The Introduction to the Epistle
1 Thessalonians 1:1
Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, to the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ…


1. The name of Paul stands first because —

(1)  He only possessed full apostolic authority.

(2)  He alone wrote or dictated the Epistle (1 Thessalonians 2:8; 1 Thessalonians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 5:27).

2. The connection of Silvanus and Timotheus with Paul and with the Thessalonians is illustrated in the Acts. When Paul set out from Antioch on his second tour, he chose Silas to attend him (Acts 15:34, 40). In the course of their journey they met with Timothy (Acts 15:1-3). The three proceeded to Troas (Acts 16:8, 9), where they crossed the sea and conveyed the gospel to several Macedonian towns. On leaving Philippi, Paul and Silas, if not Timothy, proceeded to Thessalonica (Acts 17:1-9). Silas and Timothy remain behind at Berea (Acts 17:13, 14). Paul proceeded to Athens and Corinth. (Acts 17:15 18:1). Here Silas and Timothy, the latter of whom had been sent from Athens to encourage and confirm the Thessalonians, at length rejoined him, and here Paul wrote the Epistle.

3. These details account for three things in this specification.

(1) How natural it was for Paul to address a letter so paternal to a Church he was instrumental in founding.

(2) How appropriate that he should associate with himself men who had been active in ministering to the Thessalonians.

(3) How fitting that Silas the elder should take precedence of Timothy (2 Corinthians 1:19).


1. Thessalonica was a town of Macedonia. Anciently it bore the names, successively, of Eurathia and Therma. It was restored and enlarged by Cassander, and was called Thessalonica after his spouse, the daughter of King Philip, or, according to another opinion, from a victory which Philip himself achieved. It was a rich commercial city, distinguished for profligacy. It is now called Salonichi, and retains considerable traces of its ancient splendour.

2. There Paul preached on successive occasions in the Jewish synagogue. His doctrine is specified in Acts 17:2, 3, and his success in ver. 4. But idolaters were also converted (1 Thessalonians 1:9).

3. The combined converts formed a Church.

(1) The word means "called out," and is used to denote an assembly of persons. The Thessalonian Christians had been set apart by a Divine call in respect of faith, character and profession, and were associated as a religious brotherhood, a commonwealth of saints.

(2) This Church was "in God the Father," signifying intimacy of relation. They were protected by His power, guided by His counsel, and cherished by His grace.

(3) "In the Lord Jesus Christ" denotes the union between Christ and believers, elsewhere likened to that subsisting between the vine and the branches, the members and the head, etc.


1. Grace: the favour of God.

2. Peace.

(1)  Quiet and tranquillity.

(2)  Prosperity (Psalm 122:6, 7; 3 John 1:2).

(A. S. Patterson, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

WEB: Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, to the assembly of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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