1 THESSALONIANS - Introduction
EPISTLE OF ST. PAUL, THE APOSTLE,
TO THE THESSALONIANS.
St. Paul having preached with success at Thessalonica, the chief city of
Macedonia, wrote to them this letter, to confirm them in the Christian faith and in the practice of virtue. This, in order,
is the first epistle of St. Paul. He wrote it about the year fifty-two[A.D. 52], as it is thought, from Corinth. (Witham)
--- St. Paul having preached the gospel in this place, converted some Jews and a great number of Gentiles; but the unbelieving
Jews, envying his success, raised such a commotion against him, that he and his companion Silvanus were obliged to quit the
city. Afterwards he went to Athens, where he had heard that the converts in Thessalonica were under a severe persecution ever
since his departure; and lest they should lose their fortitude, he sent Timothy to strengthen and comfort them in their sufferings.
In the mean time St. Paul came to Corinth, where he wrote this first epistle and also the second to the Thessalonians, both
in the same year, being the nineteenth after our Lord's ascension. (Challoner) --- St. Paul preached the faith in this city,
assisted by Silas or Silvanus, whose name is joined with the apostle's in this letter. See Acts xvii. Being driven away from
this city by the violence of the Jews, he left Timothy and Silas in Macedonia, to confirm the new converts in their faith.
But having afterwards called them to him, and hearing of their constancy and perseverance, he writes this epistle to encourage
them and praise them. It is the first in time of all St. Paul's epistles, and filled with the most affectionate expressions
of love and tenderness for his spiritual children in Jesus Christ. In the latter part of the epistle, he gives some short
instructions concerning the state of souls after death, and the coming of the last day; as his companions had informed him
that strange reports concerning these two articles were in circulation at Thessalonica, to the disturbance of the faithful.
(Calmet, Estius, and others.) --- The first three chapters are to confirm and comfort the Thessalonians against the temptations
of persecution; the other two are to exhort them to live up to the precepts he delivers them.