New American Standard Bible
Therefore when we could endure it no longer, we thought it best to be left behind at Athens alone,
King James Bible
Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone;
Darby Bible Translation
Wherefore, being no longer able to refrain ourselves, we thought good to be left alone in Athens,
World English Bible
Therefore, when we couldn't stand it any longer, we thought it good to be left behind at Athens alone,
Young's Literal Translation
Wherefore no longer forbearing, we thought good to be left in Athens alone,
1 Thessalonians 3:1 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Wherefore - See 1 Thessalonians 2:18. This particle (διὸ dio) is designed here to refer to another proof of his affection for them. One evidence had been referred to in his strong desire to visit them, which he had been unable to accomplish 1 Thessalonians 2:18, and he here refers to another - to wit, the fact that he had sent Timothy to them.
We could no longer forbear - That is, when I could not 1 Thessalonians 3:5, for there is every evidence that Paul refers to himself only though he uses the plural form of the word. There was no one with him at Athens after he had sent Timothy away Acts 17:15; Acts 18:5, and this shows that when, in 1 Thessalonians 2:6, he uses the term apostles in the plural number, he refers to himself only, and does not mean to give the name to Timothy and Silas. If this be so, Timothy and Silas are nowhere called "apostles" in the New Testament. The word rendered here "could forbear" (στέγοντες stegontes), means, properly, "to cover, to conceal;" and then to hide or conceal anger, impatience, weariness, etc.; that is, to hold out as to anything, to bear with, to endure. It is rendered suffer in 1 Corinthians 9:12; beareth, 1 Corinthians 13:7; and forbear, 1 Thessalonians 3:1, 1 Thessalonians 3:5. It is not elsewhere used in the New Testament. It means that he could no longer bear up under, hide, or suppress his impatience in regard to them - his painful emotions - his wish to know of their state; and he therefore sent Timothy to them.
We thought it good - I was willing to suffer the inconvenience of parting with him in order to show my concern for you.
To be left at Athens alone - Paul had been conducted to Athens from Berea, where he remained until Silas and Timothy could come to him; Acts 17:15. It appears from the statement here that Timothy had joined him there, but such was his solicitude for the church at Thessalonica, that he very soon after sent him there, and chose to remain himself alone at Athens. Why he did not himself return to Thessalonica, is not stated. It is evidently implied here that it was a great personal inconvenience for him thus to part with Timothy, and to remain alone at Athens, and that he evinced the strong love which he had for the church at Thessalonica by being willing to submit to it. What that inconvenience consisted in, he has not stated, but it is not difficult to understand,
(1) he was among total strangers, and, when Timothy was gone, without an acquaintance or friend.
(2) the aid of Timothy was needed in order to prosecute the work which he contemplated. He had requested that Timothy should join him as soon as possible when he left Berea Acts 17:15, and he evidently felt it desirable that in preaching the gospel in that city he should have all the assistance he could obtain. Yet he was willing to forego those comforts and advantages in order to promote the edification of the church at Thessalonica.
Literature. I. Sources. The works of the Greek and Roman Classics from Homer to Virgil and the age of the Antonines. The monuments of Antiquity. The writings of the early Christian Apologists, especially Justin Martyr: Apologia I. and II.; Tertullian: Apologeticus; Minucius Felix: Octavius; Eusebius: Praeparatio Evangelica; and Augustine (d. 430): De Civitate Dei (the first ten books). II. Later Works. Is. Vossius: De theologia gentili et physiolog. Christ. Frcf. 1675, 2 vols. Creuzer (d. 1858): …
Philip Schaff—History of the Christian Church, Volume I
Paul at Corinth
Now those who escorted Paul brought him as far as Athens; and receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they left.
Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was being provoked within him as he was observing the city full of idols.
1 Thessalonians 3:5
For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor would be in vain.
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