Studies in 1 Thessalonians

Tom Bentley

Suggested sources of help:

Bruce F. F. 1981; Denney James, 1910; Eadie John, 1877
Ellicott C. J. 1858; Garrod G.W., 1899; Hiebert D.E., 1971
Milligan G. 1908; Hogg & Vine, 1914


Let us apply our A, B, C and D’s:

Author: Paul the apostle, offers little difficulty. Every evidence attests his authorship. The Epistle was written during his labors in Corinth.

Background: As a result of the preaching of the gospel an assembly was formed which was comprised of Jews, Gentiles and evidently a number of chief women (Acts 17:4). Paul was in the process of establishing them in the Faith when he was rudely and quickly forced to take immediate leave and since had been hindered in returning to perfect that which was lacking in their faith (I Thess. 3:10).

Content: Thessalonians is noted for its strong eschatological content. Each chapter of the epistle contains vital references to the Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Epistles sustains many approaches in terms of analysis.

  1. Chapter 1 - The External Activity of the Assembly
  2. Chapter 2:1-16 - Paul’ s Presence
  3. Chapter 2:17-3:13 - Paul’s Absence
  4. Chapter 4:1-12 - The Individual Piety of the Assembly
  5. Chapter 4:13-18 - The Lord’s Presence
  6. Chapter 5:1-11 - The Lord’s Absence
  7. Chapter 5:12-18 - The Internal Unity of the Assembly

Using the Coming as a motif:

  1. Chapter 1 - The Coming in Relation to the Conversion of Sinners
  2. Chapter 2 - The Coming in Relation to the Compensation of Servants
  3. Chapter 3 - The Coming in Relation to the Conformation of Saints
  4. Chapter 4:1-12 - The Coming in Relation to the Consolation of the Sorrowing
  5. Chapter 5 - The Coming in Relation to the Confirmation of the Sanctified

Another important Motif is God Himself.

(Trace the occasions He is mentioned in the Epistle)

  1. Chapter 1 - God Motivating the Assembly. ..In Activity
  2. Chapter 2 - God Maintaining the Assembly... In Simplicity
  3. Chapter 3 - God Maturing the Assembly.. In Stability
  4. Chapter 4:1-12 - God Mastering the Assembly... In Sanctity
  5. Chapter 4:13-18 - God Moderating the Assembly... In Sorrow
  6. Chapter 5 - God Molding the Assembly. . .In Unity