1 Thessalonians 1:3

Remembering (mnhmoneuonte). Present active participle of old verb from adjective mnhmwn (mindful) and so to call to mind, to be mindful of, used either with the accusative as in 1 Thessalonians 2:9 or the genitive as here. Without ceasing (adialeiptw). Double compound adverb of the Koin (Polybius, Diodorus, Strabo, papyri) from the verbal adjective a-dia-leipto (a privative and dia-leipw, to leave off). In the N.T. alone by Paul and always connected with prayer. Milligan prefers to connect this adverb (amphibolous in position) with the preceding participle poioumenoi rather than with mnhmoneuonte as Revised Version and Westcott and Hort rightly do. Your work of faith (umwn tou ergou th pistew). Note article with both ergou and pistew (correlation of the article, both abstract substantives). Ergou is genitive case the object of mnhmoneuonte as is common with verbs of emotion (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 508f.), though the accusative kopon occurs in 1 Thessalonians 2:9 according to common Greek idiom allowing either case. Ergou is the general term for work or business, employment, task. Note two genitives with ergou. Humwn is the usual possessive genitive, your work, while th pistew is the descriptive genitive, marked by, characterized by, faith, "the activity that faith inspires" (Frame). It is interesting to note this sharp conjunction of these two words by Paul. We are justified by faith, but faith produces works (#Ro 6-8) as the Baptist taught and as Jesus taught and as James does in James 2:1 ff. Labour of love (tou kopou th agaph). Note article with both substantives. Here again tou kopou is the genitive the object of mnhmoneuonte while th agaph is the descriptive genitive characterizing the "labour" or "toil" more exactly. Kopo is from koptw, to cut, to lash, to beat the bread, to toil. In Revelation 14:13 the distinction is drawn between kopou (toil) from which the saints rest and erga (works, activities) which follow with them into heaven. So here it is the labour that love prompts, assuming gladly the toil. Agaph is one of the great words of the N.T. (Milligan) and no certain example has yet been found in the early papyri or the inscriptions. It occurs in the Septuagint in the higher sense as with the sensuous associations. The Epistle of Aristeas calls love (agaph) God's gift and Philo uses agaph in describing love for God. "When Christianity first began to think and speak in Greek, it took up agaph and its group of terms more freely, investing them with the new glow with which the N.T. writings make us familiar, a content which is invariably religious" (Moffatt, Love in the New Testament, p. 40). The New Testament never uses the word erw (lust). Patience of hope (th upomonh th elpido). Note the two articles again and the descriptive genitive th elpido. It is patience marked by hope, "the endurance inspired by hope" (Frame), yes, and sustained by hope in spite of delays and set-backs. Hupomonh is an old word (upo, menw, to remain under), but it "has come like agaph to be closely associated with a distinctively Christian virtue" (Milligan). The same order as here (ergou, kopo, upomonh) appears in Revelation 2:2 and Lightfoot considers it" an ascending scale as practical proofs of self-sacrifice." The church in Thessalonica was not old, but already they were called upon to exercise the sanctifying grace of hope (Denney). In our Lord Jesus Christ (tou Kuriou hmwn Ihsou Cristou). The objective genitive with elpido (hope) and so translated by "in" here (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 499f.). Jesus is the object of this hope, the hope of his second coming which is still open to us. Note "Lord Jesus Christ" as in verse Revelation 1 . Before our God and Father (emprosqen tou qeou kai patro hmwn). The one article with both substantives precisely as in Galatians 1:4 , not "before God and our Father," both article and possessive genitive going with both substantives as in 2 Peter 1:1 2 Peter 1:11 ; Titus 2:13 (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 785f.). The phrase is probably connected with elpido. Emprosqen in the N.T. occurs only of place, but it is common in the papyri of time. The picture here is the day of judgment when all shall appear before God.