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232-234, AJT, i. 338-344; Gloel, D&jiirvjste Kritik dcs Galalerbriefes, pp. 40-42; Salmon, INT, pp. 365-369; Godet (INT, i. p. 164 f.); Jowett; .Sanday and Headlam, "Romans " (ICC), p. xiv; G. G. Findlay (" Thessalonians," Cambridge Bible, 1891); Jtilicner, Einl. pp. 46-52; Clemen, Chron. pp. 240-246; McGiffert, AA, pp. 257-253 ; and Adeney, BI, pp. 357-360. The most wealthy exposition is that of Bornemann (-Meyer); there is a Dutch monograph by Westrik, "De echtheid van den tweeden brief aan de Thessal." (1899), especially useful on the question of style, and a skilful defence of the authenticity by A. Klbpper, Theol. Stud. u. Skizzen aus Ostpreuzzen, Heft 8, 1889. So too Monnet, "Les epitres aux Thess." (Thtse aux Montauban, 1889); Schafer, Einl. pp. 81-84; and Zahn, Einl. i. pp. 160-183; also Dr. Drummond (Iff, ii. pp. 6-13), who decides that "the very passages which are relied upon as an evidence of forgery are more surprising from a forger than from Paul." It is a pity, however, to introduce the alien conception of forgery at all into the discussion of such problems in ancient literature [Jiilicher: Einl. 38 f.].
Of the three Pauline epistles which cannot be accepted without scrutiny and hesitation, 2 Thessalonians perhaps comes next to Colossians in point of genuine self-attestation. To a less degree than Ephesians it ultimately justifies the doubt raised by a first survey of its contents and allusions ; and this estimate is true, even although the result of investigation is to leave it a problem as well as an authority for the study of early Christianity.1
1 As I rewrite this note, the disorder produced by eschatological superstition in Thessalonika (2 Th 36 '•) is curiously paralleled by a recent instance of similar disorganisation in Tripoli. Letters from that district (quoted in the Westminster Gazette, Nov. 1899) "report an amazing state of affairs consequent upon the report that the end of the world will come on November 13. The Israelites are sending their wives to pray in the synagogues, and most workmen have ceased work. Debtors refuse to pay their debts, so that trade is almost paralysed. On Monday last one of the cases before the Tunis native court was tliat of an Arab who sued a Jew for a small sum of money. The debtor acknowledged the debt, but asked for fifteen days' delay to pay it. The Arab refused to grant the delay on the ground that the world would be destroyed before it expired. The judge sent the debtor to prison."
N.B.—The partition-theories applied by several scholars (see below, p. 626) to this epistle, especially by Spitta, have been reviewed adversely by Prof. G. O. Findlay in -&rp.8 (Oct. 1900) pp. 251-261; and its authenticity is further advocated by Bacon, INT (72-7P), who points out that the apparent discrepancies in the eschatology of the two Thess. epistles are not more serious than those presented by Lk 217-33, which qualifies the warning of Lk 1716"30, 2184-*6 (all these passages being taken by Bacon, as by Haupt and Zahn, as authentic elements of Christ's teaching).
Willrich (Judaica, 1900, pp. 40-130) fills up the years after 30 A.d. by assigning to them a disproportionate number of Alexandrian Jewish productions, chiefly pseudepigrapha; he puts Jason of Cyreno not earlier than the reign of Claudius, and 2 Mace actually after 70 A.d. On Spitta's view (Urc. ii 241-437), the " Shepherd" of Hermas, finally edited by a Christian c 130 A.d., rests upon a Jewish prophetic writing which was also composed in the reign of Claudius.
Against Bornemann especially, H. T. Holtzmann (ZNW, 1901, 97-108) reiterates the conviction that the style and contents of 2 Th prove it to be sub-Pauline, written (like the parallel 2 Pet) to correct misunderstandings raised by the earlier literature, in view of such a tradition as that preserved in Mk 91.
The whole of the epistle is written under what may be termed "the feeling of persecution" ; that is to say, the sense of resignation, on the one hand, to the present will of God; on the other hand, a sure and certain hope that "times of refreshment" were at hand. Such was the feeling of the apostle himself, and he implies the existence of a similar feeling in the church to which he was writing. Sadness and consolation, hope and fear, the array of glory and of terror, were present with them or passing before them. A life thus divided between this world and another was naturally liable to become a life of excitement and disorder. Times of persecution needed extraordinary religions supports; the withdrawal of those supports, the momentary clouding of the heaven above, would from time to time lead to reaction.—Jowott.
l3-217 Thanksgiving and prayer for faith under persecution:
courage in prospect of the Lord's second Arrival.
2M> the time of the second Arrival—
Paul's apocalypse—" The man of sin," "the mystery of lawlessness."
218"u renewed thanksgiving
216"17 and prayer for them.
gM« personal: prayer asked for himself:
his wish and hope for them.
Warning against the disorderly and the idle— a prayer.
1 1 Pauij and Silvanus and Timotheus
to the Community of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
2 grace to you and peace from God our Father ind the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brothers, as is fitting, because your faith is growing greatly, and the love of each one of
4 you all to one another is increasing, so that we ourselves exult about you among the Communities of God for your patience and faith amid all your
5 persecutions and the distresses that you endure; these clearly prove the just judgment of God, namely, that you are to be held worthv of the
6 reign of God, on behalf of which you also suffer—seeing that God con
7 siders it but just to render distress to those who distress you, and to you who are distressed relief with us, at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from
8 heaven with the angels of his power in flaming fire, when he inflicts punishment on those who know not God, and on those who obey not the
9 gospel of our Lord Jesus, men who shall pay the penalty of eternal destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from tlu majesty of his
10 might, when he comes to be exalted in his saints, and to be wondered at among all believers (because our witness did find belief with you) in that
11 day. Wherefore we also pray for you always, that our God may hold you worthy of your calling, and powerfully accomplish every desire of
12 goodness and work of faith, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be exalted in you and you in him, through the grace of our God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 1 Now, brothers, with regard to the arrival of our Lord Jesus Christ
2 and our gathering together to him, we pray you not to be hastily disturbed from your sober mind, nor to be disquieted by a spirit, or by a word, or by a letter (as if from us) to this effect, that the day of the Lord
3 is imminent. Let no one beguile you at all. For the apostasy must come first, with the revelation of the man of lawlessness, the son of perdition,
4 the adversary who uplifts himself over all that is called divine or
that is an object of worship, and finally sits down in the sanctuary of God, giving himself out to be God.
5 Do you not remember that I used to tell you this when I was still with
6 you? Well, you know now what restrains him from being revealed before his proper season.
7 For the secret of lawlessness is at work already;
Only, it cannot be revealed until he who at present restrains it is removed.
8 Then shall the lawless one be revealed,
Whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of his mouth.
9 The lawless one, whose arrival is due to Satan's force,
With all the power and signs and wonders of falsehood,
10 And with all the deceit of iniquity for the perishing,
Because they did not accept the love of the truth for their salvation.
11 Therefore God sends them a force of error,
So that they believe the falsehood,
12 That all might be judged who believed not the truth
But delighted in iniquity.
13 But we are bound always to give God thanks for you, brothers, beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth:
14 for this he has called you through our gospel, even to possess the majesty
15 of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm, and hold to the
10 traditions that you have been taught by word or by letter from us. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father who has loved us
17 and given us eternal comfort and good hope through his grace, encourage
that the Lord's word mayispeed on and be exalted,
2 and that we may be rescued from those who are perverse and*evil—
for the faith js not possessed by everyone.
3 But the Lord is fjtithful: he shall establish you and preserve yo*r>
4 from the evil one. We rely upon you in the Lord, confident
5 that1 you are doing and will do as we charge. May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ!
6 Now, brothers, we charge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to avoid every brother whose walk is irregular and not after the
7 tradition received from us. You know yourselves how you ought to
8 imitate us. We did not lead an irregular life among you, nor did we eat bread at any man's hand for nothing, but with labour and toil we
9 worked night and day, so as to be no burden to any of you. It was not that we lacked the right; it was simply to set ourselves as a pattern for
10 you to imitate. We gave you this charge even when we were with you:
11 "If any man will not work, neither let him eat." Whereas we hear of some who are leading an irregular life among you, not busy, but busy
12 bodies. Such people we charge and beseech in the Lord Jesus to work
13 quietly and eat their own bread. As for yourselves, brothers, never lose
14 heart in well-doing. But if anyone obeys not the word we send by this letter, note him, keep no company 3 with him, that he may be shamed.
15 Yet do not consider him as if he were an enemy: admonish him as a
16 brother. And may the Lord of peace himself ever give you peace in every way!
The Lord be with you all.
17 The salutation is by the hand of me, Paul—it is a token in every letter; such is my way of writing.
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
1 Omitting [[•»;]]. 3 Reading rmnaplywttt.
This epistle places us in the midst of the great excitement of the critical struggle which had begun between Judaism and Christianity, in the decision of the momentous question whether there should be a Christianity free from Judaism and essentially different from it, or whether Christianity should only exist as a form of Judaism, that is to say, as nothing else than a modified and extended Judaism. . . . There can scarcely be any doubt with regard to these Judaising opponents, that from the way in which the apostle opposed them, the conflict was now being carried on for the first time. We see that this is the first time this subject has been handled; the apostle perceives that he is absolutely obliged to give an account of how he was summoned to his apostolic office, and he speaks of it in such a manner as he could not have done, if he had ever before come in contact with theso opponents in the same way. He puts himself thoroughly in opposition to them; as thoroughly as can only be done when for the first time the full importance of a principle dawns upon a man, and when the maintenance of this principle against a vexatious opposition constitutes the task of his whole life.—Baur.
ln-2a Personal) the independence of his gospel— from God not man: his early relations with the apostles, and especially Peter.
3-4 Dogmatic: the Law and the Spirit—
the Law provisional: the problem of Abraham and his
S'-G10 Ethical: Christian freedom:
Paul's gospel a gospel of liberty,