Epistles written by Paul
THE BOOK OF ROMANS
Romans 1:1 identifies the author of the Book of Romans as the Apostle Paul. Romans 16:22 indicates that Paul used a man name Tertius to transcribe his words. The Book of Romans was likely written between 56-58 A.D.
Paul was excited about being able to at last minister in this church, everyone was well aware of that fact (Romans 1:8-15). It was written from Corinth just prior to Paul’s trip to Jerusalem to deliver the alms that had been given for the poor there. He had intended to go to Rome and then on to Spain (Romans 15:24). His plans were interrupted when he was arrested in Jerusalem. He would eventually get to Rome as a prisoner. Phoebe who was a member of the church at Cenchrea near Corinth (Romans 16:1) most likely carried the letter to Rome.
THE BOOK OF I CORINTHIANS
1 Corinthians 1:1 identifies the author of the Book of 1 Corinthians as the Apostle Paul.
The Book of 1 Corinthians was written in approximately 55 A.D.
The Apostle Paul started the church in Corinth. A few years after leaving the church, the Apostle Paul heard some disturbing reports about the Corinthians church. The church was full of pride, the church was excusing sexual immorality, spiritual gifts were being used improperly, and there was rampant misunderstanding of key Christian doctrines. The Apostle Paul wrote 1 Corinthians in an attempt to restore the Corinthian church to its foundation – Jesus Christ.
THE BOOK OF II CORINTHIANS
2 Corinthians chapter 1, verse 1 identifies the author of the Book of 2 Corinthians as the Apostle Paul, possibly along with Timothy. The Book of 2 Corinthians was very likely written between 55-57 A.D.
In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul returns too many of the same themes covered in his early letter. These include:
– Continued immorality between a brother and his step mother (1 Corinthians 5:1-6; 2 Corinthians 2:5-11)
– Paul’s plans for a future visit (2 Corinthians 1:15–2:4)
– The giving of the Macedonians (2 Corinthians 8:1-6)
– Divisions in the church created by Judaizers who attacked Paul’s authority (2 Corinthians 10:10-12).
Positively, Paul found the Corinthians had well received his “severe” letter. The Apostle encourages them for this in an expression of Paul’s genuine love (2 Corinthians 7:3-16). Paul also sought to vindicate his apostleship, as some in the church had likely questioned his authority (2 Corinthians 13:3).
THE BOOK OF GALATIONS
The book of Galatians was written somewhere between 47 and 57 A.D. to a group of churches somewhere in Galatia, a province in what is now modern day Turkey. It was written by the Apostle Paul and was written for the purpose of establishing the essential Christian truth of “Justification by Faith.” This was in refutation of a group of false teachers called “Judaizers”, who were teaching that in order to be saved and justified before God, one must observe and obey the Mosaic law in regard to the customs and practices set forth therein. Paul maintained that one was not saved by observing the law but rather by the grace of God which is imparted to one by faith, to all who believe. This book clearly sets forth this very essential truth and many other profound facts and revelations as well. It also contains some important historical facts as well.
THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS
Ephesians 1:1 identifies the author of the Book of Ephesians as the Apostle Paul.
The Book of Ephesians was very likely written between 60-63 A.D.
Paul intended all those that long for Christ-like maturity to receive this writing. Enclosed within the Book of Ephesians is the discipline needed to develop into true sons of God. Furthermore, a study in Ephesians will help to fortify and to establish the believer so he can fulfill the purpose and calling God has given. The aim of this epistle is to confirm and to equip a maturing church. It presents a balanced view of the body of Christ and its importance in God’s economy.
THE BOOK OF PHILIPPIANS
Philippians 1:1 identifies the author of the Book of Philippians as the Apostle Paul, likely along with the help of Timothy. The Book of Philippians was written in approximately 61 A.D.
The Epistle to the Philippians, one of Paul’s prison epistles, was written in Rome. It was at Philippi, which the apostle visited on his second missionary journey (Acts 16:12), that Lydia and the Philippians jailer and his family were converted to Christ. Now, some few years later, the church was well established, as may be inferred from its address which includes “bishops (elders) and deacons” (Philippians 1:1).
THE BOOK OF COLOSSIANS
The Apostle Paul was the primary writer of the Book of Colossians (Col 1:13). Timothy is also given some credit (Col 1:1). The Book of Colossians was likely written between 58-62 A.D.
The Book of Colossians is a mini-ethics course, addressing every area of Christian life. Paul progresses from the individual life to the home and family; from work to way we should treat others. The entire theme of this book is the sufficiency of our Lord, Jesus Christ, in meeting our needs in every area.
THE BOOK OF 1 THESSALONIANS
1 Thessalonians 1:1 indicates that the Book of 1 Thes was written by the Apostle Paul, probably along with Silas and Timothy. The Book of 1 Thes was written in approximately 50 A.D.
In the church of Thessalonica there were some misunderstandings about the return of Christ. Paul desired to clear them up in his letter. He also writes it as an instruction of holy living.
THE BOOK OF 2 THESSALONIANS
2 Thessalonians 1:1 indicates that the Book of 2 Thes was written by the Apostle Paul, probably along with Silas and Timothy. The Book of 2 Thessalonians was likely written in 51-52 A.D.
The church in Thessalonica still had some misconceptions of the Day of the Lord. They thought it had come already so they stopped with their work. They were being persecuted badly. Paul wrote to clear up misconceptions and to comfort them.
THE BOOK OF 1 TIMOTHY
The Book of 1 Timothy was written by the Apostle Paul (1 Timothy 1:1). The Book of 1 Timothy was written between 62-66 A.D.
Paul wrote to Timothy to encourage him in his responsibility for overseeing the work of the Ephesian church and possibly the other churches in the province of Asia (1 Timothy 1:3). This letter lays the foundation for ordaining elders (1 Timothy 3:1-7), and provides guidance for ordaining people into offices of the church (1 Timothy 3:8-13). In essence, 1 Timothy is a leadership manual for church organization and administration.
THE BOOK OF 2 TIMOTHY
2 Timothy 1:1 identifies the author of the Book of 2 Timothy as the Apostle Paul. The Book of 2 Timothy was written in approximately 67 A.D., shortly before the Apostle Paul was put to death.
Imprisoned yet again, the Apostle Paul felt lonely and abandoned. Paul recognized that his earthly life was likely coming to a soon end. The Book of 2 Timothy is essentially Paul’s “last words.” Paul looked past his own circumstances to express concern for the churches and specifically for Timothy. Paul wanted to use his last words to encourage Timothy, and all other believers, to persevere in faith (2 Timothy 3:14) and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 4:2).
THE BOOK OF TITUS
Titus 1:1 identifies the Apostle Paul as the author of the Book of Titus. The Epistle to Titus was written by Paul in approximately 66 A.D.
Paul’s many journeys are well documented and show that he wrote to Titus from Nicopolis in Epirus. In some Bibles a subscription to the epistle may show that Paul wrote from Nicopolis in Macedonia. However, there is no such place known and subscriptions have no authority as they are not authentic.
The Epistle to Titus is known as one of the Pastoral Epistles as are the two letters to Timothy. This epistle was written by the Apostle Paul to encourage his brother of faith, Titus, whom he had left in Crete to lead the church which Paul had established on one of his missionary journeys (Titus 1:5). This letter advises Titus in what qualifications to look for in seeking leaders for the church as he warns Titus of the reputations of those living on the island of Crete (Titus 1:12).
THE BOOK OF PHILEMON
The author of the Book of Philemon was the Apostle Paul (Philemon 1:1). The Book of Philemon was written in approximately 60 A.D.
The letter to Philemon is the shortest of all Paul’s writings and deals with the practice of slavery. The letter suggest that Paul was in prison at the time of the writing. Philemon was a slave-owner who also hosted a church in his home. During the time of Paul’s ministry in Ephesus, Philemon had likely journeyed to the city, heard Paul’s preaching and became a Christian. The slave Onesimus robbed his master, Philemon, and ran away, made his way to Rome and to Paul. Onesimus was still the property of Philemon and Paul wrote to smooth the way for his return to his master. Onesimus had become a Christian and Paul wanted Philemon to accept Onesimus as a brother in Christ and not merely as a slave.
THE BOOK OF HEBREWS
Although some include the Book of Hebrews among the Apostle Paul’s writings, the certain identity of the author remains an enigma. Missing is Paul’s customary salutation so common to his other works and, too, the suggestion that the writer of this epistle relied upon knowledge and information provided by others who were actual eye-witnesses of Christ Jesus (2: 3) makes Pauline authorship doubtful. Some attribute Luke as its writer; others suggest Hebrews may have been written by Apollos, Barnabas, Silas, Philip, or Aquila and Priscilla. Regardless of the human hand that held the pen, the Holy Spirit of God is the divine author of all Scripture, therefore, Hebrews speaks with the same canonical authority as the other sixty-five books of the Bible.
The early church father Clement quoted from the Book of Hebrews in 95 A.D., however, internal evidence such as the fact that Timothy was alive at the time to epistle was written and the absence of any evidence showing the end of the Old Testament sacrificial system that occurred with Jerusalem’s destruction in 70 A.D. indicates the book was written around 65 A.D.
The late Dr. Walter Martin, founder of the Christian Research Institute and writer of the best selling Kingdom of the Cults, quipped in his usual tongue-in-cheek manner that the Book of Hebrews was written by a Hebrew to other Hebrews telling the Hebrews to stop acting like Hebrews. In truth, many of the early Jewish believers were slipping back into the rites and rituals of Judaism in order to escape the mounting persecution. This letter, then, is an exhortation for these persecuted believers to continue in the grace of Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 10:34 “For ye had compassion of me in my bonds…”, and Hebrews 13:23,24 would suggest that Paul was/is indeed the author of the Book and that he wrote it from Rome.
PAUL WRITING FROM PRISON