1 Thes 1:1-5:28

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Historical setting[edit]

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  • See Acts 17 for Luke's account of Paul's ministry in Thessalonica.


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  • 1 Thes 2:2: With much contention. This phrase is usually taken to mean "in spite of great opposition," which is the NRSV rendering.
  • 1 Thes 4:15. Paul draws an explicit distinction between the role of the dead and the role of the living at the coming of Christ. Though he is discussing quite specifically those converted to Christianity, whether dead or living, the distinction seems to be a rather important one for him: there is something unique about those who "are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord." The verse might be connected with a number of passages concerning those who will present at that advent. Perhaps the passage of most significance is Moses 7:51-52.
  • 1 Thes 5:14: Quench. The word translated as "quench" is the Greek sbennumi, which in modern English means "extinguish." In every other case where sbennumi appears in the New Testament, it refers to the extinguishing of a fire or something that is explicitly compared with a fire.
  • 1 Thes 5:14-22. The practice of our faith isn't supposed to be a part-time or half-hearted affair. Several places in this section (including portions that come before and after these five verses) we are told that we should follow these teachings at all times with all people. These include (in modern language) being patient toward all people (verse 14), always pursuing what is good for all people (verse 15), always rejoicing (verse 16), continually praying (verse 17), giving thanks in everything (verse 18), testing all things (verse 21) and avoiding every kind of evil (verse 22).
  • 1 Thes 5:22:: Appearance. This verse is frequently misunderstood. As the footnote indicates, the word translated as "appearance" is the King James Version translation of a Greek word (eidos) that means "kinds." So this verse should be understood as a command to avoid all kinds of evil, not to avoid things that look evil (even if they aren't), as the verse if often understood to mean. Of course, in many contexts, avoiding what appears to be evil is a good idea, but that practice is not supported by this verse. Modern translations generally render this verse as "stay away from every kind of evil" or something similar.

Complete outline and page map[edit]

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Points to ponder[edit]

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These are still pointed at Matthew

  • Amplified • The Amplified Bible, 1987 update
  • NASB • New American Standard Bible, 1995 update
  • NIV • New International Version
  • NRSV • New Revised Standard Version
  • RSV • Revised Standard Version

Joseph Smith Translation[edit]

The Joseph Smith Translation made changes to the following verses in 1 Thessalonians. This list is complete:[1]

  • 1 Thes 1:1-2, 8
  • 1 Thes 2:16
  • 1 Thes 4:15, 17
  • 1 Thes 5:26

Cited references[edit]

  • Wayment, Thomas A., ed. The Complete Joseph Smith Translation of the New Testament. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 2005. (ISBN 1590384393) BX8630 .A2 2005.


Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves, such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word. In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources are preferable to footnotes.

  1. Wayment, The Complete Joseph Smith Translation of the New Testament, p. 286-87.

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