Unit 4. The Interpretive Journey New Testament. Letters Gospels Acts Revelation. Name from recipients. Name from writer. New Testament Letters Pauline General Romans Hebrews 1, 2 Corinthians James Galatians 1, 2 Peter Ephesians 1, 2, 3 John Philippians Jude Colossians
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New Testament Letters
1, 2 Corinthians James
Galatians 1, 2 Peter
Ephesians 1, 2, 3 John
1, 2 Thessalonians
1, 2 Timothy
Paul’s letters are quite long by ancient standards, averaging 2,495 words. (R. Richards)
Why did Paul need the extra space?
NT includes more informal, personal letters (like Philemon) as well as more formal letters (like Romans)
Reading a NT letter is a lot like listening to one end of a phone conversation.
Galatians – freedom
1 Corinthians – obedience
“Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” —Revelation 1:3
“After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.” —Colossians 4:16
Standard form of a contemporary letter
Writer Recipients Greeting
Body of the letter (largest section focusing on the specific situation)
Conclusion (a variety of elements normally ending in a grace benediction)
Body of the letter
Closing & signature
For NT letters the river is usually not very wide, but there are exceptions.
Matthew criteria:Synoptic Gospels Mark “see together” Luke
JohnNT – Gospels
Gospels 47% Acts 13% Paul’s Letters 23% General Letters 10% Revelation 7%
Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?
Look for Connections
Metaphor & Simile
Narrative Irony effect
– contrast between what is expected and what actually happens
“And I'll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you.’” – Luke 12:19-20
– two or more lines of text that are intended to be read together
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7
– a story with two levels of meaning, where certain details in the story stand for other things