General Epistles Essay

Hebrews; As the title signifies, this book or epistle was originally addressed to Jewish Christians. In the early days following conversion through the preaching of some of Jesus’ original disciples, they became exemplary Christians and had helped supply the needs of other Christians. They had taken cheerfully the loss of their own possessions as they were persecuted for Christ’s name. However, at the time this letter was written their original teachers and leaders had died (Hebrews 13:7). Now they were on the verge of slipping back from a confession of Christ into the Judaism out of which they had been converted (Hebrews 13:13-14).

The writer of Hebrews encourages the readers to remain true to Christ even at the price of having to shed their own blood (Hebrews 12:3-4). What is true from the writings is that the writer was outstandingly knowledgeable of the Christian faith. It would be almost safe to surmise the writer had to have been a leader in the early Christian church. It is not known to date who the writer of the Hebrew epistle was but is generally suspected by scholars that it could have been Apostle Paul. Though the writings are similar in style to how Paul wrote it can not be conclusively confirmed to be true.

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From the epistle the Christians must as a matter of principle and survival of faith, draw near to God, hold unswervingly to the hope they profess, for He who promised is faithful, consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds and not give up meeting together. In deed the writer encourages the recipients in their struggle of unbelief that they keep their confidence of faith in addition to persevering in the face of persecution for the rewards are great. This addresses to a great part the challenges that were affecting the Hebrew – Jerusalem church.

The attitude of perseverance is the main vein that runs through out the epistle. The writer emphasizes that this can only be gotten by faith James Though not confirmed, it is extensively considered that the writer of this epistle was Jesus half-brother. A critical look at the epistle one is able to see the thrust of his words. In the epistle, James addresses to the core of Christian faith. He focuses believers on the qualities of heart and life that he points should be the focus of a Christian’s devotion. In this he seeks to make Christianity a joy despite the call to suffer for and with

Christ. A strong characteristic that is greatly emphasized is that of perseverance. This he surmises is only achievable through asking God and in believing unwaveringly. Aware of the struggle the baptized were going through in reconciling and understanding the concept of temptation, he points out to them that this does not come from God but is rather a result of individual human beings sinful nature. Instead, his advice for them is to put what they learn into practice as a way of showing their growth and maturity in their Christian faith.

Peter addresses the various churches scattered throughout Asia Minor (present-day Turkey). But like James, Peter’s purpose in writing was to strengthen Christians so they could stand firm against the terrible persecutions by the Roman Empire. He begins by pointing out the wonders of the salvation that his readers possess. Then he gives certain commands that when obeyed will help a person to realize the wonders of this salvation. 2 Peter was Peter’s last message before his martyrdom. This Epistle is a continuation of the theme of 1 Peter.

The sufferings that his readers had just begun to endure when that Epistle was written have continued unabated, and Peter’s purpose in writing this second Epistle is to encourage his readers to endure steadfastly to the end. John: During his later years, the apostle John settled at Ephesus among Christians who had found Christ through Paul’s ministry. While he was there, a certain false teaching became popular which declared that God did not become truly incarnate in Jesus Christ and that a life of actual holiness was not essential to the Christian life.

The first Epistle of John was written to counteract this heresy. However, it is more than a mere refutation; it is one of the most beautiful and inspiring documents of the New Testament. In John 2, it is not exactly clear who the letter was intended for. However, it is intended for a special lady and her family (Verse 1), and the main thrust of the epistle is on loving each other. Additionally, he emphasizes on the love of God while taking time to warn about false prophets. The principal characters of this Epistle (John 3) are Gaius and Diotrephes.

As church leaders went from town to town establishing new congregations, they depended on the hospitality of fellow believers. Gaius was one who welcomed them into his home. John wrote this Epistle to thank Gaius for his hospitality and faithfulness and to encourage him in the faith. Additionally, he takes the opportunity to scold Diotrephes ho he feels was not helpful. Jude: Among biblical scholars it is believed that Jude was another one of Jesus’ brothers who was converted after His earthly ministry.

He calls himself “the brother of James” (verse 1), and in verse 17 he indicates that he was not himself an official apostle. In this epistle, he writes to warn Christians about false teachers. Additionally, in his writings, Jude is looking to cheer them up. Revelation: Among bible scholars, it is accepted that John was the author of this book. At the time of writing it, the Roman rulers are punishing him by making him live alone in an island. The thrust of the book of Revelation is a dream that John was given by Jesus concerning the future. In the book, John recognizes the challenges of being a Christian.

In the writings he encourages them to trust God since He can take care of everything on earth. In the dream, john is shown that Jesus is our judge, who will punish the evil in addition to taking Christians to heaven. The bottom line it Jesus is more powerful that men. References: Niswonger, R. (1992). New Testament history. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House. Thomas, R. L. , & Gundry, S. N. (1988). The NIV harmony of the gospels. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. Life Application Study Bible, Introductions to the general Epistles and the book of Revelation.


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