Paul’s last letters were mostly personal but no less brilliant than their predecessors. Titus, the recipient of this letter, was one of Paul’s assistants whom he trusted to lead a church in the island of Crete. The letter contained his instructions to Titus on how to properly lead a church and reminded him to promote the right teachings. Paul’s letters, the earliest writings in the New Testament, are filled with allusions, images, and quotations from the Old Testament, or, as Paul called it, Scripture. In this book, Richard B. Hays investigates Paul’s appropriation of Scripture from a perspective based on recent literary-critical studies of intertextuality.


Of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament, fourteenhave traditionally been attributed to the great missionary Paulof Tarsus. These fourteen books all take the form of letters addressedto a given individual or community. In the traditional canonicalordering of the New Testament, these fourteen books are arrangedin a block following Acts, and separated into three groups: thenine letters addressed to communities, the four letters addressedto individuals, and Hebrews. Within each grouping, the traditionalcanonical system orders the books according to length. Thus, a traditionalNew Testament arrangement will list the books as follows: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians,Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy,Titus, Philemon, and Hebrews. This SparkNote addressesonly a few of the most important letters: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians,and Ephesians. Modern scholars agree with the traditional second-centuryChristian belief that seven of these New Testament letters werealmost certainly written by Paul himself: 1 Thessalonians,Galatians, Philippians, Philemon, 1 and 2 Corinthians,and Romans. These letters were most likely written during the heightof Paul’s missionary activity, between 50 and 58 a.d.,making them the earliest surviving Christian documents—they predatethe earliest of the Gospels, Mark, by at least ten years.

Letter Of Paul To The Laodiceansrejected Scriptures Verse

During the winter of 5758 a.d.,Paul was in the Greek city of Corinth. From Corinth, he wrote thelongest single letter in the New Testament, which he addressed to“God’s beloved in Rome” (1:7). Likemost New Testament letters, this letter is known by the name of therecipients, the Romans. Paul’s letters tended to be written in responseto specific crises. For instance, 1 Corinthianswas written to reprove the Christian community in Corinth for itsinternal divisions and for its immoral sexual practices. But Romansis remarkably devoid of this kind of specificity, addressing broadquestions of theology rather than specific questions of contemporarypractice. Whereas other Pauline letters—2 Corinthians,for instance—are full of impassioned rhetoric and personal pleas,Romans is written in a solemn and restrained tone. Perhaps thissolemnity can be explained by timing: Romans was the last writtenof the seven New Testament letters that modern scholars attributeto Paul, and has been seen as a summary of Paul’s thought, composedas his career moved toward its conclusion. But it is also true that,as opposed to the Corinthian church, the Roman church wasnot founded by Paul himself. At the time when he wrote Romans, Paulhad never visited Rome, although Chapter 16 ofRomans does indicate that he had acquaintances there. Writing toa community largely composed of strangers, then, Paul may have feltcompelled to use the restrained and magisterial declarations ofRoman style, rather than the impassioned pleas and parental sternnessthat permeate his letters to the churches at Corinth.


Because he is not personally familiar with the Roman church,Paul begins his letter by introducing himself. He has been “calledto be an apostle,” and his mission is “to bring about the obedienceof faith among all the Gentiles” (1:15).Paul follows his introduction with a flattering greeting to theRoman church, and expresses his desire to preach in Rome someday.Paul gives a summary of the theme of his letter: “The Gospel . .. is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, tothe Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousnessof God is revealed through faith for faith” (1:1617).

Paul begins with a discussion of the state of humanitybefore the possibility of salvation through faith in Jesus. He tellshow Gentiles worshipped idols, disdaining devotion to God, and howJews failed to follow the law properly, acting hypocritically byproclaiming allegiance to Jewish law while surreptitiously sinning.Paul says that God’s ancestral promise to the Jews, symbolized bycircumcision, does not bring automatic salvation: “A person is aJew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of theheart—it is spiritual” (2:29).Paul concludes, “We have already charged that all, both Jews andGreeks, are under the power of sin” (3:9).

Letter To Laodicea From Paul

Epistle to the laodiceans pdf

Paul teaches that salvation from sin is only possiblethrough faith. Paul cites the example of the biblical patriarchAbraham, who received God’s blessing and passed it on to his descendentsthrough “the righteousness of faith” (4:13).The free gift of grace, Paul continues, unearned and undeserved,is a product of God’s love manifested toward the unworthy. WhereasAdam’s fall brought sin and death into the world, Jesus’s sacrificebrought grace and life. The importance of baptism, Paul explains,is that baptism initiates a new life of grace and purity: the sinnersymbolically dies, baptized into the death of Jesus, and the personwho emerges is “dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (6:11).Christians, then, must be governed by holiness, not by sin: holinessalone will lead to eternal life. Jewish law ceases to be binding:the law arouses sinful passions, and as beings dead tosin, Christians become dead to the law. Paul urges the Romans tolive not “according to the flesh” but rather by the Spirit (8:4).Through the Spirit, all believers become spiritual children of God,called by God to glory. This potential is a source of strength for theChristian: “If God is for us, who is against us?” (8:31).

Letter to laodicea

Paul’s next topic is the problem of reconciling the doctrineof salvation through faith in Christ with the Old Testament promiseof the salvation of the Jewish people. This section begins witha lamentation, as Paul, who was himself born a Jew, expresses hiswish to help the Israelites, the supposed firstborn children ofGod. But he goes on to explain that the Christian covenant of graceis by no means a betrayal of Abraham’s covenant with God. Thosewho have faith in Jesus, who believe “with the heart,” are “childrenof the promise,” the spiritual children of Israel (10:10, 9:8).The genetic children of Israel, the Jews, stumbled when they mistookJewish law for the means to salvation. But the Jews have not beenentirely cast aside. Paul teaches that eventually the Jews willcome to express faith in Jesus, enabling God to keep his originalpromise to them.

Coments are closed
Scroll to top