Schaff, Philip. History of the Christian Church (The Complete Eight Volumes in One). Amazon Kindle Edition, 2014.
Volume 1, Ch. 12, “The New Testament” Loc. 8053-12025. (continued)
§88 “The Epistles of Paul” (Schaff 2014, Loc. 10416).
Paul was not only prolific in missionary work but also in his writing, leaving us thirteen Epistles (Schaff 2014, Loc. 10417). Throughout, Paul shows a care for the churches and individuals addressed which is striking (Schaff 2014, Loc. 10426). Paul’s epistles were written between about 52 and 67 (Schaff 2014, Loc. 10438). The chronology can largely be worked out based on internal statements compared with the record of Paul’s journeys found in Acts (Schaff 2014, Loc. 10444). Schaff orders them as follows: Thessalonians, Galatians, Corinthians, Romans, Colossians, Ephesians, Philemon, Philippians, and the the Pastoral Epistles last (Schaff 2014, Loc. 10454). He also arranges the letters according to their progression of doctrine (Schaff 2014, Loc. 1046). The style is not formally elegant but shows a forthright and expressive attitude (Schaff 2014, Loc. 10463). Schaff goes on to note the overall reactions of various scholars to Paul’s work.
§89 “The Epistles to the Thessalonians” (Schaff 2014, Loc. 10500).
Paul visited Thessalonica in 52 or 53 and quickly planted a flourishing congregation which influenced the rest of Byzantium (Schaff 2014, Loc. 10500). Paul wrote two letters back to the Thessalonians from Corinth, encouraging the saints not to lose heart if Jesus did not come immediately (Schaff 2014, Loc. 10509). The overall theme is that of hope in persecution (Schaff 2014, Loc. 10519). In our times of trial, God has promised to watch over us and guard us.
§90 “The Epistles to the Corinthians” (Schaff 2014, Loc. 10528).
Corinth was a wealthy cosmopolitan center. After the church was established there, questions arose which led to Paul’s letters (Schaff 2014, Loc. 10538). 1 Corinthians was written in Ephesus in 57 (Schaff 2014, Loc. 10547). There was apparently another, earlier letter, now lost. 1 Corinthians answers various questions asked by the Corinthians. Themes revolve around living out the presence of Christ among his people. 2 Corinthians was also written in 57 from Macedonia (Schaff 2014, Loc. 10575). The first letter had provoked some responses which deserved correction.
§91 “The Epistle to the Galatians” (Schaff 2014, Loc. 10603).
Galatians and Romans are similar in their themes of sin and redemption. “But Galatians is a rapid sketch and the child of deep emotion, Romans an elaborate treatise and the mature product of calm reflexion” (Schaff 2014, Loc. 10603). Galatians was written to people of Gallic ancestry, having migrated to Asia Minor. It was written either from Ephesus in 54-57 or from Corinth shortly afterward (Schaff 2014, Loc. 10622). The theme is the freedom Christians have in Jesus (Schaff 2014, Loc. 10632).