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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses two Thessalonian letters together with the corresponding Thessalonica-pericope in Acts. The two Thessalonian letters are among the oldest, if not themselves the oldest, of the surviving letters of Paul. Scholars cite the "infancy" of the Thessalonian Christians as the reason for the "simple theology" contained in these two letters: "Babes in Christ, newly won over from idolatry, need simple and pure religion rather than reasoned and systematized theology". On the other hand they go on to "explain", the first missionaries in Thessalonica were in a far more fortunate position. Here they had a "seltene schöne Zeit", and the Thessalonians were "morally more promising material for missionaries to work upon". Why? Because they were "practical people", "simple", "solid, reliable, homely folk" and as such had "a simple view of the teachings they had received". Therefore they showed no interest in "doctrinal controversies" or "theological refinements".

Keywords: Paul letters; Thessalonian letters



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