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Bible Commentaries

International Critical Commentary NT

1 Thessalonians 5

Verses 1-99

(6) Times and Seasons (5:1-11)

The written request for information “concerning times and seasons” (cf. 4:9, 13) appears to have been made at the suggestion of the faint-hearted who were concerned not only about their friends who had died (4:13-18; cf. 5:10) but also about their own salvation. In doubt about Paul’s teaching in reference to the nearness of the advent and in fear that the day might catch them morally unprepared, they ask him, in their discouragement, for further instruction about the times and seasons. Paul, however, is convinced that they require not further instruction but encouragement (5:11). Accordingly, while reminding them that the day is to come suddenly and is to be a day of judgment on unbelievers (vv. 1-3), he is careful to assure them that the day will not take them by surprise, for they, one and all of them, are sons of light and sons of day, that is, believers (vv. 4-5a). Furthermore, recognising that they need to be exhorted to moral alertness, an exhortation which not only they but all Christians require (hence the tactful change from “you” to “we” in v. 5), he urges that since they are sons of light and sons of day, they must be morally alert and sober, arming themselves with that faith and love, and especially that hope for future salvation, without which they cannot realise their destiny (vv. 5b-8). There is, however, no cause for anxiety, he assures the faint-hearted, for God has appointed them unto salvation, the indwelling Christ enables them to acquire it, and Christ died for their sins in order that all believers, whether surviving until the Parousia, or dying before it, might at the same time have life with Christ (vv. 9-10). Hence they are to encourage and build up one another, as in fact they are doing (v. 11).

1Now as to the times and seasons, brothers, you have no need that anything be written you; 2for you yourselves know accurately that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief at night. 3When people are saying: “All is well and safe,” then sudden destruction comes on them as travail on her that is with child, and they shall in no wise escape.

4But you, brothers, are not in darkness that the day should surprise you as thieves are surprised; 5for you are all sons of light and sons of day.

We Christians do not belong to night or to darkness. 6So then let us not sleep as do the unbelievers, but let us watch and be sober. 7For it is at night that sleepers sleep and at night that drunkards are drunk. 8But we, since we belong to day—let us be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9For God has not appointed us to wrath but to the winning of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10who died for us, that whether we are watching or whether we are sleeping, we might together have life with him.

11So then encourage one another and build up one the other, as in fact you are doing.

1. περὶ δέ τῶν χρόνων κτλ. With δε, the second (cf. 4:13) eschatological question about which the Thessalonians had written (cf. 4:9, 13) for information is stated: “Concerning the times and seasons.” Perceiving, however, that they really need not instruction but encouragement, he tells them, following the precedent of 4:9 (contrast 4:13-18) but varying the language: “you have no need that anything (sc. τ) be written you.”

The plural (cf. καιροὺς χαὶ χρόνου Daniel 2:21, Daniel 4:34 (Lxx); contrast the singular ἕως χρόνου χαὶ χαιρου Daniel 7:12) does not here refer to a future cycle of times and seasons, or to a past cycle now ending (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:11), but indicates in traditional language the time of the Parousia. The question put to Paul was an old one (cf. Jeremiah 25:11, Jeremiah 36:10, Daniel 9:25 ff.) and was prevalent not only in Christian but in Jewish circles of the time (see Charles, Eschat. 168-175; Volz, Eschat 162 ff.). Notwithstanding the warning of the Lord: οὐχ ὑμῶν γνῶναι χρόνους ἢ χαιρού (Acts 1:7; cf. Mark 13:32, Matthew 24:36), it was impossible to quell curiosity as to the exact day and hour. Doubtless the converts particularly in mind in 5:1-11 were wondering what Paul’s teaching meant, especially since they feared lest the day might find them morally unprepared. Though as Ammonius (apud Ell.) says: ὁ μὲν χαιπὸς δηλοῖ ποιότητα χρόνος δὲ ποσότητ, yet in Jewish usage the terms are interchangeable (cf. Daniel 7:12 Sap. 7:18). א inserts του before γράφεσθα; GF smooth χρείαν ἔχετ to χρεία ἐστί


2. αὐτοὶ γὰρ�

On αὐτοὶ γὰρ οἴδατ, see 2:1. ἁχριβῶ (Acts 24:22) occurs elsewhere in Paul only Ephesians 5:15 and elsewhere in Gk. Bib. about a dozen times. Findlay thinks that�Amos 5:18 (see Robertson Smith, Prophets, 396, and Davidson, HDB I, 736) is retained by Paul, though χύριο is Christ, as the context here and elsewhere (e. g. Philippians 1:10, Philippians 1:2:16, 1 Corinthians 1:8, 2 Corinthians 1:14) attests. The omission of the articles (here and Philippians 1:6, Philippians 1:10, Philippians 1:2:16; cf. Isaiah 2:12, Isaiah 2:13:6, Isaiah 2:9, etc.) indicates a fixed formula (cf. θεὸς πατή, 1:1). A reads with Amos 5:18a ἡ ἡμέρα χυρίο The mention of νύ, literal here and v. 7, prepares the way for the metaphors in the contrasts between darkness and daylight (v. 4), darkness and light (v. 5), and night time and daytime (v. 5; cf. v. 8). On ὡ … οὕτω, cf. 1 Corinthians 7:17 (οὕτως χαι, Romans 5:15, Romans 5:18, etc.). As the emphasis is on ὡσχλέπτη not on ἔρχετα, the present tense is general or gnomic (BMT 12), not present for future, or prophetic. For the early belief that the Lord would come at night, expecially Easter eve, see Lün. ad loc. who quotes Lactantius, Inst. 719, and Jerome on Mat_25:

Paul does not tell us (contrast 4:15) whence he derived the information assumed to be possessed by the readers. The comparison to a thief is in itself natural enough (cf. Jeremiah 29:10 ὡς χλέπται ἐν νυκτὶ ἐπιθήσουσιν χεῖρα αὐτῶ; also Job 24:14, Joel 2:9); but the first extant comparison of the coming of the Lord to a thief appears to be the word of Jesus in Luke 12:39 = Matthew 24:43: εἰ ἤδει ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης ποίᾳ ὥρᾳ ὁ χλέπτης ἔρχετα To be sure ἐν νυχτι does not appear in the logion, and it is the Lord himself (by context) not the day of the Lord that is compared to a thief. But despite these differences, it is better to see in our passage an allusion to that word of the Lord than to postulate an agraphon or a citation from an unknown Jewish apocalypse (as Brückner does in his Entstehung der paulinischen Christologie, 179 ff.). Ephr. (who wrongly takes ὅτ as = quia) remarks on οἴδατ: “sicut didicistis etiam haec a nobis; quoniam et nos ex ipso evangelio Domini nostri didicimus. 2 Peter 3:10 (where CKL add ἐν νυκτι) is evidently based on our passage.

3. ὅταν λέγωσιν κτλ. “When people are saying: There is (sc. ἐστί) security and safety,” etc. Starting from ἡμέρα κυρίο as a day of judgment, and from the idea of moral indifference suggested by ἐν νυκτι (cf. v. 4 οὐκ ἐστὲ ἐν σκότε), Paul proceeds, without connecting particle (cf. v. 5 οὐκ ἐσμέ; 1 Corinthians 14:26, Colossians 3:4) to explain the bearing first on unbelievers of the sudden coming of the Lord (v. 2). Though λέγωσι is impersonal (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:20 and Bl 30:4) and αὐτοῖ is undefined, yet clearly unbelievers alone are in mind, as the sharply contrasted ὑμεῖς δὲ�Ezekiel 13:10, λέγοντες εἰρήνη καὶ οὐκ ἦν εἰρήν (cf. Jeremiah 6:14 = 8:11); and of the false repose and safety of the people described in the word of the Lord (Luke 17:26 f. = Matthew 24:37 f.) to which Ephr. alludes: “istud est quod dixit Dominus noster: sicut fuit in diebus Noë et Loth, etc.

The asyndeton (אAGF, et al.) is corrected by BD, et al., which insert δε, and by KLP, Vulg (enim), et al., which insert γά For ὅταν δε, cf. 1 Corinthians 13:10, 1 Corinthians 15:27, etc; ἕταν γά, 1 Corinthians 3:4, 2 Corinthians 12:10, etc. GF, et al., read λέγουσι (cf. στήκετ 3:8). On ὅτα … τότ, cf. 1 Corinthians 15:28, 1 Corinthians 15:54, Colossians 3:4. For the present general condition, see BMT 260, 312. εἰρήν and�Leviticus 26:5 f.); but Ell. would distinguish them: “εἰρήν betokens an inward repose and security;�

αἰφνίδιος ὄλεθρο. That is, either “all of a sudden” (adjective for adverb; Bl 44:2) or “sudden” (adjective) “destruction comes on them.” It is probable that ὄλεθρο, like θάνατο (2 Corinthians 2:15, 2 Corinthians 7:10) and�1 Corinthians 1:18, 2 Corinthians 2:15, Philippians 1:28) is the opposite of σωτηρί; and that the point is not annihilation of existence but separation from the presence of Christ; hence ὄλεθρο may be αἰώνιο (II 1:9) as well as αἰφνίδιο

On the idea, see Kennedy, Last Things, 314. In 1 Corinthians 5:5, ὄλεθρος τῆς σαρκό is contrasted with the salvation (σώζεσθα) of τὸ πνεῦμ; in 1 Timothy 6:9, we have εἰς ὄλεθρον καὶ�Luke 21:34 Sap. 17:15, 2 Mac. 14:17, 3 Mac. 3:24); WH. edit here αἰφνίδιο (Bא), but in Luke 21:34 ἐγφνίδιο (so here, ADFLP, et al.). ἐφιστάνα, frequent in Lxx appears in N. T. only here and 2 Timothy 4:2, 2 Timothy 4:6, apart from Lk. Acts. It is construed with dat. (here and Sap. 6:5. 8, Luke 2:9, Luke 24:4, etc.), or with ἐπι and accus. (Sir. 41:22, Jeremiah 21:2, etc.; Luke 21:34, Acts 10:17, Acts 11:11). On ἐπίστατα (BאL, etc.) for ἐφίστατα (DEKP, et al.), see Bl 6:7. GF, read φανήσετα; B puts αὐτοῖ after ἐπίστατα

ὥσπερ ἡ ὠδίν κτλ. “As travail comes upon (sc. ἐπίστατα) her that is with child.” The point of the comparison is not ὁ πόνος τῶν ὠδίνω (cf. Isaiah 66:7), as the common Lxx phrase ὠδῖνες ὡς τικτούση might suggest (so Th. Mops.); not the certainty (an interpretation which Chrys. combats); but the suddenness as αἰφνίδιο indicates. The idea of inevitableness, brought out by οὐ μὴ ἐκφύγωσι, arises probably not from the comparison but from ὄλεθρο

For ὠδῖνες ὠς τιχτούση, cf. Psalms 47:6, Hosea 13:3, Micah 4:9, Jeremiah 6:24, Jeremiah 6:8:21, Jeremiah 6:22:33, Jeremiah 6:27:43; also Jeremiah 13:21, Isaiah 13:8; and Isaiah 26:17 Eth. En. 62:4. The singular (אB read ἡ ὠδεί) is rare in Gk. Bib.; but even if the plural were read with GF, there would be here no reference to the dolores Messiae (Mark 13:8 = Matthew 24:8; cf. Volz, Eschat 173 and Bousset, Relig 2 286). On ἐκφεύγει (Romans 2:3, 2 Corinthians 11:33), cf. Luke 21:36; on οὐ μη with aor. subj. instead of fut. indic. (which DGF here read; cf. Galatians 4:30), see 4:15 and cf. Romans 4:8, 1 Corinthians 8:13, Galatians 5:16. It is unnecessary to supply an object with ἐχφύγωσι; contrast 2 Mac. 6:26: τὰς τοῦ παντοχράτοπος χεῖρας οὔτε ζῶν οὔτε�Titus 1:12, Luke 1:31, it is used in the common Lxx phrase, as here, ἔχειν ἐν γαστρι = εἶναι ἔγχυο

Lft. remarks on v. 3: “The dissimilarity which this verse presents to the ordinary style of St. Paul is striking.” To be sure, ὅτα … τότε ὥσπερ, ἐκφεύγειν, ὄλεθρος or οὐ μη with aor. subj. need excite no wonder; but the use of εἰρήν = “security,” of�Mark 13:8 = Matthew 24:8, or Mark 13:17 and par., but Luke 21:34-36: “Take heed to yourselves that your hearts be not dulled by debauches and μέθῃ and the distractions of life; and take heed lest ἐπιστῇ ἐφʼ ὑμᾶς ἐφνίδιος ἡ ἡμέρ as a trap (ὡς παγί; cf. Jeremiah 5:27). For it will surely come upon all those who sit on the face of all the earth.�Romans 13:11 ff. In favour of (b) is not the concrete and definite character of the utterance (cf. 4:16), but the indefinite αὐτοῖς “If, as seems not unlikely, the sentence is a direct quotation from our Lord’s words, the reference implied in the word αὐτοῖ is to be sought for in the context of the saying from which St. Paul quotes” (Lft.).


4. ὑμεῖς δέ κτλ. The δε is adversative by context and contrasts the brethren with the αὐτοῖ (v. 3) who are now seen to be unbelievers. The latter are in the realm of night, as ἐν νυκτι (v. 2) suggests, that is, of wickedness; and the day of the Lord with its inevitable destruction comes on them suddenly and finds them unprepared. The brethren on the other hand (δε) are not in darkness (ἐν σκότε), that is, in the realm of wickedness, and the day of the Lord, now designated as the daylight in contrast with the dark, while it comes suddenly for them also, does not (and this is the point of the new comparison) surprise them as thieves are surprised by the coming of the dawn.

“Christians are on the alert, open-eyed; they do not know when it is to come, but they are alive to any signs of its coming. Thus there is no incompatibility between the emphasis on the instantaneous character of the advent and the emphasis in II 2:3 f. on the preliminary conditions” (Moff.). On σκότο, cf. Romans 13:12, 1 Corinthians 4:5, 2 Corinthians 6:14, etc.; cf. ἡ ἐξουσία τοῦ σκότου Colossians 1:13, Luke 22:53. The clause with ἵν is not of purpose but of conceived result (cf. 2 Corinthians 1:17 and BMT 218 f.). The daylight is a metaphor for “the day,” that is, ἡ ἡμέρα ἐκείν (GF; cf. II 1:10); on ἡ ἡμέρ, cf. 1 Corinthians 3:13, Romans 13:12; also Romans 2:16, Ezekiel 36:33. καταλαμβάνει is here not “attain” (Romans 9:30, 1 Corinthians 9:24, Philippians 3:12 f.), or “ understand” (Ephesians 3:18), but “overtake” (Genesis 19:19, Sir. 7:1:John 12:35), with a touch of surprise and detection. GF read καταλάβο ADGF place ὑμᾶ before ἡ ἡμέρ Romans 13:11-14, where the time before the Parousia is designated as ὕπνος, σκότος and νύξ affords a striking parallel to vv. 4-7. The advent is ἡ ἡμέρ and Christians are to put on τὰ ὅπλα τοῦ φωτό and to conduct themselves ὡς ἐν ἡμέρᾳ, that is, are to avoid κώμοις, μἐθαις κτλ. for ἡ νὺξ προέκοψεν ἡ δὲ ἡμέρα ἤγγικεν


ὡς κλέπτας “That the day should surprise you as thieves are surprised.” As Grotius has observed, the comparison here is not the same as in v. 2, though it follows naturally from it. In v. 2, “the day of the Lord comes as a thief at night,” suddenly and unexpectedly; here the day of the Lord (compared to the daylight) does not surprise the believers as it does the unbelievers (ὡς κλέπτα), that is, does not catch the Christians unawares and unprepared.

κλέπτα, read by BA Boh, is accepted by Lachmann, WH., De W., Ewald, Koch, Lft., Moff. and Field (Otium Norv. III, 123). Most commentators, however, prefer the numerically better attested κλέπτη (see Souter, ad loc.). In this case, the same comparison is used as in v. 2, but here the point is not “suddenness” but “surprise.” The usual objection to κλέπτα, that it spoils the metaphor (see on νήπιο 2:7), is too incisive, in view of the inversion of metaphors in Paul, especially in this section (cf. καθεύδει and γρηγορεῖ in vv. 6, 10); see Lft. on 2:7 and ad loc. Weiss (17) thinks that κλέπτα is a mechanical conformation to ὑμᾶ (cf. τὑπου 1:7). Zim (cf. Mill. and Dibelius) suggests that κλέπτα involves a change of sense that overlooks the reference to Luke 12:39 = Matthew 24:43.


5. πάντες γὰρ ὑμεῖς κτλ. The γά explains why “the day” should not surprise them; and the πάντε (cf. πᾶσι II 1:10) singles out the faint-hearted for special encouragement. The readers, one and all, are not “in darkness” but are “sons of light,” that is, belong to Christ; and, with a slight advance of meaning, are “sons of day,” that is, belong to the realm of future light and salvation, the unexpressed reason being that the indwelling Christ or Spirit guarantees their ability so to live a blameless life that they may even now, if they are vigilant and sober, be assured of the rescue from the wrath that comes (1:10), and of an entrance into God’s own kingdom and glory (2:12; v. infra, vv. 9-10).

υἱὸς φωτό suggests the possible influence of the word of the Lord in Luke 16:8; cf. John 12:36, Ephesians 5:8 (τέκν); the phrase does not occur in Lxx υἱὸς ἡμέρα is not found elsewhere in Gk. Bib. The use of υἱό with a gen. to denote the intimate relation of a person with a thing or person appears to be Semitic in origin (see on II 2:3 and cf. Deiss. BS 161-166); the idiom is common in the Gk. Bib.

οὐκ ἐσμέν κτλ. The change from ὑμεῖ (vv. 4-5a) to ἡμεῖ (vv. 5b-10) should not be overlooked. In saying that all the brethren are sons of light and sons of day, Paul seems already to be preparing the way tactfully for an exhortation that they conduct themselves as such, especially since blamelessness of life (3:13) alone assures them of escape from judgment (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:10, Romans 14:10). Not wishing to discourage the faint-hearted but at the same time recognising that they need the warning, he includes in the exhortation not only them but himself and all other Christians, and proceeds (v. 5b) asyndetically: “We Christians, all of us, do not belong to night or to darkness.” He thus prepares for the exhortation to sobriety and vigilance (vv. 6-7), and for the encouraging assurance of future salvation (vv. 9-10). This done, the ὑμεῖ of v. 5 a (cf. v. 4) is resumed in v. 11. It is obvious that οὐκ ἑσμὲν νυκτὸς οὐδὲ σκότου forms the transition to the exhortation.

εἷναι νυκτός, σκότους, ἡμέρα (v. 8) is logically equivalent to υἱοὶ νυκτός etc. In view of 1 Corinthians 3:23, 2 Corinthians 10:7, Romans 14:8, etc., it is unnecessary to supply υἱοι The arrangement of φωτός, ἡμέρας, νυκτός, σκότου is chiastic. Day and night are the periods; light and darkness the characteristics of the periods. GF put και before οὐκ ἐσμέ to relieve the asyndeton. On οὐ… οὐδε, see 2:3 and II 3:8.


6. ἄρα οὖν μὴ καθεύδωμεν κτλ “So then let us not sleep as do the rest (οἱ λοιποι as 4:13) but let us watch and be sober.” The figurative use of καθεύδει and νήφει is suggested, as v. 7 intimates, by the fact that sleepers sleep at night and drunkards get drunk at night. καθεύδει covers all sorts of moral laxity; γρηγορεῖ, its opposite, denotes watchfulness, moral alertness, vigilance against the assaults of unrighteousness. The point of νήφει is less certain; for since drunkenness may suggest either stupid unconsciousness or abnormal exaltation (B. Weiss, Dob.), νήφωμε may be an exhortation either to perfect control of the senses without which vigilance is impossible or to quietness of mind (4:11) without which the peaceable fruits of righteousness essential to future salvation are unattainable.

Since καθεύδωμε and γρηγορῶμε are metaphorical, it is unlikely that νήφωμε here (and v. 8) is literal, as if some of the converts were intemperate; or that it is both literal and metaphorical (Find.). At the same time, as v. 7 intimates, the sons of day and the sons of light in Thessalonica as elsewhere may have been tempted to indulge in habits characteristic of those who belong not to day but to night. ἄρα οὗ, found in Gk. Bib, only in Paul, is followed by the hortatory subj. (here and Galatians 6:10, Romans 14:19); or by the imperative (II 2:15). KLP read καθεύδομε and GF νήφομε; cf. Romans 14:19 (אBAG). —καθεύδει is used by Paul only in this section and in the fragment of a hymn cited in Ephesians 5:14. In v. 7 it is literal; in v. 10 it is = κοιμᾶσθα =�Romans 9:25, 1 Corinthians 7:7 f. 1 Corinthians 7:9:5, Ephesians 2:3, Ephesians 5:23), and is perhaps a reminiscence of Ephesians 2:3 ὡς καὶ οἱ λοιποί. γρηγορεῖ is infrequent in Paul (1 Corinthians 16:13, Colossians 4:2) and the Lxx (cf. 1 Mac. 12:27: γρηγορεῖν καὶ εἶναι ἐπὶ τοῖς ὅπλοις, ἑτοιμάζεσθαι εἰς πόλεμον διʼ ὅλης τῆς νυκτό). It is employed in the eschatological passages Mark 13:33 ff. Luke 12:37 ff. and Matthew 24:43 ff.; but in Luke 21:36 and Mark 13:33 we have�2 Timothy 4:5, 1 Peter 1:13, 1 Peter 1:4:7; 1 Peter 5:8 (νήψατε, γρηγορήσατ); cf. ἐκνήφει (1 Corinthians 15:34, Joel 1:5, etc.) and�2 Timothy 2:26).

7. οἱ γὰρ καθεύδοντες κτλ The exhortation to vigilance and sobriety is illustrated by a fact of observation familiar to the readers (cf. Romans 13:11 ff). “Those who sleep (usually) sleep at night (νυκτό; cf. 2:9) and those who get drunk (usually) are drunk at night.” These habits, characteristic of those who are not sons of day and sons of light, are mentioned, not without reference to the temptations to which all Christians, including the readers, are exposed.

The distinction between μεθύσκεσθα “get drunk” (Ephesians 5:18, Luke 12:45, Proverbs 23:31) and μεθύει (B reads μεθύοντε) “be drunk” (1Co 11:21, cf. ὁ μεθύω Job 12:25, Isaiah 19:14, Isaiah 24:20, etc.) is doubted by Ell. Lft. and others. Since Paul does not say οἱ καθεύδοντες νυκτός εἰσιν κτλ. “the sleepers belong to night,” etc., it is improbable that v. 7 is figurative (see Lün.). Schmiedel would exscind v. 7 as a marginal note, and v. 8a as a connecting link inserted by a later reader.


8. ἡμεῖς δὲ ἡμέρας κτλ The emphasis on νυκτό (v. 7), already implied in vv. 2, 4-6, prepares for the contrast here, δε being adversative by context, and for the exhortation. Sleep and drunkenness are the affairs of those who belong to the night; “but let us, since we belong not to night (the realm of evil), but to day (the future glory; cf. v. 5), be sober.”

ἐνδυσάμενοι κτλ “It is not sufficient to watch and be sober, we must also be armed” (Chrys.). “Perhaps the mention of vigilance suggested the idea of a sentry armed and on duty” (Lft. who compares Romans 13:11 ff.). As in 1:3, Paul describes the Christian life on the religious side as faith and on the ethical side as love, and singles out for special remark the moral quality of hope; hence to the breastplate he adds the helmet, the hope for future salvation, thus giving to conduct an eschatological sanction.

One is reminded here and even more strongly in Ephesians 6:14 of Isaiah 59:17: καὶ ἐνεδύσατο δικαιοσύνη (cf. Job 29:14) ὡς θώρακ (cf. Sap. 5:18) καὶ περιέθετο περικεφάλαιαν οωτηρίου ἐπὶ τῆ The figure, however, is natural to Paul (cf. Romans 13:12 ἐνδυσώμεθα τὰ ὅπλα τοῦ φωτό and Ephesians 6:11 ἐνδύσασθε τὴν πανοπλίαν τοῦ θεου). The purpose of the armour, tacit here but expressed in Ephesians 6:11, is probably: πρὸς τὸ δύνασθαι ὑμᾶς στῆναι πρὸς τὰς μεθοδίας τοῦ διαβόλο, the Satan who, as an angel of darkness, transforms himself into an ἄγγελος φωτό (2 Corinthians 11:14). ἐνδύεσθα, a common word in Lxx, is used metaphorically by Paul with various objects (cf. Galatians 3:27, 1 Corinthians 15:53 ff. Romans 13:14, Colossians 3:12, Ephesians 4:24). The aorist part. is of identical action (BMT 139). θώραξ here and Ephesians 6:14 in Paul, is quite frequent in Gk. Bib. (cf. ἐνδύεσθαι θώρακ 1 Reg. 17:5, Jeremiah 26:4, Ezekiel 38:4, Ezekiel 38:1 Malachi 3:3). περικεφάλαι, in N. T. only here and Ephesians 6:17, is literal in Lxx except Isaiah 59:17. On the complete armour of the hastati, see Polyb. VI, 23. The gen. πίστεω and�

ἐλπίδα σωτηρία. Salvation is both negatively freedom from wrath (cf. 1:10) and positively fellowship with Christ, as vv. 9-10 declare. Since σωτηρί is an eschatological conception (cf. Romans 13:11), something to be acquired (v. 9), Paul says not σωτηρία but ἐλπίδα σωτηρία (objective gen. as 1:3, Romans 5:2, Colossians 1:27).

The significance of this exhortation to hope lies in the conviction that without blamelessness of life (3:13) even believers cannot escape the judgment (cf. Romans 14:10, 2 Corinthians 5:10). To be sure, as Paul forthwith encourages the faint-hearted to remember (vv. 9-10), this hope is virtually certain of realisation.

Here and v. 9, he speaks generally of σωτηπία In Romans 8:23, he singles out the redemption of the body as the object of hope; “for by that hope we have been (proleptically) saved”; and in Philippians 3:20 f., Jesus Christ as σωτή is to transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformable to the body of his glory (note�Galatians 5:5). Though Paul here may have this specific hope also in mind, he contents himself with a general statement, ἐλπὶς σωτηρία (cf. Job 2:9 for the objective gen.: προσδεχόμενοι τὴν ἐλπίδα τῆς σωτηρίας μο).

9-10. ὅτι οὐκ ἔθετο κτλ With ὅτ “because,” he confirms the propriety of the exhortation to the ἐλπίδα σωτηρία by encouraging the faint-hearted to be assured that that hope is bound to be fulfilled. The ground of assurance is stated, first, negatively, “God did not appoint us Christians for wrath,” that is, for condemnation at the day of judgment (cf. 1:10, 2:16); and then positively, “but to gain salvation.” Since, however, it is impossible to work out one’s own salvation (Philippians 2:13) unless the divine power operates in the believer, Paul next recalls the means by which salvation is to be acquired, namely, “through” the causal activity of the indwelling “Jesus Christ our Lord.” Furthermore, since death and resurrection are inseparable factors in the redemptive work of Christ (cf. 4:14), he adds: “who died for us,” that is, for our sins, “in order that we might live, have life with him,” the future life in fellowship with Christ, which is the consummation of Christian hope.

The construction τιθέναι τινά εἴς τ, only here in Paul, but frequent in Lxx, is not the equivalent of Acts 13:47 = Isaiah 49:6 (τέθεικά σε εἰς φῶ; contrast Romans 4:17 = Genesis 17:5), but nevertheless “appears to have a partially Hebraistic tinge” (Ell.; cf. Psalms 65:9, Hosea 4:7, Micah 1:7, Jeremiah 25:12, etc.). ἔθετ (= ἔθηκεν Bl 55:1) indicates the purpose of God, but like εἵλατ (II 2:13) is less specific than ἐκλογη (1:4); περιποίησις rare in Gk. Bib., is used absolutely in the passive sense of “possession,” “remnant,” in 2 Chronicles 14:13, Malachi 3:17, Haggai 2:9, Ephesians 1:14, 1 Peter 2:9; here, however, and II 2:14, Hebrews 10:39, where a genitive follows, it is active, acquisitio (Vulg, Ell., Mill. and most), “gaining,” “winning,” as indeed γρηγορῶμε and νήφωμε (Find.) and the clause with δια (Dob.) intimate. B and some minuscules invert the order to read ὁ θεὸς ἡμᾶ (cf. 2:16).


διὰ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰ. Χ This clause is to be construed not with ἔθετ but with the adjacent εἰς περιποίησιν σωτηρίας The δια indicates the causal activity of the risen Lord conceived of as a spiritual power resident in the hearts of believers, enabling them to bring forth the fruits of righteousness essential to salvation and guaranteeing their resurrection from the dead and eternal fellowship with himself.

The phrase is the logical but not grammatical equivalent of ἐν τῷ κυρίῳ: see on 4:2, 14. On the divine name, see 1:3; B Eth. omit Χριστου (cf. 2:19).

10. τοῦ�Galatians 1:3, 1 Corinthians 15:3; cf. Romans 5:8, Romans 4:25).

Bא read περι (cf. Galatians 1:3 where B has ὑπέ), but most have ὑπέ (cf. Romans 5:8); the distinction between these prepositions is becoming enfeebled (Moult I, 105). By the phrases�Romans 5:6 ff. Romans 5:14:15, 1 Corinthians 15:3, 2 Corinthians 5:15), διδόναι περι (Galatians 1:3), and παραδιδόναι ὑπέ (Galatians 2:20, Romans 8:32), Paul indicates his belief in the sufferings and especially the death of Christ, the righteous for the unrighteous, as an atonement (cf. Moore, EB 4229 ff.). In speaking of the death of Christ for us, Paul uses regularly the category not of forgiveness (Romans 4:7, Colossians 1:14, Ephesians 1:7; cf Colossians 2:13, Colossians 3:13, Ephesians 4:32) but of reconciliation (Romans 5:10 ff. 2 Corinthians 5:18 ff. Colossians 1:20 ff.) and especially justification. “Forgiveness he calls justification. It is the same thing as atonement, or reconciliation, terms in which somewhat different aspects of the same process are emphasised” (Ropes, Apostolic Age, 156). The absence of these terms in I, II, and the fact that this is the only passage in I, II in which the death of Christ for us is mentioned, suggests not that the significance of that death was not preached prominently in Thessalonica, but that the purpose of these letters did not call for a discussion of justification, law, works, etc. Nothing is here said explicitly of Christ’s death “to sin” (Romans 6:10) or of the believers’ dying and rising with Christ (Galatians 2:19 f. Romans 6:3 ff. Colossians 2:12, Colossians 2:20, Colossians 2:3:1), but this conception may underlie both the passage (4:14), “if we believe that Jesus died and rose,” etc., and διὰ τοῦ κυρίο and ἐν κυρίῳ

ἵν … ζήσωμεν The purpose of the death, stated in the light of the cognate discussion (4:13-18), is: “that whether we are watching (living) or whether we are sleeping (dead), we might together live with him.” γρηγορῶμε and καθεύδωμε are to be taken figuratively for ζῶμε and�Romans 14:8), as, indeed, Th. Mops. Chrys. Ephr. (sive vivi simus sive mortui), and most affirm. For survivors and dead, salvation comes simultaneously at the Parousia, as ἄξει σὺν αὐτῷ (4:14) and πάντοτε σὺν κυρίῳ ἐσόμεθ (4:17) prepare us to expect.

It is noteworthy that even in a casual statement about the significance of salvation, three distinctive points in Paul’s conception are touched upon, forgiveness of sins through the death of Christ, moral renewal through the indwelling power of the spiritual Christ, and the final consummation of future fellowship with him. Ell. is again right in insisting that as in 4:17 so here ἅμ and σύ be separated; “the ζῆν σὺν Χριστῷ forms the principal idea, while the ἅμ subjoins the further notion of aggregation”; Vulg, however, joins simul cum (contrast 4:17). On καθεύδει = “to die”; see 4:13; but “to this particular use of γρηγορέ no Biblical parallel can be adduced” (Mill.). There seems to be no sharp difference in meaning between ει with the subjunctive (common in later Gk.; cf. Mill. and 1 Corinthians 14:5) and the expected ἐά (Romans 14:8). Burton (BMT 253), contrary to the opinion of many (e. g. Bl 65:4) thinks that the subjunctive “can hardly be explained as attraction since the nature of the thought (in our passage) calls for a subjunctive.” A few minuscules read γρηγοροῦμε and also with KLP καθεύδομεν. εἴτ, a favourite particle in Paul (cf. II 2:15), is rare elsewhere in Gk. Bib. (1 Peter 2:13 f. Joshua 24:15, Isaiah 30:21, Sir. 41:4, etc.).—A reads ζήσομε; DE ζῶμε; the aorist ζήσωμε (אB, et al.) indicates the future living as a fact without reference to progress or completion, “that we might have life.”


11. διὸ παρακαλεῖτε κτλ “Wherefore” (3:1; cf. ὥστ 4:17), since the day of the Lord, though it comes suddenly on all, believers and unbelievers, will not surprise you believers; and since the power of Christ makes possible that blamelessness of life which is necessary to salvation and so guarantees the realisation of your hope; do not be faint-hearted but “encourage one another” (παρακαλεῖτε�

οἰκοδομεῖν, οἰκοδαμη and ἐποικοδομεῖ are frequent words in Paul, especially in his letters to Corinth. From the figure of the church or the individual (1 Corinthians 6:19) as a temple of the Spirit, the further metaphor of “building up,” “constructing” a character would naturally develop (see Lft. on 1 Corinthians 3:12). The parallelism with�Isaiah 2:8 (in Charles’s Ascen. Isaiah, 143); Testament Job, 27 (in James’s Apocrypha Anecdota); and in Pseudo-Cyrill. Alex. X, 1055 A, εἷς τῷ ἑνι =�


(7) Spiritual Labourers (5:12-13)

There are still some ὑστερήματ (3:12) which need to be adjusted. Hence the exhortations (4:1-5:11) are now continued, as δε introducing a new point and ἐρωτῶμε (cf. 4:1) intimate. The brethren as a whole are first urged to appreciate those who labour among them, two special functions of these labourers being selected for emphasis, that of leading and that of admonishing. But not only are they to appreciate the labourers, they are to do so very highly, and that too not from fear and distrust but from love, because of their work. Then changing from infinitive to imperative, he commands them to be at peace not “with them” but “among yourselves.”

12Furthermore, we ask you, brothers, to appreciate those who labour among you both acting as your leaders in the Lord and warning you; 13:and to rate them very highly in love for the sake of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.

There must be a reason for specifying two of the functions of “the workers” and for observing that in acting as leaders they do so in the Lord. Precisely what the reason is escapes our knowledge. It may be conjectured, however (see on 4:11), that the idlers in their want had appealed for assistance to those who laboured among them, managing the external affairs of the group including money matters and acting as spiritual advisers, and had been refused rather tactlessly with an admonition on the ground that the idle brothers though able were unwilling to support themselves, thus violating Paul’s express command (4:11, II 3:10). The result was friction between the idlers and “the workers” and the disturbance of the peace of the church. Paul recognises that there was blame on both sides; and so, addressing the brethren as a whole, for the matter concerned the entire brotherhood, he urges first, with the idlers in mind, that the workers be appreciated, that it be remembered that they manage the affairs of the church not on their own authority but on that of the indwelling Christ, and that they be highly esteemed because of the excellence of their services. He urges next, still addressing the church as a whole, but having in mind the attitude of the workers in admonishing, that they be at peace among themselves.

The arrangement of the exhortations in 5:12-22 is not perfectly obvious. To be sure, παρακαλοῦμεν δε (v. 14) is a fresh start, and vv. 16-18 and vv. 19-22 are distinct in themselves; but the division of the material in vv. 14-15 is uncertain. In the light, however, of the triplet in vv. 16-18, it is tempting to divide the six exhortations in vv. 14-15 into two groups of three each, putting a period after�

Whether the two functions of “those who labour among you” “were executed by the same or different persons cannot be determined; at this early period of the existence of the church of Thess. the first supposition seems much the most probable” (Ell.). Though it is likely that the older or more gifted men would be conspicuous as workers, it does not follow that the class described not by title but by function is that of the official πρεσβύτερο, a word found not in Paul, but in the Pastorals. Nor must we infer from the fact that later we have traces in another Macedonian church of ἐπίσκοπο and διάκονο (Philippians 1:1) that such officials are in existence in Thess. at the time of writing I and II. Rather we are in the period of informal and voluntary leadership, the success of which depended upon the love of the brethren as well as upon the recognition that the leadership is ἐν κυρίῳ Hence Paul exhorts the converts not only to esteem the workers but to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. See McGiffert, Apostolic Age, 666.


τοὺς κοπιῶντας ἐν ὑμῖ. In the light of ὁ κόπος τῆς�

κοπιᾶ, “grow weary,” “labour,” with body or mind, is common in Gk. Bib. and frequent in Paul. With this word, he describes the activities of the women in Romans 16:6, Romans 16:12; the missionary toil of himself (Galatians 4:11, 1 Corinthians 15:10, Philippians 2:16, Colossians 1:29) and others (1 Corinthians 16:16); and the manual labour incident thereto (1 Corinthians 4:12, Ephesians 4:28). The ἐ with ὑμῖ designates the sphere of the labour, inter vos (Vulg); cf. 2 Reg. 23:7.


καὶ προϊσταμένους καὶ νουθετοῦντα. “Both leading you in the Lord and warning you” (cf. 2:11 καὶ παραμυθούμενοι καὶ μαρτυρόμενο). Though these participles may introduce functions different from but co-ordinate with τοὺς κοπιῶντας ἐν ὑμῖ (Dob.), yet it is more probable (so most) that they explain and specify τοὺς κοπιῶντας ἐν ὑμῖ, but without exhausting the departments of labour (cf. Lillie). Since such a phrase as ὁ κόπος τῆς�

προϊσταμένους ὑμῶν ἐν κυρίῳ. “Act as your leaders in the Lord.” Attention is first called to the fact that the workers are leaders, that is, not simply rulers or chairmen but men who look after the general welfare of the group, especially the external matters, including the administration of the funds. That ἐν κυρίῳ is placed only after προϊσταμένου indicates not that the working (cf. Romans 16:12) and the warning are not in the Lord, but that it is necessary to remind the brethren, the idlers in particular, that the workers in taking the lead in temporal things are acting at the promptings not of personal interest but of the indwelling Christ.

προΐστασθα, here and Romans 12:8 in Paul, is used in 1 Timothy 3:4, 1 Timothy 3:12 (cf. 3:5, 2 aor. act.) of managing the household; in Titus 3:8, Titus 3:14 of attending to good works; and in 1 Timothy 5:17 (perf. act.) of the ruling πρεσβύτερο (cf. Hermas Vis. II, 4:3). The word occurs also in Lxx (e. g. 2 Reg. 13:17, Amos 6:10 Bel. (Lxx) 8) and papyri (Mill.). Besides the basal meaning “be over,” “rule,” “act as leader,” there are derived meanings such as “protect,” “guard,” “care for” (cf. Test. xii, Joshua 2:6). In the light of 1 Timothy 3:5 (where προστῆνα is parallel to ἐπιμελήσετα) and of προστατεῖν τινό = praesidio sum curam gero (Witk., 16), Dob. inclines to insist both here and in Romans 12:8 on the derived meaning, “fürsorgen.”—אA read προϊστανομένου


νουθετοῦντας ὑμᾶ. Apparently some of the brethren, presumably the idlers (see on 4:11), had refused to give heed to the spiritual counsels of the workers, with the result that relations between them were strained and the peace of the brotherhood disturbed. Hence the appropriateness of calling attention to the fact that the workers were not only leaders in things temporal but also spiritual advisers. νουθετεῖ denotes brotherly warning or admonition, as II 3:15 makes plain.

νουθετεῖ appears in N. T., apart from Acts 20:31, only in Paul; it is connected with διδάσκει in Colossians 1:28, Colossians 1:3:16; cf. also νουθεσί 1 Corinthians 10:11, Ephesians 6:4 (with παιδεί) and Titus 3:10. These words along with νουθέτημ are in the Lxx found chiefly in the wisdom literature (cf. Sap. 12:2 ὑπομιμνήσκων νουθετεῖ).

13. καὶ ἡγεῖσθαι κτλ. It is not enough that the brethren appreciate the workers; they are to esteem them (ἡγεῖσθα = εἰδένα) very highly (ὑπερεκπερισσῶ), and that too not from fear or distrust but from love (ἐν�1 Corinthians 16:10, τὸ ἔργον κυρίου ἐργάζοντα.

As the parallel with εἰδένα demands, ἡγεῖσθα is here not “consider” (II 3:15, 2 Corinthians 9:5) but “esteem,” a meaning, however, not elsewhere attested (Mill., Dob.). For this reason, some comm. find the expected notion of esteem in the adverb and support their finding by such phrases as περὶ πολλου (Herod. II, 115) or περὶ πλείστο (Thucy. II, 89) ἡγεῖσθα But these adverbial expressions are not identical with ὑπερεκπερισσῶ Other comm. (from Chrys. to Wohl.), on the analogy of ποιεῖσθαι ἐν ὀλιγωρίᾳ (Thucy. IV, 5:1, VII, 3:2) = ὀλιγωρεῖ, take ἡγεῖσθαι ἐν�Job 35:2 τί τοῦτο ἡγήσω ἐν κρίσε The unusual meaning “esteem” is contextually preferable; cf. εἷς τὸν ἕν (v. 11) and εἰδένα (v. 12, 4:4). On ὑπερεκπερισσῶ (BDGF; ὑπερεκπερισσου אAP), see 3:10. GF read ὥστ (Vulg ut) before ἡγεῖσθα B has ἡγεῖσθ (cf. εἰρηνεύετ). P omits αὐτῶ as if ἡγεῖσθα = “to rule.” F has διο for δια

εἰρηνεύετε ἐν ἑαυτοῖ. “Be at peace among yourselves,” one with the other, ἑαυτοῖ for�Mark 9:50). This striking command, separated grammatically (note the change from infinitive to imperative) but not logically from the preceding, suggests that the workers, in functioning both as managers of the funds and as spiritual advisers, had been opposed by some of the converts, presumably the idlers (4:11; cf. v. 14 νουθετεῖτε τοὺς�

ἑαυτοῖ is read by BAKL, et al.; the tactfulness of Paul who includes both the workers and the idlers in the exhortation, to peace is lost sight of in the reading ἐν αὐτοῖ (אDP; cf. GF and Vulg cum eis), followed by Chrys., Th. Mops. (in eos), and most of the Greek comm., and by Erasmus, Calvin, and most recently Dibelius. Furthermore, on the analogy of Romans 12:8 (cf. 3 Reg. 22:45), we should have expected not ἐν αὐτοῖ but μετʼ αὐτῶ (cf. Zim). Swete (op. cit. ad loc.) remarks: “Ambst who reads inter vos thinks only of mutual forbearance amongst the faithful: pacificos eos esse hortatur.” Hermas has both εἰρηνεύετε ἐν αὑτοῖ (Vis. III, 9:10) and ἐν ἑαυτοῖ (12:3; 9:2 parallel with�


(8) The Idlers, the Faint-hearted, and the Weak (5:14 a-c)

From the beginning of his exhortations (4:1), Paul seems to have had in mind the needs of three classes, the meddlesome idlers (4:11-12; 5:12-13), those who were anxious both about their friends who had died (4:13-18) and about their own salvation (5:1-11), and those who were tempted to unchastity (4:3-8). To the same three classes he now refers once more (cf. Th. Mops.), specifying them respectively as “the idlers” (οἱ ἄτακτο), who as most troublesome need to be warned; “the faint-hearted” (οἰ ὀλιγόψυχο), who were losing the assurance of salvation and need to be encouraged; and “the weak” (οἱ�

On νουθετεῖ, see v. 12. D omits ὑμᾶ Instead of the expected infinitives after παρακαλοῦμε (4:10), we have imperatives (1 Corinthians 4:16; cf. above εἰρηνεύετ). GF, indeed, read νουθετεῖν, παραμυθεῖσθα, and�


τοὺς�

In the N. T., ἄτακτο occurs only here,�Deuteronomy 32:10, Ezekiel 12:20, Ezekiel 12:4 Reg. 9:20 (Sym.); Test. xii, Naph. 2:9; 1 Clem. 40:2 Diogn. 9:1). In an exhaustive note, Milligan (152-154) has called attention to several papyri concerned with contracts of apprenticeship (e. g. P. Oxy. 275, 724-5) where�Exodus 5:8, Exodus 5:17), a word he prefers to use in the sense “to have leisure for” (1 Corinthians 7:5; cf. Psalms 45:11); not�Matthew 12:36, Matthew 12:20:3, Matthew 12:6, 1 Timothy 5:13, Titus 1:12), a word which Paul does not use; but�


τοὺς ὀλιγοψύχου. “The faint-hearted.” These “men of little heart” (Wiclif) were worried not only about their dead (4:13-18) but also about their own salvation (5:1-11). They are not troublesome like the idlers; hence they require not warning but encouragement (παραμυθεῖσθ; cf. 2:11; see also παρακαλεῖτ 4:18, 5:11 and the discussion in II 1:3-2:17).

Theodoret (cf. Chrys.) explains τοὺς ὀλιγοψύχου both as τοὺς ἐπὶ τοῖς τεθνεῶσιν�Colossians 3:21) and as τοὺς μὴ�Proverbs 14:29, Proverbs 18:14, Isaiah 25:5, Isaiah 35:4, Isaiah 54:6, Isaiah 57:15), ὀλιγοψυχεῖ (not in N. T.), and ὀλιγοψυχί (not in N. T.) are regularly used, with the exception of Jonah 4:8 (where physical faintness is meant; cf. Isoc. 19:39), of the depressed and the despondent in whom little spirit is left; so Isaiah 57:15: ὀλιγοψύχοις διδοὺς μακροθυμίαν καὶ διδοὺς ζωὴν τοῖς τὴν καρδίαν συντετριμμένοι

ἀντέχεσθε τῶν�1 Corinthians 11:30) but morally. Furthermore, since “the idlers” and “the faint-hearted” refer to classes already exhorted (4:11-12; 4:13-5:11), it is probable that “the weak” are not generally the weak in faith (Chrys., Ephr. and others) but specifically those who are tempted to impurity (4:3-8; so Th. Mops.: de illis qui fornicatione deturpabantur). Being persons of worth, they are not to be despised (cf. Matthew 6:24 = Luke 16:13) but are to be held to and tenderly but firmly supported.

ἀντέχεσθα, always middle in Gk. Bib. except 4 Mac. 7:4, is construed with the gen. either of persons (Matthew 6:24 = Luke 16:13, Proverbs 4:6, Zephaniah 1:6, Isaiah 57:13) or of things (Titus 1:9, Isaiah 56:4, etc.). For a different connotation of οἱ�1 Corinthians 8:9, 1 Corinthians 9:22.


(9) Love (5:14 d-15)

With μακροθυμεῖτε πρὸς πάντα, Paul seems to turn from the specific needs of the three classes just named to a need of the group as a whole in reference to one another and especially to all men, namely, not simply brotherly love but also love. The exhortation, directed to all the converts, that they be slow to anger, and that they see to it that no one of their number retaliate a wrong done but that they rather seek earnestly the good toward one another and toward all, suggests, though the exhortation is general and characteristic of Paul, a specific situation, namely, that the friction between workers and idlers within, and chiefly the persecutions from without at the hands of Gentiles directly and Jews indirectly, had stirred up a spirit of impatience destined to express itself, if it had not done so already, in revenge. To prevent this violation of the moral ideal, τὸ�

πρὸς πάντα includes all men (Galatians 6:10), the Thessalonians (vv. 26-27) and their fellow-Christians (4:10) and the Gentiles and Jews (εἰς�


14dBe patient with all men; 15see to it that no one pays back to any one evil for evil, but do you always follow the good toward one another and toward all.

14d. μακροθυμεῖτ. “Be patient with all men,” literally, “long-tempered,” slow to anger and retaliation, as opposed to the disposition of the ὀξύθυμο who, unable to endure much, acts ill-advisedly (Proverbs 14:17) and stirs up strife (cf. Proverbs 26:20 (A): ὅπου δὲ οὐκ ἔστιν ὀξύθυμος, ἡσυχάζει μάχ). Patience is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and a characteristic of love (1 Corinthians 13:4 ἡ�

In Paul μακροθυμί is several times closely joined with χρηστότη (Galatians 5:22, 2 Corinthians 6:6; cf. 1 Corinthians 13:4); it is used not only of men but of God (Romans 2:4, Romans 2:9:22; cf. μακρόθυμος καὶ πολυέλεο Exodus 34:6, Ps. 85:15, Psalms 102:8, etc.). In Gk. Bib. μακροθυμεῖ is regularly construed with ἐπι (Sir. 18:11, James 5:7, etc.), once with εἰ (2 Peter 3:9); cf. μετα Ign. Polyc. 6:2.

15. ὁρᾶτε κτλ. The group as a whole are held responsible for any single member (τι) whose patience is exhausted and who is ready to retaliate an injury done him by brother or outsider (τινι includes both as the parallel εἰς�Exodus 21:23 f., Deuteronomy 19:21, Leviticus 24:19 f.) had undergone modifications in keeping with the advancing moral insight of Israel (cf. Proverbs 20:12, 24:44, Proverbs 25:21 f., Sir. 28:1-7), but it was left to the Master to put the case against it in the unqualified injunction beginning�Matthew 5:44 = Luke 6:27). It was perhaps the difficulty of living up to such an imperative in the present circumstances that prompted Paul to write not simply “render not evil for evil” (Romans 12:17) but, evoking the responsibility of the Christian society for the individual, “see you to it that no one pay back to any one evil for evil.”

ὁρᾶτε μη occurs only here in Paul (cf. Matthew 18:10, Joshua 9:13) who prefers βλέπετε μη (Galatians 5:15, 1 Corinthians 8:9, 1 Corinthians 10:12, Colossians 2:8). On�Romans 12:17, 1 Peter 3:9, Proverbs 17:13. אGF read�Romans 7:19, Romans 12:21, etc.) and καλό (Romans 7:21, Romans 12:17, etc.).�Romans 12:17, 1 Corinthians 11:15, Ephesians 5:31; II 2:10�

ἀλλα … διώκετε κτλ. “But,” on the contrary, “always,” on matter how trying the circumstances, “follow,” that is, strive earnestly after “the good.” It is difficult to avoid the conviction that τὸ�Romans 13:10), the neighbour including both the believer and the unbeliever (εἰς�1 Corinthians 14:1).

It is questionable whether in Paul’s usage τὸ�Galatians 6:10). Both terms represent the ethical ideal of Paul, which, as a comparison of Romans 12:6 ff. and Galatians 5:22 with 1Co_13 makes plain, can be described as ἡ�Romans 7:13, Romans 12:9, Romans 13:4, Galatians 6:10, etc.; τὸ καλό Romans 7:18, Romans 7:21, Galatians 6:9, 2 Corinthians 13:7, etc. For διώκει in a similar metaphorical sense, cf. Romans 9:30, Sir. 27:8; Romans 12:13, Romans 14:19, Psalms 33:15 ζήτησον εἰρήνην καὶ δίωξον αὐτή See also Epict. IV, 5:30 διώκειν τὸ�


(10) Joy, Prayer, Thanksgiving (5:16-18)

The injunction to constant joy and prayer and to thanksgiving in every circumstance is characteristic of Paul (cf. 3:9 f.). The fact, however, that he notes, as in 4:3, that this exhortation is God’s will makes probable that the special circumstances of persecution from without and friction within are here in mind as in vv. 14-15. In adding that this will of God operates in Christ Jesus, he designates that will as distinctively Christian, the will of the indwelling Christ who is the personal and immediately accessible authority behind the injunction (cf. 4:7f.). In adding still further εἰς ὑμᾶ, he intimates that the will of God in Christ is for their advantage, and implies that the Christ in them, the source of joy (1:6, Philippians 4:4), prayer (Ephesians 6:18, Romans 8:26), and thanksgiving (cf. διὰ Χριστου Romans 1:8, Romans 7:25, Colossians 3:17) is the power that enables them to carry out the difficult imperative.


16Always rejoice; 17continually pray; 18in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will operating in Christ Jesus for you.

16. πάντοτε χαίρετ. Paul has already revealed his own joy because of the converts (2:19 f. 3:9 f.), and has used the fact of their joy in the midst of persecution as a proof of their election (1:6). It is natural for him now, with the persecutions from without and the disturbances in the brotherhood in mind, to urge them not only to rejoice (Romans 12:15, 2 Corinthians 13:11, Philippians 3:1, Philippians 4:4, etc.), but to re joice “always” (πάντοτ as Philippians 4:4; cf.�2 Corinthians 6:10). This feeling of joy, expressed or unexpressed, is a joy before God (cf. 3:9 f.), as the following references to prayer and thanksgiving make probable. The source and inspiration of this religious joy is the indwelling Christ, as ἐν Χριστῷ presently explains (cf. Philippians 4:4 χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ πάντοτ; GF insert ἐν κυρίῳ here; cf. Philippians 3:1).

17.�Romans 12:12, Colossians 4:2), to pray ἐν παντὶ καιρῷ (Ephesians 6:18) is characteristic of Paul’s teaching and practice (3:10, II 1:11). In this context, prayer would include especially supplication ὑπὲρ τῶν διωκόντω (Matthew 5:14, Luke 6:28, Romans 12:14). That they can thus pray as they ought is possible because of the indwelling Christ, (ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησου; cf. Romans 8:26, Ephesians 6:18).

προσεύχεσθα (v. 25, II 1:11, 3:1) is common in Gk. Bib.; it is a general word (τὸ ὁμιλεῖν τῶ θεῷ, Theophylact), including δεῖσθα (3:10), ἐντυγχάνει (Romans 8:26, Romans 8:34), etc. On�

18. ἐν παντὶ εὐχαριστεῖτ. “Whatever happens, give thanks to God.” Since in 2 Corinthians 9:8 ἐν παντι is distinguished from πάντοτ we must supply here not χρόνῳ or καιρῷbut χρήματ, “in every circumstance of life,” even in the midst of persecutions and friction within the brotherhood. Even when τῷ θεῷ is not expressed, it is to be understood after εὐχαριστεῖ (cf. Romans 1:21, 1 Corinthians 10:30, 1 Corinthians 11:24, 1 Corinthians 14:17, Ephesians 1:16). Constant joy with constant prayer leads to the expression of thankfulness to God at every turn of life. The stimulating cause of thanksgiving is the Christ within (ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησου; cf. the δια in Romans 1:8, Romans 7:25 and especially Colossians 3:17).

The parallelism here between πάντοτ and�1 Corinthians 1:4, Philippians 1:3, Ephesians 5:20, Philemon 1:4), χαίρει (Philippians 4:4;�2 Corinthians 6:10), μνημονεύει (1:2), μνείαν ἔχει (3:6) or ποιεῖσθα (Romans 1:9), προσεύχεσθα (II 1:11; ἐν παντὶ καιρῶ̣ Ephesians 6:18) make it tempting to take ἐν παντι = πάντοτ (so Chrys. τὸ�2 Corinthians 9:8, is against that interpretation (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:5, 2 Corinthians 4:8, 2 Corinthians 4:6:4, 2 Corinthians 4:7:5, 2 Corinthians 4:11, 2 Corinthians 4:16, 2 Corinthians 4:8:7, 2 Corinthians 4:9:11, 2 Corinthians 4:11:6, 2 Corinthians 4:9, Ephesians 5:24, Philippians 4:6, Philippians 4:12). In the Lxx, ἐν παντι is rare and never temporal (Proverbs 28:5, Sir. 18:27, 37:28 Dan. (Lxx) 11:37, 4 Mac. 8:3); in Nehemiah 13:6 ἐν παντὶ τούτω̣, it is τούτω̣ not παντι which demands a χρόνω̣ or καιρῶ̣ Had Paul wished to indicate a temporal reference, he would have added χρόνω̣ or καιρῶ̣ (Ephesians 6:18; cf. Luke 21:36, Acts 1:21, Tobit 4:19, Psalms 33:1, Psalms 33:1 Mac. 12:11 Hermas, Mand. V, 2:3), or written διὰ παντό (II 3:16, Romans 11:10) instead of ἐν παντι On εὐχαριστεῖν, εὐχαριστί (cf. εὐχάριστο Colossians 3:15), which are frequent words in Paul, see on 1:2, 3:9; cf. Epict. I, 4:32 10:3 χαίρων καὶ τῶ̣ θεῶ̣ εὐχαριστῶ For the collocation of thanksgiving and prayer, apart from the epistolary outline, see 3:9, Philippians 4:6, Colossians 4:2.

τοῦτο γὰρ θέλημα θεοῦ κτλ. “For this,” namely, that you rejoice and pray always and give thanks to God whatever happens, “is God’s will.” As in 4:3, Paul insists that what he exhorts. is not of his own but of divine authority. But instead of stopping here, leaving the readers to infer that God was inaccessible and his will impersonal, Paul adds characteristically, using his pregnant phrase ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησου (2:14; see on 1:1), that God’s will, the authority that has the right to give the difficult injunction, operates in Christ Jesus, thus indicating that the will is distinctively Christian and that Christ in whom God operates is an accessible personal power whose right to command is recognised both by Paul and by his readers (cf. 4:7 f.). With the further addition of εἰς ὑμᾶ, which would be superfluous if ἐν Χ. Ι meant simply that the will of God was declared by Christ, Paul implies not only that the distinctively Christian will of God is directed to the believers but also that it is to their advantage (cf. 2 Corinthians 13:4 εἰς ὑμᾶ אAD); and he succeeds in hinting that it is the Christ in the believers who guarantees their ability to execute even this most difficult exhortation.

Since joy, thanksgiving, and prayer are related ideas (cf. 3:9 f.), and since the change from πάντοτ and άδιαλείπτω to ἐν παντι does not compel the singling out of εὐχαριστί as the only element in the will of God requiring immediate emphasis, it is probable that τοῦτ refers not simply to εὐχαριστεῖτ (so Th. Mops., Chrys., Ephr., Ell., Wohl.), or to εὐχαριστεῖτ and προσεύχεσθ (Grot.), but to all three imperatives. While it is possible to understand ο before ἐν Χριστῷ (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:19, Ephesians 4:32), it is probable in the light of Romans 8:39 (τῆς�Philippians 3:14). Though the stress here is on the will of God as operating in Christ, yet such operation presupposes the presence of God in Christ. The omission of articles in θέλημα θεου indicates either a fixed formula or that one part of the divine will is meant (Ell.). Influenced by 4:3, DEFG add ἐστί after γά; and א A insert του before θεου L omits Ἰησου By putting εἰς ὑμᾶ before ἐν Χ. Ι, A yields the less pregnant sense “will of God directed to you who are in Christ Jesus” (so Dob.).


(11) Spiritual Gifts (5:19-22)

From the distinctively Pauline conception of Christ or the Spirit as the permanent ethical power in the life of the believer (ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησου), the Apostle turns to the ancient but equally Pauline conception of the Spirit (cf. Romans 15:18, Ephesians 4:11 of Christ) as the source of the extraordinary phenomena in the Christian life, the spiritual gifts (τὸ πνεῦμ). Though the gifts of the Spirit (χαρίσματ) are as valid to Paul as the fruits of the Spirit, he is ever at pains to insist that the validity of the former depends on their serving an ethical end, namely, love (1 Cor. 12-14).

The presence of the exhortation at this point makes probable the conjecture (see 4:11) that the idlers had demanded ἐν πνεύματ that the workers, in whose hands as leaders was the control of the funds, give them money. This demand was refused on the ground that Paul had enjoined orally that if a man refused to work he should not receive support (II 3:10; I 4:11). The effect on the workers of this misuse of the Spirit was an inclination to doubt the validity not of the Spirit in the ethical life but of the Spirit as manifested in χαρίσματ Hence the first two exhortations, though addressed to all, refer especially to the attitude of the workers. In general, Paul says, the operations of the Spirit are not to be extinguished; and in particular, the manifestations of the Spirit in prophecy are not to be despised. Then, still addressing all, but having in mind especially the idlers who had misinterpreted the Spirit, he urges them to test all things, that is, πάντα εἴδη πνευμάτω (cf. 1 John 4:1), including prophecy; and then, as a result of the test, to hold fast to the good, that is, those manifestations of the Spirit that make for edification or love, and to hold aloof from every evil sort of πνεῦμ or χάρισμ; for while the good is one, the evil is manifold.


Th. Mops. refers the five injunctions to spiritual gifts (cf. Ephr.); so Chrys. who, however, first interprets τὸ πνεῦμ of the fruits of the Spirit. The triple arrangement of vv. 12-18 is here succeeded by a five-fold, 2 + 3. If, as is almost certain, πάντα δὲ δοκιμάζετ is to be restricted to spiritual gifts in general and prophecy in particular, it follows that both κατέχετ and�

19. τὸ πνεῦμα μὴ σβέννυτ. “Quench not the Spirit,” that is, the divine Spirit operating in believers. The reference, however, is not to the ethical fruits of the Spirit (cf. 1:5-6, 4:8, II 2:13) but, as προφητεία makes certain, to the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, the charismata. Furthermore, τὸ πνεῦμ is not to be restricted to a specific charisma (Ephr. qui loquuntur in linguis Spiritus) but is to be understood of the totality of the extraordinary operations (Calvin). To quench, to put out the fire of, the Spirit is to prohibit or repress those who ἐν πνεύματ are ready with psalm, teaching, revelation, tongue, interpretation, etc. (1 Corinthians 14:26). To repress the believer is or may be to repress the Spirit. This exhortation is of course not incompatible with the injunction that all things be done εὐσχημόνως, κατὰ τάξι, and πρὸς οἰκοδομή (1 Corinthians 14:40, 1 Corinthians 14:26).

That 1 Cor. 12-14 (cf. 2 Corinthians 12:2-4, Romans 12:6-9) happens to be the locus classicus on spiritual gifts is due to the fact that Paul is there replying to a written request for information περὶ τῶν πνευματικῶ The Thessalonians had made no such specific request; but, if our conjectural reconstruction is correct, Paul refers to the matter here in order to warn both the workers and the idlers. This brief allusion, however, yields information that tallies exactly with what may be learned in extenso from the passages noted above. In Thessalonica, as in Corinth, the Christian life was accompanied by the same spiritual phenomena.

Three main groups of χαρίσματ may be detected: (1) Healing, both of ordinary (ἰάματ) and of extraordinary (δυνάμει) disease. (2) Revelation, including (a) γλώσσαις λαλεῖ, an unintelligible utterance requiring, in order that it might be πρὸς οἰκοδομήν, ἐρμηνία another charisma; (b) προφητεί (see below, v 20); (c) διακρίσεις πνευμάτω (see below, v. 21); and (d) διδασκαλί (3) Service, embracing “apostles, governments, helps” (cf. Romans 12:8, Romans 12:15:25, 1 Corinthians 16:1). While Paul rejoices in all these extraordinary gifts and especially in prophecy (1Co_14), he makes plain that they all must be used for the upbuilding of the church, and that without love even prophecy is of no avail (1Co_13). On the Spirit in general, see Gunkel, Die Wirkungen des Geistes, 1888; Weinel, Die Wirkungen des Geistes und der Geister, 1899; Briggs, JBL 1900, 132 ff.; Gloël, Der Heilige Geist in der Heilsverkündigung des Paulus, 1888; Wood, The Spirit of God in Biblical Literature, 1904; Arnal, La Notion de L ’ Esprit, I, 1908 (La Doctrine Paulienne); and Volz, Der Geist Gottes, 1910. On the charismata in particular, see Schmiedel, EB 4755 ff.; McGiffert, A postolic Age, 517 ff.; and J. Weiss (in Meyer) and Robertson and Plummer (in ICC) on 1 Cor. 12-14; also Harnack, Das hohe Lied von der Liebe (in SBBA. 1911, 132 ff.). For the particular situation in Thessalonica, see Lütgert, Die Volkommenen in Phil. und die Enthusiasten in Thess. 1909, 55 ff.

Since σβεννύνα is used of putting out fire or light (see Wetstein), the Spirit is here conceived metaphorically as fire (cf. Romans 12:12, Acts 2:3, Matthew 3:11 = Luke 3:16, 2 Timothy 1:6). In Lxx σβεννύνα is used with θυμό (4 Reg. 22:17 = 2 Chronicles 34:25, Jeremiah 4:4, Jeremiah 7:20), ὀργη (Jeremiah 21:12), ψυχη (Sir. 23:16) and�Song of Solomon 8:7 where ἐξουδενοῦ also occurs). On the hellenistic ζβέννυτ (BDGF), see Bl 3:9.

20. προφητείας μὴ ἐξουθενεῖτ. From the general τὸ πνεῦμ, he passes to the particular, the charisma of prophecy (Calvin). This gift is singled out for mention, perhaps, because the idlers had exercised it wrongly and because the workers made light of it especially. The plural (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:8) is chosen either because prophecy has many forms of expression or because individual cases are in mind. προφητεί to Paul is not the science of interpreting Scripture (Calvin), not the gift of foretelling the future and explaining the past, but the proclamation of the utterance of God, so that the prophet (1 Corinthians 12:28 f. 1 Corinthians 12:14:29 ff.) is the revealer of the will of God operating in the indwelling Christ or Spirit.


προφητεί to Paul is apparently the greatest χάρισμ (1Co_14), though it is worthless unless it makes for love (a comprehensive term for the ethical, non-charismatic fruits of the Spirit). Though it may arise in an�2 Corinthians 12:2-4, Galatians 2:2), it is, unlike speaking with tongues, an intelligible utterance, making directly, without ἑρμηνί, for edification, comfort, and encouragement (1 Corinthians 14:3). There is a control by the Spirit but the νοῦ is active, as it is not in γλώσσαις λαλεῖ What is prompted by the Spirit can be remembered and imparted, though the control of the Spirit is greater than in διδασκαλί It may be that such passages as Romans 8:18 ff. Romans 8:1 Cor. 13, 15:50 ff. owe their origin to prophecy. ἐξουθενεῖ is quite frequent in Paul (Galatians 4:14, Romans 14:3, Romans 14:10, etc.), and in the Lxx (cf. ἐξουθενοῦ and ἐξουδενοῦ in meaning it is akin to καταφρονεῖ and�Mark 8:31 with 9:12).

21. πάντα δὲ δοκιμάζετ. “Test all things,” that is, πάντα εἴδη πνευμάτω (1 Corinthians 12:10), including προφητεί Though Paul insists, over against the doubts of the workers, that no operation of the Spirit is to be repressed, and that no case of prophecy is to be despised, yet he recognises and insists equally as well, over against the misuse of the Spirit by the idlers, that all χαρίσματ must be subject to test. Hence δε, contrasting the two attitudes, is adversative. That this is Paul’s meaning is confirmed by 1 Corinthians 12:10 where the charisma of διακρίσεις πνευμάτω is mentioned; cf. also 14:29: “Let two or three prophesy” καὶ οἱ ἄλλοι διακρινέτωσα, that is, “and let the others exercise the gift of discerning” whether a given utterance ἐν πνεύματ makes for good or is evil.

It is noteworthy that the utterances of the Spirit are to be tested. Calvin rightly infers that the spirit of judgment is conferred upon believers that they may discriminate so as not to be imposed upon. This power, he thinks, must be sought from the same Spirit who speaks by his prophets. In fact, as 1 Corinthians 12:10, 1 Corinthians 14:29 prove, the power to discern is itself a charisma, διακρίσεις πνευμάτω (cf. Grot.). It is further noteworthy that the nature of the test is not stated. In view, however, of the place given to οἰκοδομη and especially to�1 John 4:1 where δοκιμάζειν τὰ πνεύματ occurs, the test is objective, the belief that Jesus is the Christ come in the flesh; in 2 John 1:10 the same test recurs with the added point of φιλαδελφί; these two being the elements in the διδαχὴ Χριστου emphasised in view of the docetic and separatist (1 John 2:19) movement. In the Didache, δοκι μάζει is likewise referred to (e. g. 11:1-12, 12:1); especially pertinent to the probable situation in Thess. Isaiah 11:12: “Whoever says in the Spirit: Give me silver or anything else, ye shall not hearken unto him; but if he tell you to give on behalf of others that are in want, let no man judge him.” δε, omitted by אA, et al., is probably to be read after πάντ with אcBDGFP, Vulg (autem), et al.

τὸ καλὸν κατέχετε κτλ. The brethren are not to rest content with the testing and the discovery whether a given utterance of the Spirit in a man tends to the good or is an evil kind, but are (a) to hold fast to the good and (b) to hold aloof from every evil kind. The positive injunction of itself includes the negative; but the mention of the negative strengthens the appeal and adds a new point—the good is one, but the evil many. τὸ καλό designates the utterance of the Spirit as making for οἰκοδομη (1 Corinthians 14:3-5, 1 Corinthians 14:12, 1 Corinthians 14:26) or specifically love (1Co_13; v. supra v. 15 (το�



κατέχει is common in Gk. Bib. and has a variety of meanings. Luke uses the word differently in each of his four instances; “hold fast to” (λόγο Luke 8:15), “get hold of,” “occupy” (τόπο Luke 14:9), “restrain from” (Luke 4:42 τοῦ μὴ πορεύεσθα; Paul never has κατέχειν τοῦ(το) μη), and “put in” (of a ship, Acts 27:40). Mill. (155-157), in illustrating the use of the word in papyri, groups the meanings under two heads (1) “hold fast” and (2) “hold back.” Examples of (1) are “hold fast to” (= κρατεῖ) with λόγο (1 Corinthians 15:2), and παραδόσει (1 Corinthians 11:2; cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:15 κρατεῖτ); “possess,” “get possession of” (1 Corinthians 7:30 (absolute) 2 Corinthians 6:10, Exodus 32:13, Joshua 1:11, etc.; cf. Sir. 46:9, Luke 14:9); “grip,” “control,” “cripple” (cf. Deiss. Light, 308) “overpower” (2 Reg. 1:9, Job 15:24, Jeremiah 6:24, Jeremiah 13:21, Ps. 118:53, 138:10, etc.; cf. P. Oxy. 2171 κατέχει τὰ πράγματα ἡ σῆ βασιλεί; also 3 Mac. 5:12 ἡδίστῳ καὶ βαθεῖ (ὕπνῳ) κατεσχέθη τῇ ἐνεργείᾳ τοῦ δεσπότο; and John 5:4 (v. l.) νοσήματι κατείχετ, of demon possession as in Luke 13:16). Examples of (2) are “detain” (Philemon 1:13, Genesis 24:56, Judges 13:15, Judges 13:16 (A has βιάζει) 19:4); as in prison (Genesis 39:20, Genesis 42:19); “restrain” (cf. Deiss. Light, 308), “restrain from” “hinder” (Luke 4:42). The exact shade of meaning is not always easy to discover (e. g. II 2:6, Romans 1:18, Romans 7:6, Isaiah 40:22). Reitzenstein (Die hellenistischen Mysterienreligionen, 1910, 71 ff.) admits that κατέχεσθαι, κάτοχο, and κατοχη may be used of possession; but in the references to the Serapeum he holds with Mill. that κάτοχο=δέσμιος, κατοχη=the prison (temple), and κατέχεσθα=“to be detained.” See further on II 2:6.

22. εἴδους πονηρου. “Evil kind” of χάρισμ or πνεῦμ (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:10, 1 John 4:1). As a result of testing it appears that there is but one kind of operation of the Spirit that can really be called such, namely, that which makes for the good; while the kinds which are attributed to the Spirit, but which prove themselves evil, are many. Hence, instead of�

If τὸ καλὸν κατέχετ is general (Lft., Born, Wohl., et al.), then�Job 1:1 = 1:8 �1 Corinthians 5:13, Ephesians 6:16) and τὸ πονηρό (Romans 12:9), πονηρό in Paul is an adjective and anarthrous (II 3:2, Colossians 1:21, Ephesians 5:16, Ephesians 6:13), unless Galatians 1:4 (ἐκ τοῦ αἰῶνος τοῦ ἐνεστῶτος πονηρου is an exception.—εἶδο is rare in N. T. but common in Lxx It may mean (1) that which is seen whether “physical form” (John 5:37, Luke 3:22; frequently in Lxx of the human form καλό or αἰσχρὸς τῷ εἴδε) or “look,” “mien” (Luke 9:29, Job 41:10, Proverbs 7:10, etc.), or physical “appearance,” “manifestation,” quod aspicitur (e. g. 2 Corinthians 5:7, Exodus 24:17, Numbers 9:15); or (2) “sort,” “kind,” “class” (Jeremiah 15:3, Sir. 23:16, 25:2; cf. P. Tebt. 58:20 f.�


V. PRAYER (5:23-24)

Recognising that the exhortations (4:1-5:22) especially to ethical consecration (4:3-8) and peace (5:12-13; cf. 4:10-12) would be of no avail without the divine assistance; and recognising further the necessity of the consecration not only of soul but of body (4:3-8),—a consecration which would be impossible unless the Spirit of God as immanent in the individual were inseparably bound to the human personality, body and soul; he prays first in general that God may consecrate them through and through, and then specifically that he may keep their spirit, the divine element, and the soul and body, the human element, intact as an undivided whole so that they may be blameless when the Lord comes. That the prayer will be answered is certain, for God the faithful not only calls but also consecrates and keeps them blameless to the end.

23Now may the God of peace himself consecrate you through and through, and may your spirit and soul and body be kept intact so as to be blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24Faithful is he who calls you; who also will do this very thing.

23. αὐτὸς δέ κτλ. Following the exhortation (4:1-5:22), a new epistolary section is introduced, the prayer. In this connection, δε is slightly adversative as if Paul had said: “I have exhorted you to ethical consecration and to the things that make for peace, but God himself is the only power that can make the exhortation effective.”

ὁ θεὸς τῆς εἰρήνη. An apt designation in the light of vv. 12-13. This “peace,” however, is not to be restricted to harmony within the brotherhood; but is to be understood of the spiritual prosperity (1:1) of which God is the author (Estius) and without which concord in the community is impossible. A similar appeal to the underlying religious sanction is seen in 1 Corinthians 14:33 where, after a reference to disorder among the prophets, God is called a God not of confusion �


ἁγιάσαι ὑμᾶς ὁλοτελεῖ. “Consecrate you throughout,” “through and through” (Luther). The note of consecration already struck in 3:13 and 4:3-8 is heard again. As in those passages so here consecration includes not only religion, devotion to God, but conduct, ethical soundness. Furthermore, since Paul has in mind the consecration not only of the soul but of the body (4:3-8), it is probable that ὁλοτελεῖ is to be taken not qualitatively “so that you may be perfect” (Ambst, Lft., Dob., et al.) but quantitatively “wholly,” per omnia (Vulg), that is, σώματι καὶ ψυχῇ (Theophylact; cf. Grot., De W., Lün., Ell., Schmiedel, Born, Wohl., Mill. et al.).

On αὐτὸς δε, see 3:11. The phrase ὁ θεὸς τῆς εἰρήνη (not in Lxx) is mainly Pauline (Romans 15:33, Romans 15:16:20, 1 Corinthians 14:33, 2 Corinthians 13:11, Philippians 4:9, Hebrews 13:20; cf. ὁ κύριο II 3:16).—ἁγιάζει is rare in Paul (active here and Ephesians 5:26, passive in Romans 15:16, 1 Corinthians 1:2, 1 Corinthians 6:11, 1 Corinthians 7:14), but common in Lxx (Exodus 31:13 ἐγὼ κύριος ὁ ἁγιάζων ὑμᾶ, Leviticus 11:44, Leviticus 21:8, Ezekiel 37:28). Though the consecrating power of Christ or the Spirit possesses the believers at baptism so that they become a καινὴ κτίσι, yet the consecration is not fully perfected (cf. 3:13). For the optative ἁγιάσα, GF have the future indic. ὁλοτελή occurs only here in Gk. Bib.; Field notes it in Leviticus 6:23, Psalms 50:21 (Aq.); cf. Aristotle, de plantis, 817 f. ὁ κόσμος ὀλοτελής ἐστιν καὶ διηνεκή; also Hermas, Mand. IX, 6, Vis. III, 6:4, 10:9, 13:4.


καὶ ὁλόκληρον κτλ. “And—to specify more exactly (Ell.), may your spirit and soul and body … be kept in their entirety,” as an undivided whole. So important for the readers is the prayer for the consecration not only of soul but of body that Paul repeats it, explaining the ἁγιάσα with�

ὁλόκληρο like ὁλοτελεῖ which it resumes is in the predicate position and is to be interpreted not qualitatively “so as to be ethically perfect” but qualitatively “in their entirety,” “intact,” integer (Vulg), the point being that no part of the Christian personality should be lacking in consecration. Though closely connected with πνεῦμα, ὁλόκληρο like the unemphatic ὑμῶ is to be construed with all three substantives.—ὁλόκληρο differs etymologically from ὁλοτελή but is in meaning virtually synonymous with it. The former word occurs elsewhere in the Gk. Bib. James 1:4; Zechariah 11:16 (of physical soundness; cf. ὁλοκληρί Acts 3:16, Isaiah 1:4 v. l.); Ezekiel 15:5 (of wood not yet cut for fuel); Deuteronomy 27:6, Joshua 9:2, Joshua 9:1 Mac. 4:47 (of the unhewn stones for the altar); Deuteronomy 16:9 (A) Leviticus 23:15 (of the seven Sabbaths); Sap. 15:3 (of δικαιοσύν); 4 Mac. 15:7 (of εὐσέβει); cf. Hermas, Mand. V, 2:3 τῶν τὴν πίστιν ἐχόντων ὁλόκληρο; also A in 1 Chronicles 24:7 = 25:9 where B has ὁ κλῆρο

ὑμῶν τὸ πνεῦμα κτλ. Judging from the Pauline conception of the Christian as the man into whom there has entered a supernatural divine power, Christ or the Spirit (Galatians 4:6, Romans 8:11, 1 Corinthians 6:19, 2 Corinthians 1:22), and from the fact that Paul is addressing Christians, it is probable but not certain that “your spirit” (cf. 1 Corinthians 14:14) designates that portion of the divine Spirit which as dwelling permanently in the individual as τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἐκ τοῦ θεου constitutes τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ�1 Corinthians 2:11). The believer and the unbeliever are so far alike that their individuality consists of an inner (ψυχή, νοῦς, καρδία, ὁ ἔσω ἄνθρωπο) and an outer part (σῶμ); but the believer differs from the unbeliever in that he has received from God the divine Spirit which controls and redeems his former individuality, so that at the Parousia he is raised from the dead and enters upon a life with Christ in a spiritual body. Without the indwelling πνεῦμ, man at his best (ψυχικό) is mere man, unregenerate, σαρκικό (1 Corinthians 3:3, 1 Corinthians 15:44 ff.), incapable of resurrection and life with Christ. Hence the emphasis on ὁλόκληρο at this point; the divine in man and the human individuality must be kept intact, an undivided whole, if the believer is to be blameless at the Parousia.

This view, shared substantially by Dob., appears in an anonymous catena quoted by Swete (Th. Mops. II, 39): οὐδέποτε ἐπὶ�Romans 8:16) does not of necessity compel the conclusion that the human spirit in a psychological sense (= ψυχή, νοῦ etc.) is here meant, for in 1 Corinthians 14:14 where “my spirit” is contrasted with “my νοῦ,” it is evident that “my spirit” is that portion of the divine Spirit which is resident in the individual. Occasionally Paul uses τὸ πνεῦμα ὑμῶ as a designation of the Christian personality (Galatians 6:18, Philippians 4:23, Philemon 1:25) instead of ὑμεῖ (v. 28, II 3:18) or the popular ψυχη (Romans 2:9, Romans 2:11:13, Romans 2:13:1, Romans 2:16:4, 2 Corinthians 1:23, Philippians 2:30; also 1 Thessalonians 2:8, 2 Corinthians 12:15); and this is probably the case in 1 Corinthians 16:18, 2 Corinthians 2:13, 2 Corinthians 7:13 (cf. Matthew 11:29 and ἡ σὰρξ ὑμῶ 2 Corinthians 7:5); ἐκ ψυχῆ (Colossians 3:23, Ephesians 6:6) is equivalent to ἐκ καρδία as Romans 6:17 makes probable. ψυχη is rare in Paul compared with πνεῦμα, σῶμ or even καρδί; it is less frequent than νοῦ Ten of the thirteen instances have been mentioned already; in 1 Corinthians 15:45=Genesis 2:7, Paul contrasts sharply πνεῦμ and ψυχη under the influence of his conception of the ψυχικό as σαρκικό; in Philippians 1:27 (στήκετε ἐν ἑνὶ πνεύματι, μιᾷ ψυχῆ συναθλοῦντε), where, as here, ψυχη appears alongside of πνεῦμα, πνεῦμ is the divine Spirit as such or as individualised in the believer.—Didymus (de spiritu sancto, 55, quoted by Swete (op. cit.), 39) thinks that it would be incredible and blasphemous for the Apostle to pray that the Holy Spirit integer servetur, qui nec imminutionem potest recipere nec profectum; and hence refers “your spirit” to the human spirit. Whether his objection is cogent depends on the interpretation of 1 Corinthians 5:5 and 2 Corinthians 7:1 (if σάρ here as in Colossians 2:5=σῶμ; cf. 2 Corinthians 7:5). Pelagius (noted by Dob.) remarks: gratia spiritus, quae quamuis in se semper integra sit, non tamen in nobis integra nisi ab integris habetur (Souter). If with Didymus Paul here speaks de humano spiritu, then πνεῦμ is a distinctively psychological term appropriate to believers and unbelievers alike, and the collocation with ψυχη which is unusual (Philippians 1:27, 1 Corinthians 15:45) is to be understood either (1) as rhetorical (De W., Jowett, and many), or at least as “a popular statement, not an expression of the Apostle’s own psychology” (Charles, Eschat. 410); or (2) as the “distinct enunciation of the three component parts of the nature of man” (Ell.; so most after Origen, Jerome, Apollinaris of Laodicea). Lft. ad loc. says: “The spirit which is the ruling faculty in man and through which he holds communication with the unseen world—the soul, which is the seat of all his impulses and affections, the centre of his personality—the body, which links him to the material world and is the instrument of all his outward deeds—these all the Apostle would have presented perfect and intact in the day of the Lord’s coming.”

In the O. T. man is regularly divided into an inner (spirit or soul) and an outer (body) part,—a view which prevails in the simple psychology of late Judaism (Bousset, Relig2 459) and in the N. T. Concurrent with this view is another (to Charles the more primitive), namely, that ruach is the breath of life which quickens man, body and soul, and returns at death to God (Charles, Eschat 44),—a view which occasionally appears in apocalyptic literature (ibid. 194-232). Charles (ibid. 409 ff.) understands πνεῦμ in Paul of the higher nature of man which is created anew by God in order to make possible communion with him; it of course survives death; ψυχη is a mere function of the body and perishes with it. Dob. doubts this and refers to 2 Corinthians 1:23, 2 Corinthians 12:15.


Neither Plato nor Aristotle has a trichotomy (Dob. 230 ff.); they divide man into σῶμ and ψυχη and subdivide ψυχη into three parts or powers. When νοῦ comes alongside of ψυχή it is a function of the latter, “the instrument by which the soul thinks and forms conceptions” and it has “no reality at all prior to the exercise of thought” (Arist. de anima, III, 4 (429), in Hammond, Aristotle’s Psychology, 1902, 113). In Philo, “the πνεῦμ is not a part of human nature but a force that acts upon it and within it. The dichotomy of human nature remains” (Hatch, Essays, 128). In Christianity, trichotomy does not seem certain until the second century; outside of Christianity, it is not clear before the Neoplatonists with their σῶμα, ψυχή, νοῦς (Dob.).—On the question at issue, see Wendt, Die Begriffe Fleisch und Geist, 1879; Dickson, St. Paul’s Use of the Terms Flesh and Spirit, 1883; Hatch, Essays, 94-130 (for psychological terms in Lxx and Philo); Davidson, Old Testament Theology, 1904, 182 ff.; Charles, Eschat; Bousset, Relig2 459 ff.; and Lft., Ell., and Dob. on our passage.

ἀμέμπτω … τηρηθεί. “May your spirit and soul and body as an undivided whole be kept blamelessly (that is, so as to be blameless) at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (3:13). Since�

Grot., Piscator, Lft., Dob., et al. take ἐ as brachyology for εἰ; cf. Bl 41:1 and 1 Corinthians 11:18. τηρεῖ (1 Corinthians 7:37, 2 Corinthians 11:9, Ephesians 4:3) is common in Gk. Bib.; cf. Sap. 10:5 of σοφία: εὗρεν τὸν δίκαιον καὶ ἐτήρησεν αὐτὸν ἄμεμπτον θεῷ


24. πιστὸς ὁ καλῶν κτλ The prayer of v. 23 will certainly be answered, for God is faithful. “This happens not from my prayers, he says, but from the purpose with which he called you” (Chrys.). This faithfulness of God has already been manifested when in keeping with his eternal choice (1:4) he called them (2:12) through the preaching of the gospel (II 2:14). But if the caller is faithful, he may also (και) be relied upon to perform the very thing involved in the call, namely, that for which Paul prayed, τὸ ἁγιάσαι καὶ τὸ τηρηθῆνα

In stating this assurance of faith (cf. 4:9-10) in the fewest words, Paul succeeds in putting in the forefront the main point, the faithfulness of God as caller and doer. It is to be observed that he does not even say that ὁ καλῶν ὐμᾶ (the participle is timeless as in 2:12) is God, though that is self-evident without recourse to v. 23, or to the Pauline turn πιστὸς ὁ θεό (1 Corinthians 1:9, 1 Corinthians 1:10:13, 2 Corinthians 1:18; cf. κύριο 2 Thessalonians 3:3); nor does he say for what (2:12, 4:7) or through what (II 2:14) they are called; nor does he state the precise object of ποιήσε (cf. 2 Corinthians 8:10 f. Psalms 36:5, Psalms 51:11, etc.). It is better, however, to supply the object from v. 23 (Ell., Lft. and most) than to interpret generally: “will perform as surely as he calls, and everything promised or implied in the call” (Lillie, who notes Pelagius quod promisit and Œumenius ἐφʼ ᾦ ἐκάλεσε). Indeed some minuscules actually add from 2 Corinthians 1:7 τὴν ἐλπίδα (ὑμῶν) βεβαία (see Poole ad loc.). On the faithfulness of God, Grot. notes Isaiah 49:17 πιστός ἐστιν ο ἅγιος (τοῦ) Ἰσραήλ, καὶ ἐλεξάμην ς (cf. Deuteronomy 7:9, Deuteronomy 32:4, etc.).


VI. FINAL REQUESTS (5:25-27)

With an affectionate address �

25. προσεύχεσθε καὶ περὶ ἡμῶ When the brethren pray without ceasing (v. 17), they are to bear in mind not only themselves and others but Paul and his fellow-missionaries as well (και),—a human touch showing how heavily Paul leaned upon the sympathy of his converts (cf. II 3:1, Colossians 4:2 f.).

On requests for prayer (but without και), cf. Romans 15:30, Ephesians 6:19, Philippians 1:19 and Hebrews 13:18. For περι (II 3:1, Colossians 4:3; Genesis 20:7, Psalms 71:15, Psalms 71:2 Malachi 1:6), GFP read ὑπέ (Colossians 1:9, Colossians 1:1 Reg. 1:27); on these prepositions, see Moult I, 105. και is read by BD*, a few minuscules, Syr. (hl. pal.), Arm., Gothic, Orig., Chrys., Th. Mops.; but is omitted by א ADcEGFI KLP, Vulg, Pesh, Boh, Eth., Ambst (Souter). Both Zim and Dob. think that the και comes from Colossians 4:3. Assuming και to be original, we must translate not “you also pray for us as we have just prayed for you” but “you pray for us as well as for yourselves and others,” the reference being not to v. 23 but to v. 17 (Weiss, III). Failure to see this reference accounts for the omission of και (B. Weiss, ad loc.). I reads προσεύχεσθα

26.�Romans 16:16, 1 Corinthians 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Peter 5:14) Paul writes τοὺς�Philippians 4:211 Peter 5:14).

On the salutation in epistolary literature, see the references given in the note on 1:1. Greetings �Romans 16:16, 2 Corinthians 13:12,�1 Corinthians 16:20 to οἱ�

φίλημ, apart from the passages noted above, occurs in the Gk. Bib. only Luke 7:45, Luke 7:22:48; Proverbs 27:6, Song of Solomon 1:2 (φιλήματ). “In the ancient world one kissed the hand, breast, knee, or foot of a superior, and the cheek of a friend. Herodotus (I, 134) mentions kissing the lips as a custom of the Persians. Possibly from them it came to the Jews” (Toy, ICC on Proverbs 24:26—the only distinct reference to kissing the lips, since Genesis 41:40 (see Skinner, ICC ad loc.) is doubtful). That the “holy kiss” is kissing the lips, or that the kiss was given promiscuously cannot be inferred from our verse (Cheyne in EB 4254, who notes Neil, Kissing: Its Curious Bible Mentions, 1885, 27 ff., 78 ff.). The Jewish and Christian attitude is probably expressed in that of Bunyan (Grace Abounding, 316): “Some indeed have urged the holy kiss, but then I have asked why they made baulks? Why did they salute the most handsome and let the ill-favoured go? Thus how laudable soever such things have been in the eyes of others, they have been unseemly in my sight.” Cheyne states that Conybeare (Exp 1894, 461) “points out two passages in Philo’s quaestiones in Ex. preserved in Armenian, which seem to imply that the “kiss of peace” or “of concord” was a formal institution of the synagogue,”—an opinion which Schultze (article Friedenskuss in Pro_3 VI, 274 f.) thinks possible.—This kiss is mentioned in Justin (Apol. I, 65),�1 Corinthians 16:20.

27. ἐνορκίζω κτλ Had Paul written ποιήσατε ἵνα ἡ ἐπιστολὴ πᾶσιν τοῖς�Colossians 4:16), it would have been natural to suppose that he intended simply to emphasise the importance of the present letter (τή; Vulg haec; cf. II 3:14, Romans 16:22, Colossians 4:16) not only to the weak who by it might be supported, and to the faint-hearted who by it might be encouraged, but also to the idlers who might by it be induced to heed the admonition (cf. Ephr.). The sudden change, however, from the second to the first person (but without ἐγω; cf. 2:18, 3:5), and the introduction of the solemn adjuration directed to the group as a whole (ὑμᾶ) suggest the existence of a serious situation, namely, either that the leaders had intimated to Paul that they would not read his reply to all the brethren (cf. Th. Mops., Calv., B., Weiss) or, and more probably in the light of II 3:14, that they had informed Paul that the more recalcitrant of the idlers had asserted that they would pay no heed to the epistolary injunctions of Paul. Hence the solemn adjuration by the Lord Jesus that the brethren as a group see to it (cf. v. 15) that all the brethren, including the idlers, hear this letter read.

On the theory of Harnack, shared also by Lake (The Earlier Epistles of St. Paul, 1911, 89) that πᾶσι here, like πάντα in v. 26, implies the existence of a Jewish Christian church in Thessalonica between which and the Gentile Christian church addressed in I there was a line of cleavage, v. supra, p. 53 f. From this verse, called forth by a particular need, it can neither be affirmed nor denied that Paul had written letters to communities visited (cf. Galatians 1:21) or that the reading of his letters, if written, in the church had become a fixed custom.—Though�2 Corinthians 1:13, 2 Corinthians 1:3:2, 2 Corinthians 1:15, Colossians 4:16, Ephesians 3:4; cf. 1 Mac. 14:19 ἐνώπιον ἐκκλησία). Whether all the artisans in Thess. could read, we do not know. The aor. infin.�Nehemiah 13:25 (A); the simple ὁρκίζ (Nehemiah 13:25 (B) Mark 5:7, Acts 19:13) is read by אGFP, et al. (cf. ὁρκό 4 Reg. 11:4; also ἐξορκίζ Matthew 26:63, Genesis 24:3, Judges 17:2 (A) 3 Reg. 22:16). These verbs are construed either with two accus. as here (Mark 5:7, Acts 19:13, Genesis 24:3) or with accus. and κατα with gen. (Matthew 26:63, 2 Chronicles 36:13; Hermas Sim. IX, 10:5; see Deiss. BS 28 ff.). On the infin. instead of ἵν (Genesis 24:3, Matthew 26:63 and the Hermas passage), cf. Joseph. Ant. VIII, 104: λέγειναὐτῷτʼ�Romans 16:15, 2 Corinthians 1:1, 2 Corinthians 13:12, etc.), but οἱ ἅγιοι�


VII. BENEDICTION (5:28)

28. ἡ χάρις κτλ “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be (sc. ἔστ or εἴ; see 1:1) with you.” The place of the epistolary “farewell” (ἔρρωσο; ἔρρωσθ; cf. Acts 15:29) is in Paul’s letters taken by the invocation of “grace” (Colossians 4:18) or “the grace of (our) Lord Jesus (Christ).”

ἡ χάρις μεθʼ ὑμῶ (Colossians 4:18) is the shortest concluding benediction in Paul; with our verse cf. II 3:18 which inserts πάντω and Romans 16:20. The�


296 ff.









Lxx The Old Testament in Greek (ed. H. B. Swete, 1887-94).

Volz, Paul Volz, Jüdische Eschatologie von Daniel bis Akiba (1903).

Ell Ellicott.

אԠא (e a p r). Cod. Sinaiticus, saec. iv, now at St. Petersburg. Edited by Tischendorf, its discoverer, in 1862. Photographic reproduction by H. and K. Lake, Oxford, 1911. Contains I and II complete.

Th. Theodore of Mopsuestia, in epistolas Pauli commentarii (ed. H. B. Swete, 1880-82).

Chrys Chrysostom.

HDB Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible (1898-1904).

BMT E. D. Burton, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses in N. T. Greek (18983).

Lün Lünemann.

Ephr Ephraem Syrus.

Bl F. Blass, Grammatik des neutestamentlichen Griechisch (1896, 19022).

Grot Hugo de Groot (Grotius).

A A (e a p r). Cod. Alexandrinus, saec. v, now in the British Museum. Edited by Woide in 1786. Facsimile by E. M. Thompson, 1879. Contains I and II complete.

G G (p). Cod. Boernerianus, saec. ix, now in the Royal Library at Dresden. “It is closely related to F, according to some the archetype of F” (Souter). Edited by Matthaei, 1791. Im Lichtdruck nachgebildet, Leipzig (Hiersemann), 1909. Contains I and II complete.

F F (p). Cod. Augiensis, saec. ix, Graeco-Latin, now in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. An exact transcript by Scrivener, 1859. Contains I and II complete.

B B (e a p r). Cod. Vaticanus, saec. iv, now in the Vatican Library. Photographic reproduction by Cozza-Luzi, Rome, 1889, and by the Milan firm of Hoepli, 1904. Contains I and II complete.

D D (p). Cod. Claromontanus, saec. vi, Graeco-Latin, now in the National library at Paris. Edited by Tischendorf in 1852. Contains I and II complete.

K K (a p). Cod. Mosquensis, saec. ix, now at Moscow. Collated by Matthaei, 1782. Contains I and II complete.

L L (a p). Cod. Angelicus, saec. ix, now in the Angelican Library at Rome. Collated among others by Tischendorf (1843) and Tregelles (1845). Contains I and II complete.

P P (a p r). Cod. Porphyrianus, saec. ix, now at St. Petersburg. Edited by Tischendorf (1865). Contains I and II except I 3:5 μηκετι—ημεις οι 4:17.

Vulg Vulgate.

Kennedy, H. A. A. Kennedy, St. Paul’s Conceptions of the Last Things (1904).

WH The New Testament in the Original Greek (1881; I, Text, II, Introduction and Appendix).

E E Cod. Sangermanensis, saec. ix, now at St. Petersburg. A copy of D.

Bousset, W. Bousset, Die Religion des Judentums im neutestamentlichen Zeitalter (19062).

Lft Lightfoot.

Moff James Moffatt.

Boh Coptic version in the Bohairic dialect.

De W De Wette.

Weiss B. Weiss in TU. XIV, 3 (1896).

Zim F. Zimmer, Der Text der Thessalonicherbriefe (1893).

Mill George Milligan.

Deiss. A. Deissmann, Bibelstudien (1895).

Dob Ernst von Dobschütz,

Find G. G. Findlay.

Moult James Hope Moulton, A Grammar of N. T. Greek, I (1906).

EB The Encyclopædia Biblica (London, 1899-1903; ed. J. S. Black and T. K. Cheyne).

Lillie John Lillie, Epistles of Paul to the Thessalonians, Translated from the Greek, with Notes (1856).

Soph. E. A. Sophocles, Greek Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine Periods (revised by J. H. Thayer, 1887, 1900).

Deiss. A. Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East (1910) = Licht vom Osten (19093).

Witk St. Witkowski, Epistulæ Privatæ Græcæ (1906).

Wohl Wohlenberg.

Ambst Ambrosiaster.

Born Bornemann.

AJT The American Journal of Theology (Chicago).

JBL The Journal of Biblical Literature (New York).

Meyer Kritisch-exegetischer Komm. über das N. T.

ICC International Critical Commentary.

SBBA Sitzungsberichte der königlich. Preuss. Akad. der Wissenschaften zu Berlin.

Vincent M. R. Vincent, Word Studies in the N. T., vol. IV, 1900.

Calv Calvin.

SK Studien und Kritiken.

Charles, R. H. Charles, Eschatology, Hebrew, Jewish, and Christian (1899).

Hatch, E. Hatch, Essays in Biblical Greek (1889).

I I (p). Cod. Saec. v. Ms. 4 in the Freer Collection at Detroit, Michigan. This manuscript is a “badly decayed fragment, now containing many short portions of the epistles of Paul. It is written on parchment in small uncials and probably belongs to the fifth century. … Originally contained Acts and practically all of the epistles but not Revelation. … While no continuous portion of the text remains, many brief passages from Eph. Phil. Col. Thess. and Heb. can be recovered” (H. A. Sanders, Biblical World, vol. XXI, 1908, 142; cf. also Gregory, Das Freer-Logion, 1908, 24). The fragments of Thess., a collation of which Prof. Sanders kindly sent me, contain I 1:1-2, 9-10 2:7-8, 14-16 3:2-4, 11-13 4:8-9, 16-18 5:9-11, 23-26 II 1:1-3, 10-11 2:5-8, 15-17 3:8-10.

Pesh Syriac Vulgate.

Exp The Expositor (London; ed. W. R. Nicoll).

PRE Real-Encyclopädie für protest. Theologie u. Kirche (3d ed. Hauck, 1896-1909).

Sod Hermann Freiherr von Soden.



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Bibliographical Information
Driver, S.A., Plummer, A.A., Briggs, C.A. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5". International Critical Commentary NT. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/icc/1-thessalonians-5.html. 1896-1924.