Monday, June 28, 2010

Paul's Letters as official letters.

It is interesting that Chapa (see previous post) supports Stirewalt's view, that Paul's letters were 'official letters in a loose sense' (pp. 651-2). He makes a number of points on this:
  1. although occasional, Paul's letters are not private, but are rather public: 'a kind of public document'
  2. Paul has an 'authoritative position in relation to the recipients'
  3. The mention of co-authors and so-senders bestows an official character.
  4. The letters would probably have been received as official letters.


Richard Fellows said...


Did the churches bring in non-Christian readers to read their letters?

Peter M. Head said...

Just lost a long comment.

Peter M. Head said...

Short answer: no I don't think so:
a) no internal evidence of literacy concerns within letters;
b) house churches presume hosts who are likely to be relatively literate;
c) slave owners (overlap with previous) also more likely to be relatively literate.