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The Access Bible New Revised Standard Bible, written and edited with first-time Bible readers in mind.

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Commentary on 2 Thessalonians

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Commentary spanning earlier chapters

2.1–15 :

A refutation. False teaching about the day of the Lord is stated (vv. 1–2 ) and refuted (vv. 3–12 ). In contrast is thanksgiving for the different fate of believers (vv. 13–15 ), who hold on to the truth (v. 13 ), the proclamation, and the traditions (vv. 14–15 ).

3 :

Lawless one, perhaps a false prophet * or one of the emperors.

6–7 :

The identity of the unknown one restraining the lawless one is impossible to determine, but the conflict between the two belongs to what must occur before the day of the Lord.

13 :

We must always give thanks; see 1.3 .

15 :

Stand firm, see 1 Thess 3.8 .

3.1–15 :

Commands and exhortations. * Two sets of commands and encouragements to virtue (vv. 1–4 and 6–15 ) surround a prayer (v. 5 ).

1 :

Finally, the last section of the letter.

6–15 :

Commands and exhortations to the entire community (vv. 6–10 ) and to the offending figures in the congregation (vv. 11–12 ) precede a command on how to deal with the disobedient (vv. 13–15 ).

6 :

In idleness could also mean “in disorderliness.” Apparently expecting the Lord to return very soon, some in the congregation stopped working.

1.1–2 :

Epistolary opening. The greeting is similar to 1 Thessalonians but longer. On Silvanus and Timothy, see 1 Thess 1.1 .

1.3–12 .

3–10 :

Perseverance and future vindication. This long sentence includes a thanksgiving (vv. 3–4 ) and a commentary on affliction (vv. 5–10 ).

3–4 :

The thanksgiving report relates the community's progress and steadfastness.

4 :

Persecutionsafflictions, both mean suffering, but the first, external suffering, is more specific. They may mean the woes of the end time; see Dan 12.1 .

5–10 :

These verses teach that suffering is a sign of being chosen and that those who suffer will be vindicated at the judgment. That day anticipates 2.1–12 , which refutes those who think their recent afflictions mean that the “day of the Lord” has already appeared.

7–10 :

Descriptions of God in the Hebrew Scriptures * and other Jewish writings now apply to Jesus (see the angels in Zech 14.5; 1 Enoch 1.9 ; flaming fire in Isa 66.15–16 ; glorified in Ps 89.7 ).

11–12 :

A prayer. These verses are the letter's main teaching. Resolve, work of faith anticipate the refutations in 2.1–12 and 3.1–15 .

12 :

See Isaiah 66.5 , but it is Jesus who will be glorified.

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