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1 - 2 Thessalonians

Believers Church Bible Commentary
1 - 2 Thessalonians

Series: Believers Church Bible Commentary Series
By author: Jacob W Elias
Product Code: 3698
ISBN: 9780836136982
Pages: 400
Binding Information: Paperback
Size: 8.75 x 5.63 inches

Publication Date: 6/9/1995
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Jacob W. Elias invites us to listen in while Paul and his missionary companions encourage and warn believers in ancient Thessalonica. Elias shows Paul dealing pastorally with everyday concerns of church life while reminding his converts about the big picture. What God has done through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ will yet be brought to glorious completion. The church has an active role to play in God's redemptive mission in the world.

Today, apocalyptic biblical texts are often ignored or misused. But Elias tells how the gospel proclaimed to the Thessalonians undergirds the nurture of churches marked by faith, love, and hope.

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Series Foreword . . . 11
Author's Preface . . . 13
Cross References . . . 16
Paul and the Thessalonians . . . 17
  Listening In . . . 17
    Some Background from Acts . . . 18
    Why Letters? . . . 21
    Chart of Letter Structure . . . 23
    These Letters Also Preach! . . . 23
  Focussing In . . . 24
    Who Wrote These Letters? . . . 25
    To Whom Were These Letters Written? . . . 26
    When Were These Letters Written . . . 28
    Why Were These Letters Written? . . . 28
Why Listen In? . . . 30

1 Thessalonians

The Salutation, 1:1 . . . 35
Work of Faith: You Turned Toward God, 1:2-10 . . . 38
  *Faith, Love, and Hope . . . 50
  *Election . . . 52
  *Jesus Delivers . . . 53
  +How Christian Communities emerge . . . 54
Labor of Love: The Story of Pastors and People, 2:1-3:13 . . . 57
  Gentle Nurse and Encouraging Father, 2:1-12 . . . 59
    *God Is Witness . . . 72
    *Brothers and Sisters, Child, Mother and Father . . . 73
    *Kingdom of God . . . 75
    +Christian Character and Witness . . . 77
  Imitators in Suffering, 2:13-16 . . . 80
    *God's Word Heard and Working . . . 92
    *Wrath . . . 93
    +Christian and Jews . . . 98
  Orphaned Yet Reassured, 2:17-3:10 . . . 102
    *Satan the Tempter . . . 117
    *Faith . . . 120
    +The Faithfulness of the Martyrs . . . 123
  Pastoral Prayer, 3:11-13 . . . 125
    *The Parousia . . . 128
    +The Pastoral Prayer and Worship . . . 129
Steadfastness of Hope: Pastoral Exhortation
  and Encouragement, 4:1-5:22
. . . 131
  Holiness in Relationships, 4:1-8 . . . 133
    *Sanctification and Holiness . . . 144
    *Sexuality . . . 147
    *Wife or Body? . . . 149
    +What Do You Think of Sex? . . . 151
  Love in Community, 4:9-12 . . . 154
    *Love One Another . . . 161
    +Community Life and Our Mission . . . 165
  Always with the Lord! 4:13-18 . . . 168
    *Those Who Sleep . . . 181
    *Jesus Died and Arose . . . 183
    *The Lord Himself will Descend! . . . 187
    +Grief Yet Hope . . . 188
  The Times and the Seasons, 5:1-11 . . . 190
    *The Day of the Lord . . . 204
    *Light and Darkness, Day and Night . . . 205
    *God's Warriors . . . 206
    *Salvation Through Our Lord Jesus Christ . . . 209
    +Living in the Last Days . . . 211
  Life and Leadership in the Community of Faith, 5:12-22 . . . 214
    *Those Who Stand Before You . . . 227
    *Not Evil for Evil, but Good for All . . . 230
    *Worship and Prophesying . . . 234
    +Freedom Within Structure . . . 235
  Benediction and Closing Instructions, 5:23-28 . . . 237
    *Spirit, Soul, and Body . . . 243
    +The Holy Kiss . . . 245

2 Thessalonians

Tuning In: Why Another Letter? . . . 249

The Salutation, 1:1-2 . . . 251
Worthy of God's Call, 1:3-12 . . . 252
    *God's Righteous Judgment . . . 263
    +Suffering and God's Judgment . . . 269
Living in Light of the Future, 2:1-17 . . . 272
  The Day of the Lord? Not Yet! 2:1-12 . . . 274
    *The Antagonist . . . 288
    *The Timetable . . . 292
    +Date-setting Usurps God's Authority . . . 294
  Called to Obtain Glory! 2:13-17 . . . 297
    *Salvation . . . 303
    +Tradition . . . 305
Pastoral Instructions, 3:1-15 . . . 307
  Confronting Evil, 3:1-5 . . . 308
    *Deliver Us from Evil . . . 312
    +In God We Trust . . . 314
  Conduct in the Community of Faith, 3:6-15 . . . 317
    *Ministry and Support . . . 328
    *On Working and Eating . . . 330
    +Discipling in the Church . . . 333
Personal Greeting and Benediction, 3:16-18 . . . 336
    *Peace and Grace . . . 338
    +The Message of Peace . . . 339

Outline of 1 Thessalonians . . . 340
Outline of 2 Thessalonians . . . 342
Abbreviations . . . 343
Essays . . . 345
Chart of Letter Closings . . . 349
Charts of Rhetorical Analysis . . . 352
Map of the New Testament World . . . 359
Chart of Events and Places in Paul's Life . . . 371
Chart of Chronologies of Paul's Life . . . 373
Chart of Ministries Named by Paul . . . 374
Chart on Sequence of Thessalonian Letters . . . 376
Chart on Authorship of Thessalonian Letters . . . 377
Bibliography . . . 378
Selected Resources . . . 387
Index of Ancient Sources . . . 389
The Author . . . 399


"Elias's technique of 'listening in' on the conversation between Paul and the Thessalonian congregation is innovative, effective, and engaging. Students and pastors seeking a fair presentation of various sides of the scholarly debate will be rewarded, and the believers church movement will find much here to sustain its efforts." —Robert Jewett, Harry R. Kendall Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

"Elias has done an impressive job of remaining faithful to the text while making 1 and 2 Thessalonians accessible to pastors, teachers, and lay Christians. I recommend Elias's commentary." —Reta Halteman Finger, Eastern Mennonite Seminary


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