The two epistles to the Thessalonians are a study in contrasts. A comparison reveals considerable similarities of structure and language, but differences in tone and content. The most important concerns of the first letter all but disappear in the second, and minor concerns of the first letter increase in intensity in the second. Even when issues and concerns are shared by both, 2 Thessalonians seems at odds with comments in 1 Thessalonians. In this commentary, Beverly Roberts Gaventa discusses the issues central to each epistle, identifying what makes each book important for the life of the church today, as well as for preachers and teachers.
Beverly Roberts Gaventa is Helen H.P. Manson Professor of New Testament Literature and Exegesis at Princeton Theological Seminary.
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