|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:16-18 The apostle prays for the Thessalonians. And let us desire the same blessings for ourselves and our friends. Peace with God. This peace is desired for them always, or in every thing. Peace by all means; in every way; that, as they enjoyed the means of grace, they might use all methods to secure peace. We need nothing more to make us safe and happy, nor can we desire any thing better for ourselves and our friends, than to have God's gracious presence with us and them. No matter where we are, if God be with us; nor who is absent, if God be present. It is through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that we hope to have peace with God, and to enjoy the presence of God. This grace is all in all to make us happy; though we wish ever so much to others, there remains enough for ourselves.
Verse 17. - The salutation of Paul with mine own hand. The apostle usually dictated his Epistles to an amanuensis, but wrote the concluding words with his own hand. Thus Tertius was his amanuensis when he wrote the Epistle to the Romans (Romans 16:22). Probably the Epistle to the Galatians is an exception (Galatians 6:11), and also the Epistle to Philemon on (Philemon 1:19). The same authentication expressed in the same words is found in the First Epistle to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 16:21), and in the Epistle to the Colossians (Colossians 4:18). Which; referring, not to the salutation, but to the whole clause; which circumstance. Is the token; the mark of authentication. Of every Epistle. Such authentication was especially necessary in the case of the Thessalonians, as it would seem that a forged epistle had been circulated among them (2 Thessalonians 2:2). Some restrict the words to the Epistles which the apostle would afterwards write to the Thessalonians (Lunemann); but they are rather to be understood of a caution which the apostle practised, or was to practise, in all his Epistles. Some refer the token to the words, "The salutation of Paul with mine own hand," and although these words are only found in two other Epistles, yet it is asserted that the other Epistles were otherwise sufficiently authenticated. But it appears better to understand by the salutation the benediction which follows; and a similar salutation or benediction is found at the close of all Paul's Epistles (see 1 Thessalonians 5:28).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The salutation of Paul with mine own hand,.... In writing his epistles, the body and substance of them he used an amanuensis, but the salutation he wrote with his own hand:
which is the token in every epistle; by which they might be known to be true and genuine, and be distinguished from counterfeit ones: and the rather he mentions this, that they might be troubled neither by word, nor by spirit, nor by epistle, as from them, as they had been, 2 Thessalonians 2:2 for it seems that this wicked practice of counterfeiting the epistles of the apostles, or carrying about spurious ones, under their name, began so early; to prevent which, the apostle took this method,
so I write, as follows:
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. The Epistle was written by an amanuensis (perhaps Silas or Timothy), and only the closing salutation written by Paul's "own hand" (compare Ro 16:22; 1Co 16:21; Col 4:18). Wherever Paul does not subjoin this autograph salutation, we may presume he wrote the whole Epistle himself (Ga 6:11).
which—which autograph salutation.
the token—to distinguish genuine Epistles from spurious ones put forth in my name (2Th 2:2).
in every epistle—Some think he signed his name to every Epistle with his own hand; but as there is no trace of this in any manuscripts of all the Epistles, it is more likely that he alludes to his writing with his own hand in closing every Epistle, even in those Epistles (Romans, Second Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, First Thessalonians) wherein he does not specify his having done so.
so I write—so I sign my name: this is a specimen of my handwriting, by which to distinguish my geniune letters from forgeries.
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