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As usual I like to start these with a link to the wikipedia page. Briefly scanning through it, I noticed that it was probably written in AD 52, which would make it the first book of the NT ever written. It also seems that it is generally agreed upon to be authentically written by Paul, although as always there is someone who disagrees.
Greeting (v. 1)
Paul says hi
The Thessalonians' Faith and Example (v. 2-10)
Paul tells the Thessalonians how awesome they are
Not really much to see here.
(Ch 2) Paul's Ministry to the Thessalonians (v. 1-16)
Paul discusses that he came to the Thessalonians and preached to them. There were a few things here that I thought were worthy of note.
v2 Paul mentions that the Philippians treated them very poorly.
I found this interesting because in Philippians 1, Paul talks about how awesome they are. This of course is not necessarily a contradiction. The wikipedia page did mention that this book was first, so maybe Paul had a terrible experience with the Philippians, wrote this letter, then had a good experience with the Philippians later.
In verse 4 Paul mentions that god is testing him.
This I found interesting too, is Paul questioning is faith? Or is he perhaps just bitching that times have been tough?
In verse 6 Pauls says that they could have made demands but they didn't, in verse 7 he pats himself on the back for being nice instead.
I suppose an atheist would tend to focus on 6 and a Christian would tend to focus on 7.
In verse 9, Paul mentions that they didn't want to be a burden on anyone so the worked very hard as to not be a bother.
This is not exactly a command, but I suppose you can say Paul is leading by example, and not being a burden on people is a good thing.
In verse 13, Paul states that he speaks for God
This is a tactic that I think a lot of us can say we have seen first hand. People will say "God wants you to..." There is always the possibility that they are actually in contact with God, but it is hard to not notice that God always seems to want the same thing as the person making the proclamation.
In verse 16, Paul seems to rejoice in the fact that those who are against him are burning in hell.
Quite vindictive no?
(Note for anyone reading along. The last few verses seem to be attached to chapter 3, I'll include them tomorrow)
For the overview post (If you think I should add or remove stuff from this list please let me know, I think it would make good conversation)
2:9 Don't be a burden on others
"For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God."
2:16 Rejoice in the suffering of your enemies
"...But God's wrath has come upon them at last!"