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613. Approved Scripture Elective: The Catholic Epistles
The term "Catholic Epistles" has traditionally been used to designate a group of seven New Testament writings, specifically: James, I & II Peter, I, II & III John and Jude, as distinct from the Epistles attributed to St. Paul. The term "catholic" was used in the east to designate that these were "universal" letters circulated to churches throughout the Mediterranean; in the west, these seven canonical epistles were approved for reading in Christian liturgical celebrations. When St. Athanasius of Alexandria issued his Easter letter containing his list of New Testament books c. 367 AD/CE, these "Catholic Epistles" were placed immediately after Acts of the Apostles and before the Epistles of St. Paul, which may indicate their traditional order. But the very significant compilation of St. Jerome's Latin Vulgate ultimately played a unique role in establishing these letters in the particular sequence we follow today as Catholics. Join us as we learn the universal scope of these teachings by the Apostles James, Peter, John and Jude.