|New International Version (©2011)|
Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.
New Living Translation (©2007)
This letter is from Paul, Silas, and Timothy. We are writing to the church in Thessalonica, to you who belong to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. May God give you grace and peace.
English Standard Version (©2001)
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy: To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to you and peace.
International Standard Version (©2012)
From: Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy. To: The church of the Thessalonians in union with God the Father and the Lord Jesus, the Messiah. May grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, be yours!
NET Bible (©2006)
From Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace and peace to you!
Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
Paulus and Sylvanus and Timotheus to the church of Thessaloniqa in God The Father and in our Lord Yeshua The Messiah. Grace be with you and peace.
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
From Paul, Silas, and Timothy. To the church at Thessalonica united with God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Good will and peace are yours!
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
Paul, and Silas, and Timothy, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
American King James Version
Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, to the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
American Standard Version
Paul, and Silvanus, and Timothy, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.
Paul and Sylvanus and Timothy: to the church of the Thessalonians, in God the Father, and in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Darby Bible Translation
Paul and Silvanus and Timotheus to the assembly of Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to you and peace.
English Revised Version
Paul, and Silvanus, and Timothy, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.
Webster's Bible Translation
Paul, and Silvanus, and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father, and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Weymouth New Testament
Paul, Silas, and Timothy: To the Church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be granted to you.
World English Bible
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, to the assembly of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Young's Literal Translation
Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, to the assembly of Thessalonians in God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ!
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:1-5 As all good comes from God, so no good can be hoped for by sinners, but from God in Christ. And the best good may be expected from God, as our Father, for the sake of Christ. We should pray, not only for ourselves, but for others also; remembering them without ceasing. Wherever there is a true faith, it will work; it will affect both the heart and life. Faith works by love; it shows itself in love to God, and love to our neighbour. And wherever there is a well-grounded hope of eternal life, this will appear by the exercise of patience; and it is a sign of sincerity, when in all we do, we seek to approve ourselves to God. By this we may know our election, if we not only speak of the things of God with out lips, but feel their power in our hearts, mortifying our lusts, weaning us from the world, and raising us up to heavenly things. Unless the Spirit of God comes with the word of God, it will be to us a dead letter. Thus they entertained it by the power of the Holy Ghost. They were fully convinced of the truth of it, so as not to be shaken in mind by objections and doubts; and they were willing to leave all for Christ, and to venture their souls and everlasting condition upon the truth of the gospel revelation.
Verse 1. - Paul. He does not call himself "an apostle," not because the Thessalonians were newly converted (Chrysostom), or from tenderness to Silvanus who was not an apostle (Estius), or because his apostolic authority was not yet recognized (Jowett), or because he had merely commenced his apostolic labors (Wordsworth); but because his apostleship had never been called in question by the Thessalonians. For the same reason he omits this title in the Epistle to the Philippians; whereas he strongly insists upon it in his Epistles to the Corinthians and Galatians, because among them there were many opposed to his authority. And Silvanus. The same as the Silas of the Acts. He is mentioned as a chief man among the brethren, and a prophet or inspired teacher (Acts 15:22, 32). His Latin name renders it probable that he was a Hellenistic Jew, and, like Paul, he was a Roman citizen (Acts 16:37). He was sent with Judas Barsabas from Jerusalem, to convey the apostolic decrees to Antioch; and he accompanied Paul instead of Barnabas on his second missionary journey (Acts 15:40). He suffered imprisonment with Paul at Philippi; and was engaged with him in preaching the gospel in Thessalonica, Beraea, and Corinth. His ministry at Corinth is honorably mentioned by Paul in his Second Epistle to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 1:9). After this there is no more mention of Silvanus in the Acts, and it is doubtful whether he was the Silvanus by whom the First Epistle of Peter was conveyed to the Churches of Asia (1 Peter 5:12). Ancient tradition, erroneously supposing that Silas and Silvanus were different persons, makes Silas the Bishop of Corinth, and Silvanus the Bishop of Thessalonica. And Timotheus. The well-known disciple of Paul. He was a native of Lystra, having a Greek father and a Jewish mother (Acts 16:1). He joined Paul and Silas on their second missionary journey at Lystra, and was with them in Philippi, Thessalonica, and Corinth. He was with Paul on his third missionary journey, and was sent by him on a mission to Macedonia and Corinth (Acts 19:22; 1 Corinthians 16:10), and accompanied him into Asia on his last journey to Jerusalem (Acts 20:4). He was also with Paul during his first Roman imprisonment, when he wrote the Epistles to the Philippians and Colossians (Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:1). Afterwards he resided at Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3); from which he was recalled to Rome by Paul shortly before his martyrdom (2 Timothy 4:21). The last mention of Timothy is in the Epistle to the Hebrews: "Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you" (Hebrews 13:23). According to ecclesiastical tradition, he became Bishop of Ephesus, and there suffered martyrdom. Silvanus and Timotheus are associated with Paul in his address to the Thessalonians, not to give weight and authority to his Epistle, but because they assisted him in the planting of the Church at Thessalonica, and were now with him at Corinth, when he was writing this Epistle. Silvanus is placed first, because he was the older and had been longer with the apostle, and, as is evident from the Acts, was at this time the more important of the two (Acts 16:19; Acts 17:4). By being included in the address, they are represented as joint authors of the Epistle with Paul, although they were only so in name. It is possible that Paul employed one of them as his amanuensis in writing the Epistle. Unto the Church. The word "Church" denotes a select assembly; here, Christians selected from the world. It does not denote in the New Testament, as with us, a building, but the congregation. In Paul's later Epistles, those addressed are called, not the Church, but saints. Of the Thessalonians. In other Epistles the address is to the city, as Rome, Philippi, Colosse; here it is to the inhabitants. The Church of the Thessalonians was chiefly composed of converted Gentiles, with a small number of converted Jews (see Introduction). Which is; to be omitted, as not being in the original. In God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ. The characteristic peculiarity of the Church: they are in God and Christ, that is, in fellowship with them, united to them. "In God the Father" characterizes them as not being heathens; "in the Lord Jesus Christ" characterizes them as not being Jews. Grace be unto you, and peace. The usual apostolic benediction. "Grace" is the Greek and" peace" is the Jewish form of salutation. The Greeks commenced their epistles with wishing grace for those to whom they wrote; and the usual form of salutation among the Jews was Shalom or "peace;" the apostle combines them, thus intimating that both Greeks and Jews are one in Christ Jesus. In the Pastoral Epistles and in the Second Epistle of John the form is "Grace, mercy, and peace" (2 John 1:3.), and in the Epistle of Jude it is "Mercy, peace, and love" (Jude 1:2). From God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. These words are wanting in some important manuscripts, and are omitted in the R.V. The preponderance, however, of external authority is in their favor.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus,.... These are the persons concerned in this epistle, and who send their greetings and salutations to this church; Paul was the inspired writer of it, and who is called by his bare name, without any additional epithet to it, as elsewhere in his other epistles; where he is either styled the servant, or apostle, or prisoner of Christ, but here only Paul: the reason for it is variously conjectured; either because he was well known by this church, having been lately with them; or lest these young converts should be offended and stumble at any pompous title, which they might imagine carried an appearance of arrogance and pride; or because there were as yet no false apostles among them, who had insinuated anything to the disadvantage of Paul, as in other places, which obliged him to assert his character and magnify his office; or rather because this was the first epistle he wrote, and he being conscious to himself of his own meanness, and that he was the least of the apostles, and unworthy to be called one, chose not to use the title. Silvanus is the same with Silas, who was with the apostle at Thessalonica and at Corinth, when he wrote this epistle; he was originally a member of the church at Jerusalem, and was one of the chief of the brethren there, and a prophet; see Acts 17:4, Timothy was also with the apostle at the same place, and was sent back by him from Athens to know their state, and returned to Corinth to him with Silas; he stands last, as being the younger, and perhaps was the apostle's amanuensis, and therefore in modesty writes his name last: the reason of their being mentioned was because, having been with the apostle at this place, they were well known by the church, who would be glad to hear of their welfare; as also to show their continued harmony and consent in the doctrines of the Gospel; they stand in the same order in 2 Corinthians 1:19,
unto the church of the Thessalonians: which consisted of several of the inhabitants of Thessalonica, both Jews and Gentiles; See Gill on Acts 17:4, who were called under the ministry of the word by the grace of God, out of darkness into marvellous light, and were separated from the rest of the world, and incorporated into a Gospel church state. This was a particular congregated church of Christ. Some have thought it was not as yet organized, or had proper officers in it; since no mention is made of pastors and deacons, but the contrary is evident from 1 Thessalonians 5:12, where they are exhorted to know, own, and acknowledge them that laboured among them, and were over them in the Lord, and esteem them highly for their works' sake. This church is said to be
in God the Father; were interested in his love and free favour, as appears by their election of God, 1 Thessalonians 1:4, and they were in the faith of God the Father, as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in the profession of it, and so were distinguished from an assembly of Heathens that were in the faith of idols, and not of the one true and living God, and especially as the Father of Christ; they were in fellowship with God the Father, and they were drawn by the efficacy of his grace to himself and to his Son, and were gathered together and embodied in a church state under his direction and influence; he was the author of them as a church, and they were plants of Christ's heavenly Father's planting, not to be plucked up; and they were, as the Arabic version renders it, "addicted" to God the Father; they were devoted to his service; they had his word among them, which they had received not as the word of men, but as the word of God; and his ordinances were duly and faithfully administered among them, and attended on by them:
and in the Lord Jesus Christ; they were chosen in him before the foundation of the world; they were chosen in him as their head and representative; they were in him as members of his body, and as branches in the vine; they were openly in him by the effectual calling and conversion, were in the faith of him, and in the observance of his commands, an in communion with him; and so were distinguished from a Jewish synagogue or congregation: all this being true, at least of the far greater part of them, is said of them all, in a judgment of charity, they being under a profession of the Christian religion:
grace be unto you, and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the apostle's usual salutation and wish in all his epistles to the churches; See Gill on Romans 1:7, the words "from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" are left out in the Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions; and the Arabic version omits the last clause, "and the Lord Jesus Christ"; and the Ethiopic version only reads, "peace be unto you and his grace".
(a) Nat. Hist. l. 4. c. 10. (b) Ptolom. l. 3. c. 13. (c) Strabe, l. 7.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS Commentary by A. R. Faussett
The AUTHENTICITY of this Epistle is attested by Irenæus [Against Heresies, 5.6.1], quoting 1Th 5:23; Clement of Alexandria [The Instructor, 1.88], quoting 1Th 2:7; Tertullian [On the Resurrection of the Flesh, 24], quoting 1Th 5:1; Caius in Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History [6.20]; Origen [Against Celsus, 3].
The OBJECT OF THE EPISTLE.—Thessalonica was at this time capital of the Roman second district of Macedonia [Livy, Histories, 45.29]. It lay on the bay of Therme, and has always been, and still is, under its modern name Saloniki, a place of considerable commerce. After his imprisonment and scourging at Philippi, Paul (1Th 2:2) passed on to Thessalonica; and in company with Silas (Ac 17:1-9) and Timotheus (Ac 16:3; 17:14, compare with 1Th 1:1; 3:1-6; 2Th 1:1) founded the Church there. The Jews, as a body, rejected the Gospel when preached for three successive sabbaths (Ac 17:2); but some few "believed and consorted with Paul and Silas, and of the devout (that is, proselytes to Judaism) Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few." The believers received the word joyfully, notwithstanding trials and persecutions (1Th 1:6; 2:13) from their own countrymen and from the Jews (1Th 2:14-16). His stay at Thessalonica was doubtless not limited to the three weeks in which were the three sabbaths specified in Ac 17:2; for his laboring there with his hands for his support (1Th 2:9; 2Th 3:8), his receiving supplies there more than once from Philippi (Php 4:16), his making many converts from the Gentiles (1Th 1:9; and as two oldest manuscripts read, Ac 17:4, "of the devout and of the Greeks a great multitude," Ac 17:4), and his appointing ministers—all imply a longer residence. Probably as at Pisidian Antioch (Ac 13:46), at Corinth (Ac 18:6, 7), and at Ephesus (Ac 19:8, 9), having preached the Gospel to the Jews, when they rejected it, he turned to the Gentiles. He probably thenceforth held the Christian meetings in the house of Jason (Ac 17:5), perhaps "the kinsman" of Paul mentioned in Ro 16:21. His great subject of teaching to them seems to have been the coming and kingdom of Christ, as we may infer from 1Th 1:10; 2:12, 19; 3:13; 4:13-18; 5:1-11, 23, 24; and that they should walk worthy of it (1Th 2:12; 4:1). And it is an undesigned coincidence between the two Epistles and Ac 17:5, 9, that the very charge which the assailants of Jason's house brought against him and other brethren was, "These do contrary to the decrees of Cæsar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus." As in the case of the Lord Jesus Himself (Joh 18:33-37; 19:12; compare Mt 26:64), they perverted the doctrine of the coming kingdom of Christ into a ground for the charge of treason against Cæsar. The result was, Paul and Silas were obliged to flee under the cover of night to Berea; Timothy had probably preceded him (Ac 17:10, 14). But the Church had been planted, and ministers appointed; nay, more, they virtually became missionaries themselves for which they possessed facilities in the extensive commerce of their city, and both by word and example were extending the Gospel in Macedonia, Achaia, and elsewhere (1Th 1:7, 8). From Berea, also. Paul, after having planted a Scripture-loving Church, was obliged to flee by the Thessalonian Jews who followed him thither. Timothy (who seems to have come to Berea separately from Paul and Silas, compare Ac 17:10, with Ac 17:14) and Silas remained there still, when Paul proceeded by sea to Athens. While there he more than once longed to visit the Thessalonians again, and see personally their spiritual state, and "perfect that which was lacking in their faith" (1Th 3:10); but (probably using the Thessalonian Jews as his instruments, Joh 13:27) "Satan hindered" him (1Th 2:18; compare Ac 17:13). He therefore sent Timotheus, who seems to have followed him to Athens from Berea (Ac 17:15), immediately on his arrival to Thessalonica (1Th 3:1); glad as he would have been of Timothy's help in the midst of the cavils of Athenian opponents, he felt he must forego that help for the sake of the Thessalonian Church. Silas does not seem to have come to Paul at Athens at all, though Paul had desired him and Timothy to "come to him with all speed" (Ac 17:15); but seems with Timothy (who from Thessalonica called for him at Berea) to have joined Paul at Corinth first; compare Ac 18:1, 5, "When Silas and Timothy were come from Macedonia." The Epistle makes no mention of Silas at Athens, as it does of Timothy (1Th 3:1).
Timothy's account of the Thessalonian Church was highly favorable. They abounded in faith and charity and reciprocated his desire to see them (1Th 3:6-10). Still, as nothing human on earth is perfect, there were some defects. Some had too exclusively dwelt on the doctrine of Christ's coming kingdom, so as to neglect the sober-minded discharge of present duties (1Th 4:11, 12). Some who had lost relatives by death, needed comfort and instruction in their doubts as to whether they who died before Christ's coming would have a share with those found alive in His kingdom then to be revealed. Moreover, also, there had been committed among them sins against chastity and sobriety (1Th 5:5-7), as also against charity (1Th 4:3-10; 5:13, 15). There were, too, symptoms in some of want of respectful love and subordination to their ministers; others treated slightingly the manifestations of the Spirit in those possessing His gifts (1Th 5:19). To give spiritual admonition on these subjects, and at the same time commend what deserved commendation, and to testify his love to them, was the object of the Epistle.
The PLACE OF WRITING IT was doubtless Corinth, where Timothy and Silas rejoined him (Ac 18:5) soon after he arrived there (compare 1Th 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 (1Th 3:6) in the winter of A.D. 52, or early in 53. For it was written not long after the conversion of the Thessalonians (1Th 1:8, 9), while Paul could speak of himself as only taken from them for a short season (1Th 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 1Th 2:18; 3:5; 5:27. "We" is the true reading, 1Th 4:13. The English Version "I," in 1Th 4:9 1Th 5:1, 23, is not supported by the original [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.
1Th 1:1-10. Address: Salutation: His Prayerful Thanksgiving for Their Faith, Hope, and Love. Their First Reception of the Gospel, and Their Good Influence on All Around.
1. Paul—He does not add "an apostle," because in their case, as in that of the Philippians (see on Php 1:1), his apostolic authority needs not any substantiation. He writes familiarly as to faithful friends, not but that his apostleship was recognized among them (1Th 2:6). On the other hand, in writing to the Galatians, among whom some had called in question his apostleship, he strongly asserts it in the superscription. An undesigned propriety in the Epistles, evincing genuineness.
Silvanus—a "chief man among the brethren" (Ac 15:22), and a "prophet" (Ac 15:32), and one of the deputies who carried the decree of the Jerusalem council to Antioch. His age and position cause him to be placed before "Timothy," then a youth (Ac 16:1; 1Ti 4:12). Silvanus (the Gentile expanded form of "Silas") is called in 1Pe 5:12, "a faithful brother" (compare 2Co 1:19). They both aided in planting the Thessalonian Church, and are therefore included in the address. This, the first of Paul's Epistles, as being written before various evils crept into the churches, is without the censures found in other Epistles. So realizing was their Christian faith, that they were able hourly to look for the Lord Jesus.
unto the church—not merely as in the Epistles to Romans, Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, "to the saints," or "the faithful at Thessalonica." Though as yet they do not seem to have had the final Church organization under permanent "bishops" and deacons, which appears in the later Epistles (See on Php 1:1; 1 and 2 Timothy). Yet he designates them by the honorable term "Church," implying their status as not merely isolated believers, but a corporate body with spiritual rulers (1Th 5:12; 2Co 1:1; Ga 1:2).
in—implying vital union.
God the Father—This marks that they were no longer heathen.
the Lord Jesus Christ—This marks that they were not Jews, but Christians.
Grace be unto you, and peace—that ye may have in God that favor and peace which men withhold [Anselm]. This is the salutation in all the Epistles of Paul, except the three pastoral ones, which have "grace, mercy, and peace." Some of the oldest manuscripts support, others omit the clause following, "from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." It may have crept in from 1Co 1:3; 2Co 1:2.
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