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1Thessalonians, Chapter One, Lesson One

SHARING GREETINGS            Page 2

Sharing Greetings


** Before we begin looking at the text, let's introduce our study by taking a close look at the history of Thessalonica. When do you suppose it was founded?

(Please refer to the map in the back of your Bible - Thessalonica, Ephesus and Corinth were the major sea ports of the area)

316 B.C. - by Cassander, king of Macedonia and the husband of Alexander the Great's half-sister. He simply collected up a number of villages and resettled them in his new city, which he named after his wife.

168 B.C. - Macedonia was united into a Roman providence, with Thessalonica as its capital.

42 B.C. - It was awarded the "Free City" status by Rome for helping Anthony and Octavian defeat Brutus and Cassius at Philippi. The Emperor, Augustus Caesar gave them the protection of Rome, while letting them govern their own internal affairs. Today this city is called Thessaloniki (Salonica).

** Who do you think was the author of this letter?

The apostle Paul, when you consider: 1Thessalonians 1:1, 2:18, 3:5 and 5:27

** Why does Scripture refer to him by two names?

Hebrew - Sha'ul (Greek: Saulos) means "asked for" or "asked of God"

Roman - Paulos (Greek) means "little"

Both names were probably given to him at birth because his parents were Jewish, Roman citizens. This was a common practice. (cf. Acts 13:9)

** What reason would Paul have for using his Greek name when writing his epistles?

Because Jesus had called him to preach to the Gentiles who, for the most part, did not know the Hebrew language. cf. Acts 9:15, Acts 13:46-49

** Who does Paul include in his opening greeting to the Thessalonians?

Silvanus and Timothy

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