1 Thessalonians

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1 Thessalonians 5 – Skeptic's Annoted Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on 1 Thessalonians 5 in the Skeptic's Annoted Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;

13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

"Comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men."
Which requires a new heart.

15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

Don't return evil for evil, but be good to yourselves and all others.
The apostle Paul says “among yourselves,” not to yourself as the author of the SAB has it. That's a crucial distinction. Yourselves in this verse means the household of faith, i.e. your local congregation.

16 Rejoice evermore.

17 Pray without ceasing.

(5:17-18) BOM: Mosiah 26:39

18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

19 Quench not the Spirit.

20 Despise not prophesyings.

21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."
Should we believe everything?
As per 1 Cor. 13:7, we should believe all things that come from the only source of good: God.

22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

"I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Paul prays that the Thessalonians will be good until Jesus returns, which implies that he expected this to happen within their lifetimes.
What the Bible says about the end of the world
Is the day of the Lord at hand?
Of course the church of God, including Thessalonians should be blameless until the end of times. There is no indication in this verse that Paul believes this to happen within years. The phrase “unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” simply means the end of times. And see his second letter to the Thessalonians where he devotes a considerable portion to refute that the coming of Jesus Christ would be very soon, 2 Thess. 2:2.
If Paul had wished to make the point that Jesus would return within years, he would have written: “and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless, because the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is at hand.”
Read also “Did Paul Expect Christ to Return Soon?

24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

25 Brethren, pray for us.

26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.

27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.

28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.