Peace and Love

Paul’s Letters

Saint Paul wrote five letters to communities he had evangelized (One and Two Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, and One Thessalonians), one letter to a community he would visit later (Romans), and one letter to an individual (Philemon). Other letters were written under Paul’s influence but not by Paul himself (Ephesians, Colossians, Two Thessalonians, One and Two Timothy, Titus). Paul wrote his letters to help the communities in their struggles with the pagan world that surrounded them. His goal was always pastoral rather than theological; that is, he was not trying to define doctrines for them but wanted to keep them faithful to the teaching and example of Jesus. One reason why his letters are so valuable to us is that they were the first New Testament pieces to be written: all of his letters were written before the first Gospel was written. Paul’s letters, therefore, give us an insight into the thinking of the Church in the earliest decades of its history.