CELTS, PAUL, GALATIANS

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SPARTA: TANYA AKA ALIEARIA’S ROOTS (nothing written, until now)

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PAUL’S LETTER OF TEARS (Severe Letter)

Severe Letter

The Severe Letter or Letter of Tears was a letter written to the Corinthians by the Apostle Paul. It is mentioned in 2 Corinthians 2:4: “For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.” This description does not match First Corinthians, so there are two main theories on the Severe Letter:

1. The first theory is that the Severe Letter is lost.

2. The second theory is that the “Severe Letter” is preserved in 2 Corinthians 10–13. [1] [2]

For more discussion on reconstructing Paul’s correspondence with the Corinthians, see Second Epistle to the Corinthians.

PAULINE EPISTLES:

Pauline epistles

The Pauline epistles, Epistles of Paul, or Letters of Paul, are the 13 New Testament books which have the name Paul (Πα λος) as the first word, hence claiming authorship by Paul the Apostle. Among these letters are some of the earliest extant Christian documents. They provide an insight into the beliefs and controversies of early Christianity and as part of the canon of the New Testament they are foundational texts for both Christian theology and ethics. The Epistle to the Hebrews, although it does not bear his name, was traditionally considered Pauline for a thousand years, but from the 16th century onwards opinion steadily moved against Pauline authorship and few scholars now ascribe it to Paul, mostly because it doesn’t read like any of his other epistles in style and content. [1] Most scholars agree that Paul really wrote seven of the Pauline epistles, but that four of the epistles in Paul’s name are pseudepigraphic; scholars are divided on the authenticity of two of the epistles.

The Pauline epistles are usually placed between the Acts of the Apostles and the General epistles in modern editions. Most Greek manuscripts, however, place the General epistles first, [2] and a few minuscules (175, 325, 336, and 1424) place the Pauline epistles at the end of the New Testament.

In the order they appear in the New Testament, the Pauline epistles are:

This ordering is remarkably consistent in the manuscript tradition, with very few deviations. The evident principle of organization is descending length of the Greek text, but keeping the four Pastoral epistles addressed to individuals in a separate final section. The only anomaly is that Galatians precedes the slightly longer Ephesians. [3]

In modern editions, the formally anonymous Epistle to the Hebrews is placed at the end of Paul’s letters and before the General epistles. This practice was popularized through the 4th century Vulgate by Jerome, who was aware of ancient doubts about its authorship, and is also followed in most medieval Byzantine manuscripts. With hardly any exceptions, though, the manuscripts do include Hebrews somewhere among Paul’s letters. [3]

The placement of Hebrews among the Pauline epistles is less consistent in the manuscripts:

The author of Hebrews is unknown.

between Romans and 1 Corinthians (i.e., in order by length without splitting the Epistles to the Corinthians): Papyrus 46 and minuscules 103, 455, 1961, 1964, 1977, 1994.

between 2 Corinthians and Galatians: minuscules 1930, 1978, and 2248

between Galatians and Ephesians: implied by the numbering in B

between 2 Thessalonians and 1 Timothy (i.e., before the Pastorals): א, A, B, C, H, I, P, 0150, 0151, and about 60 minuscules (e.g. 218, 632)

after Philemon: D, 048, E, K, L and the majority of minuscules.

omitted: F and G

Main article: Authorship of the Pauline epistles

In all of these epistles, Paul does claim to be the author and writer. However, the contested letters may have been forgeries, as that seems to have been a problem among the early church as a whole [4]

Seven letters (with consensus dates) [5]

considered genuine by most scholars:

First Thessalonians (ca. 50 AD)

Galatians (ca. 53 AD)

First Corinthians (ca. 53–54 AD)

Philippians (ca. 55 AD)

Philemon (ca. 55 AD)

Second Corinthians (ca. 55–56 AD)

Romans (ca. 57 AD)

The letters thought to be pseudepigraphic by about 80% of scholars: [6]

First Timothy

Second Timothy

Titus

Ephesians

The letters on which scholars are about evenly divided: [6]

Colossians

Second Thessalonians

A first epistle to Corinth, [7] referenced at 1 Corinthians 5:9

A third epistle to Corinth, also called the Severe Letter, referenced at 2 Corinthians 2:4 and 2 Corinthians 7:8–9

An earlier epistle to the Ephesians referenced at Ephesians 3:3–4

The Epistle to the Laodiceans, [8]

referenced at Colossians 4:16

See also: New Testament apocrypha

Several non-canonical epistles claim or have been claimed to have been written by Paul. Most bible scholars reject their authenticity.

Epistle of the Corinthians to Paul

Epistle to the Alexandrians

Epistle to the Laodiceans (found in Codex Fuldensis)

Third Epistle to the Corinthians (canonical for a time in the Armenian Apostolic Church)

Texts also exist which, while not strictly epistles, nevertheless claim to have been written by (or about) Paul.

Acts of Paul and Thecla

Acts of Peter and Paul

Apocalypse of Paul

Coptic Apocalypse of Paul

Epistle to Seneca the Younger

Prayer of the Apostle Paul

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SEVERE LETTER OF PAUL

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Second Epistle to the Corinthians

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians, often referred to as Second Corinthians (US) or Two Corinthians (UK) (and written as 2 Corinthians), is the eighth book of the New Testament of the Bible. Paul the Apostle and “Timothy our brother” wrote this epistle to “the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia”. [2Cor.1:1]

Contents

1 Composition

2 Structure

3 Background

4 Content

5 Uniqueness

6 Scholars

7 See also

8 References

9 External links

While there is little doubt among scholars that Paul is the author, there is discussion over whether the Epistle was originally one letter or composed from two or more of Paul’s letters.

Although the New Testament contains only two letters to the Corinthians, the evidence from the letters themselves is that he wrote at least four:

1. 1 Cor 5:9 (“I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people”, NIV) refers to an early letter, sometimes called the “warning letter”.

2. 1 Corinthians

3. The Severe Letter. Paul refers to an earlier “letter of tears” in 2 Corinthians 2:3–4 and 7:8. 1 Corinthians does not match that description; so this “letter of tears” may have been written between 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians.

4. 2 Corinthians

The abrupt change of tone from being previously harmonious to bitterly reproachful in 2 Corinthians 10–13 has led many to speculate that chapters 10–13 form part of the “letter of tears” which were in some way tagged on to Paul’s main letter. [1] Those who disagree with this assessment usually say that the “letter of tears” is no longer extant. [2]

Some scholars also find fragments of the “warning letter”, or of other letters, in chapters 1–9, [3] for instance that part of the “warning letter” is preserved in 2 Cor 6:14–7:1, [1] but these hypotheses are less popular. [4]

First page of II Corinthians from a 1486 Latin Bible (Bodleian Library)

The book is usually divided as follows: [2]

1:1–11 – Greeting

1:12 – 7:16 – Paul defends his actions and apostleship, affirming his affection for the Corinthians.

8:1 – 9:15 – Instructions for the collection for the poor in the Jerusalem church.

10:1 – 13:10 – A polemic defense of his apostleship

13:11–13 – Closing greetings

Paul’s contacts with the Corinthian church can be reconstructed as follows: [2]

1. Paul visits Corinth for the first time, spending about 18 months there (Acts 18:11). He then leaves Corinth and spends about 3 years in Ephesus (Acts 19:8, 19:10, 20:31). (Roughly from AD 53 to 57, see 1 Corinthians article).

2. Paul writes the “warning letter” in his first year from Ephesus (1 Corinthians 5:9).

3. Paul writes 1 Corinthians from his second year at Ephesus.

4. Paul visits the Corinthian church a second time, as he indicated he would in 1 Corinthians 16:6. Probably during his last year in Ephesus. 2 Corinthians 2:1 calls this a “painful visit”.

5. Paul writes the “letter of tears”.

6. Paul writes 2 Corinthians, indicating his desire to visit the Corinthian church a third time (2 Cor 12:14, 2 Cor 13:1). The letter doesn’t indicate where he is writing from, but it is usually dated after Paul left Ephesus for Macedonia (Acts 20), from either Philippi or Thessalonica in Macedonia. [5]

7. Paul presumably made the third visit after writing 2 Corinthians, because Acts 20:2–3 indicates he spent 3 months in Greece. In his letter to Rome, written at this time, he sent salutations from some of the principal members of the church to the Romans. [5]

In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, he again refers to himself as an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God and reassures the people of Corinth will not have another painful visit but what he has to say is not to cause pain but to reassure them of the love he has for them. It was shorter in length in comparison to the first and a little confusing if the reader is unaware of the social, religious, and economic situation of the community. Paul felt the situation in Corinth was still complicated and felt attacked. Some challenged his authority as an apostle and compares the level of difficulty to other cities he has visited who had embraced it, like the Galatians. He is criticized for the way he speaks and writes and finds it just to defend himself with some of his important teachings. He states the importance of forgiving others, and God’s new agreement that comes from the Spirit of the living God (2 Cor. 3:3), and the importance of being a person of Christ and giving generously to God’s people in Jerusalem, and ends with his own experience of how God changed his life (Sandmel, 1979).

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Severe Letter

The Severe Letter or Letter of Tears was a letter written to the Corinthians by the Apostle Paul. It is mentioned in 2 Corinthians 2:4: “For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.” This description does not match First Corinthians, so there are two main theories on the Severe Letter:

1. The first theory is that the Severe Letter is lost.

2. The second theory is that the “Severe Letter” is preserved in 2 Corinthians 10–13. [1] [2]

For more discussion on reconstructing Paul’s correspondence with the Corinthians, see Second Epistle to the Corinthians.

Aliearia

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