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Ministry of the Word - Pauline letters Intro..
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18th Nov 2007
INTRODUCTION TO PAULINE LETTERS   
I Introduction
II Literary form of Pauline letters
!!! Paul the person
IV Theological themes
 
(I)          Introduction :
1) There are 27 books in the NT………of which 21 are Epistles / letters
The 4 Gs, Acts, Rev (6) they have different literary form.
2) Letter writing is an ancient practice; there were business letter royal official pvt correspondence
     in the OT we have Baruck; Sirac; Esther
     2 Sam 11 : 14-15 David -----joab----Uliah
      1 King 21 : 8 : 10 Jezabel writes in Ahabs name
     Ester 9 : 20 memorandum of Mordacer
 
3)                 Religious purpose; St Paul & other Xtian writers
 
What is the difference between Letters   /   Epistles
Letter is non literary, confidential, personal in nature, communication between person who are separated, freestyle , intimate , conversational.
Epistle is an artistic literary form just like a dialogue speech or oration. It is carefully composed, it is intended for publicity, the aim of the Ep is to interest the public.
Ep form was developed by the Gk philosophical school in the 4th century BC
Ep is a treatise, dialogue, essay, devoted to the same theme
Paul personal letters to Tim, Philemon. Tretise; Roman Galatians.
( Apostle is the one who is sent to give the good news; Paul was called the Apostle of the Gentiles; Paul has an encounter with Jesus on his way to Damascus, that is why he calls himself an apostle. Paul always wrote as an apostle missionary & preacher)
Ep is an open letter… like the popes Enclyical, he used description in his letters, ( Pauls letters are pathetic)
 
What is the purpose of writing
A To build the Xtian communities…after JC died there was only oral communication …these letters were written even before the Gs around 51 AD
b. To present his theological concepts (ideas) of the mystery of Xt
c . To answer certain problems on faith & morals.
 
Pauline Corpus: 13 letters ( not Hebrews) AUTHENTIC LETTERS
A Genuine Pauls letters: Romans, 1 & 2 Cor, Gal, 1 Thess, Philippians, Philemon.
B   Deutro Pauline : some one else who wrote for paul 2 Thess, Eph, Col
C. Pseudonymous Not written by Paul, written by his Disciples. Under inspiration
      1 & 2 Tim, Titus
By the end of the 1st century of Paul were being gathered 2 Pet 3:15-16   67AD Paul was killesd
 
In the OT they would not keep any letters without names ..they would put the names of great people that had these identities.
Psalms were named after David
The book of wisdom was named after Solomon since he was a man of wisdom
The Pentateuch were named after Moses
 
TYPES OF LETTERS;
Captivity letters (4) written from the prison
Philippians 1: 7,13,14   Col 4:3,18   Eph 3:1; 4:1; 6:20   Philemone vs 9, 10, 23
Pastoral letters (3) They deal in church matters and discipleship
1 Tim; 2 Tim Titus
Great letters (4) they are called great because of their length & the importance of the teachings in them
Rom, Gal, 1 & 2 Cor
Early letters:
1 & 2 Thess (2)
 
CHRONOLOGIY OF LETTERS:
In the NT The books are in the order from the largest in volume to the shortest
Romans is the largest……………..Philemone is the shortest
They are not in Chronological order
 
1 Early letters:                    1 Thess      51AD
     Deutro Paul                   2 Thess     (51AD)……90AD
2 Great Letters                       Gal         54-57AD
                                          (Philipine) 56-57 (This is not a great letter, but it falls inthis Chronology
                                            1 Cor        57
                                            2 Cor        57
                                               Rom       58
3 Captivity Letter          Philemone       56-57 / 61-63
                                                Col         61-63 / 70 -80
                                                 Eph       61-63 / 90-100
4 Pastoral letters                      Tit          65 / 95-100
                                               1 Tim       65 / 95-100
                                               2 Tim      66 -67 / 95-100
1. Most of the Pauline letters / Ep were written as instructions& encouragement to churches that paul himself evangelized except Romans. These letters were written to handel particular problems in particular churches. In Col 4:16 Paul recommends the exchange in circulation of his letters among the neighboring churches. By the end of the 1st Cent. AD Pauls lettes were being read in the churches far distant from the original destination. A school of discipline continuing Paulwork could explain the editing of fragments present from Pauls correspondence as well as the composition of numbers of post Pauline letters.
 
 
(II)The Literary Form:
The Ancient form of letter writing had 3 parts
1.                 Opening Formula: (Praescriptio) it was a long sentence giving the name of the sender & of the address, & a short greeting. The address was written on the outside of the papyrus & folded.
2.                  Message: The main content of the letter / & issue.
3.                  Final Greeting         In a dictated letter the final greeting was written by the sender; There could be an insertion of a thanksgiving that served as an introduction to the main body of the message, it could be religious or non religious; peace, blessing, & gratefulness.
 
(3)
Pauline Forms :
      1. Opening Formula : From Paul ……………….to……………….& words to indicate the relationship between the sender & addresse & sometime co-workers are mentioned
 2 Cor 1:1; 1 Cor 1:1; 1 Thess1:1 ; Gal 1:3 ; Philapine 1:2
       2. Thanksgiving: It introduces the vital theme of letters, sometimes the thanksgiving replaced by a rebuke that sets the tone of the letter   
Gal 1:6-9;    I Gal 1: 3
4.                 Message Of the letter: The main body has either the doctrinal part presenting the truth of Xtian message And a moral exhortation ( Instruction on Xtian conduct. In this letter Paul mingles elements of revelation( Rd to Damascus), fragments of the primitive Kerygma ( Proclamation) eg Xt has died Xt has risen xt will come again. Teachings of Xt, interpretation of the OT; a person understanding of Xt events, & his own pvt opinion….ladies should not talk too much, men should not have long hair, widows to live a chaste life.
Conclusion & Final greetings:
It contains personal new or specific advice for individuals followed by his last greetings or blessings Col 4: 7-18; 1 Thess 5:28; Gal 6:18; Philip 4:23; 1 Cor 16:23; 2 Cor 13:13; Rom 20:24; Philem 25
 
CONCLUSION: Pauls letters were sent to communities & individuals to express his apostolic presence & authority in building up xtian churches. He used a letter form as a means of spreading, understanding the Xtian gs & especially of applying it to the concrete problem that arore in areas that he could not visit in person.His writings are best characterized as apostolic letters. He did not write precise systematic theology by casting his apostolic teaching in letter form.
 
(II)                PAUL AS A PERSON:
Apostle calls himself PAULOS Gk 2 Pet 3:15; Acts 13:9   prior to Paulos he was Saulos
 Hb ( Saoul) only in the conversion act   Act 9:4-17; 22:7-13; 26:14
Saul means” asked “of the Yahweh Act 13:9;
Paulos was a well known Roman name of highly placed Romans / Patricians Act 13:7-12 we know of another Sergius Paul A Roman who got converted to Xtianity.
Many Jews had 2 (Double Barrelled) names , A Gk 7 a Roman name.
                                                      Heb   Saulos                 Rom Paulos
Acts 1 : 23 Barsabas                      Heb Barsabas                                    Bar is son of Sabas
Acts 10 : 18                                   Heb   Simeon                Gk Peter
Paulo means little Gk/ short; perhaps Paul was short
 
Sources that tell about Paul from the Acts of the Apostles: 7 : 58;   8 : 1-3; 9 :1 -30 ; 11: 25-30 ;12 : 25; 13 : 1-28, 31; Letters of Paul 1 Thess; Philippians; 2 Cor; 1 Cor; Rom ; Gal.
 
Paul was born in 5 AD
His Damascus experience took place in 36 AD
Paul Died I 67AD
Paul lived as a Zealot Pharisee for 30 yrs & 30 years as a Xtian
He came from the Benjamin family
He was a Zealous Pharisee Rom 11: 1; Philippians3:5,6
He was born in Tarsus Acts 16:37; 21: 39
He studied under Gamalel Acts 22 : 3; 5:37
Paul had only 1 passion to serve God by scruples observance of the law, the law was his life., hence he could not accept JC as the messiah
He called J a blasphemer and therefore condemned by the authorities / law.
Jesus hung on the cross therefore was cursed
He was given the authority to direct the persecution of the xtians Acts 7 : 58; Gal 1 ; 13 onwards
He approved the death of Steven Acts 8 ; 1; He left for Damascus to persecute the disciples of Steven who had taken refuge there.
 
 
(4)
Paul was born in Tarsus an ancient city , this was a Roman colony Acts 22:3,6 ; Tarsus was the capital of Cilicia, people of Tarsus were given citizenship Acts21:39.; Tarsus was a center known for cultural, Philosophy, commerce special kind of linen & high quality of tents;
Paul was a tent maker Act 18:3
He spoke both Gk & Aramic Act21:41; 26:14
He had a married sister Act 18:3
He was a rigid Pharisee Acts 23:6; 1 Cor 59; Acts 22:7
Paul was a recognized teacher, devoted & Zealous for the law
* Pauls Damascus experience, Powerful story of conversion Acts 9:3-19; 22:6-16; 26:12-18.
Acts 22:7 Why are u persecuting me. Saul was persecuting the Xtians ie the body of Xt. He calls himself the apostle since he had met the risen lord; he was an apostle on the basis of the Damascus experience.
He does not use the word converted, he uses revelation Gal 1:16
P is a Pharisee, apostle of the Gentiles Rom 11:13; He was a Judaiser—Zealot Jew
Acts 9 : 3-19 Narrative story
Acts 22: 6 -16   Paul tells the Jesus experience
Acts 26 :12-18 Paul tells the Jesus experience to Festus / King Agrippa
 
P conversion is not psychological , not moral it was a theological conversion- an act of God 1 Cor 15:8-9;
2 Cor 12:2-4;Gal1:15-16
 
Other Conversion Narratives: Acts9:4-6; Gen 46:2-5;     Ex 3:4-10
 
We find a pattern in the letters: There is an Address; then a question; Revelation; Mission
Confusing details ….falls to the ground
Acts 9:7 Hear and could not see………..Jesus gives Paul a mission
        22:9 seen light could not hear
 
CONCLUSION : The narrative is explaining the objectivity that every thing is happening under the guidance of God. All the great events of the church had their objectivity. Events of history are events guided by God. Everything happens under the influence of God.
 
Missionary journey of Paul:
46-49AD 1st missionary journey Acts 13 : 3; 14 :28 ; Col 4: 10 Paul, Barnabas & Johnmark
He started at Seliucia…Cyprus…Salamis…Paphos (here Sergus Poulous was converted Acts 13 :7-12)….Perga..( Johnmark goes back to Jerusalem)…Pisidia…Iconium…Lystra…Derbe….went back
 
What were the key Qs that came up in connection before the Xtians – Judaism
Gentile Xtians—Jewish converts
Should the Gentiles keep the whole Mosaic law
 
Acts 15 : 37—59 2nd Missionary Journey Paul refuses to take Johnmark to Silas
Antiock---Syria---Cilicia---Derbe---lystra---Phyrgia---North Galatia---Turkey---Mysia---Troas---Neapolis---Port of Phillipi---Thesolonica---Bexoea---Athens----Corinth---(Hear he was for 18 months staying with Prescilla & Aqiuilla) Ephesis---Cesaria martima---Antiock
 
54-58AD   3rd Missionary Journey   Antiock—North Galatia--- Phyrgia---Ephesis—Here he writes 3 letters to Gal; Philipine; Philomone---Troas---mecedonia—corinth---Goes back from—Mecedonia—Phillipi---Troas—Ephisis—ceasaria Martima—Jerusalem.
This was his last visit to Jerusalem
He was arrested for violating the Mosaic Law, For bringing the Gk in the temple, felix keeps him in prison for 2 yrs; 58-60AD Pauls appeals to Ceasar—61AD Paul goes to Rome.
. Paul was under house arrest 61-63AD. He evangelized in Rome Jewss Act 28:17-28
63-67 tradition information; 67Ad Paul was executed
 
IV Theological Theme of St Paul
1..Paul speaks on nature of man— What is man,           man is body soul spirit & mind; Conscious heart—aspect from the same person seen from different perspective
2. What was man before he comes in faith--.--------. problems of the flesh, sin, death, world
(5)
3.. What happens to man after he comes to faith-----Righteous, faith, freedom of sin, death & law
 
a)                 Body---Soma Gk---Body means the objective self------The body expressesmans comprehensive existence-----man exists only with the body
Romans 12:4 Body is unity of many parts
2 Cor 10 : 10 Body is a physical presence
1 Cor 9 : 27 Body is impacted on
1 Cor 13 : 3 Giving up ur body & not having love You gain nothing
1 Cor 6 : 13 Body is the seat of sexual life; ur body is the temple of the HSp
1 Cor 7 : 4   Husband & wives do not have authority over their own bodies
            Rom 1 :24   Body is the self the I—I am the body
Rom 7 : 19   Body is neither good nor bad, man can divert to be good or bad
Rom 12 : 1 Present ur body as a living sacrifice, offer ur whole body to GOD
Philp 1:20 Xt will be honored in my body   
Rom 6 : 6 That the sinful body may be destroyed
b)                 Flesh---Sarx Gk Flesh for Paul is a power that is at enmity with God, hence my body can be ruled
      by the flesh
       Rom 7 : 24    flesh ruled the body
      Gal 5 :
       2 Cor 5 : 1-5    By placing our body under correct power so that I can be my genuine self
 c)    Soul—psyche Gk
        In the OT soul denotes an living person
        Paul uses soul for life & vitality
        Paul speaks of the soul as a inner man   Rom 7 : 22-23; 2 Cor 4 : 16
         Soul denotes self   1 Thess 2 ; 8; 2 Cor 12 : 15; Philipeon 2 :30
c)                  Spirit----pneuma Gk—Gods Spirit; mans spirit
Rom 8 : 16 For Paul spirit is knowing & willing self
Spirit refers to the whole person Rom 14 : 7; 2 Cor 5 :15; Gal 2 : 19
d)                 Mind---nous—inner most self
Rom 7 :23 Mind is the self as knowing or judging, it has a contemplative aspect Philippian 4 : 7 mind surpasses all understandings
Mind also has a connotation of conscious willing. It designates a capacity of intelligence Understanding planning decision.    I think I plan with my mind   1 Cir 1 : 10;   2 : 16.
e)                Conscience -----Knowing together
The conscience  prescribes what is to be done
The mind thinks consciously it also judges the past.
Conscious is the capacity to judge ones action, either right or wrong, or as a guide for proper activity.
Conscience is the universal phenomena Rom 2 : 12 – 15
All people will have to pay witnesses
This demand is founded on a transcended source
Rom13 : 5 hence man must assume Gods responsibility for actions
f)                  Heart—Lev / Kardia Gk
Paul says the heart is synonymous to the mind
Mind knows & the heart makes the decision.
2 Cor 3 : 14-15 their hearts were hardened
Rom 10 :1 Desire & pray to God
Rom 1 : 24 
Rom 9 : 2 Sorrow in my heart
            1 Cor 4 : 5     Purpose of the heart. 
 
CONCLUSION : All these aspects of human existence in the word Zoe Gk which is the gift of God that expresses the concrete existence of human being as the subject of his or hers own actions. Yet life before the coming of Xt is the one living according to the flesh Rom 8 :12; Gal 2 :20. With all the capacities of the conscious intelligent & purposeful planning for ones life a human being withoutxt remains one who is not able to achieve the destined goal
Christ salvafic activity has brought about a new union of humanity with God. Paul calls it a new creation. Human beings share a new life by faith & baptism which incorporates them in to xt & the church & the incorporation finds a unique expression in the Euchrist.
xt & the church & the incorporation finds a unique expression in the Euchrist.
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