NT Letters

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Historical context 1

Recipients: Churches throughout the Roman Empire. Literary style: prose discourse

As in modern letters, a lot of background infomation is assumed but not mentioned.

3 Levels of historical context we need to understand:

  1. How the letters fit into the big Bible story (God’s unified story)
  2. The culture of 1st century Rome
    • Clear hierarchy (social status, men > women)
  3. Situational context (specific issues in the local church)

Literary context 2

Paul didn’t write alone but had a small team. A professional scribe would write it down. A trusted team member would perform it: reading it aloud, start to finish, in the recipient church.


  • Opening (From, To)
  • Prayer (Main idea might be introduced)
  • Body
  • Conclusion

The NT letters

Transclude of The-Bible#nt-letters


  1. New Testament Letters: Historical Context - YouTube

  2. New Testament Letters: Literary Context - YouTube