Acts 9:1-22; 22:3-16; 26:2-18 (read one, browse the other two). Compare Galatians 1:11-24.
50-51? 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10; 4:1-16
Reactions to Timothy's report on circumstances in Thessalonica.
54? Galatians 1:1-5; 2:11-3:14; 4:6-7; 5:1-26
Big problem: Do you have to be a Jew to be a Christian? Paul's fight with Judaizers settled by Council of Jerusalem (see Acts 15, which in turn requires reading Acts 2 and 10 for full context).
54-58? Philippians 1:1-11; 2:1-17; 3:2-11
Imprisoned by Romans and in danger of death.
54-57? 1 Corinthians 1:1-9; 1:1-2:4; 4:6-20; 5:1-5; 6:9-7:39; 13; 15
Misunderstandings with a favorite community. It is unfortunate that we do not have the letters of the Corinthians written to Paul. We're listening to half of a conversation.
54-55? 2 Corinthians 1:1-7; 3:4-6; 4:7-17; 5:17-21; 6:14-7:1; 12:1-10
More clarifications, disagreements & pleading. Scholars disagree about how many letters are represented by 1 & 2 Cor. It seems that several letters may have been gathered together in these two epistles.
57-58? Romans 1:1-7 1:18-2:16; 3:21-31; 5:12-6:23; 7:14-25; 8; 12:2; 13:1-7
A comprehensive treatise on freedom, sin and grace.
56-63 Philemon Sending a slave back to his master!

"And count the forbearance of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures" (2 Pet 3:15).

Other epistles (letters) attributed to Paul:

In the early Church, the letter to the Hebrews was also thought by some to be from Paul, though his name is not mentioned in the text. The placement of the letter in the NT manuscripts shows that the Church was uncertain of its authorship.