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1 & 2 Thessalonians Through the Centuries

ISBN: 978-1-4051-9682-6
336 pages
December 2010, Wiley-Blackwell
1 & 2 Thessalonians Through the Centuries (1405196823) cover image
This unique commentary on Paul’s early letters by an outstanding New Testament specialist, provides a broad range of original perspectives of how people have interpreted, and been influenced by, Paul’s first two letters.

  • Addresses questions concerning the content, setting, and authenticity of the two Thessalonian letters, drawing on responses from leading scholars, poets, hymn writers, preachers, theologians, and biblical scholars throughout the ages
  • Offers new insights into issues they raise concerning feminist biblical interpretation.
  • Provides a history of two-way influences, as exemplified by Ulrich Luz, Hans Robert Jauss, and Hans-Georg Gadamer
  • Written by Anthony Thiselton, a leading commentator on the Greek New Testament
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Series Editors' Preface.

Acknowledgments.

Abbreviations.

Introduction.

The Aims of Reception History.

The Situation and Substance of 1 Thessalonians.

The City of Thessalonica.

Traditional and Nineteenth-Century Arguments about the Authenticity of 2 Thessalonians and Their Criticism.

The Situation and Substance of 2 Thessalonians.

Some Key Interpreters in the Reception History of 1 and 2 Thessalonians.

1 Thessalonians.

Paul's Address, Thanksgiving, Prayer, and Reflection on His Visit (1 Thessalonians 1:1–10).

Address, Thanksgiving, and Prayer (1 Thess. 1:1–6a).

Introduction and Overview.

The Apostolic Fathers and the Patristic Era.

The Medieval Period.

The Reformation and Post-Reformation Eras.

The Eighteenth Century.

The Nineteenth Century.

Paul's Reflection on His Visit: The Readers are an Example to Believers from Greece (1 Thess. 1:6b–10).

Introduction and Overview.

The Subapostolic and Patristic Era.

The Medieval Period.

The Reformation and Post-Reformation Eras.

The Eighteenth Century.

The Nineteenth Century.

Paul's Autobiographical Reflections and Defense (1 Thessalonians 2:1–8).

Introduction and Overview.

The Patristic Era.

The Medieval Period.

The Reformation and Post-Reformation Eras.

The Eighteenth Century.

The Nineteenth Century.

How the Readers Received the Gospel (1 Thessalonians 2:9–16).

Introduction and Overview.

The Patristic Era.

The Medieval Period.

The Reformation and Post-Reformation Eras.

The Eighteenth Century.

The Nineteenth Century.

Paul's Longing to See the Thessalonians and Timothy's Visit and News (1 Thessalonians 2:17–3:13).

Introduction and Overview.

The Patristic Era.

The Medieval Period.

The Reformation and Post-Reformation Eras.

The Eighteenth Century.

The Nineteenth Century.

The Call to Holiness, Especially to Holiness and Love in Personal Relationships (1 Thessalonians 4:1–12).

Introduction and Overview.

The Patristic Era.

The Medieval Period.

The Reformation and Post-Reformation Periods.

The Eighteenth Century.

The Nineteenth Century.

The Living and the Dead Share Together in the Parousia and in the Resurrection (1 Thessalonians 4:13–18).

Introduction and Overview.

The Patristic Era.

The Medieval Period.

The Reformation and Post-Reformation Eras.

The Eighteenth Century.

The Nineteenth Century.

Note on "the Rapture" in Dispensationalist Views of 1 Thessalonians 4:13–17.

The Day of the Lord: Timing and Light (1 Thessalonians 5:1–11).

Introduction and Overview.

The Patristic Era.

The Medieval Era.

The Reformation and Post-Reformation Eras.

The Eighteenth Century.

The Nineteenth Century.

Various Christian Duties and Closure (1 Thessalonians 5:12–28).

Introduction and Overview.

The Patristic Era.

The Medieval Era.

The Reformation and Post-Reformation Eras.

The Eighteenth Century.

The Nineteenth Century.

2 Thessalonians.

Address, Greetings, and Thanksgiving (2 Thessalonians 1:1–4).

Introduction and Overview.

The Subapostolic and Patristic Eras.

The Medieval Period.

The Reformation and Post-Reformation Eras.

The Eighteenth Century.

The Nineteenth Century.

Encouragement and Prayer: The Judgment of God and the Revelation of Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:5–12).

Introduction and Overview.

The Apostolic Fathers and the Patristic Era.

The Medieval Church.

The Reformation and Post-Reformation Eras.

The Eighteenth Century.

The Nineteenth Century.

The Day of the Lord (2 Thessalonians 2:1–12).

Introduction and Overview of 2 Thess. 2:1–12.

The Advent of Christ and the "Man of Sin" (2 Thess. 2:1–6a); Note on the Antichrist.

Introduction and Overview.

Note on the Antichrist.

The Apostolic Fathers and the Patristic Period.

The Medieval Period.

The Reformation and Post-Reformation Eras.

Eighteenth Century Pietism.

The Nineteenth Century.

"He Who Now Restrains" and "The Lawless One" (2 Thess. 2:6b–12).

Introduction and Overview.

The Patristic Era.

The Medieval Period.

The Reformation and Post-Reformation Eras.

The Eighteenth Century.

The Nineteenth Century.

Thanksgiving, Exhortation and Benediction (2 Thessalonians 2:13–17).

Introduction and Overview.

The Subapostolic and Patristic Eras.

The Medieval Era.

The Reformation and Post-Reformation Eras.

The Eighteenth Century.

The Nineteenth Century.

Further Prayer and Exhortation, Largely New Issues (2 Thessalonians 3:1–18).

Further Prayer (2 Thess. 3:1–5).

Overview.

The Apostolic Fathers and the Patristic Period.

The Medieval Era.

The Reformation and Post-Reformation Eras.

The Eighteenth Century.

The Nineteenth Century.

Exhortation and Admonition about "Idlers" or Undisciplined People (2 Thess. 3:6–13).

Introduction and Overview.

The Subapostolic and Patristic Periods.

The Medieval Period.

The Reformation and Post-Reformation Eras.

The Eighteenth Century.

The Nineteenth Century.

Final Exhortations, Greetings, and Benediction (2 Thess. 3:14–18).

Introduction and Overview.

The Subapostolic and Patristic Periods.

The Medieval Period.

The Reformation and Post-Reformation Eras.

The Eighteenth Century.

The Nineteenth Century.

Brief Biographies.

Bibliography.

Index of Biblical and Jewish Texts (Canonical and Deuterocanonical Order).

Index of Names.

Index of Subjects.

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Anthony C. Thiselton is Professor of Christian Theology, University of Nottingham, and Emeritus Professor of Christian Theology at the University of Chester. He is the author of The First Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text (2000), and numerous other works including Interpreting God and the Postmodern Self (1995), A Concise Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Religion (2002), and The Hermeneutics of Doctrine (2007).
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“The book is valuable for its historical coverage – there are 89 ‘brief biographies’ at the end of the book – and also for Thiselton’s own brief but wise comments.”  (Journal for the Study of the New Testament, 1 November 2012)

"I can think of no person better qualified to write a reception-history commentary than Anthony Thiselton, because he knows what reception history means and how it plays out in interpretation. This commentary is a treasure trove of exegetical and theological insights gleaned from the vast and interesting array of those who not only have interpreted these important letters to the Thessalonians but have responded in prose and poetry to their major themes and ideas."
 —Stanley E. Porter, President and Dean, and Professor of New Testament, McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

"With an uncanny grasp of the "afterlife" of 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Anthony Thiselton demonstrates why it is crucial that we understand that we aren’t the first people to encounter these Pauline letters. Not surprisingly, with this foray into the emerging area of reception history, Anthony Thiselton has set a high bar for those who will follow."
Joel B. Green, Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Fuller Theological Seminary

"It will be a key resource for all who would endeavour to understand how Paul has been read and should be read. Lucid in style, this volume is not only immensely scholarly it is also an accessible and extremely enjoyable read!"
Professor Alan J Torrance, Chair of Systematic Theology, University of St Andrews

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