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1 Thessalonians 3

1 - Therefore when we couldn't stand it any longer, we thought it good to be left behind at Athens alone,
2 - and sent Timothy, our brother and God's servant in the Good News of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith;
3 - that no one be moved by these afflictions. For you know that we are appointed to this task.
4 - For most certainly, when we were with you, we told you beforehand that we are to suffer affliction, even as it happened, and you know.
5 - For this cause I also, when I couldn't stand it any longer, sent that I might know your faith, for fear that by any means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor would have been in vain.
6 - But when Timothy came just now to us from you, and brought us glad news of your faith and love, and that you have good memories of us always, longing to see us, even as we also long to see you;
7 - for this cause, brothers, we were comforted over you in all our distress and affliction through your faith.
8 - For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord.
9 - For what thanksgiving can we render again to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sakes before our God;
10 - night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face, and may perfect that which is lacking in your faith?
11 - Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you;
12 - and the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we also do toward you,
13 - to the end he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
1 Thessalonians Images and Notes

The Book of 1 Thessalonians

1 Thessalonians 1:2-4 - We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 - For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians in The New Testament - A Brief Overview

Painting of the Apostle Paul by Rembrandt - 1657
Painting of Paul the Apostle by Rembrandt - 1657

Introduction to The Book of 1 Thessalonians

Brief Summary. Paul had not spent long enough time with the church in Thessalonica, and wrote this letter to further instruct them in their walk with Christ and sound doctrine. He also addresses their concerns regarding those who died in Christ, and Jesus' second coming.

Summary of The Book of 1 Thessalonians

Purpose. Paul  had founded the church in Thessalonica during his second missionary journey (Acts 17) and he and his companions often desired to return to Thessalonica but were unable (1 Thess. 2:18). Later he sent Timothy to encourage the believers there with sound doctrine, and to report back to Paul regarding their spiritual condition (1 Thess. 3:1-2, 5). Timothy brought back to Paul a very encouraging report (1 Thess. 3:6-10).

Content. Paul sends a letter of thanksgiving for the good report that he received from Timothy regarding their commitment to Christ. Yet there were some issues from Paul's earlier visit that he wished to set straight. He encouraged the church at Thessalonica that he was no burden while he was with them, and he covered his own expenses. He had also cared for them as a nurse to a child. He also felt the need to instruct them more properly concerning the second coming of Jesus Christ. The Church at Thessalonica were very concerned about the believers in Christ who had died, and whether or not they would share in the glory of the second coming of Jesus Christ. This confusion led to idleness, and Paul desired to address this. He encourages them "by the word of the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:15) that the dead in Christ are at no disadvantage but shall fully share in the blessings of Jesus' second coming. Paul also exhorts them regarding worldliness, and encourages them to be strong in their faith that their "whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

Thessalonica. The city of Thessalonica was the greatest harbor of Macedonia, and it was sitting on top of large hill overlooking the Thermaic Gulf as well as a beautiful fertile plain. The name Thessalonica was taken from Alexander the Great's stepsister Thessaloniki. Thessalonica was a very important city of the Roman Empire mainly because of its great harbor, and the great Via Egnatia highway which ran through it.

The Church in Thessalonica. Paul the apostle established the church in Thessalonica along with Silas and Timothy during his second missionary journey, around 50 AD (Acts 17:1-9). both Silas and Timothy are mentioned at the beginning of both of Paul's letters to the Thessalonians. Paul spent much time with the Thessalonians because he mentioned his mutual love for them. The church in Thessalonica consisted mainly of Gentile believers who "turned from idols to serve the living and true God" (1 Thessalonians 1:9).

Authorship. Paul the apostle wrote both letters to the Thessalonians.

Date. Paul's letters to the Thessalonians were written from Corinth around 50 AD, just after he was with the church in Thessalonica. These 1 and 2 Thessalonians are considered by many scholars to be the earliest of Paul's epistles.

Outline of the Book of 1 Thessalonians

Paul's Greetings and Concerns - Chapters 1-2
Christian Living - Chapter 3
The Coming Day of Jesus - Chapter 4-5

Jesus written in Hebrew
The Name Jesus In Ancient Hebrew Text
"Yeshua" in First Century Hebrew Text. This is how the name "Jesus" would have been written in ancient Hebrew documents. The four letters or consonants from right to left are Yod, Shin, Vav, Ayin (Y, SH, OO, A). Jesus is the Greek name for the Hebrew name Joshua or Y'shua which means "The LORD or Yahweh is Salvation".

1 Thessalonians Maps and Resources

Map of the Roman Empire (14 A.D.) - This map reveals the Roman Empire during the time shortly after the birth of Jesus, in 14 AD at the time of the death of Augustus. The order which prevailed in this extensive empire, the good military roads, and the use of Koine Greek as the general language of culture throughout the area were among the factors which multiplied the rapid spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Color Map)

Map of Paul's First Missionary Journey (48 A.D.) - This map reveals the areas in Asia Minor where Paul visited in his first missionary journey. Around 48 AD, in the springtime, Paul and his companions Barnabas and Mark were sent on a mission from the church in Antioch. This would be the first of Paul's Missionary Journey's. (Color Map)

Map of Paul's Second Missionary Journey (51 A.D.) - This map reveals the areas in Asia and Greece where Paul visited in his second missionary journey. Paul re-visits a couple cities in Asia, one of which was Lystra where he was stoned and left for dead a few years earlier. He later has a vision that leads him over to Greece and Paul and his companions travel and minister in various cities in Greece (Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens and Corinth. Later Paul returns to Ephesus and finally to Caesarea and Antioch. (Color Map)

Map of Paul's Third Missionary Journey (54 A.D.) - This map reveals the areas in Asia and Greece where Paul visited in his third missionary journey. On Paul's third missionary journey he returned to the cities he had first visited on his first missionary journey. During this time he decided to remain in Ephesus for about 3 years, and this city was the main focus of his activities and an important Christian community (Acts 19). (Color Map)

Map of the New Testament World - This map reveals the "Nations" within the ancient world during the first century A.D., the time of the New Testament. The map includes the areas of Israel, Asia, Greece, and Italy. (Color Map)

Map of New Testament Greece This map reveals the cities within Greece in the ancient world during the first century A.D.,The map includes the principal cities of Greece like: Athens, Corinth, and Thessalonica, and provinces like Macedonia and Achaia. (Color Map)