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(Authorised Version Annotated 1 Thessalonians Inleiding)


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The apostle Paul, having with great peril of his life gathered a large congregation at Thessalonica the capital city of Macedonia, he was constrained on account of the persecution of the Jews who dwelled there and stirred up the vagabonds, to flee with Silas and Timothy unto Berea, and from there to Athens, having left Timothy and Silas at Berea, as this is related in more detail in Acts 17. But seeing afterward Timothy and Silas came also to Athens, Paul, being troubled about this tender congregation of Thessalonica, sent Timothy back that way to confirm them; and when Timothy was now returned from Thessalonica unto Paul at Corinth and he was informed by him of their state, he thought good to write this epistle unto them, as he declares in the beginning of the third chapter. This epistle, after the apostolic superscription, contains especially two parts. In the first part he strengthens them in faith received unto the end of the third chapter, and that he does especially by a narration of the four things following: in the first chapter he testifies with a thanksgiving for it to God, as to in what diligence and seriousness they received the faith in CHRIST, and turned from idols unto God. In the second chapter he sets before their eyes his boldness, sincerity, diligence and conduct amongst them, in order that he might give them a good example in all things, and this he does unto the fourteenth verse. In the following verses he relates the tribulations which they, as well as he, had patiently endured from the Jews and other countrymen, unto the seventeenth verse, from where forward unto the end of the third chapter he testifies with very serious words the very great desire which he had to see them again, and more and more to fulfill what lacked in their faith, for which end also he had sent Timothy unto them. Afterward in the beginning of the fourth chapter, he comes to the second part of the epistle, namely, the exhortations to a christian conduct, and several virtues, which he relates unto the thirteenth verse. From there forward he treats of moderating sorrow for their dead, and upon that occasion he describes at large the glory of CHRIST’S second coming to judgment, and the order of the resurrection of the dead, although the time and instant thereof is uncertain, unto the fourth verse of the fifth chapter. From this to the end of the epistle, he returns to several exhortations, and especially to be always watchful and to be on their guard, to have their teachers in honor, to pray continually, etc., and so concludes the epistle with a prayer to God for them, and the usual salutation, adjuring them that they shall cause this epistle to be read before all the brethren.


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