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Paul, and Silvanus, and Timothy
(Παυλος κα Σιλουανος κα Τιμοθεος). Nominative absolute as customary in letters. Paul associates with himself Silvanus (Silas
of Acts, spelled Σιλβανος in D and the papyri), a Jew and Roman citizen, and Timothy, son of Jewish mother and Greek father,
one of Paul's converts at Lystra on the first tour. They had both been with Paul at Thessalonica, though Timothy is not mentioned
by Luke in Acts in Macedonia till Beroea (Ac 17:14f.
). Timothy had joined Paul in Athens (1Th 3:1f.
), had been sent back to Thessalonica, and with Silas had rejoined Paul in Corinth (1Th 3:5; Ac 18:5, 2Co 1:19
). Silas is the elder and is mentioned first, but neither is in any sense the author of the Epistle any more than Sosthenes
is co-author of I Corinthians or Timothy of II Corinthians, though Paul may sometimes have them in mind when he uses "we"
in the Epistle. Paul does not here call himself "apostle" as in the later Epistles, perhaps because his position has not been
so vigorously attacked as it was later. Ellicott sees in the absence of the word here a mark of the affectionate relations
existing between Paul and the Thessalonians.
We give thanks
(ευχαριστουμεν). Late denominative verb ευχαριστεω from ευχαριστος (grateful) and that from ευ, well and χαριζομα, to show
oneself kind. See χαρις in verse
1. "The plural implies that all three missionaries prayed together" (Moffatt).
(μνημονευοντες). Present active participle of old verb from adjective μνημων (mindful) and so to call to mind, to be mindful
of, used either with the accusative as in 1Th 2:9
or the genitive as here.
(ειδοτες). Second perfect active participle of οιδα (ειδον), a so-called causal participle=since we know, the third participle
with the principal verb ευχαριστουμεν, the Greek being fond of the circumstantial participle and lengthening sentences thereby
(Robertson, Grammar, P. 1128).
(οτ). It is not certain whether οτ here means "because" (θυια) as in 2Th 3:7; 1Co 2:14; Ro 8:27
or declarative οτ "how that," knowing the circumstances of your election (Lightfoot) or explanatory, as in Ac 16:3; 1Th 2:1; 1Co 16:15; 2Co 12:3f.; Ro 13:11
Imitators of us and of the Lord
(μιμητα ημων κα του κυριου). Μιμητης (-της expresses the agent) is from μιμεομα, to imitate and that from μιμος (μιμιχ, actor).
Old word, more than "followers," in the N.T. only six times (1Th 1:6; 2:14; 1Co 4:16; 11:1; Eph 5:1; Heb 6:12
). Again Paul uses γινομα, to become, not ειμ, to be. It is a daring thing to expect people to "imitate" the preacher, but
Paul adds "and of the Lord," for he only expected or desired "imitation" as he himself imitated the Lord Jesus, as he expressly
says in 1Co 11:1
. The peril of it all is that people so easily and so readily imitate the preacher when he does not imitate the Lord. The
fact of the "election" of the Thessalonians was shown by the character of the message given them and by this sincere acceptance
of it (Lightfoot).
So that ye became
(ωστε γενεσθα υμας). Definite result expressed by ωστε and the infinitive γενεσθα (second aorist middle of γινομα) as is
common in the Koine.
From you hath sounded forth
(αφ' υμων εξηχητα). Perfect passive indicative of εξηχεω, late compound verb (εξ, ηχοσ, ηχω, ηχη, our echo) to sound out
of a trumpet or of thunder, to reverberate like our echo. Nowhere else in the N.T. So "from you" as a sounding board or radio
transmitting station (to use a modern figure). It marks forcibly "both the clear and the persuasive nature of the λογος του
Κυριου" (Ellicott). This phrase, the word of the Lord, may be subjective with the Lord as its author or objective with the
Lord as the object. It is both. It is a graphic picture with a pardonable touch of hyperbole (Moffatt) for Thessalonica was
a great commercial and political centre for disseminating the news of salvation (on the Egnation Way).
(αυτο). The men of Macedonia, voluntarily.
To wait for his Son from heaven
(αναμενειν τον υιον αυτου εκ των ουρανων). Present infinitive, like δουλευειν, and so linear, to keep on waiting for. The
hope of the second coming of Christ was real and powerful with Paul as it should be with us. It was subject to abuse then
as now as Paul will have to show in this very letter. He alludes to this hope at the close of each chapter in this Epistle.
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