Christian Churches of God

No. F052






Commentary on


(Edition 1.0 20201112-20201112)




The Epistle to the Thessalonians was the first Epistle written by Paul.



Christian Churches of God

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Commentary on 1Thessalonians


Paul came to Thessalonica, the capital of Macedonia (Acts 17:1) with Silas and Timothy on his Second Missionary Journey (Acts 15:40-18:22), after being driven out of Philippi. Paul preached in the synagogue for three sabbaths proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah, and from the Scriptures proved the necessity of his death and resurrection (Acts 17:3). Some Jews were convinced and a number of Greeks attracted to the Faith of Israel were also convinced. They became the nucleus of a successful Gentile ministry which continued for some time. The Jews were annoyed at the conversion of the Greeks to the faith from their (the Jew’s) labours and accused Paul of sedition (Acts 17:7). They aroused such a disturbance that Paul and Silas were sent away by their friends by night to Beroea. When word of the apostle’s success there reached Thessalonica, his opponents followed them to Beroea and hunted him out of town once again. Paul moved on to Athens and then shortly afterwards to Corinth.


Paul was concerned for the new congregation at Thessalonica which had been deprived of its leadership and persecuted by the Jews of the synagogue there. The Jews maintained the attack by questioning the apostle’s character and motives. They accused him of error, guile, greed, impurity and dishonesty (2:3-6). Paul sent Timothy to encourage the young congregation to resist the persecution there. When Timothy returned with good news of their faith and loyalty, Paul was pleased and wrote the first letter to them expressing his gratitude and joy at their perseverance and exhorted them to Christian conduct. The letter dealt with two major issues concerning the brethren there.


The questions were, from the response in the epistle: 1: Is a Christian deprived of the blessing of the Kingdom if they die before Christ’s Second Advent? And;

2. When will Christ come in glory?


Paul deals with the first of these issues in 4:13-18 and with the second issue in 5:1-11 (cf. also Intr. to Annotated Oxford RSV).


The letter was written from Corinth, seemingly in the early 50s (end 52 or early 53 CE see below), and is considered one of the earliest writings of Paul.


Book Overview - 1 Thessalonians

by E.W. Bullinger


1Thessalonians 1:231 Thessalonians 1:10. THANKSGIVING. NARRATION. APPEAL.
1Thessalonians 3:11-13. PRAYER.
1Thessalonians 4:1 - 1 Thessalonians 5:22. EXHORTATION. "concerning them which are falling asleep " (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).*
1Thessalonians 5:23-25. PRAYER.
1Thessalonians 5:26-28. EPISTOLARY. CONCLUSION.


1. The Church of the Thessalonians was planted by Paul, in association with Silas and Timothy (Acts 17:1Acts 17:9). Although some of the Jews believed, it was composed mainly of Gentiles, and their joyful reception of the message as the word of God was the prelude to active missionary operations in all Achaia and Macedonia (1Thessalonians 1:8), a territory about as large as Great Britain. In this respect especially they were a model church. From them sounded forth "the word of the Lord", and they became examples to believers, showing the power of that word in their lives. The apostle writes in a joyful spirit, for he had just received from Timothy glad tidings of their faith and love (1Thessalonians 3:6).

2. A large part of the Epistle is occupied with the doctrine of the Lord"s coming, that coming which He Himself announced, Matthew 24:36Matthew 25:31Matthew 26:64; et al ., the same coming of which He spoke in Acts 1:7, "it is not for you to know the times and the seasons which the Father hath put in His own power". The similarity of Paul"s language, concerning "the times and the seasons" (1 Thessalonians 5:1), bears instruction for us. Indeed throughout the Epistle the nearness of that coming is emphasized (1 Thessalonians 1:101 Thessalonians 2:121 Thessalonians 2:191 Thessalonians 3:131 Thessalonians 4:131 Thessalonians 4:181 Thessalonians 5:1 1 Thessalonians 5:111 Thessalonians 5:23). But, as has been well observed, that which draws near may withdraw also, and such we know to be the case, for owing to His people’s rejection of the King and kingdom, the latter is in abeyance till the "times of the Gentiles" are ended. 1 and 2 Thessalonians are unique in many respects; e.g. chronologically , as well as canonically (see Appdx-180, 192); the use of special terms in relation to the coming ( parousia and epiphaneia ) of our Lord; for these see Notes. And they are the only Epistles addressed to a church specifically.


3. This Epistle is the earliest of the writings of Paul, having been sent out from Corinth about the end of 52 or the beginning of 53 A.D. Some hold that, of all the books of the New Testament, it was the first written.


4. Thessalonica, now Salonica, on the bay of the same name, has always been one of the busiest ports of the Aegean. It was the chief city of a division of Macedonia, and is said to have had a population of 200,000 at the beginning of our era. Much smaller now, the city has always had a large proportion of Jews among its inhabitants.”


Intent of the chapters

Note that the questions mentioned above deal with the issues of the matter of the inheritance of the Kingdom and the matter of his coming. There was never any question in the minds of the converts or in either Paul or Timothy that the brethren had any views or entertained any idea that they were to die and go to heaven as believed in the Sun and Mystery cults among the Gnostic and Baal Worshippers of Attis and the mother goddess cults of Cybele, Ishtar or Easter.  They were concerned merely with the fact that if they died before the advent of Messiah they would not receive the benefit of the inheritance of the Kingdom in the forthcoming reign of Messiah; i.e. in the Millennium, later explained by John in Revelation chapter 20. There is no trace of Baal worship or the Gnostic heaven and hell doctrine in any of the texts either in the basis of the questions or in the answers. Nor is antinomianism hinted at, even in the Jew’s accusations against Paul.


Note also here in 1:2-3 that the object of prayer is the Father, the One True God, whom no man has seen or ever can see (Jn. 1:18; 1Tim. 6:16) as directed by Christ whom He sent to us (Jn. 17:3).


The concept of the calling in power and the Holy Spirit is also reinforced here (1:4-5) where they then became imitators of the apostles and the lord in the Holy Spirit in affliction as examples to all Macedonia and Achaia (vv. 6-7). In verse 10 we then see the advent of Messiah discussed.


Chapter 2 then discusses the work of God that lives in them through the Holy Spirit that directs the work. In that they became imitators of the Churches of God that were in Judea (v. 14).  It is here that he speaks against the Jews who try to prevent the calling of the Gentiles and their salvation which is part of the Plan of God (vv. 15-16).  It is the Churches of God among the Gentiles that are also the crown of the Church and their ability to boast of their calling (vv. 17-20).


Chapter 3 shows that Paul had prophesied to them of the affliction that they would suffer in their move to Athens and their remaining there when they sent Timothy back to them to verify their faith and their calling. The end of Chapter 3 refers to the advent of the Messiah and the elect of the Host and the Saints of the First Resurrection so that Messiah will establish their hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father (vv.11-13).


Chapter 4: Paul rounds the letter off from chapter 4.  Paul reminds them of the instruction they were given. They were to abstain from unchastity, and take a wife in holiness and honour. God has called them to holiness. They are to love one another, live quietly, mind their own affairs, and work with their hands as they were charged by the apostles, so that they might command the respect of outsiders and be dependent upon nobody.


In verse 4:13 Paul speaks explicitly of the dead as those who are asleep. They are not to grieve for them.  Christ when he returns will bring those who are asleep back in that ex-anastasin or “out resurrection” to which Paul refers (in Philippians 3:11). We who are alive and are left until the coming of the Lord will not precede those who are fallen asleep (v.15). So those of us who are left alive will not be translated until the dead are raised and then we will all be translated and brought to the Messiah at Jerusalem. For Messiah will descend himself from heaven with the cry of command and the archangel’s call and the sound of the Trumpet of God and the dead in Christ shall rise first and we who are alive who are left shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and therefore comfort one another with these words (vv. 16-17). Thus the abode of the dead is always to be the grave and there is no mention whatsoever of heaven and hell and there is no distinction between the elect as to when they are to go to and meet the Messiah and it is not out of this world’s atmosphere.


It is the responsibility of the Church to blow the trumpets and to give clear messages. It is our responsibility to show people when and where to gather and martial for worship and activity. It is our responsibility to listen and hear the sound and to follow its instruction.


We must be ever at the ready listening for the trumpet of 1Thessalonians 4:16-17.


“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”

(cf. Shofar and the Silver Trumpet (No 047)).


We see from 1Thessalonians 4:16-17 that the command of the Archangel (Michael) is the commencement of the intervention of the celestial Host in the affairs of mankind. It symbolises the end of the six thousand years under the fallen Host. This command precedes the First Resurrection of the dead; those of the elect who are termed dead in Christ. These people are the elect who are termed as fallen asleep (1Cor. 15:6,18; 1Thes. 4:13-15; 2Pet. 3:4). Together with those of the Church who are still alive at the coming of Messiah, they will go to be with Messiah at Jerusalem at his return.


This event is the long awaited reunion with the Messiah. In the Gospels it is termed the marriage supper. The marriage supper parables have much to say about the types of people who are involved in the Church and who constitute the elect. (cf. Trumpets (No. 136)).


Chapter 5 continues on and delineates the process.


Paul does not delineate the times and says that the coming of the Messiah shall be like a thief in the night. When people say: “there is peace and security” then sudden destruction will come upon them like a woman in labour and there will be no escape. The brethren are not asleep or in darkness but they are to remain alert and be sober. For those who sleep do so at night and those who are drunk do so at night. As the brethren belong to the day let us all be sober and put on the breastplate of faith and love and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For the elect have not been destined by God for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we wake or sleep we might live with him. Paul says they are to encourage one another and build one another up, just as they were doing.


From 5:12 we see Paul asking them to respect those who labour among them and are over them and admonish them. They are to esteem them very highly in love because of their work and to be at peace among themselves. They are to admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak and be patient with them all. See that none of the elect repays evil for evil but that they do good to one another and to all.  From verse 16 they are told to rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances, for that is the will of God for us in Christ Jesus. He tells them to not quench the spirit, do not despise prophesying but test everything and hold fast what is good and abstain from every form of evil (vv. 16-22). 


From verse 23 Paul then blesses them and asks that the God of Peace Himself sanctify them wholly and keeps their spirit and soul and body sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. God who calls us is faithful and He will do it.  Paul asks the brethren to pray for them and to greet the brethren and read the letter before all the brethren.


He then ends with the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with them.


The text is plainly Unitarian subordinationist with not a trace of Gnostic or antinomian doctrines of any sort in either the church conduct or Paul’s direction to them.


1Thessalonians (RSV)

Chapter 1

1Paul, Silva'nus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalo'nians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace. 2We give thanks to God always for you all, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, 3remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4For we know, brethren beloved by God, that he has chosen you; 5for our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. 6And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit; 7so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedo'nia and in Acha'ia. 8For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedo'nia and Acha'ia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. 9For they themselves report concerning us what a welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, 10and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.


Chapter 2

1For you yourselves know, brethren, that our visit to you was not in vain; 2but though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philip'pi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the face of great opposition. 3For our appeal does not spring from error or uncleanness, nor is it made with guile; 4but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please men, but to please God who tests our hearts. 5For we never used either words of flattery, as you know, or a cloak for greed, as God is witness; 6nor did we seek glory from men, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. 7But we were gentle among you, like a nurse taking care of her children. 8So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. 9For you remember our labor and toil, brethren; we worked night and day, that we might not burden any of you, while we preached to you the gospel of God. 10You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our behavior to you believers; 11for you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you 12to lead a life worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory. 13And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. 14For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus which are in Judea; for you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, 15who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all men 16by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they may be saved--so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But God's wrath has come upon them at last! 17But since we were bereft of you, brethren, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face; 18because we wanted to come to you--I, Paul, again and again--but Satan hindered us. 19For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? 20For you are our glory and joy.


Chapter 3

1Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone, 2and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's servant in the gospel of Christ, to establish you in your faith and to exhort you, 3that no one be moved by these afflictions. You yourselves know that this is to be our lot. 4For when we were with you, we told you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction; just as it has come to pass, and as you know. 5For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent that I might know your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and that our labor would be in vain. 6But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you-- 7for this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith; 8for now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord. 9For what thanksgiving can we render to God for you, for all the joy which we feel for your sake before our God, 10praying earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith? 11Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you; 12and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all men, as we do to you, 13so that he may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.


Chapter 4

1Finally, brethren, we beseech and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God, just as you are doing, you do so more and more. 2For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from unchastity; 4that each one of you know how to take a wife for himself in holiness and honor, 5not in the passion of lust like heathen who do not know God; 6that no man transgress, and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we solemnly forewarned you. 7For God has not called us for uncleanness, but in holiness. 8Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. 9But concerning love of the brethren you have no need to have any one write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another; 10and indeed you do love all the brethren throughout Macedo'nia. But we exhort you, brethren, to do so more and more, 11to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we charged you; 12so that you may command the respect of outsiders, and be dependent on nobody. 13But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; 17then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18Therefore comfort one another with these words.


Chapter 5

1But as to the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need to have anything written to you. 2For you yourselves know well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3When people say, "There is peace and security," then sudden destruction will come upon them as travail comes upon a woman with child, and there will be no escape. 4But you are not in darkness, brethren, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5For you are all sons of light and sons of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. 6So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. 7For those who sleep sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8But, since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10who died for us so that whether we wake or sleep we might live with him. 11Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 12But we beseech you, brethren, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14And we exhort you, brethren, admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. 16Rejoice always, 17pray constantly, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19Do not quench the Spirit, 20do not despise prophesying, 21but test everything; hold fast what is good, 22abstain from every form of evil. 23May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24He who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. 25Brethren, pray for us. 26Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss. 27I adjure you by the Lord that this letter be read to all the brethren. 28The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.


We should all be looking at how we deal with each other, and how to organise the Church of God around a structure of concern and love one for the other. We especially need to show due respect to those who instruct and lead us in the Faith (1Thess. 5:12-18). (cf. Basis of Christian Living No. 085)).


Many of us have been put through severe trials in the past. Much of the Church was destroyed for respect of persons and lack of love. Respect of persons was the greatest sin of the Church in the twentieth century, and people did not understand it (see the paper Respect of Persons (No. 221)). (cf. also Hebrews 10:24-25).

Bullinger’s Notes on 1Thessalonians (for KJV)


Chapter 1

Verse 1

Paul. In all his other Epistles, except Philemon, 2 Thessalonians, and Philemon, apostolos is added. He was held in terms of tender regard and affection by the converts at Philippi and Thessalonica, and there was no need to assert his authority.

Silvanus. Same as Silas. A leader of the church at Jerusalem (Acts 15:22), and a prophet (1 Thessalonians 1:32), he accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey, and took part in the founding of the churches of Macedonia. Acts 15:40 -- 1 Thessalonians 18:18.

Timotheus. See 2 Corinthians 1:1.

church. App-186.

Thessalonians. This and the Second Epistle are the only ones addressed in this form. Romans, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians are addressed to "saints". The two Epistles to the Corinthians to "the church of God at Corinth", and Galatians to the "churches of Galatia".

God. App-98.

Father. App-98.

Lord. App-98.

Jesus Christ. App-98.

Grace. App-184. Compare Romans 1:7.

from. App-104. This last clause is omitted in most texts.


Verse 2

give thanks. Greek. eucharisteo. See Acts 27:35.

making mention. See Romans 1:9.


Verse 3

without ceasing. Greek. adialeiptos. Only here, 1 Thessalonians 2:131 Thessalonians 5:17Romans 1:9.

of = proceeding from. Genitive of origin. App-17.; or, it may be Genitive of character. App-17., and would read "faithful work, loving labour, and hopeful patience".

love. App-135. Compare 1 Thessalonians 5:8Colossians 1:4Colossians 1:8Revelation 2:4.

in = of. App-17.

Lord. App-98.


Verse 4

Knowing. App-132.

beloved. App-135.

election. Greek. ekloge. See Acts 9:15.


Verse 5

gospel. App-140.

word. App-121.

also, &c. = in power also.

power. App-172.

Holy Ghost = Divine power. App-101.

assurance. Greek. plerophoria. See Colossians 2:2.

were = became.

for your sake = on account of (App-104. 1 Thessalonians 1:2) you.


Verse 6

followers = imitators. Greek. mimetes. See 1 Corinthians 4:16.

affliction. Greek. thlipsis. See Acts 7:10.


Verse 7

ensamples. Greek. tupos. See Philippians 1:3Philippians 1:17, and compare 1 Timothy 4:12Titus 2:71 Peter 5:3.

believe. App-150.


Verse 8

sounded out. Greek. execheomai. Only here. Compare Luke 4:37, and 1 Corinthians 13:1.

also. The texts omit.

to God-ward = towards (App-104.) God.

is spread abroad = has gone forth.


Verse 9

shew = report.

entering in. Greek. eisodos. See Acts 13:24.

to. Same as "unto", above.

idols. This shows that these converts were mainly Gentiles. The Jews were bitterly hostile. Acts 17:4-6Acts 17:13.

the = a.

true. App-175.


Verse 10

wait for. Greek. anameno. Only here in N.T. In Septuagint of Job 7:2Isaiah 59:11. A much stronger word than meno, p. 1511.

Son. App-108.

heaven = the heavens. See Matthew 6:9Matthew 6:10.

raised. App-178.

from the dead. App-139.3 but with the texts App-139.4.

Jesus. App-98.

delivered = rescueth.

us. Paul and the brethren are intended, being Jews. See 1 Thessalonians 1:9.

from. App-104.iv but texts read App-104.vii.

wrath, &c. = the coming wrath. See 1 Thessalonians 2:16.


Chapter 2

Verse 1

entrance in. See 1 Thessalonians 1:9.

in vain. See 1 Thessalonians 3:5.


Verse 2

after that we had = having.

suffered before. Greek. propascho. Only here.

were, &c. = having been treated with contumely. Greek. hubrizo. See Acts 14:5. Referring to their being scourged, though Romans (Acts 16:37, Acts 16:38).

were bold. Greek. parrhesiazomai. See Acts 9:27.

God. App-98.

with. App-104. In this one verse the preposition en is translated "at", "in", "with".

contention. Greek. agon. See Philippians 1:1, Philippians 1:30.


Verse 3

exhortation. Greek. paraklesis. See Acts 4:36, and App-134.

nor. Greek. oude.

guile. Greek. dolos. See Acts 13:10.


Verse 4

allowed = tested, and so approved. Greek. dokimazo. Same as "trieth", and as "prove" (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

be put in trust with. App-150.

pleasing men. Compare Galatians 1:1, Galatians 1:10.

men. App-123.


Verse 5

neither, nor. Greek. oute.

used we. Literally were (became) we in (Greek. en).

flattering words. Literally a word (App-121.) of flattery.

cloke = pretence. Greek. prophasis. See Acts 27:30.


Verse 6

Nor. Greek. oute.

sought we = seeking.

when, &c. = though able to be.

burdensome. Literally in (Greek. en) a burden, i.e. for a burden. Greek. baros. See Acts 15:28. Compare 1 Thessalonians 2:9.

Christ. App-98.


Verse 7

gentle. Greek. epios. Only here and 2 Timothy 2:24.

among = in (Greek. en) the midst of.

nurse. Greek. trophos. Only here.

cherisheth. Greek. thalpo. See Ephesians 5:29.

her = her own. This shows that a mother is meant. The image expresses the intensity of the apostle"s love for them.

children. App-108.


Verse 8

affectionately desirous. Greek. himeiromai, or homeiromai. Only here.

willing = well pleased.

also, &c. = our own lives (App-110.) also.

dear unto. App-185.


Verse 9

travail = toil. Greek. mochthos. See 2 Corinthians 11:27.

because, &c. = with a view to (App-104) our not (App-105) being chargeable unto. Greek. epibareo. See 2 Corinthians 2:5.


Verse 10

holily. Greek. hosios. Only here. Compare the adjective Acts 2:27.

justly. Greek. dikaios. See 1 Corinthians 15:34, and compare App-191.

unblameably. Greek. amemptos. Only here and 1 Thessalonians 5:23. Compare 1 Thessalonians 3:13.

behaved ourselves. Literally became.

among = towards. No preposition.

believe. App-150.


Verse 11

exhorted. App-134.

comforted. Greek. paramutheomai. See John 11:19.

charged = testified to. Greek. marturomai, with texts. See Galatians 1:5, Galatians 1:3.

every = each.


Verse 12

That, &c. = With a view to (App-104.) your walking.

hath Omit.

called. Some texts read "calleth".

His = His own.

kingdom. See App-112.114.


Verse 13

For this cause = On account of (App-104. 1 Thessalonians 2:2) this.

also thank we = we also thank. See 1 Thessalonians 1:2.

without ceasing. See 1 Thessalonians 1:3.

which ye heard. Literally of hearing. Greek. akoe, as in Galatians 1:3, Galatians 1:2, Galatians 1:5.

in truth = truly.

effectually worketh = is made energetic. See App-172.


Verse 14

followers. See 1 Thessalonians 1:6.

churches. App-186.

Christ Jesus. App-98.

have. Omit.

like = the same

countrymen. Greek. sumphuletes. Only here.


Verse 15

Lord. App-98.

Jesus = even Jesus. App-98.

their own = the.

prophets. App-189.

have persecuted us. = chased us out. Greek. ekdioko. Only here and Luke 11:49.


Verse 16

that = in order that. Greek. hina.

to, &c. = with a view to (App-104.) their filling up (Greek. anapleroo). See 1 Corinthians 14:16.

the wrath: the appointed wrath. See Lev 26. Deut 28and Deut 32.

is come. Greek. phthano. See Luke 11:20.

uttermost = end. Greek. telos.


Verse 17

being taken = having been bereaved. Greek. aporphanizomai. Only here. Compare John 14:18.

from. App-104.

a short time. Literally a season of an hour.

presence, face. Compare 1 Corinthians 5:3. Colossians 2:5.

endeavoured = were diligent.


Verse 18

would have = wished to. App-102.

once and again. Compare Philippians 1:4, Philippians 1:16.

hindered. Greek. enkopto. See Acts 24:4.


Verse 19

crown. Compare Philippians 1:4, Philippians 1:1.

rejoicing. Greek. kauchesis. See Romans 3:27.

Jesus Christ. App-98. but the texts omit "Christ".

coming. Greek. parousia. See Matthew 24:3. The first of seven Occurs in these two Epistles. See 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:23. 2 Thessalonians 2:1, 2 Thessalonians 2:8, 2 Thessalonians 2:9.


Chapter 3

Verse 1

when, &c. = no longer bearing it, i.e. able to bear it.

no longer. Greek. meketi.

forbear = bear. See 1 Corinthians 9:12.

thought it good = were well pleased. Same as "were willing" (1 Thessalonians 2:8).

Athens. See Acts 17:15, Acts 17:16. When Silas and Timothy joined Paul, he and Silas must have agreed to dispatch Timothy to Thessalonica, and then Silas must have departed on some other mission. See in 1 Thessalonians 3:5 the change from "we" to "I".


Verse 2

minister. App-190.

God. App-98.

fellowlabourer. Greek. sunergos. See 1 Corinthians 3:9. The texts vary here.

gospel. App-140.

Christ. App-98.

to, &c. = with a view to (Greek. eis) establishing.

comfort: or, exhort. App-134.

concerning. App-104., but the texts read huper (App-104.)


Verse 3

no man. Greek. medeia.

moved: or, agitated. Greek. saino. Only here.

afflictions. Greek. thlipsis. See 1 Thessalonians 1:6.

are appointed. Literally lie. Greek. keimai. Compare Luke 2:34. Philippians 1:1, Philippians 1:17.

thereunto = unto (App-104.) this.


Verse 4

told . . . before = foretold. Greek. prolego. See 2 Corinthians 13:2.

should = were about to.

suffer, &c. = be afflicted. Greek. thlibo.

came to pass. Add "also".


Verse 5

For this cause = On account of (App-104. 1 Thessalonians 3:2) this.

lest, &c. Greek. me pos.

have. Omit.

in vain. See 1 Thessalonians 2:1, and compare 2 Corinthians 6:1. Galatians 1:2, Galatians 1:2. Philippians 1:2, Philippians 1:16.


Verse 6

brought . . . good tidings. App-121. The only place, save Luke 1:19, where euangelizo does not refer to the gospel.

charity = love. App-135.

always. App-151.

desiring greatly. Greek. epipotheo. See Romans 1:11.

see. App-133.


Verse 7

Therefore. Same as "For this cause", 1 Thessalonians 3:5.

in. Same as "over".

distress = necessity, as 1 Corinthians 7:26.


Verse 8

live. See App-170.

stand fast. Greek. steko. See Philippians 1:4, Philippians 1:1.

Lord. App-98.


Verse 9

for. App-104.

for your sakes = on account of (App-104. 1 Thessalonians 3:2) you.


Verse 10

praying. App-134.

exceedingly. Greek. huper (App-104.) ek (App-104.) perissou. Most of the texts read as one word. See Ephesians 3:20.

that we might. Literally for (App-104.) the seeing (App-133.)

perfect. App-.

that, &c. = the shortcomings. Greek. husterema. See 1 Corinthians 16:17.

in = of.


Verse 11

Father. App-98.

Lord. App-98.

Jesus Christ. App-98. but the texts omit "Christ" here and 1 Thessalonians 3:13.

direct. Greek. kateuthuno. Here; 2 Thessalonians 3:5. Luke 1:79. Compare euthuno in John 1:23 and James 3:4.


Verse 12

increase. Greek. pleonazo. See Romans 5:20.

love. Same as "charity", 1 Thessalonians 3:6.

toward. App-104.

we = we also.


Verse 13

To the end. App-104.

stablish Greek. sterizo. See Romans 1:11.

unblameable. Greek. amemptos. See Philippians 1:2, Philippians 1:15.

holiness. Greek. hagiosune. See Romans 1:4.

before. See John 12:37.

coming. Greek. parousia. Compare 1 Thessalonians 2:19.

saints. See Acts 9:13.


Chapter 4

Verse 1

1 Thessalonians 5:22 [For Structures see below]. 1 Thessalonians 4:1 beseech. App-134.

exhort. App-134.

Lord. App-98.

Jesus. App-98.

that = in order that. Greek. hina.

God. App-98.

more and more = the more.


Verse 2

commandments. Greek. parangelia. Compare 1 Timothy 1:18 (charge).

Lord. App-98.


Verse 3

will. App-102.

sanctification. Greek. hagiasmos. See Romans 6:19.

abstain. Greek. apechomai. See Acts 15:20.


Verse 4

every = each.

possess. Greek. ktaomai. See Luke 21:19.

his = his own.

vessel. Greek. skeuos. Compare 1 Peter 3:7.


Verse 5

lust. Greek. pathos. See Romans 1:26. The Revised Version renders it "passion".

concupiscence = lust, or desire.


Verse 6

no man = that he (should) not (App-105).

go beyond. Greek. huperbaino. Only here.

defraud. Greek. pleonekteo. See 2 Corinthians 2:11.

any = the.

avenger. Greek. ekdikos. Only here and Romans 13:4.

of = concerning. App-104.

such = such (sins).

also have forewarned = forewarned also. Greek. proeipo. Only here; Acts 1:16Galatians 1:5Galatians 1:21.

testified. Greek. diamarturomai. See Acts 2:40.


Verse 7

hath. Omit.

holiness. Same as "sanctification"1 Thessalonians 4:3.


Verse 8

despiseth. Greek. atheteo. See John 12:48.

man. App-123.

hath also given. The texts read "giveth".

us. The texts read "you".

holy Spirit. Though there are two articles, the reference is to the gifts of Acts 2:4, the Spirit being always the Giver. App-101.


Verse 9

as touching. App-104.

brotherly love. Greek. Philadelphia. See Romans 12:10.

taught of God. Greek. theodidaktos. Only here.

love. App-135.


Verse 10

toward. App-104.

beseech. Same as "exhort"1 Thessalonians 4:1.

increase. Same as "abound"1 Thessalonians 4:1.


Verse 11

study. Greek. philotimeomai. See Romans 15:20.

be quiet. Greek. hesuchazo. See Luke 23:56.

do, &c. = attend to your own affairs. Compare 2 Thessalonians 3:11.

commanded. Greek. parangello. See Acts 1:4.


Verse 12

honestly. Greek. euschemonos. See Romans 13:13.

them that are without. Compare 1 Corinthians 5:121 Corinthians 5:13Colossians 4:5.

nothing. Greek. medeis.


Verse 13

I. Texts read "we".

have you, &c. See Romans 1:13.

concerning. App-104.

asleep = falling asleep. App-171.

others = the rest. App-124. Add "also".

no = not, as 1 Thessalonians 4:5.


Verse 14

For. Greek. gar.

rose again. App-178.

even so them also. Read "so (we believe) also that them".

sleep = are fallen asleep.

in Jesus = through (App-104. 1 Thessalonians 4:1) Jesus. This stands in the Greek between the words "sleep" and "bring". To which does it belong? "Sleep in Jesus" is an expression not found elsewhere. In 1 Thessalonians 4:16 the "dead in Christ" are spoken of, with which may be compared 1 Corinthians 15:18. And the proper meaning of dia with the Genitive is "through", though it is wrongly translated "in" Matthew 26:61Mark 14:581 Timothy 2:15Hebrews 7:9Hebrews 13:22, and "among" 2 Timothy 2:2. The context will show that "through" is the meaning, as the Revised Version renders it in margin. "Through" the Lord Jesus Christ we have peace, reconciliation, sonship, the Holy Spirit"s gifts, victory, and many other blessings; Romans 5:1Romans 5:10Romans 8:371 Corinthians 15:572 Corinthians 5:18Ephesians 1:5Colossians 1:20Titus 3:6. Death is not a blessing, but an enemy. Inflicted by the Lord (Revelation 2:23Revelation 19:21), and permitted by Him, it is the work of the devil (Hebrews 2:14Revelation 2:10), whose works He came to destroy. It is better, therefore, to take the words "through Jesus" with "bring", and read, "God will through Jesus bring with Him", in harmony with John 5:25John 11:25Philippians 1:3Philippians 1:21.

with. App-104.


Verse 15

the. Omit.

word. App-121.

remain. Greek. perileipomai. Only here and 1 Thessalonians 4:17. Is this subsequent to Philippians 1:3Philippians 1:11?

coming. Compare 1 Thessalonians 2:19.

prevent = anticipate. Greek. phthano. See Romans 9:31"Prevent" meant "go or come before". Now it only means "stand in the way of".

asleep = fallen asleep.


Verse 16

For = Because. Greek. hoti.

heaven. Singular. See Matthew 6:9Matthew 6:10.

shout = word of command. Greek. keleusma. Only here in NT. In the Septuagint in Proverbs 30:27, the rendering of which is, The locust has no king, yet it marches orderly at one word of command.

archangel. Only here and in Jude 1:9, where he is called Michael, which connects this event with Daniel 12:1.

trump. Compare Matthew 24:31 and 1 Corinthians 15:52.

the dead. App-139.

Christ. App-98.


Verse 17

Then. Greek. epeita, thereupon, thereafter.

caught up. Greek. harpazo. See Acts 8:392 Corinthians 12:22 Corinthians 12:4Revelation 12:5.

together. Greek. hama.

the. Omit.

meet. Greek. See Matthew 25:1.

so. i.e. by resurrection, or translation.

Verse 18

Wherefore = So then.

comfort. Same as "beseech"1 Thessalonians 4:10.


Verse 2

For. Greek. gar.

know. App-132.

perfectly. Greek. akribos. See Acts 18:25.

Lord. App-98.


Verse 3

For. The texts omit.

shall. Omit.

sudden. Greek. aiphnidios. Only here and Luke 21:34.

destruction. Greek. olethros. See 1 Corinthians 5:5.

travail. Greek. odin. See Acts 2:24.


Verse 4

that = in order that. Greek. hina.

overtake. Greek. katalambano. See John 1:5.


Verse 5

children. App-108.

light. App-130.

nor. Greek. oude.


Verse 6

sleep. App-171.

others. App-124.

watch. See Matthew 24:42.

be sober. Greek. nepho. Here, 1 Thessalonians 5:8. 2 Timothy 4:5. 1 Peter 1:13; 1 Peter 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8.


Verse 8

breastplate. Greek. thorax. See Ephesians 6:14.

faith. App-150.

love. App-135.

helmet. Greek. perikephalaia. See Ephesians 6:17.


Verse 9

For = Because. Greek. hoti.

God. App-98.

hath. Omit.

to. App-104.

wrath. Compare 1 Thessalonians 1:10.

obtain = obtaining. Greek. peripoiesis. See Ephesians 1:14.

Lord. App-98.

Jesus Christ. App-98.


Verse 10

wake = watch. together. Greek. hama, as in 1 Thessalonians 4:17.


Verse 11

comfort. App-134. Same as in 1 Thessalonians 4:18.

also ye do = ye are doing also.


Verse 12

beseech. App-134. Not the same as 1 Thessalonians 4:10.

among. App-104.

are over. Greek. proisteimi. See Romans 12:8.


Verse 13

esteem = reckon.

very highly. Greek. huperekperissos. See 1 Thessalonians 3:10 and Ephesians 3:20.

for their work"s sake = on account of (App-104. 1 Thessalonians 5:2) their work.

be at peace. Greek. eireneuo. See Romans 12:18.


Verse 14

exhort. App-134.

warn. Same as "admonish", 1 Thessalonians 5:12.

unruly. Greek. ataktos. Only here. Compare 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 2 Thessalonians 3:11 (the adverb translated "disorderly").

comfort. Greek. paramutheomai. See 1 Thessalonians 2:11.

feebleminded = fainthearted. Greek. oligopsuchos. Only here.

support. Greek. antechomai. Here; Matthew 6:24. Luke 16:13. Titus 1:9.

toward. App-104.


Verse 15

that none = lest (App-105) any (App-123)

for. Greek. anti. App-104.

any man. Greek. tis. App-123.

ever. App-151.

among yourselves = towards (eis) one another.


Verse 16

evermore. App-151.


Verse 17

Pray. Greek. prqseuchomai. App-134.

without ceasing. See 1 Thessalonians 1:3.


Verse 18

give thanks. Greek. eucharisteo. See 1 Thessalonians 1:2.

Christ Jesus. App-98.

concerning = in regard to. Greek. eis. App-104.


Verse 19

Spirit. App-101.


Verse 20

Despise. Greek. exoutheneo. See Acts 4:11.

prophesyings. Compare 1 Corinthians 12:10, 1 Corinthians 13:2, 1 Corinthians 13:8; 1 Corinthians 14:6, 1 Corinthians 14:22. The reference to these gifts explains 1 Thessalonians 5:19.

Verse 21

Prove. Greek. dokimazo. See Romans 12:2. Ephesians 6:10. 1 John 4:1.

holdfast. Greek. katecho. See Matthew 21:38.


Verse 22

Abstain. See 1 Thessalonians 4:3.

appearance = form. Greek. eidos. See John 5:37.

evil. App-128.


Verse 23

the very, &c. = may the God of peace Himself. Compare Acts 7:2. Hebrews 13:20.

sanctify. See John 17:17.

wholly. Greek. holoteles. Only here.

whole, &c Read, "your spirit and soul and body be kept entire".

whole. Greek. holokleros. Only here and James 1:4. The noun in Acts 3:16. -

blameless. See 1 Thessalonians 2:10.

coming. See 1 Thessalonians 2:10. Notice how in every chapter of this Epistle the coming of the Lord is presented, and in a different aspect: 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17; 1 Thessalonians 5:23. In this verse there is a beautiful correspondence. H | The work of the God of peace. Sanctification: complete. J | w | The whole person. x | One part of it (the pneuma). J | w | The whole person (the living soul). x | The other part of it (the body). H | The coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Preservation: without blemish.


Verse 24

Faithful. Greek. pistos. App-150. Compare 1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Corinthians 10:13. 2 Thessalonians 3:3. 2 Timothy 2:13. Hebrews 10:23; Hebrews 11:11. 1 Peter 4:19. Revelation 3:14; Revelation 19:11.

also, &c. = will do it also.


Verse 26

with. Greek. en. App-104.

holy kiss. See Romans 16:16.


Verse 27

charge. Greek. orkizo. See Acts 19:13, but the texts read enorkizo, which occ only here.

this = the.

holy. Most texts omit.