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Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament

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1 Thessalonians 1:5

How that (oti).
It is not certain whether oti here means "because" (quia) as in 2 Thessalonians 3:7; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 8:27 or declarative oti "how that," knowing the circumstances of your election (Lightfoot) or explanatory, as in Acts 16:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:1; 1 Corinthians 16:15; 2 Corinthians 12:3; Romans 13:11.

Our gospel (to euaggelion hmwn).
The gospel (see on Matthew 4:23; Mark 1:1,15 for euaggelion) which we preach, Paul's phrase also in 2 Thessalonians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 4:3; Romans 2:16; 16:25; 2 Timothy 2:8. Paul had a definite, clear-cut message of grace that he preached everywhere including Thessalonica. This message is to be interpreted in the light of Paul's own sermons in Acts and Epistles, not by reading backward into them the later perversions of Gnostics and sacramentarians. This very word was later applied to the books about Jesus, but Paul is not so using the term here or anywhere else. In its origin Paul's gospel is of God (1 Thessalonians 2:2,8,9), in its substance it is Christ's (1 Thessalonians 3:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:8), and Paul is only the bearer of it (1 Thessalonians 2:4,9; 2 Thessalonians 2:14) as Milligan points out. Paul and his associates have been entrusted with this gospel (1 Thessalonians 2:4) and preach it (Galatians 2:2). Elsewhere Paul calls it God's gospel (2 Corinthians 11:7; Romans 1:1; 15:16) or Christs (1 Corinthians 9:12; 2 Corinthians 2:12; 9:13; 10:14; Galatians 1:7; Romans 15:19; Philippians 1:27). In both instances it is the subjective genitive.

Came unto you (egenhth eiv umav).
First aorist passive indicative of ginomai in practically same sense as egeneto (second aorist middle indicative as in the late Greek generally). So also eiv umav like the Koine is little more than the dative umin (Robertson, Grammar, p. 594).

Not only--but also (ouk--monon, alla kai).
Sharp contrast, negatively and positively. The contrast between logov (word) and dunamiv (power) is seen also in 1 Corinthians 2:4; 4:20. Paul does not refer to miracles by dunamiv.

In the Holy Spirit and much assurance (en pneumati agiwi kai plhroporiai pollhi).
Preposition en repeated with logwi, dunamei, but only once here thus uniting closely

Holy Spirit} and {much assurance}. No article with either word. The word plhroporiai is not found in ancient Greek or the LXX. It appears once in Clement of Rome and one broken papyrus example. For the verb plhroporew see on Luke 1:1. The substantive in the N.T. only here and Colossians 2:2; Hebrews 6:11; 10:22. It means the full confidence which comes from the Holy Spirit. {Even as ye know (katwv oidate).
Paul appeals to the Thessalonians themselves as witnesses to the character of his preaching and life among them.

What manner of men we showed ourselves toward you (oioi egenhthmen umin).
Literally,

What sort of men we became to you}. Qualitative relative oioi and dative umin and first aorist passive indicative egenhthmen, (not hmeta, we were). An epexegetical comment with {for your sake (di' umav)
added. It was all in their interest and for their advantage, however it may have seemed otherwise at the time.

 


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 1:5". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/rwp/view.cgi?book=1th&chapter=001&verse=005>. Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960.

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