The books of 1 Thessalonians and 2 Thessalonians were written by the Apostle Paul while in Corinth about 51-54 A.D. and were addressed to the “church of the Thessalonians”.  These were probably the first written of all the epistles of Paul.


History of Thessalonica


Thessalonica / Thessaloniki / Saloniki / Salonica is the second largest city in Greece.  It sits near the Aegean Sea.  It founding came around 315 BC by Cassander of Macedon, one of the generals who took over after the death of Alexander the Great.  (See the study on Book of Daniel).


Cassander named the city after his wife who was the half sister to Alexander. It was conquered by the Ottomans and remained an important seaport for centuries under Turkish rule before becoming part of Greece in 1912.



Encountered in Scripture



In scripture we encounter it in the book of Acts with Paul’s trips into the Gentile world and his many visits among the Greeks.


Paul and Silas had left Philippi after having been imprisoned there (Acts 16) and being asked to leave that city. In Acts 17:1, Luke records that they passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia and arrived at Thessalonica where there was a synagogue of Jews.


Paul spent three Sabbaths reasoning scripture with them.  Paul taught that the Messiah had to die and rise again and that Messiah was Jesus.  The Jews had a difficult time with this since they believed a Messiah would rule as king.


Some believed, even among the Greeks there were those that believed after Pauls teaching.  There were many that did not.  These became instigators of riots to chase Paul and Silas out of town.


Two Thessalonian men would continue with Paul on his Journeys (Acts 20:4).  One of these:  Aristarchus is mentioned several times.  Acts 19:29; 20:4; 27:2; Colossians 4:10; Philemon 24


The church at Thessalonica would have consisted of both Greeks and Jews.  Paul’s letters to them addresses more directly the problems of the Greeks than those of the Jews.  The Jews had laws of Moses regarding issues of morality that the Gentiles (in this case Greeks) did not have.


Paul had been with them for less than a month and we find Paul now writing to them in response to reports Timothy was bringing to him after having been sent to check on the new believers in Thessalonica.



Chapter Overviews



1 Thessalonians Chapters 1-5


1 Thessalonians includes some of the most important passages for Christians.  It is here in chapter 4 that Paul tells the Thessalonians what they can expect regarding what we have come to call the Rapture of the Believers.  This book is referenced in many studies.


2 Thessalonians Chapters 1-3




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