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§ 3. 1 Thessalonians

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Chapter Summary

The theme of 1, 4ff. is "our gospel" in its relation to the election of the Thessalonians and not the manner of Paul's preaching as such. 1, 4f. expresses a climax, but not a contrast. By this climax Paul emphasizes the additional testimonies of the gospel as clear proofs of the Thessalonians' election. This is meant to console them. In all probability the "three Divine influences" were brought about following upon the apostles' preaching, by the Thessalonians' acceptance of the gospel. These influences cannot be meant simply to describe more precisely the manner of Paul's preaching. On the basis of these verses we can therefore infer the idea which Paul had of the connection between the "gospel-event" and "election": God testifies to the apostles' preaching not through signs and wonders, but by the fact that the church receives this preaching despite afflictions with the joy of the Holy Spirit.

Keywords: God; gospel; Paul's preaching; Thessalonians

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