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32 Ethics in Context: The Thessalonians and Their Neighbors

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Chapter Summary

First Thessalonians lends itself to what the author understand the interest of Prestige Conference on Mission and Ethics at the University of Pretoria to be for three reasons: (1) The letter was written soon after Paul's mission activity among the recipients and reflects that activity more clearly than is done in any of his other letters. (2) The letter exhibits a pronounced interest in the recent converts' relationship to the environment which had formed them before they became Christians, thus, in their neighbors and their thinking. (3) The letter is paraenetic in style and largely so in content, so is concerned with the moral formation of Paul's converts. These elements will be treated in the course of this chapter.

Keywords: pagan neighbors; Paul's ethical instruction; Thessalonians

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