Confraternity Bible: New Testament and Supplemental Commentary

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1 THESSALONIANS - Chapter 1

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1 Thessalonians 1

Supplemental Commentary:

THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS

Introduction  1, 1-10

1, 1:  Greeting.  Paul associates himself with Silvanus (Silas) and Timothy in the opening salutation, because they were with him in Corinth at the time this letter was written, and because both were known to the Thessalonians.  Silvanus assisted Paul in the foundation of the church at Thessalonica (Acts 17, 4.10).  Timothy, too, may have been one of its founders.  If not, he at least represented Paul there shortly after the latter's expulsion from the city (1 Thess. 3, 2).  The church . . . in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: through the grace of Christ the members of the Church live in union with Jesus Christ and God the Father.  Cf. John 17, 22; 1 John 2, 24.

1, 2-10:  Thanksgiving for Their Faith.    2 f.  The theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity, which are the foundation of all holy living, are conspicuous in their lives.    4-10.  The virtuous conduct of the Thessalonians edifies the Christian world and commands its praise.    4.  Paul proceeds to describe the manner in which their call to the faith took place.    5.  His preaching was accompanied by the performance of miracles (in power), and by an extraordinary display of spiritual gifts (in the Holy Spirit), such as the gifts of tongues and prophecy.  In much fullness: refers to Paul's preaching, rather than to the miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit.  It describes the full conviction, sincerity, and energy with which he preached.    6.  Imitators of us: cf. 1 Cor. 4, 16; Phil. 3, 17.  In great tribulation: refers to the persecution and suffering recorded in Acts 17, 5-13.  They experienced interior joy, a gift of the Holy Spirit, under external suffering.  "But the fruit of the Spirit is . . . joy" (Gal. 5, 22).  Cf. Acts 5, 41; 2 Cor. 7, 4.    9.  They themselves: the Christians of the other churches in Macedonia and Achaia, and all the other places which Paul had visited or heard from.  From idols: the members of the church at Thessalonica were drawn mostly from the ranks of the Gentiles.    10.  Wrath to come: eternal punishment, as is clear from 5, 9, and Rom. 5, 9; cf. 1 Thess. 2, 16; 2 Thess. 1, 9.


Confraternity Bible:

Greeting  1 Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: grace be to you and peace.

Thanksgiving for Their Faith  2 We give thanks to God always for you all, continually making a remembrance of you in our prayers; 3 being mindful before God our Father of your work of faith, and labor, and charity, and your enduring hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

4* We know, brethren, beloved of God, how you were chosen.  5 For our gospel was not delivered to you in word only, but in power also, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much fullness, as indeed you know what manner of men we have been among you for your sakes.  6* And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, receiving the word in great tribulation, with joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became a pattern to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.  8 For from you the word of the Lord has been spread abroad, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has gone forth, so that we need say nothing further.  9 For they themselves report concerning us how we entered among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, 10 and to await from heaven Jesus, his Son, whom he raised from the dead, who has delivered us from the wrath to come.
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4: How you were chosen: their call by God to the faith and the circumstances of this call.

6: In great tribulation: in spite of persecution, they joyfully accepted the faith.