They are not evangelistic; rather, they are regulatory in nature. The arrangement is neither chronological, geographical, nor alphabetical, but by length, in descending order from the longest Romans to the shortest Philemon. This is the case except with the epistle to the Hebrews, which was placed last because some have questioned whether or not it was written by Paul. The dating and chronological grouping of the epistles as presented below is approximate but seems consistent with the known facts. An advantage in studying the epistles in chronological order is that the reader sees the differences in the types of problems the Church encountered as the years passed and circumstances changed. Early membership was mostly Jewish, and problems included questions about the law of Moses.
5.4 Authorship and Dating of Paul's Letters - Evidences for Christianity
Dating the Pauline epistles from scratch.
Things Lydia McGrew wanted to say somewhere but couldn't fit in anywhere else. I skimmed to Hebrews, and hope to read the remainder carefully soon. Silas penned for both Paul and Peter, giving him unique credentials and positioning in 1st century fellowship. Interesting correspondences both in vocabulary and theological thought glow when Hebrews is read closely next to the Petrine epistles.
Of the 21, 13 belong to the Pauline corpus; the Letter to the Hebrews is included in the Pauline corpus in the East but not, however, in the West. Three letters of this corpus, the Pastoral Letters, are pseudonymous and thus are not considered here. Of the remaining 10, the Letters to the Colossians and Ephesians are from the hand of a later Pauline follower and II Thessalonians is spurious.
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