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1 and 2 Thessalonians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary
Ben Witherington III

9780802828361 Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours.

Format: Paperback, 286pp.
ISBN: 9780802828361
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Pub. Date: November 30, 2006

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Table of Contents
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Item No: 9780802828361


From The Publisher:

Paul’s two letters to the Thessalonians stand as some of the very earliest Christian documents, yet they appear well into Paul’s missionary career, giving them a unique context well worth exploring. In this first full-scale socio-rhetorical commentary on 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Ben Witherington gleans fresh insight from reading Paul’s text in the light of rhetorical concerns and patterns, early Jewish theology, and the first-century historical situation in Macedonia.

Witherington’s distinctive socio-rhetorical approach helps unearth insights that would otherwise remain hidden using only form criticism, epistolary categories, and traditional criticism. Witherington details Thessalonica’s place as the "metropolis" of Macedonia, and he carefully unpacks the social situation of Paul and his recipients. Scholars will appreciate the careful analysis and rhetorical insights contained here, while Witherington’s clear prose and sensitivity to Paul’s ideas make this work ideal for all who desire a useful, readable commentary on 1 and 2 Thessalonians.

About the Author

Ben Witherington III is professor of New Testament interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky and a prolific writer. His recent books include The Problem with Evangelical Theology and The Gospel Code: Novel Claims about Jesus, Mary Magdalene and Da Vinci.

Table of Contents





     The "Metropolis" of Macedonia and Its History

     Authorship, Date, and Occasion of the Letters

     The Epistolary and Rhetorical Situation of the Thessalonian Correspondence

     The Social Situation of Paul and His Converts in Thessalonike


Epistolary Prescript — 1.1

The Exordium — 1.2-3 — A Preview of Coming Attractions

The Narratio — The Story Thus Far — 1.4–3.10

     A CLOSER LOOK: Election, Persecution, and Perseverance in 1 and 2 Thessalonians

     A CLOSER LOOK: Was Paul Anti-Semitic?

     Bridging the Horizons

Transitus — Closing Wish Prayer — 3.11-13

The Exhortatio — A Call to Holiness and Hope — 4.1–5.15

Part One: The Call to Holiness and Brotherly Love — 4.1-8, 9-12

     A CLOSER LOOK: Holy Wedlock and Unholy Alliances

     A CLOSER LOOK: A Christian Manual on Manual Labor?

Part Two: The Call to Hope and Alertness: The Tale of Sleepers Dead and Living — 4.13–5.11

     A CLOSER LOOK: The Fate of the Dead

     A CLOSER LOOK: Parousia

     Bridging the Horizons

Part Three: Honor the Workers and the Work — 5.12-15

The Peroratio — Parting Shots — 5.16-22

The Invocation/Wish Prayer — The God of Peace Who Sanctifies — 5.23-24

Epistolary Closing — 5.25-28

     Bridging the Horizons


Epistolary Prescript — 1.1-2

     The Exordium/Thanksgiving Prayer — 1.3-10 — The Destiny of the Sacred Sufferers and the Terrible Tormentors

Propositio — 1.11-12 — Persuasion by a Praying Proposition

     Bridging the Horizons

Refutatio — 2.1-12 — Prelude to the Parousia

     A CLOSER LOOK: Exercising Restraint: Apocalyptic Answers to Difficult Questions

     Bridging the Horizons

Prayer Matters — 2.13–3.5

Thanksgiving/Firm Living — 2.13-15

     A CLOSER LOOK: On Doing Theology in Ad Hoc Letters

Transitus: Another Wish Prayer — 2.16-17

Final Request — 3.1-5

Working Hypothesis — 3.6-12

Peroratio — 3.13-15 — On Shunning and Shaming without Excommunicating

Epistolary Closing — 3.16-18

     A CLOSER LOOK: The Ancient Art and Labor of Letter Writing

     Bridging the Horizons

Index of Authors

Index of References

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