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1 Thessalonians : About 1 Thessalonians

Thessalonica was a large city in Macedonia. Macedonia included the north part of the country that we call Greece. It included also the south part of the country that we call Yugoslavia. Thessalonica was an important port, and roads from several different directions joined there. So, people could travel easily to Thessalonica. It is still an important city today.

Paul was a great Christian teacher. He went to Thessalonica to teach the people there about Jesus Christ. He stayed there for only a short time, perhaps only a few weeks. Two other men, called Silas and Timothy, went there with him. As a result of what Paul taught them, some *Jews at Thessalonica believed Christ. Many other people who were not *Jews also believed. But the *Jews who refused to believe Christ caused a lot of trouble for Paul and his friends. Paul had to leave the city at night. Paul and his friends went to Berea, which was a city about 50 miles west from Thessalonica. (See Acts 17:1-15.)

Paul taught the people at Berea too. Then he travelled to Athens, a city in the south of Greece. But Silas and Timothy stayed at Berea. Paul waited at Athens for them to come to him there (Acts 17:15-16). Paul was sorry that he had not had enough time at Thessalonica. He wanted to teach the new *believers there a lot more about Christ. But he could not go himself (1 Thessalonians 2:17-18). So, he sent Timothy (chapter 3:1-3).

While Timothy went back to Thessalonica, Paul travelled to Corinth (Acts 18:1). The city called Corinth was also in the south part of Greece. After that, Silas and Timothy arrived in Corinth (Acts 18:5). Then Timothy told Paul the news about the Christians at Thessalonica. Paul was very happy to know that they were continuing to believe Christ. He wrote this letter to them from Corinth.

Paul, together with Silas and Timothy, wrote this letter in the year *AD 50 or *AD 51. That was about 20 years after Jesus died. So, this letter may be the first of Paul’s letters that we have in the Bible. Paul wrote it only a few months after he had first taught the Christian message at Thessalonica. So, he was writing to people who had been Christians for only a short time.

Paul tells them that he always thinks about them. He wants very much to visit them again (chapters 2 and 3). Paul also teaches them about how they should do only good, right things, to make God happy. And in chapters 4 and 5, he teaches them about Jesus’ return to the earth.

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