the weblog of Alan Knox

Paul to the saints in…

Posted by on Jul 17, 2007 in blog links, definition | 4 comments

If Paul sent another letter, to whom would he address it? Bill, over at “thin edge of the wedge“, examines this question in a post called “paul’s e-mail to the saints in…” In this post, Bill looks at possible modern day responses to how Paul might address his new letter:

Imagine an e-mail from heaven, written by Paul, addressed “to all those in Atlanta who are loved by God and called to be saints”? If heaven has broadband—just hoping it’s not with my current provider—and Paul could write one more epistle, how would we respond in our context? I can imagine just a slight bit of chaos in most communities where I have lived at one time or another.

“Paul, you addressed the e-mail incorrectly,” one sincere Southern Baptist pastor might say. “Surely, you didn’t intend for those Methodists to get your message. They don’t really preach the Gospel anymore. And I don’t mean to be rude, Paul, but why in the world did you send it to the Assemblies of God? They’re just a bunch of fruitcakes, you know.”

“No, Father wants every Christian to read my message,” Paul responds, “because he loves them.”

You should read Bill’s post, and ask yourself, “If Paul sent a letter today, to whom would he address it?” Could it be that his addressees would be more extensive than our current understanding of “church”?

By the way, before you suggest that Paul could address his letters to the church in a city in the first century because there were only a few Christians in the city and because they could all meet together, remember that Paul had to instruct the Thessalonians to make sure the letter that he sent to them was read by all the brothers. (1 Thess 5:27)

If Paul sent a letter to the church in your city today…


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 7-17-2007

    If Paul sent a letter to “all the saints,” then it would certainly be addressed to all those who call Jesus Lord and Savior. After all, when Paul wrote “saints” (O.K., I know he didn’t actually write in English), he meant “saved people.” It seems like a fairly simple matter of interpretation to me. So, if Paul wrote today, he would clearly mean the same thing.

  2. 7-17-2007


    Paul usually adressed his letters to the church in X which he then defined as all the saints in X. So, what would the X be if we were included in his letter?


  3. 7-17-2007

    The church is clearly all the saved. There is no division there.

  4. 7-18-2007


    I agree!