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60 2 Thessalonians

60 2 Thessalonians

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Never try to suppress the Spirit » or trea t the gift of prophecy with conternpt ;

Jb 1:1.8 : 2:3 think before you do anything-hold on to wha t is good -and avoid every form of H
evil.
Closing prayer and farewell
May the God of peace make you per fect and holy; and may you all be kept 23
safe and blameless, spirit, soul and body ,e for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God has called you and he will not fail you. 24
Pray for us, my brothers. 25
Greet all the brothers with the holy kiss. • My orders, in the Lord' s name,
are that thi s lett er is to be read to all the! brothers.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.v 28
Is 11:6 +
2 Th 3: 16
3: 131-
I Co 1:9 1-
2 Th 3:3
2 Th 3:1
Rm 15:30 1-
2 Co 13:121-
('014: 16
5:19 1 THESSALONIANS
354
2 THESSALONIANS
THE SECOND LETTER OF PAUL
TO THE CHURCH I N THESSALONIKA
Address
1
From Paul, Silvanus and Timothy, to the Ch urch in Thessalonika which is in
God our Father and the Lor d Jesus Christ ; -wis hing you grace and peace
from God the Father and the Lor d Jesus Christ.
1 Th 1:1
Ac 15:22 +:
16:1 1-
The eoming of the Lord and the prelude to it "
2
To turn now, brothers, to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we
sha ll all be gathered round him: ' please do not get excited too soon or
alarmed by any prediction or rumour or any letter claiming to come from us,
Thanksgiving and encouragement. The Last J udgement
We feel we must be continually thanking God for you, bro thers; quite rightly,
because your faith is growi ng so wonder fully and the love that you have for one
4 another never stops increasing; -a nd among t he churches of God we can ta ke
special pride in you for your constancy and faith under all the persecut ions and
troubles you have to bear. - It all shows that God's j udgement is just , and the
purpose of it is that you may be found worthy of t he kingdom of Go d; it is for the
sake of this that you are suffering now.
Go d will very rightly repa y with injur y tho se who are injuring you, -a nd reward
you , who are suffer ing now, with the same peace as he will give US," when the Lord
Jes us appear s from heaven with the angels of his power. • He will come in flaming
fir e" to impose the penalty on all who do not acknowledge God and refuse to accept
9 the Good News of our Lord Jesus. C - It will be their punishment to be lost eter-
nally, excluded f rom the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his strength
10 on that day when -he comes to be glorified among his saints and seen in his glory
by all who believe in him;" and you are believers, through our witness .'
11 Knowing this, we pray continually that our God will make you wor thy of his
call , and by his power fulfil all your! desires for goodness and complete all that
12 you have been doing through faith ; • because in this way the name of our Lord
Jesus Christ will be glorified in you and you in him, by the grace of our God and the
Lord Jesus Christ.
5 c. Pau l seems to ha..'e developed no coherent system
of ant hr onol ogv : th i s i s the on ly pl ace he ment i ons a
tripartite d ivis io n of body (eL Rm 7:24 -l- ) , so ul
(cr. I Co 15:44 -t- ) and spiri t (whic h ca n be taken in
two ways: as t he divine presence in a hu man being,
giving him ne w life i n union wit h Chr ist. Rm 5:5 +. or
more pr obably as t he in nermost depths of the human
bei ng, ope n a nd a wa ke to the Sp ir it, cf. Rm 1:9 4 ),
f . v ure. insert s 'hol y' .
2. Add. (Yul a.) 'Amen'
1 a. Pa ul oft en comp ares his own situ ation wit h t ha t
of the chu rches he is writi ng to. cr. 1 Th 2:3: I Co 4:8 :
Ph 1:30. etc .
b. Heaven. cf'. 1 Th 4: 16. the angels. cf. Mt 13:39.
41,49 : 16:27p: 24:31: 25:31: Lk 12:8f (and probably
th e 'saints ' of 1 Th 3:13) . the ' f ire' of various
t heop hanie s, cr. Ex 13:22 + ; 19:16 + . are all conven-
ti ona l e lements of a pocalyptic liter ature. cf. I Th 4:16 + .
c. l.e . both pagans, 1 Th 4:5. a nd Jews. Rm 10: 16.
d. Pa ul here seems 10 be thinkin g of an gels (t he
's aints ' , cr. Ac9:13 +> and Chr istians (' those who
believe').
e . Vv.6-1O form a parent hesis, v.t t follows on
from v.s .
f . Or ' hi s'
2 a. In 1 Th 4:13-5:11 Pa ul a voided suggesting
any thlna th at wo uld i ndic a te whe n the trarousia wou ld
ta ke place . cr. 1 Th 5: 1+ . Obv ious ly replyi ng to further
questions, Paul does not now rep eat all he sai d. ab ou t
wha t would happen to the li ving and the de ad : all he is
co nce rned with is to emphasi se t hat the coming is no t
imminent . a nd tha t it ca nnot take pl ace t ill certain
spec ific signs ha ve preceded it .
I Th 1:2
1 Th 3:6-12
1 Til 3:12:
4:9-10

Ac 14:22 - l-
I Co 1:2 +-
I Th 1:7-8 :
2:19·2 0
Mt 4:17 +
1 Th 2: 14;
I-
3:4 +
1=
Ph 1:28
R l' 14:JJ
I Co 1:7 +
:l1
Ex 3: 2
:r:
Is 66:1 5
Q.
Jr 10:25
Is 66:4
Rm 1:51-
Is 2: 10
Is 2:11- 17; CD
49:3: 66:5
W
Ps (LXX) 68:
J:
34: 89:7
Ph 2: 13
Is 66:5:
24:15
In 17:lO,U

Q.

Mt24:31 +
I Co 15:23
I Th4:1 5-17
3:17
"':'z


,
Encouragement to persevere}
But we feel that we must be continually thanking God for you, brot hers whom 13
the Lord loves, because God chose you from the beginning> to be saved by the
sanctifying Spirit and by faith in the truth. 0 Through the Good News that we 14
brough t he called you to this so that you should share the glory of our Lord Jesus
Chr ist. -Stand firm, then, brothers, and keep the trad itioos that we taught you, 15
whether by word of mouth or by letter.' 0 May our Lord J esus Christ himself, and 16
God our Father who has given us his love and, through his grace, such inexhaust-
ible comfort and such sure hope, -comfor t you and strengthen you in everything 17
good that you do or say.
3
Finally, brothers, pray for us ; pray that the Lor d's message may spread I
quickly, and be received with honour as it was among you ; -and pray that we
may be preser ved from the interference of bigoted and evil people, for fait h is not
given to everyone. -But the Lord is faithful, and he will give you strength and
guard you from the evil one, > -and we, in the Lord, have every confidence that 4
you ar e doing and will go on doing all that we tell you. 0 May the Lord turn your
hearts towar ds the love of God and the fortitude of Chri st.
Against idleness and disunity
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we urge you, brothers, to keep away from
any of the brothers who refuses to work or to live according to the tradition we
passed 0 11 to you.
You know how you are supposed to imitat e us:" now we were not idle when
we were with you, - nor did we ever have our meals at anyone's ta ble without
paying for them; no, we wor ked night and day, slaving and strai ning, so as not to
be a burden on any of you. 0 Thi s was not because we had no right to be, but in
order to make ourselves an example for you to follow.
We gave you a rule when we were with you: not to let anyone have any food if 10
hc refused to do any wor k.s -Now we hear that there are some 01 you who are 11
living in idleness, doing no wor k themselves but interfering with everyone else's.
In the Lord Jesus Christ, we order and call on people of this kind to go on quietly 12
working and earning the food that they eat.
My brothers, never grow tired of doing what is right. 0 If anyone refuses to obey a
what I have written in t his letter, take not e of him and have nothing to do with
him, so that he will feel that he is in the wrong; - though you are not to regar d him t5
as an enemy but as a brother in need of correction.
implying that the Day of the Lord has already arrived. 0 Never let anyone
deceive you in this way.
It cannot happen until the Great Revolt" has taken place and the Rebel, the
Lost One, has appeared. -This is the Enemy,« the one who claims to be so much 4
greater than all that men call 'god', so much greate r than anything that is worship-
ped, that he enthrones himself in God's sanctuary and claims that he is God.
Surely you remember me telling you about this when I was with you? -And you
know, too, what is still holding him back:' from appearing before his appointed
time. -Rebellion is at its work already, but in secret,' and the one who is holdi ng
it back has first to be remo ved -before the Rebel appears openly." The Lord«
will kill him with the breath of his mouth and will annihilate him with his glorious
appearance at his coming.
But when the Rebel comes, Satan will set to wor k:" there will be all kinds of
miracles and a deceptive show of signs and portents, -and everyt hing evil that 10
can deceive those who are bound for destruction because they would not grasp
the love of the tr uth which could have saved them. -The reason why God 11
is sending a power to delude them and make them believe what is untrue -is 12
to condemn all who refused to believe in the trut h and chose wickedness
instead.'
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III
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I-
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Ga6:11 +
Co14:18
In 14:27
1 Th 5:23
3:18
d. Var. (vula.j ' ever ywhe re",
e. Add. ' Amen' . cf. 1 Th 3:13; 5:28.
h. The Rebel is the instr ument th rough whi ch Satan
works , cf. I Th 2: 18, and who m he endows with super -
huma n power rather as Chris t endows his followers
wit h his own Spirit. Cf. t he Dragon and the Beast,
Rv 13:2.4.
I. Tr uth and unt ruth here have a religious as well as
an intellectual refere nce because they involve the whole
of human li fe and activit y, cr. I In 3:19.
J. This pas sage. 2:13-3:5, is very closely linked to
the description of the paronsia. Having corrected the
false ideas of the Thessalonians . Paul goes on to describe
the positive con sequences of his conception.
k . Var. 'as ftrst-Irui ts".
I . What Pau l t aught them when he was in Thessa -
lonika and what he had written to them sinc e he
returned from ther e. 2:2.5 : 1Th 3:4: 4:2.6: 5:27, include.
In t he message 0:' the Good News , cr, I Th 2:13 + . the
principles on which a Ch ristian should lead his life,
cf, 1 Th 4:1 ; 1 Co 11:2.23- 25.
3 a. Or perhaps ' from evil'. Chri stians will be tempted
but no t beyond their powers of resistance. 1 Co 10:13.
b. By Imita ti ng Pa ul, 1 Co 4:16 : Ga 4:12 : Ph 3:17,
Christian s wil l be imi tat ing Christ, I Th 1:6; Ph 2:5 :
cr. Mt 16:24 : I P 2:21: I I n 2:6. who Is hlmile lf the one
th at Paul Is imitating, t Co 11:1. ChristJans must al so
imitate God, Ep 5:1 (cf. Mt 5:48), and they must imitate
each ot her , I Th 1:7: 2: 14 : Heb 6: 12. Behind this com-
munity of life is t he idea of a model of doctrine,
Rm 6:17, that has been received by tradition. v.s: 1
Co 11:2+ : 1 Th 2: 13+ . The leaders who transmi t
th e doctrine must themselves be ' models' v.s:
Ph 3: 17: I Tm 1:16 : 4:12; Tl2:7 : 1 P 5:3. whose faith
and life are to be Imitated. Heb 13:7.
c. This may have been laid down by Jesus. bu t it
may have been a pro verb: It has been ca lled t he soiden
r ule for Chri st ian work .
2 T H E S S A L O N I A N S
357
b. The way thi s Revolt tatostasta} is mentio ned
he re s hows t ha t the Thessalonian s had already bee n
to ld somethi ng abo ut i t. Th e word is used he re in it s
usual sense of tsecesslon' or 'd efection' but with a sped-
ftcallv religious reference. Ac 5:37; 21:21 : Heb 3: 12.
l t seems t ha t the rebels arc not o nly th ose who have
never bel on ged to Chri s t but a lso those who ha ve given
up the faith. cf. I Tm 4:1 : 2 Tm 3: I: 4:3[; etc .
c. The apostasy will be due t o a being who is given
three names. He is the ' Rebel' (li t. 'man of lawlessness'
or ' man of si n' ). He is a being des ti ne d (0 be 1051 (lit .
' son of Perdition') v.lO; I n 17: 12 : cf. 1 Th 5:5. He is
t he enemy of God and is described here in te rms remin-
iscent of the descrtmton of Ant iochus Eniphanes in
On I I :36. La ter on in Christ ia n t rad ition , base d on
On, he is called the Antichris t, cf . I Jn 2: 18: 4:3: 2 In 7.
Unlike Satan, whose tool he is, and who is already at
work in ' secret ' (li t , ' the mys tery ') v.7, the lawle ss one
is represented as a perso n who will be revealed a t t he
'end of time ' , and whose power will persecute and
seduce Chris tians. On the final 'test' . that will only come
to an end with the parousta of Christ, cr. Mt 24:24 ;
Rv 13:1-8.
d. We do not know what Paul refer s to when he
talks about a caus e that delays the parousta of Ch rfst.
All he says is tha t it is something, v.e. or so meone,
v.7, that can 'del ay' it. Thi s person or power blocks the
comins of Chris t by pr event ing th e man ifest at ion of
the Messiah's enemy who must precede the com ing of
the Messiah hi mse lf.
e. Rebellion (Hr. ' lawlessness ') is goin g on. but it is
underground, secretly preparing for the great revolt ,
When the ob stacle, wha tever it is , is removed, lawless-
ness (or the lawless one) will wor k unmasked.
I, Th e revealing of the Rebel, vv. 6-8, is the cou nt -
erpar t of t he reveali ng of Christ, 1:7; I Co 1:7, in the
same way as his parousta is the counterpa rt of Christ's
parousta, v.g. The enemy of God becomes t he enemy
of Christ, but Chri st will conquer his enemy.
a, Add. 'Jcsus' .
16
Prayer and farewell wishes
May the Lord of peace himself give you peace all the time and in every way."
The Lord be with you all.
17 From me, PAUL, these greetings in my own handwriting, which is the mark
18 of genuineness in every letter ; this is my own writing. 0 May the grace of our Lord 2:2
Jesus Christ be with you all. e
35
6 2 THESSALONI AN S 2:3
Rv 20:3
Rv 17:5
Dn 1l:3 6
Is 14:13
Elk 28:2
In 3:19:
9:39
Rv 13:1-8
Is 11:4
Ps 33:6
Rv 19:11-21
Eo 2:2
Rv 13:13-17
Mt24:12
In 8:44
Heb 3:13
1 K 12:12
Is 6: 10
1 Th4:1.11-
12: 5:14
2: 15+ : 3: 14
1 Co 1:8+
Ga 1:6
Ps 147: 15
Eo6: 19f
Co l 4:3
1 Th 5:25
Heb 13:18
Rm 10:16
M/6:/J
1 Th 5:24
1 I n 2:14 +
2 Co 7:16
Ac 18:3+
I Co l l : 1
Ga 4: 12
1 Th 2:9 +
M/ 6:11
Mt 10: 10
Gn 3: 19
1 Th 1:4-5
1 Th 4:3 +.8
I P 1:2
1 Th 3:6.8
1 Co 1l:2 +
1 Th 3:11-13
1 Co 13:13+
Ga6:9
3:6
1 Co 5:5.9-11
2 Co 2:7
Ga6: 1
1 Th 5:14
M / 18;15-18
I
II

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