2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12

2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12
Ordinary C49


Paul,A Silvanus,B and Timothy,C

Notes on verse 1a

A “Paul” = Paulos. From Latin Paulus (small, little). This is Paul or Paulos, meaning little.
B “Silvanus” = Silouanos. 4x in NT. Latin form of Silas (Silas; Saul); from Aramaic – cognate of Hebrew Shaul (Saul, meaning “asked of the Lord”); {from shaal (to ask, inquire)} OR {from Latin Silvanus (Silvanus, god of forests); {from silva (forest, grove); from Proto-Indo-European *sel- or *swell- (board, threshold)). This is Silvanus, meaning either “asked of the Lord” or “forest.” See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Silvanus
C “Timothy” = Timoutheou. From time (worth or something’s perceived value; literally, price, but figuratively, the honor or value one sees in someone or something else; can be esteem or dignity; precious or valuables); {from tino (to pay, be punished, pay a penalty or fine because of a crime); from tio (to pay respect, value)} + Theos (God or a god). This is Timothy, literally “dear to God.”

To the churchD of the ThessaloniansE in GodF our FatherG

Notes on verse 1b

D “church” = ekklesia. From ek (from, out from) + kaleo to call by name, invite, to name, bid, summon, call aloud) {related to keleuo (to command, order, direct); from kelomai (to urge on)}. This is properly a calling out or an assembly. It was used to refer to a church.
E “Thessalonians” = Thessalonikeus. 4x in NT. From thessalonike (Thessalonica, Macedonian city); {perhaps from thessalos (Thessalian); {from thessalia (Thessaly); from thessalos (Thessalus)} + nike (victory, conquest; figurative for what makes one successful)}. This is Thessalonian. Philip II named his daughter Thessalonica when he conquered Thessaly. Later, her husband renamed the city after her. The exact meaning of Thessaly is not known. See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%CE%98%CE%B5%CF%83%CF%83%CE%B1%CE%BB%CE%BF%CE%BD%CE%AF%CE%BA%CE%B7#Ancient_Greek
F “God” = Theos. Related to “Timothy” in v1. See note C above.
G “Father” = Pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.

and the LordH JesusI Christ:J

Notes on verse 1c

H “Lord” = Kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.
I “Jesus” = Iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone)}. This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
J “Christ” = Christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.

GraceK to you and peaceL from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Notes on verse 2

K “grace” = charis. From chairo (to rejoice, be glad; used to say hello; properly, delighting in the grace of God or experiencing God’s favor); from char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is grace, kindness, favor, gratitude, thanks. It is the sense of being inclined to or favorable towards – leaning towards someone to share some good or benefit. This can be literal, figurative, or spiritual. It is grace as abstract concept, manner, or action.
L “peace” = eirene. Perhaps from eiro (to join, tie together to form a whole). This is one, peace, quietness, rest, peace of mind, harmony. Peace was a common farewell among Jews (i.e. shalom) and this well-wishing included a blessing of health and wholeness for the individual. This word also indicates wholeness and well-being – when everything that is essential is joined together properly. This is peace literally or figuratively. By implication, it is prosperity (but not in the sense of excessive wealth. Prosperity would have meant having enough from day to day.)

We mustM alwaysN give thanksO to God for you,

Notes on verse 3a

M “must” = opheilo. Perhaps from the base of ophelos (advantage, gain, profit); from ophello (heaped together, accumulate, increase). This is to be indebted morally or legally – having an obligation one must meet. This term came from the legal world, but was then adopted in reference to morality. In the New Testament it is used for humanity’s ethical responsibility.
N “always” = pantote. From pas (all, every, each) + tote (then, whether past or future); {from hote (when); from ho (the)}. This is literally every when. It is always, at all times.
O “give thanks” = eucharisteo. Related to “grace” in v2. From eu (good, well, well done, rightly) + charis (see note K above). This is giving thanks, being thankful. It is a recognition that God’s grace is good and actively showing gratitude. It can also be used for saying grace before eating. This is where “eucharist” comes from.

brothersP and sisters, as is right,Q because your faithR is growing abundantlyS

Notes on verse 3b

P “brothers” = adelphos. From a (with, community, fellowship) + delphus (womb). This is a brother in a literal or figurative sense. It is also used of another member of the Church.
Q “right” = axios. From ago (to lead, bring, carry, guide, drive, go). This is related to weight or worth – deserving, suitable, corresponding, due reward.
R “faith” = pistis. From peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is less about knowing, believing, and repeating a list of doctrines then it is about trusting God. Faith means listening to God and seeking to live a holy life even (and especially) when we don’t understand how everything works or fits together. Faith is about being faithful (trusting and doing) rather than being all knowing.
S “growing abundantly” = huperauxano. 1x in NT. From huper (by, under, subordinate to another) + auxano (to grow or enlarge, whether literal or figurative). This is to grow or increase exceedingly.

and the loveT of everyU oneV of you for one another is increasing.W 

Notes on verse 3c

T “love” = agape. From agapao (to love, take pleasure in, esteem; to prefer). This is love, goodwill, benevolence. It is God’s divine love or human love that mirrors God’s love.
U “every” = hekastos + pas. Hekastos is perhaps from hekas (separate). This is each one, any, every. It is every individual as a distinct entity as opposed to those counted as a group in small sets. Pas is related to “always” in v3. See note N above.
V “one” = heis. This is one, a person, only, some.
W “increasing” = pleonazo. 9x in NT. From pleion (many, more, great, having a greater value, more excellent); from polus (much, many, abundant). This is to abound, increase, to superabound. It shares a root with “pleonasm.”

Therefore we ourselves boastX of you among the churches of God for your steadfastnessY and faith during allZ

Notes on verse 4a

X “boast” = kauchaomai. Perhaps from auxen (neck). This is literally holding one’s head high – to boast proudly or to glory, joy, exult, rejoice. It can be boasting in a positive or negative sense.
Y “steadfastness” = hupomone. From hupo (by, under, about) + meno (to stay, remain, wait, await, continue, abide). This is properly to remain behind or remain under. It implies endurance, patience, steadfastness, and waiting in hope.
Z “all” = pas. Same as “every” in v3. See note U above.

your persecutionsAA and the afflictionsBB that you are enduring.CC

Notes on verse 4b

AA “persecutions” = diogmos. 10x in NT. From dioko to chase after, put to flight; by implication, to persecute or to purse like a hunter after its prey; this can be earnestly pursue or zealously persecute) {related to dio (put to flight). This is chase, pursuit, or persecution. It is hunting someone like an animal.
BB “afflictions” = thlipsis. From thlibo (to press in on and make narrow, rub together, constrict; figuratively to oppress or afflict). This is pressure that hems us in – used often of internal pressure that makes us feel like we have no other options and are confined or restricted. So, this is persecution, affliction, trouble, distress, and anguish. There is a different word, stenoxoria, that refers to external pressure that we feel from what’s going on.
CC “enduring” = anecho. 15x in NT. From ana (up, again, back, among, anew) + echo (to have, hold, possess). This is to endure, bear with, tolerate, persist, put up with.

11 To this end we always prayDD for you, asking that our God will make you worthyEE of his callFF and will fulfillGG by his powerHH

Notes on verse 11a

DD “pray” = proseuchomai. From pros (advantageous for, at, toward) + euchomai (to wish, make a request, pray). This is to pray or pray for, to worship or supplicate. It is more literally exchanging one’s own wishes for God’s.
EE “make…worthy” = axioo. Related to “right” in v3. 7x in NT.  From axios (see note Q above). This is to see something as worthy, deserve, desire. It is when the real value given to something matches what it is really worth.
FF “call” = klesis. Related to “church” in v1. 11x in NT. From kaleo (see note D above). This is a calling or invitation. In the Bible, this word always refers to a call from God.
GG “fulfill” = pleroo. From pleres (to be full, complete, abounding in, occupied with). This is to fill, make full or complete. Properly, this is filling something up to the maximum extent that it can be filled – an appropriate amount for its individual capacity. So, this is used figuratively for furnish, influence, satisfy, finish, preach, perfect, and fulfill.
HH “power” = dunamis. From dunamai (to be able, have power or ability). This is might, strength, physical power, efficacy, energy, and miraculous power. It is force literally or figuratively – the power of a miracle or the miracle itself.

every goodII resolveJJ and workKK of faith, 12 so that the nameLL of our Lord Jesus may be glorifiedMM in you and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Notes on verses 11b-12

II “good” = agathosune. 4x in NT. From agathos ((good, a benefit, or a good thing; good by its very nature, inherently good). This is goodness as an intrinsic quality in the sense of being kind/good-natured rather than good versus evil.
JJ “resolve” = eudokia. Related to “give thanks” in v3. 9x in NT. From eudokeo (to think well of, to be pleased or resolved; properly, what someone finds good or acceptable – approving of some action or generally thinking well of); {from eu (see note O above) + dokeo (to have an opinion, seem, appear, suppose; a personal judgment; to think); {from dokos (opinion)}}. This is goodwill, favor, happiness, delight, satisfaction, or desire. It is something that a person finds good or of benefit.
KK “work” = ergon. From ergo (to work, accomplish, do). This is work, task, deed, labor, effort.
LL “name” = onoma. May be from ginosko (know, recognize, learn from firsthand experience). This is a name, authority, cause, character, fame, reputation. The name was thought to include something of the essence of the person so it was not thought to be separate from the person.
MM “be glorified” = endoxazomai. Related to “resolve” in v11. 2x in NT – both in this passage. From endoxos (glorious, gorgeous, dignified, honorable, noble); {from en (in, on, at, by, with, within) + doxa (glory, opinion, praise, honor, renown; particularly used as a quality of God or manifestation of God – splendor); {from dokeo (see note JJ above)}}. This is to glorify, see as glorious or worthy.

Image credit: “Tomb of Luís de Camões” at the Church of the Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Belém in Lisbon, Portugal. Photo by LBM1948, 2012.

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