Thessalonians, Epistles to the

The first epistle to the Thessalonians was the first of all
Paul's epistles. It was in all probability written from Corinth,
where he abode a "long time" (Acts 18:11, 18), early in the
period of his residence there, about the end of A.D. 52.

The occasion of its being written was the return of Timotheus
from Macedonia, bearing tidings from Thessalonica regarding the
state of the church there (Acts 18:1-5; 1 Thess. 3:6). While, on
the whole, the report of Timothy was encouraging, it also showed
that divers errors and misunderstandings regarding the tenor of
Paul's teaching had crept in amongst them. He addresses them in
this letter with the view of correcting these errors, and
especially for the purpose of exhorting them to purity of life,
reminding them that their sanctification was the great end
desired by God regarding them.

The subscription erroneously states that this epistle was
written from Athens.

The second epistle to the Thessalonians was probably also
written from Corinth, and not many months after the first.

The occasion of the writing of this epistle was the arrival of
tidings that the tenor of the first epistle had been
misunderstood, especially with reference to the second advent of
Christ. The Thessalonians had embraced the idea that Paul had
taught that "the day of Christ was at hand", that Christ's
coming was just about to happen. This error is corrected
(2:1-12), and the apostle prophetically announces what first
must take place. "The apostasy" was first to arise. Various
explanations of this expression have been given, but that which
is most satisfactory refers it to the Church of Rome.