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The Letters to the Thessalonians

Comunicacin y Gerencia9:30 Adult Sunday SchoolBeautiful Savior Lutheran Church


Introduction to the Thessalonians


Video: in the footsteps of paulIntroduction to the Thessalonians

Introduction to the Thessalonians

Introduction to the ThessaloniansThe city of Thessalonica enjoyed the advantages of a strategic location. The famous Via Egnatia (Egnatian Way), spanning Macedonia from east to west, passed through the walls of the city.

Introduction to the Thessalonians

This important Roman highway facilitated brisk travel and commerce and put Thessalonica into ready contact with the important inland districts on either side of it.

Introduction to the ThessaloniansIt was the principal artery of communication between Rome and her eastern provinces.

Introduction to the Thessalonians

Due to its location, Thessalonica might well be called the key to the whole of Macedonia. The dictum of Meletius concerning it was, So long as nature does not change, Thessalonica will remain wealthy and fortunate. One of its native poets proudly called it the mother of all Macedon.

Introduction to the ThessaloniansThessalonica was the largest city of Macedonia. It has been estimated that during Pauls time its population may have been as high as 200,000. The majority of the inhabitants were Greeks, but there was also a mixture of other ethnic groups, including Jews (according to Acts 17:1-10). Today about half of Salonica is Jewish.

Introduction to the ThessaloniansAs to their moral standards, the Thessalonians were hardly any different from the citizens of any other large Greek city. Presumably, most were idolaters, though it is certain that some were seeking a different kind of religious experience than polytheism could provide; hence, they attached themselves (loosely) to the local synagogue.

Introduction to the ThessaloniansIn 315 BC, Cassander, the son-in-law of Philip of Macedon (who fathered Alexander the Great) gathered and organized the area villages into a new metropolis, Thessalonica. He gave the city its name in honor of his wife, the half-sister of Alexander.Thessalonica remained in Greek hands until 168 BCE, when the Romans took possession after winning the battle of Pydna.

Introduction to the ThessaloniansAt that time:the Romans divided the conquered territory into four districts, Thessalonica [being] named the capital of the second district. In 146 B.C. Macedonia was united into one Roman province with Thessalonica as the natural choice for its capital. In 42 B.C. Thessalonica was made a free city by Anthony and Octavian, the future Augustus, as a reward for the help given in the struggle against Brutus and Cassius.

Introduction to the ThessaloniansAt that time:the Roman proconsul, the governor of Macedonia, had his residence in Thessalonica, but because it was a free city he did not control its internal affairs. No Roman garrison was stationed there, and in spirit and atmosphere it was a Greek rather than a Roman city. Enjoying local autonomy, the city was apparently governed by a board of magistrates

Introduction to the ThessaloniansFurthermore, according to Acts 17, the city also had a senate and a public assembly.Acts 17: 1-9 is the first reference to the city of Thessalonica.

Introduction to the ThessaloniansActs 17: 1-9: When Paul and his companions had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead.

Introduction to the ThessaloniansThis Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah, he said. 4 Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women. 5 But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city.

Introduction to the ThessaloniansThey rushed to Jasons house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd.[a] 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers before the city officials, shouting: These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, 7 and Jason has welcomed them into his house.

Introduction to the ThessaloniansThey are all defying Caesars decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus. 8 When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil. 9 Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go.

Introduction to the ThessaloniansQuestions:How long was Paul in Thessalonica?Where did he preach at?What was his message?What did he use to convey his message?What profound statement did Paul make?Who all believed his message?

Introduction to the ThessaloniansQuestions:What was the reaction of some of the Jews?Who do you think these Jews were?What was their accusation?What was the response of the local officials?Why do you think that the following groups reacted in the way they did?JewsLocal officials

Overview of 1st ThessaloniansIntroduction to the Thessalonians

Overview of 1st ThessaloniansThe authorThe apostle Paul.Date of writingThe time and place is uncertain. It is generally thought that this was the earliest of Pauls letters and was probably written from Corinth, A.D. 49-54.

Overview of 1st ThessaloniansThe ChurchFounded by Paul on his second missionary journey. He met with violent opposition in his work, but he succeeded in winning some Jews and numerous Greeks, which enabled him to establish a faithful church.

Overview of 1st ThessaloniansHistorical OccasionPaul had sent Timothy to encourage and strengthen the church. On his return, the report he gave apparently inspired the apostle to write the letter. Main ThemesThis is one of the most personal of all of Pauls letters. It is not as doctrinal or polemical as some of the others.

Overview of 1st ThessaloniansMain ThemesThe body of the letter consists chiefly of commendations, personal reminiscences, counsel, and exhortations.The central truth, strongly emphasized, is the future hope of the coming of Christ.

Wrap UpNext week, we will begin with the 1st Letter to the Thessalonians. We will be reading 1st Thessalonians 1: 1-10 if you want to read ahead and be ready for next week.


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