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St. Paul’s Life and Teaching – Lecture 2

ST. PAUL’S LIFE AND TEACHING
Fr. Michael Bazzi

 

The 13 Letters of St. Paul in general

Paul supported his converts with:

  1. Prayer
  2. Personal contact
  3. Letters, when necessary, to different communi­ties and persons in Asia Minor and Europe.

 

The 13 letters of St. Paul are divided into 4 groups:

First and Second letters of St. Paul4 Major4 Captivity3 Pastoral
 

First & Second Letter to Thessalonians

Galatians

Romans

1&11 Corinthians

Ephesians

Philippians

Philemon

Colossians

Titus

1&11 Timothy

 

The main themes of the 13 Letters are:

  1. That God is a father who loves us, and the Holy Spirit who consecrates us.
  2. That Jesus made us children of God and brothers and sisters to each other.
  3. That Christians Are called to imitate Christ in their relationship to God and to each other, in love, charity, and kindness.

 

The Structure of the Letters of St. Paul

Each of the Letters of St. Paul has three main parts:

  1. Introduction
  2. The name of the writer or his title
  3. The name of the church or person to whom the letter is addressed
  4. The greetings (Peace)
  5. Thanksgiving to God for all that was praiseworthy in His readers.
  6. Body:
  7. The first chapters include doctrinal teaching.
  8. The last chapters include advice for practical living as Christians.
  9. Conclusion
  10. Personal message
  11. Greetings to individuals or from individuals
  12. Final blessings

 

(1)     Letter to the Romans
1- When was it written?57-58 A.D
2- Where was it written?From Corinth in Greece
3- To whom was it written?To the Christian People of Rome
4- Why was it written (Theme-Message)?Salvation Willed by God the Father and realized by Christ and Achieved through the Holy Spirit. No one is excluded from this salvation.
5- How was it written (outline)?a) 1-3:20 Humanity was lost without the Gospel.

b) 3:21-8:39 Justification through Christ and not through Moses Laws.

c) 9:1-16:27 Jews and Gentiles in God’s plan, the duties of Christians.

 

2)      1st Letter to the Corinthians
1- When was it written?56 A.D.
2- Where was it written?From Ephesus in Turkey
3- To whom was it written?To the people of Corinth-Greece
4- Why was it written (Theme-Message)?Paul answered question about the problems in Corinth (Marriage, Celibacy, relations with the unbelievers, behavior at Liturgical Assemblies, and the resurrection of the dead). Paul assured them that all of them make up the body of Christ.
5- How was it written (outline)?a) 1:10-14:40 Problems in the Christian Communities and the answers.

b) 15:1-16:24 The resurrection.

 

(3)     2nd  Letter to the Corinthians
1- When was it written?56 A.D.
2- Where was it written?From Ephesus in Turkey
3- To whom was it written?To the people of Corinth-Greece
4- Why was it written (Theme-Message)?Paul heard distressing news. He sent harsh letter which we have lost, but has given Titus the task of settling the affairs.
5- How was it written (outline)?a) 1:12-7:4 crises between Paul and Corinthians and Paul’s ministry.

b) 7:5-11:13 Resolution to the crises.

 

(4)     Letter to the Galians
1- When was it written?56 A.D.
2- Where was it written?From Ephesus in Turkey
3- To whom was it written?To the people of Galatians in Turkey.
4- Why was it written (Theme-Message)?Some Jews who were Paul’s converts taught that it is impossible to be saved without keeping the law of Moses accepting Circumcision. Paul told them that salvation is the fruit of not a purely external practices but of living faith blossoming in love.
5- How was it written (outline)?a) 1:1- 2:21 Loyalty to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

b) 3:1-6:18 Faith and liberty and Christian living.

 

(5)     Letter to the Ephesians
1- When was it written?61-63 A.D.
2- Where was it written?From captivity in Rome
3- To whom was it written?To Ephesians in Turkey
4- Why was it written (Theme-Message)?This letter deals with church as body of Christ. This church is the instrument for the making God’s plan of salvation known throughout the Universe. The seven unities of the church are: spirit, hope, one Lord, faith, baptism, church as body of Christ, and the one God.
5- How was it written (outline)?a) 1:1-4:24 Unity and world mission of the church.

b) 4:25-6:20 Daily conduct and expression of Unity.

 

(6)     Letter to the Philippians
1- When was it written?61-63 A.D.
2- Where was it written?From captivity in Rome
3- To whom was it written?To Philippians North Eastern of Greece.
4- Why was it written (Theme-Message)?Paul exhort people to follow humility after the example of Christ, the Son of God, who humbled himself to die on the cross so as to save the mankind.
5- How was it written (outline)?a) 1:1-3:21 Righteousness and the goal in Christ.

b) 4:1-23 Instructions for the community.

 

(7)     Letter to the Colossians
1- When was it written?61-63 A.D.
2- Where was it written?From captivity in Rome
3- To whom was it written?To the congregation at Colossae in East of Ephesus-Turkey.
4- Why was it written (Theme-Message)?The Apostle dwells on the mystery of Christ. He is the eternal son of God. The creator, about all creatures, Lord of the Universe and of the church of the redeemed. Through him we are saved.
5- How was it written (outline)?a) 1:1-2:3 Christ son of God.

b) 2:4-4:18 Warning against false teachers and the ideal Christian life in the world.

 

(8)     1st Letter to the Thessalonians
1- When was it written?51 A.D.
2- Where was it written?From Corinth in Greece.
3- To whom was it written?To Thessalians in North Greece..
4- Why was it written (Theme-Message)?Paul advised not to speculate on Christ’s return but to live exemplary love until the day of his second coming.
5- How was it written (outline)?1:1-5:28 Specific Exhortations.

 

(9)     2nd  Letter to the Thessalonians
1- When was it written?51 A.D.
2- Where was it written?From Corinth in Greece.
3- To whom was it written?To Thessalians in North Greece..
4- Why was it written (Theme-Message)?The end of the world does not mean there will be warming signs. People must go on humbly doing their daily duties. They should be concerned with the quality of their Christian
5- How was it written (outline)?a)1:1-2:17  Warning against deception concerning the Parousia (second coming of Christ.

b) 3:1-18 Exhortations.

 

(10)   1st Letter to Timothy
1- When was it written?65 A.D.
2- Where was it written?From Macedonya-Greece.
3- To whom was it written?To Timothy in Ephesus-Turkey.
4- Why was it written (Theme-Message)?It is called Pastoral letter because it is concerned with the work of a pastor in caring for the community under his care.
5- How was it written (outline)?a) 1:1-5:1-6 Discipline and duties toward others.

b)6:2-6:21 Teaching the true wealth.

 

(11)   Letter to Titus
1- When was it written?65 A.D.
2- Where was it written?From Macedonya-Greece.
3- To whom was it written?To Titus in the Island of Crete-Greece..
4- Why was it written (Theme-Message)?The letter is addressed to Titus as a person in charge of the church and warning against false teachers. Titus was a Gentile Christian, but we are unaware about his place of birth and residence. He appointed Presbyters and Bishops. Paul exhorted the community to serve as leaven for Christianity the social world about it.
5- How was it written (outline)?a) 1:5-16 Pastoral change.

b) 2:1-3:15 Teaching the Christian life.

 

(12)   2nd  Letter to Timothy
1- When was it written?65 A.D.
2- Where was it written?From Macedonya-Greece.
3- To whom was it written?To Timothy in Ephesus-Turkey.
4- Why was it written (Theme-Message)?Paul uses his own life as an example to encourage Timothy to persevere in the faith. Paul is writing as a farewell advice of a father to his spiritual son and contains his last personal message.
5- How was it written (outline)?a) 1:6-4:8 Exhortation to Timothy .

b) 4:9-22 Instructions concerning false teaching.

 

(13)   Letter to Philemon
1- When was it written?61-63 A.D.
2- Where was it written?From captivity in Rome.
3- To whom was it written?To Philemon from Colossae-Greece.
4- Why was it written (Theme-Message)?This short letter addressed to Philemon, a well-known Christian of Colossae. His salve Onesimus ran away, was sought by the police, and found refuge with Paul in Rome. Paul converted him and sent him back to his master. Paul asked Phlilemon to treat Onesimus as a runaway slave, but as a beloved Christian brother.