General Epistles

Topics: New Testament, Epistle, Canonical Epistles Pages: 3 (1218 words) Published: April 7, 2013

General Epistles

Grand Canyon University: BIB 502

General Epistles

The general epistles consist of the last eight epistles, or letters, within the New Testament. They have been named after their authors, James, Peter, John, and Jude, with the exception of Hebrews, which has an unknown author. As the Pauline epistles did, the general epistles had their own issues, concerns, and problems within their churches during the Roman Empire. A few of these issues were apostasy, superiority of Christ, and leading a godly life. Unlike the Paul epistles, most of these letters were written to a church within a large area or a large group of Christians. Within the book of Hebrews, one of the issues being addressed was the superiority of Jesus, Son of God. The author starts out clarifying that Jesus is the Son of God. He is not regarded the same as the angels, who are servants sent out to care for the people who will inherit salvation (Hebrews 1:14). Angels, in biblical tradition, were looked upon as intercessors (Isaacs, 1997). They were instructed to worship Christ, too (Hebrews 1:6). Because He was once human, and died for our sins, Jesus has blazed the trail for our salvation (Hebrews 2:10) for all who follow Him (Alexander & Alexander, 2009). The author continued with showing how Jesus was superior to not only Moses (Hebrews 3:1- 19), but also Joshua (Hebrews 4:1 – 13). As the author moves from Jesus, the Son of God, for superiority he uses the same concept, of Jesus is our great High Priest. The use of the term priest was not used based upon the Levitical priesthood model, which required the use of sacrifices (Isaacs, 1997). As He dwells in the presence of God in the holy of holies, He is able to save all who come to God through Him and intercede on their behalf (Hebrews 7:25, 9:24). Isaacs (1997) later points out that the people were a community on a pilgrimage towards God, which not only included men but also women, one of which was Rahab, a...

References: Achtemeier, P. J. (2011). 1 Peter 4:1-8. Interpretation: A Journal of Bible & Theology, 65(1), 6-78.
Alexander, P., & Alexander, D. (2009). Zondervan Handbook to the Bible (4th ed.). Oxford, England: Lion Hudson plc.
Isaacs, M.E. (1997). Priesthood and the Epistle to the Hebrews. Heythrop Journal, 38(1), 51.
Painter, J. (2006). James as the First Catholic Epistle. Interpretation: A Journal of Bible & Theology, 60(3), 245-259.
Rensberger, D. (2006). Conflict and Community in the Johannine Letters. Interpretation: A Journal of Bible & Theology, 60(3), 278-291.
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