A Trick to Help You Read New Testament Epistles as Actual Letters


As you well know, many of the New Testament books were originally composed as epistles or letters. Paul sent letters to the churches in Corinth, Philippi, Colossae, and so on. It’s easy, however, to lose sight of the “epistolary form” with the addition of chapter and verse numbers, pericope headings, text formatting, etc.

Fortunately for us, our Logos Bible Software contains a feature called Bible Text Only allowing us to hide these extra-biblical markings and thus read letters as letters.

For example, imagine you’re going to study your way through Philippians. Before beginning verse-by-verse exegesis, I encourage you to read through the entirety of the epistle numerous times in one sitting.

To get a feel for the letter as a letter, try this:

  • Open any Bible to Philippians 1:1 (A)
  • Click the Visual Filters icon on the Bible’s toolbar (B)
  • Expand the Resource section (C)
  • Check the Resource box (D)
  • Expand the Bible text only section (E)
  • Check the Bible text only box (F)
  • Uncheck all of the boxes underneath Bible text only (G)
  • Click outside the list to close it (H)


  • Notice the extra-biblical markings are removed from the biblical text leaving you with Philippians in a form much closer to the way Paul originally penned it (I)


Now read through the book several times and I think you’ll be able to get the feel for the book as a letter. You may even find yourself outlining the letter differently than the chapter and verse numbers do!

For more detailed information about Bible Text Only as well as other Logos Bible Software 7 features, be sure to check out the Logos Bible Software Training Manual Bundle available in both print and digital formats.

Also, there’s still time to register for live hands-on training at Camp Logos Atlanta, GA February 7-9.

Morris Proctor is a certified trainer for Logos Bible Software. Morris, who has trained thousands of Logos users at his two-day Camp Logos seminars, provides many training materials.