The Book of 1 Thessalonians

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1 Thessalonians Chapter 1

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Greetings from Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy
  1. Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Anointed Lord Jesus: grace to you and peace [from God our Father and the Anointed Lord Jesus.]
  2. We always thank God for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers;
  3. unceasingly remembering your work of faith, and labor of love, and enduring hope in our Lord Jesus the Anointed before our God and Father.
  4. Having known – and knowing – brothers (who were – and are – shown preference by God) of your election,
  5. because our gospel didn’t come to you only in word; but also in power, and the Holy Spirit, and much full assurance.  Just as you did – and do – know what we became among you, because of you;
  6. and you became imitators of us and the Lord, having welcomed the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit,
  7. so you became an example to all the men who believe in Macedonia and in Achaia.
  8. For the word of the Lord did – and does – sound forth loud and clear(1)“did – and does – sound forth loud and clear”  Is one word in Greek, here in the perfect tense, which is (sort of) a combination of the English past and present tenses.  It refers to a sound that “sounds forth”, either loudly or clearly.  Since both are possible meanings and it’s possible – even likely – that both were intended, both were included. from you.  Not only in Macedonia and in Achaia, but in every place your faith toward God did – and does – go out, so we have no need to say anything.
  9. For they report about us what kind of reception we had from you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the true and living God,
  10. and to await His Son from the heavens – who He raised from the dead – Jesus, the One who delivers us from the wrath which is coming.

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1 Thessalonians Chapter 2

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The Ministry
  1. For brothers, you yourselves did – and do – know that our coming to you wasn’t – and isn’t – in vain.
  2. But having previously suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, (just as you did – and do – know) we were bold in our God to speak the gospel of God to you amid much conflict.
  3. For our exhortation isn’t from error, nor from impurity, nor in deceit.
  4. But just as we were – and are – tested and proved genuine by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak.  Not like we’re pleasing men, but God; the One who tests our hearts and proves them genuine.
  5. For neither were we ever found with a word of flattery (as you did – and do – know) nor with a pretense for greed (God is our witness),
  6. nor seeking glory from men, nor from you, nor from others; though being empowered to be burdensome as the Anointed’s apostles.
  7. but we became gentle(2)“gentle” there is a textual variant on this word, with some manuscripts reading “ἤπιοι” (epioi = gentle), and some reading “νήπιοι” (nēpioi = little children and/or infants).  The two word differ only in the first letter, but otherwise are identical.  Further the previous word “ἐγενήθημεν” ends with a Nu (“ν” our “n” sound) which is likely the source of the textual variant.  Contextually, “ἤπιοι” (epioi = gentle) makes more sense and thus was chosen here. in your midst, as a nursing mother cherishes her own children.
  8. And affectionately desiring you this way, we were pleased to impart not only the gospel of God to you, but also our own souls(3)“soul” The Greek word here is “ψυχή” (psuché).  It does not mean the part of us which survives death and goes to reward or punishment (Biblically that’s our spirit.  In Revelation 8:9, animals are said to have “psuché”.)  Psuché literally means “breath” and is usually translated “life”.  It refers to the life; the vital force which – together with the body – enables a person to live.  It can also refer to mind, will, emotions, and desires, which together make up a person’s identity. because you became beloved to us.
  9. For brothers, you remember our laborious toil and hard labor.  While working night and day in order not to put a burden on any of you, we proclaimed the gospel of God to you.
  10. You are witnesses (and God too) of how devoutly, and righteously, and blamelessly we behaved toward you, the men who believe.
  11. Just as you did – and do – know how (as a father to his own children)
  12. we were admonishing you, and encouraging you, and solemnly charging each one of you to walk in a manner worthy of God; the One who called you into His own kingdom and glory.
  13. And because of this, we incessantly give thanks to God that after receiving the word of God you heard from us, you welcomed it not like the word of men, but like it’s truly the word of God, which also works in you; the men who believe.
  14. For brothers, you became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Jesus the Anointed, because you suffered the same things as them from your own countrymen, just as they also did from the Jews.
  15. the men who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out.  And they’re not pleasing to God and are hostile to all men,
  16. hindering us and forbidding(4)“hindering us and forbidding” is one word in Greek, which can mean either or both depending on the context. us to speak to the gentiles (so they might be saved) to always complete the full measure of their sins.  But wrath has come upon them until the end.
Paul wanting to see them
  1. But brothers, having been bereaved of you for a short time (in presence, not in heart) we’re abundantly eager with great desire to see your face.
  2. Therefore, we wanted to come to you.  Indeed, I Paul tried both once and twice – and the Adversary (Satan)(5)“Adversary (Satan)”  Is one word in Greek.  It’s the Greek word “Σατανᾶς (Satanas) which literally means “adversary”, and is often used as the name of the devil.  It comes from the Hebrew word “שָׂטָן” (satan). hindered us.
  3. For who is our hope, or joy, or crown of boasting?  Isn’t it you?  (Before our Lord Jesus at His coming.)
  4. For you are our glory and joy.

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1 Thessalonians Chapter 3

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Timothy’s Visit and Report
  1. Therefore, enduring it no longer, we were pleased to be left behind in Athens alone.
  2. And we sent Timothy – our brother and fellow worker of God in the gospel of the Anointed – to firmly strengthen you and to encourage you for the sake of your faith,
  3. so no one is shaken by these tribulations.  For you yourselves did – and do – know that we are destined for this.
  4. For when we were with you, we were forewarning you that we’re about to suffer tribulation, just as it also came to pass, and you did – and do – know this.
  5. Enduring it no longer because of this, I also sent Timothy to ascertain your faith, lest somehow the one who tempts had tempted you and our labor might become worthless.
  6. But now Timothy has come from you to us, announcing good news of your faith and love and that you always have a good recollection of us; longing to see us, just as we long to see you.
  7. Because of this brothers, we were encouraged about you in all our distress and tribulation through your faith.
  8. because now we live if you stand firm in the Lord.
  9. For what thanks can we give to God about you, on account of all the joy with which we rejoice before our God because of you?
  10. Night and day, we’re greatly imploring Him to see your face and to supply what lacks in your faith.
  11. And may our God and Father Himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you.
  12. And may the Lord make you abound and overflow in love(6)The Greek word here “ἀγάπη” (agape), typically translated “love”. However, unlike our English word “love” – which primarily speaks of affection and feelings – agape centers on preference.  In the verb form, it literally means “to prefer” or “show preference for”.  In the New Testament, that usually means “moral preference”, or “actively preferring what God prefers” in what we do, not just in what we feel.    It’s the “love” based on will, choice, decision, and action; not feelings.  (Feelings-based love is the Greek word “φιλέω” (phileó), which properly means “brotherly love/affection”.) for one another and for all men, just as we also do for you,
  13. in order to strengthen and establish(7)“strengthen and establish” is one word in Greek, which can mean either depending on the context. It literally means to “fix firmly”, with the idea of either setting something up in a firm position (establish) or adding support to make it firm (strengthen). your hearts as blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints. [Amen]

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1 Thessalonians Chapter 4

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Walk to Please God
  1. Finally then brothers, we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus that just as you received from us how it’s necessary for you to walk and to please God (just as you walk now), so you should overflow more,
  2. for you did – and do – know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.
  3. For this is the will of God: that you become holy.  You are to keep far away(8)“to keep far away” is one word in Greek.  It also contains the sense of gaining something else because you have discarded the old thing. from fornication,
  4. and each of you is to know how to acquire(9)“to acquire” is literal.  It’s one word in Greek meaning to acquire or to obtain, with the strong implication of purchasing.  It was sometimes used of “acquiring” a wife in marriage by paying a bride price to her father; see note on verse 6.  (For this usage, see Ruth 4:10 in the Septuagint and in the apocryphal book Sirach 36:29.)  Some contend it means “to possess” here, in the sense of “gain mastery over”.  However, the word only means “to possess” when in the perfect tense, and it’s not in the perfect tense here, nor anywhere else in the New testament.  Further, the Greek word for “vessel” is also used in 1 Peter 3:7 referencing wives (“the weaker vessel“), and it was used in reference to wives in other writings as well.  The word “weaker” was added (in italics to indicate a translator addition) to make the reference to wives clear.  It’s worth noting that the Greek word translated “fornication” in the previous verse can also refer “whoredom” in the sense of prostitution. Thus, Paul could be drawing a parallel between paying for fornication/prostitution vs. legitimately acquiring a wife. a weaker vessel for himself in holiness and honor,
  5. not in lustful passion just as the gentiles do (not having known – or knowing – God),
  6. and not to defraud or to take advantage of his brother in the matter(10)“matter”.  This Greek word generally refers to anything which a person does; i.e. his affairs or deeds.  It can also refer to business affairs.  Given the context of verse 4, some say this refers to Christians “acquiring” a wife from her father (see note on verse 4) who is a fellow Christian and thus a “brother”.  (Their rational being verse 4, 1 Corinthians 7:36-38, Exodus 22:16-17, and Numbers 30:3-5; their assumption in Numbers 30 being that even marriage vows can be annulled). because the Lord is an avenger concerning all these things, just as we forewarned you and solemnly testified.
  7. (For God hasn’t called us to impurity, but in holiness.)
  8. Consequently, the man who rejects this doesn’t reject man, but God; the One who also gave His Holy Spirit to you.
  9. But concerning brotherly love, you have no need for me to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to show preference(11)“show preference” is literal, though it’s often translated “love” here.  The Greek word here is “ἀγαπάω” (agapaó), the verb form of “ἀγάπη” (agapé).  When used with the Greek accusative case – as it is here – it literally means “to have a preference for, wish well to, regard the welfare of” (Thayer’s).  Unlike the English word “love”, agapaó does not center on feelings.  It’s the “love” based on will, choice, and action; not feelings.  (Feelings-based love is the Greek word “φιλέω” (phileó), which properly means “brotherly love/affection”.) to one another.
  10. For you also do the same for all the brothers in the whole of Macedonia.  Yet brothers, we encourage you to overflow more,
  11. and to eagerly seek to live a quiet life,(12)“to live a quiet life” is one word in Greek.  It refers to those who aren’t “running hither and thither” (Thayer’s) but instead are restful and mind their own business. and to attend to your own affairs, and work with your own hands, just as we commanded you;
  12. so you might walk properly toward the men outside the church, and so no one might have needs.
The Lord’s Return
  1. Now brothers, we don’t want you to be ignorant about the men who are asleep, so you won’t be grieved like the rest are (the men who don’t have hope).
  2. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in this way also, God will bring with Him the men who fell asleep because of Jesus.
  3. For we declare this to you by a word from God, that we – the men who live and remain until the coming of the Lord – definitely won’t(13)“definitely won’t”. In Greek, this is a double negative (no, not) to add emphasis. Since English double negatives cancel each other out (instead of adding emphasis) the word “definitely” was added to keep the emphatic sense of the Greek. precede the men who fell asleep,
  4. because the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a commanding shout – with the voice of an archangel and with God’s trumpet – and the dead in the Anointed will rise first.
  5. Afterwards we – the men who live and remain – will be snatched up together with them in the clouds and meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
  6. So then, encourage one another with these words.

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1 Thessalonians Chapter 5

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The Lord’s Day
  1. But concerning the times and seasons brothers, you have no need for me to write to you.
  2. For you yourselves did – and do – accurately know that the Lord’s day comes in this way: like a thief in the night.
  3. When they say: “Peace and security” then destruction comes upon them suddenly, like labor pains of a woman having a child in her womb; and they definitely won’t(14)“definitely won’t”. In Greek, this is a double negative (no, not) to add emphasis. Since English double negatives cancel each other out (instead of adding emphasis) the word “definitely” was added to keep the emphatic sense of the Greek. escape.
  4. But brothers, you aren’t in darkness that the day might seize you like a thief.
  5. For you’re all sons of light and sons of day.  We aren’t of night nor darkness.
  6. So therefore we shouldn’t sleep like the rest, but we should watch and be sober.
  7. For the men who sleep, sleep at night; and the men who become drunk are drunk at night.
  8. But we – being of the day – should be sober, having clothed ourselves with the breastplate of faith and love, and the helmet of the hope of salvation,
  9. because God hasn’t appointed wrath for us, but for obtainment of salvation through our Lord Jesus the Anointed,
  10. the One who died on our account, so whether we watch or we sleep, we might live together with Him.
  11. Therefore, encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also do.
Proper Christian Conduct
  1. Now brothers, we ask you to notice the men who toil among you, and who lead you in the Lord, and who admonish you;
  2. and to greatly esteem them in love because of their work.  Be at peace among yourselves.
  3. And we encourage you brothers: admonish the disorderly,(15)“disorderly” This Greek word refers to someone who isn’t living in the proper “appointed order”.  It was used of soldiers who wouldn’t remain in formation and of people who deviated from the proper way of life. encourage the fainthearted, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
  4. See that no one has repaid anyone evil for evil, but always pursue good to one another and to all.
  5. Rejoice always.
  6. Pray without ceasing.
  7. Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Jesus the Anointed.
  8. Don’t quench the Spirit.
  9. Don’t disregard or despise(16)“disregard or despise” is one word in Greek.  It means to ignore something or to treat it as being of no value/worth.  In the latter sense, it also carries the connotation of treating it contemptuously. prophecies.
  10. And test all things; hold fast to the good.
  11. Keep far away from every form of evil.
Final Blessing
  1. Now may the God of peace Himself make you completely holy; and may your spirit, and soul, and body be wholly preserved; blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus the Anointed.
  2. The One who calls you is faithful, who will also make it happen.
  3. Brothers, pray for us.
  4. Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.
  5. I solemnly charge you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.
  6. The grace of our Lord Jesus the Anointed be with you.  [Amen]

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