|2 THESSALONIANS |
by Paul, the apostle
More on Thessalonica, the city
1 & 2 Thessalonians [EBD]|
Thessaloniíca, the city [SBD]
The original name of this city was Therma; and that part of the Macedonian shore on which it was situated retained through the Roman period the designation of the Thermaic Gulf. Cassander the son of Antipater rebuilt and enlarged Therma, and named it after his wife Thessalonica, the sister of Alexander the Great. The name ever since, under various slight modifications, has been continuous, and the city itself has never ceased to be eminent. Saloniki is still the most important town of European Turkey, next after Constantinople. Strabo in the first century speaks of Thessalonica as the most populous city in Macedonia.
Visit of Paul . --
St. Paul visited Thessalonica (with Silas and Timothy) during his second missionary journey, and introduced Christianity there. The first scene of the apostleís work at Thessalonica was the synagogue. (Acts 17:2,3) It is stated that the ministrations among the Jews continued for three weeks. ver. 2. Not that we are obliged to limit to this time the whole stay of the apostle at Thessalonica. A flourishing church was certainly formed there; and the epistles show that its elements were more Gentile than Jewish. [For persecution and further history see PAUL]
Circumstances which led Paul to Thessalonica . --
Three circumstances must here be mentioned which illustrate in an important manner this visit and this journey as well as the two Epistles to the Thessalonians.
Later ecclesiastical history . --
During several centuries this city was the bulwark not simply of the later Greek empire, but of Oriental Christendom, and was largely instrumental in the conversion of the Slavonians and Bulgarians. Thus it received the designation of "the orthodox city;" and its struggles are very prominent in the writings of the Byzantine historians.
2 Thessalonians [SBD]
appears to have been written from Corinth not very long after the first, for Silvanus and Timotheus were still with St. Paul. (2 Thessalonians 1:1) In the former letter we saw chiefly the outpouring of strong personal affection, occasioned by the renewal of the apostleís intercourse with the Thessalonians, and the doctrinal and hortatory portions are there subordinate.
In the Second Epistle, on the other hand, his leading motive seems to have been the desire of correcting errors in the church of Thessalonica. We notice two points especially which call for his rebuke:--
It will be seen that the teaching of the Second Epistle is corrective of or rather supplemental to that of the first, and therefore presupposes it. This epistle, in the range of subject as well as in style and general character closely resembles the first; and the remarks made on that epistle apply for the most part equally well to this. The structure is somewhat similar the main body of the epistle being divided into two parts in the same way, and each part closing with a prayer. ch. (2 Corinthians 2:16,17; 3:16) The epistle ends with a special direction and benediction. ch. (2 Corinthians 3:17,18)
The external evidence in favor of the Second Epistle is somewhat more definite than that which can be brought in favor of the first. The internal character of the epistle too, as in the former case, bears the strongest testimony to its Pauline origin. Its genuineness, in fact, was never questioned until the beginning of the present century.
2 Thessalonians [ISBE]
< 1 Thessalonians | 2 Thessalonians | 1 Timothy >