The general epistles (also called the catholic epistles) are epistles of the New Testament. They are termed "general" because, for the most part, their intended audience seems to be Christians in general rather than individual persons or congregations, as with the Pauline epistles. However, 2 John and 3 John are included in this group despite their addresses respectively to the "elect lady", speculated by many to be the church itself, and to "Gaius", about whom there has been much speculation but little in the way of conclusive proof as to his identity.
Traditionally, the Petrine epistles are attributed to Peter the Apostle and the Johannine epistles are attributed to John the Apostle. The epistles of James and Jude are traditionally attributed to James and Jude, the brethren of Jesus.
Listed in order of their appearance in the New Testament, the general epistles are the:
- Epistle of James,
- First Epistle of Peter,
- Second Epistle of Peter,
- First Epistle of John,
- Second Epistle of John,
- Third Epistle of John, and
- Epistle of Jude.
- ReligiousTolerance.org: General epistles
- Timothy Ministries' Dictionary of Theology: General epistles
- Catholic Encyclopedia: Catholic Epistles
- Notes on the General Epistles by C. I. Scofield