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Topic 9 1 and 2 Thessalonians

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					Topic 9

1 & 2 Thessalonians:
Questions about Eschatology

A. The Church in Thessalonica
1. Founded on 2nd journey (Acts 17:1-9) 2. Predominantly Gentile (1 Thess. 1:9) 3. Suffering persecution (1 Thess. 1:6; 2:14)
Map

B. 1 Thessalonians
1. Authenticity – undisputed 2. Date and place
a. Corinth – 2nd journey – c. 50 AD (3:1, 6; Acts 18:5) b. Earliest letter – earliest NT writing

B. 1 Thessalonians – cont.
3. Occasion
a. Timothy’s report (3:1-6) – faithful so far, but some problems. b. Death of believers raised questions about Parousia.
  What happens to Christians who die before the Parousia? When will the Parousia occur?

4. Highlights of 1 Thessalonians
a. 4:13-18 – Death of Christians – Are they left out?
  Resurrection of believers (Mis)used as proof-text for concept of “the Rapture.”
  Secret, silent return of Christ to snatch believers away before Tribulation. Doubtful that Paul meant this.

b. 5:1-11 – Time of Parousia
   No fixed timetable “Like a thief in the night.” For believers, Parousia is doctrine of comfort and hope.

C. 2 Thessalonians
1. Authenticity – debated
a. Verbal similarity to 1 Thess. (imitation?). b. Parousia not sudden – preceded by warning signs.

2. Date and place
a. If authentic – soon after 1 Thess. b. If inauthentic – after Paul’s death.

3. Occasion
a. False teaching that Parousia had already come (2:2). b. Problem of idleness (3:6).

4. Highlights of 2 Thessalonians
a. 2:1-12 – Parousia has not yet come.
    Who is “the lawless one” (v. 3, 8)? Who/what is “the restrainer” (v. 6, 7)? Does not prohibit helping those in need. Cautions against misguided enthusiasm over eschatology.

b. 3:6-15 – Idlers must go back to work.


				
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