The apostle Paul wrote 13 letters/epistles that are contained in the New Testament.  They can be read straight through in around seven hours.  His writings are logically written in a complete and coherent manner.  Alongside their reasonableness, his letters bear the marks of warm, personal relationships.  They show a profound concern for others, sometimes at personal cost. It would be a challenging study to find the following features:

  • In 13 epistles, Paul mentions 82 people by name. Never is he seen as enamored by celebrity.
  • He mentions 14 women. He names 16 people more than once, and Timothy 7 times.
  • Some of these people were his relatives but all but two or three he considered to be in the family of faith.
  • There is much diversity, from the Roman elite to slaves. There are different occupations, races, and ranks.
  • Some stayed in permanent locations, many traveled about (some being his personal traveling companions) and others were fellow prisoners.
  • Five times Paul confronts someone for reasons from hypocrisy to apostasy and blasphemy.
  • An additional worthy facet of his writings will be explored in the next post: the 32 terms of endearment he employs to describe these brothers and sisters in the faith.