[b-greek] Re: Structure of a 1st century Epistle

From: Jack Kilmon (jkilmon@historian.net)
Date: Sun Apr 01 2001 - 19:57:30 EDT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Sangrey" <msangrey@BlueFeltHat.org>
To: "Biblical Greek" <b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu>
Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2001 1:01 PM

Subject: [b-greek] Structure of a 1st century Epistle

> What is the common structure of a 1st century letter?
> For example,
> Recipients: PASIN TOIS hAGIOIS...
> In other words, what are the parts? And what are they called?

The opening which will contain 1. an initial address (Praescriptio) and 2.
an initial greeting:

1. Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus to Mike Sangrey, my good buddy

2. Grace, Mercy and Peace from God, the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

There can be several formulas for the greeting. It can be a simple "I send
you greetings."
or something more formal as above.

Then comes the 3. body of the letter which often contains, near the
beginning, 4. a secondary
greeting to someone else of mutual acquaintance.

3. I enjoyed my visit there last month and the roast lamb dinner. I was
pleased to meet
     Jim West 4. to whom I send fond greetings.

The letter then goes on to relay whatever information or request that forms
the motive for writing.

At the end of the body of the letter will be a closing that can include a
conclusion formula:

5. May the Grace of our Lord Christ Jesus be with you.

and mention a scribe if the letter was dictated:

6. Philomachus writes this to which I set my seal.

and perhaps, a date

7. In the first day of the 4th month of the 1st year of the rule of
Georgios Bushos.

The letter would be written on Papyrus beginning on the Recto side then
flipped over top to bottom and continued on the verso
side in the opposite direction from that of the verso. A space would be left
at the bottom of the verso and the papyrus folded
so the blank verso bottom is on top to contain the address. .

To Mike Sangrey
Blue Felt Hat township

The folded papyrus coul;s then be folded again sideways and bound
with a string held with a wax or clay seal impressed with the name of the



taybutheh d'maran yeshua masheecha am kulkon

Jack Kilmon
San Marcos, Tx


sharing a meal for free.

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