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  • Writer's pictureJohn Lenschow

Background to 2 Thessalonians

We have completed our journey through 1 Thessalonians and will now journey through 2 Thessalonians.

Paul's journey to Thessalonica is found in Acts 17.

The city of Thessalonica had a rich history even before Paul and his companions every arrived. Here are a few key facts: 1. It was established by Cassander, the King of Macedonia in 316-315 B.C. and named after his wife Thessalonike. She was the daughter of Philip II and the half-sister of Alexander the Great.

2. It was located near the Via Egnatia a major east-west highway.

3. It was also a seaport.

4. It developed a strong economy.

5. It was the capital of Macedonia and the provincial governor lived there.

6. It had a Jewish synagogue and various pagan temples.

7. It is the site of modern-day Thessaloniki in Greece.


What about the letter of 2 Thessalonians? Here is what we know.

1. Paul is again identified as the author (1:1), with the same co-authors Silas and Timothy.

2. It was written shortly after 1 Thessalonians, so probably from Corinth as well (Acts 18:12).

3. This letter was probably written around A.D. 50-52, since Emperor Claudius was mentioned in Acts 18:2 (Claudius’ reign A.D. 41-54), and Gallio the proconsul of Achaia was mentioned in Acts 18:12, 17 (A.D. 50-52).

4. The language, structure, and themes are significantly similar to 1 Thessalonians.

5. Paul revisited discussions centered around

a. persecution

b. the Lord's return

c. behavior within the congregation

Enjoy your journey through 2 Thessalonians with me!

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