The First and Second Letters to the Thessalonians

The First and Second Letters to the Thessalonians

The First and Second Letters to the Thessalonians

The First and Second Letters to the Thessalonians

Synopsis

In this commentary Gordon Fee aims first and foremost to offer a fresh exposition of the text of 1 and 2 Thessalonians. He shows the reader what is in the biblical text, what the text meant in the first century, and what it means now. Fee reveals the logic of each argument or narrative before moving on to the details of each verse, and he concludes each section with a theological-practical reflection on the meaning of the text today. Among other things, Fee explores the occasion for writing for each epistle, restoring 2 Thessalonians to the place it deserves as a full companion to the first letter, rather than merely a tagalong to 1 Thessalonians.

Excerpt

When I assumed the editorship of this series of commentaries in the late 1980s, one of my first tasks was to contact some of the authors of the original series as to their readiness to bring out a second, updated edition of their commentary — especially since the series was already by then in its fifth decade and some of the volumes had not yet appeared at all. One of those I was able to contact personally was Leon Morris, of Melbourne, Australia, when I was on a teaching/preaching visit to that city in the Spring of 1987. During that most cordial visit I discovered that Professor Morris had already determined to offer a second edition of his commentary on Thessalonians, and that he had done so at the request of my predecessor, F. F. Bruce. Although he was then ninety years old, he was still able and keen of mind. But by then he was also basically housebound, since he did not drive; thus the “revision” turned out to be more of a “tweaking” of a few passages and an updating of some of the footnotes. As it turned out, his “revision” was also the final item edited by Professor Bruce in the series.

Since I have taught these letters for over three decades in at least three different settings (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Regent College, and Fuller Theological Seminary), I have toyed for several years with replacing Professor Morris’s commentary. Now in my fifth year of retirement from Regent College, with several “backlog” items finished, and with the encouragement of the publishers, I decided to carry through with this desire. in the meantime the secondary literature has proliferated nearly out of reach for anyone who would attempt this task. Indeed, my guess is that the amount of secondary literature on these letters has doubled in the last fifteen years — so much so that one can no longer have a sense of “mastering” it. Indeed, the amount of material that I discovered just in the final editing alone is enough to cause one to apologize in advance to all who have written on these letters and who do not appear in the present bibliography! It is quite clear that what were once dubbed “the Cinderellas” in the Pauline corpus have finally come to the ball.

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