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14 “Pastoral Care” in the Thessalonian Church

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Chapter Summary

This chapter seeks to shed some light on 1 Thess 5:14-15, Paul's command to the Thessalonians to "admonish the disorderly, comfort the faint-hearted, help the weak, be patient with all", and not to retaliate. The first half of the chapter takes up some elements from ancient psychagogy that helps us place 1 Thess 5:14-15 in a new light. Then, the author turns to Paul's own pastoral method before returning to his directions to the Thessalonians. Paul views the Thessalonians' pastoral caring under two aspects, that of receiving (5:12-13) and of giving it (5:14-15). Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians shows him to have been aware of the psychagogic traditions of his time. He not only claims to have used the methods his contemporaries advised responsible teachers to use, but instructed his readers to do the same.

Keywords: pastoral caring; Paul; Thessalonians



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