Daily Bible Reading for August 3, 2014, with Commentary: 2 Thessalonians
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Author: Paul, Silas, and Timothy
Date: AD 51, a few months after the first letter to Thessalonica
Context: The book of 2 Thessalonians is a short letter, written not long after the first letter to the Thessalonians. It begins as many of Paul’s letters do. He thanks God for the church in Thessalonica because they have remained strong in face of persecution. Through their suffering they demonstrate the salvation they have been given by Christ. Although we may not always understand God’s plan, it is a just plan and those who serve Him faithfully will be rewarded. The reason for writing appears in chapter 2. People were saying that Christ had already returned! The Thessalonians were concerned that they had missed it! Paul assures them that they have not, it will be impossible to miss. It will also be impossible to predict the time of Christ’s return, although it will not stop people from trying. Until Christ’s return, we are to stand strong in our faith, a position which will become more and more unpopular as the end nears. Paul ends this letter as he does many others: with requests for prayer, encouragement to remain strong in the faith, a reminder of how to discipline within the church, and a personal note in his own hand.
World History: It is commonly believed that Paul dictated many of his letters, with him adding a brief note at the end written in his own hand. Dictating letters through the use of scribes was common during Paul’s time.