In this commentary Gene Green reads Paul's two letters to the Thessalonians in light of the canon of Scripture and of new knowledge about the first-century world of Thessalonica. This fruitful approach helps illuminate the impact of the gospel on its original readers and, in turn, shows how potent a force it can be for the church and society today.
The book begins with an in-depth study of the Thessalonians themselves — their history, land, socioeconomic conditions, and religious environment. This fascinating discussion gives the necessary context for fully appreciating the circumstances surrounding the founding of the city's first church and the subsequent struggles of the Thessalonian believers to live out their Christian faith.
The main body of the book provides informed verse-by-verse commentary on 1 & 2 Thessalonians that extracts the fullest possible meaning from these important New Testament texts. As Green's exposition shows, the Thessalonian scriptures are especially valuable as letters of friendship and for showing Paul's pastoral concern for the many areas in which the Thessalonians needed guidance. Some of Paul's purposes are to thank the new believers for their steadfastness amid suffering, to encourage them in their trials, to urge them not to neglect their daily work, and, no less important, to teach them about the future of believers who die before Christ returns. Indeed, the matter of the last things and the second coming of Christ so permeates these texts that they are often called Paul's eschatological letters.
Filled with new information about ancient society, this commentary will fast become a standard reference work for Bible study. By carefully bridging the biblical and modern worlds, Green shows with clarity and warmth the continuing relevance of 1 & 2 Thessalonians for contemporary readers.