Briefschrijvende jongeman bij geopend venster— Gabriël Metsu, 1665
The epistles — a Greek word (
ἐπιστολή) which literally translates to
letter — make up the majority of the new Testament, with 21 canonical epistles — most of which (fourteen to be precise) were written by Paul — being included in the canon. Of these twenty-one pieces of literature belonging to the epistolic genre, seven fall under the so-called
catholic (or general) category. Amongst the authors of the latter category are John — who is generally not believed to be the John of the Apocalypse, nor the John of the Gospel — and Peter, whom some believe to be Simon Peter, one of the original apostles of Jesus.