Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
Refers to seven collected New Testament books—James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1–3 John, and Jude. Other names include “Catholic Epistles,” “General Epistles,” and “General Letters.” Sometimes the Letter to the Hebrews is included among the Catholic Letters.
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The Lexham Bible Dictionary
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
EPISTLES, CATHOLIC. This term designates the group of seven NT documents consisting of James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2, and 3 John, and Jude.Toward the end of the 2d century the term “catholic” was utilized to describe an individual epistle. The first known example of this usage is by Apollonius (d. ca.
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Catholic Letters. Traditional name given to the epistles of James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2, 3 John, and Jude. With the exception of 2 and 3 John, these epistles are all addressed to the church at large rather than to individual churches; most likely this is the reason for the designation “catholic.”See
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Catholic Epistles [Gk. hai epistolaí katholikaí]. In distinction from the apostolic or Pauline Epistles that were addressed to individual churches or persons, the term “catholic,” in the sense of universal or general, was applied by Origen and the other church fathers to the seven Epistles written
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
CATHOLIC LETTERS* Traditional name for seven NT books (letters): James; 1 and 2 Peter; 1, 2, and 3 John; and Jude. The term “catholic” has been given various interpretations: (1) These letters express the views of all the apostles. (2) They are canonical or genuine. (3) Thus they were distinguished from
The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated)
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
CATHOLIC EPISTLES A traditional designation for the last seven epistles in the NT. See Epistles, General.The term “catholic” is derived from Gr. katholikes, “general,” “worldwide,” “universal.” With the exception of II and III John, each of which is written to an individual person or church, these epistles
EPISTLES, GENERAL. Seven NT letters—James, I and II Peter, I, II and III John, Jude—are so called because they do not contain specific addresses (notice the contrast with the Pauline epistles). The description “seven Catholic (viz. indefinite and broadly addressed) epistles” was first given by the Church
The New Bible Dictionary, Third Edition
CATHOLIC EPISTLES. During the course of the formation of the *Canon of the NT the Epistles of James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2 and 3 John and Jude came to be grouped together and known as ‘Catholic’ (av ‘General’), because, with the exception of 2 and 3 John, they were addressed to a wider audience than a
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
Catholic LettersThe seven NT letters of James, 1-2 Peter, 1-2-3 John, and Jude. Gk. katholikós, “catholic” or “general,” denotes a letter sent to a number of churches spread out geographically or to the Church universal (almost in the sense of an encyclical). Such a letter is distinct from one sent
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Catholic Letters. A number of New Testament letters which, unlike the Pauline letters addressed to individual churches, were written to a wider and more general (Gk. katholikós) readership. The term (Gk. hai epistolaí katholikaí) was used as early as the third century A.D. (e.g., by Origen); in
Catholic Bible Dictionary
CATHOLIC EPISTLES The name given to seven letters of the New Testament: James; 1 and 2 Peter; 1, 2, and 3 John; and Jude. They are called “catholic” because they appear to be addressed to the universal Church rather than to particular communities.
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
Catholic Epistles. A title used properly of the NT Epistles of Jas., 1 and 2 Pet., 1 Jn., and Jude, because they were ‘general’ (i.e. universal) epistles, and (unlike those of St *Paul) not addressed to specified Churches or individuals. It is usual, however, to include 2 and 3 Jn. among them, though