1 Thessalonians


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

Thanksgiving for Their Faith. 2We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasinglyb 3calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope* of our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father, 4knowing, brothers loved by God, how you were chosen.c 5For our gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the holy Spirit and [with] much conviction. You know what sort of people we were [among] you for your sake.d 6And you became imitators* of us and of the Lord, receiving the word in great affliction, with joy from the holy Spirit, 7so that you became a model for all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.e 8For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth not only in Macedonia and [in] Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything.f 9For they themselves openly declare about us what sort of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true Godg 10and to await his Son from heaven, whom he raised from [the] dead, Jesus, who delivers us from the coming wrath.h

* [1:1] On the address, see note on Rom 1:17.

* [1:3] Faith…love…hope: this, along with 1 Thes 5:8, is the earliest mention in Christian literature of the three “theological virtues” (see 1 Cor 13:13). The order here stresses eschatological hope, in line with the letter’s emphasis on the Lord’s second, triumphal coming, or parousia (1 Thes 1:10; 2:12, 19; 3:13; 4:135:11; 5:23).

* [1:6] Imitators: the Pauline theme of “imitation” (see 1 Thes 2:14; 1 Cor 4:16; 11:1; 2 Thes 3:9) is rooted in Paul’s view of solidarity in Christ through sharing in Jesus’ cross and in the Spirit of the risen Lord.

a. [1:1] Acts 15:40; 16:13, 19; 17:1415; 2 Thes 1:12.

b. [1:2] 2 Thes 1:3.

c. [1:4] 2 Thes 2:13.

d. [1:5] Acts 13:52; 17:19.

e. [1:7] 2 Thes 1:4; 1 Cor 4:16; 11:1 / 2:14; Phil 3:17.

f. [1:8] Rom 1:8.

g. [1:9] Acts 14:15; Gal 4:8 / 4:5.

h. [1:10] Rom 2:116; 5:9; 13:4 / 5:9.

II. Previous Relations with the Thessalonians

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