The Epistles in the New Testament contain some of the most important doctrinal teachings and most moving personal testimonies anywhere in scripture. Indeed, many of the doctrines of the Restoration have been taught using the words of Peter, Paul, and John. As An Epistle from the New Testament Apostles points out, the thirteen Articles of Faith are surprisingly rich in references to the Epistles of Paul.
In this volume, John Welch has created a unique and ingenious presentation of the New Testament Epistles with the hope that Latter-day Saints will be able to better understand these letters. The complete text of each of the twenty-one Epistles is divided into its literary and thematic units and then rearranged by themes to read like one grand epistle—a letter from the New Testament Apostles. The complete text of the King James Version of the Epistles is presented and marked in a way that readily shows the original biblical text together with the changes made by the Joseph Smith Translation. Included in slashes are alternate readings from ancient New Testament texts as well as alternative translations for Greek words that greatly enhance the reader’s comprehension of the text.
Welch has organized his material around ten major themes with numerous subtopics. Thus a reader can pursue all of the material in the Epistles by such themes as atonement, faith and obedience, and Christian living. Of particular interest is the section containing biographical information and personal statements. Here the reader can find a rich collection of all of the personal expressions of Paul, Peter, and John to the ancient Saints. These declarations of testimony, concern, and affection for the Saints echo through the years and strike a responsive chord in Latter-day Saints.
For those who have had trouble understanding these Epistles in the past, this volume provides the easiest way ever to gain access to their contents. For those who are already conversant with the Epistles, reading them arranged by themes provides many new insights as the writings of the ancient Apostles are examined side by side.