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NT Survey 111 Seminar 14 Thessalonians

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Andrew Hodge                                                                                                         7th July 2007

New Testament Survey NTES 111

Seminar 14

The Thessalonian Epistles

1 and 2 Thessalonians

Irving L. Jensen Jensen’s Survey of the New Testament 1981, Moody Press, Chicago Ch 17

Libronix DLS

Guthrie, Donald  New Testament Introduction  Apollos, Leicester, England 4th Ed  1990 Ch 15

Thompson Chain Reference Bible  Fifth Improved Edition B.B.Kirkbride Bible Co., Inc. Indianapolis, Indiana 1988

Review Paul’s ministry to the Thessalonian churches:

            After visiting Philippi for a necessarily short time on his second missionary journey, Paul continues west along the Egnatian Way to the next big European city, Thessalonica, the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia. It is not clear from scripture how long Paul and his party were in Philippi, but it may have been even shorter than he spent in Thessalonica - only three Sabbath days (Acts 17:2). The Holy Spirit was surely shaking and moving! (see Acts 16:20, 17:5-6, 13, 16-20).

Even though the Athenians were just intensely curious about the Gospel and he moved on to Corinth shortly after harvesting a few souls, Paul’s first roller-coaster through Macedonia and Greece along the Egnatian trade route did not start to settle until he reached Athens after stopping, again for a short time, in Berea (Jensen Map V p 337).

It would appear that Paul used common sense in determining where he should minister and how he should get there; we should remember that common sense is not always how God wants us to do things eg Acts 16:9-12 - Paul is directed away from further common sense ministry in Asia in order to take the Gospel to Europe, without which early Christian history would be very different.  

He was able to leave Silas and Timothy in Berea (Acts 17:14), but had to leave swiftly himself in order to avoid an unnecessary confrontation with the Jews who had followed them.

This sequence says a lot about the power of Paul’s ministry in all these cities, and about the way he led his group, and about the means God used to kick-start the Gospel in Europe. In spite of the brief exposure to a radical new doctrine, the Europeans embraced it with the power and grace of God such that for the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 1:6-8) “… ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:
7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.
8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.”[1]

It is remarkable that so much was achieved in such a short time - not so much the short time spent by Paul in these places, but the short time (two years 50 to 52 AD? see below) between visiting them and writing this letter, during which the Holy Spirit was able to use these European congregations to His glory.

It also makes one wonder what kind of experiences were so rapidly spread abroad. Bad news travels the fastest and if the persecutions in Rome were bad, one wonders what the “much affliction” the Thessalonians had to put up with (1 Thessalonians 1:6, 2:14; 2 Thessalonians 1:4-7, 11-12). Note that the Thessalonians already believed that the ‘day of the Lord’ had come because of the tribulations they had experienced.

Given the favourite evil topics of today’s media it seems unlikely that a recently formed radical group doing good would hit the international news. I am sceptical that Jensen’s “it’s fame was widespread because of the miraculous transformation of lives from idolatry to Christianity” (p 350) is entirely correct. The same phenomenon would have occurred in Philippi, Corinth, Athens and Ephesus but is not expressly mentioned as a characteristic of any of those early church bodies. I think something recognised as universally bad by the unsaved was happening to the saints in Thessalonica, greater than just a single recorded episode of mob violence stirred up by disaffected Jews (Acts 17:5-9, 13). Discuss.

As was his habit, Paul was eager to share the Gospel in the local synagogue on the first Sabbath he was in Thessalonica (Acts 17:2), reasoning with them out of the scriptures ie he used the existing Word of God to state his case.

As there was a significant Jewish population amongst the Greeks and Romans in the city and possibly more than one synagogue (Acts 17:5), the average Jew probably knew much about the OT (or at the very least were well versed in Jewish customs and practices). They had to compete against Roman emperor-worship and the local idolatries, compounded by the proximity of Mount Olympus, the birthplace of the Grecian gods.

           

 

Discuss the Date, Purpose and Authenticity of the two Epistles:

            Paul identifies himself as the writer by name in 1 Thessalonians 1:1 and 2:18, and in 2 Thessalonians 1:1 and 3:17. Assuming the reader accepts that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God” and that both Letters to the Thessalonians are scripture, then God is saying both Letters are written by Paul.

The designation “apostle” does not occur in either Letter (with the possible exception of 1 Thessalonians 2:6), nor in Philippians or Philemon. None of these books are strongly anti-heretical or condemnatory and therefore do not need to carry an apostle’s “weight”. All of Paul’s other NT books introduce him as an apostle so that he establishes his authority to speak up front (Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, 1&2 Timothy and Titus). Discuss

Jensen states that “It was from (Corinth) that Paul wrote both of the Thessalonian letters” (p 348), quoting Acts 18:1, 11, but neither of these verses establish that Paul wrote to the Thessalonians from Corinth, merely that Paul was in Corinth at an appropriate time. The redactor-postscript to each of these letters states “written from Athens”. Is one right or are they both wrong? Which is authentic? Corinth might have been assumed on the basis that both the Thessalonian letters include Timothy and Silas in the greeting, and these two did not rejoin Paul until after he had left Athens for Corinth (Acts 18:5). On the other hand, Paul was expecting them to join him any day in Athens (Acts 17:15) and he may have written in anticipation of this, particularly including them because they were both well known to the Thessalonians. It might be thought that Paul was in Athens too short a time to write to Thessalonica, which may be an argument for 2 Thessalonians, but not necessarily for the first letter.

It might also be thought that the “we” of 1 Thessalonians 3:1 was Paul + Timothy and that therefore the first letter was written from Athens after Paul sent Timothy to Thessalonica (3:2) who therefore had to return to Athens before the first Letter could be written.

Guthrie’s contribution concerning the movements of Timothy and Silas is: “which suggests that they had carried out a journey from Athens to Macedonia and back to Corinth which Acts does not record”.[2]  Discuss

The date of writing of both Letters is during the second missionary journey - AD 49-52. Jensen places it at about 52 AD (and Galatians about 48 AD. Footnote 5 p 351 states that ‘If Galatians was not the first to be written, as many hold, then the Thessalonian letters were Paul’s first inspired writings’). From the generally accepted chronology Paul had been saved for 15 years by 48 AD and had conducted one missionary journey before writing his first Letter accepted as being canonical.

Guthrie states: “The date of this epistle may be fixed with a fair degree of precision since it falls within Paul’s period at Corinth, which provides us with one of the most certain contacts with secular chronology in the proconsulate of Gallio.”[3] He then goes on to establish a date for the proconsulate of Gallio, but gives no data why Paul should have written to the Thessalonians at this time or from this place.

The first Letter to the Thessalonians was occasioned by his sending Timothy from Athens to find out how they were getting along after their first flying visit (1 Thessalonians 3:1-5). Paul was Satanically hindered (by what or whom? Discuss) more than once from going himself (1 Thessalonians 2:17-18). Timothy returns (to which city? Athens or Corinth?) reporting to Paul on their generally healthy spiritual state, which Paul receives with joy and comfort, and is stimulated to write to them and to pray for them (1 Thessalonians 3:10).

Jensen lists four reasons why Paul wrote the first letter (p 351):

·         To commend the Christians for their faith and generosity (3:6)

·         To expose sins (eg fornication 4:3; idleness 4:11) and to correct misunderstandings about the second coming of Christ (4:13-17)

·         To encourage the new Christians in their faith (4:1-12)

·         To answer false charges made against Paul. Possibly:

  1. Paul was just out to make money (replied to in 2:3, 9, 10)
  2. Paul was a flatterer, his ministry purely for self-gratification (replied to in 2:4-6)
  3. Paul was afraid to ever show his face in Thessalonica again (replied to in 2:17-20)

It should be noted that the explanatory passages on the second coming are

interspersed with doctrines regarding the proper conduct of the Christian life, rather than being an end in itself. The second coming was a doctrine in place from the very beginning of the Church (eg James 5:8 written 45 AD) and is fundamental to Christian hope and practice. The book of James was addressed “to the twelve tribes scattered abroad” (James 1:1) and by the time of Paul’s writing to the Thessalonians, had had about seven years to circulate among the scattered Jews in the known world, possibly well known to the Jewish population in Thessalonica.

            Guthrie mentions critics who cast doubt on the authenticity of 1 Thessalonians on the ground of style, Pauline eschatology, historical setting, Paul’s character, and a supposition that it is the compilation of up to four non-existent letters also written by Paul.[4]

            Regarding authenticity, Wanamaker makes the comment: “The shift to the first person singular in the verb ἐνορκίζω (“I adjure”) is unexpected, but probably means that Paul took over writing the letter from the amanuensis to whom he had been dictating or who was writing the letter on Paul’s behalf. This corresponds to 2 Thes. 3:17, where Paul tells his readers that it is his practice to write the final greetings in his own hand as a sign of authenticity. The original readers would of course have immediately noted the change in handwriting, if this suggestion is correct, and would presumably have recognized it as Paul’s since elsewhere the apostle seems to imply that his script was unusual (Gal. 6:11).”[5]

The second Letter to the Thessalonians was apparently written a few months

after the first (52 AD) as “a second prescription for the same case, made after discovering that some certain stubborn symptoms had not yielded to the first treatment”. 1a In my view this is more accurate (although the second letter is much more than this) than claiming, as does Guthrie[6] that the second letter was written to counteract the misapprehensions caused by the first.

            The existence of 2 Thessalonians is strong evidence that 1 Thessalonians is authentic.

1a R.H.Walker The Second Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Thessalonians in The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia  G.W.Bromiley General Editor, Fully Revised 1988, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company  Grand Rapids, Michigan V, 2968 quoted in Irving L. Jensen Jensen’s Survey of the New Testament 1981, Moody Press, Chicago footnote 10 p 361

Guthrie states his view regarding 2 Thessalonians: “Many modern scholars are disinclined to regard this epistle as authentic, but there are still those who defend it.”2,[7] He supports this with an impressive bibliography (see below) but others more

qualified than he or his compatriots have certified this Book as being entirely authentic - the early Christians who naturally included it in their canon.

Guthrie even includes a three page discussion of whether 2 Thessalonians was written before 1 Thessalonians, and concludes: “But the evidence as a whole is more in favour of the traditional order than the reverse.”[8] Fancy that.

            There is no doubt that there is an emphasis in the first letter on the second coming of Christ, which Paul had personally preached and accuses them of forgetting (2 Thessalonians 2:5). The second coming (rapture and revelation) is mentioned or enlarged upon in each of the five chapters of the first letter (1 Thessalonians 1:10, 2:19, 3:13, 4:13-17, 5:1-7, 9-10, 23).

            In a sense, the need to add to the doctrine of the second coming in the second letter was either Paul’s own fault for raising their expectations that the second coming was so imminent that they believed that it might have already occurred, or the Thessalonians’ fault that they had not understood the spiritual basis on which Paul had preached about the second coming (ie live your Christian lives to the full, now, today, in the expectation that the Lord will return at any moment). Or a combination of both.

            Perhaps the Thessalonians thought that if the day of the Lord had already arrived (the Revelation) because of their persecutions, then what about the Rapture that Paul had preached and written about? Had they missed it? Was Paul still there or had he been snatched away already? NB This is a strong argument for Pauline authorship ie if someone had written it after Paul had died, would they have expected Paul to rapidly rise from the dead if the parousia was so imminent?

                It is not clear from 2 Thessalonians how Paul came to know about the wrong thinking of the congregation at Thessalonica. It is assumed by Jensen that another visitor to Thessalonica reported back to Paul in Corinth (p 361).

Reading somewhat between the lines, the Thessalonians had believed that the ‘day of the Lord’ had already come, the end of all things was upon them, those of their saved brethren who had already died in the short interim had missed out on the wonderful events of the Coming, and in anticipation of being raptured, those who were still alive had quit work and were idle. Paul also knew that they had received a forged letter - purportedly from Paul - saying that ‘the day of Christ is at hand’ (2:2).

            Jensen states that “the two epistles differ mainly over which phase of the Lord’s return is in view. In 1 Thessalonians, the first phase (rapture) is the main subject. In 2 Thessalonians, attention is focused on the second phase (revelation)” (p 362). Jensen also provides two useful Charts comparing 1 and 2 Thessalonians (Chart 93 p 362) and comparing the Rapture and the Revelation (Chart 94 p 363).

            It appears that I agree with Jensen in being a “pre-millenial, pre-tribulational rapturist”.

             

 

 

 

 

The following outlines are based on the marginal references in the Thompson Chain Reference Bible:

 

Summarise Ch 1 of the first Epistle:

1:1-2 An Exemplary Church In neither of these letters does Paul include the Church officers or ‘the saints at’ - preferring “the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ”. This may reflect his unfamiliarity with the individuals there and the embryonic state of the Church structure, while emphasising his conviction that their bedrock faith is well known.

Paul is thankful for their testimony and responds by thanksgiving and prayer on their behalf.

1:3-4 The Power of the Gospel Paul mentions election in connection with faith, labour of love, and patience of hope Discuss?

1:5-7 Power of “Word” which is in reality the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, testifying far and wide to the Christians round about them

1:8-10 An Inspirational Church The Thessalonians’ response to the Gospel, preached to them by Paul and their subsequent testimony, proved to Paul and others the power of God to serve and the power of the hope that they were waiting for from heaven.

 

Survey Paul’s work and relations with the Churches of Thessalonica 1 Thessalonians 2:1-16:

            2:1-3 Paul’s method and message Paul is able to claim that in spite of well-known persecution, he did not shrink from preaching the same thing that got him into trouble before, and was able to openly claim that at no time did he display deceit, uncleanness or guile.

            2:4-7 Stewardship of the Gospel Paul’s preaching - although to the Thessalonians - was unto God for the Gospel was given by God to Paul in trust, to be used carefully, wisely and tenderly, never for personal gain or for the credit of others - only God’s

            2:8-12 Love for the Church Paul’s preaching is not impersonal but accompanied by a strong desire to develop a deeper relationship with those who listened, without imposing himself or his normal physical and social needs on them, exhorting them to live Godly lives “as a father doth his children”

            2:13 The message received as Divine Paul’s message was unmistakeable as being from God. In a sense Paul is proud of this Discuss?

            2:14-16 Rehearsal of the persecutions by the Jews The Thessalonians suffered the same persecution from their local (?) Jews as did those in Judea - attempting to prevent the spread of the Gospel, even to Gentiles (one might have thought that the Jew would not care too much about this); while at the same time they are part of a race that killed God’s prophets, were now persecuting His evangelists, and were continuing to fill up their accounts with sin for which God’s “wrath is come upon them to the uttermost”.

           

 

Evaluate Paul’s concern for their state and growth 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13:

            2:17-20 ministerial affection Paul shows his love by strongly desiring to return to see them but was prevented from doing so - by one no less than Satan himself. The Church at Thessalonica is Paul’s pride and joy.

            3:1-5 Timothy sent to comfort the Church Paul’s anguish about the spiritual state of the Thessalonians prompts him to send Timothy - not just to find out how they were going but also to “establish you and comfort you concerning your faith” and to reassure the Thessalonians that Paul, in spite of his own quota of afflictions, is OK.

            3:6-9 Timothy’s encouraging report On finding their strong ‘faith and charity’ Paul is now able to “live” (v 8) having heard this, his joy being more than he can readily express

            3:10-13 Prayer for the Church In spite of Timothy’s excellent report, Paul’s prayer night and day is still to ‘perfect their faith’, increase their love, establish their hearts unblameable in holiness before God, ready for the return of Christ.

 

 

Analyse Paul’s practical exhortations to the Thessalonians 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12:

            4:1-12 An exhortation to purity of life Based on the direct commandments of the Lord Jesus (v 2), and for the benefit of their walk by faith, their ability to please God and their sanctification, Paul instructs them on the evils and pitfalls of fornication, pointing out that satisfying oneself at the expense of others is to despise God.

He exhorts them to be ‘quiet’, to do and to mind their own business, not sponging off anyone else, that they may hold their heads high in honesty toward outsiders, and lack nothing.

            He acknowledges that they already have expressed considerable love toward one another and “to all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more”.

 

 

Examine the problem that Paul deals with concerning the parousia 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18:

            4:13-18 The resurrection and second coming It is assumed that the Thessalonians were ignorant about the fact of the rapture even though Paul has personally told them about it already. Paul understood that the Thessalonians were grieving concerning their folk who had already died, for even though they were dead, they would still share in the resurrection promised to the living. He urges them to be comforted with the sequence of resurrection events that he lists which includes the dead in Christ being resurrected first, then followed by the living saved.

 

 

Critique the problem concerning the parousia 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11:

            5:1-3 The suddenness of Christ’s coming The Thessalonians are already supposed to know about this (vv 1-2). Christ’s second coming is the inevitable fulfilment of God’s plans just like a pregnancy inevitably comes to a delivery. But because of the ignorance of the ungodly, it will appear suddenly and unexpectedly and they shall not escape the consequences of their rebelliousness. The godly, on the other hand, should be prepared all the time to expect the rapture to happen immediately

            5:4-7 Spiritual enlightenment The Thessalonians are neither ungodly nor ignorant for they walk in the light, not in darkness. Therefore, watch. Live as becomes a child of light.

            5:8-13 The sons of light Those who want to fulfil the purposes of God will not forget to put on the armour of spiritual protection - not to withstand the wrath of God for we are “not appointed “ to this (Discuss) - but to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling”. Part of this process is to remember those brethren “which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you” to “esteem them highly in love for their work’s sake”.

 

 

Develop Paul’s meaning concerning the believers’ walk 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28:

            5:14-28 A summary of duties On the face of it this is merely a list of “do’s and don’ts”, the fundamental of which is in v 24 “Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it”. The focus of this passage (v 23) is similar to Ephesians 4:12-15 where the edification of each member of the Church body is toward the “measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”. This is quite impossible to achieve by self-effort, hence Paul’s list of exhortations which, if followed in the Spirit, keep us pointed in the right direction. It might be taken as a partial checklist or a yardstick against which we can evaluate our Christian performance.

            Verse 27 uses the word “charge” for Paul urging this first letter to “be read unto all the holy brethren”. The Greek has the force of ‘compelling the receiver to make an oath that he would do this’ which is strong language.

 

 

Consider how we can expect persecution before the rapture 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12:

            1:1-2 Salutations Paul was in his early phase of (canonical) letter-writing and his greeting in this letter is virtually identical with 1 Thessalonians, perhaps wanting to establish an environment of grace and peace between him and his readers before letting out what he needs to say. Nothing wrong in that.

            1:3-6 An exemplary Church Similar to 1 Thessalonians Ch 1 with in addition Paul’s praise for their growth in faith and giving, and patience in persecution. He boasts about their performance “in the churches of God” (V 4). Discuss

He introduces the doctrine of the judgment of God which is just as righteous when placing persecution on the Christian (eg 1 Peter 4:12-13) as it is in recompensing punishment on the perpetrator. Although not explicit, it can be assumed that the Thessalonican Christians had as much difficulty accepting this as we do.

            1:7-10 The future judgment Being concerned about current persecution may be a ‘natural’ reaction, but the proper response is to remember that when Jesus comes in judgment the persecutors will suffer an everlasting severe punishment and Jesus will be glorified in His saints

            1:10-12 Christ’s glory To thus persevere in persecution and wait for the consummation of God’s plan (without seeing God’s immediate revenge on evildoing) is to be seen by God as being worthy of His calling, fulfilling the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power, that “the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ”.

 

 

Construct Paul’s correction concerning problems of the parousia 2 Thessalonians 2:1-11:

            This passage is the crux of the second letter. It outlines the history preceding the arrival of Christ (v 1): first, there will be “a falling away” and second, that the “man of sin” be revealed (v 3). Neither of these things had happened yet, hence the day of Christ was not yet at hand (v 2).

            2:1-2 Events that precede Christ’s coming He is coming, we shall be gathered up, but not yet, so don’t get upset.

            2:3-7 Man of sin to be revealed First, a spiritual decline (that unsaved blind Freddy can see, and he sees it now as we speak hence the frantic search for ‘meaning in life’ for the majority of the current world’s population who nevertheless reject God as irrelevant to the solution they want!). Then Antichrist reveals himself - for whom the world has prepared itself - and he demands to be worshipped as only God should be worshipped. His timing is impeccable.

The only Person currently preventing this from happening immediately is the Holy Spirit; whose control will be relaxed at the rapture when those who are the Temple of the Holy Spirit are removed from the earth. God remains in control at all times and is merely allowing the antichrist to play his allotted part.

2:8-12 Delusions of the arch-deceiver The antichrist comes “after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” and deceives the ungodly “because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved”. Antichrist is also deceived, in that he does not believe that he will be consumed “with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming”. So in contrast with the works of the antichrist, Christ destroys merely by arriving.

As with the topic of election - after the event (see below) - God sends a strong delusion to those who are confirmed in their love of a lie and take pleasure in unrighteousness.

 

 

Assess how Christian brethren are supposed to relate to each other 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17:

            2:13-17 Thanksgiving for believers The basis of God’s choosing of believers is “belief of the truth” as a response to His calling by the preaching of the Gospel resulting in the gift of “the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ”. On account of this foundation, Paul urges the Thessalonians to “stand fast and hold the traditions which ye have been taught”.

The English ‘traditions’ here is a translation of a Greek word which reflects the Hebrew concept of the transmission of oral Law eg by Moses from God to Israel. Paul is using this word in exactly the same way - God’s New Covenant transmitted to the Thessalonians through Paul.

            This passage is not primarily about the interrelationships between Christian brethren but about the individual’s vertical relationship with God, which by inference is then reflected in the human horizontal relationships. The fundamental of both levels of interaction is love, giving humanity “everlasting consolation and good hope through grace”, comfort, and establishment “in every good word and work”.

 

 

Outline how Christians are supposed to live now 2 Thessalonians 3:1-15:

            3:1-4 Prayer sought Paul covets the prayer of the Thessalonians in order to allow him freedom to preach and glorify the Lord, just as the Thessalonians are experiencing. By the same token, he is exhorting the Thessalonians to follow his directions for living, as a consequence of their dependence on the Lord, in His protection.

The relationship between teacher and taught is partly illustrated here - the teacher has the rules, but the student may outstrip the teacher in results (v 1), because it is the Lord who is in control of both.

            3:5 Patient waiting for the Lord’s advent Two fundamental bases for living - having the love of God; waiting patiently for Christ. This latter is active anticipation, wanting to be found in a state that Christ accepts as being worthy of His calling.

3:6-9 Separation from evil associations enjoined This is not external, but deals with any evil associations within the body of Christ, therefore “withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly” following Paul’s example when he was among them, that he did not “eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day that we might not be chargeable to any of you:”.

“Command” of v 6 is no unimportant suggestion to the Thessalonian church, for Paul uses a Greek word which “denotes fixed and abiding obligations rather than specific or occasional instructions, duties arising from the office rather than coming from the personal will of a superior.”[9] Paul is saying “Don’t just do what I say, but do it because you are obliged to God”.

3:10-11 Idle busybodies rebuked Paul’s personal employment was an important example for those idle Thessalonians who were disorderly, busybodies, for “that if any would not work, neither should he eat”.

3:12-17 Apostolic authority By the authority given him by God, Paul commands in the same way as in vv 6 and 10 (see above) for all the brethren to work and eat the fruit of their own labour. He encourages all to not be “weary in well doing”. He urges all his readers to obey what he has written, and if they do not, avoid them “that they may be ashamed”. The context requires that this be done in love, not to make brethren enemies.

 

 

Evaluate Paul’s benediction and prayer 2 Thessalonians 3:16-18:

            See above for Paul’s seal of the authenticity of this Letter.

           

 

 

 


----

[1]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version. Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995.

[2]Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, Series taken from jacket., 4th rev. ed., The master reference collection, 591 (Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 1996, c1990).

[3]ibid 587

[4]Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, Series taken from jacket., 4th rev. ed., The master reference collection, 592 (Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 1996, c1990).

[5]Charles A. Wanamaker, The Epistles to the Thessalonians : A Commentary on the Greek Text, Spine title: Commentary on 1 & 2 Thessalonians.; Includes indexes., 208 (Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans, 1990).

[6]Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, Series taken from jacket., 4th rev. ed., The master reference collection, 602 (Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 1996, c1990).

2 The most notable among modern scholars who dispute authenticity is C. Masson, Les Épîtres aux Thessaloniciens (1957), who follows the tradition of H. J. Holtzmann (ZNTW 2 (1901), pp. 97–108) and G. Hollmann (ZNTW 5 (1904), pp. 28–38). B. Rigaux (Les Épîtres aux Thessaloniciens, 1956, p. 132) cites the following authors who have maintained authenticity since igloo: J. Weiss, Hadorn, Appel, Feine-Behm, Michaelis, Moffatt, Goodspeed, Lake, Nock, Knox, West and Selwyn. In fact, he can quote no commentator who rejects the epistle. His work appeared almost simultaneously with C. Masson’s and this accounts for his omission of any mention of the latter’s opposition. On theological grounds H. Braun also denies the authenticity (ZNTW 44 (1952–3), pp. 152–156).

More recently W. Trilling, Untersuchungen zum 2 Thessalonicherbrief (1972), and W. Marxsen, Der firste Briefan die Thessonicher (1979); idem, Der zweite Thessalonicherbrief (1982), have rejected authenticity. Trilling’s arguments for regarding 2 Thessalonians as certainly pseudonymous have been criticized by B. Rigaux, Theol Rev 69 (1973), pp. 368–370, and by E. Best in his review in Biblica 55 (1974), pp. 446–449. The latter criticizes Trilling for not sufficiently examining other Pauline letters, and for not providing a sufficient Sitz im Leben for a supposed non-Pauline epistle. On the other hand, J. A. Bailey, ‘Who wrote II Thessalonians?’, NTS 25 (1979), pp. 131–145, considers that the letter was pseudepigraphic and written about the last decade of the first century, on the basis of literary arguments, eschatological arguments, tone and other problems. Cf. Kümmel, INT, p. 268, for support of authenticity for 2 Thessalonians.

[7]Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, Series taken from jacket., 4th rev. ed., The master reference collection, 593 (Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 1996, c1990).

[8]ibid 602

[9]James Strong, The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible : Showing Every Word of the Text of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurrence of Each Word in Regular Order., electronic ed., G5844 (Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship., 1996).

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