The main purpose of the book of Colossians is to counteract heresy, that is, false teaching, that crept into the church. Despite its brevity, it contains many profound passages that give readers much to consider.
First Corinthians, or First Corinthians, was written by the Apostle Paul (who wrote about half of the New Testament). It is a letter, or epistle, to the church in the city of Corinth (the first of two that Paul wrote; see Second Corinthians for the second letter). It was written about the same time as Romans.
The book of first Corinthians is a practical letter of instruction revolving around life issues and addressing problems. As such, it is not a cohesive book with a unifying theme, but instead a series of teachings that were appropriate to the issues and struggles that faced the Christian church in Corinth.
A reoccurring theme in First Corinthians is the tension between the church and the world, that is godly living versus a worldly lifestyle. As such it’s a most appropriate and applicable book for our present age.
Second Corinthians, or Second Corinthians, was written by the Apostle Paul (who wrote about half of the New Testament). It’s a letter, or epistle, to the church in the city of Corinth (the second of two that Paul wrote; see First Corinthians for the first)
The book of second Corinthians is a letter in which Paul defends himself against detractors who seek to discredit him and advance their own agenda with the people in the church of Corinth. This was not to enable Paul’s ego or personal advancement but instead a reflection of his desire to protect the work he had done there and to keep the struggling church on track and properly focused.
In this book, we’re treated to many personal insights into the person of Paul and are shown the nature of Christian work.
Galatians (along with Romans) is a book that has helped shape Christian theology, covering, among other things, Christian freedom and faith. It also offers insight into the church’s struggle to separate itself from the historical grip of Judaism.
Although no authorship is claimed or inferred, the book of Hebrews is generally assumed to have been written by the Apostle Paul (who wrote about half of the New Testament). It is a letter, or epistle, to the Hebrew people, most likely Jewish Christians.
The book of Hebrews is self-described as a “word of exhortation” (Hebrews 13:22) and it reads more like a sermon than as a letter. Although primarily a communication about Jesus, Hebrews does much to connect the Old Testament priesthood, law of Moses, and Judaism with salvation and following Jesus.
The book of Philippians is Paul’s most joy-filled letter. The word joy (and variations thereof) occur frequently throughout the letter. This results in an encouraging and uplifting text that celebrates faith and the confidence that can be had from following Jesus.
The book of Romans was written by the Apostle Paul (who wrote about half of the New Testament). It’s a letter, or epistle, to the people of Rome, and by extension the Roman empire (the dominate world power of the day) and ostensibly the entire world.
Romans is an organized summary of Paul’s message, which is found scattered throughout his other writings. It’s an esteemed and profoundly influential book that lays out the importance and significance in salvation through Jesus. As such its focus is on the fundamentals of theology.
With a casual read, the first eleven chapters of Romans may seem to be a rambling discourse. However, Paul’s frequent restating and repetition of themes, often with slight variation, is done to add emphasis. A common practice of the day was to repeat important and significant ideas three times. Therefore, when reading Romans, pay special attention to concepts that are repeated.
The book’s conclusion, in chapter 16, is notable for the many people listed and the interesting reasons given for their inclusion.
This is perhaps Paul’s most affectionate letter. He writes as a loving, gentle, and caring father, who is seeking to support and nurture the young church in Thessalonica. The central theme of Paul’s letter is to encourage this church (and by extension, all followers of Jesus) to stand firm in their faith in the midst of opposition and to continue to grow towards spiritual maturity, that is to pursue a deeper understanding of God and one’s relationship to him.
In contrast to Paul’s first letter to the church in Thessalonica, which was warm and affectionate, this letter takes a more formal, authoritative tone. It is more theological in nature; it also contains teaching about the return, or “second coming” of Jesus. Not only does Paul encourage the Thessalonian church in this letter, but he also scolds them for not living and acting befitting of followers of Jesus, including the need to guard against false teaching or heresy.