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Lecture 7

Week 4; Lecture 7+8 - Oct 1, 4 - RELIGST 2HH3

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Religious Studies
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Stephen Westerholm

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WEEK 4 RELIGST 2HH3 Lecture 7 October 1, 2013 1 Thessalonians  First/earliest extant Christian writing that we have – 1 Thessalonians (earliest of Paul’s writings thought by scholars; some think Galatians) o Gospels written later than Paul (around year 70  90s); those disciples of Jesus who knew Jesus were dying, good to preserve their memory and put it into writing; while Disciples were alive, they would speak to people themselves  Paul’s Circumstances when he wrote 1 Thessalonians nd o Paul visited Thessalonica on 2 missionary journey; (end of Acts 15, 17, 18) o SE Turkey  west coast of Turkey  vision to go to Macedonia; him Silas and Timothy crossed sea to go to Macedonia Philippi; but put in prison so they left (end of Acts 16)  Thessalonica (Acts 17); not there for long (3 weeks in synagogues, then driven out) o Borea  then Athens (Acts 17; Paul’s speech)  Corinth (Acts 18) where Silas and Timothy joined him (Acts 18:5) o When Paul writes letter  Speaks of warm welcome, responded positively to message – word of God, not of people; sent from God with divine message, became example for people who come to faith  Just been in Philippi before went to Thessalonica and persecuted in Philippi (matches what we have in acts) o Left Thessalonians and went to Athens (according to Acts 17 and 1 Thessalonians letter)  Concerned about Thessalonians when got to Athens (in 1 Thessalonians, not Acts) – Thessalonians received Paul message warmly, but he was only there for a short time  worried that they will not stand firm in the faith due to persecution and forgetting new faith o Paul sent Timothy back to find out how Thessalonians were doing  Timothy return from 1 Thessalonica can be congruent with Acts  Acts says Athens then Corinth; then in Corinth Silas and Timothy joined  1 Thess says – Athens, sent Timothy to Thessalonica then Timothy came back  Timothy returns with good news; they have good memories of Paul’s visit o Write first Thessalonians upon receiving this good news from Timothy  Themes – letter is a summary of his main message 1. Pure motives of Paul and coworkers – not in it for gain; wants to distinguish himself from wandering philosophers, don’t want to burden anyone (supporting himself)  Paul didn’t accept support; however other apostles did accept support – could be held against Paul  Snobbery – not at their level to accept help 2. Gentile Community – warm response received when arrived at Thessalonica  received as word of God; “returned from idols to serving the living and true God” (1 Thess 1:9) – suggests that these people were not Jews 3. Second Coming; return of Jesus – “to wait for his son from Heaven who is going to deliver us from the wrath to come”; wrath is coming upon the world, people are subject to Gods judgment, some will be delivered (followers of Jesus); believers can look forward to the coming of Gods son 4. What happens to believers in Jesus who have died before Christ’s return  Problem at end of 1 Thess 4:13; they expected Christ’s return to occur so quickly that people wouldn’t die before  People are not going to lose out; when Christ returns, those who have died will be raised from the dead; forever with the Lord  Returns to this theme in 1 Thess 5 “children of light so you wont be taken by surprise when day of the lord comes”  Day of the Lord (Amos 5:18-24) – “Woe to you who long/ for the day of the ORD !/ Whyy do you long for the day of the ORD ?/That day will be darkness, not light…”  People thought the Day of the Lord was going to be the day when the Lord comes and judges enemies; light and celebration  Amos says this is not the case  Amos tends to takes popular belief and turns it upside down – eg/ chosen people, common expectation was that Jews are special and God deals with them in a special way  Amos says that because they are Gods people, they are expected of more because they have been given more  First usage of Day of the Lord – when God was going to intervene in history and judge his people; thought was when God sends his people into exile – but exile happened and it history continued  More recent referrals to Day of the Lord – when God brings history as we know it to an end an puts things right in creation and delivers his people 1 WEEK 4 RELIGST 2HH3  Paul’s usage of Day of the Lord – deliverance for followers of Jesus; will be a dark day; God sends Son to earth; Day of Christ (Lord is identified with Jesus)  day when God puts things right becomes day when Jesus Christ returns 5. Implicit Christology – study of the nature of Christ; implicit because passages do not tell you straight up what to believe about Christ a. Day of the Lord becomes the Day of Christ; Lord of OT is identified with Christ in NT; things said about God in OT said about Jesus in NT b. 1 Thes 1:1 (church that is in God the follower and Lord Jesus Christ); in OT God is referred to as God or the Lord (God is title; LORD = Yahweh is divine name); Paul takes one of these two to apply to Father and the other to Jesus (God = Father; Lord = Jesus); takes 2 divine names from OT and applies them to Christ; something special about Jesus relationship with God the Father c. 1 Thess 3:12-13 – prayer is directed jointly to God the father and Jesus; equally appropriate addressees for prayer d. Thessalonians 5:18 – give thanks in all circumstances, will of God….  Explicit – John 1 “in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God” – tells people what they ought to believe about Christ  Within 20 years, Gospel has spread from Palestine to Macedonia the Thessalonica; ??? 6. Moral advice – (1 Thess 4-5); traditional of the kind of moral advice that was given in early church a. Sexual morality – Jewish and Gentile standards differed; men to have one wife and is not involved with sexual relationships with others b. Christian love – love becomes the great commandment; all moral duty summed up in commandment to love c. Work with own hands and support self – don’t be lazy or depend on goodness of others  Problem to Thessalonica – people thought that people may think Jesus is coming soon and therefore not working  Note: Many themes associated with Paul are not fou
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