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.


About James, brother of Jesus

I have a BA from the University of Toronto in Greek and Roman History. For this, I had to learn classical Greek and Latin. In seminar-style classes, we discussed both the meaning of the text and the language. U of T has a great Classics Dept. One of the professors I took a Senior Seminar with is now at Harvard. I started reading the New Testament as a way to brush up on my Greek, and the process grew into this. I plan to comment on as much of the NT as possible, starting with some of Paul's letters. After that, I'll start in on the Gospels, starting with Mark.

Posted on July 15, 2012, in 1 Thessalonians, Paul's Letters, Summary and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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