Book Overview - 2 Thessalonians
by Joseph Parker
[Note.—"This Epistle appears to have been written from Corinth not very long after the First, for Silvanus and Timotheus were still with St. Paul ( 2 Thessalonians 1:1). In the former letter we saw chiefly the outpouring of strong personal affection, occasioned by the renewal of the Apostle"s intercourse with the Thessalonians, and the doctrinal and hortatory portions are there subordinate. In the Second Epistle, on the other hand, his leading motive seems to have been the desire of correcting errors in the Church of Thessalonica....
"This Epistle, in the range of subject as well as in style and general character, closely resembles the First; and the remarks made on that Epistle apply for the most part equally well to this. The structure also is somewhat similar, the main body of the Epistle being divided into two parts in the same way, and each part closing with a prayer ( 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17, 2 Thessalonians 3:16; both commencing with αύτός δέ ό κύριος). The following is a table of contents:—"The opening salutation ( 2 Thessalonians 1:1-2).
"1. A general expression of thankfulness and interest, leading up to the difficulty about the Lord"s advent ( 2 Thessalonians 1:3 to 2 Thessalonians 2:17).
1. The Apostle pours forth his thanksgiving for their progress in the faith; he encourages them to be patient under persecution, reminding them of the judgment to come, and prays that they may be prepared to meet it ( 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12).
2. He is thus led to correct the erroneous idea that the judgment is imminent, pointing out that much must happen first ( 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).
3. He repeats his thanksgiving and exhortation, and concludes this portion with a prayer ( 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17).
"2Direct exhortation ( 2 Thessalonians 3:1-16).
1. He urges them to pray for him, and confidently anticipates their progress in the faith ( 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5).
2. He reproves the idle, disorderly, and disobedient, and charges the faithful to withdraw from such ( 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15).
This portion again closes with a prayer ( 2 Thessalonians 3:16).
"The Epistle ends with a special direction and benediction ( 2 Thessalonians 3:17-18)." Smith"s Dictionary of the Bible."]
the First Week after Epiphany