Apologetics: How the New Testament Epistles Were Written

by Timothy Paul Jones

Have you ever wondered exactly how the New Testament epistles were written? Did Paul sit down with a fountain pen and a piece of papyrus? Did Peter and James sketch out an outline before they wrote their letters? And what caused the apostles to write their letters in the first place?

It was in the mid-first century that the earliest writings about Jesus Christ started to circulate in the churches. The authors of these early epistles were apostles—Christ-commissioned eyewitnesses of the resurrection. The purpose of their writings wasn’t to provide information about Jesus. Their goal was to apply the message of Jesus in the lives of people who already knew about Jesus, and their words carried the same authority in the churches as Jesus himself (1 Corinthians 14:37).

Differences Between How People Wrote Then and How You Write Today

If you write an email today, you’ll probably compose and send the email without anyone else’s help. That’s because you’re completely capable of typing the words yourself, and the World Wide Web will take care of delivering your electronic epistle. It wasn’t that way with the letters that survive in the New Testament today! It took a team of trustworthy men and women to convey each of these letters from the mind of an apostolic witness to the gathered people of God.

In the first place, it’s unlikely that…

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Apologetics: How the New Testament Epistles Were Written