"Then Saul , still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the LORD , went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus , so that if he found any who were of the Way , whether men or women , he might bring them bound to Jerusalem ." (Acts 9 :1-2).
Yes , ' Saul'INE ' ! It was not a typo . It's rather a coinage . Having started his persecution of the gospel in person , in Acts 8 : 3 , Saul took a step further requesting letter from the high priest , empowering him to intensify the persecution in Damascus . It is the content of this letter to Damascus that forms the bedrock of this discourse . It is so tagged Saul'INE ' letter after the order of his other letters he later wrote as Paul - a changed person and an unrepentant advocate of the gospel . Such letters being generally referred to as " Pauline Letters / Epistles " in modern day christendom , occupy a substantial part of the New Testament .
What Are Letters ?
Letters are official documents expressing a statement of an action , intention , demand , or request . Letters are written from one person to another on behalf of an individual . One of such was written by Paul on behalf of Onesimus , a slave that escaped from his master , Philemon . He pleaded for Onesimus to be reinstated , " I am sending him back . You therefore receive him , that is, my own heart ." (Philm . 18) . Letters are written by one organization to another for several reasons . At times , letters could be written on behalf of a group of people .The Greek word for letters is "EPISTLE."
Letters can be drafted and crafted in series of languages depending on the locality and the audience . The addressees of such letters are more often than not , bound to act on the receipt of such , vis - a - vis the contents . Compliance is key ! In our contemporary world , virtually everyone of us might have at one time or the other written or received letters . Such letters , for example can be transitional : ranging from interview , ( varieties of interviews ) to employment , to deployment / transfer , promotional , termination / retirement , or eviction letters . Letters are for informational purposes . In their various tones and contexts , they are all saying one and the same thing - that the contents of such letters be honored and acted upon , within a certain time frame . Letters that bear good news , in our days , usually start with the caption "CONGRATULATIONS ." There are also letters that are ' vindictive ' in contents and purposes . Such was the letter of Saul to Damascus - the crux of this submission . Letters bear a signature or seal at the end , to make it official , regardless of whether they are favorable or vindictive .
I pray, our letters of congratulations will NOT be delayed anymore ! And they shall not fall into wrong hands . Amen !
Henceforth , we shall begin to receive favorable letters . Amen !