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Bible Commentaries
2 Thessalonians

International Critical Commentary NTInternational Critical

- 2 Thessalonians

by S.R. Driver, A.A. Plummer and C.A. Briggs






Professor of Biblical Theology, Union Theological Seminary, New York



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AJT. = The American Journal of Theology (Chicago).

Ambst. = Ambrosiaster.

BDB. = Brown, Driver, Briggs, Heb.-Eng. Lexicon.

Bl. = F. Blass, Grammatik des neutestamentlichen Griechisch (1896, 19022).

BMT. = E. D. Burton, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses in N. T. Greek (18983).

Born. = Bornemann.

Bousset, Relig. = W. Bousset, Die Religion des Judentums im neutestamentlichen Zeitalter (19062).

Calv. = Calvin.

Charles, Eschat. = R. H. Charles, Eschatology, Hebrew, Jewish, and Christian (1899).

Chrys. = Chrysostom.

Deiss. BS. = A. Deissmann, Bibelstudien (1895).

NBS. = Neue Bibelstudien (1897).

Light = Light from the Ancient East (1910) = Licht vom Osten (19093).

De W. = De Wette.

Dob. = Ernst von Dobschütz,

EB. = The Encyclopædia Biblica (London, 1899-1903; ed. J. S. Black and T. K. Cheyne).

EGT. = The Expositor’s Greek Testament (ed. W. R. Nicoll, 1897-1910).

Einl. = Einleitung in das N. T.

Ell. = Ellicott.

Ephr. = Ephraem Syrus.

ERE. = Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics (ed. J. Hastings, 1909 ff.).

Exp. = The Expositor (London; ed. W. R. Nicoll).

Exp. Times = The Expository Times (Edinburgh; ed. J. Hastings).

Find. = G. G. Findlay.

GGA. = Götting. Gelehrte Anzeigen.

GMT. = W. W. Goodwin, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses of the Greek Verb (1890).

Grot. = Hugo de Groot (Grotius).

Hatch, Essays = E. Hatch, Essays in Biblical Greek (1889).

HC. = Holtzmann’s Handcommentar zum Neuen Testament.

HDB. = Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible (1898-1904).

ICC. = International Critical Commentary.

Introd. = Introduction to the N. T.

JBL. = The Journal of Biblical Literature (New York).

JTS. = The Journal of Theological Studies.

Kennedy, Last Things = H. A. A. Kennedy, St. Paul’s Conceptions of the Last Things (1904).

Sources = Sources of N. T. Greek (1895).

Lft. = Lightfoot.

Lillie = John Lillie, Epistles of Paul to the Thessalonians, Translated from the Greek, with Notes (1856).

Lün. = Lünemann.

Lxx. = The Old Testament in Greek (ed. H. B. Swete, 1887-1894).

Meyer = Kritisch-exegetischer Komm. über das N. T.

Migne, PG. = Patrologiæ series græca.

PL. = Patrologiæ series latina.

Mill. = George Milligan.

Moff. = James Moffatt.

Moult. = James Hope Moulton, A Grammar of N. T. Greek, I (1906).

NKZ. = Neue kirchliche Zeitschrift.

PRE. = Real-Encyclopädie für protest. Theologie u. Kirche (3d ed. Hauck, 1896-1909).

RTP. = Review of Theology and Philosophy.

Ruther. = W. G. Rutherford, St. Paul’s Epistles to the Thess. and Corinthians. A New Translation (1908).

SBBA. = Sitzungsberichte der königlich. Preuss. Akad. der Wissenschaften zu Berlin.

Schürer = E. Schürer, Geschichte des Jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi (4th ed., 1901-1909).

SH. = Comm. on Romans in ICC. by W. Sanday and A. C. Headlam.

SHS. = C. A. Briggs, General Introduction to the Study of Holy Scripture (1899).

SK. = Studien und Kritiken.

SNT. = Die Schriften des N. T. (1907-1908; ed. J. Weiss).

Sod. = Hermann Freiherr von Soden.

Soph. Lex. = E. A. Sophocles, Greek Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine Periods (revised by J. H. Thayer, 1887, 1900).

Thay. = Joseph Henry Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of the N. T. (1889).

Th. Mops. = Theodore of Mopsuestia, in epistolas Pauli commentarii (ed. H. B. Swete, 1880-1882).

Tisch. = Tischendorf.

TLZ. = Theologische Literaturzeitung.

TS. = Texts and Studies (Cambridge).

TU. = Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur.

Vincent = M. R. Vincent, Word Studies in the N. T., vol. IV, 1900.

Viteau = J. Viteau, Etude sur le Grec du N. T. (I, 1893, II, 1896).

Volz, Eschat. = Paul Volz, Jüdische Eschatologie von Daniel bis Akiba (1903).

Weiss = B. Weiss in TU. XIV, 3 (1896).

WH. = The New Testament in the Original Greek (1881; I, Text, II, Introduction and Appendix).

Witk. = St. Witkowski, Epistulæ Privatæ Græcæ (1906).

Wohl. = Wohlenberg.

WS. = P. W. Schmiedel, 8th ed. of Winer’s Grammatik (1894 ff.).

Zim. = F. Zimmer, Der Text der Thessalonicherbriefe (1893).

ZNW. = Preuschen’s Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft.

ZTK. = Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche.

ZWT. = Zeitschrift für Wissenschaftliche Theologie.

N. B. The Old Testament is cited from the Greek text (ed. Swete), the New Testament from the text of WH., and the Apostolic Fathers from the editio quarta minor of Gebhardt, Harnack, and Zahn (1902). For Ethiopic Enoch (Eth. En.), Slavonic Enoch (Slav. En.), Ascension of Isaiah (Ascen. Isa.), Assumption of Moses (Ass. Mos.), Apocalypse of Baruch (Apoc. Bar.), Book of Jubilees (Jub.), and Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (Test. xii), the editions of R. H. Charles have been used; for the Psalms of Solomon (Ps. Sol.), the edition of Ryle and James; and for the Fourth Book of Ezra (4 Ezra), that of Bensly and James.

By I is meant 1 Thessalonians and by II, 2 Thessalonians.



(1) From Antioch to Philippi—It was seventeen years after God had been pleased to reveal his Son in him, and shortly after the momentous scene in Antioch (Galatians 2:11 ff.) that Paul in company with Silas, a Roman citizen who had known the early Christian movement both in Antioch and in Jerusalem, and with Timothy, a younger man, son of a Gentile father and a Jewish mother, set forth to revisit the Christia communities previously established in the province of Galatia by Paul, Barnabas, and their helper John Mark. Intending to preach the gospel in Western Asia, they made but a brief stay in Galatia and headed westward presumably for Ephesus, only to be forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; and again endeavouring to go into Bithynia were prevented by the Spirit of Jesus. Having come down to Troas, Paul was inspired by a vision to undertake missionary work in Europe; and accordingly set sail, along with the author of the “we”-sections, from Troas and made a straight course to Samothrace, and the day following to Neapolis; and from thence to Philippi (Acts 15:40). The experiences in that city narrated by Acts (16:12-40), Paul nowhere recounts in detail; but the persecutions and particularly the insult offered to the Roman citizenship of himself and Silas (Acts 16:37) affected him so deeply that he could not refrain from telling the Thessalonians about the matter and from mentioning it again when he wrote his first letter to them (I 2:2).

(2) From Philippi to Thessalonica—Forced by reason of persecution to leave Philippi prematurely (I 2:2, Acts 16:39-40), Paul and Silas with Timothy (I 2:2; he is assumed also by Acts to be present, though he is not expressly named between 16:3 and 17:14), but without the author of the “we”-sections, took the Via Egnatia which connected Rome with the East, travelled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, and arrived, early in the year 50 a.d., at Thessalonica, a city placed in gremio imperii nostri, as Cicero has it (de prov. consul. 2), and a business and trade centre as important then to the Roman Empire as it is now to the Turkish Empire, Saloniki to-day being next after Constantinople the leading metropolis in European Turkey.

Thessalonica had been in existence about three hundred and sixty-five years and a free city for about a century when Paul first saw it. According to Strabo (33021, 24, ed. Meineke), an older contemporary of the Apostle, it was founded by Cassander who merged into one the inhabitants of the adjacent towns on the Thermaic gulf and gave the new foundation the name Thessalonica after his wife, a sister of Alexander the Great. “During the first civil war, it was the headquarters of the Pompeian party and the Senate. During the second, it took the side of Octavius, whence apparently it reached the honour and advantage of being made a ‘free city’ (Pliny, H. N. IV10), a privilege which is commemorated on some of its coins” (Howson). That it was a free city (liberae conditionis) meant that it had its own βουλη and δῆμο (Acts 17:5?), and also its own magistrates, who, as Luke accurately states, were called politarchs (Acts 17:6).

Howson had already noted the inscription on the Vardár gate (destroyed in 1867) from which it appeared that “the number of politarchs was seven.” Burton, in an exhaustive essay (AJT 1898, 598-632), demonstrated, on the basis of seventeen inscriptions, that in Thessalonica there were five politarchs in the time of Augustus and six in the time of Antoninus and Marcus Aurelius.

On Thessalonica in general, see Howson in Smith’s DB. and Dickson in HDB where the literature, including the dissertation of Tafel, is amply listed. On Roads and Travel, see Ramsay in HDB V, 375 ff.

(3) Founding of the Church—In the time of Paul, Thessalonica was important, populous, and wicked (Strabo 323, 33021; Lucian, Lucius 46, ed. Jacobitz). Various nationalities were represented, including Jews (I 2:15-16, II 3:2, Acts 17:2 ff.). Quite naturally, Paul made the synagogue the point of approach for the proclamation of the gospel of God, for the Christ, whose indwelling power unto righteousness he heralded, is of the Jews according to the flesh; and furthermore in the synagogue were to be found a number of Gentiles, men and women, who had attached themselves more or less intimately to Judaism either as proselytes or as φοβούμενο (σεβόμενο) τὸν θεό (see Bousset, Relig.2, 105), and who would be eager to compare Paul’s gospel both with the cults they had forsaken for the austere monotheism and rigorous ethics of Judaism and with the religion of Israel itself. In such Gentiles, already acquainted with the hopes and aspirations of the Jews, he was almost certain to win a nucleus for a Gentile Christian community (cf. Bousset, op. cit., 93), even if he had confined his ministry to the synagogue, as the account of Acts at first reading seems to intimate.

According to that narrative (Acts 17:2 ff.), Paul addressed the synagogue on three, apparently successive, Sabbath days, making the burden of his message the proof from Scripture that the Messiah was to suffer and rise again from the dead, and pressing home the conclusion that the Jesus whom he preached was the promised Christ. The result of these efforts is stated briefly in one verse (17:4) to the effect that there joined fortunes with Paul and Silas some Jews, a great number of the σεβόμενοι Ἕλληνε, and not a few women of the best society. It is not put in so many words but it is tempting to assume that the women referred to were, like “the devout Greeks,” Gentile proselytes or adherents, although Hort (Judaistic Christianity, 89) prefers to assume that they were “Jewish wives of heathen men of distinction.” However that may be, it is interesting to observe that even from the usual text of Acts 17:4 (on Ramsay’s conjecture, see his St. Paul the Traveller, 226 ff.) it is evident that the noteworthy successes were not with people of Jewish stock but with Gentile adherents of the synagogue.

Of the formation of a Christian community consisting almost wholly of Gentiles, the community presupposed by the two letters, the Book of Acts has nothing direct to say. In lieu thereof, the author tells a story illustrating the opposition of the Jews and accounting for the enforced departure of Paul from Thessalonica. Jealous of Paul’s successful propaganda not only with a handful of Jews but also with those Gentiles who had been won over wholly or in part to the Jewish faith, the Jews took occasion to gather a mob which, after parading the streets and setting the city in an uproar, attacked the house of Jason in the hope of discovering the missionaries. Finding only Jason at home, they dragged him and some Christians before the politarchs and preferred the complaint not simply that the missionaries were disturbing the peace there as they had been doing elsewhere in the empire, but above all that they were guilty of treason, in that they asserted that there was another king or emperor, namely, Jesus,—an accusation natural to a Jew who thought of his Messiah as a king. The politarchs, though perturbed, did not take the charge seriously, but, contenting themselves with taking security from Jason and the others who were arrested, let them go.

Just how much is involved in this decision is uncertain. Evidently Jason and the rest were held responsible for any conduct or teaching that could be interpreted as illegal; but that Paul was actually expelled is doubtful; and that Jason and the others gave security for the continued absence of Paul is unlikely, seeing that the converts were surprised at his failure to return. See on I 2:18 and cf. Knowling on Acts 17:9 in EGT

Of the preaching on the Sabbath Paul has nothing to say, or of the specific case of opposition, unless indeed the persecution of Jason was one of the instances of hardness of heart alluded to in I 2:15-16. On the other hand, while Acts is silent about missionary work apart from the synagogue, Paul intimates in the course of his apologia (I 2:7-12) that he was carrying on during the week a personal and individual work with the Gentiles that was even more important and successful than the preaching on the Sabbath of which alone Luke writes. It is quite to be expected that the Apostle would take every opportunity to speak informally about the gospel to every one he met; and to point out especially to those Gentiles, who had not expressed an interest in the God of his fathers by attaching themselves to the synagogue, the absurdity of serving idols, and to urge them to forsake their dead and false gods and turn to the living and true God and to his Son Jesus, who not only died for their sins but was raised again from the dead in order to become the indwelling power unto righteousness and the earnest of blessed felicity in the not distant future when Jesus, the rescuer from the coming Wrath, would appear and gather all believers into an eternal fellowship with himself (I 1:9-10, 4:9-10, II 2:13-14).

(4) Character of the Church—His appeal to the Gentiles succeeded; in spite of much opposition, he spoke courageously as God inspired him (I 2:2), not in words only but in power, in the Holy Spirit and in much conviction (I 1:5); and the contagious power of the same Spirit infected the listeners, leading them to welcome the word which they heard as a message not human but divine, as a power of God operating in the hearts of believers (I 1:6 ff., 2:13 ff.), creating within them a religious life spontaneous and intense, and prompting the expression of the same in those spiritual phenomena (I 5:21-22) that appear to be the characteristic effect of Paul’s gospel of the newness of life in Christ Jesus.

But although the gospel came home to them with power, and a vital and enthusiastic religious life was created, and a community of fervent believers was formed, there is no reason for supposing that the circle of Christians was large, unless we are determined to press the πλῆθος πολυ of Acts 17:4. The necessities of the case are met if we imagine a few men and women meeting together in the house of Jason, the house in which Paul lodged at his own expense (II 3:7), and which was known to the Jews as the centre of the Christian movement; for it was there that they looked for the missionaries and there that they found the “certain brethren.”

Nor must we expect to meet among the converts “many wise after the flesh, many mighty, and many noble.” To be sure, we hear later on of such important Thessalonians as Aristarchus (who was a Jew by birth, Acts 20:4, Acts 27:2, Colossians 4:10, Philemon 1:24), Secundus (Acts 20:4) and Demas (Colossians 4:14, Philemon 1:24, 2 Timothy 4:10); but it cannot be affirmed with confidence that they belonged to the original group. Apart then from a few Gentile women of the better class (Acts 17:2), the bulk of the Christians were working people. That they were skilled labourers like Paul is by no means clear; evident only is it that, hospitable and generous as they were (I 4:10), they were poor, so poor indeed that Paul supported himself by incessant toil in order not to make any demands upon the hospitality either of Jason his host or of any other of the converts, and that he welcomed the assistance sent him by the Philippians (Philippians 4:16) probably on their own initiative.

This little circle of humble Christians quickly became as dear to Paul as the church of their fellow-Macedonians at Philippi. He did not insist upon the position of preponderance which was his by right as an apostle of Christ, but chose to become just one of them, a babe in the midst of them. As a nurse cherishes her own children, so in his affection for them he gave them not only the gospel of God but his very self as well. Like as a father deals with his own children, so he urged each one of them, with a word of encouragement or a word of warning as the need might be, to walk worthily of God who calls them into his own kingdom and glory (I 2:6-12). When he tried, in his first letter to them, to put into words his love for those generous, affectionate, and enthusiastic workingmen, his emotion got the better of his utterance: “Who is our hope or joy or crown to boast in —or is it not you too—in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Indeed, it is really you who are our glory and our joy” (I 2:19-20). It is not surprising that on his way to Corinth, and in Corinth, he received constantly oral reports from believers everywhere about their faith in God and their expectancy of the Advent of his Son from heaven (I 1:7-10). And what he singles out for emphasis in his letters, their faith, hope, and love, their brotherly love and hospitality, their endurance under trial, and their exuberant joy in the Spirit, are probably just the qualities which characterised them from the beginning of their life in Christ.

It was indeed the very intensity of their religious fervour that made some of them forget that consecration to God is not simply religious but moral. He had warned them orally against the danger (I 4:2), but was obliged to become more explicit when he wrote them later on (I 4:3-8). Others again, it may be assumed though it is not explicitly stated, aware that the day of the Lord was near and conscious that without righteousness they could not enter into the kingdom, were inclined to worry about their salvation, forgetting that the indwelling Christ was the adequate power unto righteousness. Still others, influenced by the pressure of persecution and above all by the hope of the immediate coming of the Lord, became excited, and in spite of Paul’s example of industry gave up work and caused uneasiness in the brotherhood, so that Paul had to charge them to work with their own hands (I 4:11) and had to say abruptly: “If any one refuses to work, he shall not eat” (II 3:10). These imperfections however were not serious; they did not counterbalance the splendid start in faith and hope and love; had he been able to stay with them a little longer, he could have helped them to remove the cause of their difficulties. Unfortunately however, as a result of the case of Jason, he was compelled to leave them sooner than he had planned.

It has been assumed in the foregoing that Paul was in Thessalonica not longer than three weeks. There is nothing incredible in the statement of Acts (17:2), if the intensity of the religious life and the relative smallness of the group are once admitted. To be sure, it is not impossible that Luke intends to put the arrest of Jason not immediately after the three Sabbaths but at a somewhat later date, and that consequently a sojourn of six weeks may be conjectured (cf. Dob). The conjecture however is not urgent nor is it demanded by the probably correct interpretation of Philippians 4:16. That passage indicates not that the Philippians repeatedly sent aid to Paul when he was in Thessalonica but only that they sent him aid (see note on I 2:18). There is no evidence that either Paul or the Thessalonians requested assistance; it came unsolicited. Hence the time required for the journey on foot from Philippi to Thessalonica, about five or six days, does not militate against the assumption of a stay in Thessalonica lasting not longer than three weeks. See on this, Clemen, NKZ, 1896, VII, 146; and Paulus, II, 158; also, more recently, Lake, The Earlier Epistles of St. Paul, 1911, 64 ff.


(1) From Thessalonica to Corinth—No sooner had Paul left Thessalonica than he was anxious to return. “Now we, brothers, when we had been bereaved of you for a short time only, out of sight but not out of mind, were excessively anxious to see you with great desire, for we did wish to come to you, certainly I Paul did and that too repeatedly, and Satan stopped us” (I 2:17-18). To the happenings in the interval between his departure and the sending of Timothy from Athens, Paul does not allude; from Acts however (17:10-15) it appears that directly after the arrest of Jason, the brethren sent away Paul and Silas by night westward to Beroea, a land journey of about two days. In that city, the missionaries started their work, as in Thessalonica, with the synagogue and had success not only with the Gentile adherents of Judaism, men and women, but also with the Jews themselves. When however the Jews of Thessalonica heard of this success, they came to Beroea, stirred up trouble, and forced Paul to leave (cf. also I 2:15-16), after a stay of a week or two. Accompanied by an escort of the brethren, Paul travelled to the coast and, unless he took the overland route to Athens, a journey of nine or ten days, set sail from Pydna or Dion for Athens (a voyage under ordinary circumstances of two full days) leaving behind directions that Silas and Timothy follow him as soon as possible.

From Paul, but not from Acts, we learn that they did arrive in Athens and that, after the situation in Thessalonica had been discussed, decided to send Timothy back immediately to strengthen the faith of the converts and prevent any one of them from being beguiled in the midst of the persecutions which they were still undergoing (I 3:1 ff.; on the differences at this point between Acts and Paul, see McGiffert, Apostolic Age, 257). Whether also Silas and Timothy had heard rumours that the Jews, taking advantage of Paul’s absence, were maligning his character and trying to arouse the suspicion of the converts against him by misconstruing his failure to return, we do not know. At all events, shortly after the two friends had arrived, and Timothy had started back for Macedonia, Paul, after a sojourn of a fortnight or more, departed from Athens and in a day or two came to Corinth, whether with Silas or alone (Acts 18:1) is unimportant.

(2) Place, Date, and Occasion—Arriving in Corinth early in the year 50 a.d., Paul made his home with Prisca and Aquila, supported himself by working at his trade, and discoursed every Sabbath in the synagogue. Later on, Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia and joined hands with Paul in a more determined effort to win the Jews to Christ, only to meet again the same provoking opposition that they had previously met in Macedonia. Paul became discouraged; but Timothy’s report that the Thessalonians, notwithstanding some imperfections, were constant in their faith and love and ever affectionately thinking of Paul, as eager to see him as he was to see them, cheered him enormously (I 3:6-10).

Bacon (Introd, 58) dates the arrival in Corinth early in the spring of 50 a.d.; cf. also C. H. Turner (HDB, I, 424). According to Acts 18:11, Paul had been in Corinth a year and six months before Gallio appeared on the scene and left Corinth shortly after the coming of the proconsul (18:18). From an inscription in Delphi preserving the substance of a letter from the Emperor Claudius to that city, Deissmann (Paulus, 1911, 159-177) has shown that Gallio took office in midsummer, 51, and that, since Paul had already been in Corinth eighteen months when the proconsul of Achaia arrived, the Apostle “came to Corinth in the first months of the year 50 and left Corinth in the late summer of the year 51.” Inasmuch as Paul had probably not been long in Corinth before Timothy arrived, and inasmuch as the first letter was written shortly after Timothy came (I 3:6), the date of I is approximately placed in the spring of 50 and the date of II not more than five to seven weeks later.

From the oral report of Timothy and probably also from a letter (see on I 2:13, 4:9, 13, 5:1) brought by him from the church, Paul was able to learn accurately the situation and the needs of the brotherhood. In the first place he discovered that since his departure, not more than two or three months previously, the Jews had been casting wholesale aspersions on his behaviour during the visit and misinterpreting his failure to come back; and had succeeded in awakening suspicion in the hearts of some of the converts. Among other things, the Jews had asserted (I 2:1-12) that in general Paul’s religious appeal arose in error, meaning that his gospel was not a divine reality but a human delusion; that it arose in impurity, hinting that the enthusiastic gospel of the Spirit led him into immorality; and that it was influenced by sinister motives, implying that Paul, like the pagan itinerant impostors of religious or philosophical cults (cf. Clemen, NKZ, 1896, 152), was working solely for his own selfish advantage. Furthermore and specifically the Jews had alleged that Paul, when he was in Thessalonica, had fallen into cajoling address, had indulged in false pretences to cover his greed, and had demanded honour from the converts, as was his wont, using his position as an apostle of Christ to tax his credulous hearers. Finally, in proof of their assertions, they pointed to the unquestioned fact that Paul had not returned, the inference being that he did not care for his converts and that he had no intention of returning. The fact that Paul found it expedient to devote three chapters of his first letter to a defence against these attacks is evidence that the suspicion of some of the converts was aroused and that the danger of their being beguiled away from the faith was imminent. In his defence, he cannot withhold an outburst against the obstinate Jews (I 2:15-16) who are the instigators of these and other difficulties which he has to face; but he betrays no feeling of bitterness toward his converts. On the contrary, knowing how subtle the accusations have been, and confident that a word from him will assure them of his fervent and constant love and will remove any scruples they may have had, he addresses them in language of unstudied affection. His words went home; there is not the faintest echo of the apologia in the second epistle.

In the second place, he discovered that the original spiritual difficulties, incident to religious enthusiasm and an eager expectation of the coming of the Lord, difficulties which his abrupt departure had left unsettled, still persisted, and that a new question had arisen, due to the death of one or more of the converts. In reference to the dead in Christ, they needed not only encouragement but instruction; as for the rest, they required not new teaching but either encouragement or warning. “The shortcomings of their faith” (I 3:10) arose chiefly from the religious difficulties of the weak, the faint-hearted, and the idle. (1) The difficulty of “the weak” (οἱ�

(2) Place, Date, and Purpose—Such a letter as we have postulated will have been sent shortly after the receipt of I. The new situation which it recounts is not new in kind but a natural development of tendencies present during the visit and evident in the first letter. Hence if we allow two or three weeks for I to reach Thessalonica, a week for the preparation of the reply, and two or three weeks for the reply to get to Corinth, then an interval between I and II of five to seven weeks is ample enough to account for the situation in Thessalonica suggested by II. Indeed, apart from the increased discouragement of the fainthearted and the continued recalcitrance of some of the idle brethren, there is nothing to indicate a notable change in the church since the visit of Timothy. Persecutions are still going on (II 1:4; cf. 2:17, 3:3 ff.), and the Jews are evidently the instigators of the same (II 3:2); the endurance of the converts is worthy of all praise (II 1:4); and the increase of faith and love (II 1:3) indicates not a large growth numerically but an appreciative recognition of progress in things essential, the fulfilment in part of the prayer in I 3:12. In Corinth, likewise, the situation since the writing of I has not changed materially; Silas and Timothy are still with Paul (II 1:1); and the opposition of the Jews (Acts 17:5 ff.) those unrighteous and evil men whose hearts are hardened (II 3:2; cf. I 2:14-16), persists, so much so that Paul would gladly share with the converts the relief which the Parousia is to afford (II 1:7). On the whole, then, the available evidence points to the assumption that the second epistle was written from Corinth in the spring of 50 a.d. not more than five to seven weeks after the first epistle.

The second epistle is not a doctrinal treatise on the Antichrist, as if 2:1-12 were the sole point of the letter, but a practical exhortation, written by request and designed to encourage the faint-hearted and to admonish the idlers. The description of the judgment in 1:6 ff., the allusions to the premonitory signs in 2:3-8, and the characterisation of the advent of the Anomos (2:9-12), placed significantly after his destruction (2:8), are manifestly intended not to convey new. information but to encourage the faint-hearted by reminding them of his oral instructions,—an employment of teaching for practical needs which is characteristic of Paul, as the passage in another Macedonian letter suggests (Philippians 2:5 ff.). In reference to the second purpose of II, it is to be observed that since the idleness and meddlesomeness have increased, it is necessary to supplement the injunctions of I (4:11-12, 5:14) by the severer command that the majority hold aloof from the idle brethren, avoid association with them; at the same time it is significant that the last word is only a repetition of what was said in the first letter (5:14), with an added covert admonition of the somewhat tactless majority: “Do not regard him as an enemy but admonish him as a brother” (II 3:15). To encourage the faint-hearted (II 1:3-2:17) and to warn the idlers (II 3:1-17) is the two-fold purpose of this simple, tactful, pastoral letter.

(3) Contents—After the superscription (1:1-2) which differs from that in I only in having ἡμῶ after πατρί expressing the sense of common fellowship in the Father, and in having after εἰρήν the usual “from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,” making explicit the source of divine favour and spiritual prosperity, Paul enters upon the thanksgiving (1:3-10) and closely related prayer (1:11-12) which together form an unbroken sentence of over two hundred words, liturgical in tone and designed to encourage the faint-hearted. In spite of what they have written, he ought, he insists, to thank God, as is proper under the circumstances, because their faith and brotherly love abound, so much so that he himself, contrary to their expectations, is boasting everywhere of their endurance and faith in the midst of persecutions. They need not worry (though the brethren as a whole are addressed, the faint-hearted are chiefly in mind) about their future salvation, for their splendid endurance springing from faith is positive proof that God the righteous judge will, in keeping with his purpose, deem them worthy of entrance into the kingdom, on behalf of which they as well as he are suffering. It will not always be well with their persecutors, for God, as righteous in judgment, will recompense them with affliction, as he will recompense the afflicted converts with relief from the same, a relief which Paul also will share. God will do so at the great assize (described in 1:7b-10 not for the sake of the description but for the encouragement of the believers) when the wicked, those, namely, who do not reverence God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus, will receive as their punishment separation forever from Christ, on the very day when the righteous in general and (with an eye to the faint-hearted) all who became believers (for the converts believed the gospel addressed to them) will be the ground of honour and admiration accorded to Christ by the attendant angels. To reach this happy consummation, to be acquitted in that day, Paul prays, as the converts likewise prayed, that God will fill them with goodness and love, in order that finally the name of the Lord Jesus may be honoured in virtue of what they are and they may be honoured in virtue of what his name has accomplished. This glorification and blessed consummation, he assures them, is in accordance with the divine favour of our God and of the Lord Jesus Christ (1:3-12).

A little impatient that they have forgotten the instructions which he had given them orally and at a loss to understand how anything he had said in the Spirit, orally, or in his previous letter could be misconstrued to imply that he was responsible for the assertion that the day of the Lord is present, and yet recognising the agitation of the faint-hearted by reason of the assertion, and their need of encouragement, Paul turns to the specific question put to him “as to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling unto him” and exhorts them not to let their minds become easily unsettled and not to be nervously wrought up by the assertion, however conveyed and by whatever means attributed to him, that the day of the Lord is actually present. Allow no one to delude you, he says, into such a belief whatever means may be employed. Then choosing to treat the question put, solely with reference to the assertion and ever bearing in mind the need of the faint-hearted, he selects from the whole of his previous oral teaching on times and seasons only such elements as serve to prove that the assertion is mistaken, and reminds them that the day will not be present until first of all the apostasy comes and there is revealed a definite and well-known figure variously characterised as the man of lawlessness, the son of destruction, etc., allusions merely with which the readers are quite familiar, so familiar indeed that he can cut short the characterisation, and appeal, with a trace of impatience at their forgetfulness, to the memory of the readers to complete the picture (2:1-5).

Turning from the future to the present, he explains why the apostasy and the revelation of the Anomos are delayed. Though the day of the Lord is not far distant,—for there has already been set in operation the secret of lawlessness which is preparing the way for the apostasy and revelation of the Anomos, still that day will not be actually present until that which restrains him in order that the Anomos may be revealed only at the time set him by God, or the person who now restrains him, is put out of the way. Then and not till then will the Anomos be revealed. But of him the believers need have no fear, for the Lord will destroy him; indeed his Parousia, inspired by Satan and attended by outward signs and inward deceit prompted by falsehood and unrighteousness, is intended not for believers but for unbelievers. These are destined to destruction, like the son of destruction himself, because they have destroyed themselves by refusing to welcome the heavenly guest, the influence of the Spirit designed to awaken within them the love for the truth which is essential to their salvation. As a consequence of their refusal, God as righteous judge is bound himself (for it is he and not Satan or the Anomos who is in control) to send them an inward working to delude them into believing the falsehood, in order that at the day of judgment they might be condemned, all of them, on the ground that they believed not the truth but consented to unrighteousness (2:6-12).

With a purposed repetition of 1:3, Paul emphasises his obligation to thank God for them, notwithstanding their discouraged utterances, because, as he had said before (I 1:4 ff.), they are beloved and elect, chosen of God from everlasting, called and destined to obtain the glory of Christ. As beloved and elect, they should have no fear about their ultimate salvation and no disquietude by reason of the assertion that the day is present, but remembering the instructions, received orally and in his letter, should stand firm and hold those teachings. Aware however that divine power alone can make effective his appeal, and aware that righteousness, guaranteed by the Spirit, is indispensable to salvation, Paul prays that Christ and God, who in virtue of their grace had already commended their love to Christians in the death of Christ and had granted them through the Spirit inward assurance of salvation and hope for the ultimate acquisition of the glory of Christ, may grant also to the faint-hearted that same assurance and strengthen them in words and works of righteousness (2:13-17).

With these words of encouragement to the faint-hearted, he turns to the case of the idle brethren. Wishing to get their willing obedience, he appeals to the sympathy of all in requesting prayer for himself and his cause, and commends their faith. Referring to some remarks in their letter, he observes that if the idlers are disposed to excuse themselves on the ground that the tempter is too strong for them, they must remember that Christ is really to be depended on to give them power to resist temptation. Inasmuch as they have in Christ this power, Paul in the same Christ avows his faith in them that they will gladly do what he commands; indeed they are even now doing so. But to make his appeal effective, the aid of Christ is indispensable,—the power that will awaken in them a sense of God’s love and of the possession of that adequate endurance which is inspired by Christ (3:1-5). Having thus tactfully prepared the way, he takes up directly the question of the idlers. He commands the brethren as a whole to keep aloof from every brother who lives as an idler, a command issued not on his own authority but on that of the name of Christ. He is at pains to say that he is urging nothing new, and gently prepares for the repetition of the original instruction by referring to the way in which he worked to support himself when he was with them, so as to free them from any financial burden, strengthening the reference by reminding them that although he was entitled to a stipend as an apostle of Christ, he waived the right in order that his self-sacrificing labour might be an example to them. Then after explaining the occasion of the present command, he enjoins the idlers, impersonally and indirectly and with a tactfully added “we exhort,” to work and earn their own living with no agitation about the day of the Lord. With a broad hint to the majority as to their attitude to the idle brethren, he faces the contingency of disobedience on the part of some of the idlers. These recalcitrants are to be designated; there is to be no association with them. But the purpose of the discipline is repentance and reform. Once more the majority are warned: “Do not treat him as an enemy but warn him as a brother” (3:6-15). Since the command alone may not succeed in restoring peace to the brotherhood, Paul finally prays that Christ, the Lord of peace, may give them a sense of inward religious peace, and that too continually in every circumstance of life (3:16). Anticipating that some of the idlers may excuse their refusal to listen to Paul’s letters on the ground that they are not his own, Paul underscores the fact that he is wont to write at the end a few words in his own hand (3:17). The benediction closes the pastoral letter (3:18).

(4) Religious Convictions—The religious convictions expressed or implied in II are Pauline. As in I so in II, the apocalyptic and the mystic are both attested. Though the former element is more obvious because of the circumstances, the latter is present as an equally essential part of the gospel, “our gospel” (2:14), to use the characteristic designation of the convictions that he had held for over seventeen years. Central is the conviction, inherited by Paul from the early church (cf. Acts 2:36) and constant with him to the end (Philippians 2:11), that Jesus is Christ and Lord. Of the names that recur, Our (The) Lord Jesus Christ (2:1, 14, 16, 3:8; 1:1, 2, 2:12, 3:6, 12) Our (The) Lord Jesus (1:8, 12; 1:7) Christ (3:5) and The Lord (1:9, 2:2, 13, 3:1, 3, 4, 5, 16, 16), the last, ὁ κύριο, is characteristic of II as compared with I (cf. II 3:1-5 with Philippians 4:1-5). Though there is no explicit mention either of his death (cf. 2:16) or of his resurrection, the fact that he is Lord and Christ presupposes both that he is raised from the dead and that he is soon to usher into the kingdom of God all those who have been deemed worthy (1:5). This day of the Lord (2:2) is not actually present, as some had asserted, but it is not far distant (2:7). In that day (1:10), when the Lord comes (2:1) or is revealed from heaven (1:7), he will destroy the Anomos (2:8), execute judgment on unbelievers (1:6, 8-9), the doomed (2:9-12), by removing them eternally from his presence; and will bring salvation (2:10, 13) and glory (2:14) to all believers (1:10), those, namely, who have welcomed the love for the truth (2:10) and have believed the gospel preached to them (1:10, 2:14) when they were called (1:11, 2:14).

The exalted Lord does not however confine his Messianic activities to the day of his coming; he is already at work in the present. To him either alone (3:5, 16) or with the Father (2:16), prayer is addressed; and from him with the Father come grace (1:2, 2:12, 16) and peace (1:2; cf. 3:16); he is with the believers (3:16), the faithful Lord who strengthens them and guards them from the Evil One (3:3) and gives them an eternal encouragement, good hope, and endurance (2:16, 3:5). In these passages it is not always easy to tell whether Paul is thinking of the Lord who is at the right hand of God (Romans 8:34) or of the Lord who is in the believers (Romans 8:10). However that may be, it is important to observe that the Lord to Paul is not only the being enthroned with God and ready to appear at the last day for judgment and salvation but also, and this is distinctive, the permanent indwelling power unto righteousness, the ground of assurance that the elect and called will enter into the glory to be revealed, the first fruits of which they now enjoy. And this distinctive element underlies the utterances of this epistle, especially of 1:11-12 and 2:13-17. It is the indwelling Lord in whom the church of the Thessalonians exist (1:1), in whom also Paul has his confidence in reference to the readers (3:4) and gives his command and exhortation (3:12). The same Lord within inspires the gospel (3:1) and equips the persecuted with an endurance that is adequate (3:5). It is the Spirit, to whom equally with the Lord Paul ascribes the divine operations, that accounts for the charismata (2:2) and prompts consecration to God and faith in the truth (2:13). And it is either the Spirit or the Lord who is the means by which God fills the readers with goodness and love (ἐν δυνάμε 1:11; cf. ἐν θεῷ 1:1).

Faith in Jesus the Christ and Lord (1:3, 4, 11) or faith in the gospel (1:10, 2:13) which he inspires (3:1) and which Paul proclaims (1:10, 2:14) is the initial conviction that distinguishes the believers (1:10) from the Jews (3:2) and all others who have believed the lie of the Anomos with its unrighteousness (2:9-12). This faith is apparently prompted by the Spirit, the heavenly guest that seeks to stir within the soul the love for the truth unto salvation (2:10) and that inspires the consecration of the individual body and soul to God, and faith in the truth of the gospel (2:13). To be sure, the love for the truth may not be welcomed; in that case, God who controls the forces of evil, Satan and his instrument the Anomos, himself sends an inward working to delude the unbelievers into believing the lie, so that their condemnation follows of moral necessity; for they themselves are responsible for being in the category of the lost. On the other hand, if the promptings of the Spirit are heeded, then the activities of the Spirit continue in believers; a new power (1:11) enters into their life to abide permanently, a power whose presence is manifested not only in extraordinary phenomena (2:2) but in ethical fruits such as (cf. Galatians 5:22 f., 1 Corinthians 13:1 ff., and Romans 12:6 ff.) love (the work of faith 1:11), brotherly love (1:3, 3:15), peace (3:16), goodness (1:11), encouragement (2:16), hope (2:16), endurance (3:5, 1:4), and, in fact, every good work and word (2:17); and a power unto righteousness that insures the verdict of acquittal at the last day (1:5, 11), and the entrance into the glory of the kingdom, foretastes of which the believer even now enjoys.

Since there are no errorists in Thessalonica, such as are to be found later in Colossæ dethroning Christ from his supremacy, there is no occasion for an express insistence upon his pre-eminence. It is thus noteworthy in II not only that the Lordship of Jesus is conspicuous but also that in 2:16 as in Galatians 1:1 he is named before the Father. There are no Judaists in Thessalonica; hence it is not significant that the categories prominent in Galatians (a letter which Zahn, McGiffert, Bacon, Lake, and others put before I and II), namely, law, justification, works, etc., are absent from II as from I. Furthermore, since the situation does not demand a reference to the historical or psychological origin of Sin, it is not surprising that we hear nothing either in II or in I of Sin, Adam, Flesh. In fact, it happens that in II there is no explicit mention either of the death or of the resurrection of Christ. What is emphasised in II along with the apocalyptic is the indwelling power of the Lord or the Spirit, the source of the moral life and the ground of assurance not only of election from eternity but also of future salvation (1:5, 11-12, 2:13-17), an emphasis to be expected in a letter one of the two purposes of which is to encourage those whose assurance of salvation was wavering.

(5) Disposition—The second letter may thus be divided:

I. Superscription 1:1-2

A. Encouraging the Faint-hearted 1:3-2:17

II. Thanksgiving and Prayer 1:3-12

(1) Assurance of Salvation 1:3-10

(2) Prayer for Righteousness 1:11-12

III. Exhortation 2:1-12

(1) Why the Day is not present 2:1-8

(2) Destruction of the Anomos 2:8

(3) Parousia of the Anomos only for the doomed 2:9-12

IV. Thanksgiving, Command, and Prayer 2:13-17

(1) Assurance of Salvation 2:13-14

(2) Hold fast to Instructions 2:15

(3) Prayer for Encouragement and Righteousness 2:16-17

B. Warning the Idlers 3:1-17

V. Finally 3:1-5

Transition to the Idlers

VI. Command and Exhortation 3:6-15

The Case of the Idlers

VII. Prayer for Peace 3:16

VIII. Salutation 3:17

IX. Benediction 3:18


(1) Words—The vocabulary of the letters is Pauline. The presence of words either in I or in II which are not found elsewhere in the N. T., or which are found either in I or in II and elsewhere in the N. T. but not elsewhere in Paul (the Pastoral Epistles not being counted as Pauline), indicates not that the language is not Pauline, but that Paul’s vocabulary is not exhausted in any or all of the ten letters here assumed as genuine. Taking the text of WH as a basis, we find in I about 362 words (including 30 particles and 15 prepositions) and in II about 250 words (including 26 particles and 14 prepositions). Of this total vocabulary of about 612 words, 146 (including 20 particles and 13 prepositions) are found both in I and in II.

Two hundred and ninety-nine of the 362 words in I (about 82 per cent) and 215 of the 250 words in II (about 86 per cent) are found also in one or more of the Major Epistles of Paul (i.e. Romans 1:2 Cor. Gal.). If we added to the 299 words of I some 19 words not found in one or more of the Major Epistles but found in one or more of the Epistles of the Captivity (i.e. Eph. Phil. Col. Phile.), then 318 of the 362 words in I (about 88 percent) would appear to be Pauline; and similarly if we added to the 215 words of II some 7 words not found in one or more of the Major Epistles but found in one or more of the Epistles of the Captivity, then 222 of the 250 words in I (about 89 per cent) would appear to be Pauline.

Of the 146 words common to I and II all but 4 are also found in one or more of the Major Epistles. These 4 are Θεσσαλονικεύ I 1:1, II 1:1 (Acts 20:4, Acts 27:2); κατευθύνει I 3:11, II 3:5 (Luke 1:79); ἐρωτᾷ I 4:1, 5:12, II 2:1 (Philippians 4:3; Gospels, Acts, 1, 2 Jn.); and περιποίησι I 5:9, II 2:14 (Ephesians 1:14; Hebrews 10:39, 1 Peter 2:9).—The 19 words in I and in the Epistles of the Captivity but not in the Major Epistles are�Ephesians 5:29); θώρα 5:8 (Eph.); καθεύδει 5:6, 7, 10 (Eph.); καταλείπει 3:1 (Eph.); μεθύσκεσθα 5:7 (Eph.); παρρησιάζεσθα 2:2 (Eph.); περικεφαλαί 5:8 (Eph.); περιποίησι 5:9 (II, Eph.); πληροφορί 1:5 (Col.); πρόφασι 2:5 (Phil.); σβεννύνα 5:19 (Eph.); φιλίππο 2:2 (Phil.); and ὑπερεκπερισσου 3:10, 5:13 (Ephesians 3:20).—The 7 words in II and in the Epistles of the Captivity but not in the Major Epistles are αἱρεῖσθα 2:13 (Phil.);�

Of the 44 (362-318=44) words of I which are not found in the Major Epistles or in the Epistles of the Captivity, 20 are also not found elsewhere in the N. T., 22 are found elsewhere in the N. T. but not elsewhere in Paul, and 2 are common to I and II. Again, of the 28 (250-222=28) words of II which are not found in the Major Epistles or in the Epistles of the Captivity, 10 are also not found elsewhere in the N. T., 16 are found elsewhere in the N. T. but not elsewhere in Paul, and 2 are common to II and I.

In the subjoined lists, an asterisk indicates that the word is not found in the Lxx

(a) Words in I but not elsewhere in the N. T.:�

(e) Words common to I and II and found elsewhere in N. T. but not elsewhere in Paul: θεσσαλονικεύ I 1:1, II 1:1 (Acts 20:4, Acts 27:2) and κατευθύνει I 3:11, II 3:5 (Luke 1:79).

None of the words in the five lists above can be strictly called un-Pauline.

Attention has often been called to the consideration that II contains very few words which are found in Paul but not elsewhere in the N. T., except such as it has in common with I. As a matter of fact, the same criterion applied to I demonstrates that II is relatively better off than I in this respect. Apart from the two words common to I and II which are found elsewhere in Paul but not elsewhere in the N. T. (ἐπιβαρεῖ I 2:9, II 3:8, 2 Corinthians 2:5 and μόχθο I 2:9, II 3:8, 2 Corinthians 11:27), there are only 12 of the 216 words in I (362-146 common = 216) and 8 of the 104 words in II (250-146 common = 104) which are found elsewhere in Paul but not elsewhere in the N. T.

(a) Words found in I and Paul (except II) but not elsewhere in the N. T.: ἁγιωσύν 3:13 (Romans 1:4, 2 Corinthians 7:1);�Romans 1:9); ἔκδικο 4:6 (Romans 13:4); εὐσχημόνω 4:12 (Romans 13:13, 1 Corinthians 14:40); θάλπει 2:7 (Ephesians 5:29) πάθο 4:5 (Romans 1:26, Colossians 3:5); περικεφαλαί (5:8, Ephesians 6:17); πλεονεκτεῖ 4:6 (2 Corinthians 2:11, 2 Corinthians 2:7:2, 2 Corinthians 2:12:17, 18); προλέγει 3:4 (2 Corinthians 13:2, Galatians 5:21); στέγει 3:1, 5 (1 Corinthians 9:12, 1 Corinthians 13:7); ὑπερεκπερισσου 3:10, 5:13 (Ephesians 3:20); and φιλοτιμεῖσθα 4:11 (Romans 15:20, 2 Corinthians 5:9).

(b) Words found in II and Paul (except I) but not elsewhere in the N. T.:�Romans 15:14, Galatians 5:22, Ephesians 5:9); εἲπε 1:6 (Rom.ter 1 Cor.bis 2 Corinthians 5:3); ἐνέργει 2:9, 11 (Eph. Phil. Col.); στέλλεσθα 3:6 (2 Corinthians 8:20); συναναμίγνυσθα 3:14 (1 Corinthians 5:9. 1 Corinthians 5:11); and ὑπεραίρεσθα 2:4 (2 Corinthians 12:7).

On the other hand, the vocabulary of I is relatively somewhat richer than II in specifically Pauline words, if we reckon as specific such words as are found in I and II (apart from words common to both) and elsewhere in the N. T., but elsewhere chiefly in Paul including one or more of the Major Epistles.

(a) Words found in I and elsewhere in N. T. but elsewhere chiefly in Paul including one or more of the Major Epistles, II being excepted:�

(1) Unique Phrases.—(a) Phrases in I but not elsewhere in N. T.: *ἅμα σύ 4:17, 5:10; διδόναι πνεῦμα εἰ 4:8 (Lxx); *εἷς τὸν ἕν 5:11; ἔμπροσθε with divine names 1:3, 2:19, 3:9, 13; *ἐν βάρει εἷνα 2:6; *ἐρωτᾷν καὶ παρακαλεῖ 4:1 (Papyri); *ἔχειν εἴσοδον πρός τιν 1:9; καθάπερ οἴδατ 2:11 (cf. καθὼς οἴδατ 2:2, 5, 3:4); *πρὸς καιρὸν ὥρα 2:17 (Latinism in κοινη?); *θεὸς ζῶν καὶ�1 Corinthians 15:52); στέφανος καυχήσεω 2:19 (Lxx); *υἱοὶ ἡμέρα 5:5, The next two may have been coined by Paul: *ὁ κόπος τῆς�1 Corinthians 15:18, Revelation 14:13); and οἱ κοιμηθέντες διὰ τοῦ Ἰησου 4:14.

(b) Phrases in II, but not elsewhere in N. T.: *διδόναι ἐκδίκησίν τιν 1:8; *ἐκ μέσου γίνεσθα 2:7; ἐν παντὶ τρόπῳ 3:16 (cf. Philippians 1:18); εὐδοκεῖν τιν 2:12 (Lxx); *εὐχαριστεῖν ὀφείλομε 1:3, 2:13; ἡγεῖσθαι ὡ 3:15 (Lxx); *στηρίζειν καὶ φυλάσσει 3:3; *τίνειν δίκη 1:9 (classic); �Philippians 1:27); *σαλευθῆναι�

(c)Phrases in I and elsewhere in N. T., but not elsewhere in Paul: δέχεσθαι τὸν λόγο 1:6, 2:13; ἐν μέσῳ cum Genesis 2:7; καθὼς οἴδατ 2:2, 5, 3:4; λόγος�

(d)Phrases in II and elsewhere in N. T., but not elsewhere in Paul:�Romans 2:5); ἐν ἁγιασμῷ πνεύματο 2:13 (1 Peter 1:2); ἐν πυρὶ φλογό 1:8 (Lxx); ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ 1:10 (Lxx cit.); ἔργῳ καὶ λόγῳ 2:17; ἐσθίειν ἄρτο 3:8, 12; κρατεῖν τὰς παραδόσει 2:15 (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:2); πάντες οἱ πιστεύσαντε 1:10; ὁ υἱὸς τῆς�

(e) Phrases common to I and II, but not elsewhere in N. T.:�Romans 8:16, Romans 8:26, 1 Corinthians 15:28, 2 Corinthians 8:19 א).

(f) Phrases common to I and II, found elsewhere in N. T., but not elsewhere in Paul: αὐτὸς ὁ θεό I 3:11, 5:23, II 2:16 (Revelation 21:3) καὶ διὰ τοῦτ I 2:13, II 2:11) ὁ λόγος τοῦ κυρίο I 1:8 (4:15) II 3:1 (cf. Colossians 3:16); νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρα I 2:9, II 3:8; προσεύχεσθε περὶ ἡμῶ I 5:25, II 3:1 (Hebrews 13:18; cf. Colossians 4:2).

(2) Pauline Phrases.—(a) Phrases in I and Paul except II but not elsewhere in N. T. Unless otherwise indicated, they are found in one or more of the Major Epistles: ἅπαξ καὶ δί 2:18 (Philippians 4:16; Lxx); εἰς κενό 3:5; ἐν παντι 5:18; ἐν πολλῷ(πολλῇ) 1:5, 6, 2:2, 17 ἐπὶ τῶν προσευχῶ 1:2;�Philippians 1:23); ἐν κυρίῳ Ἰησου 4:1; ἐργάζεσθαι ταῖς χερσί 4:11; τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ χριστου 3:2; εὐχαριστεῖν τῷ θεῷ 1:2, 2:13; ζῆν σὺν αὐτῷ 5:10; ἡμεῖς οἱ ζῶντε 4:15, 17 (2 Corinthians 4:11); οὐ θέλομεν ὑμᾶς�Colossians 1:10); στήκετε ἐν κυρίῳ 3:8 (Philippians 4:1); and συνεργοὶ τοῦ θεου 3:2.

(b) Phrases in II and Paul except I but not elsewhere in N. T. Unless otherwise indicated, they are found in one or more of the Major Epistles: μη with aor. subj. of prohibition in third person 2:3 (1 Corinthians 16:11, 2 Corinthians 11:16); position of μόνο 2:7 (Galatians 2:10); ἐπιστεύθ with impersonal subject 1:10 (Romans 10:10); ὡς ὅτ 2:2 (2 Corinthians 5:19, 2 Corinthians 11:21); οἱ�Galatians 6:9); θεὸς πατὴρ ἡμῶ 1:1; ὁ λόγος ἡμῶ 3:14 (2 Corinthians 1:18); παρακαλεῖν τὰς καρδία 2:7 (cf. Colossians 2:2, Colossians 4:8, Ephesians 6:22); πεποιθέναι ἐν κυρίῳ 3:4 (Philippians 2:24; cf. Romans 14:14); and ὑπακούειν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ 1:8 (Romans 10:16).

(c) Phrases in I and elsewhere in N. T. but elsewhere chiefly in Paul including one or more of the Major Epistles, II being excepted: ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ 1:8; οἱ ἔξ 4:12; ἐπιποθεῖν ἰδεῖ 3:6; τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ θεου 2:2, 8, 9; θέλημα τοῦ θεου 4:3, 5:18; ὁ θεὸς τῆς εἰρήνη 5:23; οἱ λοιποι 4:13, 5:6; and πάντες οἱ πιστεύοντε 1:7. To this list should be added ἐν χριστῷ Ἰησου 2:14, 5:18 and ἐν χριστῷ 4:16; and perhaps the following: ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ 1:5; θεὸς ζῶ 1:9; ἰδεῖν τὸ πρόσωπο 2:17, 3:10; ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεου 2:13; οἱ πιστεύοντε 2:10, 13; and χρείαν ἔχει 1:8, 4:9, 12, 5:1.

(d) Phrases in II and elsewhere in N. T. but elsewhere chiefly in Paul including one or more of the Major Epistles, II being excepted: ἐν ὀνόματ 3:6; παρὰ θεῷ 1:6; and perhaps the following: ἡ�1 Corinthians 1:7); διωγμοὶ καὶ θλίψει 1:4 (Romans 8:35); πάσχειν ὑπέ 1:5 (Philippians 1:29); and σημεῖα καὶ τέρατ 2:9 (Romans 15:19, 2 Corinthians 12:2).

(e) Phrases common to I, II and Paul but not found elsewhere in N. T.: ἄρα οὖ I 5:6, II 2:15; τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ἡμῶ I 1:5, II 2:14; χόπος καὶ μόχθο I 2:9, II 3:8; (το) λοιπὸν�

(f) Phrases common to I, II Paul and found elsewhere in N. T. The following are characteristic of Paul: ἐν κυρίῳ I 3:8, 5:12, II 3:4; χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήν I 1:1, II 1:2; θεὸς πατή I 1:1, II 1:2. The following are not characteristic: ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶ I 2:2, 3:9, II 1:11,12 (1 Corinthians 6:11); ἡμέρα κυρίο I 5:2, II 2:2; ἡ πίστις ὑμῶ I 1:8, 3:2, 5, 6, 7, 10, II 1:3, 4; ἡ παρουσία τοῦ κυρίο. (ἡμῶν Ἰ. Χ) I 3:13, 4:15, 5:23, II 2:1 (1 Corinthians 15:23); πῶς δει I 4:1, II 3:7 (Colossians 4:6); and στηρίζειν καὶ παρακαλεῖ I 3:2, II 2:17 (inverted order); cf. Romans 1:11.

(3) Personal Equation—It is generally felt that the personality back of the words and phrases of the first letter is none other than that of Paul. Characteristic of him and characteristic of that letter are warm affection for his converts, confidence in them in spite of their shortcomings, tact in handling delicate pastoral problems, the consciousness of his right as an apostle and the waiving of the same in love, the sense of comradeship with his readers in all things, and the appeal for their sympathy and prayers. So conspicuously Pauline is the personal equation of I that it is unnecessary to illustrate the point. But it is also frequently felt that the personal qualities revealed in I are lacking in II, that indeed the tone of II is rather formal, official, and severe. This impression arises in the first instance from the fact that there is nothing in II corresponding to the apologia to which three of the five chapters of I are devoted and in which the personal element is outspoken. Omit the self-defence from I and the diderences in tone between I and II would not be perceptible. This estimate is likewise due to the failure to read aright Paul’s purpose, with the result that the clew to his attitude is lost. The impression of formality and severity is however quite mistaken; as a matter of fact the treatment of both the faint-hearted and the idlers is permeated by a spirit of warm personal affection. Paul knows his Macedonians too well, trusts their love for him too deeply to be greatly disturbed either by the forgetfulness of the one class or the disobedience of the other. It is his love for them all that prompts him at the start to praise not only their growth in faith but also, despite the friction in the brotherhood, their increase in brotherly love; and to surprise them by saying that contrary to their expectations he is boasting everywhere of their endurance and faith.

From his love springs his confidence in them notwithstanding their continued shortcomings. He is quite sure that the faint-hearted are more in need of encouragement than of warning and so he directs every word in the first two chapters, including the description of judgment, the allusion to premonitory signs, and the characterisation of the advent of the Anomos, to the single end of assuring these brethren beloved by the Lord that they are as certain of future salvation as they are of being elected and called. His slight impatience at their forgetfulness (2:5) is free from brusqueness and his sole imperative, based on their assurance of salvation and supported by prayer, to hold fast the instructions (2:15) is dictated by a fatherly concern. He is likewise confident that the idlers, in spite of their neglect of his injunction given once orally and again by letter, will do, as they indeed are doing, what he commands (3:4), and so includes them in his praise of the faith and brotherly love of the church (1:4). Furthermore, from his love arises also the tact with which the two parish problems before him are managed. One or two illustrations will suffice to make this clear. In 1:8 ff. Paul is describing the judgment in reference to unbelievers and saints in general; suddenly with ἐν πᾶσιν τοῖς πιστεύσασι (v. 10), he changes from the general to the specific, intimating by the “all” that the faint-hearted belong to the number of the saints, and by the unexpected aorist participle that, as the explanatory parenthesis (“for our testimony to you was believed”) declares, they had believed the gospel which he had preached to them. The description then closes with the assurance that that day is a day not of judgment but of salvation for believers, specifically the faint-hearted among them. The same tact is evident in 2:9-12 where after announcing the destruction of the Anomos, he comes back to his Parousia, an infringement of orderly description prompted by the purpose of showing that the advent of the Lawless One is intended not for the faint-hearted believers but solely for the doomed. Even more conspicuously tactful is the treatment of the idlers. He approaches the theme in 3:1-5 by expressing his confidence that the brethren will do what he commands as indeed they are doing; then, addressing the group as a whole but having in mind the majority, he gives his command, not on his own authority but on that of Christ, to hold aloof from the idlers, qualifying the directness of the injunction by observing that his order is not new but the original teaching, and persuading obedience by referring to his own example of industry. When he addresses the idlers (3:12), he does so indirectly and impersonally, and softens the command with an exhortation. Indeed, throughout the discussion, he insists that the idlers are brothers (3:6), even the recalcitrants among them (3:15); that the purpose of discipline is reform; and, most notably, that the majority are not without blame in their treatment of the erring brothers (3:13), his final injunction being so worded as to leave the impression that the majority needed admonition as well as the idlers: “And do not regard him as an enemy but warn him as a brother” (3:15).

But affection, confidence, and tact are not the only characteristics of Paul that appear in II as well as in I. There is also the sense of fellowship with the readers which appears unobtrusively in 1:5 “for which you too as well as we suffer”; and in 1:7 “relief with us”;—touches so genuinely Pauline as to be fairly inimitable. There is further the characteristic appeal for the sympathy and prayers of his friends in 3:1-2, a passage too in which he delicately compliments their faith (καθὼς καὶ πρὸς ὑμᾶ). And there is finally the assertion of his right as an apostle to a stipend, and the voluntary waiving of the same in love in order that he may not burden his poor friends with the maintenance and support to which he was entitled (3:7 ff.).

If this estimate of the personal equation of II is just, then in this respect as in respect of the words and phrases, II as well as I is entitled to be considered, what it claims to be, a genuine letter of Paul.


The positive considerations already advanced in the preceding sections are sufficient to establish the Pauline authorship of I, unless one is prepared to assert that Paul never lived or that no letter from him has survived. Curiously enough it is the certainty that I is Pauline that seems to account (cf. Jülicher, Einl6 56) for the revival in recent years of an earlier tendency either to doubt seriously or to deny altogether the authenticity of the second epistle.

(1) External Evidence—The external evidence for the existence and Pauline authorship of I is no better and no worse than that for Galatians. Following the judicious estimate of The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers, 1905, it may be said that “the evidence that Ignatius knew I is almost nil” (cf. I 5:17�Romans 2:1). The παιδεύετε οὖν�

(2) Baur’s Criticism. —While Schrader (Der Apostel Paulus, V, 1836, 23 ff.) was the first to question the authenticity of I, it was Baur (Paulus 1845, 480 ff.) who made the most serious inroads against the tradition and succeeded in convincing some (e. g. Noack, Volkmar, Holsten) but not all (e. g. Lipsius, Hilgenfeld, Holtzmann, Pfleiderer, Schmiedel) of his followers that the letter is spurious. Four only of his reasons need be mentioned (cf. Lün 11-15): (a) The un-Pauline origin is betrayed by the “insignificance of the contents, the want of any special aim and of any definite occasion” (Lün). The last two objections are untenable and the first overlooks the fact that Paul’s letters are not dogmatic treatises but occasional writings designed to meet practical as well as theoretical difficulties, and that I everywhere presupposes on the part of its readers a knowledge of the distinctive Pauline idea of the indwelling Christ or Spirit as the power unto righteousness and the pledge of future salvation. (b) It is contended that I depends both on Acts and on the Pauline letters, especially 1, 2 Cor. To this it is replied that to pronounce I as a “mere copy and echo of 1, 2 Cor. is a decided error of literary criticism” (Moff Introd 70), and that the very differences between Acts and I point not toward but away from literary dependence (McGiffert, EB 5041). (c) More elusive is the objection that I reveals a progress in the Christian life which is improbable, if a period of only a few months had elapsed between the founding of the church and the writing of I. But the evidence adduced for this judgment is unconvincing. The fact that the fame of the little group has spread far and wide (1:7-8), that they have been hospitable to their fellow-Macedonians (4:10), or that Paul has repeatedly desired to see them (2:18, 3:10) is proof not of the long existence of the community but of the intensity and enthusiasm of their faith. Indeed the letter itself, written not later than two or three months after Paul’s departure, reveals the initial freshness and buoyancy of their faith and love. Even the shortcomings betray a recent religious experience (cf. Dob 16-17). (d) Finally it is argued that 4:14-18 while not disagreeing with 1 Corinthians 15:22 is in its concreteness unlike Paul. But on the other hand, waiving the antecedent probability in favour of Paul’s use of apocalyptic, and the distinctively Pauline οἱ νεκροὶ ἐν χριστῷ, it is to be observed that 4:17 indicates that he expects to survive until the Porousia. It is not likely that a forger writing after Paul’s death would have put into his mouth an unrealised expectation (Lün).

(3) Priority of II—The supposed difficulties in I have been removed by some scholars not by denying the Pauline authorship but by assuming that II was written before I. Grotius (see on II 2:13) for example supposed that II was addressed to Jewish Christians who along with Jason had come to Thessalonica from Palestine before Paul had preached there; and that II 3:17 is proof that II is the first letter of Paul to the Thessalonians. The priority of II was defended also by Laurent, Ewald, and others (cf. J. Weiss on 1 Corinthians 16:21 and see, for details, Lün 169-173, Dob 20-21, or Moff Introd 75). Some colour is lent to this hypothesis by the consideration that the case of the idlers in II 3:6 ff. yields a clearer insight into the meaning of I 4:11-12 and 5:14 (νουθετεῖτε τοὺς�

(4) Theories of Interpolation—More ingenious than convincing is the theory of Robert Scott (The Pauline Epistles, 1909, 215 ff.) to the effect that I and II are made up of two documents, one by Timothy (chs. 1-3 of I and ch. 3 of II) and the other by Silas (chs. 4-5 of I and chs. 1-2 of II), documents completed and edited by Timothy somewhere between 70 and 80 a.d. An interesting element in the conjecture is that chs. 1-3 of I depend largely on Phil. and slightly on 2 Cor.

Minor glosses have been suspected in 2:14-16 (cf. Schmiedel, ad loc.) or at least in 2:16 f. (Schmiedel, Drummond, Moff et al.), in 5:23 f. (cf. EB 5041), in 5:27 (cf. Moff Introd 69) and elsewhere; but in no one of these instances is the suspicion warranted, as the exegesis will show.


(1) Antecedent Probability—Since the internal evidence of II reveals a situation which is thoroughly intelligible on the assumption of genuineness, and since the language, personal equation, and religious convictions of the letter are Pauline, it is antecedently probable that the ancient tradition assigning the epistle to Paul is to be accepted.

The external evidence of II is slightly better than that for I. To be sure, little stress is to be laid on Ign. Romans 10:3 ἐν ὑπομονῇ Ἰ. Χ = 3:5 or on the similarity in respect of apocalyptic utterances between II and Barn. 15:5, 18:2, Did. 16:1 ff, or Justin Martyr dial. 32:12 110:6 116:5. On the other hand, Polycarp addresses the Philippians in 11:3 with the words of 1:4, and in 11:4 (et non sicut inimicos tales existimetis) with the words of 3:15. “In spite of the fact that both these passages occur in the part of Polycarp for which the Latin version alone is extant, his use of 2 Thess. appears to be very probable” (N. T. in Ap. Fathers, 95). Furthermore II like I has a place in Marcion’s N. T. and has from Irenæus on been accepted as canonical and Pauline by all sections of the church.

(2) History of the Criticism—Though the antecedent probability tells in favour of the genuineness of II, yet there are admitted difficulties which to some scholars appear so serious as to compel them either to speak doubtfully of the authorship or to assume that II proceeds from the hand not of Paul but of a falsarius. As the sketch of the history of criticism, given below, hopes to make clear, the difficulties are mainly two in number, the alleged contradiction between the eschatological utterances of II 2:1-12 and I 5:1-11 and the confessedly close literary resemblances between II and I. Both of these difficulties, it is to be remarked, proceed on the assumption (Kern, Holtzmann, Schmiedel, Wrede, and others) that I is a genuine letter of Paul.

(a) Against Genuineness.—The first to question seriously the genuineness of II (see especially Born 49:8 ff.) was J. E. C. Schmidt (1801) who, on the ground of the eschatology of 2:1-12 in general, of the alleged discrepancies between 2:1-12 and I 4:13-5:11, and of the supposed references to forged letters in 2:2, 3:17, thought that at least 2:1-12 was a Montanistic interpolation; but who later (1804) denied the letter as a whole to Paul. De Wette at first (Einl 1826) agreed with Schmidt, but afterward when he published his commentary (1841) withdrew his support. Apparently the exegesis of II became easier on the assumption of genuineness.

One of the most important contributions, both on account of its insight and on account of its influence on Baur (Paulus, 1845, 480 ff.), Holtzmann (Einl 1885, 18923; ZNW 1901, 97-108; and finally N. T. Theol. 19112, II, 213-215), Weizsäcker (Das Apostolische Zeitalter, 1886, 258-261 = 18922, 249-251), Pfleiderer (Urchristentunn, 1887, 19022), Schmiedel (1889, 18932), Wrede (Die Echtheit des zweiten Thessalonicherbriefes, 1903), von Soden (Urchristliche Literaturgeschichte, 1905, 164-168), Weinel (Biblische Theol. des N. T. 1911, 500), and others, is unquestionably that of Kern, Ueber 2 Thess. 21-12. Nebst Andeutungen über den Ursprung des zweiten Briefes an die Thessalonicher (Tübinger Zeitschrift für Theologie, 1839, Zweites Heft, 145-214). After a careful exposition of 2:1-12 (145-174) and a sketch of the history of interpretation (175-192), Kern looks for the origin of the prophecy in the historical situation of the writer (193 ff.) and finds that the apocalyptic picture is an application by a Paulinist of the legend of the Antichrist to the belief in Nero Redivivus. “The Antichrist, whose appearance is expected as imminent, is Nero; the things that restrain him are the circumstances of the world of that time; the person that restrains him is Vespasian, with his son Titus who had just besieged Jerusalem. What is said of the apostasy reflects the abominable wickedness that broke out among the Jewish people in their war against the Romans” (200). This unfulfilled prophecy belongs to the years between 68-70 a.d. and could not therefore be written by Paul (207). After referring briefly to the difficulty in 3:17, Kern sketches (211-213) the manner in which II depends on I, indicating in passing both the Pauline and un-Pauline elements in II. The first letter, he thinks, with its historical situation was excellently adapted to the creation of a second in which the apocalyptic picture, conceived by the spirit of the Paulinist, could be imparted to his Christian brethren. The passage 2:1-12, which is the pith of the whole matter, is preceded by an introduction and followed by an exhortation, both drawn from the genuine letter of Paul (214).

The same conclusion was reached by Weizsacker who held that the purpose of II is the desire to impart 2:1-12, while the rest of the letter is solely a framework designed to encircle it with the authority of Paul, an intention revealed by the imitation, with corresponding changes, of the first letter. Unlike Kern, however, Weizsäcker, in presenting his case, says nothing of the theory of Nero Redivivus, but points first of all, in evidence of spuriousness, to the striking relation of II to I both in the similarity of the historical situation and in the correspondence in their contents of separate parts of II to certain sections of I; although, he observes, the whole of II does not correspond in extent and arrangement to the whole of I. Schmiedel held with Kern to the theory of Nero Redivivus, but indicated in greater detail than he the literary dependence of II on I, while Holtzmann (1892) put into the forefront of the debate the differences between II and I in respect of eschatology.

Between 1892 and 1901, the investigations into apocalyptic of Gunkel, Bousset, and Charles suggested not only the naturalness in Paul of such a passage as 2:1-12 but also that the legend of Nero Redivivus is not the clew to the interpretation of that difficult section. Charles indeed (Ascension of Isaiah, 1900, LXII) gave convincing reasons for concluding that Schmiedel’s theory which regards 2:1-12 as a Beliar-Neronic myth (68-70 a.d.) “is at conflict with the law of development as well as with all the evidence accessible on the subject.”

A new impetus was given to the discussion by Holtzmann in 1901, who while still insisting that 2:1-12 and I 4:13-5:11 present mutually exclusive views of the future, called attention anew to the literary dependence of II upon I; and by Wrede independently in 1903, who subjected the literary relations to an exhaustive examination and strengthened the theory of Kern as to the intentional dependence of II upon I. To Wrede, however, the argument from eschatology was convincing not of itself but only in connection with the main argument from literary dependence. Since, however, a date as early as 70 for a forgery is difficult to maintain, he was compelled to place II at the close of the first or at the beginning of the second century, a date which Hilgenfeld (1862) had already suggested on the strength of the assumption that “the mystery of iniquity” presupposes the rise of the gnostic heresies. Finally Hollmann (ZNW 1904, 28-38), while recognising that the literary relation of II and I, the lack of the personal equation in II, and the statement of II 2:2 when compared with 3:17 are difficulties, is inclined with Holtzmann to lay the stress on the alleged discrepancies between 2:1-12 and I 5:1-11. Unlike his predecessors, Hollmann acknowledges the important part that the idlers play in II and accordingly suggests that the eschatological situation at the end of the century, which evoked from II the correction that the Parousia is postponed, had been causing among other things the flight from labour. The forger selects for his purpose elements of the legend of Antichrist because of the theory of Nero Redivivus current in his day, forgetting entirely or else treating figuratively the allusion to the temple.

(b) For Genuineness.—The arguments of Kern failed to convince Lünemann (1850), Lightfoot (Smith’s DB. 1870, 3222 ff.; Biblical Essays, 1893, 253 ff., printed from lecture notes of 1867), Auberlen and Riggenbach (in Lange, 1864 = Lillie’s edition 1868), Jülicher (Einl 1894), Bornemann (1894), Briggs (Messiah of the Apostles, 1895), Zahn (Einl 1897), B. Weiss (Einl3 1897), McGiffert (Apostolic Age, 1897, 252 ff.), Charles (Ascen. Isa. 1900, LXII), Vincent (Word Studies, IV, 1900), Bacon (Introd 1900), Askwith (Introd. to the Thess. Epistles, 1902), Wohlenberg (1903), Lock (HDB 1903, IV, 743 ff.) and many others. The rebuttal, however, is addressed mainly not to the argument from literary dependence but to that from the differences in eschatology. On the other hand, McGiffert, who in his Apostolic Age (loc. cit.) had accepted the style of II as genuinely Pauline and had considered the arguments in favour stronger than those against the authenticity, published in 1903 (EB 5041 ff.), after a fresh examination of the problem made independently of Holtzmann (1901) and Wrede (1903), a modification of his previous position. In this important discussion which reveals a keen sense of the relevant, he waives as secondary the arguments from differences in eschatology and in style, and puts significantly into the foreground the argument from literary dependence. While admitting that the evidence as a whole points rather toward than against the Pauline authorship, he concludes that “it must be recognised that its genuineness is beset with serious difficulties and that it is at best very doubtful.”

But in spite of the serious obstacles which the suggestion of Kern in its modern form puts into the way of accepting confidently the Pauline authorship of II, it may be said fairly that the tendency at present is favourable to the hypothesis of genuineness; so for example Wernle (GGA 1905, 347-352), Findlay (1904), Clemen (Paulus, 1904, I, 114 ff.), Vischer (Paulusbriefe, 1904, 70 f.), Heinrici (Der litterarische Character der neutestamentlichen Schriften, 1908, 60), Milligan (1908), Bousset (ERE 1908, I, 579), Mackintosh (1909), von Dobschütz (1909), Moffatt (EGT 1910; Introd. 1911) Knowling (Testimony of St. Paul to Christ 19113, 24-28), Harnack (SBBA 1910, 560-578), Dibelius (1911)., Lake (The Earlier Epistles of St. Paul, 1911), Deissmann (Paulus, 1911, 14), and many others.

(c) Other Hypotheses.—(1) J. E. C. Schmidt (1801) found in 2:1-12 a Montanistic interpolation and Michelsen (1876) in 2:1-9 a Jewish Christian apocalypse; Paul Schmidt (1885) discovered in 1:5-12 and 2:2b-12 evidences that a genuine letter of Paul had been worked over by a Paulinist in a.d. 69. The difficulty with these and similar theories of interpolation, apart from the question of the validity of the literary criteria, is the fact that in removing 2:1-12 one of the two salient purposes of the letter is destroyed. “As a matter of fact, the suggestion of Hausrath (Neutestamentliche Zeitgeschichte2 3, 198) that this passage is the only genuine part of the epistle is much more plausible” (McGiffert, EB 5043). For other theories of interpolation, see Moff 81 f. (2) Spitta (Zur Geschichte und Litteratur des Urchristentums, 1893, I, 111-154) assigns II, except 3:17-18, to Timothy (cf. also Lueken, SNT II, 21), a theory which is incompatible with the obvious exegesis of 2:5 (see Mill lxxxix ff.). On Scott’s proposal, v. supra, p. 39. (3) Bacon (Introd. 74) suggests that the linguistic peculiarities of II may be explained by the assumption that the amanuensis of II is different from that of I. (4) On the theory of Grotius, v. supra, p. 38; on that of Harnack, v. infra, p. 53.

The history of the criticism outlined above tends to show that the two main objections to the authenticity of II are, as Kern pointed out in 1839, the literary resemblances between II and I, and the alleged discrepancy in respect of eschatology between II 2:1-12 and I 5:1-11, both objections depending on the assumption that I is genuine.

(3) Objection from Eschatology—The first of the two main objections to the genuineness of II is based on the alleged inconsistency between II 2:1-12 and I 5:1-11. According to II 2:5, the converts had been taught that certain signs would precede the Parousia; but according to I 5:1-11 they know accurately that the day comes as a thief at night, that is, suddenly and unexpectedly. These two elements of the original teaching are, it is argued, mutually exclusive; and since Paul cannot be inconsistent, and cannot have changed his opinions within the short interval between the composition of I and II, the reference in II to premonitory signs betrays a later hand. To this objection it has been urged with force (1) generally that in apocalyptic literature both the idea of the suddenness of the coming of the day of the Lord and the idea of premonitory signs constantly appear together; and (2) specifically that the natural inference from I 5:1-4 is that the readers are acquainted with the teaching of Paul that certain signs will herald the approach of the Lord. Signs and suddenness are not mutually exclusively elements in apocalyptic; and the mention of the suddenness but not the signs in I 5:1-11 and of the signs but not the suddenness in II 2:1-12 is evidence not of a contradiction in terms but of a difference of emphasis due to a difference of situation in Thessalonica.

In I 5:1-11, Paul is not concerned with giving new instruction either on times and seasons in general or in particular on the suddenness of the coming of the day; he is interested solely in encouraging the faint-hearted to remember that though the day is to come suddenly upon all, believer and unbeliever alike, it will not catch the believer unprepared, the tacit assumption being that the readers already know accurately about the times and seasons including, as II 2:5 expressly declares, a knowledge of the premonitory signs. In II 2:1-12, Paul is writing with the same faint-hearted persons in mind and with the same purpose of encouragement, but he is facing a different situation and a different need. The faint-hearted have become more discouraged because of the assertion, supported, it was alleged, by the authority of Paul, that the day of the Lord had actually dawned. In order to show the absurdity of that opinion, it became necessary for Paul to remind them of his oral teaching on premonitory signs. Though the reminder was of itself an encouragement, Paul took the pains to add for the further encouragement of the faint-hearted that the advent of the Anomos (2:9-12) is intended not for them, but for unbelievers, the doomed who destroyed themselves by refusing to welcome the love for the truth unto their salvation. Since the converts are aware of this teaching about the signs, it is necessary only to allude to it; and the allusions are so indistinct that no one hearing the words for the first time could fully understand them. A different situation occasions a different emphasis; signs and suddenness are not incompatibles in apocalyptic.

On the question of signs and suddenness as a whole, see Briggs Messianic Prophecy, 1886, 52 ff.; Messiah of the Gospels, 1894, 156 ff., 160 ff.; and Messiah of the Apostles, 1895, 550 ff. Against the contention of Schmiedel, Holtzmann, Hollmann, and others that I 5:1-11 and II 2:1-12 are mutually exclusive, see Briggs, Messiah of the Apostles, 91 ff.; Spitta (op. cit. 129 ff.); McGiffert (EB 5042); Clemen (Paulus, I, 118); Zahn (Introd I, 253); Moff (Introd 80 f.); and the commentaries of Find (lii), Mill (lxxxv f.), and Dob (38 f.). Wrede candidly admits that were it not for the literary dependence of II on I, there would be little force in the argument from eschatology.

(4) Objection from Literary Resemblances—The second and more important of the two main objections to the authenticity of II is based on the literary resemblances between II and I. These similarities, it is contended, are so close and continuous as to make certain the literary dependence of II upon I and to exclude as a psychological impossibility the authorship of II by Paul, if, as is generally assumed, II is addressed to the same readers as I and written about three months after I.

(A) Statement of the Case—(a) In presenting the case for the literary dependence of II on I, care must be taken not to overstate the agreements or to understate the differences (see especially Wernle, op. cit.). It is said for example: “New in the letter is the passage 2:1-12 (more accurately 2:2-9, 11-12), the evident prelude thereto 1:5, 6, 9, 12, and finally the epistolary material 2:15, 3:2, 13, 14, 17. The entire remainder is simply excerpt, paraphrase, and variation of the larger letter, often in fact elaborated repetition of parallel passages of the same” (Holtzmann, ZNW 1901, 104; so also in Einl3 1892, 214). Much truer to the facts is the estimate of McGiffert (EB 5044; cf. Dob. 45): “the only new matter in the second (letter) is found in 1:5-12, 2:2-12, 15, 3:1-5, 10, 13 f, 17 (though) even within these passages there is more or less dependence upon I. The remainder of the epistle, about a third of the whole, is simply a more or less close reproduction of the first epistle.” That is to say, the new matter comprises about two-thirds of the epistle, a rather large proportion when it is recalled that the apologia of the first three chapters of I does not recur in II, and that only two of the three classes chiefly exhorted in the last two chapters of I are treated in II.

In the paragraphs that follow, only the salient points of resemblance and difference are mentioned; for an exhaustive discussion, see Wrede (op. cit.).

(b) The most striking and at the same time most important feature in the resemblances between II and I is the epistolary outline, formally considered. No other two extant letters of Paul agree so closely in this respect. At the same time there are differences, and II has new material of its own. The following table may serve to visualise the outline:


παῦλο … χάρις καὶ εἰρήμ … 1:1 idem 1:1-2 a

The striking similarity between the two outlines, apart from the superscription and the salutation and benediction, consists in the double thanksgiving, the first prayer with αὐτός the λοιπόν and the second prayer with αὐτός But even within the agreement there are differences, for example, ὀφείλομε II 1:3, 2:13; the position of κύριο in 2:16; the contents of the section introduced by λοιπόν and κύριο for θεό in II 3:16a. Moreover, II adds new material, for example, προσευχόμεθ (1:11; cf. Philippians 1:9) after the first thanksgiving; ἐρωτῶμε (2:1-12; to be sure 2:1 = I 5:12; the exhortation is natural, for the purpose is not to censure but to encourage); the imperative στήκετ after the second thanksgiving; and the ὁ κύριος μετὰ πάντων ὑμῶ (3:16) after the second prayer with αὐτός

(c) The author of II, though he follows in the main the epistolary outline of I and centres his reminiscences about the corresponding sections in II, does not draw these reminiscences entirely from the corresponding epistolary sections in I; that is to say, II 1:3-4 does not come wholly from I 1:2-4, nor II 2:16-17 from I 3:11-13, nor II 3:1-5 from I 4:1-2 nor II 3:16 from I 5:23. Evidently the author of II is not a slavish copyist, as is for example the author of the epistle to the Laodiceans (cf. Lightfoot, Colossians and Philemon, 285 f.) who starts with Galatians 1:1 and then follows the order of Philippians for sixteen out of twenty verses, and ends with Colossians 4:16 (Dob 45-46). In fact, apart from the formal agreements in the main epistolary outline, the striking thing is not the slavish dependence of the author of II on I, but the freedom with which he employs the reminiscences from I and incorporates them in original ways into new settings.

In II 1:3-4, little stress should be laid on the common epistolary formula εὐχαριστεῖν τῷ θεῷ πάντοτε περὶ ἡμῶ; more important is the new ὀφείλομε which along with καθὼς ἄξιόν ἐστι reveals the encouraging purpose of the first two chapters, as the exegesis will show. The ὑπεραυξάνε and πλεονάζει indicating the inward growth of the church, come not from I 1:2-4 but from the equally redundant πλεονάσαι καὶ περισσεύσα of I 3:12; the prayer for brotherly love is fulfilled. The ἑνὸς ἑκάστο is drawn not from I 1:2-4 but if necessary from I 2:12. Instead, however, of repeating “the work of faith,” “the labour of love,” and “the endurance of hope” (I 1:2), or the faith, hope, and love of I 5:8, he confines himself to faith and love, the points which Timothy, in reporting the situation in I 3:6, had emphasised. Then instead of saying that it is unnecessary to speak of their faith (I 1:8-9), he is at pains to say that, contrary to their expectations, he is boasting everywhere not of their faith and love, but of their endurance and faith in persecutions, which reminds one more of I 3:2 than of 1:2 ff. It is evident that the writer of II 1:3-4 draws not simply from I 1:2-3 but from I 3:12, 2:12, 3:6, 3:2 and if ἄξιον which controls καταξιωθῆνα (II 1:5) and�

In the prayer II 2:16-17 (αὐτὸς δέ κτλ), which corresponds to I 3:11-13, the only resemblance to I 3:11-13, apart from the initial phrase (and II puts Christ before God as in Galatians 1:1), is ὑμῶν τὰς καρδία and στηρίξαι But the collocation στηρίζειν καὶ παρακαλεῖ (cf. Romans 1:12) occurs in I 3:2. Surely the unique phrase παράκλησιν αἰωνία does not owe its origin simply to ἡ παράκλησις ἡμῶ I 2:3.

Most interesting is the section beginning with τὸ λοιπό in II 3:1-5, which introduces the command to the idlers in 3:6-15, when compared with the corresponding section in I 4:1-2 (λοιπόν κτ.) which introduces the exhortations of 4:3-5:22. It is interesting because II 3:1-5 draws nothing from I 4:1-2 except the λοιπό, unless παραγγελίας ἐδώκαμε suggests παραγγέλλομε and καθὼς καὶ περιπατεῖτ accounts for καὶ ποιεῖτε καὶ ποιήσετ. Rather καθὼς παρελάβετ (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:1, Galatians 1:9, Philippians 4:9, Colossians 2:6) παρʼ ἡμῶ (I 4:1) appears first in II 3:6 κατὰ τὴν παράδοσιν ἣν παρελάβετε παρʼ ἡμῶ; and τὸ πῶς δεῖ ὑμᾶς περιπατεῖ (I 4:1) appears first in II 3:7 πῶς δεῖ μιμεῖσθαι ὑμᾶς the resulting combination εἰδέναι πῶς δει being found also in Colossians 4:6 and 1 Timothy 3:15. But the αὐτοὶ γὰρ οἴδατ of II 3:7 comes not from οἴδατε γά I 4:2, but rather from the αὐτοὶ γὰρ οἴδατ of I 2:1 or 3:3. But to return to II 3:1-5; vv. 1-2 are new and fit nicely into the situation at Corinth; οὐ γὰρ πάντων ἡ πίστι betrays a mood similar to that in I 2:15-16; προσεύχεσθε�Hebrews 13:18; cf. Colossians 4:2) is not a slavish reproduction of I 5:25 as the omission of και and the changed position of�Colossians 3:16 has ὁ λόγος τοῦ χριστου; but κύριο is characteristic of II compared with I, and in 3:1-5, as in Philippians 4:1-5, occurs four times. In II 3:3, πιστὸς δέ ἐστιν ὁ χύριος ὅ agrees with I 5:24 only in πιστό and ὅσ; στηρίξε (2:17) need come neither from I 3:2 nor from 3:13 (cf. Romans 1:11, Romans 16:25), and φυλάξε is used elsewhere in Paul only with νόμο. In II 3:4, πεποίθαμεν ἐν κυρίῳ (Philippians 2:24), which is characteristic of Paul, does not occur in I; παραγγέλλομε is not quite παραγγελίας ἐδώκαμε (4:2); and καὶ ποιεῖτε καὶ ποιήσετ resembles I 4:10 or 5:11 more than 4:1. In II 3:5, ὁ δὲ κύριος κατευθύναι ὑμῶν τὰς καρδία reminds one of ὑμᾶς δὲ ὁ κύριο (I 3:12), of κατευθύνα (3:11), and of ὑμῶν τὰς καρδία (3:13; II 2:17). It will be remembered that of the 146 words common to I and II, κατευθύνειν, θεσσαλονιχεύς, ἐρωτᾷ (Phil.), and περιποίησι (Eph.) are the only ones not found in one or more of the Major Epistles of Paul; and that κατευθύνειν τὰς καρδία is a good Lxx phrase. If now we follow the order of allusions in II 3:1-5 to I, we shall have I 4:1 (λοιπό), 5:25 (προσεύχεσθ), 1:8 (ὁ λόγος τοῦ κυρίο), 2:15-16 (οὐ γὰρ πάντων ἡ πίστι), 5:24 (πιστό), 3:2 or 3:13 (στηρίξε), [Philippians 2:24 πεποίθαμεν ἐν κυρίῳ], 4:10 or 5:11 (ποιεῖτ), 3:12 (ὁ δὲ κύριο), 3:11 (κατευθύνα), 3:13 (ὑμῶν τὰς καρδία). It is evident that the writer of II 3:1-5 does not take much from the corresponding I 4:1-2, but rather mingles scattered reminiscences from I with his new material (vv. 1-2, 4a, 5b).

Finally, II 3:16 agrees with the corresponding I 5:23 only in the initial αὐτὸς δὲ ὁ θεὸς τῆς εἰρήνης and even so θεό becomes κύριο. The prayer itself is different. Then, instead of the πιστό clause (I 5:24), II inserts the new ὁ κύριος μετὰ πάντων ὑμῶ.

(d) Apart from the epistolary outline, there are few lengthy agreements in the phrases common to I and II.

The superscription of II 1:1-2 differs from that in I 1:1 in adding ἡμῶ to πατρι and�

Apart from the epistolary outline, the agreements are seldom lengthy. Furthermore, the setting of the phrases in II is usually different from their setting in I. The two lengthiest agreements occur in II 3:8-10; the first (3:8) ἐν κόπῳ καὶ μόχθῳ (I 2:9 τὸν κόπον ἡμῶν καὶ τὸν μόχθον) νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας ἐργαζόμενοι πρὸς τὸ μὴ ἐπιβαρῆσαί τινα ὑμῶ appears in a different context in I 2:9 and is a purposed reminiscence (see note on II 3:8); the following elements in it are found elsewhere in Paul but not elsewhere in the N. T.: κόπος καὶ μόχθο (2 Corinthians 11:27 κόπῳ καὶ μόχθῳ), πρὸς τὸ μη with infin., and ἐπιβαρεῖ (2 Corinthians 2:5; nowhere else in Gk. Bib.); on the other hand νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρα is found elsewhere in N. T. but not elsewhere in Paul. The second (3:10), καὶ γὰρ ὅτ (not elsewhere in N. T.) ἦμεν πρὸς ὑμᾶ (cf. 2:5 ὢν πρὸς ὑμᾶ) appears in a different connection in I 3:4. Briefer reminiscences are αὐτοὶ γὰρ οἴδατ II 3:7 (I 2:1, 3:2, 5:2) and ἔργον πίστεω II 1:12 (I 1:3) which are not found elsewhere in the N. T.; καὶ διὰ τοῦτ II 2:11 (I 2:13) and ὁ λόγος τοῦ κυρίο II 3:1 (I 1:8, 4:16) which are found elsewhere in N. T. but not elsewhere in Paul; ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶ II 1:11, 12 (I 2:2, 3:9, 1 Corinthians 6:11), ἡμέρα κυρίο II 2:2 (I 5:2), ἡ πίστις ὑμῶ II 1:3, 4 (I 1:8, 3:2, 5, 6, 7, 10), ἡ παρουσία τοῦ κυρίου (ἡμῶν Ἰ. .) II 2:1 (I 3:13, 4:15, 23, 1 Corinthians 15:23), πῶς δει II 3:7 (I 4:1, Colossians 4:6), and στηρίζειν και παρακαλεῖς II 2:17 (I 3:2; cf. Romans 1:12), which are found elsewhere in N. T. and elsewhere in Paul; and ἄρα οὖν�Romans 8:12), τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ἡμῶ II 2:14 (I 1:5) which are found elsewhere in Paul but not elsewhere in N. T.

(e) In the passage 1:5-2:12, which consists of new material, there is but slight evidence of literary dependence on I, although knowledge of I is presupposed. In this material, distinctively Pauline elements occur.

In I 1:4-10 the stress is laid on election evidenced by the reception of the word in great θλίψις and not on judgment (1:10); but in II 1:5-10, the emphasis is put not so much on election as on the certainty of acquittal in judgment. This certainty is due to the fact of their endurance and faith, and the judgment is sketched in vv. 7-10. It is not strange that θλίψι occurs in both passages; but ὀργη (I 1:10) is not in II nor διωγμὀ (II 1:4) in I. The ἐν τῇ�

In II 2:13 the epistolary outline of I 2:13 is followed, but the new ὀφεί λομε purposely repeats II 1:3. The “brethren beloved by the Lord” (not God as in I 1:4) is an intentional reference to I 1:4; but what follows is not a slavish combination of ἐκλογη (I 1:4), ὁ καλῶ (I 2:12 or 5:24), τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ἡμῶ (I 1:5), περιποίησι (I 5:9) and δόξα (I 2:12), but is a fresh and vigorous statement of Pauline convictions, sweeping from everlasting to everlasting, akin to I 5:9 but not betraying literary dependence on the same. In the midst thereof come the effective but in Paul unusual�1 Peter 1:2), and πίστις�

(g) Finally it is interesting to observe that from II 3:6-15 it is possible to get a clearer picture of the situation presupposed by I 4:11-12 and 5:14 (νουθετεῖτε τοὺς�

The μιμεῖσθα of 3:7 refers to work not to suffering (I 1:6, 2:14 μιμηται); τύπο in view of Philippians 3:17 is a natural word for “example” without recourse to the τύπο of I 1:7; the idea of waiving apostolic right in love (3:9) appears in a different setting in I 2:6-7, and the language in which it is expressed agrees not with I 2:6-7 but with 1 Corinthians 9:4 ff.; and although 3:9 and I 2:7-8 alike hint at self-sacrifice, μεταδοῦναι τὰς ψυχά does not suggest διδόναι τύπο. Furthermore, the lengthy agreement of 3:8 with I 2:9 is intentional, that of 3:10 with I 3:3 accidental, as II 2:5 suggests. These facts, coupled with the tactful treatment of the case of the idlers, especially the significant emphasis in 3:15, which is far from Kirchensucht, with the ethical turn in οὐ θέλε (3:10) and with the quite Pauline ἐν κυρίῳ (3:12), point distinctly to the hand of Paul.

(B) Hypothesis of Forgery—Notwithstanding the fact that the greater part of the material in II is new, that, aside from the agreements in the epistolary outline of I and II, the reminiscences from I but rarely occur in the corresponding sections of II, that these reminiscences are worked over freely and mingled with new material, and that II 3:6-15 reflects an intimate and first-hand acquaintance with the situation presupposed by I 4:11-12, 5:14, it is nevertheless held that it is quite as easy to imagine that a later writer familiar with I and with the style of Paul imitated I for his own purpose, as that Paul himself wrote II. Since then it is a psychological impossibility for Paul to have written II to the same persons a few months after I, the alternative is a forger.

But apart from the consideration that those who support the hypothesis of forgery fail to indicate what are the criteria for a psychological impossibility in such a case, it is to be observed that it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine what the purpose of the forger is and why he hits on I as the point of departure for his pseudepigraphon.

It is sometimes urged that II is written to take the place of I. Were this true, the reason for the forgery would be patent. But as both McGiffert (EB 5042) and Wrede (60) insist, there is no indication of an intention to “save Paul’s reputation and set him right with the Thess;, after his death, by showing that he had not expected the consummation as soon as I seemed to imply” (McGiffert). In fact, 2:15 intimates that the authority of I is formally recognised (Wrede). Hence “the sole purpose of the eschatological passage is clearly to put a stop to the fanaticism to which the belief in the speedy consummation was giving rise” (McGiffert; so essentially Kern, 214, Weizsäcker, 250, and Wrede, 67-69).

To this it may be rejoined: (1) The internal evidence of the second letter reveals not one but two purposes, to encourage the faint-hearted who had become more despondent by reason of the assertion that the day is present and to warn more sharply the idlers who since the

writing of I had become more troublesome. Hollmann recognises this two-fold purpose in that he affirms that the forger united closely the strained eschatological situation and the flight from labour. (2) If 2:1-12 is designed as a corrective of prevailing wrong impressions as to the imminence of the Parousia, it chooses an extremely obscure method of illuminating the minds of the readers. On the assumption of genuineness, the reason for the obscurity is clear; the Thessalonians, since they knew the teaching already, needed only to be reminded of it. (3) Neither Kern nor Wrede has succeeded in explaining just why I is seized upon as the point of departure for the pseudepigraphon. (4) It is admittedly (Wrede, 37 f. and McGiffert, EB 5042) difficult to believe that a letter could be sent to the Thessalonians and be accepted by them as Pauline before Paul’s death; or to believe that a letter addressed to them but not really intended for them could have gained currency as Pauline in Paul’s lifetime. It is necessary therefore to go beyond the sixties, down even to the end of the first or even to the beginning of the second century in order to make a forgery intelligible. But the further one goes beyond 50 a.d. the harder it is to account for that intimate acquaintance with the situation implied by I, which is revealed especially in II 3:6-15. (5) There is no essential incompatibility between I 5:1 ff. and II 2:1-12, between signs and suddenness, as both McGiffert and Wrede concede. (6) At every point the exegesis of II is easiest on the assumption of genuineness. (7) The hypothesis of forgery proceeds on the supposition that it is a psychological impossibility for Paul to have written II a few months after I to the same people. But criteria for distinguishing what is psychologically possible or impossible to Paul are not adduced. The only evidence that throws any light on the matter is the statement of Paul to another Macedonian church: “To go on writing the same things is not tedious to me, while to you it is safe” (Philippians 3:1). To be sure, there are no objective criteria to go by; no two other extant letters of Paul in which two out of the three situations in one letter are treated in a second letter written less than three months later. On the assumption of genuineness, it is evident that it was important for Paul to remember I, for its utterances at certain points had been misconstrued by some. And since, according to Philippians 3:1, Paul could write the same things if necessary, the presence in II of reminiscences, apart from the epistolary outline, is natural, especially if II is a reply to a letter which the Thessalonians sent to Paul asking advice concerning the faint-hearted and the idlers, a letter written after their reading of I and after their failure to cope successfully with the difficulty created by the assertion that the day of the Lord was actually present. Indeed, it is not improbable that, as Zahn (Introd. I, 250; cf. Moff Introd. 76) suggests, Paul read over the original draft of I before he dictated II, for in the light of Cicero’s usual habit (cf. Zahn, loc. cit.) and of similar evidence from the papyri (cf. Deiss. Light, 227 f.), it may be assumed that the letters of Paul were usually revised after dictation and copied, the copy being sent, and the original draft retained by Paul or his secretary. At the same time, it is strange that the espistolary outline of II should agree so closely with that of I. But strangeness is not identical with psychological impossibility.

(5) Hypothesis of Genuineness—Since the antecedent probability, namely, the intelligibility of the historical situation implied by II, the language, the personal equation, and the religious convictions, is distinctly in favour of Pauline authorship, and since the objection to the genuineness on the score of alleged discrepancies between I 5:1 ff. and II 2:1-12 is not insuperable, the hypothesis of genuineness may be assumed as the best working hypothesis in spite of the difficulties suggested by the literary resemblances, especially the striking agreement in the epistolary outline.

Harnack, however (op. cit.), like Wrede, is convinced that it is psychologically impossible for II to have been written by Paul a few months after I to the same address, although the criteria for determining psychological impossibility are not stated. But he is equally confident that II is thoroughly Pauline. The only way then out of the conclusion that II is a forgery is the postulate that there were two churches in Thessalonica, one the main church composed of Gentiles, the other a kind of annex made up of Jews; and that I was addressed to the Gentile and II to the Jewish church. Although Paul ordered the former to see to it that the latter should hear the first epistle read (I 5:27), yet he was aware that the exhortations in reference to impurity, a sin to which Gentiles were susceptible, and in reference to eschatology (new teaching in I 4:13-18, and simple in I 5:1-11), had in mind mainly if not wholly the problems of the Gentile Christians. Accordingly, in order to meet the specific needs of the Jewish Christians who were steeped in eschatology and had begun to believe that the day of the Lord was present, and who were also idle (for although the Gentiles were idle, the Jews were the conspicuous idlers, as the severe reproof of II 3:6-15 shows), he writes the second letter at the same time as I, or a few days after I. Though both types of Christians were dear to Paul, yet the letter to the Jewish annex, while not unfriendly, lacks the warm tone and the intimate friendliness of I, is in fact somewhat severe (3:12 ff.), official and ceremonious (ὀφείλομε 1:3, 2:13). This postulate, once made, is worked out with the brilliance familiar to readers of his discussion of the Priscan authorship of Hebrews.

Waiving the suggestion that the hypothesis would be relieved of one difficulty if the traditional assertion that II is severe, official, and ceremonious were dispensed with altogether, two important difficulties may be suggested, one that the evidence adduced for the existence of a separate Jewish Christian group is not quite conclusive, and the other that the psychological difficulty that prompts the postulate is not entirely removed. As to the first point, Harnack assumes that the O. T. colouring in II suggests Jewish Christian readers, an assumption which is disputable; also that the Gentiles had had no instruction in eschatology beyond the simplest teaching as to the suddenness of the day and the necessity for watchfulness, an assumption difficult not only in the light of I 5:2 f., but also of I 4:16-17 where Paul includes in his new teaching apocalyptic details which, on the theory of simplicity, are irrelevant. Furthermore, while Acts 17:4 states that the preaching in the synagogue succeeded with a few Jews and with a great many Gentiles, men and women, who as adherents of the synagogue may be presumed to have been acquainted with the Messianic hopes of the Jews in their apocalyptic expression, still it has nothing to say of the formation of two separate Christian groups. Still further, the first letter betrays no knowledge of the existence of more than one Christian assembly in Thessalonica, for the “all” in 5:27 obviously suggests not an annex of Jewish Christians but recalcitrants, most probably some of the idle brethren, within the one church of the Thessalonians. Moreover, the reading�

Lake (Exp. Times, Dec. 1910, 131-3, and The Earlier Epistles of St. Paul, 1911, 83 ff.) inclines to think that Harnack’s theory complies with all the conditions of the problem; Dibelius and Knopf (TLZ 1911, 455-457) speak hesitatingly.


The text of Westcott and Hort is followed almost without exception in the commentary. The nomenclature is that of Gregory, Die Griechischen Handschriften des N. T. 1908 and Text Kritik des N. T. III, 1909 (cf. Souter, Nov. Test. Graece, 1910). The various readings are taken from the apparatus of Tischendorf (Nov. Test. Graece, vol. II, ed. 8, 1872) and of Souter.

The various readings from Greek manuscripts, versions, and patristic writers have been cited in the interest of exegesis. The following authorities have been most serviceable: Zimmer (Der Text der Thessalonicherbriefe, 1893), B Weiss. (Textkritik der Paulinischen Briefe, in TU3 1896), and the textual notes in the commentaries of Findlay and Dobschütz.

(1) Greek Manuscripts—From the lists in Gregory (op. cit.) and von Soden (Die Schriften des N. T., begun in 1902 and now (1912) nearing completion), it would appear that about six hundred Greek manuscripts contain 1, 2 Thess. wholly or in part. The twenty-one uncials among them may be briefly enumerated as follows:

א (e a p r). Cod. Sinaiticus, saec. iv, now at St. Petersburg. Edited by Tischendorf, its discoverer, in 1862. Photographic reproduction by H. and K. Lake, Oxford, 1911. Contains I and II complete.

A (e a p r). Cod. Alexandrinus, saec. v, now in the British Museum. Edited by Woide in 1786. Facsimile by E. M. Thompson, 1879. Contains I and II complete.

B (e a p r). Cod. Vaticanus, saec. iv, now in the Vatican Library. Photographic reproduction by Cozza-Luzi, Rome, 1889, and by the Milan firm of Hoepli, 1904. Contains I and II complete.

C (e a p r). Cod. Ephraemi Rescriptus, saec. v, now in the National Library at Paris. The N. T. fragments were edited by Tischendorf in 1843. Contains I 1:2 ευχαριστουμε—2:8 εγενηθητ.

D (p). Cod. Claromontanus, saec. vi, Graeco-Latin, now in the National Library at Paris. Edited by Tischendorf in 1852. Contains I and II complete.

[E] Cod. Sangermanensis, saec. ix, now at St. Petersburg. A copy of D.

F (p). Cod. Augiensis, saec. ix, Graeco-Latin, now in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. An exact transcript by Scrivener, 1859. Contains I and II complete.

G (p). Cod. Boernerianus, saec. ix, now in the Royal Library at Dresden. “It is closely related to F, according to some the archetype of F” (Souter). Edited by Matthaei, 1791. Im Lichtdruck nachgebildet, Leipzig (Hiersemann), 1909. Contains I and II complete.

H (p). Cod. Saec. vi. Most of the forty-one leaves now known are in the National Library at Paris; the remainder are at Athos, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev, and Turin. The fragments at Kiev contain 2 Corinthians 4:2-7, 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13 (μνημονευετ … εστιν αληθω) and 4:4-11 (εαυτον σκευο … φιλοτιμισθα); cf. H. Omont, Notice sur un très ancien manuscrit, etc. 1889.

I (p). Cod. Saec. v. Ms. 4 in the Freer Collection at Detroit, Michigan. This manuscript is a “badly decayed fragment, now containing many short portions of the epistles of Paul. It is written on parchment in small uncials and probably belongs to the fifth century … Originally contained Acts and practically all of the epistles but not Revelation. … While no continuous portion of the text remains, many brief passages from Eph. Phil. Col. Thess. and Heb. can be recovered” (H. A. Sanders, Biblical World, vol. XXI, 1908, 142; cf. also Gregory, Das Freer-Logion, 1908, 24). The fragments of Thess., a collation of which Prof. Sanders kindly sent me, contain. I 1:1-2, 9-10, 2:7-8, 14-16, 3:2-4, 11-13, 4:8-9, 16-18, 5:9-11, 23-26, II 1:1-3, 10-11, 2:5-8, 15-17, 3:8-10.

K (a p). Cod. Mosquensis, saec. ix, now at Moscow. Collated by Matthaei, 1782. Contains I and II complete.

L (a p). Cod. Angelicus, saec. ix, now in the Angelican Library at Rome. Collated among others by Tischendorf (1843) and Tregelles (1845). Contains I and II complete.

P (a p r). Cod. Porphyrianus, saec. ix, now at St. Petersburg. Edited by Tischendorf (1865). Contains I and II except I 3:5 μηκετ—ημεις ο 4:17.

GrY (e a p). Cod. Saec. viii-ix, now at mount Athos. Contains I and II complete.

048 (a p). Cod. Saec. v, now in the Vatican Library, a fragmentary palimpsest. Contains I 1:1-2 with the short codex title.

049 (a p). Cod. Saec. viii-ix, now at Mount Athos. Contains I 1:1-2:13 ανθρωπω.

056 (a p). Cod. Saec. x, now in the National Library at Paris. I and II were collated by Van Sittart (Gregory, Text Kritik, 296).

075 (p). Cod. Saec. x, now in the National Library at Athens (Gregory, ibid. 309).

0111 (p). Cod. Saec. vii (?), now in the Royal Museum at Berlin, a fragment containing only II 1:1-2:2, mutilated in 1:1-4 and 1:11-2:2. Printed in Gregory (ibid. 1075 ff.).

0142 (a p). Cod. Saec. x, now in the Royal Library at Munich. Contains I and II complete.

0150 (p). Cod. Saec. ix (Gregory, ibid. 1081), now at Patmos.

0151 (p). Cod. Saec. ix or x (Gregory, ibid. 1081), now at Patmos.

These uncials may be summarised as to date thus: Saec. iv (אB), v (ACI. 048), vi (DH.), vii (0111), viii-ix (Ψ 049), ix (EFGKLP. 0150), ix-x (0151), and x (056. 075. 0142).

There are about 585 minuscules which contain I and II complete or in part. Of these the following 38 appear to be the oldest: Saec. ix (1430, 1862, 1900); ix-x (33, 1841); x (1, 82, 93, 221, 454, 456, 457, 605, 619, 627, 920, 1175 (I 1:10-2:21 is lacking). 1244, 1739, 1760, 1770, 1836, 1845, 1870, 1880, 1891, 1898, 1905, 1920, 1954 (I 1:1-2:5 is lacking). 1997, 1998, 2110, 2125); x-xi (1851 (II 3:7-18 is lacking). 1910, 1912, 1927).

The leading minuscules, according to SH (lxv) are: 33 (saec. ix-x), 1912 (saec. x-xi), 104, 424, 436. 1908 (saec. xi), 88, 321 (saec. xii), 263 (saec. xiii-xiv), 5, 489 (saec. xiv), and 69 (saec. xv), one of the Ferrar Group.

(2) Versions—The following versions are occasionally quoted: Latin including Old Latin and Vulgate (Vulg), Syriac Vulgate (Pesh), Coptic in the Bohairic dialect (Boh), and Armenian (Arm).

(a) Latin. Witnesses for the Old Latin are the Latin of the bilinguals D (E) F G, namely, d (e) f (?) g (?); r (saec. vii, a fragment now in Munich containing Philippians 4:11-23 and 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10, discovered and edited by Ziegler, Italafragmente der Paulinischen Briefe, 1876); X2 (saec. vii-viii, now in the Bodleian; according to Wescott (Smith’s DB. 3458 f.) it agrees in many cases with d almost or quite alone); also the citations of the Speculum ( = m; edited by Weithrich in the Vienna Corpus, xii, 1887; contains I 2:1-14, 4:1-16, 5:6-22, II 1:3-12, 3:6-15); and of Ambrosiaster ( = Ambst, quoted from a collation which Prof. Souter was good enough to send me), and others. The Vulgate is cited from Nestle’s edition (Nov. Test. Graece, 1906); there are occasional references to the Vulgate codices Amiatinus ( = am; saec. viii) and Fuldensis ( = fuld; saec. vi). On the Latin versions, see Kennedy in HDB III, 47-62 and Burkitt in EB 4992 ff.

(b) Syriac. According to Burkitt (EB 4998 ff.), “no manuscript of the Old Syriac version of the Pauline Epistles is known to have survived.” The Syriac Vulgate or Peshitta, of which some sixty-seven manuscripts are available for Paul (Gregory, Text Kritik, 520 f.), owes its origin (so Burkitt) to Rabbula, Bishop of Edessa (411-435 a.d.), and represents a revision of an older Syriac translation. On the Syriac versions including the later revisions of Philoxenus (a.d. 508) and Thomas of Harkel (a.d. 616), see Burkitt (op. cit.).

(c) Coptic. The Bohairic is cited from Horner: Coptic Version of the N. T. in the Northern Dialect, III, 1905.

N. B. In the library of Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan, of New York, there are about fifty manuscripts in the Sahidic dialect of the Coptic, formerly in the Coptic Monastery of St. Michael, in the Fayyûm. Prof. Hyvernat, the future editor, announces that the N. T. is represented by three complete gospels (Mt. Mk. and Jn.; Lk. is incomplete), fourteen letters of Paul, the two of Peter, and the three of John (JBL XXXI, 1912, 55).

(d) Armenian. On this version, see Conybeare in HDB I, 153 f.


Commentaries and annotations on Thessalonians are unexpectedly numerous. The list given in the following paragraphs does not pretend to be exhaustive.

On the history of interpretation, the following commentators are important: Crocius, Pelt, Lillie, Dobschütz, and especially Bornemann (1-7 and 538-708).

(1) In the early church, the most important commentators are the Antiochans Chrysostom, Theodore of Mopsuestia, and Theodoret in Greek; also Ephraem in Syriac, and Ambrosiaster and Pelagius in Latin.

For patristic commentators, see the notes in Swete’s edition of Th. Mops on the Minor Epistles of Paul, and Turner’s article, Greek Patristic Commentaries on the Pauline Epistles in HDB V, 484-531. Origen is apparently the first commentator on our letters; but only one definite comment is extant, I 4:15-17 (quoted by Jerome, Ep. 119). The commentaries of the Antiochans Theodore of Heraclea, the pupil of Lucian, Apollinaris of Laodicea, and Diodore of Tarsus, the teacher of Chrys and Th. Mops, are known, if at all, only in fragments (cf. Cramer, Catenae, 1841-44). The homilies of Chrysostom, eleven on I and five on II (ed. F. Field, Oxford, 1885) have influenced not only the gatherers of catenae in the Middle Ages but every comm. down to the present. Equally an Antiochan, but less homiletical and more exegetical than Chrys is his friend Theodore of Mopsuestia († c. 429) whose work on the Minor Epistles of Paul is fully extant in a Latin translation and partly in the original (ed. H. B. Swete, Th. Mops. in epistolas Pauli, Cambridge, 1880-1882, and enriched by invaluable notes). This work is “the first and almost the last exegetical book produced in the ancient church which will bear any comparison with modern commentaries” (G. H. Gilbert, Interpretation of the Bible, 1908, 135). Theodoret of Cyrrhus († 457), a pupil of Theodore, gathers from him and Chrys and aims at conciseness of expression. Less penetrating than they, he is still an Antiochan in method (ed. Marriott, Oxford, 1852, 1870).

Of Ephraem Syrus († 373), a few notes on Paul have been preserved in Armenian; these were translated into Latin and published by the Mechitarist Fathers, Venice, 1893.

Two important Latin commentators of the fourth century are Ambrosiaster and Pelagius. By the former is meant the work on Paul published along with the works of Ambrose in Migne (PL. 17); see Souter, TS VII, 4, 1905. The text of Pelagius, bound up with the works of Jerome in Migne (PL. 30, 670 ff.), is corrupt; but of Ms. cxix in the Grand Ducal Library at Karlsruhe, Souter (in a paper read before the British Academy, Dec. 12, 1906, and published 1907: Comm. of Pelagius on the Epistles of Paul) says, “it is pure Pelagius, perhaps the only copy in existence.”

(2) “In the Middle Ages, exegesis consisted chiefly in the reproduction of the expositions of the fathers, in collections and compilations, called epitomes, glosses, postilles, chains.” “The traditional principle of exegesis became more and more dominant, and alongside of this the allegorical method was found to be the most convenient for reconciling Scripture with tradition. The literal and the historical sense was almost entirely ignored” (Briggs, SHS 453 f.).

Among the later Greeks, the most important is John of Damascus († c. 760; Migne, PG 95). On Œcumenius and the other Greek catenists, e. g. Theophylact and Euthymius Zigabenus, both of whom died in the early twelfth century, see Turner (op. cit.).

The most important commentators in Latin are the scholastic master Thomas Aquinas († 1274) and Nicolaus de Lyra, the free but faithful converted Jew († 1340). Mainly compilers are Florus Diaconus († c. 860; Migne, PL 119) who for Paul gathered together the stray comments of Augustine (cf. Born 559); Haymo (? † 853; Migne, PL 117, 765 ff.); Rabanus Maurus († 849; Migne, PL 112, 539 ff.) and his pupil Walafrid Strabo († 856; Migne, PL 114, 615 ff.) who was auctoritas to Peter Lombard († 1164); Atto († 961; ed. Burontius, Vercelli, 1768); Hervaeus Burgidolensis († 1150; Migne, PL 181, 1355 ff.; follows Augustine freely); and Dionysius the Carthusian († 1471) the new edition of whose works begun in 1896 contemplates forty-five quarto volumes; a fruitful but unoriginal compiler.

(3) In the sixteenth century, the Protestant Reformers agreed with the humanists, of whom Erasmus is the conspicuous example, in going back to the Hebrew and Greek text of Scripture and in giving the grammatical and literal sense over against the allegorical, but “insisted that Scripture should be its own interpreter and that it was not to be interpreted by tradition or external ecclesiastical authority” (Briggs, SHS 456). Of the three great exegetes, Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin, the greatest is Calvin.

Erasmus († 1536) edited the annotations of the Italian humanist Laurentius Valla († 1457) in 1505, and a paraphrase of his own on all of Paul in 1521. Luther did not comment on our letters. Calvin’s comm. on Thess. appeared in 1539 (best edition in Corpus Ref. 52, 1895, 133-218) and Zwingli’s in 1526 (ed. opera exeget. 1581, vol. IV). “Worthy to stand by their side” (Briggs) are Bugenhagen (1524), Bullinger († 1575) and Musculus († 1563). Beza’s Annotationes in N. T. (1565) should be mentioned. Melanchthon did not, but his friend Camerarius (Notatio, 1554) and his pupil Strigel (Hypomneumata, 1565) did comment on our epistles.

The immediate successors of the Reformers “had somewhat of their spirit, although the sectarian element already influenced them in the maintenance of the peculiarities of the different national churches” (Briggs, SHS 457). Calvinists are Hyperius († 1564), Marloratus (1561), Hemmingsen († 1600), Aretius († 1574), Zanchius († 1590) and Piscator (1589). Lutherans are Flacius (1570), Hunnius († 1603), Georgius major († 1574) and Selnecker († 1592). In Britain we have John Jewel whose sermons, edited by John Garbrand (1583), are the first exposition of our epistles in English; and Robert Rollock, principal or first master of the Univ. of Edinburgh, whose Latin commentary (1598) was followed by his lectures, in English (1606).

Among Roman Catholic commentators or scholiasts are Faber Stapulensis († 1512), Gagnaeus († 1549), Catharinus (1551), Clarius († 1555), Sasbout (1561), Zegers († 1559), Arias († 1598), Serarius († 1609), and Estius († 1613).

(4) The seventeenth century is marked by the exegetical activity of the British Puritans such as Edward Leigh and Matthew Poole, and by the revival in Holland of the spirit of Erasmus in the person of Hugo de Groot who combined sound classical learning with a keen historical sense. Like Grotius is Hammond who insisted on the plain, literal, and historical meaning.

On seventeenth-century exegesis in Britain, see especially Briggs, SHS 459-469. Leigh’s Annotations upon all the N. T. was published in 1650. Several of the scholars whom he used in addition to Grotius have commented upon our epistles, as for example Drusius (1612, 1616) and de Dieu (1646), the Dutch divines; John Cameron († 1625), the Scot who worked chiefly in France; John Mayer (1631); and William Sclater (Exposition with notes on 1 Thess. 1619; Briefe Exposition with notes on 2 Thess. 1627; this brief exposition runs to 598 quarto pages). The annotations of the Westminster divines covering the whole Bible went into a second edition, 2 vols., in 1651. The great compilation Critici Sacri was published in 1660, 9 vols. “Among the last of the Puritan works on the more learned side was the masterpiece of Matthew Poole” (Briggs, op. cit. 467) entitled: Synopsis Criticorum, 1669 ff. in five folio volumes (1, 2 Thess. in vol. IV, 1676, col. 943-1004). Poole’s English Annotations on the Holy Bible was completed by his friends and published in 1685.

The annotationes ad V. et N. T. of Grotius was published in Amsterdam in 1641 ff. Hammond’s Paraphrase and Annotations on the N. T. appeared in 1653 and was done into Latin by Clericus in 1698.

Other British expositors may be named: William Bradshaw (A plaine and pithie Exposition of 2 Thess. 1620, edited by Thos. Gataker); Timothie Jackson (1621, on 2 Thess.); David Dickson (expositio analytica omnium apost. epp. 1645; English in 1659 by W. Retchford); Thomas Case (1670; this is not a comm. on 1 Thess. but an exposition of I 4:13-18 entitled Mount Pisgah: or a prospect of heaven); James Fergusson (1674; brief exposition of 1, 2 Thess.); J. Fell (1675; on Paul’s letters); Richard Baxter (1684; paraphrase on N. T. with notes doctrinal and practical); William Burkitt (1700; on the N. T.); and Daniel Whitby (Paraphrase and Commentary on the N. T. 1703). Other Continental commentators are Vorstius († 1622); Cappelus (†1624); Gomarus (†1641); Diodati (†1649); Calixtus († 1656); Haak (1637; in English, 1657, under title of Dutch Annotations, etc.); Slichting (the Socinian, † 1661; Thess. was finished in 1660); Crocius (comm. in omnes epp. Pauli minores, ed. 1663, 3 vols.); Calovius (1672-76; a Lutheran who corrects Grot); and Cocceius († 1669). Among Roman Catholic scholars are Stevart (1609; on 1, 2 Thess.); Justinianus (1612-13); Cornelius a Lapide (1614); Bence (1628; depends on Estius); Menochius (1630; praised by Grot); Tirinus (1632); Fromond († 1653; depends on Estius); Leander of Dijon (1663); Mauduit (1691); Quesnel (1687; moral reflections in French); and Bernardinus a Piconio (1703 in Latin; 1706 in French. Often reprinted; cf. A. H. Prichard, 1888-90). The Roman Church had its Poole in John de la Haye: Biblia Magna (1643, 5 vols.) and Biblia Maxima (1660, 19 vols.).

(5) In the eighteenth century, the most important commentator is Bengel (Gnomon, 1742). But Ernesti’s principles of interpretation (1761) found fruit in Schott (1834). Flatt (1829) is influenced by Storr, and Pelt (1830) by Schleiermacher.

The attention of the eighteenth century is given to the text (Bentley, Mill, Bengel, Semler, Griesbach), and to the gathering of parallels from profane literature (Wolf, Kypke, Koppe, Rosenmüller, and especially Wetstein in his N. T. (1751)), from Philo (Loesner), and from rabbinical sources (Schöttgen and Meuschen). The revival of Biblical studies especially in Germany toward the end of the century (see Briggs, SHS 469 ff.), due to Lessing, Herder, Semler, Eichhorn, and others, prepared the way for modern methods of interpretation in the nineteenth century.

British expositors of the eighteenth and the first half of the nineteenth century are mainly practical: Matthew Henry (vol. VI, 1721); Philip Doddridge (1739-56); Edward Wells († 1727); George Benson (1 Thess. 1731; 2 Thess. 1732); John Guyse († 1761); John Gill (1746-48); John Wesley (1754; depends in part on Bengel, Doddridge, and Guyse); Thomas Scott (1788-92); also John Lindsay († 1768); Thomas Pyle († 1756); John Philips (1751; on 1 Thess.); Samuel Chandler († 1766; ed. N. White, 1777); James Macknight (1787 and 1795); Thomas Coke (1803; depends on Doddridge); Adam Clarke (1810-25); James Slade (1816); T. Belsham († 1829); P. N. Shuttleworth (1829); W. Trollope (1828-34); Edward Burton (Greek Test. 1831); S. T. Bloomfield (Greek Test. 1832); Charles Eyre (1832); Granville Penn (1837; annotations on N. T.); E. Barlee (1837); W. Bruce (1836); and W. Heberden (1839).

Continental scholars: Laurentius (1714; the first comm. in German, according to Dob); J. Lange (1729); Turretin († 1737; Exodus 1:2 Thess. 1739); Heumann († 1764); Zachariä (1770); Matthaeus (1785); and Olshausen (vols. 1-4, 1830; English by A. C. Kenrick, 1858).

Roman Catholic interpreters: Natalis Alexander (1710); Rémy (1739); Calmet († 1739); Gregorius Mayer (1788); and Massl (1841-48).

(6) From De Wette (1841) to the present, commentaries on our epistles are many and excellent. (1) German. Koch (on 1 Thess. 1849); Lünemann (in Meyer, 1850; 18784 in English by Gloag, 1880); Auberlen and Riggenbach (in Lange’s Bibelwerk, 1864); J. C. K. Hofmann (18622); P. W. Schmidt (on 1 Thess. 1885); Zöckler (in Kurzgefasster Komm. 1887); P. W. Schmiedel (in Holtzmann’s Handcomm. 18922); W. Bornemann (in Meyer, 1894); B. Weiss (1896, 19022); Wohlenberg (in Zahn’s Komm. 1903); Lueken (in SNT 19072); E. von Dobschütz (in Meyer, 1909); and M. Dibelius (in Lietzmann’s Handbuch, 1911). (2) Dutch. Baljon (1907). (3) British. Alford (Greek N. T. 1849-61); Jowett (1855); Ellicott (1858); Lightfoot († 1889; Notes on Epistles of St. Paul, 1895); James Drummond (in International Handbooks, 1899); Findlay (in Cambridge Greek Test., 1904); George Milligan (1908); and Moffatt (in EGT 1910). (4) American. John Lillie (The Epistles of Paul to the Thess., Translated from the Greek with Notes, 1856; and his English edition of Auberlen and Riggenbach, 1868. Lillie’s is the most important American work done on our epistles); Henry Cowles (Shorter Epistles of Paul, etc. 1879; popular); W. A. Stevens (in American Comm. 1890); and E. T. Horn (in Lutheran Comm. 1896).

Excellent examples of scholarly exposition with a practical purpose are Lillie (Lectures, 1860); John Hutchinson (1884); and especially James Denney (in Expositor’s Bible, 1892) and H. J. Holtzmann (on 1 Thess.; ed. E. Simons, 1911).

Roman Catholic scholarship is represented in German by Bisping (1854, 18652), Röhm (on 1 Thess. 1885), Schäfer (1890), and Gutjahr (1900); in English by MacEvilly (1856); in French by Maunory (1881); and in Latin by Pánek (1886).

In addition to Ewald’s Die Bücher des neuen Bundes (1870) and Reuss’s La Bible (1874-80), the following commentators may be named: (1) German. Baumgarten-Crusius (ed. Schauer, 1848); and the practical works of Havemann (1875) and Goebel (1887, 18972). (2) British. T. W. Peile (1851-2); J. Turnbull (1854); Webster and Wilkinson (Greek Test. 1855-61); A. S. Patterson (1857); Wordsworth (Greek N. T. 1856-60); A. R. Fausset (in Pocket Bible, 1862-3); E. Headland and H. B. Swete (1863-66); C. J. Vaughan (on 1 Thess, 1864); John Eadie (ed. W. Young, 1877); A. J. Mason (in Ellicott’s N. T. Comm. 1879?); William Alexander (in Speaker’s Comm. 1881); F. A. Malleson (The Acts and Epistles of St. Paul, 1881); Marcus Dods (in Schaff’s Popular Comm. 1882); P. J. Gloag (in Pulpit Comm. 1887); M. F. Sadler (1890); Findlay (in Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, 1891); G. W. Garrod (1899-1900; analysis with notes); V. Bartlet (in Temple Bible, 1902); W. F. Adeney (in New Century Bible, 1907 ?); R. Mackintosh (in Westminster N. T. 1909); and H. W. Fulford (Thess. and Pastorals, 1911). Practical are A. R. Dallas (Cottager’s Guide, vol. I, 1849); J. B. Sumner (“Expository lectures,” 1851); H. Linton (“Paraphrase and notes on Paul,” 1857); J. Edmunds (“plain and practical” comm. on 1, 2 Thess. 1858); C. D. Marston (“Expositions on the Epp. of N. T.” 1865); W. Niven (“Family readings on 1, 2 Thess.” 1875); R. V. Dunlop (“Lectures on 1 Thess.” 1882); G. W. Clark (1903); and A. R. Buckland (1906). (3) American. The explanatory and practical notes of Albert Barnes (1846) and the Family Bible of Justin Edwards (1851) may be mentioned.

N. B. Of the commentators named in the preceding paragraphs, a score or more have been particularly helpful to the present editor: Chrysostom, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Ambrosiaster, Calvin, Grotius, Hammond, Poole, Bengel, De Wette, Lünemann, Lillie, Ellicott, Auberlen and Riggenbach, Denney, Schmiedel, Bornemann, Lightfoot, Wohlenberg, Findlay, and especially Milligan and van Dobschütz.

AJT The American Journal of Theology (Chicago).

HDB Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible (1898-1904).

EGT The Expositor’s Greek Testament (ed. W. R. Nicoll, 1897-1910).

Dob Ernst von Dobschütz,

NKZ Neue kirchliche Zeitschrift.

WH The New Testament in the Original Greek (1881; I, Text, II, Introduction and Appendix).

Lxx The Old Testament in Greek (ed. H. B. Swete, 1887-94).

אԠא (e a p r). Cod. Sinaiticus, saec. iv, now at St. Petersburg. Edited by Tischendorf, its discoverer, in 1862. Photographic reproduction by H. and K. Lake, Oxford, 1911. Contains I and II complete.

Einl Einleitung in das N. T.

Moff James Moffatt.

Lün Lünemann.

EB The Encyclopædia Biblica (London, 1899-1903; ed. J. S. Black and T. K. Cheyne).

Born Bornemann.

ZNW Preuschen’s Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft.

Lillie John Lillie, Epistles of Paul to the Thessalonians, Translated from the Greek, with Notes (1856).

Weiss B. Weiss in TU. XIV, 3 (1896).

Vincent M. R. Vincent, Word Studies in the N. T., vol. IV, 1900.

GGA Götting. Gelehrte Anzeigen.

ERE Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics (ed. J. Hastings, 1909 ff.).

SBBA Sitzungsberichte der königlich. Preuss. Akad. der Wissenschaften zu Berlin.

SNT Die Schriften des N. T. (1907-8; ed. J. Weiss).

Mill George Milligan.

Find G. G. Findlay.

EB The Encyclopædia Biblica (London, 1899-1903; ed. J. S. Black and T. K. Cheyne).

Moff James Moffatt.

Deiss. A. Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East (1910) = Licht vom Osten (19093).

Exp. The Expository Times (Edinburgh; ed. J. Hastings).

TLZ Theologische Literaturzeitung.

B B (e a p r). Cod. Vaticanus, saec. iv, now in the Vatican Library. Photographic reproduction by Cozza-Luzi, Rome, 1889, and by the Milan firm of Hoepli, 1904. Contains I and II complete.

TU Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur.

A A (e a p r). Cod. Alexandrinus, saec. v, now in the British Museum. Edited by Woide in 1786. Facsimile by E. M. Thompson, 1879. Contains I and II complete.

D D (p). Cod. Claromontanus, saec. vi, Graeco-Latin, now in the National library at Paris. Edited by Tischendorf in 1852. Contains I and II complete.

F F (p). Cod. Augiensis, saec. ix, Graeco-Latin, now in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. An exact transcript by Scrivener, 1859. Contains I and II complete.

אԠא (e a p r). Cod. Sinaiticus, saec. iv, now at St. Petersburg. Edited by Tischendorf, its discoverer, in 1862. Photographic reproduction by H. and K. Lake, Oxford, 1911. Contains I and II complete.

C C (e a p r). Cod. Ephraemi Rescriptus, saec. v, now in the National Library at Paris. The N. T. fragments were edited by Tischendorf in 1843. Contains I 1:2 ευχαριστουμεν—2:8 εγενηθητε.

I I (p). Cod. Saec. v. Ms. 4 in the Freer Collection at Detroit, Michigan. This manuscript is a “badly decayed fragment, now containing many short portions of the epistles of Paul. It is written on parchment in small uncials and probably belongs to the fifth century. … Originally contained Acts and practically all of the epistles but not Revelation. … While no continuous portion of the text remains, many brief passages from Eph. Phil. Col. Thess. and Heb. can be recovered” (H. A. Sanders, Biblical World, vol. XXI, 1908, 142; cf. also Gregory, Das Freer-Logion, 1908, 24). The fragments of Thess., a collation of which Prof. Sanders kindly sent me, contain I 1:1-2, 9-10 2:7-8, 14-16 3:2-4, 11-13 4:8-9, 16-18 5:9-11, 23-26 II 1:1-3, 10-11 2:5-8, 15-17 3:8-10.

048 048 (a p). Cod. Saec. v, now in the Vatican Library, a fragmentary palimpsest. Contains I 1:1-2 with the short codex title.

H H (p). Cod. Saec. vi. Most of the forty-one leaves now known are in the National Library at Paris; the remainder are at Athos, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev, and Turin. The fragments at Kiev contain 2 Corinthians 4:2-7, 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13 (μνημονευετε … εστιν αληθως) and 4:4-11 (εαντον σκενος … φιλοτιμισθαι); cf. H. Omont, Notice sur un très ancien manuscrit, etc. 1889.

0111 0111 (p). Cod. Saec. vii (?), now in the Royal Museum at Berlin, a fragment containing only II 1:1-2:2, mutilated in 1:1-4 and 1:11-2:2. Printed in Gregory (ibid. 1075 ff.).

Ψ̠Ψ (e a p). Cod. Saec. viii-ix, now at Mount Athos. Contains I and II complete.

049 049 (a p). Cod. Saec. viii-ix, now at Mount Athos. Contains I 1:1-2:13 ανθρωπων.

E E Cod. Sangermanensis, saec. ix, now at St. Petersburg. A copy of D.

G G (p). Cod. Boernerianus, saec. ix, now in the Royal Library at Dresden. “It is closely related to F, according to some the archetype of F” (Souter). Edited by Matthaei, 1791. Im Lichtdruck nachgebildet, Leipzig (Hiersemann), 1909. Contains I and II complete.

K K (a p). Cod. Mosquensis, saec. ix, now at Moscow. Collated by Matthaei, 1782. Contains I and II complete.

L L (a p). Cod. Angelicus, saec. ix, now in the Angelican Library at Rome. Collated among others by Tischendorf (1843) and Tregelles (1845). Contains I and II complete.

P P (a p r). Cod. Porphyrianus, saec. ix, now at St. Petersburg. Edited by Tischendorf (1865). Contains I and II except I 3:5 μηκετι—ημεις οι 4:17.

0150 0150 (p). Cod. Saec. ix (Gregory, ibid. 1081), now at Patmos.

0151 0151 (p). Cod. Saec. ix or x (Gregory, ibid. 1081), now at Patmos.

056 056 (a p). Cod. Saec. x, now in the National Library at Paris. I and II were collated by Van Sittart (Gregory, Text Kritik, 296).

075 075 (p). Cod. Saec. x, now in the National Library at Athens (Gregory, ibid. 309).

0142 0142 (a p). Cod. Saec. x, now in the Royal Library at Munich. Contains I and II complete.

SH Comm. on Romans in ICC. by W. Sanday an A. C. Headlam.

Vulg Vulgate.

Pesh Syriac Vulgate.

Boh Coptic version in the Bohairic dialect.

Arm Armenian version.

d d Latin of the bilingual D

e e Latin of the bilingual E

f f Latin of the bilingual F

g g Latin of the bilingual G

r r saec. vii, a fragment now in Munich containing Philippians 4:11-23 and 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10, discovered and edited by Ziegler, Italafragmente der Paulinishcen Briefe, 1876.

X X2 saec. vii-viii, now in the Bodleian; according to Wescott (Smith’s DB. 3458 f.) it agrees in many cases with d almost or quite alone.

Ambst Ambrosiaster.

am am Vulgate codex Amiatinus (saec. viii).

fuld fuld Vulgate codex Fuldensis (saec. vi).

HDB Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible (1898-1904).

JBL The Journal of Biblical Literature (New York).

Lillie John Lillie, Epistles of Paul to the Thessalonians, Translated from the Greek, with Notes (1856).

Th. Mops Theodore of Mopsuestia, in epistolas Pauli commentarii (ed. H. B. Swete, 1880-82).

Chrys Chrysostom.

TS Texts and Studies (Cambridge).

SHS C. A. Briggs, General Introduction to the Study of Holy Scripture (1899).

Migne, Patrologiæ series græca.

Migne, Patrologiæ series latina.

Born Bornemann.

Grot Hugo de Groot (Grotius).

Dob Ernst von Dobschütz,

Weiss B. Weiss in TU. XIV, 3 (1896).

SNT Die Schriften des N. T. (1907-8; ed. J. Weiss).

EGT The Expositor’s Greek Testament (ed. W. R. Nicoll, 1897-1910).

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