These are letters written by early church leaders, such as Peter. Most however were written by Paul. They are letters to friends and early Christian groups.
The Epistles explain vital sections of belief, in particular the importance of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
A belief in these events and in what they mean is fundamental to the Christian faith and for this reason they remain important and relevant today.
The Epistles also offered advice both to the early Christian churches, concerning the problems that they were then facing, and to individuals on how they should live their lives.
Simple ordinary images are used, in the Epistles, to help people to understand e.g. In explaining the meaning of Jesus’ death.
Paul described Jesus as a lamb; at that time most people would know that a lamb was sacrificed every year at the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and the Jews believed that this sacrifice enabled God to wash away sin.
By describing Jesus as a lamb Paul was showing that Jesus’ death was like the sacrifice of the lamb, because it enabled God to forgive mankind’s sins. Paul also went on to explain that, unlike the lamb (which had to be sacrificed every year) Jesus’ sacrifice was enough for all time.