Hundreds of years later, the Thessalonians epistles are still being read by the holy brethren---believers eager for encouragement and instruction. Though brief, these letters communicate Paul's firm admonition and loving care for the young Christian to whom he is writing. Fully aware of the persecution and temptations they face, he encourages them to live holy lives, to work at their personal responsibilities, and to stand strong in the faith.
The troubles of the Thessalonian believers mirror those of many Christians today. Living in a prosperous city resistant to the change-bringing gospel, the Thessalonians struggled to maintain their fervor for God and their spirit of service to others. Peter A. Steveson draws a vivid picture of Thessalonica's location and economy. He describe Paul's stay in the city and the danger that brought it to an abrupt end. Then he briefly outlines major themes and structure before engaging in a verse-by-verse study.
Paul's primary emphasis in these epistles is strengthening believers in the understanding of their faith and its doctrines. He frequently mentions the return of Christ and how that reality should impact the Christian's daily life and choices. Steveson's references to the original Greek, his personal insights on each passage, and his extensive research will prove a valuable, time-saving resource for any pastor, teacher, or student of Scripture planning a study of the Thessalonian epistles.
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