Paul’s 14 epistles found in our present Bible is not chronological, but sorted by length, in descending order form the longest (Romans) to the shortest (Philemon).
When you understand this critical point you can study the epistles in chronological order and see the types of problems the Church encountered as the years passed and circumstances changed. For example:
- Early membership was mostly Jewish, and problems included questions about the law of Moses.
- Later, when the gentile membership had increased, problems involved items of Greek philosophy.
- Early persecution was from the Jews and the Judaizers.
- Later persecution came from the Roman government.
Gene Edwards has been called one of the best writers of Christian literature in the last 100 years. Here he explains the importance of studying Paul’s letters chronologically.