CBS – II.3 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Philippians

Recorded on January 17th 2012

1 Thessalonians is the earliest of all New Testament writings. The Apostle Paul writes with great warmth and love to the community, and addresses some of their problems. Most pressing of these is a worry they have about the return of Christ in the last Judgement. They are worried about when it will happen and what signs there will be, but Paul warns them that nobody knows the time, but they need to be ready by living lives of virtue and holiness.

Their second concern is about the fate of Christian believers who have already died. Paul assures them in 3:13-18 that they will be raised by God on the last day. This passage is wrongly interpreted by some Christians as “The Rapture”. We discussed this at length.

2 Thessalonians reads much like 1 Thessalonians, but is in the opinion of many scholars very late in the New Testament, but not by Paul, but by a “pseudepigraphical” writer, someone honoring Paul’s memory and making a claim to his authority. The main issue once again is the Parousia (the Second Coming of Christ) and the author warns the readers not to be misled by false teachers.

Philippians in undoubtedly one of Paul’s genuine letters. The centerpiece of the letter is the beautiful Christological hymn in 2:6-11 in which Paul extols the humility of Jesus, and offers him as a model for Christian conduct.

CBS – 1 2 Th Phil


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