Thursday, August 18, 2016

An Introduction to a Study of 2 Thessalonians

Yesterday we finished up our study of 1 Thessalonians, written by Paul. I don't know if I mentioned this then or not, but experts believe that 1 Thessalonians was likely the first letter Paul ever wrote to a church in his time. 1 Thessalonians was written around 51AD and 2 Thessalonians was written around the same time between the years 51AD-52AD.

The interesting thing about 2 Thessalonians is that it is questioned whether or not he actually wrote it. According to The MAP by Nick Page, 2 Thessalonians "has attracted a lot of debate about its authenticity."

The biggest issue with it is the writing style. 1 Thessalonians was passionate and excited. Paul didn't mince words there. 2 Thessalonians is more reserved. In 1 Thessalonians, Paul says Jesus will return suddenly. In 2 Thessalonians, he talks about signs leading up to Jesus' return. The argument for Paul having written it is that perhaps people were misunderstanding his last letter thinking that Jesus was coming back at any moment whereas he clarifies in this letter that it may be awhile.

Either way, most agree that it is more likely than not that Paul wrote this letter as well. The writer also introduces himself as Paul, together with Timothy and Silas as you can see here:

"I, Paul, together with Silas and Timothy, greet the church of the Thessalonian Christians in the name of God our Father and our Master, Jesus Christ. Our God gives you everything you need, makes you everything you’re to be." (2 Thessalonians 1:1-2)

In the interest of focusing on why we're here- to study the Bible, not start a debate- we are going to assume what the bulk of the world already believes. We are going to assume that Paul wrote this book exactly as it says in the Bible already.

Through this book, we will be studying Paul's words about the Thessalonians' faithfulness. We will read about Paul's encouragement to them that God is a God of judgement and that those causing their suffering will be punished. From there, we will move into the signs that Paul sites as evidence of Christ's imminent return. He talks about the antichrist and other signs. He then moves into several verses about prayer and finishes up with his blessing on the Thessalonians.

This book is very short- just three chapters. It won't take us long to get through it at all.

Join me tomorrow when we get started on this little book!

Be blessed today and don't forget to be a blessing to someone else!

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