TheBook of is a compilation of a report Paulreceived from Timothy concerning a church he had established in themodern day Saloniki. Thessalonica was a major city located in themodern Macedonia along the Roman Highway. The city had a largepopulation of Jews, so Paul established a church in the location ashe was coming from Philippi. However, Jewish oppositionists forcedhim to leave the city soon after the completion of the churchconstruction (Beale 17). However, Paul was curious to know how thechurch was operating. He decided to send Timothy to investigate howthe church was fairing. The book of Thessalonians is based onTimothy’s findings regarding the church of Thessalonica. “Nowwhen they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came toThessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: / And Paul, as hismanner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned withthem out of the scriptures, / Opening and alleging, that Christ mustneeds have suffered, and risen again from the dead and that thisJesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ(Acts Chapter 17: Verse 1-3).”
Soonafter the church was complete, Paul and his colleagues had to fleeThessalonica to avoid persecution, which was rampant back then. Hefled too soon even before the churchhad an established congregation.When in exile in another city, he was worried about the welfare ofthe young Christians he left in the establishing church (Bock 4).Since he could not go the city in person, because oppositionist Jewscould have killed him, he decided to send Timotythy to investigatethe condition of the believers. “Whereforewhen we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left atAthens alone /And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God,and our fellow labourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you,and to comfort you concerning your faith: /That no man should bemoved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointedthereunto (1Thessalonians: Chapter 3 Verse 1-3).”
Theoverall tone in this letter is happy since Paul discovered that theyoung Christians he left in the newly established church were stillgrowing stronger. In addition, he is happy that his friends inThessalonica were still growing strong in faith despite that factthat the Jewish oppositionists had established a harsh environmentfor development of religious faith. One of the main themes in theletter includes the conduct of the ministry, and the significance ofPaul’s departure from the city. However, the major theme focuses onthe second coming of Jesus (Beale 22). Paul provides answersregarding the fate of the persons who will die prior to the secondcoming of Jesus. Besides, he encourages Christians to live a holylife until Christ comes back. Paul also emphasizes on the theme ofthanksgiving (Beale 24). He compliments the Thessalonians formaintaining strong faith and sharing experiences that was helpingthem to fortify each other’s faith. Lastly, the book also focuseson the theme concerning Jesus’ return. Paul asserts that Jesus willreturn like a thief hence, Christians should be prepared all thetime to receive him (Beale 35).
Themost impressive aspect of the letter was the emphasis of living aholy life. Paul claims that Christians should learn to live a purelife all the time because Jesus will return unannounced (Bock 7). Paul emphasizes that Christians should embrace living holyirrespective of the challenges they might experience such aspersecution due to their beliefs.
TheOfficial King James Bible Version Online. Viewed fromhttp://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/
Beale,G K. 1-2Thessalonians.Downers Grove, Ill: Inter-Varsity, 2003. Print.
Bock,Emil. SaintPaul: Life, Epistles, and Teaching.Edinburgh: Floris Books, 1993. Print.