First Epistle to the Thessalonians
This book is believed to a letter from the Apostle Paul to a church in Thessalonica in modern-day Greece. It is likely the first of Paul's letters, probably written by the end of AD 52 (however, some scholars believe the Epistle to Galatians may have been written at an earlier date: AD 48).
Most New Testament scholars believe Paul wrote this letter from Corinth, most of the letter has personal information, with only the last two chapters teaching things about what Christians are to believe. Paul's main goal is to encourage and reassure the Christians there. Paul tells them to go on working quietly while waiting in hope for the return of Christ. Paul also teaches that the dead will be resurrected prior to those still living, and both groups will greet the Lord (Jesus) in the air. These verses are often read at funerals of Christians to comfort their families.
Unlike later Pauline epistles, 1 Thessalonians does not focus on faith or questions of Jewish–Gentile relations, things that are covered in all his other letters. Many scholars see this as an indication that this letter was written before the Epistle to the Galatians, where Paul's teaching on these matters were given.
- Raymond E. Brown, An Introduction to the New Testament, Anchor Bible, 1997. pp. 456–466.
- Powell, Mark Allan (2018). Introducing the New Testament: A Historical, Literary and Theological Survey (2nd ed.). Baker Academic.