1 Thessalonians 1:2
We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
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(2) “We never set ourselves to prayer without remembering your faithful activity, loving laboriousness, cheerful and persevering endurance, and thanking God for it.”

We.—All three are regarded as the writers, and no doubt the sentiments of all are expressed, though the letter is St. Paul’s own composition. In 1Thessalonians 2:18 he corrects himself for using “we” where it was only true of himself. It may be noticed that St. Paul never speaks of himself alone in the plural in any of the other Epistles.

To God.—None of the success is due either to the preachers or to the converts.

Always.—Not as meaning “without ceasing,” but “on every occasion that reminds us of you;” the words “in our prayers” specify the nappy occasions. Christians like best to be remembered then.

For you all.—“There is not one of you that we know of for whom we cannot give thanks: the whole church is what it should be.”

1 Thessalonians 1:2-4. We give thanks, &c. — From hence to 1 Thessalonians 3:13, we have the chief object of this epistle, which was to comfort, strengthen, and establish the Christians at Thessalonica, and induce them to persevere under all the discouragements which he, their apostle, or they themselves, might meet with. And in his entrance upon this design he gives vent to what lay most upon his heart, thanking God for their conversion from idolatry to Christianity amidst so many discouraging circumstances; and praying that they might continue in the faith they had embraced, in which he takes all occasions of speaking well of the Thessalonians, as indeed he does through all the epistle, in which there is a peculiar sweetness, unmixed with any sharpness or reproof; those evils which the apostle afterward reproved, having not yet crept into the churches: remembering without ceasing — Or constantly in all our prayers; your work of faith — Your active, ever-working faith; and labour of love — Your love to God and man, which induces you to labour continually to promote the glory of God, and do good to the bodies or souls of men; and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ — Your patience under all your persecutions and other sufferings, the fruit of that blessed hope of eternal life, which is grounded on the death and resurrection of Christ, and is wrought in you by his saving grace; in the sight of God, even our Father — Whose eye is continually upon you, who observes, and will not fail to reward, the graces wrought in you by his blessed Spirit. Observe reader, all true faith in Christ, and the truths and promises of the gospel, works; all genuine love to God and man, labours; and the hope which is well grounded and lively, patiently bears all things. Knowing, brethren, beloved of God — And of us his servants; your election — Your being chosen to be God’s peculiar people, by these plain marks. Of predestination and election, see on Romans 8:28; Ephesians 1:4-5.

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.We give thanks to God always for you all - see the notes, Romans 1:9.

Making mention of you in our prayers - See the notes at Ephesians 1:16. It may be observed here:

(1) that the apostle was in the habit of constant prayer.

(2) that he was accustomed to extemporary prayer, and not to written prayer. It is not credible that "forms" of prayer had been framed for the churches at Thessalonica and Ephesus, and the other churches for which Paul says he prayed, nor would it have been possible to have adapted such forms to the varying circumstances attending the organization of new churches.

2. (Ro 1:9; 2Ti 1:3.) The structure of the sentences in this and the following verses, each successive sentence repeating with greater fulness the preceding, characteristically marks Paul's abounding love and thankfulness in respect to his converts, as if he were seeking by words heaped on words to convey some idea of his exuberant feelings towards them.

We—I, Silvanus, and Timotheus. Ro 1:9 supports Alford in translating, "making mention of you in our prayers without ceasing" (1Th 1:3). Thus, "without ceasing," in the second clause, answers in parallelism to "always," in the first.

We give thanks to God; after his salutation he adds his thanksgiving and prayer for them. He saw in them an eminent seal of his apostleship, and effect of his ministry, and advantage to the gospel in their example, and so gives thanks. And his thanks is to God, because the success of the gospel was more from his blessing than his own ministry.

Always; pantote, that is, in a constant course; or affectu, though not actu, by a grateful sense he had of it continually upon his heart.

For you all; for he had a good report of them all from Timothy, 1 Thessalonians 3:6, and we find not one reproof in this First Epistle to any one, as in the Second.

Making mention of you in our prayers; he adds also his prayer for them, wherein he made mention of them by name, as some understand the words, mneian upwn poioumenoi. Prayer and thanksgiving ought to go together, especially in the ministers of the gospel, and in the work of their ministry. And thus the apostle practised towards other churches also, as Romans 1:8 Philippians 1:3, &c.

We give thanks to God always for you all,.... For all the members of this church, Jew or Gentile, rich or poor, greater or lesser believers, officers or private Christians; for their being a church, for the gifts bestowed on them, for the graces hereafter mentioned that were wrought in them and exercised by them; the glory of all which is given to God, and thanks for the same, which shows them to be gifts of his, and not in the least owing to any merits of men: the apostle ascribes nothing to their free will, previous dispositions and qualifications, diligence and industry; nor does he attribute anything to himself and to his companions, who were only ministers by whom these believed; but he refers all to God, to his grace and goodness: and he returned thanks to him for it, and that "always"; whenever he thought of it, made mention of it, or was at the throne of grace, as follows,

making mention of you in our prayers; to God, daily, both in private and in public, at which times thanksgivings to God were made on their account; for thanksgiving is a part of prayer, and requests are always to be made known unto God with thanksgiving. The Ethiopic version renders this clause in the singular number, "and I am mindful of you always in my prayer"; and leaves out the word "all" in the former clause.

{1} We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;

(1) An example of proper Christian rejoicing, by which also we learn, that those who have great gifts in them, are in two ways governed: first, if they consider that they have received all from God, and second, that continuance must be desired at his hands. And to these things this whole epistle exhorts the Thessalonians.

1 Thessalonians 1:2. Εὐχαριστοῦμεν] The plural, which Koppe, Pelt, Koch, Jowett, and others refer to Paul only, is most naturally to be understood of Paul, Silvanus, and Timotheus, on account of 1 Thessalonians 1:1 compared with 1 Thessalonians 2:18, where the apostle, to obviate a mistaken conception of the plural, expressly distinguishes himself from his apostolic helpers.

τῷ Θεῷ] Thanks is rendered to God, because Paul in his piety recognises only His appointment as the first cause of the good which he has to celebrate.

πάντοτε] even if ὑμῶν after μνείαν (see critical note) is omitted, belongs to εὐχαριστοῦμεν, not to μνείαν ποιούμ., as the expression: μνείαν ποιεῖσθαι περὶ τινός, instead of τινός, is un-Pauline. It is not to be weakened (with Koppe) in the sense of πολλάκις, certainly also not (with Zanchius and Pelt) to be limited to the feelings of the apostle, that the εὐχαριστεῖν took place “non actu sed affectu” (comp. already Nicholas de Lyra: semper in habitu, etsi non semper in actu), but to be understood absolutely always; certainly, according to the nature of the case, hyperbolically. Moreover, not without emphasis does Paul say: περὶ πάντων ὑμῶν, in order emphatically to declare that his thanksgiving to God referred to all the members of the Thessalonian church without exception.

μνείαν ὑμῶν ποιούμ. ἐπὶ τῶν προσευχῶν ἡμῶν] These words are conjoined, and to be separated from the preceding by a comma. The clause is no limitation of εὐχαριστοῦμεν πάντοτε: when, or as often as we make mention of you (Flatt, Baumgarten-Crusius, Bisping; on ἐπί, see Meyer on Romans 1:10); but the statement of the manner of εὐχαρ.: whilst we, etc. Only by the addition of this participial clause is the statement of his thanks and prayer for the Thessalonians completed.

1 Thessalonians 1:2-10. Thanksgiving for the origin and achievements of the church.

1 Thessalonians 1:2. Whenever Paul was at his prayers, he remembered his friends at Thessalonica; and whenever he recalled them his first feeling was one of gratitude to God (see 1 Thessalonians 3:9) for the Christian record which, as individuals and as a church (πάντων) they displayed of active faith (1 Thessalonians 1:4-10, 1 Thessalonians 2:13-16), industrious love (1 Thessalonians 4:9 f.), and tenacious hope (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11). And not Paul alone. The plural implies that all three missionaries prayed together.—εὐχαριστοῦμεν. The greeting is followed, as in ordinary letters of the period, by a word of gratitude and good wishes. εὐχ. is common in votive inscriptions, in connection with thanksgiving to a god. But while Paul, in dictating his letter, starts with a conventional epistolary form, the phrase immediately expands loosely into μνημθεοῦ (μνείαν π. as frequently in ethnic phraseology).

2. We give thanks to God always for you all] “We,” i.e. the three above named. Here, as in Php 1:4, he has thankfulness and joy over them “all;” no other Churches seem to have been so much to the Apostle’s mind as these two. And everything dear to him or useful to others in his friends moves him to gratitude toward God on their account. This St Paul felt that he “owed to God” (2 Thessalonians 1:3), the Source of al goodness in men; and it was the best and safest way of commending them.

making mention of you in our prayers] i.e. when engaged in prayer. As often as the Apostle and his companions prayed, the Thessalonian Church came to their mind; and with supplication praise on their behalf constantly mingled. For the connection of prayer and thanksgiving, see notes on ch. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18.

1 Thessalonians 1:2. Μνείανἀδιαλείπτως, mention—unceasingly) Comp. Romans 1:9; 2 Timothy 1:3.

Verse 2. - We. Many expositors (Cony-beare, Koch, Jowett) suppose that the plural is here used for the singular; as Paul elsewhere does in other parts of this Epistle. Thus: "Wherefore we would come unto you, even I Paul, once and again" (1 Thessalonians 2:18); "Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone" (1 Thessalonians 3:1). In these verses the pronoun "we" is evidently restricted to Paul. Still, however, Silvanus and Timotheus being mentioned directly before, it is most natural to include them here. Give thanks to God always for you all. All Paul's Epistles, with the solitary exception of the Epistle to the Galatians, commence with an expression of thanksgiving. Making mention of you in our prayers; whilst we are engaged in prayer for you. Paul's prayer for the Thessalonians took the form of thanksgiving. 1 Thessalonians 1:2We give thanks (εὐχαριστοῦμεν)

According to Paul's habit, a thanksgiving follows the salutation, commonly with the verb ἐυχαριστεῖν as here; but in 2nd Corinthians and Ephesians, εὐλογητὸς ὁ θεός blessed be God. The thanksgiving is omitted only in Galatians. The verb εὐχαριστεῖν occurs only in later Greek, and there but rarely. In lxx only in Apocr. See Judith 8:25; 2 Macc. 1:11; 10:7; 3 Macc. 7:16. In the N.T. Epistles, Po. Originally to do a good turn; hence, to return a favor. The meaning to give thanks is late. The kindred noun εὐχαριστία giving of thanks, is found often in Paul. As a designation of the Lord's Supper (Eucharist) it is not found in the N.T. Perhaps the earliest instance of its use in that sense is in Ignatius. See Philad. iv.; Smyrn. iv., viii.; Ephesians 8. Comp. Just. Mart. Apol. i., 64, 65.

In we give thanks, it is not easy to decide whether Paul uses we as plural, or in the sense of I. Rom 3:9 seems to be a clear case of the latter usage. In 1 Thessalonians 3:1, 1 Thessalonians 3:2, ηὐδοκήσαμεν we thought it good, and ἐπέμψαμεν we sent, can, apparently, refer only to Paul; and similarly, in 1 Thessalonians 3:6, πρὸς ἡμᾶς unto us, can hardly include Silvanus who came with Timothy (comp. 1 Thessalonians 3:5). But it is significant that, in the Epistles which are written in Paul's name alone (Romans, Galatians, Ephesians), only I is used, unless we except Galatians 1:8, which is doubtful. Paul and Timothy appear jointly as correspondents in Philippians, but the first person predominates throughout the letter. The same is true of 1st Corinthians, where Paul and Sosthenes are associated in the address, but the singular pronoun is used almost throughout. (See 1 Corinthians 4:10-13; 1 Corinthians 9:4, 1 Corinthians 9:5, 1 Corinthians 9:25, 1 Corinthians 9:26). In Colossians Paul and Timothy appear in the address. The plural prevails to Colossians 1:23, and alternates with the singular throughout the remainder. The alternations in 2nd Corinthians are very bewildering.

On the whole, I think that occasional instances of the epistolary plural must be granted. It is not, however, Paul's habitual usage. We is often employed as in ordinary correspondence or argument, where the writer or speaker associates himself with his readers or hearers. Abundant illustrations of this may be seen in Romans 6 and 8; but in other cases, when Paul speaks in the plural, he usually associates his fellow-ministers, mentally, with himself.

Making mention (μνείαν ποιούμενοι)

For the phrase see Romans 1:9; Ephesians 1:16; Plm 1:4. Always in connection with prayer. In the sense of remember it appears in lxx, Job 14:13. In Psalm 111:4, to make a memorial. See further, on without ceasing, 1 Thessalonians 1:3.

In my prayers (ἐπὶ)

When engaged in offering my prayers. Επὶ here blends the local with the temporal sense.

Prayers (προσευχῶν)

The more general term, and limited to prayer to God; while δέησις petitionary prayer, supplication, may be addressed to man. Paul alone associates the two words. See Philippians 4:6; Ephesians 6:18. In classical Greek the word does not occur in the sense of prayer. It is found in later Greek, meaning a place for prayer, in which sense it appears in Acts 16:13, Acts 16:16. It signified either a synagogue, or an open praying-place outside of a city.

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