In the first century, the Thessalonian church grieved deaths in their community, endured harsh persecution, and struggled with questions about the future. Paul offered them the comforts and reassurances of hope in the Messiah. But he offered far more than wishful thinking or ‘pie in the sky’ comfort. Paul’s emphasis on hope in the Messiah Jesus involved capturing a vision of God’s redeemed and just future in order to see and live faithfully today. Paul did not believe in a passive hope but an active hope, to which, if the Day of the Messiah is a beacon, believers diligently move having set their course. That diligence is especially captured by love for Christian brothers and sisters, commitment to honest and productive work, and obedience to the truth of the gospel of Jesus.
Excursus: Was the Church of the Thessalonians a Male-Only Guild?
Excursus: Gentile Believers Incorporated into Israel’s Story through Jesus
Excursus: Hypothesizing a Clandestine Attack
Thanksgiving for the Thessalonians (1 Thess 1:1-10)
Fusing the Horizons: Blood-Blind in the New Covenant Community
Fusing the Horizons: Metamorphosis
Paul’s Blameless Ministry (1 Thess 2:1-12)
Excursus: Gentle or Infants? (2:7b)
Fusing the Horizons: Integrity and Transparency in New Covenant Leadership
Praiseworthy Endurance Amidst Persecution (1 Thess 2:13-16)
Excursus: Could Paul Have Written 1 Thess 2:14-16?
Fusing the Horizons: A Hospitable Community for All People
Paul’s Love, Pride, and Concern (1 Thess 2:17-3:13)
Fusing the Horizons: Life Together
Exhortation to Persevere and Grow in Holiness, Love, and Integrity (1 Thess 4:1-12)
Excursus: Sexual Immorality in the Greco-Roman World
Excursus: “Sibling Love” (philadelphia)
Fusing the Horizons: A New Covenant Community of Love
Excursus: Work and Quietness
Fusing the Horizons: Living Quiet Lives in a Noisy World
The Hopeful Fate of the Christian Dead (1 Thess 4:13-18)
Fusing the Horizons: The New Covenant People of Hope
The Day of the Lord: Preparedness and Perseverance, Not Prediction (1 Thess 5:1-11)
Excursus: Whose Peace and Security?
Fusing the Horizons: War and Peace: The New Covenant Community in Action
Final Instruction (1 Thess 5:12-28)
Fusing the Horizons: The New Covenant Community, A People of Prayer
Thanksgiving and Hope (2 Thess 1:1-12)
Excursus: Eternal Destruction (2 Thess 1:9)?
Fusing the Horizons: Can Suffering for the Kingdom Be a Blessing?
Perseverance and Hope (2 Thess 2:1-17)
Fusing the Horizons: Living beyond Fear
Mission and Community (2 Thess 3:1-18)
Fusing the Horizons: Leadership and Work
Endorsements and Reviews
In conversation with the best interpreters of the Thessalonian letters across the centuries, Nijay K. Gupta offers us a rich feast of insights into these very early Christian Scriptures. Simultaneously accessible and perceptive, attentive to historical context as well as contemporary theological and spiritual concerns, this is a commentary for students, pastors, and all readers of Paul.
Michael J. Gorman, Raymond E. Brown Professor of Biblical Studies and Theology, St Mary’s Seminary and University
I warmly commend this comparatively (and refreshingly!) compact treatment of the Thessalonian correspondence, not least the exegetical skill, theological engagement, and pastoral concern manifestly evident throughout.
Todd D. Still, DeLancey Dean and Hinson Professor, Baylor University, Truett Seminary
The verse-by-verse comments are what one would expect from a commentary of this style and level of detail. … Gupta has produced a study of the English text that is readable and sure-footed. This commentary is excellent at providing an overview of both letters, in a manner that is both accessible while still introducing key interpretative issues. This commentary would be of great value to study-groups or to those wishing to gain a deeper knowledge of these two Pauline writings.
Paul Foster, in The Expository Times, Vol 129, No 7
This short commentary on 1-2 Thessalonians is an excellent resource for those in Christian ministry, NT students and serious Christian readers.
Gary W. Burnett, in Journal for the Study of the New Testament, Vol 40.5