1 Thessalonians or the First Thessalonians is a book included in New Testament of Christian Bible. Also known as the First Epistle to the Thessalonians, its authorship has been classically attributed to Paul the Apostle. Most scholars of the New Testament believe that Paul wrote the letter while he was in Corinth; even though certain references made in his earlier works (Codices Mosquensis, Alexandrinus and Angelicus) clearly state that he wrote it while he was in Athens. It was probably after Timothy’s return from Macedonia with the news of the church’s state in Thessalonica. Most of the letter bears a personal quality, whereas the last two chapters deal with the issues of doctrine.
Paul stayed only for a brief period in Thessalonica and left the city rather abruptly. Hence the recent converts into Christianity from paganism were left with very little or no external support that will boost their morale in a period of random prosecution. The main purpose for writing this letter to the city of Thessalonica was to encourage the Christians there and ask them to carry on with their work while waiting for Christ to return.
In the first three chapters of 1 Thessalonians, Paul commends the Thessalonians for their belief and faithfulness to Lord and accentuates their praiseworthy attitude. He asked the people of Thessalonica to be thankful to God as they receive His Word and know that it is not Word of Man but truly the Word of the God. This Word also has the power to work its miracles in people who believe in it strongly.
In the next three chapters of 1 Thessalonians, Paul highlights the importance of love and hope. He commends the church of Thessalonica to revel in love and exceed their limitations. Paul then expands on the second coming of the Christ Jesus and speaks of the “Day of the Lord”. He taught the church about Jesus’ resurrection on the final day and how Jesus is going to return in clouds. This was precisely what the church in the city of Thessalonica needed to feel encouraged. The book of 1 Thessalonians ends with Paul making a recommendation to everybody that they must regularly pray and carefully examine everything before settling onto something. As deception and lies are the hallmark of the times, the people should apply these valuable truths in every aspect of their lives.
The book of 1 Thessalonians also addresses some of the questions that arose during those times among members of the church. Confusion prevailed regarding the ultimate fate of the people who died prior to the second coming of Christ and arrival of new kingdom. A belief that afterlife would be granted to only those people who lived to experience the kingdom was prevalent. Paul set aside those confusions by stating that all who died will be resurrected and Lord will deal with them before the people who are still living, and they will be able to greet Him in the air. Hence there is no need to mourn death of the fellow Christians as it would indicate a lack of faith on God. Click here to learn more about our bible quotes from 1 Thessalonians.