Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Tradition of Epistles

The Roman orator Cicero began a process of writing letters that were instructive beginning the rise to prominence of the personal letter as a vehicle for oral instruction. The letters were meant to be read to an audience as though the author was speaking. Over a hundred years later Paul would use the same epistolary tool for teaching the young Christian congregations from a great distance.

The congregations Paul started loved his letters, saved them and had them copied and sent to other Christians. The first century Christian church continued to use this process even through times of persecution and thus providing us with the Bible we have today.

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