Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion Class New Testament: 1 & 2 Thessalonians Week 20, Page 3
i) Reading solely from the KJV, does anyone had
idea what Paul is talking abouthere?ii) The KJV adheres closely to the original Greek syntax,
but this makes Paul nearly impossible for the modern reader to understand. His idea here is complicated, but amodern translation makes it much easier to grasp.iii)
My personal recommendation for a companion study Bible would be theNew Revised Standard Version (NRSV), which is similar to the KJV in its phrasing.
(1) The New International Version (NIV) is the most popular English translation,and some of you have been using it in this class. I would only warn you here thatthe NIV has a tendency to render passages in a manner that is acceptable tomodern Evangelical Christians; this sometimes means that Paul’s message is notconveyed accurately. For this reason I would not recommend the NIV over theNRSV .
Introduction to 1 and 2 Thessalonians.a)
Background on Thessalonica.i) Thessalonica was the Roman capital of the province of Macedonia. It was founded in316
. and was a prominent center of land and sea trade routes.b)
Paul’s missionary work in Thessalonica.i) Thessalonica was the second European city visited by Paul, along with hiscompanions Silas and Timothy (Acts 17:1–9; 1 Thessalonians 2:2).
ii) They first preached in a Jewish synagogue, gaining converts mostly from the God-fearing Gentiles
and prominent women of the city.iii) They were forced to leave when Jews incited a riot and abused Jason, their host.c) Occasion for these letters.i) After leaving Thessalonica, Paul went to Athens. He wrote that he wanted to return,“but Satan hindered us,” so he sent Timothy back to Thessalonica while he went onto Corinth (1 Thessalonians 2:17–3:5; Acts 17:14–15; 18:1). Timothy eventually joinedPaul in Corinth, bringing good news of the faith and love of the Thessalonian saints(1 Thessalonians 3:6; Acts 18:5).
Paul then wrote his first epistle to theThessalonians from Corinth in
Literally translated, this passage would read, “For thanks are we able God to repay for you for all the joy in which werejoice because of sake before God of us” (
). As with all translations from a foreignlanguage, it requires some interpretation and reordering of words to make it intelligible in English; unfortunately the KJV doesnot do a good enough job at this for the modern reader to follow Paul’s train of thought.
There are two popular NRSV study Bibles I recommend:
The New Oxford Annotated Bible
(ISBN 0195289617) and the
HarperCollins Study Bible
(ISBN 9780060786847). You can search for either of these by ISBN number at Amazon.com.
N. T. Wright, an Anglican bishop and one of the foremost New Testament scholars in the world, has recently written: “…I must register one strong protest against one particular translation. When the New International Version was published in1980, I was one of those who hailed it with delight. I believed its own claim about itself, that it was determined to translateexactly what was there, and inject no extra paraphrasing or interpretative glosses…. Disillusionment set in over the next twoyears, as I lectured verse by verse through several of Paul’s letters, not least Galatians and Romans. Again and again, with theGreek text in front of me and the NIV beside it, I discovered that the translators had had another principle, considerably higherthan the stated one: to make sure that Paul should say what the broadly Protestant and evangelical tradition said he said. …[I]f a church only, or mainly, relies on the NIV it will, quite simply, never understand what Paul was talking about. * * * Yes, theNRSV [New Revised Standard Version] sometimes lets you down, too, but nowhere near as frequently or as badly as the NIV.”N. T. Wright,
Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision
(Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 2009), 51–52.
The first was Philippi (Acts 16:19–40), to whom Paul wrote his
Epistle to the Philippians
were Gentiles who worshipped the God of Israel and in many cases kept the Law of Moses, but did nottake the final step of circumcision necessary to become
© 2011, Mike Parker http://bit.ly/ldsarc For personal use only. Not a Church publication.