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  • VINCENT'S NEW TESTAMENT
    WORD STUDIES - 1THESSALONIANS 2

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    CHAPTER II

    1. Was not in vain (ou kenh gegonen). More accurately, hath not proved vain. Kenh is empty. Mataia, also rendered vain, is fruitless.

    2. Having suffered before (propaqontev). N.T.o . Although we had suffered.

    Having been shamefully entreated (ubrisqentev). Comp. Matthew xxii. lxviii. 32; Acts xiv. 5. This may have been added because propaqontev alone might denote the experience of something good; but it is more probably intended as an expansion and illustration of that word. Paul's sensitiveness to personal indignity appears in the narrative in Acts 16, which gives the historical explanation of the two words. It appears frequently in 2nd Corinthians.

    As ye know (kaqwv oidate). One of the many characteristic expressions of these Epistles which indicate community of experience and sentiment on the part of Paul and his readers. See 1 Thess. i. 5, 8; ii. 1, 5, 10, 11; iii. 3, 4, 12; iv. 1, 2, 6, 11; v. 1, 11; 2 Thess. ii. 16; iii. 1, 2. 16 Philippi. See Acts xvi. 19-40; Philippians 1, 30.

    We waxed bold (eparrhsiasameqa). Only once elsewhere in Paul, Eph. vi. 20. Frequent in Acts. Always in N.T. in connection with speaking. Derived from pan every, and rJhsiv speaking. Hence parrhsia boldness, bold speaking out of every word. The noun is very often used adverbially, as parrhsia boldly or openly, Mark viii. 32; see also John xviii. 20. In Acts always meta parrhsiav with boldness, comp. Hebrews iv. 16. En parrhsia in boldness, John vii. 4; xvi. 29; Eph. vi. 19; Philip. i. 20. Both the verb and the noun are found in LXX. See Lev. xxvi. 13; Prov. x. 10; Wisd. v. 1; 1 Macc. iv. 18; Sir. vi. 11. In our God (en tw qew hmwn). Const. with we waxed bold. Their boldness was not mere natural courage, but was inspired by God. There is a slight emphasis on our God, as contrasted with the idols from which they had turned (ch i. 9). The phrase only here in N.T.

    Gospel of God (eujaggelion tou Qeou). For the phrase see Mk.i. 14; Rom. i. 1; xv. 16; 2 Cor. xi. 7; 1 Thess. ii. 8, 9; 1 Peter iv. 17. It points to the monotheistic character of the gospel.

    In much contention (en pollw agwni). Better conflict. Comp. Col. ii. 1; Philip. i. 27; 1 Tim. vi. 12; Heb. xii. 1. Agwn originally of a contest in the arena; but it is used of any struggle, outward or inward.

    3. Exhortation (paraklhsiv). See on Luke vi. 24 and 1 Cor. xiv. 3. Exhortation or counsel is Paul's usual sense.

    Of deceit (ek planhv). Better, of error. It may imply deceit as accompanying or causing error, but it does not occur in the sense of deceit. Our exhortation did not proceed from any false teaching which we had ourselves received. We were guided by "the spirit of truth"; See 1 John iv. 6, and comp. 2 Pet. i. 16.

    Of uncleanness (ex akaqarsiav). "Akaqarsia in Matt. xxiii. 27 of the corruption of the sepulchre. Elsewhere in N.T. of sensual impurity. See Rom. i. 24; 2 Cor. xii. 21; Eph. iv. 19. Here in the sense of impurity on the side of sordidness. 17 In Eph. iv. 19, Paul speaks of working uncleanness (akaqarsian) in a spirit of selfish desire (pleonexia) which is the spirit of covetousness. In Eph. v. 3, uncleanness and covetousness are closely associated. Paul means that his exhortation did not proceed from greed for gain or lust for power.

    In guile (en dolw). While uncleanness expresses impure purpose or motive, guile has reference to improper means; plausible but insincere methods of winning converts; suppression of the truth; "huckstering the word of God" (see on 2 Cor. ii. 17); adulterating it for purposes of gain or popularity.

    4. We were allowed (dedokimasmeqa). More correctly, approved. See on 1 Pet. i. 7. We came and spoke to you as tested men.

    Pleasing (areskontev). As being those who seek to please. Comp. Gal. i. 10, and ajnqrwpareskoi man-pleasers, Eph. vi. 6; Col. iii. 22. Comp. LXX, Psalm lii. 5: "God hath scattered the bones of men-pleasers." The fourth Psalm of Solomon is entitled: Against the men-pleasers (anqrwpareskoiv).

    Who proveth (dokimazonti). Word-play with dedokimasmeqa we were approved.

    5. Used we flattering words (en logw kolakiav egenhqhmen). Better, were we found using flattering discourse. Very literally and baldly it is, we came to pass in discourse of flattery. It means more than the mere fact that they were not flatterers: rather, they did not prove to be such in the course of their work. Similar periphrases with ejn are found, Luke xxii. 44; Acts xxii. 17; 2 Cor. iii. 7; Philip. ii. 7; with eijv, Matt. xxi. 42; Mark xii. 10; Luke xx. 17; Acts iv. 11; 1 Thess. iii. 5. Kolakia flattery, N.T.o . o LXX. Rare in Class. Logw is explained by some as report or rumor. Common report did not charge us with being flatterers. This meaning is admissible, but the other is simpler. Paul says that they had not descended to flattery in order to make the gospel acceptable. They had not flattered men's self-complacency so as to blind them to their need of the radical work which the gospel demands.

    Cloke of covetousness (profasei pleonexiav). For profasiv see on John xv. 22. Properly pretext: pro before, fasiv a word or saying. Others, less probably, from profainein to cause to shine forth or before. Paul means that he had not used his apostolic office to disguise or conceal avaricious designs.

    God is witness (qeov martuv). Comp. Rom. i. 9; 2 Cor. i. 23; Philip. i. 8; 1 Thess. ii. 10. God or the Lord is witness is a common O.T. formula: see Gen. xxxi. 44, 50; 1 Sam. xii. 5, 6; xx. 23, 42; Wisd. i. 6. For testimony to his conduct, he appeals to the Thessalonians (as ye know): for testimony to his motives, he appeals to God. Comp. ver. 10, where there is the double appeal.

    6. Of men (ex anqrwpwn). To extract glory from men.

    When we might have been burdensome (dunamenoi en barei einai). Lit. being able to be in weight. The phrase ejn barei in weight is unique in N.T., and does not occur in LXX. The better rendering here is to be in authority. Paul means that his position as an apostle would have warranted him in asserting authority or standing on his dignity, which he did not do. Barov weight, in the sense of influence, is found in late Greek. Paul's Epistles were called weighty (bareiai), 2 Cor. x. 10: others explain as referring to the apostolic right to exact pecuniary support. 18

    7. Gentle (hpioi). This reading is adopted b;y Tischendorf, Weiss, and the Rev. T. Westcott and Hort read nh.pioi babes. This gives a stronger and bolder image, and one which falls in better with the course of thought, in which Paul is asserting his innocence of guile and flattery, and not of harshness.

    Among you (en mesw umwn). Better, and more literally, in the midst of you, which implies more intimate intercourse than among you. Comp. Luke xxii. 27.

    Nurse (trofov). N.T.o . In Class. sometimes of a mother, and so probably here. See Gal. iv. 19.

    Cherisheth (qalph). P o . Here and Eph. v. 29. The verb originally means to warm. See LXX, Deut. xxii. 6.

    Her own children. Note the inversion of metaphor. Paul is first the babe, then the nurse or mother. For similar instances see ch. v. 2, 4; 2 Corinthians iii. 13-16; Rom. vii. 1 ff. See Introduction to 2 Corinthians, Vol. 3, p. xix.

    8. Being affectionately desirous (omeiromenoi). N.T.o . Once in LXX, Job iii. 21. The figure of the nursing mother is continued. She is not satisfied with nursing the child, but interests herself affectionately in all that concerns it.

    We were willing (hudokoumen). Better, we were pleased. Imperfect tense: we continued to entertain and manifest our affectionate solicitude. The verb occasionally in later Greek, and often in LXX. In N.T. it is used of God's decrees, as Luke xii. 32; 1 Cor. i. 21; Gal. i. 15; Col. i. 19; and of the free determination and plans of men, as Rom. xv. 26; 2 Cor. v. 8; 1 Thess. iii. 1.

    Souls (yucav). Better lives. See on Rom. xi. 3; 1 Cor. xv. 45; Mark xii. 30.

    9. Labor - travail (kopon- mocqon). The two words are associated in 2 Corinthians xi. 27; 2 Thess. iii. 8. Mocqov travail, P o . Frequent in LXX. Kopov emphasises fatigue, mocqov hardship.

    Because we would not be chargeable (prov to mh epibarhsai).

    Incorrect. Rend. that we might not burden. Put you to expense for our support. Comp. 2 Thess. iii. 8.

    10. Holily - justly - unblameably (osiwv - dikaiwv - amemptwv). For dikaiwv holily, see on Luke i. 75; for dikaiwv justly or righteously, on Rom. i. 17; v. 7. Amemptwv unblameably, only in these Epistles. See ch. iii. 13; v. 23. For the distinction between osiov and dikaiov see Plato, Gorg. 507.

    11. Comforted (paramuqoumenoi). The A.V. renders the three participles in this verse as finite verbs, we exhorted, etc. Rev. retains the participial construction. Better than comforted, persuading. Persuasion is the form which the exhortation assumed. Paraklhsiv exhortation, and paramuqiou persuasion, are associated in Philip. ii. 1. The verb paramuqeomai, to persuade occurs only four times in N.T. See on Philip. ii. 1. Neither verb nor noun in LXX.

    Charged (marturomenoi). Rev. testifying; but the A.V. is more correct. Rend. charging. The verb means to conjure, or appeal to by something sacred. So Eph. iv. 17. Comp. Acts xx. 26; Gal. v. 3, and diamarturomai I charge, 1 Tim. v. 21; 2 Tim. ii. 14; iv. 1. Comp. Thucyd. vi. 80.

    12. Walk (peripatein). By Paul exclusively in the metaphorical sense of behaving or conducting one's self. Similarly in Hebrews. In the Synoptic Gospels, with one exception (Mark vii. 5), of the physical act. Both senses in the Fourth Gospel, but only the metaphorical sense in John's Epistles. Once in the metaphorical sense in Acts, xxi. 21. In LXX almost exclusively literal; but see 2 Kings xx. 23; Prov. viii. 20; Eccl. xi. 9. The phrase ajxiwv peripatein to walk worthily, in Eph. iv. 1; Col. i. 10. Worthy of God (axiwv qeou). Better worthily. For ajxiwv comp. LXX, Wisd. vii. 15; xvi. 1; Sir. xiv. 11. The formula ajxiwv qeou is found among the Pergamum papyri. A priest of Dionysus is described as having performed his sacred duties ajxiwv qeou. A priestess of Athene as having served ajxiwv thv qeou kai thv patridov worthily of the goddess and of her fatherland. A chief herdsman as having conducted the divine mysteries. ajxiwv tou kaqhgemonov Dionusou worthily of his chief, Dionysus. The dates of these papyri are from 141 B.C. to the beginning of the first century A.D. 19 Kingdom and glory. The only instance of this collocation. God's kingdom is here conceived as present - the economy of divine grace to which the readers are called as Christians. Glory is the future consummation of that kingdom. For basileia kingdom, see on Luke vi. 20. Doxa glory is not used in N.T. in its primary, classical sense of opinion or notion. It signifies reputation, John xii. 43; Rom. ii. 7, x. brightness or splendor, Acts xxii. 11; Rom. ix. 4; 1 Cor. xv. 40. Glory of God expresses the sum total of the divine perfections. The idea is prominent in redemptive revelation: see Isa. lx. 1; Rom. v. 2; vi. 4. It expresses the form in which God reveals himself in the economy of salvation: see Rom. ix. 23; Eph. i. 12; 1 Tim. i. 11. It is the means by which the redemptive work is carried on: see 2 Pet. i. 3; Rom. vi. 4; Eph. iii. 16; Col. i. 11. It is the goal of Christian hope: see Rom. v. 2; viii. 18, 21; Tit. ii. 13.

    13. Also - we. Also may point to an expression of thanksgiving in a letter from the Thessalonians to Paul. You say "we give thanks to God." We also give thanks. Comp. ch. i. 2.

    When ye received the word of God which ye heard of us (paralabontev logon akohv par hmwn tou qeou). Rend. when ye received the word of the message (which came) from us, even the word of God. The words the word of the message from us form one conception, governed by paralabontev having received or when ye received; therefore from us is not to be taken as depending on having received, as Rev. when ye received from us the word, etc. Of God (supply the word) is added in order to correct any possible false impression made by from us. Akoh in N.T. means the sense of hearing, as Matt. xiii. 14; 1 Corinthians xii. 17; 2 Pet. ii. 8: or the organ of hearing = ear, as Mark vii. 35; Luke vii. 1: or a thing heard, a report, rumor, as John xii. 38; Romans x. 16. The phrase logov ajkohv or thv ajkohv the word of hearing, or word of the message, signifies the word which is heard. Comp. Hebrews iv. 2. See on the fame, Luke iv. 37.

    Effectually worketh (energeitai). Referring to the word, not to God. Comp. Philip. ii. 13. In the middle voice as here, used only by Paul and James, and only of things. See Eph. iii. 20; Col. i. 29; James v. 16, and footnote on Col. i. 29. The noun ejnergeia, P o . It means power in exercise, and is used only of superhuman power.

    14. In Christ Jesus. Seems to be added to distinguish the Christian churches in Judaea from the synagogues of the Jews, which would claim to be churches of God. Comp. Gal. i. 22, and see on ch. i. 1. In Christ Jesus, in Christ, in Jesus, in the Lord, in him, are common Pauline formulas to denote the most intimate communion with the living Christ. These phrases are not found in the Synoptic Gospels. En ejmoi in me (Christ) is frequent in the Fourth Gospel. The conception is that of a sphere or environment in which a Christian or a church lives, as a bird in the air, or the roots of a tree in the soil. 20 Countrymen (sumfuletwn). N.T.o . o LXX. Not in pre-Christian Greek writers. Lit. belonging to the same tribe or clan. The reference is to the Gentile persecutors who were instigated by the Jews.

    15. Persecuted (ekdiwxantwn). Rev. more literally and correctly, drave out. The word only here, though it occurs as an alternative reading, Luke xi. 49. Probably with special reference to his own expulsion from Thessalonica. Acts xvii. 5-10.

    Contrary to all men. Tacitus (Hist. v. 5) describes the Jews as stubborn in their faith, prompt in kindly offices to each other, but bitterly hostile toward everybody else: Juvenal (Sat. xiv. 102 f.) says that they observe and respect whatever Moses has taught in his mystical volume; not to show the way except to one who practices the same rites, and to show the well only to the circumcised.

    16. To speak - that they might be saved (lalhsai ina swqwsin). Not, to speak to the Gentiles in order that they might be saved, but to tell the Gentiles that they might be saved. Comp. 1 Cor. x. 33.

    To fill up (anaplhrwsai). The verb means the making up of what is lacking to perfect fulness; the filling of a partial void. Comp. Philippians ii. 30. Once in LXX of filling up of sins, Gen. xv. 16. Always blind and stubborn, the Jews filled up the measure of their sins by their treatment of Christ and his apostles.

    Alway (pantote). Emphatically placed at the end of the sentence. At all times - before Christ, in Christ's time, now - the Jews by their resistance to the divine word fill up their 'sins.

    Is come (efqasen). The verb not frequent in N.T. and used mostly by Paul. See on 2 Cor. x. 14, and comp. Rom. ix. 31; Philippians iii. 16.

    To the uttermost (eiv telov). This is not the meaning of the phrase in N.T. It is to the end: see Matt. x. 22; xxiv. 13; Luke xviii. 5; John xiii. 1. The wrath of God had not come upon them to the uttermost. The meaning is that the divine wrath had reached the point where it passed into judgment.

    17. Being taken from you (aporfanisqentev). N.T.o . o LXX. Rev. better, being bereaved of you. From ojrfanov bereft. See Mark xii. 40, John xiv. 18; Jas. i. 27. The word suggests the intimate personal fellowship of the writer with his readers. The separation was like that between parents and children. Comp. vv. 7, 8.

    For a short time (prov kairon wrav). N.T.o . Lit. for the season of an hour. Comp. Lat. horae momentum. Stronger than the usual phrase prov wran for an hour: see 2 Cor. vii. 8; Gal. ii. 5; Philemon 15. Comp. prov kairon for a season, Luke viii. 13; 1 Cor. vii. 5. The more abundantly (perissoterwv). Rev. the more exceedingly. Paul uses this adverb very freely, and outside of his letters it appears only Heb. ii. 1; xiii. 19. He is much given to the use of comparatives, and sometimes heaps them together: see Rom. viii. 37; 2 Cor. vii. 13; iv. 17; Eph. iii. 20; Philip. i. 23.

    18. We would (hqelhsamen). Implying more than a mere inclination or desire. It was our will to come. See on Matt. i. 19.

    I Paul. Not implying any less desire on the part of his associates, but emphasising his own. See on the use of the epistolary plural, ch. i. 2. Satan (Satanav). From the Aramaic Satana, adversary. In the canonical LXX the name appears only three times, 1 Kings xi. 14, 23, 25, and in each case is applied to a man. In LXX diabolov is used, almost without exception, as the translation of the Hebrews Satan. Of 22 instances of diabolov only 9 are outside of the book of Job. From the more general conception of an adversary, there is, in the O.T., a gradual development toward that of an evil personality. For instance, in 2 Sam. xxiv. 1, the numbering of the people is ascribed to the anger of the Lord. The later historian, in 1 Chron. xxi. 1, ascribes the act to Satan. See also Job, Wisd. ii. 24; Zech.iii. 1. The specialising of the conception was due, in part, to the contact of the Jews with the religions of Babylon and Persia. In N.T. Satan appears as the personal spirit of evil - the same who is called the devil, the wicked one, the prince of the power of the air, the prince of this world, the serpent, the God of this world, the tempter. He tempts to evil, opposes God's work, inspires evil dispositions, torments God's people. The word Satan occurs only once in the Fourth Gospel, not in the Epistles, but often in Revelation. Mark never uses diabolov, Matthew never Satan. Paul seldom diabolov, often Satan. Satan alone in Pastorals. Luke uses both. It is clear that Paul here as elsewhere employs the word in a personal sense; but any attempt to base the doctrine of a personal devil on this and similar passages is unsafe.

    Hindered (enekoyen). See on 1 Pet. iii. 7.

    19. Hope. Used of the object of hope, as Col. i. 5; 1 Tim. i. 1; Heb. vi. 18.

    Joy - crown (cara - stefanov). Comp. Philip. iv. 1. The phrase crown of rejoicing or boasting, in Prov. xvi. 31; Ezek. xvi. 12; xxiii. 42. Comp. Isa. lxii. 3, stefanov kallouv crown of beauty, and Soph. Aj. 465. stef eujkleiav crown of renown. The Thessalonians were "a chaplet of victory of which Paul might justly make his boast in the day of the Lord" (Ellicott). For stefanov see on Apoc. iv. 4.

    Coming (parousia). See on Matt. xxiv. 8, and on ejpifaneia appearing, 1 Tim. vi. 14 and 2 Thess. ii. 8.

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