Monthly Archives: July 2012

Summary 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4

Summary for Ch 4:1-8

 This is chock-a-block full of all sorts of very significant issues.

  • Moral code
  • Debauchery tirade; brought up, dropped, brought up again.
  • Debauchery seems to be the point Paul most likes to emphasize, and where he got this from is difficult to say.  As a Pharisee?  From John the Baptist? Neither seems likely.
  • Holiness is equated with refraining from debauchery.  A fairly narrow definition.  It almost seems like, once he hits the topic, he goes off on a rant.
  • Social justice: don’t take more than your share
  •  Especially: Paul got his instructions directly from Jesus.  The point is almost lost among all the fulminating against debauchery, but it may be the most significant point in these 8 verses.

Summary Ch 4:9-18

  • Brotherly love that is God-taught.  Whatever that means.
  • “Strive to be quiet”, or “be quiet to strive for honour”?  They are not entirely the same thing.  Which is the action, and which is the result?
  • Zen moment.
  • The Dead. The Parousia.
  • Jesus rose, or God raised Jesus?  1:9 vs. 4:14.
  • Apocalyptic imagery.  Jesus coming from the sky. Angels with trumpets, joining Jesus on the clouds.  The dead will rise—how does this affect Jesus rising in V-14?
  • From the sky
  • Into the clouds
  • Parousia—is it imminent?
  • Pastoral message of love
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1 Thessalonians Chapter 4 9-18

9Περὶ δὲ τῆς φιλαδελφίας οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε γράφειν ὑμῖν, αὐτοὶ γὰρ ὑμεῖς θεοδίδακτοί ἐστε εἰς τὸ ἀγαπᾶν ἀλλήλους:

Regarding the brotherly love it is not necessary that I write to you, for you yourselves are god-taught towards the loving each other.

[‘the loving’ is a bit stiff; Grk uses the article when English would not.

“God-taught.”  Interesting concept.  Anyone have any idea what it means?  It’s one of those things that sure sounds good, but is rather hard to pin down.  A revelation, I suppose, would be the most obvious choice?  A divine insight?  Or something.

I should no doubt have mentioned this much sooner, but a word on the definite article in Greek.  The same concept, more or less, holds for some of the Romance languages as well.

The use of the definite article (the) in Greek is pretty much the opposite of in English.  Greek will use the article when English will not.  Here, for example.  Greek says, literally “the loving”  In English, we would say, simply, “loving each other”.  English uses ‘the’ as a definite article, referring to this specific example.  I hit the (this one) ball.  In Greek, “the” almost becomes an indefinite article, used when we’re talking about the general concept.  In Eglish, we would say, “Love is grand”, meaning love-in-general, vs. “the love of a mother for her child,” which specifies.  Greek would do the opposite: H agape kalos estin = love is grand, “H” being the capital form of the letter eta, which is the feminine definite article.  Note that French and Spanish would follow the pattern of Greek.  “L’amour est magnifique,’ or, something I remember from Spanish class: “Que es el hombre?,” or, “What is Man?”.  I have been putting the definite article into my translation, which sort of makes the English a bit non-idiomatic.  I do this to express the literal sense of the Greek.

9 De caritate autem fraternitatis non necesse habetis, ut vobis scribam; ipsi enim vos a Deo edocti estis, ut diligatis invicem;

10καὶ γὰρ ποιεῖτε αὐτὸ εἰς πάντας τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς [τοὺς] ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ Μακεδονίᾳ. παρακαλοῦμεν δὲ ὑμᾶς, ἀδελφοί, περισσεύειν μᾶλλον,

 And for you do the same to all the brothers (those) in the whole of Macedonia. We pray for you, brothers, that you are more overfilled (with love?).

10 etenim facitis illud in omnes fratres in universa Macedonia. Rogamus autem vos, fratres, ut abundetis magis;

11καὶ φιλοτιμεῖσθαι ἡσυχάζειν καὶ πράσσειν τὰ ἴδια καὶ ἐργάζεσθαι ταῖς [ἰδίαις] χερσὶν ὑμῶν, καθὼς ὑμῖν παρηγγείλαμεν,

And to be quiet to strive for (lit: to love) honor and to do your own (tasks/works/job) and to work with your [own] hands, accordingly we command you.

φιλοτιμεῖσθαι ἡσυχάζειν I’m reading this backwards from most people. They use φιλοτιμεῖσθαι as ‘to strive’, leaving out the ‘honor’ part. I alone from anyone in the past 2,000 years of exegesis, am reading it as the goal, rather than the means.  ‘Be restful’ to ‘strive for honor’, rather than ‘be quiet to strive for honor’.  Both verbs are infinitives, which mean neither has grammatical precedence; it’s not explicit that we do one “to do” (infinitive) the other.  Granted, the first may be taken to have precedence, which is why everyone takes it this way.  However, given the flexibility of inflected languages, it is not necessary to read it this way.  But, against me is the Vulgate, so I suppose I have to concede the point to Jerome, but I only do so formally, and grudgingly.   ; – )

παρηγγείλαμεν a word that evolved from its original, classical meaning: to pass on an announcement >>> to give the watchword >>> to command

The point to take from this is that Paul is instructing the Thessalonians to live a quiet, unassuming life of labor, whatever one’s occupation happens to be.  I do not know if this served as the basis for what became the Rule of St Benedict, the founder of western monasticism, but it sure points in that direction.

11 et operam detis, ut quieti sitis et ut vestrum negotium agatis et operemini manibus vestris, sicut praecipimus vobis;

12ἵνα περιπατῆτε εὐσχημόνως πρὸς τοὺς ἔξω καὶ μηδενὸς χρείαν ἔχητε.

that you may go about honestly towards those outside, and you may have no needs.

“Having no needs”.  This sounds almost like Zen.  Or the Stoic philosopher Zeno, who said (centuries before Paul) “I, who have the fewest needs, am nearest the gods.”

12 ut honeste ambuletis ad eos, qui foris sunt, et nullius aliquid desideretis.

13Οὐ θέλομεν δὲ ὑμᾶς ἀγνοεῖν, ἀδελφοί, περὶ τῶν κοιμωμένων, ἵνα μὴ λυπῆσθε καθὼς καὶ οἱ λοιποὶ οἱ μὴ ἔχοντες ἐλπίδα.

And we do not wish you to be ignorant, brothers, about those sleeping, so that you will not be grieved as are the others, those not having hope.

Those ‘sleeping,’ of course, refer to the dead, to those believers who have already died. This is a fairly oblique reference to expectations of the Parousia, specifically to Paul’s expectations of when the Parousia would occur.  There are passages in Mark and Matthew that seem to state pretty clearly that it was expected soon, as within the lifetime of people hearing Jesus preach.  Mark wrote probably 15 years after Paul, and Matthew another decade later, while Paul was writing within a generation of Jesus’ death. It would seem reasonable to suppose that, since Mark and Matthew, writing later, expected Jesus to come within the lifetime of people hearing the words spoken, then we should certainly expect that people 15 years before Mark and Matthew had an even higher level of anticipation. Unfortunately, while this is logical, we can in no way make that inference. We have no way to be sure that different groups of Jesus people had the same expectations or beliefs, or even the same idea of who Jesus was. So it is highly significant that Paul, Mark, and Matthew did, possibly—maybe probably—did believe the Parousia would occur soon.

If it was expected soon, the concern would be that those no longer alive would miss out; Paul here assures them otherwise.

It should, however, also be noted, that Paul tells us in Galatians that he was a Pharisee. One particular belief of this group was that the dead would rise…at some point. Prior, Jews were fairly ambiguous about any afterlife, rather like the early Greeks who envisioned a shadowy existence, but barely that, as seen in the Odyssey.  The Pharisees asserted the dead would rise, time and disposition, status, etc unspecified.

13 Nolumus autem vos ignorare, fratres, de dormientibus, ut non contristemini sicut et ceteri, qui spem non habent.

14εἰ γὰρ πιστεύομεν ὅτι Ἰησοῦς ἀπέθανεν καὶ ἀνέστη, οὕτως καὶ ὁ θεὸς τοὺς κοιμηθέντας διὰ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ ἄξει σὺν αὐτῷ.

For if you believe that Jesus died and rose, and just so God will lead those having fallen asleep in Jesus with him

Now, in 1:9, Paul specifically said that “God raised Jesus”, the latter being in the accusative case, the object that God, in the nominative case and so the subject of the sentence, raised. Here, Jesus rose. Do we have a contradiction? Or, at least, some lack of clarity on Paul’s part? Or is this just another way of saying the same thing? Jesus rose, true, but we can still posit that God was the prime actor. It’s a stretch, and it’s not the most obvious way to take this, but it is, technically, possible that this is what Paul means. We need to look at other references to this action to see if we can get a better idea of what Paul believes about Jesus.  (See note to V16 below.)

14 Si enim credimus quod Iesus mortuus est et resurrexit, ita et Deus eos, qui dormierunt, per Iesum adducet cum eo.

15Τοῦτο γὰρ ὑμῖν λέγομεν ἐν λόγῳ κυρίου, ὅτι ἡμεῖς οἱ ζῶντες οἱ περιλειπόμενοι εἰς τὴν παρουσίαν τοῦ κυρίου οὐ μὴ φθάσωμεν τοὺς κοιμηθέντας: .

For this we say to you in the word of the lord, that we the living, those remaining (alive) at the return of the lord will not precede those having been sleeping.

IOW, the dead will precede the living. For where all will go, see V-17.

15 Hoc enim vobis dicimus in verbo Domini, quia nos, qui vivimus, qui relinquimur in adventum Domini, non praeveniemus eos, qui dormierunt;

16ὅτι αὐτὸς ὁ κύριος ἐν κελεύσματι, ἐν φωνῇ ἀρχαγγέλου καὶ ἐν σάλπιγγι θεοῦ, καταβήσεται ἀπ’ οὐρανοῦ, καὶ οἱ νεκροὶ ἐν Χριστῷ ἀναστήσονται πρῶτον,

That the lord in his command, in the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God should come down from the sky(heaven?) and say that the dead in Christ will rise first,

More apocalyptic imagery. “…There were seven angels, with seven trumpets….”

And, as in 4:14, the dead will rise.  They will not be raised, as Jesus was in 1:9.  Given that the dead will rise, how much weight can we give to Jesus rising, vs. being raised?  It would seem to undercut the significance of the change from a transitive verb in 1:9 to an intransitive verb here.

Perhaps more importantly, Jesus comes down ἀπ’ οὐρανοῦ.  The word << οὐρανος >> in Classical Greek generally means “the sky.”  However, in NT translation, it is most often translated as “heaven.”  This, IMHO, is a great example of a distortion due to translation.  And, in the gospels, the term switches back and forth between singular and plural.  I’m trying to see if there is a difference in usage of singular vs. plural.  

For a discussion of << καταβήσεται >> vs. << ἀναβήσεται >>,  see the comment to Galatians 2:1.  That is, when I get there!            

16 quoniam ipse Dominus in iussu, in voce archangeli et in tuba Dei descendet de caelo, et mortui, qui in Christo sunt, resurgent primi;
17ἔπειτα ἡμεῖς οἱ ζῶντες οἱ περιλειπόμενοι ἅμα σὺν αὐτοῖς ἁρπαγησόμεθα ἐν νεφέλαις εἰς ἀπάντησιν τοῦ κυρίου εἰς ἀέρα: καὶ οὕτως πάντοτε σὺν κυρίῳ ἐσόμεθα.

Then we living and remaining at the same time will be seized with them in the clouds to a meeting of the lord in the air, and thus we will all be with the lord.

Here we have the destination: into the clouds. IOW, here is the first conception that ‘heaven’ is in the sky. Note that the term is εἰς ἀέρα. In other places, especially in the gospels, the term used is ‘ouranos’, which, strictly speaking, means ‘sky’, but it traditionally becomes translated as ‘heaven.’

Plus, it’s we who will be with Jesus.  The most obvious way to take this is that Paul fully expects this to happen in his lifetime.  No, it doesn’t have to be read like this, since ‘we all’—which includes, I suppose, the dead—will be with the lord.  But, the immediate impact is that Paul is talking about himself and his audience as ‘we.’  I will grant that this may be pushing the point.

Another point about the clouds.  This has a bit of resonance with the story of the Ascension in Acts.  Is it a foreshadow?  Has this story begun to circulate?  If so, why is it not in Mark and Matthew.

17 deinde nos, qui vivimus, qui relinquimur, simul rapiemur cum illis in nubibus obviam Domino in aera, et sic semper cum Domino erimus.

18Ὥστε παρακαλεῖτε ἀλλήλους ἐν τοῖς λόγοις τούτοις.

Therefore, comfort each other in these words.

Pastoral.  But a nice message of love and common concern.

18 Itaque consolamini invicem in verbis istis.

1 Thessalonians Ch 4 1-8

1Λοιπὸν οὖν, ἀδελφοί, ἐρωτῶμεν ὑμᾶς καὶ παρακαλοῦμεν ἐν κυρίῳ Ἰησοῦ, ἵνα καθὼς παρελάβετε παρ’ ἡμῶν τὸ πῶς δεῖ ὑμᾶς περιπατεῖν καὶ ἀρέσκειν θεῷ, καθὼς καὶ περιπατεῖτε, ἵνα περισσεύητε μᾶλλον.

So, for the rest, brothers, we ask you and pray in the Lord Jesus, that as you accepted from us as to how you must go about and please God, (which is)  how in the way you go about so that you be more fulfilled.

For the rest, brothers, we ask you and pray in the Lord Jesus  Christ, so that accordingly you accept from us how it is necessary to walk and please Go, and (that you) walk accordingly so that you become more superabundant (more fulfilled = more pleasing to God).

περιπατεῖτε: this is literally, to walk about. Generally, in the sense of ‘going about one’s business’. 

 Of course, pleasing God implies a moral code, but this is nothing new for Judaism.  Vs 4-13 are really an extended description of how to live life.

 1 De cetero ergo, fratres, rogamus vos et obsecramus in Domino Iesu, ut — quemadmodum accepistis a nobis quomodo vos oporteat ambulare et placere Deo, sicut et ambulatis — ut abundetis magis.

2οἴδατε γὰρ τίνας παραγγελίας ἐδώκαμεν ὑμῖν διὰ τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ.

For you know we have given you instructions from the lord Jesus

Direct from Jesus—he is pulling rank.  This would put him on par with the original Apostles, which would likely have been an issue.  “Why listen to this guy?  He never met Jesus.”

 This is, in effect, a very bold claim, one that is likely intended to put Paul’s teaching above suspicion and/or reproach.  This is not the first time in this letter Paul has made this claim.

2 Scitis enim, quae praecepta dederimus vobis per Dominum Iesum.

3τοῦτο γάρ ἐστιν θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ, ὁ ἁγιασμὸς ὑμῶν, ἀπέχεσθαι ὑμᾶς ἀπὸ τῆς πορνείας,

for your being made holy is the will of God, that you be moved from debauchery

Here we go with the debauchery theme.  Throughout his letters, Paul spends a lot of time warning about ‘pornes’.  This word can have a lot of different nuances, but, generally for Paul, it suffices to note that this is the root of ‘pornography.’ It’s heavily sexual, although it can be (and is) used more generically as ‘corruption’ in Mark.

 Here the thing to note is that Paul is equating being holy with refraining from debauchery.  One secondary source states that the belief in celibacy was not wholly a Christian invention.  There are indications that some practitioners of Judaism felt that celibacy was a positive virtue. The thing to note is that Judaism, at root, was the religion of desert nomadic herders who reacted to the fertility cults of the settled cities of the Philistines.

 A good reference for this (& lots of others) topic is Robin Lane Fox’s “Pagans and Christians”.  The book is an excellent and very thorough source for the religious ideas of pagans, Christians, and Jews in the first centuries after the execution of Jesus. He suggests that certain strains of Judaism had come to perceive celibacy as a preferred state.  The anti-debauchery theme is picked up again in V-4 & V-7

 Note that ἁγιασμὸς = sanctificatio in Latin.  The quirk with this is, we are used to it as the root of “saint”, which has a lot of connotations for us.  It is more accurate to think of this word as ‘holy.’  For example, the great church of Constantine in Istanbul is properly “Hagia Sophia”.  “Holy Wisdom.”  It is often rendered as “Saint Sophia”, and this changes the implications, making us think in terms of a person, rather than a condition.  In fact, this carries into Latin, and a lot of the Romance languages; what should be rendered as ‘holy’ is often translated as ‘saint.’

 In any case, this is a very early moral code for those who wish to follow Jesus.  Also, note that it is “God’s Will” that we be holy.

 3 Haec est enim voluntas Dei, sanctificatio vestra,

4εἰδέναι ἕκαστον ὑμῶν τὸ ἑαυτοῦ σκεῦος κτᾶσθαι ἐν ἁγιασμῷ καὶ τιμῇ,

(in order) that each of you know you are vessels in holiness and honour, [literal]

So that each of you know how to get for yourself your own vessel (=body) in holiness and honour. [easier to read]

 Interesting Greek here—the ‘en’ corresponds to ‘in’ pretty much exactly, which is a tad unusual; not exactly standard Greek. One would almost expect Genitive of Material.  And here, the infinitive is used to express the sense of “in order to,” just as we would say, “To get better, practice.”  Not sure if there is some nuance to this, but I suspect not. Instead, it’s just the versatility of Greek.

 Also!! The Vulgate adds an entire phrase: ut abstineatis a fornicatione “so that you abstain from fornication”.  Assuming this is the actual Vulgate of St Jerome, this emphasis is entirely understandable.  He has been called “The Patron Saint of Misogyny.”  This reputation comes from his inability not to be tempted by the guiles of women.  IOW, it’s the woman’s fault that he’s so weak-willed that resisting the temptation they provoke is very difficult for him.  IIRC, this is, more or less, the thought process behind the burqa: how can men be expected to keep it in their pants when women are so alluring?

 4 ut abstineatis a fornicatione; ut sciat unusquisque vestrum suum vas possidere in sanctificatione et honore,

5μὴ ἐν πάθει ἐπιθυμίας καθάπερ καὶ τὰ ἔθνη τὰ μὴ εἰδότα τὸν θεόν,

 ta…ta; the gentiles (and) those not having known (perfect participle) God.

 He continues the theme of debauchery.  Note that his audience is converted Gentiles, yet he accuses the Gentiles of being especially debauched.  And note the excuse he provides them “they do not know God.”  The idea of equating the knowledge of what is right with doing what is right is, ultimately, from Plato.  (If only that connection were true!)

5 non in passione desiderii, sicut et gentes, quae ignorant Deum;

6τὸ μὴ ὑπερβαίνειν καὶ πλεονεκτεῖν ἐν τῷ πράγματι τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ, διότι ἔκδικος κύριος περὶ πάντων τούτων, καθὼς καὶ προείπαμεν ὑμῖν καὶ διεμαρτυράμεθα.

Not the overstepping and (‘and’ = nor, or ‘and not’) to defraud in your affairs your brother, because the lord over all these things is the avenger about all such things, accordingly and we have warned you and we have given testimony.

ἐν τῷ πράγματι = ‘within your affairs’

περὶ πάντων τούτων = ‘concerning all things’; ‘around all things’ would be accusative

Defrauding: this is directly from Judaism, which talks a lot about the ideas of social justice, and social equity. Not egalitarianism; wealth was considered a sign of God’s favour—think Job—but equity. The rich can be rich, but don’t cheat people to get more. Be rich, but be equitable. Be fair.

 Note that “the lord” will be an avenger.  The concept of divine retribution for evil acts is very ancient, both for Jews and pagans.

6 ut ne quis supergrediatur neque circumveniat in negotio fratrem suum, quoniam vindex est Dominus de his omnibus, sicut et praediximus vobis et testificati sumus.

7οὐ γὰρ ἐκάλεσεν ἡμᾶς ὁ θεὸς ἐπὶ ἀκαθαρσίᾳ ἀλλ’ ἐν ἁγιασμῷ.

for God did not call you into impurity, but into holiness.

 Did John the Baptist preach about impurity? He was an ascetic, but even in Matthew, he doesn’t really go there; we are not told John’s message was about sexual morality.  The “brood of vipers” is more about social justice than personal purity.  Maybe we can infer personal purity from being a hermit in the desert, but it’s not explicit.  And Jesus doesn’t dwell on it all that much, either, nor do other epistles by writers other than Paul.  The lack of teaching on sexual impurity would indicate that this is Paul’s particular theme.  As we shall see later, Paul was all for elimination of Jewish purity / kosher laws, but the whole immorality thing isn’t something that got a lot of stress?  Jesus certainly didn’t emphasize it in the gospels.

 Regardless, the implication is of a moral code, but this is hardly alien to Jewish teaching and practice.

7 Non enim vocavit nos Deus in immunditiam sed in sanctificationem.

8τοιγαροῦν ὁ ἀθετῶν οὐκ ἄνθρωπον ἀθετεῖ ἀλλὰ τὸν θεὸν τὸν [καὶ] διδόντα τὸ πνεῦμα αὐτοῦ τὸ ἅγιον εἰς ὑμᾶς.

For which reason the one[ is] setting aside not man, but God, the one giving his spirit, the holy [ i.e., his holy spirit ] to you.

Paul is teaching God’s law, not man’s—presumably someone else is teaching that.  This echoes his claim in 4:2 that he got his instructions directly from Jesus.  And again with the holy spirit.  But there is no sense in this that the holy spirit is anything but the spirit of god, in the sense that humans also have a spirit.  Of course, these sorts of passages were cited to prove the “Holy Spirit.”

8 Itaque, qui spernit, non hominem spernit sed Deum, qui etiam dat Spiritum suum Sanctum in vos.

Summary 1 Thessalonians, Chapter 2

Sorry!

This is out of order.  Should have gone before the post of Chapter 3.

To summarize Chapter 2:

The bulk of this chapter is actually Paul feeling the need to either justify or explain himself.  He comes across as maybe more than a bit unsure of himself,  maybe a bit defensive, maybe that he feels the need to flatter the Thessalonian community for whatever reason.

Here I should note that some of this may be rhetorical, a point I did not make in the individual notes because, IMO, it seems a bit more important to take things at face value rather than to look at the overall.  However, some of his defensiveness–defending himself against being greedy, as in 2:7–seems a little too specific to be anything but a legitimate defense against a charge that was directed at him.

In short, verses 1-10, and a large portion of 11-20 would best be considered as pastoral. Paul is building relationships, communicating his concern, rejoicing in their successes, defending himself when he feels the need. We have to remember this was probably one of the earliest letters he wrote.

Verses 11-20 also have some key doctrinal issues, such as:

  • the kingdom of God; as yet unexplained
  • Paul’s gospel is the true word of God
  • persecutions
  • the pre-existing communities in Judea, exact location unspecified
  • the idea that the behavior of the Judean community should be imitated; implies something at least approaching a moral code of conduct
  • Christ killers (I’m a bit uncomfortable even writing that, but there it is)
  • who was persecuting/opposing Paul for preaching to Gentiles?
  • salvation, through fulfillment of  sins
  • the wrath at the end–unspecified
  • the Parousia–presumably at the end
  • Satan

1 Thessalonians Chapter 3 and Summary

Summary Ch 3: 

This chapter is largely related to pastoral concerns.  Paul is solicitous about the well-being of the Thessalonians as an assembly of God.  Since Paul couldn’t go back himelf, he sent Timothy, and Timothy has since returned with good news about the state of the Thessalonians.

 Trials are mentioned.  Presumably, this refers to some sort of persecution by…whomever.  Paul had predicted this.  However, it’s not at all clear just how serious these ‘trials’ are.  Would we call them persecution? Or perhaps harassment?  Were people imprisoned—Paul was treated badly in Philippi, and he would eventually be imprisoned and sent to Rome, but how about these earlier days?

 “The tempter” is mentioned, presumably a reference to Satan.

 Finally, in the last verse, we get another reference to the Parousia, the return of Jesus.

 And I don’t mean to be dismissive of the pastoral elements.  Reading this chapter, I believe one comes away with a sense that Paul is sincerely concerned for this assembly—can we call it a flock?—of his.  The analogy to a nurse we saw in 2:7 is, perhaps, not completely hyperbole.  It may not  be far from wrong.

1Διὸ μηκέτι στέγοντες εὐδοκήσαμεν καταλειφθῆναι ἐν Ἀθήναις μόνοι,

 On which account/because of no longer bearing (being able to bear), we were pleased to be left in Athens alone

Note that he’s in Athens.  This will seem, possibly, relevant when we get to Galatians.

1 Propter quod non sustinentes amplius, placuit nobis, ut relin queremur Athenis soli,

2καὶ ἐπέμψαμεν Τιμόθεον, τὸν ἀδελφὸν ἡμῶν καὶ συνεργὸν τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ τοῦ Χριστοῦ, εἰς τὸ στηρίξαι ὑμᾶς καὶ παρακαλέσαι ὑπὲρ τῆς πίστεως ὑμῶν

 And we sent Timothy, our brother and fellow-worker of God in the good news of Christ, to(for) you to be set firm and to encourage over your faith.

2 et misimus Timotheum, fratrem nostrum et cooperatorem Dei in evangelio Christi, ad confirmandos vos et exhortandos pro fide vestra,

3τὸ μηδένα σαίνεσθαι ἐν ταῖς θλίψεσιν ταύταις. αὐτοὶ γὰρ οἴδατε ὅτι εἰς τοῦτο κείμεθα:

So that (to) no one is disturbed in these trials, for they know that we are laid in it:

Again, the trials.

3 ut nemo turbetur in tribulationibus istis. Ipsi enim scitis quod in hoc positi sumus;

4καὶ γὰρ ὅτε πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἦμεν, προελέγομεν ὑμῖν ὅτι μέλλομεν θλίβεσθαι, καθὼς καὶ ἐγένετο καὶ οἴδατε.

For when we were among you, we predicted to you that we shall be tested/persecuted and it was and you know (it occurred, as you know)

Trials. At some point, we need to ask exactly what this means.  Once again, we have been influenced bu 2,000 years of Christian propaganda that the church was (and still is, according to some) under constant persecution. However, even ‘persecution’ meant very different things at different times.

4 nam et cum apud vos essemus, praedicebamus vobis passuros nos tribulationes, sicut et factum est et scitis.

5διὰ τοῦτο κἀγὼ μηκέτι στέγων ἔπεμψα εἰς τὸ γνῶναι τὴν πίστιν ὑμῶν, μή πως ἐπείρασεν ὑμᾶς ὁ πειράζων καὶ εἰς κενὸν γένηται ὁ κόπος ἡμῶν.

because I and no other bear this, I sent to recognize your faith, lest not the tempter tempt you so that our labor should be in vain

The tempter.  Presumably this refers back to Satan at the end of chapter 2.  We don’t know that for sure, but it seems likely.  Again, this theme is picked up in the gospels, so we can, most likely, be reasonably certain of the reference.

5 Propterea et ego amplius non sustinens, misi ad cognoscendam fidem vestram, ne forte tentaverit vos is qui tentat, et inanis fiat labor noster.

6Ἄρτι δὲ ἐλθόντος Τιμοθέου πρὸς ἡμᾶς ἀφ’ ὑμῶν καὶ εὐαγγελισαμένου ἡμῖν τὴν πίστιν καὶ τὴν ἀγάπην ὑμῶν, καὶ ὅτι ἔχετε μνείαν ἡμῶν ἀγαθὴν πάντοτε, ἐπιποθοῦντες ἡμᾶς ἰδεῖν καθάπερ καὶ ἡμεῖς ὑμᾶς,

But now with Timothy having come to us from you and bearing the good news to us (of) your faith and your love, and that you have a good memory of us

6 Nunc autem, veniente Timotheo ad nos a vobis et annuntiante nobis fidem et caritatem vestram, et quia memoriam nostri habetis bonam semper, desiderantes nos videre, sicut nos quoque vos;

7διὰ τοῦτο παρεκλήθημεν, ἀδελφοί, ἐφ’ ὑμῖν ἐπὶ πάσῃ τῇ ἀνάγκῃ καὶ θλίψει ἡμῶν διὰ τῆς ὑμῶν πίστεως,

Because of this we are encouraged (middle/psv), brothers, over you over all the necessities and tribulations of ours because of your faith

7 ideo consolati sumus, fratres, propter vos in omni necessitate et tribulatione nostra per vestram fidem;

8ὅτι νῦν ζῶμεν ἐὰν ὑμεῖς στήκετε ἐν κυρίῳ.

that now we live as if you stand in the lord.

8 quoniam nunc vivimus, si vos statis in Domino.

9τίνα γὰρ εὐχαριστίαν δυνάμεθα τῷ θεῷ ἀνταποδοῦναι περὶ ὑμῶν ἐπὶ πάσῃ τῇ χαρᾷ ἧ χαίρομεν δι’ ὑμᾶς ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν,

For what (tina) thanks are we able to give to god to give back for you about all the joy which we rejoice because of you before our God

9 Quam enim gratiarum actionem possumus Deo retribuere pro vobis in omni gaudio, quo gaudemus propter vos ante Deum nostrum,

10νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας ὑπερεκπερισσοῦ δεόμενοι εἰς τὸ ἰδεῖν ὑμῶν τὸ πρόσωπον καὶ καταρτίσαι τὰ ὑστερήματα τῆς πίστεως ὑμῶν;

Night and day, praying superabundantly so that (to) see the face of you and to make whole  your lack of your faith

10 nocte et die abundantius orantes, ut videamus faciem vestram et compleamus ea, quae desunt fidei vestrae?

11Αὐτὸς δὲ ὁ θεὸς καὶ πατὴρ ἡμῶν καὶ ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦς κατευθύναι τὴν ὁδὸν ἡμῶν πρὸς ὑμᾶς:

For God himself and our father and our Lord Jesus may make straight the road of us to you

11 Ipse autem Deus et Pater noster et Dominus noster Iesus dirigat viam nostram ad vos;

12ὑμᾶς δὲ ὁ κύριος πλεονάσαι καὶ περισσεύσαι τῇ ἀγάπῃ εἰς ἀλλήλους καὶ εἰς πάντας, καθάπερ καὶ ἡμεῖς εἰς ὑμᾶς,

for the lord may fill you and make your love abundant towards each other and towards all, as it is between us and you

12 vos autem Dominus abundare et superabundare faciat caritate in invicem et in omnes, quemadmodum et nos in vos;

13εἰς τὸ στηρίξαι ὑμῶν τὰς καρδίας ἀμέμπτους ἐν ἁγιωσύνῃ ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ πατρὸς ἡμῶν ἐν τῇ παρουσίᾳ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ μετὰ πάντων τῶν ἁγίων αὐτοῦ. [ἀμήν.]

towards the setting firmly your blameless hearts in holiness before god and our father, in the returning of our lord Jesus with all his saints.  Amen

13 ad confirmanda corda vestra sine querela in sanctitate ante Deum et Patrem nostrum, in adventu Domini nostri Iesu cum omnibus sanctis eius. Amen.