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New Testament Notes

The Second Epistle to the Thessalonians

The following notes are intended to supplement, not replace, the readings from the Bible and the text book.
Comments or questions should be sent to: Dr. Rollinson.

II Thessalonians

For notes on Thessalonica, see Notes on I Thessalonians

Paul probably wrote this letter in AD 50 or 51, when he was at Corinth. Evidently his first letter to the Thessalonians had not silenced the opposition, and false teaching about the Second Coming of Christ was being spread in the Church, maybe even by someone who was forging letters to make them look as if they came from Paul (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3)

  • II Thessalonians 1:1-12 : Greetings and Thanksgiving
  • II Thessalonians, chapter 2 : Warning against a false teacher or evil man.
  • II Thessalonians 3:1-15 : Exhortation to follow Paul's example.
  • II Thessalonians 3:16-18 : Farewell.

2 Thessalonians 1:4 - the Thessalonian Christians were still being persecuted by non-Christians - see Acts 17:5-8
2 Thessalonians 1:8 - "those who know not God" probably referred to pagans such as those who worshipped Greek and Roman gods; "those who obey not" would refer to those who knew about God, but did not obey.
2 Thessalonians 2:2 - it seems that there were some forged letters, alleging that Christ was going to return immediately
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 - several of the Roman Emperors set themselves up as gods. Caligula even declared that his horse was divine, and gave it a vote in the Roman Senate.
2 Thessalonians 2:7 - the "mystery of lawlessness" probably means the secret purposes of the evil one
2 Thessalonians 3:1 - the Greek verb indicates not just to pray (once), but to continue and to keep on praying
2 Thessalonians 3:2 - after leaving Thessalonica, Paul had encountered opposition in Berea (Acts17:13), Athens (Acts 17:32), and Corinth (Acts 18:6, 12)
2 Thessalonians 3:6 & 11 - evidence that there were members of the Thessalonian Church who were behaving wrongly or opposing Paul's teaching
2 Thessalonians 3:17 - Paul's signature was to show that this was a genuine letter from him, and not a forgery

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