1st & 2nd Thessalonians
Thessalonica was the free Roman capital of Macedonia, founded in 315 BC and named for Alexander the Greats sister Thessaloniki. As a point of interest, she was given her name by her father, Philip of Macedon, because he had just won a victory over the Thessalians on the day he heard of her birth. In the time of Paul it was a major seaport of over 60,000 people. Both epistles were written to Gentile believers in the early 50s AD from Corinth during Pauls stay there, and no one knows which was actually written first.
1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
3 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;1
4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.2
5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:
7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.
8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.
9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
Paul, Silas and Timothy, to the Thessalonian church, which is in God the
Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace and peace to you from God the Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers,
3 Ever mindful of your work of faith--this toil you have undertaken out of love and patience born from your confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ, which is seen by God our Father.
4-6 And we are see verification, beloved brethren, of your being chosen by God, since our preaching came to you not just in words, but with power and the Holy Spirit, proving that. And, knowing how we behaved ourselves for your sake, you followed our example--and followed the Lord--by receiving the Message, despite the persecution, with the joy of the Holy Spirit.
7 Thus, you were examples to all believers in Macedonia and Achaia (northern and southern Greece).
8 For from you the Message of the Lord was sounded out, not only in Macedonia and Achaia--but everywhere else, people have heard about your faith in God, and we don't need to say a word about you since your reputation precedes you.
9 For they talk about how warm a reception you gave we (and the Message), and how you zealously renounced idols to serve the living and true God;
10 And how earnestly you await the return of His son from heaven, Jesus, who has delivered us from the wrath of God to come (upon the earth).
1. The last part of the verse should be translated: In the sight of our God and Father.
2. Verses 4 through 6 are broken up clumsily, and could be paraphrased like this: And we are see verification, beloved brethren, of your being chosen by God, since our preaching came to you not just in words, but with power and the Holy Spirit, proving that. And, knowing how we behaved ourselves for your sake, you followed our example--and followed the Lord--by receiving the Message, despite the persecution, with the joy of the Holy Spirit.
1 For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain:
2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi,1 we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.
3 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:
4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:
6 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.
7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:
8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.
9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.
10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:
11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,
12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews2:
15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:
16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles3 that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.
17 But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire.
18 Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.
19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
20 For ye are our glory and joy.
You know, brothers, that our visit with you wasnt made in vain.
2 But even as we had suffered earlier, being beaten in Philippi as you know, we were bold in our God to speak the Gospel of God to you in the face of much contention.
3 For our exhortation to you wasnt born of deceit, improper motives, or trickery.
4 But since God allowed us to be entrusted with the Gospel to proclaim it, we proclaim it boldly, with no compromise in being men-pleasers, but with the intent of pleasing God only, who tests our hearts (and notes our motives).
5 For you know that we never relied on flattery, nor did we pretend to be something we arent in order to profit off you, and God is our witness to that as well!
6 We also didnt seek to be glorified either by you, or by anyone else, even though as apostles we might have been justified in relying on our offices to exercise a degree authority over you.
7 But we were gentle as a nurse with her children while we were there.
8 Loving you as we did, we were willing to give you not only the Gospel of God, but we would have laid our lives down for you if necessary, because you were that dear to us.
9 For you remember, brethren, our work and our passion--and how we labored at jobs day and night because we would not take a copper piece off you while we preached the Gospel of God.
10 You and God are all witnesses to the fact of how we behaved amongst you who believe, conducting ourselves in holiness, fairness, and honor.
11-12 And you know how we spoke, exhorting, comforting, and instructing you as a father does his children, so you would live in a manner worthy of God, who has called you to His Kingdom and glory.
13 Another reason we thank God unceasingly for you is because you received the Message of God you heard from us--not as a message from mere men, but as it truly is: the (living) Message of God Himself, which grows and develops in you who believe.
14 For you, brethren, followed the example of the Christian synagogues in Judea who are in Christ Jesus, in that you suffered at the hands of your own countrymen as they have suffered at the hands of the unbelieving Jews of Judea,
15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, along with their own prophets, and have persecuted us as well. They displease God, and are against all humanity (who are not a part of them),
16 So they forbid us to preach to the Gentiles so they can be saved. In doing this, these unbelieving Jews are filling the cup up with their sins, and the full wrath of God has come upon them!
17 But we, brethren, though absent in body for a time, are with you in spirit, and we yearn to see you again!
18 A couple of times we would have come, and I even tried on my own to go there, but Satan hindered us.
19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Wont it be you in his presence when our Lord Jesus Christ comes?
20 Yes, you are our glory and joy!
1. See Acts 16, where Paul and Silas are beaten in Philippi after casting out a demon.
2. Should be translated as: Judeans, a reference to the Jewish authorities of Judea.
3. We have here a clear reference to the source of what some claim to be anti-Semitism on Pauls part: a direct rebuke to the stiff-necked Judeans, and especially toward Shammaiites there who opposed interaction between Jews and Gentiles, and who went so far as to oppose Paul less for his conversion and more for his temerity in reaching out to Gentiles.
1 Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone;
2 And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:
3 That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.
4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.
5 For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.
6 But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you:
7 Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith:
8 For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.
9 For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;
10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?1
11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.
12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
That is why, when we simply could not wait any longer to find out how you
were doing, Silas and I thought it good to be left behind in Athens,
2 And we sent Timothy--our brother, a minister of God, and fellow laborer in the Gospel of Christ--whose task was to strengthen and encourage you in the faith,
3 So no one would become disillusioned from the persecution you faced, though you knew that we Christians had to be prepared for such unavoidable trials.
4 Truly, we warned you when we were there that we believers would suffer tribulation, and it came to pass as we said. But I dont have to tell you that!
5 Its for this reason, that when I could not wait any longer, I sent Timothy to verify your faith was still strong, lest the Tempter had somehow tempted you (to turn away from the faith you had stood in), and our work would turn out to have been in vain.
6 But Timothy just returned to us with the good news of your strong faith and love, relating that you remember us fondly, always wanting to see us as much as we want to see you.
7 Therefore, brethren, we were comforted in our own affliction and distress by this news of your faith.
8 These glad tidings rejuvenate us if you keep standing in the Lord.
9 What more thanks could we give God that could adequately express our incredible joy over this because of what youve shown us?
10 We pray day and night with all our strength that we might see you in person and teach anything left that you need to know.
11 May God our Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our path back to you;
12 And may the Lord Jesus ever increase your love toward each other, and toward all mankind, even as our love for you never ceases to grow.
13 By so doing, he will perfect your hearts in holiness before God our Father, that you will be blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his righteous ones.
1. Perfect what is lacking in your faith is better paraphrased as: Complete your knowledge of the faith. Pauls point was that he had limited time to fully instruct the Thessalonians in the faith before leaving them, and that he wished to more fully indoctrinate them. The statement should not be viewed as suggesting that the Thessalonians were weak in their confidence and that Paul had to exhort them to have faith in God.
1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
2 For ye know what commandments1 we gave you by the Lord Jesus.
3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel2 in sanctification and honour;
5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:
6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.4
9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.
10 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more;
11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel,5 and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 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.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Furthermore, brethren, we beg and encourage you, in the name of the Lord
Jesus, to live uprightly and to please God as we taught you, with ever-increasing
devotion and zeal.
2 You remember the instructions we left you at the behest of the Lord Jesus.
3 For the will of God is that you walk in sanctification, abstaining from (every form of) sexual immorality.
4 Every one of you should know how to keep his body in a state of sanctification and honor,
5 And not in sensual lust as do the Gentiles who dont know God.
6 So no man should cheat his brother in any matter because the Lord is the avenger of those who are thus wronged. Remember we spoke, and warned you about this.
7 For God has not called us to live in uncleanness, but holiness.
8 So anyone who rejects this notion is not rejecting man, but is rejecting God who has also given us His Holy Spirit (to strengthen us in resisting these temptations).
9 But as regards brotherly love, you dont need me to write about that, for God has taught you how to love one another.
10 And indeed you show that you love all the brethren in Macedonia. But we implore you, brethren, that your love increase all the more,
11 And that you master the way of living a quiet life, minding your own business and working at your daily jobs as we exhorted you,
12 So you will be seen to be honest men to those outside the community, and so that you lack nothing.
13 (One thing, though:) I would not have you to lack understanding, brethren, regarding those of us who have died, so that you sorrow for them in the way non-believers do, who have no hope (for their lost loved ones).
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, then (we can be assured that) God will bring those who are asleep in him now, with Jesus at his return.
15 This message comes directly from the Lord: We who are alive and remain on the earth when he comes will not meet him before those asleep in the grave will.
16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel announcing him as the shofar of God sounds. Then the dead in Christ shall rise into the air first.
17 And those of us who are alive and on earth shall follow behind them and be taken up into the clouds to meet the Lord in the sky, and then we will ever more be with the Lord.
18 So comfort one another (who mourn for their lost loved ones) with these words.
1. Commandments is an overly strong word that is better rendered as: Instructions.
2. Vessel is better translated: Body.
3. Though the Greek seems to refer to cheating a brother in some way, this may be referring to committing adultery with a married woman.
4. Open sexuality in Greece was about as bad as it is in our own culture, and the strict prohibitions against sexuality that Paul taught were apparently not being fully received by some of the Thessalonians. He therefore points out that anyone who despises these prohibitions is opposing not Pauls opinion, but Gods.
5. This may refer to the custom of the king's steward shouting out the arrival of the king as he approached. If so, it is either Gabriel or Michael whose voice will be heard throughout the universe proclaiming that Christ comes.
1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.1
7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
16 Rejoice evermore.
17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
19 Quench not the Spirit.
20 Despise not prophesyings.2
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.3
23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body4 be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
25 Brethren, pray for us.
26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.5
27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
But as to just when this will happen, brethren, you have no need for me to
write about that,
2 For you already know that the Day of the Lord will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night.
3 For when people shall say, We have nothing to worry about; everything is peaceful and safe--sudden destruction will come upon them just as a pregnant womans labor pains. They will not escape when that happens.
4 But you, brethren, are not living in darkness, that the Day should overtake you like a thief striking with surprise.
5 You are children of the light and children of the day. None of us is a child of the night or a child of darkness.
6 Therefore, let us not grow lax and complacent like others do. Let us watch and be ready.
7 For people sleep during the night, and those who get drunk, get drunk in the night.
8 But let us, who are of the day, be clear-headed, clothing ourselves with the breastplate of faith and love, and wearing our assurance of salvation (from coming judgment) as a helmet (protecting our thoughts from fear).
9 For God has not intended for us to endure His wrath, but to be preserved from it by our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 Who died for us so, whether we are alive or dead, we can live together with him.
11 Because of this, comfort and encourage each other, and build each other up as you have been doing.
12 We also beg you, brethren, to take note of those who the Lord has set in authority over you, to teach you.
13 Have great respect for them, and honor them in love for the sake of the work theyre doing for you. Also, be at peace with each other.
14 Finally, we encourage you, brethren: Warn those who are troublemakers. Encourage the depressed. Support the weak. Show patience toward everyone.
15 See to it that none of you ever repays evil for evil to any man. But always do the right thing, both amongst the fellow members of the community, and to all men outside of it.
16 Rejoice at all times!
17 Pray without ceasing.
18 Whatever happens, stay in an attitude of thanksgiving, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
19-22 Stop extinguishing the flame of the Spirit by treating flippantly the utterance of prophecy if it arises amongst you, though you should test all prophetic utterances by the Scripture and heed those that are shown to be of God, turning away from any that appear to be evil.
23 And may the God of peace sanctify every part of you. I pray to God that your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 The one who called you is faithful, and will do it!
25 Brethren, keep us in your prayers.
26 Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss.
27 I charge you, brethren, that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
1. Let us not sleep is better paraphrased as: Let us not become lax and complacent.
2. Prophesyings means exactly what it seems to: not teachings, in a general sense, but the supernatural communication of God spoken through those with a prophetic gift. This is a word of Paul many good denominations totally reject.
3. This verse is frequently preached as if Paul is saying: Dont do anything someone could possibly mistake as a bad or immoral thing, even if it is innocent. (An example--in the days before cell phones--would be to enter a cocktail lounge to use the phone.) Such teaching often leads to legalism, and what Paul actually means is not clear. Also verses 19-22, in Greek, seem to be one long sentence, and the author believes it therefore retains the same theme, referring to testing prophetic utterances in the church, and calling for rejecting those that do not line up with Scripture, a position Monsignor Knox also took in his translation of the text. If not, then it is a general exhortation to avoid evil as most Bibles would render it.
4. The teaching of a 3-part spirit, soul and body (trichotomism) is a Greek notion with no comparable belief in Judaism, which holds only to the notion of the body and spirit of a man.
5. A holy kiss was a mouth-kiss that was quickly dropped by the early church because the women were being abused by it.
1 Paul, and Silvanus1, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
2 Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;
4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul, Silas and Timothy, to the Thessalonian church, which is in God our
Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
2 Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We are bound to always give thanks to God for you, brethren. And its only right we do so because your faith grows by leaps and bounds along with the love you have toward each other.
4 And so we boast about you to all the churches of God because of your patience and faith in the face of the persecutions and tribulations that you endure,
5 Which is a sign of Gods righteous judgment in counting you worthy to be a part of His Kingdom, for which youre suffering.
6 For it is fitting, in Gods view, to repay those who persecute you with tribulation of their own,
7 While you who are persecuted with us receive rest when the Lord Jesus and his mighty angels appear from heaven,
8 Sending down flaming fire of vengeance upon those who do not know God and refuse to obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 And these shall be punished with everlasting destruction, being banished from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power,
10 When he shall arrive on that Day to be glorified in his righteous ones, and to be held in awe by all those who believed and accepted our testimony among you.
11 To this end, we always pray that our God would count you worthy of this calling and, through your faith and His power, fulfill every good purpose He has in mind for you,
12 So that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in him, through the grace of God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. Another name for Silas.
1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.1
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away2 first, and that man of sin3 be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.4
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?5
6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.6
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie7:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word,8 or our epistle.
16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
Now as regards the issue, brethren, of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
and our being gathered up to him, we beg you not to be troubled or worried
in your minds over a (revelation), binding doctrine, or supposed letter from
us that the Day of Christ is at hand at this time.
3 Dont let any man deceive you in any way, for the (Day of Judgment) will not come before there is first (a total divorce from the truth), and the Torahless Man--the personification of Destruction itself--is revealed,
4 Who opposes every other (pagan])god or thing that is worshipped, exalting himself above them all, so that he treats himself like God, sitting (on his throne) in the Temple of God, trying to show that he actually is God!
5 Do you remember that I told you about this when I was there with you?
6 You already know what is holding back his appearance until the time arrives when he will be revealed.
7 For the secret ultimate strategy of iniquity is already maneuvering itself into place, but the (Holy Spirit) is holding it back until His restraint is taken away.
8 Then shall the Torahless One be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with one breath from his mouth and destroy at the manifestation of his coming:
9 Even him (the false Messiah), whose presence will be a reflection of Satan, bolstered with all Satans power, employing counterfeit signs and deceptive miracles,
10 Using all the lies the unbelieving world wants to believe, completely deceiving the lost people of the earth because they did not love and receive the truth that would save them.
11 Thus, God will allow them to fall into complete deception, and believe the lie,
12 So that these who took pleasure in unrighteousness instead of believing the truth will be utterly damned!
13 But we are always giving thanks for you, brethren, beloved of the Lord, because God--from the beginning of time--has chosen you to be saved by sanctification of the Spirit and belief in the truth.
14 Thus, he called you through our preaching the Gospel to obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15 Therefore, brethren, stand firm and hold the traditions you were given, both orally and by our letter.
16 Now both our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father, who has loved us and given us unending comfort and good hope through His grace,
17 Comfort your hearts and stand behind you in every good word and deed.
1. We now come to some of the most important passages of the New Testament dealing with end times. It is first noteworthy that the Thessalonians were concerned that apparently the End was near. This is interesting, because at this time there isnt any great persecution of Christians on Caesar's part, although Claudius had just expelled the Jews from Rome. And in contradiction to the notion that Jesus can come any time, Paul alludes to the fact that something has not yet occurred that must first happen before the time of judgment. As we see in verse 3, the event must be a falling away and the revealing of the Antichrist.
2. There is a great deal of argument as to what the word apostasia, translated as falling away means in this passage. The post-tribber correctly understands this word to mean a iniquitous departure from the faith, or a rebellion against God. The pre-tribber asserts the word should mean a physical departure from one place to another. Both sides are technically correct, but the post-tribbers use of the word is more consistent with the way it is used in the Septuagint. The pre-tribber also has a problem in that if Paul has been teaching a clear doctrine of the pre-tribulation Rapture, all he need do is say: Were still here, so obviously the tribulation hasnt started yet. Clearly, then, Paul to this point has not specifically taught the doctrine as is understood today. While this gives the post-tribber cause to gloat, in no way is it proof Paul denied such a notion. The Church didnt even have a full understanding of the Trinity at this point, since the Scripture had yet to be fully written, so the pre-trib. Rapture doctrine cannot be proved wrong through this passage. As noted in the Matthew 24 commentary, the post-tribber himself has problems in trying to claim that the one who is left is the one God loves and accepts, so neither side can gain victory through this verse alone.
3. Unquestionably, the Antichrist.
4. See last few verses of Daniel 9. Note also the Antichrist must appear in a literal Temple and claim to be God personified! Again, this shows that the Temple in Jerusalem must be rebuilt before the end. Also, no such event like this ever occurred in the 1st century!
5. Would that we knew just what it was that Paul had taught them! However, this is a very valuable statement of his because it shows that he was drawing upon knowledge that was extant. That knowledge can only have come from the traditions of the Jews regarding the end of the Age, and so if we delve into the beliefs that existed at the time of 50 AD, we can get a more certain foundation upon which to draw on, than if we rely wholly on teachings arising in later centuries.
6. The He who is restraining iniquity is the Holy Spirit, and the restraining force is Gods grace. The pre-tribber teaches that it is the church that is holding back the final appearance of the Antichrist; and the church is one of the physical manifestations of Gods grace on the earth.
7. Should be translated as: The lie.
8. This verse is used by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches to validate the notion of infallible oral tradition. The incumbent problem with the notion of tradition being the equal with Scripture is examined elsewhere. To recap in a nutshell, tradition can never equal Scripture, for the Scripture will always be interpreted through the tradition (rather than vice versa), and thus the tradition will always supersede the Scripture regardless of the intent to make it no more than the equal of Scripture.
1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:
2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.
3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.
4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.
5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;
8 Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:
9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.
10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.
14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
16 Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.
17 The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write.
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the Message of the Lord may be spread
everywhere without hindrance and be honored, even as it is in you.
2 And pray that we will be delivered from the clutches of unreasonable, wicked men--for not all men have faith.
3 But the Lord is faithful and will strengthen you, and keep you from the Evil One.
4 We are confident in the Lord regarding you--that you are doing, and will continue to do, the things weve told you to.
5 May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and help you patiently endure in Christ.
6 Now in the name of the Lord, brethren, we command you to separate yourselves from every brother who lives an idle, disorderly life, rather than following the pattern we showed you.
7 For you know how to follow our example, for we were not disorderly in our conduct among you.
8 Nor did we eat any of your food without paying for it, but worked day and night to earn money so as not to take anything from you,
9 Not because we didnt have the right to expect support because of our rank as apostles; but we went out of our way to provide for our own needs as an example to you.
10 Even when we were with you, we commanded you that if any man will not work, then he shouldnt eat.
11 We, hear, though, that there are some busybodies among you too lazy to get jobs and not working at all.
12 We encourage and command these, by the Lord Jesus Christ, that they quietly go to work and pay for their own bread (rather than looking to the church for support).
13 The rest of you, brethren, dont be weary in doing well.
14 And if any man does not obey our command in this letter, single him out and have no fellowship with him, that he may be shamed into compliance.
15 But dont view him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
16 Now the Lord of Peace himself always give you peace, and may the Lord be with you all!
17 HERE IS MY PERSONAL SALUTATION, WHICH IS A TOKEN OF EVERY LETTER I WRITE.
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.