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1 Thessalonians - Introduction


The PLACE OF WRITING IT was doubtless Corinth, where Timothy and Silas rejoined him ( Acts 18:5 (compare 1 Thessalonians 2:17 in the autumn of A.D. 52.

The TIME OF WRITING was evidently immediately after having received from Timothy the tidings of their state ( 1 Thessalonians 3:6 A.D. 52, or early in 53. For it was written not long after the conversion of the Thessalonians ( 1 Thessalonians 1:8 1 Thessalonians 1:9 of himself as only taken from them for a short season ( 1 Thessalonians 2:17 Thus this Epistle was first in date of all Paul's extant Epistles. The Epistle is written in the joint names of Paul, Silas, and Timothy, the three founders of the Thessalonian Church. The plural first person "we," is used everywhere, except in 1 Thessalonians 2:18 ; 3:5 ; 5:27 true reading, 1 Thessalonians 4:13 1 Thessalonians 5:1 1 Thessalonians 5:23 [EDMUNDS].

The STYLE is calm and equable, in accordance with the subject matter, which deals only with Christian duties in general, taking for granted the great doctrinal truths which were not as yet disputed. There was no deadly error as yet to call forth his more vehement bursts of feeling and impassioned argument. The earlier Epistles, as we should expect, are moral and practical. It was not until Judaistic and legalizing errors arose at a later period that he wrote those Epistles (for example, Romans and Galatians) which unfold the cardinal doctrines of grace and justification by faith. Still, later the Epistles from his Roman prison confirm the same truths. And last of all, the Pastoral Epistles are suited to the more developed ecclesiastical constitution of the Church, and give directions as to bishops and deacons, and correct abuses and errors of later growth.

The prevalence of the Gentile element in this Church is shown by the fact that these two Epistles are among the very few of Paul's writings in which no quotation occurs from the Old Testament.

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