We’ve cracked into the Ts. Why is this important? I have no idea. Other than there are a lot of books that start with the letter “T” and they are in alphabetical order. I think it does indicate that we are getting closer to the end of the New Testament. And maybe we’ll have a book in here that isn’t written by Paul?
?The First Epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians
Wow, this is a super-brief chapter to open up this book. Like super-super brief. Paul is not normally concise; this must be some of Timothy’s influence coming through. The only real bit of information in this chapter is that the Holy Spirit crammed the gospel down the throats of the Thessalonians. Or something like that. Don’t blame me, Paul is the one who wrote it in such a boring way.
Paul goes on to severely patronize the Thessalonians. Seriously, why would they want anything to do with Paul after this letter? Want an example? “Instead, we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother tenderly caring for her own children.” Well, okay, that isn’t severely patronizing. But dear lord, it isn’t treating people as equals, either.
One last bit from this chapter – and it is something that a lot of people grasp desperately to: the gospel is the word of god, not the word of man. That is very handy if you want to make sure that people follow your new religion and don’t question it.
Paul sent Timothy to Thessalonica, figuring that the Thessalonians had abandoned Paul’s teachings and moved on with their own form of Christianity. Timothy and Paul were delighted to find out, however, that the church at Thessalonica had stayed true to Paul and the gospel. Paul was so happy about this that he can’t find much to chide the Thessalonians for. For Paul, that’s HUGE!
Up next: Paul slowly sucks the color out of the gospel
New installments of The New Testament In Review will be posted each Monday and Thursday. The new posts will always be on my blog, http://biffster.org. The entire series is accessible via http://biffster.org/ntir. If you are one of my Facebook friends, you can get an advance preview on my Facebook page. You can also follow me (@biffster) on Twitter to be alerted to new posts.