Greeting

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

The Hope of Suffering Saints

Brothers, we are duty-bound to thank God for you at all times, as is only fitting, since your faith is growing swiftly, and the love of each of you for all the rest1 increases more and more. As a result of this, we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God, speaking proudly of your perseverance and faith in the midst of all the persecutions and afflictions you endure. Such things are an evident indication of the righteous judgment of God, whose goal is that2 you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you too3 are suffering. For in God’s sight it is a righteous thing to repay those who trouble you with affliction, but to give relief to you who are afflicted (and to us as well) when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,4 8 in flaming fire dealing5 out retribution to those who do not know God, and who refuse to obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These will suffer the penalty of eternal destruction away from the presence of the Lord and the glory of his power, 10 when he comes on that Day to be glorified in6 his saints, and to be marveled at by everyone who has believed—for our testimony to you was believed. 11 So with this in view,7 we also pray for you at all times, asking that our God would make8 you worthy of your calling, and that by his power he would fulfill every desire9 prompted by goodness,10 and every work springing from faith,11 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Notes

  1. Lit. love of each one of you all for one another
  2. Lit. so that
  3. Or also
  4. Lit. the angels of his power
  5. Or his mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing
  6. Or among
  7. Or to this end
  8. Or count, judge
  9. Or resolve, choice
  10. Or possibly every desire for goodness
  11. Or that he would fulfill . . . faith by (his) power

 

The Rebellion

Now in regard to the coming1 of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we urge you, brothers, 2 not to be alarmed or suddenly2 shaken from your presence of mind, whether by a spirit, an utterance, or a letter supposedly from us, claiming that the Day of the Lord has arrived. Let no one deceive you in any way, for that Day will not come until the rebellion has first taken place3 and the man of lawlessness is revealed: the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship,4 so that he seats himself in the temple of God, displaying himself as God.

Don’t you remember that when I was still with you I kept telling you these things? And you also know what is now restraining him,5 so that he may be revealed in his own proper time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; however, he who is now restraining it will continue to do so until he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord6 will sweep away with the breath of his mouth, and bring to an end by the appearance of his coming. Now the coming of the lawless one7 will be in accordance with the activity of Satan: with all kinds of miracles, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with every deception of wickedness for those who are perishing, because they did not welcome8 the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God will send to them a deluding influence so that they will believe the lie, 12 so that all will be condemned who refused to believe9 the truth, but instead took pleasure in unrighteousness.

Stand Firm

13 But we should always thank God for you—brothers dearly loved by the Lord—for from the beginning he10 chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 14 Moreover, through our gospel he has called you to this very thing,11 so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers: Stand firm and cling to the traditions you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us. 16 And may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope by his grace, 17 strengthen your hearts and establish you in every good work and word.

Notes

  1. Or arrival (as of a dignitary)
  2. Or easily, quickly
  3. Lit. unless the rebellion (apostasy) comes first
  4. Or possibly all that is called God or an object of worship
  5. Or And now (so, thus) you know what restrains (him)
  6. Many mss the Lord Jesus
  7. Lit. whose coming (thus making the previous phrase about Christ parenthetical)
  8. Or receive
  9. Lit. did not believe
  10. Lit. God
  11. Lit. to which he called you through our gospel

 

A Plea for Prayer

Finally, brothers, pray for us, so that the word of the Lord may run its race and be crowned with honor,1 just as it has among you. And pray that we may be delivered from perverse and evil men, for not everyone holds to the faith. But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and protect you from the evil one. Now in the Lord we have every confidence in you, that you are doing—and will continue to do—the things we command. And may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the steadfastness of Christ.

Warning to the Unruly

Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to withdraw yourselves from any brother whose day-to-day conduct is out of step with2 the traditions you3 received from us. For you yourselves know how you should follow our example; for when we were living among you we never conducted ourselves improperly,4 nor did we eat anyone’s bread for free; rather, we worked night and day, in toil and in hardship, so as not to be a burden to any of you. And we did this, not because we had no right to your support, but rather to provide you with an example,5 so that you would imitate us. 10 For even when we were with you, we repeatedly gave you this command: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 11 For we hear that some of you are leading unruly lives,6 not working at all, but instead behaving like busybodies. 12 Now through our Lord Jesus Christ we command and exhort all such persons to settle down, earn their own living, and eat7 their own bread. 13 But as for you, brothers, you must never tire of doing the right thing.

14 Now if anyone does not obey our instructions in this letter, take note of that man and do not associate with him, so that he may feel ashamed. 15 Nevertheless, do not regard him as an enemy, but instead admonish him as a brother.

Benediction

16 Now may the Lord of peace himself grant you peace at all times and in every way.8 The Lord be with you all.

17 I, Paul, am writing this salutation in my own hand: It is a distinguishing mark in my every letter.9 This is how I write.

18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Notes

  1. Lit. be glorified, honored
  2. Lit. brother walking disorderly and not according to
  3. Some mss they
  4. Lit. we did not walk disorderly among you
  5. Lit. give ourselves to you as an example
  6. Lit. walking disorderly
  7. Lit. persons, that working with quietness they eat
  8. Or circumstance
  9. Lit. which is a sign in every letter