This week we will finish up the remainder of the pastoral letters at the end of the New Testament and begin reading through Revelation.
Here is some background about our reading for this week.
II Peter - The authorship of this letter is largely in question and was probably not the Apostle Peter - because it quotes a later letter extensively (Jude). But the main purpose of this letter is to identify Jesus with God and to correct a growing heresy since Jesus had not yet returned.
I John, II John and III John - These letters are attributed to the disciple John who also wrote the Gospel of John and Revelation. The first two letters were probably written in Ephesus between 95-110 AD to counter the heresies that Jesus did not come in the flesh but only as a spirit. The first letter is a general one and lifts up how Christians are to discern true teachers: by their ethics, their proclamation of Jesus and by their love. The second letter is a private one written to "an elect lady" and much speculation exists as to who this person is. The final letter is another private one addressed to Gaius to commend a party of Christians who had gone on a mission to preach the Gospel, to encourage him and to warn him of a group of other believers who are not cooperating.
Jude - This book is often attributed to one of Jesus' brothers. This 25 verse letter was composed as an encyclical letter - not directed at any one church but rather intended to be circulated and read in all churches. Addressed to Christians in general it warns about the doctrine of certain errant teachers. Many examples of evildoers and warnings about their fates are given in some of the most strongly worded language in the New Testament. The letter concludes with a doxology (short hymn of praise), one of the highest in quality in the Bible.
Revelation - Also attributed to John the disciple and probably written during John's exile at Patmos, this book is the piece of apocalyptic literature in the New Testament, a genre that relies heavily on visions and symbolism (like Daniel in the Old Testament).
Here is the schedule:
26, Sunday: I Peter 4 - II Peter 2
27, Monday: II Peter 3 - I John 3
28, Tuesday: I John 4-5; II John; III John
29, Wednesday: Jude - Revelation 3
01, Thursday: Revelation 4-7
02, Friday: Revelation 8-11
03, Saturday: Revelation 12-15
May God add His richest blessings to the reading, the hearing and most importantly the living out of His holy word. Amen.