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Epistles

Letters are the most prevalent literary form in the New Testament. This genre makes up at least 20 of the 27 New Testament books. Given their prominence, it is not surprising that preaching from the Epistles is a regular part of many churches’ pulpit ministries. In order to preach the Epistles well, it is essential that we have an understanding of the genre and its unique literary conventions and structures.
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A great way to earn seminary credit! Earn 2 graduate credits for successfully completing this course from either Trinity Evangelical Divinity School or Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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Instructors

Thomas R. Schreiner

Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Biblical Theology, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Tom joined the faculty of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1997, after serving 11 years on the faculty at Bethel Theological Seminary. He also taught New Testament at Azusa Pacific University. A Pauline scholar, he is the author or editor of several books including, Romans, in the Baker Exegetical Commentary Series on the New Testament; Interpreting the Pauline EpistlesThe Law and Its Fulfillment: A Pauline Theology of LawThe Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance and AssuranceStill Sovereign: Contemporary Perspectives of Election, Foreknowledge, and Grace, co-edited with Bruce A. Ware; Women in the Church: A Fresh Analysis of I Timothy 2:9-15Paul, Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ: A Pauline Theology.

Mark Dever

Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church

Mark is the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC. He received a Bachelor’s degree from Duke University, an MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a DPhil from Cambridge University. Since his ordination 1985, he has served on the pastoral staffs of four churches, including a church plant in Massachusetts. Prior to moving to Washington in 1994, He also taught for the faculty of Divinity at Cambridge University while serving for two years as an associate pastor of Eden Baptist Church. Mark has written numerous books, including The Deliberate Church and the two volume overview of the Bible called Promises Kept and Promises Made. He also serves as the president of 9Marks and he is on the council of the Gospel Coalition.

K. Edward Copeland

Pastor, New Zion Missionary Baptist Church

K. Edward Copeland serves as pastor of New Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Rockford, Illinois. He earned a JD from the University of California, an MDiv from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, California, and a DMin from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has taught for the National Baptist Convention of America, USA Inc. as well as district associations, conventions, and conferences throughout the nation and across denominational lines. He is author of Riding in the Second Chariot: A Guide for Associate Ministers. He also serves on the council of the Gospel Coalition.

David R. Helm

Lead Pastor (Hyde Park), Holy Trinity Church

David serves as the lead pastor of the Hyde Park congregation of Holy Trinity Church in Chicago and as Chairman of the Board of the Charles Simeon Trust, an organization dedicated to the sound preaching of God’s Word. A graduate of Wheaton College, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, David is ordained in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and serves on the council of The Gospel Coalition. For Crossway, he authored 1 & 2 Peter and JudeThe Big Picture Story Bible, and contributed to Preach the Word: Essays on Expository Preaching in Honor of Kent Hughes. He also authored One-to-One Bible Reading for Matthias Media and the 9Marks volume Expositional Preaching.

David Camera

Senior Pastor, River Oaks Church

David Camera is Senior Pastor of River Oaks Church in Lake Mary, Florida. He holds an MA in Theology from Wheaton College and an MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. David is also a graduate of the Cornhill Training Course in London, England. He previously served on the pastoral staffs at Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and Holy Trinity Church in Chicago, Illinois.

R. Kent Hughes

Pastor College Church (Retired)

Kent holds the John Boyer Chair of Evangelism and Culture and is professor of practical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is retired as Senior Pastor of College Church in Wheaton, Illinois. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Talbot Seminary as well as advanced degrees in ministry and divinity from Biola University and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has authored numerous books including Disciplines of a Godly Man and many volumes of the Preaching the Word commentary series, of which he is the editor.

Overview

Letters are the most prevalent literary form in the New Testament. This genre makes up at least 20 of the 27 New Test...More
Letters are the most prevalent literary form in the New Testament. This genre makes up at least 20 of the 27 New Testament books. Given their prominence, it is not surprising that preaching from the Epistles is a regular part of many churches’ pulpit ministries. In order to preach the Epistles well, it is essential that we have an understanding of the genre and its unique literary conventions and structures.
Download Syllabus
Lesson 1

Preaching the Pauline Epistles

Thomas R. SchreinerIn this opening lesson, Dr. Thomas Schreiner introduces some important elements of understanding, teaching, and applying Paul's Epistles. 
Lesson 2

Structure

David R. HelmIn this lesson David Helm explores the basics of the New Testament letters, particularly how to find the structure of a text.
Lesson 3

Context

David CameraIn this lesson David Camera demonstrates how understanding the context of a biblical keeps us biblically faithful and culturally relevant.
Lesson 4

Melodic Line

K. Edward CopelandIn this lesson K. Edward Copeland argues that the best preachers are the best listeners. He demonstrates how discerning the melodic line of a biblical book allows us to preach every smaller section of that book better. 
Lesson 5

The Main Theme of Romans

Mark DeverIn this lesson, Mark Dever demonstrates how to work through the main theme(s) of an entire book by looking at the Epistle to the Romans.
Lesson 6

Exposition 1: Philippians 1:18b-26

R. Kent HughesIn this lesson, Kent Hughes preaches from Philippians 1:18b-26.
Lesson 7

Exposition 2: 2 Timothy 1:13-18

Charlie DatesIn this lesson Charlie Dates gives an exposition of 2 Timothy 1:13-18.
Lesson 8

Exposition 3: James 2:1-13

Mervyn EloffIn this lesson Mervyn Eloff preaches from James 2:1-13.
Lesson 9

Women's Exposition 1: Titus 2

Lisa HelmLisa Helm engages her hearers on the topic of godly living as she preaches from Titus 2.
Lesson 10

Women's Exposition 2: 1 Peter 1

Colleen McFaddenHear Colleen McFadden give an exposition from 1 Peter 1.
Lesson 11

Bonus: Principles for Preaching Epistles

Philip G. RykenIn this lesson, Phil Ryken quickly surveys several tools for studying the Epistles.
Lesson 12

Course Downloads

Here you'll find course documents and other helps for the course that are all available for download.