Lectionary Year A
November 17, 2002
I Thessalonians 5:1-11

Step II: Disposition

A. Genre

(JFC) Paul seems to be answering a question he has heard, possibly in a letter to him from the Thessalonians, re: the parousia. He refers to what he contends they know, perhaps what he told/taught them when he was there, about Christ's coming, "the times and the seasons", the light and the darkness. He utilizes some picturesque language to get his points across, e.g., a thief coming in the night, a woman giving birth, light/ day and night/darkness, sleeping/drunkenness and awake/sober and the breastplate and helmet. He is quite complimentary of their being enlightened more than they might seem to be if these questions need further answers from him so soon after he was there teaching them.

B. Personal Interaction

(JFC) Is the "peace and security" a popular saying in first century Thessalonica? Does Paul really anticipate "sudden destruction" immediately preceding the Parousia? Does he really believe they are as enlightened/"not in darkness" as he claims to think?

C. Organization

(JFC) The question, re: "peace and security" and the image of "sudden destruction both come in verse 3. Paul refers to the Thessalonians' being in the image of day, light and awake and, possibly "building up one another, just as you are doing" occur in verses 4, 5, 8 and 11.

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