The Thessalonians

1Thessalonians 1:1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

1 Thessalonians was written from Corinth about 54 A.D. by the apostle Paul and this was the first of the author’s 14 epistles. The theme of this epistle was to confirm young disciples in fundamental truths already taught them; to exhort them to continue in holiness, and give comfort concerning those who had already died in the faith. All the doctrines were taught to them during one month (Acts 17:1-9). Converts were mainly Gentiles who became outstanding as examples of demonstrating God’s power taught by Paul to all who believe (1:8; 2:13-14; 3:6; 2Thess. 1:3, 11; 2:17). The coming of the Lord is a very prominent subject in all chapters (1:10; 2:12, 19; 3:13; 4:13-18; 5:1-11).

‘Paul’ – In all his epistles except 1 Thessalonians and 2 Thessalonians, Philippians and Philemon, Paul calls himself an apostle. It may be that he was held in such affection by these congregations that he did not need to assert his apostolic authority.

‘Silvanus’ – The same as Silas, Paul’s companion on his second missionary journey. He took part in the founding of the Macedonian congregations (Acts 15:40-18:18).

‘Timotheus’ – was called Timothy (2Cor. 1:1; 1Tim. 1:2, 18; 6:20; 2Tim. 1:2; Phm. 1; Heb. 13:23). Converted by Paul on his first trip (Acts 14:6-7 with 1Tim. 1:2). Part Jew and Greek, uncircumcised, but a true Christian (Acts 16:1-3). A miracle worker like Paul (1Cor. 16:10). Paul’s companion from here on (Acts 16:1-3; 17:14-15; 18:5; 19:22; 20:4; Rom. 16:21; 1Cor. 4:17; Php. 2:19). It is believed by some that he was Paul’s scribe in writing Hebrews and Galatians.

‘Unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father.’ This and the second epistle are the only ones so addressed. Compare this with the other salutations in other epistles.

‘The Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.’ Twice here it is made clear that the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are two separate and distinct persons. Believers are in both and the salutation is from both through Paul.

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