2) 1 Thessalonians

1.1.2 The self-understanding of the communities as reflected in the prescript of 1 Thessalonians

Paul addresses the recipients as “The ἐκκλησία of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”. Although ἐκκλησία is translated “church” it is literally a gathering or assembly. The Old Testament background is probably the gathering at Sinai at the moment the People were constituted, and also their later festive gatherings.

It seems unreasonable to doubt that in 1 Thess 1:1 Paul is thinking of the Christians of Thessalonica as members of the ‘Church of God’, and that he is fully aware of the biblical background and theological implications of his use of the term.p.11

Paul again, three verses later, uses terms that identify them as God’s chosen People, lovingly elected by himself.

Thus within a few months of the evangelisation of Thessalonica, Paul can address the community there in terms which presuppose that its members think of themselves as belonging to God’s chosen People.p.12

This will form the context and basis for 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 as will discussed later.

Updated 2009-09-27 (build:50) by Andrew Fountain