Study questions, maps, charts, key words, history, background, outlines, and links to help you study Paul’s first epistle to the Thessalonians.
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- Author: Paul (with Silas and Timothy)
- Who was Paul?
- Date: c 50-51. Those who say Galatians is mid-50s hold that 1&2 Thessalonians are the earliest Christian literature.
- Background: Acts 17
- Main purpose: Paul wants to encourage a young church facing persecution; answers charges against himself; teach them about moral and godly living and assure them about the future of those who die before Christ returns.
- 1:1 – Greeting
- 1:2-3:13 – Extended Thanksgiving
- 4:1-5:22 – Moral exhortations
- 5:23-24 – Concluding prayer
- 5:25-28 – Farewell greetings
Genre: Understanding Epistles
Background & Outlines
1&2 Thessalonians NASB Study Text
1&2 Thessalonians ESV Study Text
Paul’s use of the Old Testament
Blue Letter Bible: Chronology of Acts/Epistles
Blue Letter Bible: 1 Thessalonains Outline
Ray C. Stedman: Overview of the Book
John MacArthur: Author, Date, Background – 1 Thessalonians
ESV: The Global Message of 1 Thessalonians
J Vernon McGee: 1 and 2 Thessalonians Introduction
Myer Pearlman: 1 Thessalonians
James Gray: 1 Thessalonians – Synthetic Bible Studies
William Orr: 1 Thessalonians – Keys to the NT
James van Dine: Intro to 1 Thessalonians
Charles Swindoll: 1 Thessalonians Overview
Paul’s Conversion and Early Ministry– Holman Bible Atlas
Paul’s 1st Journey – Bible-History.com
1st Missionary Journey of Paul– Holman Bible Atlas
Paul’s 2nd Journey – Bible-History.com
2nd Missionary Journey of Paul– Holman Bible Atlas
Paul’s 3rd Journey – Bible-History.com
3rd Missionary Journey of Paul– Holman Bible Atlas
Paul’s Journeys– Holman Bible Atlas
Paul’s Arrest and Imprisonment– Holman Bible Atlas
Paul’s Voyage to Rome– Holman Bible Atlas
Pentecost and the Jewish Diaspora– Holman Bible Atlas
Apostles’ Journeys – Bible-History.com
Israel in New Testament Times – Bible-History.com
New Testament Jerusalem – Bible-History.com
Herod the Great’s Kingdom – Bible-History.com
Herod’s Kingdom Divided – Bible-History.com
The Kingdom of Herod Agrippa I – Holman Bible Atlas
The Kingdom of Agrippa II– Holman Bible Atlas
Expansion of the Early Church in Palestine– Holman Bible Atlas
Key Words in 1 Thessalonians
Occurrences are based on New American Standard Text. “4x/3v” means the word appears 4 times in 3 verses. “3x” means the word appears 3 times in 3 verses.
God (37x/31v) – Strong’s G2316 in 1Th 1:1; 1Th 1:2; 1Th 1:3; 1Th 1:4; 1Th 1:8; 1Th 1:9; 1Th 2:2; 1Th 2:4; 1Th 2:5; 1Th 2:8; 1Th 2:9; 1Th 2:10; 1Th 2:12; 1Th 2:13; 1Th 2:14; 1Th 2:15; 1Th 3:2; 1Th 3:9; 1Th 3:11; 1Th 3:13; 1Th 4:1; 1Th 4:3; 1Th 4:5; 1Th 4:7; 1Th 4:8; 1Th 4:9; 1Th 4:14; 1Th 4:16; 1Th 5:9; 1Th 5:18; 1Th 5:23.
Lord (24x/22v) – Strong’s G2962 in 1Th 1:1; 1Th 1:3; 1Th 1:6; 1Th 1:8; 1Th 2:15; 1Th 2:19; 1Th 3:8; 1Th 3:11; 1Th 3:12; 1Th 3:13; 1Th 4:1; 1Th 4:2; 1Th 4:6; 1Th 4:15; 1Th 4:16; 1Th 4:17; 1Th 5:2; 1Th 5:9; 1Th 5:12; 1Th 5:23; 1Th 5:27; 1Th 5:28.
Jesus (16x/15v) – Strong’s G2424 in 1Th 1:1; 1Th 1:3; 1Th 1:10; 1Th 2:14; 1Th 2:15; 1Th 2:19; 1Th 3:11; 1Th 3:13; 1Th 4:1; 1Th 4:2; 1Th 4:14; 1Th 5:9; 1Th 5:18; 1Th 5:23; 1Th 5:28.
Christ (10x) – Strong’s G5547 in 1Th 1:1; 1Th 1:3; 1Th 2:6; 1Th 2:14; 1Th 3:2; 1Th 4:16; 1Th 5:9; 1Th 5:18; 1Th 5:23; 1Th 5:28.
faith (8x) – Strong’s G4102 in 1Th 1:3; 1Th 1:8; 1Th 3:2; 1Th 3:5; 1Th 3:6; 1Th 3:7; 1Th 3:10; 1Th 5:8.
love (7x/6v) – Strong’s G26 in 1Th 1:3; 1Th 3:6; 1Th 2:12; 1Th 5:8; 1Th 5:13; Strong’s G5360 in 1Th 4:9.
gospel (6x) – Strong’s G2098 in 1Th 1:5; 1Th 2:2; 1Th 2:4; 1Th 2:8; 1Th 2:9; 1Th 3:2.
word (7X/5v) – Strong’s G3056 in 1Th 1:5; 1Th 1:6; 1Th 1:8; 1Th 2:13; 1Th 4:15.
hope (4xs) – Strong’s G1680 in 1Th 1:3; 1Th 2:19; 1Th 4:13; 1Th 5:8.
Commentaries & Study Bibles
Top 5 Commentaries on 1&2 Thessalonians – Ligonier.org
Best Commentaries on 1&2 Thessalonians – Tim Challies
Commentary Reviews: Thessalonians
Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible: 1 Thessalonians
Albert Barnes Notes on the Whole Bible: 1 Thessalonians
Alfords Exegetical Commentary: 1 Thessalonians
Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary on the Bible: 1 Thessalonians
Geneva Study Bible: 1 Thessalonians
Reformation Study Bible Notes: 1 Thessalonians
Precept Austin Commentaries & Sermons: 1 Thessalonians
Dictionaries & Encyclopedias
City of Thessalonica
Holman Bible Dictionary: Thessalonica
Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Thessalonica
McClintock and Strong: Thessalonica
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Thessalonica
Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Thessalonica
Holman Bible Dictionary: 1Thessalonians
Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary: – 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Theology of
American Tract Society: Thessalonians, Epistle to the 1 and 2
Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Thessalonians, Epistles to the
Fausset Bible Dictionary: Thessalonians, the Epistles to the
Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Thessalonians, 1st
Hastings’ Dictionary of the NT: Thessalonians Epistles to the
Morrish Bible Dictionary: Thessalonians, Epistles to the
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Thessalonians, 1st
McClintock and Strong: Thessalonians, 1st Epistle
The Nuttall Encyclopedia: Thessalonians, Epistle to the
Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia: Thessalonians, Epistles to the
Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary: Paul the Apostle
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Paul
Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Paul
Fausset Bible Dictionary: Paul
Holman Bible Dictionary: Paul
Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Paul the Apostle
Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Paul
Morrish Bible Dictionary: Paul
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Paul, the Apostle
McClintock and Strong: Paul
The Nuttall Encyclopedia: Paul
The Jewish Encyclopedia:
American Tract Society: Timothy
Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Timothy
Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Timothy
Fausset Bible Dictionary: Timothy
Holman Bible Dictionary: Timothy
Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Timothy
Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Timothy
Morrish Bible Dictionary: Timotheus, Timothy
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Timothy
McClintock and Strong: Timothy
The Nuttall Encyclopedia: Timothy
Timothy in Acts: Acts 16:1-3; Acts 17:14-15; Acts 18:5; Acts 19:22; Acts 20:4
American Tract Society: Silas; Silvanus
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Silas
Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Silas
Fausset Bible Dictionary: Silas
Holman Bible Dictionary: Silas, Silvanus
Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Silvanus
Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Silvanus
Morrish Bible Dictionary: Silas
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Silvanus
McClintock and Strong: Silvanus
Silas in Acts: Acts 15:22-41; Acts 16; Acts 17; Acts 18:5
David Alan Black: The Literary Structure of 1 and 2 Thessalonians
Robert Bradshaw: The Purposes Behind Paul’s First Epistle to the Thessalonians
FF Bruce: The First Epistle to the Thessalonians: An Expanded Paraphrase 1; Part 2
FF Bruce: “Christianity Under Claudius,” Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 44 (March 1962): 309-326.
John Cereghin: 1 Thessalonians Studes – 134 pages
Robert Dean: The Three Major Rapture Passages
Tomas Edgar: The meaning of ‘sleep’ in 1 Thessalonians 5:10,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 22.4 (Dec. 1979): 345-349
R Gregson: A Solution to The Problems of the Thessalonian Epistles,” The Evangelical Quarterly 38.2 (April-June 1966): 76-80
Gregory Harris: The Word of God or the word of Man? 1 THESSALONIANS 2:13TMSJ 26/2 (Fall 2015) 179–202
Ed Hindson: The Rapture and Glorious Appearing of Jesus Christ
Ed Hindson: Tribulation After the Rapture
Howard Marshall: Pauline Theology in the Thessalonian Correspondence,” M.D. Hooker & S.G. Wilson, eds., Paul and Paulinism. Essays In honour C.K. Barrett. London: SPCK, 198
Richard Mayhue: The Bible’s watchword: day of the lord – The Master’s Seminary Journal 22/1 (Spring 2011) 65-88
Richard Mayhue: Why a Pretribulational rapture? TMSJ 13/2 (Fall 2002) 241-253
Grant Richardson: Theology of Sex (An Entire Book)
Jay Smith: 1 Thessalonians 4:4: Breaking the Impasse,” Bulletin for Biblical Research 11.1 (2001): 65-105.
James Stitzinger: Rapture in 20 Centuries of Biblical Interpretation TMSJ 13/2 (Fall 2002) 149-171
RL Thomas: Imminence in the NT, especially Paul’s Thessalonian epistles TMSJ 13/2 (Fall 2002) 191-214
REH Uprichard: The Person and Work of Christ in 1 Thessalonians,” The Evangelical Quarterly 53.2 (Apr.-June. 1981): 108-114
REH Uprichard: Exposition of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18,” Irish Biblical Studies 1.3 (July 1979): 150-156.
REH Uprichard: The Person and Work of Christ in Thessalonians,” Evangel 3:1 (1985): 6-9
Paul Wilkinson: Left Behind or Led Astray–Exposed
William Watson: Pretribulational Rapture in 17th and 18th Century England
Treat like any commentary: Read carefully and thoughtfully.
Questions about 1 Thessalonians
Rev 11:15, 1 Cor 15:52, 1 Th 4:16 s the last trumpet of 1 Thessalonians 4 the same as the seventh trumpet of Revelation?
1 Thessalonians 5:22 What does it mean not to give the appearance of evil?
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 What is the difference between the Rapture and the Second Coming?
What is the rapture of the church?
How can I be ready to be caught up in the rapture?
How can I be sure I won’t be left behind in the rapture?
Will there be a partial rapture?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the pretribulational view of the rapture (pretribulationism)?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the posttribulational view of the rapture (posttribulationism)?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the pre-wrath view of the rapture?
When is the Rapture going to occur in relation to the Tribulation?
Yes, Christians Can Believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture
What is the Tribulation? How do we know the Tribulation will last seven years?
Who are the dead in Christ in 1 Thessalonians 4:16?
1 Thessalonians 5:2 What is the day of the Lord?
1 Thessalonians 5:18 Why is giving thanks to God important?
Series: Resources by Book
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