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Bible Commentaries

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

1 Thessalonians

- 1 Thessalonians

by John & Jacob Abbott

INTRODUCTION

THE First, and, probably, the Second Epistle to the church at Thessalonica, were written some time before those which precede them as they stand arranged in the sacred volume. Thessalonica was a city of Macedonia, on the north-western shore of the Egean Sea. The circumstances under which the gospel was first preached there are recorded in Acts 17:1-44.17.10. When Paul had been driven away from Thessalonica, as there stated, and afterwards from Berea, he proceeded to Athens, expecting that Timothy would join him there. (Acts 17:15.) No mention is made, however, in the Acts, of Timothy's rejoining Paul, until he had gone on to Corinth. (Acts 18:1,Acts 18:5.) The allusion to Timothy's return, in this Epistle, (1 Thessalonians 3:6,) is supposed to refer to this occasion of his arrival at Corinth; and it has accordingly been generally supposed that it was at the latter named city that this Epistle was written,--the statement in the subscription, at the end of the Epistle, that it was written from Athens, being thought erroneous. It would appear, however, from 1 Thessalonians 3:1,1 Thessalonians 3:2, that Timothy must have joined Paul first at Athens, according to the directions given him in Acts 17:15, and that he was sent again to Thessalonica from that place, for the purposes mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 3:2. Then, on his return from this mission, he joined the apostle at Corinth, and soon afterwards this Epistle was written.