End Times at Thessalonica: Introduction
One of Paul’s goals in writing to the Thessalonians was comfort. His focus on the end times makes this goal notable. By fine tuning the Thessalonians’ view of what is going to happen through the continual revelation of the Lord (“word of the Lord,” I Thes 4:15), he created a vehicle for the grace and peace in both books.
Paul instructed the Thessalonians on end-time matters before (II Thes 2:5), so the end-time issues Paul discusses in his letters are by way of reminder. This blog series will consider the scenario Paul presented by reconstructing his teaching in a chronological layout. That is, by drawing on the consensus of both books, I will try to lay out his teachings as a systematic unfolding of events.
That said, it is important to highlight the fact that Paul is writing specifically to the church (verse 1 of both books). As such, it should not surprise us that he doesn’t spend much time explaining latter-day specifics directly involving the church. Because this series will focus on the Thessalonian eschatology, it will not spend time delving into other texts—meaning the following information, though presented in more of a theatrical fashion, has been crafted with care to limit detail to the two letters.
This series is meant to be as assessable as possible, so don’t expect arguments from the minute points of Greek exegesis. Future posts will be in the form of a screenplay representing the drama Paul unfolds in these two letters.