The Purposes Behind Paul’s First Epistle to the Thessalonians

This two-page academic article (with another page or so of footnotes) – “The Purposes Behind Paul’s First Epistle to the Thessalonians” – was written by Robert Bradshaw.  It’s dated January 27, 2002.  Here’s what I found to be a particularly valuable paragraph:

Acts 17:7 records that Paul’s teaching led to the charge that he was “defying Caesar’s decrees.” Donfried connects this statement with the oath of allegiance to the Emperor.  Paul’s teaching concerning ‘a different Kingdom’ (2:12); the Parousia (a term that referred also to the arrival of Caesar on a state visit) and the title kurios for Jesus Christ (which was also claimed by Caesar) explain this conflict.(25) Paul attacks the Pax et Securitas (26) (5:3) – the watchwords of the Pax Romana – condemning the existing world system which was indifferent to the Coming of the Lord in order to show the believers where their security lay.

You can find the article here.  (Source:


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