Letters of Paul

1 and 2 Thessalonians

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Saints Peter and John Healing the Lame Man Nicolas Poussin 1655

These letters are shorter than other, more famous epistles and sometimes do not receive the same level of attention as Romans and Corinthians. However, the first letter to the Thessalonians is likely the earliest written description of the Christian movement. Paul was hard at work in his missionary activity and did not yet need to respond to issues arising in communities he founded. Therefore, he focuses on eschatological hope, an important characteristic of the early Christian movement. Reflecting on this writing helps today’s Christians who are seeking the hope promised by the life and death of Jesus.

The second letter to the Thessalonians may be an original from Paul, or more likely, a later writing by a disciple of Paul. Again, a review of the hope of Jesus’ return is likely to be a help in today’s Christian understanding. The two letters to the Thessalonians help to understand hope with patience regarding Jesus’ return.

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Yale Bible Study