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  FIRST EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS BY PAUL THE APOSTLE

Author: Paul, the Apostle
Date Written: A.D. 51
Written to: The Thessalonian Church
(Jews and Gentiles) from Corinth

Key Verse: 4:16,17 Key Word: "Lord" 25x
Content: The Second Coming Attested
Theme: The Rapture
Thust: We have Hope in Christ

  Thehssahlohnéekay , modern Salonika, (originally called Therma) is situated on the Gulf of Salonika, a major city in the province of Mahkehdohnée-ah, Greece. It had a population of 70,000 and a synagogue of Jews.
  The writer of First Thessalonians was also the Apostle Paul, whom God chose to replace Judas Iscariot and to be the Apostle to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15; Gal. 1:1,15; 2:7-9; 1 Cor. 9:1,2; 15:9; 2 Cor. 1:1; 12:12; Eph. 1:1; Col. 1:1; 1 Tim. 1:1; 2 Tim. 1:1,11). He was a fellow laborer and companion of Bahrnáhbahs on the first missionary journey, who befriended him and testified in behalf of him upon his return to Jerusalem from Dahmahskóhs (Acts 9:27,28). Paul is the writer of 14 New Testament Books. Séelahs (Silas) also called Seelouahnóhs, who accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey, and Timothy were included as corroborators of this Epistle.
  Internal evidence to Paul's authorship is clear: by his opening salutation in which he identifies himself (1:1), by his description reminding them of his initial visit to preach Christ to them (2:1-4), by mention of his apostleship (2:5,6), and by his expressed personal endeavors to return to them (2:18).
  External evidence comes from Marcion (c. A.D. 140), Muratorian Cannon, and Irenaeus. No contradictory evidence is found in early Church writings.
  Dating of this Epistle is the most certain of all Paul's Epistles because of a Gallio inscription (four fragments of stone from the first century) discovered at Delphi, Greece at the turn of 20th Century. In the inscription, Claudius Caesar in the 12th year (A.D. 52) of his reign (began in A.D. 41) greeted Gallio as his "friend and proconsul of Achaia." Proconsuls were appointed for one year and took office sometime between mid-June and August 1. Paul was brought before Gallio late in A.D. 52 and intended to be in Jerusalem for the Passover in A.D. 53 (Acts 18:21). Therefore Paul came to Corinth in early A.D. 51 shortly after leaving Thehssahlohnéekay, where he initially preached in the synagogue for three Sabbaths before being forced to leave (17:1-10). This Epistle was written in the early months (spring) of that eighteen-month stay in Corinth (A.D. 51).
  The Purpose of Paul is to correct eschatology, wrong behavior, and sorrow resulting from misconception of the second coming of Christ; to strengthen faith; to comfort in affliction and persecution; and to exhort practical holiness.
  Characteristics of First Thessalonians are: acclamatory, eschatological, and correctional.
  The Book may be outlined as follows:
   I. Service and the Second Advent (1:1-2:20).
  II. Solicitude and the Second Advent (3:1-13).
 III. Sanctification and the Second Advent (4:1-5:28).

Alternately:
   I. Serving at His Coming -- An Inspiring Hope for Young Converts (1).
  II. Joy at His Coming -- An Encouraging Hope to Faithful Servants (2).
 III. Holy at His Coming -- A Purifying Hope for All Saints (3).
 IV. Reunion at His Coming -- A Comforting Hope for Bereaved Saints (4).
  V. Alert at His Coming -- A Rousing Hope for Sleepy Saints (5)


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