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The Problems Posed By 1 Thessalonians 2:15-16 And A Solution

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image of Horizons in Biblical Theology

Even apart from the difficulties the passage poses for peace between Christians and Jews, significant problems of both form and content confront the interpreter of 1 Thess 2:13-16. The appearance of what is apparently a second thanksgiving section in the letter - after the earlier one beginning at 1:2 - has been a major difficulty. Furthermore, the passage departs in verses 15-16 from its initial theme and from the central concerns of 1:2-3:13, that is, from the Thessalonian Christians' response to the gospel and their positive relationship with the apostle, to deal with another group, "the Jews" (2:14), quite harshly and in a way different from Romans 9-11. A number of different approaches have been made with regard to this passage, but here it will suffice to mention two briefly and devote the rest of our space to the development of one approach and to response to the arguments of another.


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