General epistles (also called Catholic Epistles) are books in the
New Testamentin the form of letters. They are termed "general" because for the most part their intended audience seems to be Christians in general rather than individual persons or congregations as is the case with the Pauline epistles. However, 2 Johnand 3 Johnare included in this group despite their addresses respectively to the "elect lady", speculated by many to be the church itself, and to "Gaius", about whom there has been much speculation but little in the way of conclusive proof as to his identity.
There has been considerable speculation as to the authorship of these works. Some scholars believe
2 Peterto be a pseudepigraphal work.
Listed in order of their appearance in the New Testament, the General Epistles are:
Epistle to the Hebrews
Epistle of James
First Epistle of Peter
Second Epistle of Peter
First Epistle of John
Second Epistle of John
Third Epistle of John
Epistle of Jude
Revelation of John(also an Apocalypse)
It was traditionally thought that Paul wrote Hebrews, but its style of writing and theological emphases have led scholars to conclude that it is not Pauline.
* [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03453a.htm Catholic Encyclopedia: Catholic Epistles]
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