The First Letter of Paul to the



11Paul and Silvanus and Timothy,

To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

Grace to you and peace.


2We thank God always for you all, making mention [of you] in our prayers, 3unceasingly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, 4since we know, brothers beloved by God, of his choice of you, 5because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with much full assurance, just as you know what kind of [men] we were among you for your sake. 6And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, accepting the word in much affliction, with joy from the Holy Spirit; 7so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and in Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. 9For they themselves report concerning us what sort of welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, 10and to be waiting for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who rescues us from the wrath to come.

Paul's Ministry in Thessalonica

21For you yourselves know, brothers, that our visit to you was not in vain; 2but though we had previously suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, just as you know, we boldly ventured in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in spite of a great struggle. 3For our appeal [does] not [spring] from error nor from uncleanness, nor [is it made] with deceit; 4but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as trying to please men, but [trying to please] God who examines our hearts. 5For we neither ever came with words of flattery, just as you know, nor with a pretext to [hide] greed, [as] God [is] witness; 6nor did we seek glory from men, neither from you nor from others, though we could have been [demanding] with the weight [of authority] as apostles of Christ. 7But we were infants1

1Other ancient authorities read gentle

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in your midst, as if a nursing mother were cherishing her [own] children. 8So, yearning for you, we were pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our [own] souls, because you had become dearly loved by us. 9For you remember, brothers, our labor and exertion: as we worked night and day in order not to burden any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God. 10You [are] witnesses, and God [also], how devoutly and righteously and blamelessly we acted toward you who believe; 11just as you know how with each one of you, like a father with his children, we exhorted you and encouraged [you] and testified 12that you should keep walking in a way worthy of God, who calls2 you into his [own] kingdom and glory.

13And we also thank God unceasingly for this [reason], that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted [it] not [as] the word of men but as it truly is, the word of God, which is working also in you who believe. 14For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus which are in Judea; because you also suffered the same things from [your] own fellow-tribesmen as indeed they [did] from the Jews, 15who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets,3 and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all men 16by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they may be saved--[they do this] in order to fill up [the measure of] their sins always. But [God's] wrath has come upon them at last!4

Paul's Wish to Visit Them Again

17But since we were made orphans by separation from you, brothers, for an hour's season, in person not in heart, we made even more diligent effort with great desire to see your face; 18because we wished to come to you--indeed I, Paul, both once and again--and [yet] Satan hindered us. 19For what [is] our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his advent? [Is it] not indeed you? 20For you are our glory and joy.

31That is why when we could no longer stand [it], we were pleased to be left behind in Athens alone, 2and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's

2Other ancient authorities read called
3Other authorities read [their] own prophets
4Or, completely, or forever; lit., to the end

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fellow-worker1 in the gospel of Christ, in order to strengthen you and encourage [you] regarding your faith, 3that no one may be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we were put here for this. 4For even when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were going to suffer affliction; just as indeed it happened, and [as] you know. 5For this [reason], when I could no longer stand [it], I sent that I might know your faith, lest somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.

6But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and [reported] that you always have good memories of us and long to see us, just as we also [long to see] you--7for this [reason], brothers, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith; 8because now we live if you stand [firm] in the Lord. 9For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, over all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our God, 10as night and day we implore him most earnestly that we may see your face and supply what is lacking in your faith?

11Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, guide our way to you; 12and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all [people], just as we also [do] to you, 13in order that he may strengthen your hearts [to be] unblamable in holiness before our God and Father, at the advent of our Lord Jesus with all his saints. Amen.2

A Life Pleasing to God

41Finally then, brothers, we request of and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that just as you received [the tradition] from us how you ought to be walking and pleasing God, just as indeed you are walking, so you should keep abounding even more. 2For you know what commands we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3For this is the will of God, your holiness: that you abstain from fornication; 4that each one of you know [how] to possess his [own] vessel in holiness and honor, 5not in the passion of desire like indeed Gentiles who do not know God; 6that no one overstep and take advantage of his brother in [this] matter,1 because the Lord [is] an avenger concerning all


Chapter3:1A few ancient authorities omit God's; others read God's servant; other authorities read God's servant and our fellow-worker

2Other ancient authorities omit Amen

Chapter 4: 1Or, in business

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these things, just as indeed we previously told you and [so] testified. 7For God has not called us for uncleanness, but in holiness. 8Therefore whoever rejects [this], rejects not man but God, who indeed gives his Holy Spirit to you.

9Now concerning brotherly love you have no need [for anyone] to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another; 10and indeed you are doing this toward all the brothers in the whole [region] of Macedonia. But we exhort you, brothers, to keep abounding even more, 11and to be making it [your] ambition to live quietly, and to mind [your] own [affairs], and to work with your own hands, just as we commanded you; 12so that you may walk with decency toward outsiders and have need of nothing.

The Advent of the Lord

13But we do not wish you to be ignorant, brothers, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as indeed the rest [of mankind do] who have no hope. 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, so [we] also [believe that] through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the advent of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16Because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the call2 of an archangel, and with [the sound of] the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; 17then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet3 the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18Therefore keep comforting one another with these words.

51But concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need [for anything] to be written to you. 2For you yourselves know accurately that the day of the Lord is so coming like a thief in the night. 3Whenever [people] are saying, "[There is] peace and security," then sudden destruction is coming on them as birth-pangs [come] on a pregnant woman, and they shall not escape. 4But you, brothers, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief.1 5For you are all sons of light and sons of the day; we are not of the night nor of darkness. 6So then let us not be sleeping, as the rest [are], but let us keep watching and stay sober. 7For

2Lit., voice
3Or, escort
1Other ancient authorities read thieves

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those who sleep sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8But, since we are of the day, let us stay sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9Because God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10who died for us so that whether we are watching or sleeping we might live together with him. 11Therefore keep encouraging one another and building each other up, just as indeed you are doing.


12But we request of you, brothers, to recognize those who labor among you and direct you in the Lord and admonish you, 13and to keep considering them with the highest regard in love because of their work. Stay at peace among yourselves. 14And we exhort you, brothers, keep admonishing the disorderly,2 keep encouraging the discouraged, keep helping the weak, [and] keep being patient with everyone. 15See that no one repays evil for evil to anyone, but always keep pursuing what is good both for one another and for all [people].

16Keep rejoicing always, 17keep praying unceasingly, 18keep giving thanks in all [circumstances]; for this [is] the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19Do not be quenching the Spirit, 20do not be scorning prophecies, 21but3 keep examining all things; keep holding fast what is good, 22keep abstaining from every form of evil.

Final Greetings

23And may the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept whole and blameless at the advent of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24The One who calls you [is] faithful, and he will do [it].

25Brothers, keep praying for us also.4

26Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.

27I adjure you by the Lord that [this] letter be read to all the5 brothers.

28The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you.

2Or, idle
3Other ancient authorities omit but
4Other ancient authorities omit also
5Other ancient authorities insert holy
Page last modified February 15, 2010
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Copyright © 1981 Ralph Bruce Terry. All rights reserved.
Permission granted to print for personal use only.