1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus

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Discover: -How the springs at Hierapolis help us understand why Jesus described the church at Laodicea as 'lukewarm' -The background and circumstances of certificates of divorce in Judaism -How Jewish dietary laws provided a powerful metaphor for God's acceptance of the Gentiles Brimming with lavish, full-color photos and graphics, the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary walks you verse by verse through all the books of the New Testament. It's like slipping on a set of glasses that lets you read ...

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Overview

Discover: -How the springs at Hierapolis help us understand why Jesus described the church at Laodicea as 'lukewarm' -The background and circumstances of certificates of divorce in Judaism -How Jewish dietary laws provided a powerful metaphor for God's acceptance of the Gentiles Brimming with lavish, full-color photos and graphics, the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary walks you verse by verse through all the books of the New Testament. It's like slipping on a set of glasses that lets you read the Bible through the eyes of a first-century reader! Discoveries await you that will snap the world of the New Testament into gripping immediacy. Things that seem mystifying, puzzling, or obscure will take on tremendous meaning when you view them in their ancient context. You'll deepen your understanding of the teachings of Jesus. You'll discover the close, sometimes startling interplay between God's kingdom and the practical affairs of the church. Best of all, you'll gain a deepened awareness of the Bible's relevance for your life. Written in a clear, engaging style, this beautiful set provides a new and accessible approach that more technical expository and exegetical commentaries don't offer. It features: -Commentary based on relevant papyri, inscriptions, archaeological discoveries, and studies of Judaism, Roman culture, Hellenism, and other features of the world of the New Testament -Hundreds of full-color photographs, color illustrations, and line drawings -Copious maps, charts, and timelines-Sidebar articles and insights -'Reflections' on the Bible's relevance for 21st-century living Written by leading evangelical contributors: Clinton E. Arnold (Ph.D., University of Aberdeen), General Editor S. M. Baugh (Ph.D., University of California, Irvine) Peter H. Davids (Ph.D., University of Manchester) David E. Garland (Ph.D., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) David W. J. Gill (D.Phil., University of Oxford) George H. Guthrie (Ph.D., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) Moyer V. Hubbard (D.Phil., University of Oxford) Andreas J. K stenberger (Ph.D., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) Ralph P. Martin (Ph.D., University of London, King's College) Douglas J. Moo (Ph.D., University of St. Andrews) Mark L. Strauss (Ph.D., University of Aberdeen) Frank Thielman (Ph.D., Duke University) Jeffrey A. D. Weima (Ph.D., University of Toronto) Michael J. Wilkins (Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary) Mark W. Wilson (D.Litt. et Phil., University of South Africa) Julie L. Wu (Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary) Robert W. Yarbrough (Ph.D., University of Aberdeen)

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Clinton E. Arnold (Ph D, University of Aberdeen) is Dean and Professor of New Testament at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California.

Jeffrey A. D. Weima (Ph D, University of Toronto) is a professor of New Testament at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

S. M. Baugh (Ph D, University of California, Irvine) is professor of New Testament at Westminster Seminary in Escondido, California.

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Read an Excerpt

1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus


Zondervan

Copyright © 2002 Jeffrey A. D. Weima
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-27823-8


Chapter One

The City of Thessalonica

A noble history. Cassander, a former general of Alexander the Great and later king of Macedonia, founded the city of Thessalonica in 315 B.C. He named the new community after his wife, the half sister of Alexander. The city was captured in 167 B.C. by the Romans and made the capital of one of their four newly created districts in this region. When the Romans reorganized these four districts into a single province in 146 B.C., Thessalonica was designated as the capital city. Just over a century later in 42 B.C., the city was rewarded for helping the victorious Mark Antony and Octavian in the Roman civil wars by being made a "free city." This favored status resulted in such privileges as a measure of autonomy over local affairs, the right to mint its own coins, freedom from military occupation, and certain tax concessions.

A strategic location. Two geographical factors resulted in Thessalonica's quickly becoming the most populous (100,000 people), wealthy, and thus important city in Macedonia. First, the city possessed a natural harbor that was the best in the entire Aegean Sea. Second, the city was located on the juncture of the Via Egnatia (the major east-west highway that extended from Asia Minor all the way to Rome) and the road northto Danube. Thessalonica was thus ideally situated for both commercial and military enterprises. As Meletius observed so many years ago: "So long as nature does not change, Thessalonica will remain wealthy and fortunate."

A unique political structure. Thessalonica, as a free city, was allowed to keep its traditional structure of a democratic civil administration, unlike its neighboring communities. The lowest level involved a citizen assembly that handled public business. The Jews initially attempted to bring Paul and Silas before this assembly (Acts 17:5). The higher level of administration involved the city council, which consisted of five or six local authorities called "politarchs" (the NIV simply refers to them as "city officials"), the city treasurer, and the gymnasiarch. The Jews, after enlisting the aid of certain disreputable men, seized Jason and some other converts and brought them not to the citizen assembly but to the politarchs (17:6-8).

A religiously pluralistic environment. Like other major urban centers in the ancient world, Thessalonica had plenty of religious competitors to the Christ proclaimed by Paul. A religiously pluralistic environment is indicated by the apostle's words that the majority of the Thessalonian believers had "turned to God from idols" (1 Thess. 1:9). Archaeological and inscriptural evidence also reveals the popularity of various mystery religions dedicated to such Greco-Roman and Egyptian deities as Dionysius, Serapis, Isis, Aphrodite, Demeter, Zeus, and Asclepius. The most important deity in Thessalonica, however, was Cabirus-the

* Politarchs

The office of politarch, mentioned twice by Luke in his description of Paul's ministry in Thessalonica (Acts 17:6, 8), is unique to the province of Macedonia and found only rarely in other cities. Archaeologists have so far discovered twenty-eight references to this distinctive office in Thessalonica. These findings prove that Luke was familiar with the political structure of the different cities in Paul's journeys and thus suggest that his recording of these travels in Acts is historically reliable.

* 1 Thessalonians IMPORTANT FACTS:

AUTHOR: Paul (despite his mentioning Silas and Timothy as cosenders).

DATE: A.D. 51 (Paul writes from Corinth).

PURPOSES:

To defend the integrity of Paul.

To encourage the church to endure persecution.

To exhort the church to live holy lives.

To comfort and teach the church about Christ's return.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus Copyright © 2002 by Jeffrey A. D. Weima. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction.............................................vi
List of Sidebars.........................................viii
Index of Photos and Maps.................................ix
Abbreviations............................................x
1 Thessalonians Jeffrey A. D. Weima.....................2
2 Thessalonians Jeffrey A. D. Weima.....................30
1 Timothy S. M. Baugh...................................42
2 Timothy S. M. Baugh...................................76
Titus S. M. Baugh.......................................96
Credits for Photos and Maps..............................110
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