17 hours 56 min. (17 CDs / MP3)
Seven letters in the New Testament—1 and 2 Peter, James, 1, 2, and 3 John, and Jude—have been referred to since ancient times as the “seven Catholic epistles.” They give us an essential window into the life and teaching of the three men whom St. Paul referred as the “pillars” of the first-century Church: Peter, James, and John (Galatians 2:9). They also contain the one tiny epistle attributed to the famous St. Jude, patron of lost causes.
And yet these seven books of the New Testament are some of the most neglected and controversial writings in the Bible. Indeed, many modern scholars consider all of these letters to be forgeries. Moreover, the theology of these letters is also controversial. In this amazingly in-depth Bible study, Dr. Pitre takes you step-by-step through the seven Catholic epistles, answering questions such as:
• Did the apostles write the seven Catholic epistles? Are they really forgeries?
• Who was James “the brother of Jesus”? What did ancient Christians believe about whether Mary had other children?
• What did Peter teach about the priesthood of the laity and the mystery of “divinization”?
• Can 2 Peter be reconciled with the Protestant doctrine of sola scriptura?
• What does James teach about faith and works?
• What does 1 John teach about the Antichrist and mortal sin?
• Why does Jude quote the lost book of Enoch?
As we will see, far from being unimportant, the seven Catholic Epistles give us essential New Testament teaching on the identity of Jesus’ so-called “brothers,” faith and works, justification, sins of the tongue, anointing of the sick, the priesthood of the laity, Jesus’ descent into Hell, redemptive suffering, divinization, the debate over sola scriptura, the end of the world, the new creation, the distinction between mortal and venial sin, the Antichrist, the existence of Hell, and a host of other topics.
Although these seven letters are short, they are packed with inspired teaching that is essential for the Christian life. If you’ve wanted know more about the very first Jewish Christians, then this is the Bible study for you.