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Published May 2021
Learn to interpret the Catholic Epistles in order to unlock the meaning of its highly contextual content.Learn to interpret the Catholic Epistles in order to unlock the meaning of its highly contextual content. This book will introduce and help readers understand the life and times of a variegated and theologically diverse early Church.
The catholic or "general" epistles present several challenges:
First, they claim to be addressed to Christians in general, when in fact they are highly contextual; but it's not immediately clear to what specific context they are addressed.
Second, they seem to come from a generation later than that to which Paul's letters are directed. In fact, they are parallel in time to the Gospels; but instead of focusing on Jesus' life and meaning, they address matters of concern to the churches and view Jesus only secondarily.
Finally, they are associated with strands of the early church hinted at by the pseudonymous authors, but from which we have no other materials, so figuring out what is received tradition and what is contextual adaptation is difficult.