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- 2 Thessalonians
by Daniel Whedon
ST. PAUL’S vivid description, both in his early preaching and in his first epistle, of the glorious appearing of Christ to the judgment of the world, so deeply impressed the Thessalonians that ultraism and fanaticism seized the occasion to disturb the Church. A rumour was started that an epistle had been received from him declaring that the advent was at hand. To correct this evil the apostle writes this letter, in which he is moved by the Spirit, not only to negative the immediateness of the advent, but to open a glimpse of the process of events which were to precede the advent. This passage forms an important part of what we may call the Apocalypse of Paul.
In regard to authenticity, all the remarks made of the first epistle are equally true of the second. It has all the external proofs, and all the internal marks, which show an epistle genuine. As to the time and place of its writing, it evidently closely followed after the former epistle; and, as both bear the names of Sylvanus and Timothy, both were obviously written from Corinth whilst the three were there preaching. See notes, Acts 18:5.
PLAN OF THE EPISTLE.
1. Thanks for their firmness in persecution a token of divine justice at the advent 2 Thessalonians 1:3-6
2. Vivid description of the infliction of justice at the advent 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10
3. Prayer for their safety in that day 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
4. The advent not at hand 2 Thessalonians 2:1-17
5. Hopeful prayer for their continued firmness 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5
6. Charge to idlers to become industrious 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15
7. Benedictory and salutatory conclusion 2 Thessalonians 3:16-18
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29