from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The term prescript is made up of the Latin words prae ("before") and scribere ("to write"), meaning what is written in front of it. The so-called formulaic phrase stands as an introduction to the beginning of ancient letters , i.e. before the actual content of the letter. In the basic version, a prescript comprises three components: the name of the sender (lat. Superscriptio ), the name of the addressee (lat. Adscriptio ) and a greeting (lat. Salutatio ). For example, Seneca writes as a prescript: Seneca Lucilio suo salutem (“Seneca greets his Lucilius”).

The same scheme is found in New Testament letters . The letter of James begins with the words: "James ... the twelve tribes in the dispersion: salute" ( Jak 1,1  EU ). The majority of the letters in the New Testament contain a wish for a blessing instead of a simple greeting, for example “Grace to you and peace from God” ( Eph 1,2  EU ).

Paul's letters contain an expanded prescript.

After the prescript there is a Proömium in which the addressees are addressed (often through a wish for well-being), and / or God in the form of praise (what is called eulogy , for example "Praise be to God ..."), thanks or intercession.


  • Hans Conzelmann , Andreas Lindemann : Workbook for the New Testament. 10th edition, Tübingen 1991, pp. 36-38.
  • Hans-Josef Klauck : The ancient letter literature and the New Testament. A textbook and workbook (UTB 2022). Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn 1998.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Herwig Görgemanns : Epistle. In: The New Pauly (DNP). Volume 3, Metzler, Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-476-01473-8 , Sp. 1161-1164.
  2. Seneca , Epistulae morales 1,1.
  3. ^ Ferdinand Rupert Prostmeier: Eulogy. I. Biblical . In: Walter Kasper (Ed.): Lexicon for Theology and Church . 3. Edition. tape 3 . Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 1995, Sp. 987 .