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    1 Thessalonians in Smiths Bible Dictionary was written by the apostle Paul at Corinth, a few months after he had founded the church at Thessalonica, at the close of the year A.D. 62 or the beginning of 53. The Epistles to the Thessalonians, then (for the second followed the first after no long interval), are the earliest of St. Paul's writings --perhaps the earliest written records of Christianity. It is interesting, therefore, to compare the Thessalonian epistles with the later letters, and to note the points of These differences are mainly 1. In the general style of these earlier letters there is greater simplicity and less exuberance of language. 2. The antagonism to St. Paul is not the same. Here the opposition comes from Jews. A period of five years changes the aspect of the controversy. The opponents of St. Paul are then no longer Jews so much as Judaizing Christians. 3. Many of the distinctive doctrines of Christianity were yet not evolved and distinctly enunciated till the needs of the Church drew them out into prominence at a later date. It has often been observed, for instance, that there is in the Epistles to the Thessalonians no mention of the characteristic contrast of "faith and works;" that the word "justification" does not once occur; that the idea of dying with Christ and living with Christ, so frequent in St. Paul's later writings, is absent in these. In the Epistles to the Thessalonians, the gospel preached is that of the coming of Christ, rather than of the cross of Christ. The occasion of this epistle was as follows: St. Paul had twice attempted to re-visit Thessalonica, and both times had been disappointed. Thus prevented from seeing them in person, he had sent Timothy to inquire and report to him as to their condition. 1Th 3:1-6 Timothy returned with more favorable tidings, reporting not only their progress in Christian faith and practice, but also their strong attachment to their old teacher. 1Th 3:6-10 The First Epistle to the Thessalonians is the outpouring of the apostle's gratitude on receiving this welcome news. At the same time there report of Timothy was not unmixed with alloy. There were certain features in the condition of the Thessalonian church which called for St. Paul's interference and to which he addresses himself in his letter. 1. The very intensity of their Christian faith, dwelling too exclusively on the day of the Lord's coming, had been attended with evil consequences. On the other hand, a theoretical difficulty had been felt. Certain members of the church had died, and there was great anxiety lest they should be excluded from any share in the glories of the Lord's advent. ch. 1Th 4:13-18 2. The Thessalonians needed consolation and encouragement under persecution. ch. 1Th 2:14; 3:2-4 3. An unhealthy state of feeling with regard to spiritual gifts was manifesting itself. ch. 1Th 6:19,20 4. There was the danger of relapsing into their old heathen profligacy. ch. 1Th 4:4-8 Yet notwithstanding all these drawbacks, the condition of the Thessalonian church was highly satisfactory, and the most cordial relations existed between St. Paul and his converts there. This honorable distinction it shares with the other great church of Macedonia, that of Philippi. The epistle is rather practical than doctrinal. The external evidence in favor of the genuineness of the First Epistle to the Thessalonians is chiefly negative, but this is important enough. There is no trace that it was ever disputed at any age or in any section of the Church, or even by any individual till the present century. Toward the close of the second century from Irenaeus downward. we find this epistle directly quoted and ascribed to Paul. The evidence derived from the character of the epistle itself is so strong that it may fairly be called irresistible.

    1 Thessalonians in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE thes-a-lo'-ni-anz I. IMPORTANCE OF THE EPISTLE II. CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE FOUNDING OF THE CHURCH 1. Luke's Narrative in Acts 2. Confirmation of Luke's Narrative in the Epistle III. CONDITIONS IN THE THESSALONIAN CHURCH AS INDICATED IN THE LETTER IV. ANALYSIS WIENER, ORIGIN OF THE PENTATEUCH THE EPISTLE 1. Paul's Past and Present Relations with the Thessalonians and His Love for Them 2. Exhortations against Vice, and Comfort and Warning in View of the Coming of Christ V. DOCTRINAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE EPISTLE VI. THE EPISTLE'S REVELATIONS OF PAUL'S CHARACTERISTICS LITERATURE I. The Importance of the Epistle. The letter is especially important as a witness to the content of the earliest Gospel, on account of its date and its well-nigh unchallenged authenticity. According to Harnack it was written in the year 48 AD; according to Zahn, in the year 53. It is likely that these two dates represent the extreme limits. We are thus justified in saying with confidence that we have before us a document that could not have been written more than 24 years, and may very easily have been written but 19 years, after the ascension of our Lord. This is a fact of great interest in view of the contention that the Jesus of the four Gospels is a product of the legend-making propensity of devout souls in the latter part of the 1st century. When we remember that Paul was converted more than 14 years before the writing of the Epistles, and that he tells us that his conversion was of such an overwhelming nature as to impel him in a straight course from which he never varied, and when we note that at the end of 14 years Peter and John, having fully heard the gospel which he preached, had no corrections to offer (Gal 1:11 through 2:10, especially 2:6-10), we see that the view of Christ and His message given in this Epistle traces itself back into the very presence of the most intimate friends of Jesus. It is not meant by this that the words of Paul or the forms of his teaching are reproductions of things Jesus said in the days of His flesh, but rather that the conception which is embodied in the Epistle of the person of Christ and of His relation to the Father, and of His relation also to the church and to human destiny, is rooted in Christ's own self-revelation. II. Circumstances of the Founding of the Church. 1. Luke's Narrative in Acts: For the founding of the church we have two sources...

    1 Thessalonians in Wikipedia The First Epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians, usually referred to simply as First Thessalonians and often written 1 Thessalonians, is a book from the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The first letter to the Thessalonians was likely the first of Paul's letters, probably written by the end of A.D. 52[1], making it, so far as is now known, the oldest extant Christian document...

    Epistles to the Thessalonians in Easton's Bible Dictionary The first epistle to the Thessalonians was the first of all Paul's epistles. It was in all probability written from Corinth, where he abode a "long time" (Acts 18:11, 18), early in the period of his residence there, about the end of A.D. 52. The occasion of its being written was the return of Timotheus from Macedonia, bearing tidings from Thessalonica regarding the state of the church there (Acts 18:1-5; 1 Thess. 3:6). While, on the whole, the report of Timothy was encouraging, it also showed that divers errors and misunderstandings regarding the tenor of Paul's teaching had crept in amongst them. He addresses them in this letter with the view of correcting these errors, and especially for the purpose of exhorting them to purity of life, reminding them that their sanctification was the great end desired by God regarding them. The subscription erroneously states that this epistle was written from Athens. The second epistle to the Thessalonians was probably also written from Corinth, and not many months after the first. The occasion of the writing of this epistle was the arrival of tidings that the tenor of the first epistle had been misunderstood, especially with reference to the second advent of Christ. The Thessalonians had embraced the idea that Paul had taught that "the day of Christ was at hand", that Christ's coming was just about to happen. This error is corrected (2:1-12), and the apostle prophetically announces what first must take place. "The apostasy" was first to arise. Various explanations of this expression have been given, but that which is most satisfactory refers it to the Church of Rome.

    Epistles to the Thessalonians in Fausset's Bible Dictionary FIRST EPISTLE. Authenticity. Ignatius, ad Polycarp 1, Ephesians 10, says "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17); so Polycarp, and Philippians 4. This epistle is in the Muratorian Canon, that of Marcion, and Laodicea, A.D. 364. Irenaeus (adv. Haer. 5:6, section 1) quotes 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Clement of Alexandria (Paed. 1:88) quotes 1 Thessalonians 2:7; Tertullian (de Resurr. Carnis 24) quotes 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10; 1 Thessalonians 5:1; Caius in Eusebius (Ecclesiastes Hist.) vi. 20, Origen (contra Celsus 3), also confirm it. Tertullian quotes this epistle 20 times. AIM. After imprisonment and scourging at Philippi, Paul (1 Thessalonians 2:2) passed on to Thessalonica. (See THESSALONICA.) With Silas (Acts 16:3; Acts 17:1-9; Acts 17:14) and Timotheus he founded the church there (1 Thessalonians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 3:1-6; 2 Thessalonians 1:1). The Jews rejected the gospel when preached for three successive sabbaths; a few however "believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas, and of the devout (i.e. proselytes to Judaism) Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few." Amidst trials (1 Thessalonians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 2:13) from their own countrymen and from the Jews (1 Thessalonians 2:14-16) the converts "received the word with joy of the Holy Spirit." His stay at Thessalonica was probably longer than the three weeks recorded in Acts 17:2, for some time is implied in his labouring there for support (1 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:8), in his receiving supplies there more than once from Philippi (Philemon 4:16), in his receiving many converts from the Gentiles (1 Thessalonians 1:9, and, according to the Alexandrinus manuscript of Acts 17:4, though not the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus manuscripts, "of the devout (and) of the Greeks a great multitude"), and in his appointing ministers. He probably (compare Acts 13:46; Acts 18:6-7; Acts 19:8-9) preached first to the Jews; then, when they rejected the message, to the Gentiles. Thenceforth he held the church assemblies in the house of Jason (Acts 17:5), his "kinsman" (Romans 16:21). His tender love and gentleness, like that of "a nurse cherishing children," disinterestedness, devotion even unto death, and zeal for individual souls, beautifully appear in 1 Thessalonians 1:5; 1 Thessalonians 2:1-11. He laboured here with his own hands to further the gospel by giving an example to the idle. Contributions from Philippi also helped him at, Thessalonica (Philemon 4:15- 16). Christ's coming and kingdom were his chief topic (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24), that the Thessalonians should walk worthy of it (1 Thessalonians 4:1). It is an undesigned coincidence confirming the authenticity of the history and of the epistles that the very charge which Jason's assailants brought against the brethren was "these do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus" (Acts 17:5-9). So in Jesus' own case they perverted His doctrine of His coming kingdom into a charge of treason against Caesar. So also the doctrine of the resurrection is prominent both in Luke's history (Acts 17:3) and in Paul's independent epistle (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-16)...