THE NEW TESTAMENT: AN UNDERSTANDABLE VERSION Table of Contents
1) [This letter is from] Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, [and is being sent] to the church of the Thessalonians in [fellowship with] God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2) May you have unearned favor and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3) We ought to thank God for you always, brothers, since it is proper, because your faith is growing so much and the love that every one of you has for each other is increasing more and more. 4) Therefore, we ourselves speak proudly about you among the churches of God because of your steadfastness and faith amid all the persecutions and afflictions that you are enduring. 5) The way you are faithfully enduring [such] suffering for the kingdom of God is clear evidence that God=s judgment is right in [eventually] counting you worthy of it [i.e., of entering the eternal phase of the kingdom]. 6) For it is a just thing for God to repay with affliction those people who are troubling you, 7) and to provide [future] rest for you, along with us, who are afflicted. [This will occur] when Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire [i.e., at His second coming], accompanied by His mighty angels. 8) He will inflict punishment on those people who do not know God [as Savior], and on those who do not obey the Gospel message of our Lord Jesus. 9) They will pay the penalty of never ending destruction, being banished from the presence of the Lord and from His mighty splendor. 10) On that day Jesus will return to be honored by His saints [i.e., God=s holy people] and to be marveled at [i.e., in reverence] by all those who had believed [in Him]. [This will happen] because you have believed our testimony to you [about Christ].
11) This is why we always pray for you also, so that our God will consider you worthy to be [i.e., to have been] called [into the kingdom] by Him, and will fulfill, by His power, every good purpose [or, Adesire for goodness@] of yours and every act produced by [your] faith. 12) [We pray this] so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored by you, and that you will be honored by Him, according to the unearned favor of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1) Now concerning the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our being gathered to Him, brothers, 2) we request that you people do not become shaken up in your mind, nor alarmed, either by a spirit [i.e., by some prophetic prediction], or by a report, or by a letter supposedly from us, that the day of the Lord [i.e., when Jesus returns] has already come. 3) Do not allow anyone to deceive you in any way, for it will not occur until the rebellion comes first and the man of lawlessness becomes evident. [Note: This Arebellion@ refers to a significant falling away from the teaching and practice of true Christianity (See I Tim. 4:1), characterized by the rise of an authoritarian religious leader]. This man is doomed to be destroyed 4) [for] he opposes [the true Gospel message] and exalts himself against everything that is called AGod@ or that which is worshiped. So, he sits in God=s temple [i.e., the church?] displaying himself as [though he were] God.
5) Do you not remember that I used to tell you these things when I was still with you? 6) [But] for now, there is something holding him back [i.e., holding back the man of lawlessness from emerging, See verses 3-4], and you people know what it is. [It is restraining him] so that he will not be revealed until his own [due] time. 7) For this mysterious lawlessness is already at work [or, Athis lawlessness is already secretly at work@]; but the one who is holding it back [will continue to do so] until he is removed. 8) And then the lawless person [See verse 3] will be revealed, the one whom the Lord Jesus will destroy with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the brilliant appearance of His presence [i.e., at His second coming]. 9) The coming [of this lawless person] is according to the work of Satan, [and will be] attended by all kinds of powerful [i.e., miraculous] signs and false wonders, 10) and all kinds of wicked deception toward those people who are perishing [spiritually], because they refused to love the truth so they could be saved. 11) And this is the reason that God sends them a strong delusion [to influence them]: It is so that they would believe the lie, 12) in order that all those who have not believed the truth, but have taken pleasure in wrongdoing, would be condemned.
13) But we ought to thank God for you always, brothers [who are] dearly loved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning [Note: Some manuscripts use the Greek word for Afirst fruits@ instead of Abeginning@ here, but it is difficult to know in what sense the Thessalonian Christians were Afirst@], in order to be saved through being set apart by the Holy Spirit and through belief of the truth [of the Gospel]. 14) He called you [to this salvation] through our Gospel message, in order that you could obtain the splendor of our Lord Jesus Christ [in heaven]. 15) So then, brothers, stand firm [in the faith], and hold onto the [inspired] traditions which you were taught, whether by word [of mouth] or by a letter from us.
16) Now, may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us never ending encouragement and good hope through [His] unearned favor, 17) encourage and strengthen your hearts in every good thing you do and say.
1) Finally, brothers, pray for us, so that the Lord=s message will spread quickly and be honored [by people], even as it was among you. 2) And [pray] that we will be rescued from wicked and evil people, because not everyone has faith. 3) But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one [Note: The Greek says just Athe evil@]. 4) And we have confidence in [the fellowship of] the Lord concerning you, that you are doing, and will continue to do the things we command you. 5) And may the Lord direct your hearts to love [people] as God does, and to be steadfast as Christ was.
6) Now we command you, brothers, in the name [i.e., by the authority] of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you people stay away from every brother [or sister] who lives an idle life [See note on I Thess. 5:14], and not according to the [inspired] tradition which you received from us. 7) For you, yourselves, know how you ought to follow our example, for we did not live in idleness when we were among you; 8) neither did we eat anyone=s food without paying for it. But by hard labor and toil, we worked night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you. 9) [We did this], not because we did not have a right [to support], but so we could become an example for you to imitate. 10) For even when we were with you, we gave you this order: If any person does not [want to] work, he should not [get to] eat. 11) For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, refusing to work, but [instead] are just being busybodies. 12) Now we command and urge such people, in [the fellowship of] the Lord Jesus Christ, that they work quietly and earn their own living. 13) But you, brothers, should not get tired of doing what is right. 14) And if any person does not obey our instructions, [given] in this letter, you should take note of him so that you do not associate with him, in hope that he will become ashamed [of his conduct]. 15) And yet do not consider him to be an enemy, but warn him as [you would] a [Christian] brother.
16) Now may the Lord Himself, [who is the source] of peace, give you peace at all times and in every circumstance. May the Lord be with all of you.
17) This greeting [is being written] by me, Paul, in my own handwriting; it is the signature I write in every letter.
18) May the unearned favor of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.
Table of Contents
Copyright © 1994 by William E. Paul.
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