by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 1 Study # 1 June 21, 2015 Dayton, Texas
1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
2 Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1901 ASV Translation:
1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timothy, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ;
2 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I. The Differences Between the Salutations of the First and Second Letters.
A. Paul does not have a "standard" salutation in his letters. I conclude from that fact that he "tailored" his salutation to suit the church/situation he was considering.
1. The expression of a wish for "grace and peace" is pretty much "standard". Rather than taking this for a mindless "opening" to a letter, I take it to be a most fundamental doctrinal basis for addressing the churches of God wherever they are and whatever their circumstances.
2. It is growing apparent to me that "grace" is fundamental and foundational because it addresses all of the problems created by man's "pride of life" issues as they are rooted in his "spirit", and "peace" is fundamental and foundational because it addresses all of the problems created by man's "lust of the eyes" issues as they are rooted in his "soul". [These categories are recognizable as references to John's "all that is in the world" summary found in 1 John 2:16.]
a. The "pride of life" issues are problems created by man's insistence that he retain at least some degree of "control" over his life and its outcome just as the devil tempted both Eve and Christ to retain with the promise that yielding would lead to an ability to "be as Elohim". "Grace" confronts that issue (dominion over one's life and its outcome) head on. "Grace", most fundamentally, says "God is in control in every day and in every way, as Paul reveals by tying it to "predestination" in Ephesians 1. If a thing is "predestined" what "control" does mere man have?
b. The "lust of the eyes" issues are created by man's fearful attempts to "secure" himself by whatever means (mostly 'acquisition' of things the eyes see as capable of bringing 'security' into play) [Note carefully Luke 12:19's record of an "acquisitor's" inner conversation. "Peace" confronts that delusion head on in that "he who has peace has no need for further 'security'".
B. The salutation in 1 Thessalonians is the shorter one.
C. The salutation in 2 Thessalonians adds the word "our" after the words "in God [the] Father" and addresses the sources of the Grace and Peace that Paul et. al. wish for them.
II. The Sources of This Letter.
A. Paul [Saul of Tarsus rebranded as a 'Latin' (Roman) who has no self-serving issues any longer].
B. Silvanus [Silas, highly regarded representative of the Church in Jerusalem, cast by Paul in terms of a name related to a Greek god].
C. Timothy [the disciple of reputation as a young man whose mother was a Jewess and whose father was an unbelieving Greek].
D. This tri-unity of authorship is simply a reminder to the Thessalonians of "what manner of men we proved to be among you" (1 Thessalonians 1:5) so as to provoke the desire to receive this letter as the word of God the Father.