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Bible Commentaries

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

1 Thessalonians 1

Verse 1

1Th 1:1. The planting of the church in Thessalonica is recorded in Acts 17 th chapter, and soon afterward Paul wrote this epistle to it. According to Thayer, Silvanus is another form of the name for Silas, who was chosen to travel with Paul in his second journey (Act 15:40). When they reached Lystra they met a disciple by the name of Timotheus (same as Timothy), and Paul took him along on this journey. These brethren were with Paul and joined their salutations to his as he composed this epistle to the church of the Thessalonians. God and Christ are not the same person, but they are one in spirit and purpose, and no relation can be had with either that ignores the other; hence the church is said to be in them both. In their specific relations to the church, God is the Father and Christ is the ruler, that being the meaning of Lord; this is in agreement with Mat 28:18 and 1Co 15:24-25. 1Th 1:1 παυλοςG3972 PAUL καιG2532 AND σιλουανοςG4610 SILVANUS καιG2532 AND τιμοθεοςG5095 TIMOTHY, τηG3588 TO THE εκκλησιαG1577 ASSEMBLY θεσσαλονικεωνG2331 OF THESSALONIANS ενG1722 IN θεωG2316 GOD "THE" πατριG3962 FATHER καιG2532 AND "THE" κυριωG2962 LORD ιησουG2424 JESUS χριστωG5547 CHRIST. χαριςG5485 GRACE υμινG5213 TO YOU καιG2532 AND ειρηνηG1515 PEACE αποG575 FROM θεουG2316 GOD πατροςG3962 ημωνG2257 OUR FATHER καιG2532 AND "THE" κυριουG2962 LORD ιησουG2424 JESUS χριστουG5547 CHRIST.

Verse 2

1Th 1:2. Making mention of you in our prayers. Here is a specific example of direct or personal mention of those for whom we wish to pray to God, and not the unnecessary and indefinite request for Him to "bless all for whom we should pray." 1Th 1:2 ευχαριστουμενG2168 [G5719] τωG3588 WE GIVE THANKS θεωG2316 TO GOD παντοτεG3842 ALWAYS περιG4012 CONCERNING παντωνG3956 ALL υμωνG5216 YOU, μνειανG3417 MENTION υμωνG5216 OF YOU ποιουμενοιG4160 [G5734] MAKING επιG1909 AT τωνG3588 προσευχωνG4335 ημωνG2257 OUR PRAYERS,

Verse 3

1Th 1:3. This verse states the reason for thanksgiving as mentioned in the preceding verse. It contains three distinct items in the conduct of the Thessalonians which Paul remembered with thanksgiving. Work of faith. Rom 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing the work of God. Hence no work can be done by faith unless the word of God authorizes it. But there is another item in this phrase that is often overlooked, namely, it must not only be according to the word of God, but it must be put to work in order to please the Lord. Labor of love. Christians should not only do those things that are authorized by the word of God, but they must love to do them, else their labor will not be acceptable. (See Gal 5:6.) Patience of hope. The two parts of this phrase cannot exist separately in the life of a Christian. If he does not have any hope for the reward, he will not have the patience to labor for it (Rom 8:24-25). Likewise, if a man does not have the patience to continue in a faithful life, he will not have a right to hope for the reward promised to the faithful. 1Th 1:3 αδιαλειπτωςG89 UNCEASINGLY μνημονευοντεςG3421 [G5723] REMEMBERING υμωνG5216 τουG3588 YOUR εργουG2041 τηςG3588 WORK πιστεωςG4102 OF FAITH καιG2532 τουG3588 AND κοπουG2873 τηςG3588 LABOUR αγαπηςG26 OF LOVE καιG2532 τηςG3588 AND υπομονηςG5281 τηςG3588 ENDURANCE ελπιδοςG1680 τουG3588 OF HOPE κυριουG2962 OF LORD ημωνG2257 OUR ιησουG2424 JESUS χριστουG5547 CHRIST, εμπροσθενG1715 τουG3588 BEFORE θεουG2316 GOD καιG2532 AND πατροςG3962 FATHER ημωνG2257 OUR;

Verse 4

1Th 1:4. Election is from EKLOGE, and Robinson defines it with the words, "choice, election, selection." The term refers to those who are selected by the Lord to be the ones upon whom He will bestow the divine blessings. The selection, however, is not made independent of the conduct of man. It is from the same word used in 2Pe 1:10 where the apostle exhorts the disciples to "make their calling and election sure," which shows that the selection is determined by their conduct. 1Th 1:4 ειδοτεςG1492 [G5761] KNOWING, αδελφοιG80 BRETHREN ηγαπημενοιG25 [G5772] BELOVED υποG5259 BY θεουG2316 GOD, τηνG3588 εκλογηνG1589 υμωνG5216 YOUR ELECTION.

Verse 5

1Th 1:5.:Not in word only denotes that it was not the word of Paul as a man only. It was in power (Greek DUNAMIS) because the source was the Holy Ghost (or Spirit). With such a foundation for his teaching, Paul could come to the Thessalonians in much assurance. The manner of men refers to the teaching and conduct that was manifested among them by Paul and his companions. One motive they had for such conduct is revealed by the words for your sake, and it had the desired effect as the next verse shows. 1Th 1:5 οτιG3754 BECAUSE τοG3588 ευαγγελιονG2098 ημωνG2257 OUR GLAD TIDINGS ουκG3756 εγενηθηG1096 [G5675] CAME NOT ειςG1519 TO υμαςG5209 YOU ενG1722 IN λογωG3056 WORD μονονG3440 ONLY, αλλαG235 BUT καιG2532 ALSO ενG1722 IN δυναμειG1411 POWER καιG2532 AND ενG1722 IN "THE" πνευματιG4151 SPIRIT αγιωG40 HOLY, καιG2532 AND ενG1722 IN πληροφοριαG4136 FULL ASSURANCE πολληG4183 MUCH, καθωςG2531 EVEN AS οιδατεG1492 [G5758] YE KNOW οιοιG3634 WHAT εγενηθημενG1096 [G5675] WE WERE ενG1722 AMONG υμινG5213 YOU διG1223 FOR THE SAKE OF υμαςG5209 YOU :

Verse 6

1Th 1:6. The original Greek for followers is defined "an imitator" by Thayer, and it is connected with the thoughts in the close of the preceding verse, regarding the conduct of Paul and his companions while in Thessalo-nica. It is noteworthy that the apostle says they imitated us and the Lord, which is according to his instruction in 1Co 11:1, to follow him as he followed Christ. Received the word in much affliction; this experience is recorded in Act 17:5-9. With joy of the Holy Ghost. The Gospel which these disciples received was given by inspiration of the Holy Ghost (or Spirit), and the joy was due to their assurance that they were suffering for the sake of the Gospel of Christ. (See Act 5:41.) 1Th 1:6 καιG2532 AND υμειςG5210 YE μιμηταιG3402 IMITATORS ημωνG2257 OF US εγενηθητεG1096 [G5675] BECAME καιG2532 AND τουG3588 OF THE κυριουG2962 LORD, δεξαμενοιG1209 [G5666] HAVING ACCEPTED τονG3588 THE λογονG3056 WORD ενG1722 IN θλιψειG2347 TRIBULATION πολληG4183 MUCH μεταG3326 WITH χαραςG5479 JOY πνευματοςG4151 OF "THE" SPIRIT αγιουG40 HOLY,

Verse 7

1Th 1:7. The example of righteous living set by Paul did not stop with the people in Thessalonica, for it was taken note of by disciples in other places. Macedonia was the province in which Thessalonica was located, and Achaia was a name given to Greece by the Romans after they got possession of the country. 1Th 1:7 ωστεG5620 SO THAT γενεσθαιG1096 [G5635] BECAME υμαςG5209 YE τυπουςG5179 PATTERNS πασινG3956 TO ALL τοιςG3588 THOSE πιστευουσινG4100 [G5723] BELIEVING ενG1722 τηG3588 IN μακεδονιαG3109 MACEDONIA καιG2532 τηG3588 AND αχαιαG882 ACHAIA :

Verse 8

1Th 1:8. From you sounded out the word. The effect of a good example is still the subject uppermost in the mind of the apostle. These brethren did not actually preach the word by mouth in all these areas, but their• good lives spread a report for the good cause. That is why Paul says their faith is spread abroad, to such an extent that he did not feel the need of publishing it in those parts. 1Th 1:8 αφG575 υμωνG5216 γαρG1063 FOR FROM YOU εξηχηταιG1837 [G5769] HAS SOUNDED OUT οG3588 THE λογοςG3056 WORD τουG3588 OF THE κυριουG2962 LORD ουG3756 NOT μονονG3440 ONLY ενG1722 τηG3588 IN μακεδονιαG3109 MACEDONIA καιG2532 AND αχαιαG882 ACHAIA, αλλαG235 BUT καιG2532 ALSO ενG1722 IN παντιG3956 EVERY τοπωG5117 ηG3588 PLACE πιστιςG4102 υμωνG5216 YOUR FAITH ηG3588 WHICH "IS" προςG4314 τονG3588 TOWARDS θεονG2316 GOD εξεληλυθενG1831 [G5758] HAS GONE ABROAD, ωστεG5620 SO AS μηG3361 NO χρειανG5532 NEED ημαςG2248 εχεινG2192 [G5721] FOR US TO HAVE λαλεινG2980 [G5721] TO SAY τιG5100 ANYTHING;

Verse 9

1Th 1:9. Manner of entering in is the same as "manner of men" in verse 5, and the meaning is that the teaching and conduct of Paul's group was reflected by the brethren in different places. This reflection did not consist in indefinite compliments only, but they specified some of the good things that resulted from their example. Among them was their conversion from idolatry (the Macedonians being Gentiles and worshipers of idols) to the worship of the true God. He was living and not made of wood or stone. 1Th 1:9 αυτοιG846 γαρG1063 FOR THEMSELVES περιG4012 CONCERNING ημωνG2257 US απαγγελλουσινG518 [G5719] RELATE οποιανG3697 WHAT εισοδονG1529 ENTRANCE IN εχομενG2192 [G5719] WE HAVE προςG4314 TO υμαςG5209 YOU, καιG2532 AND πωςG4459 HOW επεστρεψατεG1994 [G5656] YE TURNED προςG4314 τονG3588 TO θεονG2316 GOD αποG575 τωνG3588 FROM ειδωλωνG1497 IDOLS, δουλευεινG1398 [G5721] TO SERVE θεωG2316 A GOD ζωντιG2198 [G5723] LIVING καιG2532 AND αληθινωG228 TRUE,

Verse 10

1Th 1:10. Wait for is from ANAMENO which Thayer defines, "to wait for one," then explains it to mean, "to await one whose coming is known or foreseen." It is true that all people must wait for the coming of Christ in the sense that nothing can be done by them to hasten His coming. The idea is that Christians are waiting with confidence that He will come again. The interest in Christ's second coming is in the truth that he overcame death when in this world and thereby provided deliverance from the wrath of God that is to come upon the disobedient. His coming will be the time when those who have accepted this deliverance will be gathered to Him. 1Th 1:10 καιG2532 AND αναμενεινG362 [G5721] τονG3588 TO AWAIT υιονG5207 SON αυτουG846 HIS εκG1537 FROM τωνG3588 THE ουρανωνG3772 HEAVENS, ονG3739 WHOM ηγειρενG1453 [G5656] HE RAISED εκG1537 FROM AMONG "THE" νεκρωνG3498 DEAD ιησουνG2424 JESUS, τονG3588 WHO ρυομενονG4506 [G5740] DELIVERS ημαςG2248 US αποG575 FROM τηςG3588 THE οργηςG3709 τηςG3588 WRATH ερχομενηςG2064 [G5740] COMING.
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Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 1". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/1-thessalonians-1.html. 1952.