1 Thessalonians 3:6
But now when Timotheus came from you to us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that you have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you:
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(6) “We were in great anxiety, for fear you should have fallen away, and sent Timothy to see if all was well; but now, all anxiety is over.”

Timotheus came.—According to the usual interpretation of 1Thessalonians 3:1-2, adopted above, this will mean that Timothy had already returned from his mission to Thessalonica, as related in Acts 18:5, and the occasion of this present letter will be St. Paul’s relief at the news brought by him.

Brought us good tidings.—An enthusiastic word, generally rendered, “preached us the gospel.”

Faith and charity.—The first signifies the confidence in God which enabled them to endure (“that in all our troubles we may put our whole trust and confidence in Thy mercy”); the second, the tenderness with which they helped one another through.

Good remembrance.—Not merely “clear, vivid remembrance” (as we say, “to remember well”), but “a good, kind remembrance,” as the explanation in “desiring,” &c, shows. The word “good” bears the same significance in Matthew 20:15; Romans 5:7; 1Peter 2:18. If the Thessalonians had been beginning to fall away, they would not have cared to see their teachers.

3:6-10 Thankfulness to God is very imperfect in the present state; but one great end of the ministry of the word is to help faith forward. That which was the instrument to obtain faith, is also the means of increasing and confirming it, namely, the ordinances of God; and as faith cometh by hearing, so it is confirmed by hearing also.But now when Timotheus came from you unto us - To Corinth, after he had been sent to Thessalonica; Acts 18:5; compare notes on 1 Thessalonians 3:2.

And brought us good tidings - A cheerful or favorable account. Greek "evangelizing;" that is, bringing good news.

Of your faith - Of your faithfulness or fidelity. Amidst all their trials they evinced fidelity to the Christian cause.

And charity - Love; notes, 1 Corinthians 13:1.

And that ye have good remembrance of us always - That is, probably, they showed their remembrance of Paul by obeying his precepts, and by cherishing an affectionate regard for him, notwithstanding all the efforts which had been made to alienate their affections from him.

Desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you - There was no disposition to blame him for having left them, or because he did not return to them. They would have welcomed him again as their teacher and friend. The meaning of this is, that there was between him and them a strong mutual attachment.

6. Join "now" with "come"; "But Timotheus having just now come from you unto us" [Alford]. Thus it appears (compare Ac 18:5) Paul is writing from Corinth.

your faith and charity—(1Th 1:3; compare 2Th 1:3, whence it seems their faith subsequently increased still more). Faith was the solid foundation: charity the cement which held together the superstructure of their practice on that foundation. In that charity was included their "good (kindly) remembrance" of their teachers.

desiring greatly—Greek, "having a yearning desire for."

we also—The desires of loving friends for one another's presence are reciprocal.

We had bfore an account of Timothy’s sending, now of his return, wherein we have the message he brought, and the effect thereof upon the apostle. The message may be considered:

1. As to its new coming:

But now when Timotheus came, & c.; so that this Epistle seems to be written presently upon his return.

2. As to the good account it brought of them: it brought good tidings (the same word is here used that expresseth in the Greek the glad tidings of the gospel) of their faith, that it continued still stedfast; and of their charity, or love, that they had love joined with their faith, and their faith working by love, which showed it was living, and of a right kind.

And that ye have good remembrance of us always; they forgot him not, though absent some length of time from them; and it was a good remembrance, joined with love and esteem of his person, and of his ministry amongst them; and it was always, which implies the constancy of it.

Desiring greatly to see us; and not satisfied with this good remembrance of him being absent, they greatly desired his presence, to see him and his fellow labourers. And to answer their love on his part, he addeth,

as we also to see you. By all which he seeks to satisfy them of his continued care and remembrance of them, which was the effect of this message. But now when Timotheus came from you unto us,.... At Corinth, as appears from Acts 18:5 which shows that this epistle was not written from Athens, as the subscription to it asserts, but from Corinth; for as soon as ever Timothy came from Thessalonica, to the apostle at Corinth, and made the report to him, he immediately sent them this epistle which is here suggested: "but, now", &c. just now; "lately", as the Syriac version renders it, a very little while ago, Timothy was just come:

and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity; of their faith, the grace of faith, that it was of the right kind; as far as could be judged, it was the faith of God's elect, like precious faith with theirs; an unfeigned one, strong and lively, operative and growing: or of the doctrine of faith, as received and embraced by them; as that they were greatly led, and had much light into it, and had, for the time, made considerable proficiency in it; that they held it fast, and stood fast in it, and contended for it, notwithstanding all the afflictions, reproaches, and persecutions which they either saw in the apostles, or endured themselves for the sake of it; and likewise of the profession of both the grace and doctrine of faith, which they held fast, and without wavering, and that in a pure conscience, which was good news indeed. Timothy also brought an account of their "charity", or love, which faith works by; these two graces are always found together; they are wrought in the soul by one, and the same hand, and at the same time; where the one is, the other is; and as the one flourishes and increases, so does the other. And by this grace is meant love to God, to Christ, to his truths, ordinances, ways, and worship, and to one another, and even to all men; and which was without dissimulation, in sincerity, in deed, and in truth, and was constant and fervent: and this was not the whole of the report, for it follows,

and that ye have a remembrance of us always they bore in memory the persons of the apostles; and when they made mention of their names, it was with the greatest respect and reverence; nor were they forgetful hearers of the word, but remembered with great affection and pleasure the truths, the doctrines, and exhortations they delivered to them, so as to put them in practice, and longed for another visit from them, to have their memories refreshed by them:

desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you, they had an equal desire to see their spiritual fathers, as they had to see their spiritual children. Now such a report as this concerning their steady faith in Christ, their fervent love to one another, and their affectionate regard to the ministers of the word, was a sort of a Gospel, as the word used signifies; or it was good news and glad tidings to the apostle, and those that were with him.

{2} But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you:

(2) Because they have to this point gone so well forward, he exhorts them again to make an end of the rest of the journey, seeing that in doing so they will do him their apostle a great pleasure.

1 Thessalonians 3:6. Ἄρτι δέ] but now, belongs not to ἐλθόντος (Grotius, Pelt, Schott, Alford, Ewald, Hofmann, Riggenbach), but is to be separated from it by a comma, and belongs to παρεκλήθημεν, 1 Thessalonians 3:7. For (1) not the mission of Timotheus and his return, but the mission and the consolation obtained from his return, is the main point on which it depends; (2) If Paul would connect ἄρτι δὲ ἐλθόντος, διὰ τοῦτο would scarcely be inserted in 1 Thessalonians 3:7 for the recapitulation of 1 Thessalonians 3:6; (3) ἄρτι δέ emphatically opposes the present to the past, to ἔπεμψα (1 Thessalonians 3:5); but ἄρτι would be flat if we referred it to ἐλθόντος, and that whether it was to be understood in its temporal or in its logical sense; (4) Lastly, we would expect παρακεκλήμεθα (which certainly is found in A and some minusculi), but not παρεκλήθημεν, in 1 Thessalonians 3:7.

ἐλθόντος κ.τ.λ.] not after, but because; διὰ τοῦτο requires this. The joyful message which Timotheus brought (Chrysostom: Ὁρᾷς τὴν περιχάρειαν Παύλου; οὐκ εἶπεν ἀπαγγείλαντος ἀλλʼ εὐαγγελισαμένου· τοσοῦτον ἀγαθὸν ἡγεῖτο τὴν ἐκείνων βεβαίωσιν καὶ τὴν ἀγάπην. Comp. also Luke 1:19, and Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 266 ff.) refers (1) to the Christian condition of the Thessalonian Church generally (τὴν πίστιν καὶ τὴν ἀγάπην ὑμῶν), and (2) to the personal relation of the Thessalonians to the apostle (καὶ ὅτι ἔχετε κ.τ.λ.). Theodoret: Δηλοῖ ἡ μὲν πίστις τῆς εὐσεβείας τὸ βέβαιον· ἡ δὲ ἀγάπη τὴν παρακτικὴν ἀρετήν· ἡ δὲ τοῦ διδασκάλου μνήμη καὶ ὁ περὶ αὐτὸν πόθος μαρτυρεῖ τῇ περὶ τὴν διδασκαλίαν στοργῇ. Hammond incorrectly understands ἀγάπην of love to God.

καὶ ὅτι ἔχετε μνείαν ἡμῶν ἀγαθήν] and that ye have us in good remembrance. Arbitrarily Grotius: Est μετωνυμία, nam per memoriam intelligit mentionem, et bonam intelligit, in bonam partem, i.e. honorificam. For then ποιεῖσθαι must be put instead of ἔχειν.

πάντοτε] belongs to the foregoing, not, as Koch and Hofmann suppose, to what follows.

ἐπιποθοῦντες] Comp. Romans 1:11; Php 1:8; Php 2:26; 2 Corinthians 9:14.

Strikingly Musculus (also Bengel): Non modo amoris hoc erat indicium, sed et bonae conscientiae. The compound verb, however, makes prominent the direction, not the intensity, of ποθεῖν. Comp. Fritzsche on Röm. 1:11.

καθάπερ καὶ ἡμεῖς ὑμᾶς] sc. ἰδεῖν ἐπιποθοῦμεν.6. But now when Timotheus came from you unto us] But when Timothy came even now unto us from you (R. V.): this rendering puts due emphasis on the words “from you” (it was Timothy’s coming with news from Thessalonica that relieved the Apostle’s mind); and it gives the proper meaning and connection to the introductory “now,” which qualifies “came” and denotes just now, at this juncture. Timothy’s return has been anxiously awaited; and no sooner has he arrived and told his story, than Paul sits down and writes out of a full heart this affectionate and grateful letter. For Timothy brought us glad tidings of your faith and love (R. V.).

“Brought-glad-tidings” forms a single word in the Greek, the same that everywhere else in the N.T. signifies “the glad tidings”—the news of God’s salvation and of the coming of His kingdom. Hence the peculiar force of the word here. This was gospel news, witnessing to the truth and enduring power of God’s message; for this reason it was glad tidings to the Apostle from the Thessalonians (“now we live,” 1 Thessalonians 3:7)—a gospel sent to him in return for his gospel brought to them (ch. 1 Thessalonians 1:5; 1 Thessalonians 2:2, &c.).

of your faith and charity] for these comprise the whole Christian life, and imply the “hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” added to them in ch. 1 Thessalonians 1:3; comp. 2 Thessalonians 1:3; Ephesians 1:15; Philemon 1:5-7; 1 John 3:23 : “that we should believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another.” This is the sum of our religion. Read, faith and love (R. V.).

and that ye have good remembrance of us always] So that the Thessalonians reciprocate Paul’s feelings towards them; he “remembers” them “without ceasing” (ch. 1 Thessalonians 1:3), they equally remember him. Good is kindly, well-disposed remembrance; their sufferings and the slanders of his enemies might have alienated their minds from the missionaries, but it was otherwise.

“Remembrance” represents the same Greek noun as “mention” in ch. 1 Thessalonians 1:2; following make it has a more active, following have a passive signification.

desiring greatly] R. V., in one word, longing,—which renders fitly a delicate Greek verb, rare except In St Paul, that denotes yearning regret for an absent beloved object (comp. ch. 1 Thessalonians 2:17, “bereaved of you”). He uses it in 2 Corinthians 5:2 to express his desire for the new, spiritual body, “the house from heaven.” Longing to see us, even as we also to see you. The expression recurs in Romans 1:11 and 2 Timothy 1:4. For the Apostle’s “longing,” see ch. 1 Thessalonians 2:17-18.1 Thessalonians 3:6. Ἄρτι, now) Immediately after the arrival of Timothy, he writes these things with fresh joy and the most tender affection. Consonant with this is the εὐαγγελισαμένου, a striking participle.—ἐπιποθοῦντες, desiring greatly [having a yearning desire]) This is the sign of a good conscience.Verse 6. - But now when Timotheus came from you unto us. Timothy, as we learn from the Acts, in company with Silas, joined Paul at Corinth (Acts 18:15), and brought him information concerning the state of the Thessalonian Church. And brought us good tidings; the same word which is elsewhere employed for preaching the gospel. The information which Timothy brought to the apostle was as it were a gospel to him (comp. Luke 2:10, "Behold I bring you good tidings"). Of your faith and charity. The good tidings which Timothy brought referred to the spiritual condition of the Thessalonians - their faith had not been shaken and their love had not waxed cold under the persecutions to which they were exposed; and along with their faith and love was the affection which they bore to the apostle, and their earnest desire to see him. And that ye have constant remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you. The affection between the Thessalonians and the apostle was mutual. Now (ἄρτι)

See on John 13:33. Const. with we were comforted (1 Thessalonians 3:7), not with came.

Good remembrance (μνείαν ἀγαθὴν)

Better kindly remembrance. Comp. Romans 5:7 (see note); Romans 7:12; Titus 2:6; 1 Peter 2:18. See on 1 Thessalonians 1:3.

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