epistle (ĭpĭsˈəl) [key], in the Bible, a letter of the New Testament. The Pauline Epistles (ascribed to St. Paul) are Romans, First and Second Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, First and Second Thessalonians, First and Second Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and Hebrews. The Catholic, or General, Epistles are James; First and Second Peter; First, Second, and Third John; and Jude. This classification is traditional. There is an Epistle of Jeremiah in Baruch. In traditional Christian liturgies, the Epistle is normally a portion of one of these letters read aloud.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.