|Thessalonica, founded in 315 BCE, was the chief city of the Roman province of Macedonia (now part of Greece). It was a major port on the Thermic Bay on the northwest edge of the Aegean Sea, and the Via Egnatia, the major Roman road across the Balkan peninsula, ending at Philippi to the east. At Pauls visit, perhaps up to 200,000 people lived in this thriving center of culture and trade.|
|~5-10 AD||Paul born, raised in Tarsus|
|36||Conversion to Christ|
|39||Visit to Jerusalem|
|46-49||"First Missionary Journey" in Asia Minor|
|49||Jerusalem Conference (Acts 15)|
|50-52||"Second Missionary Journey"
|54-58||"Third Missionary Journey" through Galatia, in Ephesus, Macedonia (including Thessalonica- Acts 20.1), Corinth, return to Jerusalem|
|58-60||Arrested in Jerusalem, imprisoned in Caesarea|
|60-61||Sea journey to Rome|
|61-63||Prisoner in Rome|
|64||Dies in Rome under Nero|
After getting out of prison in Philippi, sometime in the year 50, Paul and his companions made their way to Thessalonica. Acts 17.1-13 mentions that Paul was there only three weeks and that his main activity was in the Jewish synagogue. From the Thessalonian correspondence, however, it would seem that Pauls stay was more likely a few months and that the majority of Christian converts were Gentiles from the working class. Both Acts and 1 Thessalonians (2.2) indicate that Paul suffered some sort of harassment and had to leave Thessalonica abruptly. Going on to Athens, Paul sends Timothy back to Thessalonica to check on the community of believers, and Timothy then returns and catches up with Paul in Corinth. Responding to Timothys report and their questions, Paul now writes this letter sometime in late 50 or early 51. First Thessalonians is significant, therefore, as the earliest document in our New Testament and as the first letter, a form of communication that became important in our collection of New Testament writings.
1.1 Opening Formula: Sender, Recipient, Greeting
|1.2-10 Affirming the Thessalonians faith and life|
|2.1-16 Recalling his example when he was with them and affirming his relationship with them|
|2.17-3.13 The present situation and his ongoing relationship with them|
|4.1-12 Instructions about the Christian life|
|4.13-5.11 Instructions about the coming of the Lord|
|5.12-22 Instructions about life in the Christian community|
5.23-28 Concluding Formula: Blessing, Greeting
1 Thessalonians - Chapter 1
From: Paul and Silvanus and Timothy
To: The church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
Grace to you and peace!
|1.1: Silvanus, a prophet and prominent
member of the church at Jerusalem (Acts 15) who accompanied Paul on his
second missionary journey (Acts 15.36-18.5). He is also mentioned in 2 Cor
1.19; 2 Thess 1.1; 1 Pet 5.12.
1.1: Timothy, son of a Gentile father and Jewish Christian mother who became Paul's companion and official representative. In addition to this letter and the two letters to Timothy, he is mentioned in Acts 16.1-17.15; 18.5-19.22; 20.4; Rom 16.21; 1 Cor 4.17; 16.10-11; 2 Cor 1.1, 19; Phil 1.1; 2.19-22; Col 1.1; 2 Thess 1.1; Philem 1.
1.1: Grace to you and peace! The concepts reflect Pauls Jewish heritage (xesed and shalom), but the Greek word for grace (charis) is similar to the everyday greeting exchanged between Greek speakers (chaire). The phrase is regularly used by Paul. ( Rom 1.7; 1 Cor 1.3; 2 Cor 1.2; Gal 1.3; Eph 1.2; Phil 1.2; Col 1.2; 2 Thess 1:2; 1 Tim 1.2; 2 Tim 1.2; Titus 1.4; Philem 1.3)
|2 We are always giving thanks to God for all of you, making remembrance of you in our prayers, unceasingly 3 remembering before God our Father your work of faith and labor of love and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, your chosenness, 5 because our Gospel did not come to you in Word alone but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and in much certainty, just as you know what sort of people we were among you for your sakes.||1.3: ... faith ... love ... hope:
Mentioned again in 5.8, these three qualities are consistently highlighted
together in Pauls (Rom 5.1-5; 1 Cor 13.13; Gal 5.5-6; Col 1.4-5) and
other writings (Heb 10.22-24; 1 Pet 1.21-22).
1.4: chosenness: Or election. This concept is regularly applied to Israel, but it is striking here in its application to the Gentile Christians. Cf. Rom 11.28.
|6 And you yourselves became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the Word in much affliction with joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became a model to all who are believing in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For the Word of the Lord has sounded forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. 9 For they themselves proclaim what sort of entrance we had to you, and how you turned away from idols to God, to became slaves to the living and true God, 10 and to await His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, Jesus who is delivering us from the wrath to come.||Note how the themes in verses 2-10 will be amplified in the rest of the letter: 1.2, 6-9 refer to the Christian life discussed in 4.1-12 and 5.12-22. Pauls example and relationship (1.4-5) are discussed in 2.1-3.13. The coming of the Lord (1.9-10) is discussed in 4.13-5.11.|
A model like a store mannequin A model of what not to do A model of someone trying to be a good model A Christian superhero I dont want to be a model!
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