WRITER: The Apostle Paul ( 2 Thessalonians 1:1 )
DATE: Second Thessalonians was evidently written very soon after Paul's first letter to that church. The occasion may well have been the return of the bearer of the former Epistle and his report.
THEME: The theme of Second Thessalonians is, unfortunately, obscured by a mistranslation in the A.V. of 2 Thessalonians 2:2 where "day of Christ is at hand" (See Scofield "1 Corinthians 1:8") should be, "day of the Lord is now present" (See Scofield " 2:12 ", ref). The Thessalonian converts were "shaken in mind" and "troubled," supposing, perhaps on the authority of a forged letter as from Paul, that the persecutions from which they were suffering were those of the "great and terrible day of the Lord," from which they had been taught to expect deliverance by "the day of Christ, and out gathering together unto him" ( 2 Thessalonians 2:1 )
The present letter, then, was written to instruct the Thessalonians concerning the day of Christ, "and our gathering together unto him" 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 and the relation of the "day of Christ" to the "day of the Lord." First Thessalonians had more in view the "day of Christ"; the present Epistle the "day of the Lord."
The Epistle is in five divisions:
- Salutation, 1:1-4
- Comfort, 1:5-12
- Instruction concerning the day of the Lord and the man of sin, 2:1-12
- Exhortations and apostolic commands, 2:13-3:15
- Benediction and authentication, 3:16-18