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Next to Jesus, Paul has been the most influential figure in the history of Christianity Through his numerous letters, he was/is able to reach the widest range/community of believers This, In addition to his depth of thought and passion for his ministry has ensured that all Christians have been influenced by Paul’s writings in one way or another. Paul’s Life : Paul’s Life The 2 sources for his life come from his own letters and accounts of his career in Acts Paul was born 5-10 years after the birth of Christ, and was raised a citizen of Tarsus, being brought up in the city of Jerusalem He was well educated in Greek and was familiar with the Scriptures Paul was determined to be self-sufficient throughout his life, but especially during his ministry, as he didn’t want to have to beg money from those to whom he was evangelizing Paul’s Life, continued : Paul’s Life, continued He was familiar with the ways of Gentiles, so later, when he taught them, he was able to better understand their way of life Paul grew up both a Hebrew and a Pharisee By his early 20s, he had already received a solid Jewish upbringing in Tarsus Before his miraculous conversion, Paul was an enthusiastic persecutor of Jesus’ followers, due to his never-ending zeal and his desire to be a very observant Pharisee Paul’s Life : Paul’s Life He saw the followers of Jesus proclaiming a message contrary to the Pharisee interpretation of the law One day, while traveling to Damascus to persecute more of Jesus’ followers, God appeared to him in a blinding light He was temporarily blind, and after his sight was restored, he had become a whole new person, becoming a zealous follower of Jesus, like those who he had previously tried to persecute Paul’s Letters : Paul’s Letters Of the 27 books of the New Testament, over half were written by Paul His 13 letters/epistles come directly after the book of Acts of the Apostles They are divided into 2 parts: 9 addressed to communities and 4 addressed to individuals Each collection is arranged in descending order of length Paul’s Letters, continued : Paul’s Letters, continued Several of Paul’s letters are so long that they might be classified as letter-essays. It is not clear that any of Paul’s letters were addressed to Christians everywhere, even though some of them could easily do that Some of his letters are addressed to communities in specific cities, but others have in mind Christians with a particular heritage (i.e. Johanine Christians or Pauline Christians) Paul’s Letters, continued : Paul’s Letters, continued Letters could be written in 1 of 2 ways: either written by the author himself, or dictated As for Paul, it seems he wrote the shorter letters by hand, but may have dictated some of the longer ones. Paul’s letters were meant to be read aloud in order to persuade the crowd, therefore they can be judged not only on the quality of the writing, but also on the desired effect they had on the audience Format of a Pauline Letter : Format of a Pauline Letter Letters tend to follow a set format which is essential to correctly understanding them The four parts of the letter are: 1)Opening Formula 2)Thanksgiving 3)Body or Message 4)Concluding Formula Opening Formula : Opening Formula Consists of 3 Parts: the sender, the addressee, and the greeting The Sender: a statement of the author of the letter (i.e. Paul) The Addressee: The one to whom the letter is written (i.e. To the Church in Galatia) Greeting: A salutation or welcome. (i.e. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ ). Thanksgiving : Thanksgiving A statement that follows the Opening Formula where the Sender gives thanks to God (i.e. I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus) Often, some of the main themes of the Body of the letter are briefly touched upon in the thanksgiving. Body or Message : Body or Message The Body/Message was originally thought to have little, if any, set form, but as the study of it has increased, discrete sections w/ definite characteristics are being recognized The Opening introduces the occasion for writing the letter and usually features a petition or request near the beginning The Closing sums up what was written in the body and states why the letter was written, as well as in indication of how the addressee should respond Concluding Formula : Concluding Formula Paul’s letters conclude with greetings coming from him and his co-workers, and are directed to people whom he knows at the community (i.e. All those with me send you greetings) Some also contain a doxology of God, a statement declaring the greeting to be done with a “holy kiss,” or a line stating that he, Paul, is writing with his own hand. You do not have the permission to view this presentation. In order to view it, please contact the author of the presentation.