Lectionary Year B
October 27, 2002
1 Thessalonians 2:1-8

Step II: Disposition


This paragraph in the epistle states and restates what the author assumes the know and what he further wants them to know. It recalls some past events the author seems to want the readers to remember or, if they had not heard of them, the author wants them informed. The author makes efforts to clarify why and conversely why not this message is written. The message claims God is on its side. The image of the nurse caring for her own child is very picturesque. Several points are made by contrasts being mentioned & then discounted. It is a love paragraph if not a love letter


Does Paul really know the Thessalonians' minds? Do they really know all he says do? If not, is he complimenting them or is he lecturing them or what? Is the opposition Paul and party encountered in Thessolonica similar to or even identical with the misbehavior they suffered in Philippi? Is Paul paranoid or did he really get threats of impure motives, greed, and the like? Does he really feel like he has to be on his very best behavior, even behave without ever making a mistake, for the Thessalonians to learn from him?

This pericope begins by stating the value of the author's and his party's value in to the readers. It raises the Philippian misbehavior. It declares "courage in God" on the part of the author and party. It claims that courage is the basis for their proclaiming God's gospel even in the context of "great opposition". It mentions more disclaimers and re-declares God's centrality in their mission. More disclaimers & a hypothesis lead on to self declared "gentleness". It repeats their love for the recipients' motivating the message & the messengers' coming to them.

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