Lectionary Year B
October 24, 1999
1 Thessalonians 2:1-8

Step III: Immediate Context


The first chapter of this epistle identifies the author(s) and the recipients. It love and conviction for the message and the recipients. It congratulates the faithfulness of the addressees. It regards them highly and exclaims their mission to Macedonia and Achaia. It reports that the addressees' reputation is spreading abroad.

The rest of this chapter reiterates Paul's industriousness. It also acknowledges the recipients' mission accomplishments following Paul's instructions.


The rest of this epistle reiterates, more positively and in some greater detail than in 's text, how Paul and company labored faithfully in Thessalonica. Then it tells of Timothy's mission and how the church there is to strengthen itself. It refers repeatedly to the delay in the Lord's return. It includes Paul's plea for the purity of family life, in 4:1-8. Other ethical and moral topics are addressed as well.


Commentaries agree. Paul is the author of 1 Thessalonians and it is one of the earliest written parts of the New Testament. He wrote from Corinth in about 50 CE. Paul had been in Thessalonica, Acts 17:1-9 tells us. There Paul preached in the synagogue and converted some Jews by explaining to them using, the scriptures with which they were familiar, the necessities of Christ's suffering and death. At least twice during his stay there, according to Philippians 4:15f, Paul received help from the Philippians. Some there objected to his proclaiming Christ as the Messiah. They interpreted his statements as declaring "another King, Christ". Some of Paul's converts helped him and his company leave there to avoid more abuse.

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