What makes 2 Thessalonians unique?
As in 1 Thessalonians,
the author thanks God that the Thessalonian Christians continue to grow
in faith and love, in spite of the difficulties and suffering they are
going through. The author lets them know that they continue to be an
example for other churches. The letter also gives further insight into
the apostle's beliefs about the return of Christ and his teachings
about how to prepare for this event.
Why was 2 Thessalonians written?
members of the Thessalonian church were upset because people were
saying that Christ had already come back again, and that they had
missed out on this event. But the author assures them that such is not
the case, and tells them what will happen when Christ does return: the
"wicked one" (CEV) and unbelievers will be punished (2:12), and those
who are faithful to Christ will be saved (2:13). The Thessalonians are
told to pray for the spread of the good news (3:1-5), and they are
warned to listen to Paul's teachings and to avoid being lazy (3:6-13).
What's the story behind the scene?
letter was probably written shortly after 1 THESSALONIANS. Even though
the members of the Thessalonian church were good examples of faith and
love, some of them were listening to some false teachings about
Christ's return (2:1-5). The author then explains more about the Lord's
return and the Lord's victory over the "evil one." The author concludes
by reminding them that the belief that Christ would return soon is no
excuse to quit working. Some scholars believe this letter may have been
written by one of Paul's followers after Paul died. It was not unusual
in the ancient world for a follower to honor his or her teacher by
writing something in the teacher's name.
How is 2 Thessalonians constructed?
The letter can be outlined in the following way:
The Truth about Christ's Return (1:1 - 2:17)
author greets the Thessalonians and tells them he is pleased with their
faith and love, which has grown in spite of their suffering. God is
using this suffering to get them ready for Christ's return when God
will save them. Then he explains what will happen to the "wicked one"
who will try to fool people when the end is near. This section
concludes with the repetition of the promise that God has chosen them
to be the "first ones to be saved."
Prayers and Warnings (3:1-18)
author asks the Thessalonians to pray that he and his companions may be
kept safe from evil people. In turn he prays that God will continue to
make them loving and patient. Finally, he warns them to stay away from
people who do not work, and people who refuse to obey what he has
written in his letter.
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