|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:23-28 The apostle prays that they might be sanctified more perfectly, for the best are sanctified but in part while in this world; therefore we should pray for, and press toward, complete holiness. And as we must fall, if God did not carry on his good work in the soul, we should pray to God to perfect his work, till we are presented faultless before the throne of his glory. We should pray for one another; and brethren should thus express brotherly love. This epistle was to be read to all the brethren. Not only are the common people allowed to read the Scriptures, but it is their duty, and what they should be persuaded to do. The word of God should not be kept in an unknown tongue, but transplanted, that as all men are concerned to know the Scriptures, so they all may be able to read them. The Scriptures should be read in all public congregations, for the benefit of the unlearned especially. We need no more to make us happy, than to know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is an ever-flowing and an over-flowing fountain of grace to supply all our wants.
Verse 27. - I charge you; namely, the presbyters. By the Lord; namely, Christ, an indirect proof of his Divinity, the adjuration being in his Name. The reason of this solemn charge was, not on account of any remissness on the part of the presbyters, but was occasioned by the earnestness of the apostle and by his consciousness that what he wrote was most important to the Thessalonians, and was the command of the Lord Jesus Christ. That this Epistle be read unto all the holy brethren; unto the Church of Thessalonica.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I charge you by the Lord,.... Or "I adjure by the Lord"; by the Lord Jesus: it is in the form of an oath, and a very solemn one; and shows that oaths may be used on certain and solemn occasions:
that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren; to all the members of the church, who are called "holy", because they were sanctified or set apart by God the Father in election; and were sanctified by the blood of Christ, or their sins were expiated, or atoned for by the sacrifice of Christ in redemption; and were sanctified or made holy by the Spirit of God in regeneration; and were enabled by the grace of God to live holy lives and conversations. Now this epistle being directed only to some of the principal members of the church, it may be to one or more of their elders; lest he or they should be tempted on any account to conceal it, the apostle in a very solemn manner adjures, that it be read publicly to the whole church whom it concerned, that all might hear, and learn, and receive some advantage from it; from whence we may learn, as is observed by many interpreters, that the sacred Scriptures, neither one part nor another, nor the whole of them, are to be kept from private Christians, but may be read, and heard, and used by all.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
27. I charge—Greek, "I adjure you."
read unto all—namely, publicly in the congregation at a particular time. The Greek aorist tense implies a single act done at a particular time. The earnestness of his adjuration implies how solemnly important he felt this divinely inspired message to be. Also, as this was the FIRST of the Epistles of the New Testament, he makes this the occasion of a solemn charge, that so its being publicly read should be a sample of what should be done in the case of the others, just as the Pentateuch and the Prophets were publicly read under the Old Testament, and are still read in the synagogue. Compare the same injunction as to the public reading of the Apocalypse, the LAST of the New Testament canon (Re 1:3). The "all" includes women and children, and especially those who could not read it themselves (De 31:12; Jos 8:33-35). What Paul commands with an adjuration, Rome forbids under a curse [Bengel]. Though these Epistles had difficulties, the laity were all to hear them read (1Pe 4:11; 2Pe 3:10; even the very young, 2Ti 1:5; 3:15). "Holy" is omitted before "brethren" in most of the oldest manuscripts, though some of them support it.
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