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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

1 Thessalonians

- 1 Thessalonians

by Joseph Sutcliffe

ST. PAUL’S FIRST EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS.

THESSALONICA was the ancient metropolis of Macedonia, and formerly one of the finest cities of Greece. It is now called Saloniki, situate in the gulph of Thermacai, once the capital of the Roman province. It still retains much of its ancient glory, and is little inferior to Naples in Italy. Paul and Silas, called Silvanus, à la Romain, being driven away from Philippi, first preached in this city, as stated in Acts 17:1-9.

This epistle claims notice and esteem from its internal excellencies, because it makes the basis of religion to consist in devotion, without which all other excellencies are unavailing. It illuminates our faith, it confirms our hope, and fortifies us with arguments of perseverance, and assurance of victory in our warfare.

The parts of this epistle are three. First, the inscription, and the usual benedictions. Secondly, the doctrines, exhortations, and moral obligations of the gospel. Thirdly, the concluding admonitions towards the close of the last chapter, resolving religion to prayer for entire sanctification.

Both Chrysostom and Theodoret name it, as the first of Paul’s epistles, which is said to be written twenty years after the ascension of our Saviour; but Usher fixes the time eight years later.