In grammar school I was taught some rudimentary rules about writing letters: that there are basically two types (personal/friendly and business); that one (business) has an inside address, while friendly letters do not; but that both begin and end the same way (with a greeting, such as "Dear Father," and a closing, "Your son, Gordon").
Letters in the Greco-Roman period had this pattern in reverse, with a threefold salutation at the beginning: "Gordon, to his father: Greetings." Very often the next item in the letter was a wish (sometimes a prayer) for the health or well-being of the recipient. Paul's letters, which follow this standard form, usually include a thanksgiving report and sometimes, as here, a prayer report (telling his recipients specifically how he prays for them). In contrast to most first-century letters, where (as in ours) these formal items were stereotyped, Paul tends to elaborate them; and in his hands they become distinctively Christian.
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Now that you've created a Bible Gateway account, upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus, the ultimate online Bible reading & study experience!
Bible Gateway Plus equips you to answer the toughest questions about faith, God, and the Bible. There's no software to install; it's all integrated seamlessly into your Bible Gateway experience. Try it free for 30 days!