The Pauline Epistles are the 13 letters in the New Testament that are attributed to St. Paul the Apostle. Paul wrote these letters to instruct and encourage the Christian populations in Rome, Corinth, Galatia and Ephesus, among other places in the ancient world. In some letters, he outlined the kinds of behaviors that were proper in a Christian community. Other messages in the epistles include advice on how to convert nonbelievers and on the spiritual gifts of the Christian community.
The earliest letters of Paul were his epistles to the Romans, which he wrote around 45 years after the Crucifixion. The Epistles to the Romans have 16 chapters that explain Paul's theology to the Christians of Rome. In these letters, he explains that Gentile Christians do not have to be circumcised to participate in God's covenant with His people. Paul advised the Roman Christians to avoid conflict with each other and to obey their secular rulers and Christian community leaders.
Paul wrote his epistles to the Corinthians around 50 years after the death of Jesus. They focus on the problems facing the Christian community in Corinth. One of these issues was the question of how Gentile Christians were expected to treat Jews. Paul explained that both Jews and Gentiles could be saved through Christ. He instructed the community in Corinth in how to live as Christians, particularly when it came to marriage. He ordered them to avoid worshipping idols and taught the community about Christ's resurrection from the dead.
Scholars believe that Paul wrote his letter to the Ephesians while imprisoned in Rome. Paul writes to give the community hope and to teach them how to live as a unified group. He particularly focuses on relationships within the community, such as the relationships between husbands and wives.