Unwrap / Biblical Genre

The Epistles

Half of the New Testament was written as epistles, which are letters. The apostles wrote these letters to churches, as a whole, or to specific individuals. Regardless of the audience, however, the epistles were intended to help the early church navigate the theological, relational, and societal issues they were facing.

When reading the epistles, it is essential to note the writer, the audience, and their intent. All of the epistles were intended for a first-century audience and, therefore, some instructions contained therein were only applicable to the context in which the letter was written. On the other hand, other content offers wisdom and direction that is still relevant for the church today. It is the reader's responsibility to interpret the letter in its original context and then apply its principles to their life today.

Key Concepts

  • The epistles are parts of Scripture that are written in the format of a letter.
  • The epistles were intended as instructions to the church for dealing with current issues it was facing.
  • Half of the New Testament is comprised of epistles. It is important to note who the author and audience are of the epistle as well as the author's intent for writing it.
  • Some letters were written to individuals, whereas others were written to groups of people.


Biblical Epistles (and Author)
  • Romans (Paul)
  • 1-2 Corinthians (Paul)
  • Galatians (Paul)
  • Ephesians (Paul)
  • Colossians (Paul)
  • 1-2 Thessalonians (Paul)
  • 1-2 Timothy (Paul)
  • Titus (Paul)
  • Philemon (Paul)
  • 1-2 Peter (Peter)
  • James (James)
  • 1-3 John (John)
  • Jude (Jude)
  • Hebrews (Anonymous)
POUR Method
The POUR Method is a hermeneutical approach to studying the Bible.
It develops a healthy discipline of examining Scripture through its proper contexts.
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