General epistles (also called Catholic Epistles) are books in the New Testament in the form of letters. 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 is the case 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 epistles of Peter are attributed to Peter the Apostle and the epistles of John are attributed to John the Apostle. The epistles of James and Jude are traditionally attributed to Jesus' brothers James and Jude.
Listed in order of their appearance in the New Testament, the General epistles are:
- Epistle of James
- First Epistle of Peter
- Second Epistle of Peter
- First Epistle of John
- Second Epistle of John
- Third Epistle of John
- 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