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But, such certainty does not mean that they could kick back and coast into heaven. Rather, they needed to stand firm in the midst of their trials and persecutions, holding to the apostolic teachings 2 Thess. Then Paul concludes this section with a prayer-wish that the Lord who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope through the gospel will comfort and strengthen their hearts in every good work and word 2 Thess. We learn here how to stand firm in our trials:.

He sovereignly chose and called you to salvation through the gospel 2 Thess. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert.

Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. The first need when you encounter a trial is to stand firm in the Lord and the truth that is in Him.

This does not mean that we should deny or suppress our emotions. It is not unspiritual to cry in a time of trial. I love the way David stood firm as he was in a cave, hiding from the troops of King Saul who were on a mad hunt to find and kill him. My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises! The Scottish preacher, A.

Gossip displayed the balance between genuine sorrow and firm faith in when his wife died suddenly and unexpectedly. Our hearts are very frail; and there are places where the road is very steep and very lonely. But we have a wonderful God. And as Paul puts it, what can separate us from His love? Not death, he says immediately, pushing that aside at once as the most obvious of all impossibilities.

No, not death. So, if a drunk driver kills someone you love or commits some other crime, God weeps with you, but it shocked Him as much as it shocked you. As Paul has just shown, even the horrible evils that the man of lawlessness will bring on the world are under the sovereign control of our loving God. Knowing this, we can stand firm in trials.

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Paul continues 2 Thess. The word means that which is handed down or handed over. Thus, it points to the derivative nature of the Christian faith. It rests on the facts of the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ…. For us, these traditions are embodied in the documents of the New Testament. As you know, the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church put a great emphasis on the traditions that have been handed down from the early centuries of the faith. But often, these traditions supersede the Bible in authority. When the traditions contradict the Bible, they follow the traditions.

So you end up with doctrines like transubstantiation, the immaculate conception of Mary, praying to the saints, idols and icons, purgatory, and other teachings that have no basis in Scripture. These churches point to verses like this to justify their emphasis on church tradition. Milligan observed that a church which possessed an authentic letter of Paul would beunlikely to accept a fake addressed to them.

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The lack of consensus regarding a date and destination Admitting that there are stylistic problems between SecondThessalonians and First Thessalonians, he argues that part of the problem is due to thecomposite nature of First Thessalonians Murphy-O'Connor is only one of manyscholars who argue that the current text of Second Thessalonians is the product ofmerging two or more authentic letters of Paul.

Schmidt published his opinion, Paul's authorshipof this epistle was questioned. Many today believe that it was not written by Paul but by an associate or disciple afterhis death, representing what they believed was his message. However, some form critics have disagreed, instead holdingthat only Palestinian Jews would have had any problem worshipping Jesus as God. BackgroundThessalonica was the second city in Europe where Paul helped to create an organizedChristian community.

Second Epistle to the Thessalonians - Wikipedia

At some point after the first letter was sent, probably soon, someof the Thessalonicans grew concerned over whether those who had died would share inthe parousia. This letter was written in response to this concern. The problem then arises,as Raymond Brown points out, whether this letter is an authentic writing of Paul writtenby one of his followers in his name.

The letter contains a whole chapter regarding the second advent of Christ, among otherthemes and instructions. From the inference of —2, the Thessalonians were faced with a false teaching, sayingthat Christ had already returned.

1 & 2 Thessalonians

This error is corrected in chapter 2 —12 , wherePaul tells the Thessalonians that a great tribulation must occur before Christ's return. Seeing as how this series of events has not yet happened, his argument reads, Christcannot have returned yet. Radmacher, Th. Allen Th. Wayne House, Th. Palmer, New Testament: New Testimony to the skills of the. Hoerber, Robert G. That would stretch credulity to breaking point.

New Testament (53. 2 Thessalonians)

Sanders and Davies also include a discussion of the Griesbach hypothesis the view that Mark is a redaction of Matthew and Luke. The lack of a convincing reason for the writing of Mark is the Achilles heel of the Griesbach hypothesis. And the observation that Mark is more often the middle term than Matthew tends to support the theory of Marcan priority, with the proviso noted here that there may have been more than one edition of Mark.

Luke was thus the third Gospel in the chronological sequence but I repeat that we do not know for sure that our version of Luke is the original one. Such uncertainty continues to make all study of Gospel relations a troublesome area. If Luke used the other Synoptists, it is a reasonable assumption that part of his intention was to rework what they say. At this point we must briefly mention the theory of Eric Franklin that Luke was an interpreter of Paul and a critic of Matthew. Mark determined the overall shape and outlook of the Gospel. Franklin thinks that Luke redeployed Matthew with a freedom related to his post-Pauline view that the Law no longer has a part to play in defining the boundaries of the people of God.

Luke is less confident about the present than Matthew and depicts the kingdom, although actually in the heavens, as hovering over but not yet realized in the contemporary situation. Franklin is certainly wise to acknowledge the possibility, against Michael Goulder, that Luke may have used other sources besides Mark and Matthew.

2 Thessalonians

The oral tradition must not be neglected in this assessment. It is sobering to recollect how little we actually know about the complex process which yielded the canonical Gospels. Luke begins with a description of the births of John the Baptist and Jesus chapters 1—2 which is not found in Mark or for that matter in John.

The significance of his mission is demonstrated by the Canticles especially 2.

Chapter 3 tells the stories of John the Baptist and the baptism of Jesus. It counters the suggestion that John is Messiah and reserves this accolade for Jesus 3. Immediately after the baptism, a dominant tendency in Luke becomes evident.


Geography is a powerful tool in the Gospel as it is in Acts. There is a sense in which the spread of the Christian gospel can be compared to a ripple as Luke describes it. This process of expansion begins early in Luke. From Nazareth Jesus goes to Capernaum 7. In the course of this journey he imparts teaching notably in chapter 6 and works miracles, particularly the casting-out of demons which is an important feature of the plot because it demonstrates the onset of the kingdom of God. This incident is followed by the Transfiguration 9. The Gospel gains its pathos from the fact that Jesus journeys to Jerusalem as Messiah only to be rejected by the Jewish authorities and crucified by the Romans.

There is, however, the hint that he will visit Jerusalem again and that this time his visitation will be for judgment see especially This section contains a large amount of teaching which is held together by loose narrative links that seem rather artificial and are not always consistent.

They do, however, demonstrate that Luke retains the form of a story even when the author is not concerned directly with narrative. The teaching in this section is both ethical and eschatological in content. For this reason it is significant that it should begin with an affirmation of the Christian mission. In chapter 10 Jesus sends out seventy seventytwo? Instructions are given for the provision and reception of hospitality. The seventy-two exult in their mission on their return, says the narrator They tell Jesus that even the demons had submitted in his name.

The Christian mission, confirmed by Jesus, continues his own preaching activity. The passage directly encourages readers to participate in the mission. In this central section of the Gospel we find many familiar sayings and parables of Jesus.

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  4. Here are the good Samaritan Despite the awkward transitions we would be much the poorer without this material. Luke was content to let the narrative serve loosely as a framework for the teaching. If this jars on modern readers, that is how it is. It would be wrong to skim through these chapters just because the links are awkward and imprecise.

    This is followed by the story of the triumphal entry The Messiah arrives in the Jewish capital only to be rejected by the leaders of the Jewish religion. The cleansing of the temple is briefly described in Luke describes how Jesus drives out the traders from the temple. This significant episode, reported only briefly, is followed by the statement that the powerful people want to bring about his death but are powerless to do so because the people hang on his words It is only at this point in the Gospel that the authorities decide to kill Jesus this should be contrasted with Mark 3.

    The rest of the Gospel describes the growing hostility to Jesus.

    At the beginning of chapter 20 the chief priests and others ask a trick question to undermine his authority This is followed by the parable of the vineyard These agents, testing him again, ask whether it is lawful to pay taxes to Caesar They are given a suitably discreet answer The Sadducees next question him about the resurrection The substance of this section is that no-one could convict Jesus of misbehaviour no matter how hard they tried.