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Catholic Epistles
(190 words)

Since the third century the term “Catholic Epistles” has been used for the seven NT letters other than Hebrews that are not part of the Pauline collection (Eusebius Hist. eccl. 2.23.24–25). Originally the term seems to have been coined for 1 John (Dionysius of Alexandria; Eusebius 7.25.7), which, because it was not addressed to any church in particular, was thought to be directed to the whole church and thus universally binding (i.e., “Catholic”; Catholic, Catholicity). The description was then transferred to the whole seven, although in some cases (e.g., 2–3 John), the basic c…

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Roloff, Jürgen, “Catholic Epistles”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 21 October 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_C260>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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