Dating 1 thessalonians
Today is one of my favorites, a particularly thorny issue found in 1 Thessalonians 2:7.I can’t get to a discussion of that issue without providing some important background; just the very basics of the background will take me two posts, before I can even start to explain the textual problem.
The Jews of Salonica speak Spanish as their language, and are descended from Spanish Jews, expelled by Ferdinand and Isabella . As to their moral standards, the Thessalonians were hardly any different from the citizens of any other large Greek city.Many scholars see this as an indication that this letter was written before the Epistle to the Galatians, where Paul's positions on these matters were formed and elucidated. Paul, speaking for himself, Silas, and Timothy, gives thanks for the news about their faith and love; he reminds them of the kind of life he had lived while he was with them.The majority of New Testament scholars hold 1 Thessalonians to be authentic, although a number of scholars in the mid-19th century contested its authenticity, most notably Clement Schrader and F. Paul stresses how honorably he conducted himself, reminding them that he had worked to earn his keep, taking great pains not to burden anyone.The context of the passage, ~vss.14-16, concerns the suffering of the churches, including the Thessalonians, and particularly the Jewish persecutors/persecution of Christ's people.
The end of vs.16, translation-dependent, reads: This feel of 'termination' language is unusual in Pauline texts, despite his many complaints about the conduct of his fellow Jews.In my two previous posts I discussed a textual variant that could be explained either as a scribal accident or as an intentional change.