The Catholic Epistles often get short shrift. Tucked into a few pages near the back of our Bibles, these books are sometimes referred to as the “non-Pauline epistles” or “concluding letters,” maybe getting lumped together with Hebrews and Revelation. Yet these letters, Darian Lockett argues, are treasures hidden in plain sight, and it’s time to give them the attention they deserve.
In Letters for the Church, Lockett reveals how the Catholic Epistles provide a unique window into early Christian theology and practice. Based on evidence from the early church, he contends that the seven letters of James, 1–2 Peter, 1–3 John, and Jude were accepted into the canon as a collection and should be read together. Here Lockett introduces the context and content of the Catholic Epistles while emphasizing how all seven letters are connected. Each chapter outlines the author, audience, and genre of one of the epistles, traces its flow of thought, and explores shared themes with the other Catholic Epistles.
The early church valued the Catholic Epistles for multiple reasons: they defend orthodox faith and morals against the challenges of heretics, make clear that Christianity combines belief with action, and round out the New Testament witness to Christian faith and life. By introducing the coherent vision of these seven epistles, Letters for the Church helps us rediscover these riches.
What do the epistles of James, Peter, John, and Jude have in common? They are often either neglected or cherry-picked for a few key themes, like faith and works (James) or God is love (1 John). Darian Lockett, an accomplished researcher in this field of study, removes these letters from the shadows by combining patristic evidence, the best of contemporary scholarship, and his own keen reading. His concise, direct, and sometimes passionate style results in a remarkably full historical introduction and canonical exposition of all seven catholic letters in under three hundred pages. Pastors, students, and other serious Bible readers will find here fresh insight and understanding based on solid learning and due reverence for the treasures these letters contain.
—Robert W. Yarbrough, professor of New Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary
Darian Lockett knows the books of James through Jude well, having written about them extensively. This helpful primer on the Catholic epistles, which takes a canonical-collection approach, will help readers think carefully about the meaning of these letters and their relevance for today. Here also is a reminder why we need all of Scripture.
—Brandon D. Crowe, professor of New Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary and book review editor for the Westminster Theological Journal
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using Overview tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.