The Agora
Bible Commentary
1 Thessalonians

1 2 3 4 5


Author: Paul

Time: AD 51

Summary: Paul had left Thessalonica abruptly after a rather brief stay (see Act 17:5–10). Recent converts were left with little support in the midst of persecution. Paul's purpose in writing these letters was to encourage the new converts in their trials, to give instruction concerning godly living, to urge some not to neglect the daily work, to give assurance about the future of believers who die before Jesus returns and to explain some events which must take place before Jesus returns.

Key verse: "May [the Lord] strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones" (1Th 3:13).


1. Greetings: 1Th 1:1
2. Thanksgiving for the Thessalonians: 1Th 1:2-10

a) Paul's thanksgiving: 1Th 1:2-4
b) The Thessalonians' response: 1Th 1:5-10

3) Paul's defense of his preaching: 1Th 2:1-12

a) His visit: 1Th 2:1-4
b) His behavior: 1Th 2:5-8
c) His example: 1Th 2:9-12

4. Fellowship in persecution: 1Th 2:13-16

5. Paul's continuing concern: 1Th 2:17-3:13

a) Paul's desire to return: 1Th 2:17-20
b) Timothy's mission: 1Th 3:1-5
c) Timothy's encouraging report: 1Th 3:6-10
d) Paul's first prayer for the Thessalonians: 1Th 3:11-13

6. Exhortations: 1Th 4:1-12

a) The traditions: 1Th 4:1,2
b) Sexual purity: 1Th 4:3-8
c) Brotherly love: 1Th 4:9,10
d) Diligence: 1Th 4:11,12

7. Problems concerning Christ's return: 1Th 4:13-5:11

a) Believers who fall asleep: 1Th 4:13-18
b) The time of the Coming: 1Th 5:1-3
C. Be ready for his Coming: 1Th 5:4-11

8. Final exhortations: 1Th 5:12-22

a) Recognition of leaders: 1Th 5:12,13
b) Various duties: 1Th 5:14-22

9. Conclusion: 1Th 5:23-28

a) Paul's second prayer for the Thessalonians: 1Th 5:23,24
b) Farewell: 1Th 5:25-28


Index Next