1 Thessalonians Bible Study – Week 1


Introduction to 1 Thessalonians


Introduction

Welcome to Week 1 of your 1 Thessalonians Bible study.

Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to complete the suggested assignments in our Bible Study Orientation for this book.

In this first week, you will learn some basic historical, cultural and exegetical background for the study of 1 Thessalonians. This will be extremely useful for understanding the book’s individual passages.

Date of Composition

1 Thessalonians was written circa 50 A.D., a mere twenty years after Jesus’ death and resurrection.

This makes 1 Thessalonians one of the earliest New Testament books written (the gospels, by comparison, were written anywhere from 60 − 90 A.D. In addition, 1 Thessalonians is the first letter Paul wrote as well.


Questions about the book / text


  • Why should it matter when a particular book was written?
  • Should we place any importance on the fact that this book was written only one generation after Jesus’ life and death? Why or why not?

Author

Read 1 Thessalonians 1:1


Questions about the book / text


  • Who wrote 1 Thessalonians? Who else is mentioned as possible co-authors?
  • Who are these other contributors and how are they related to Paul and to the Thessalonian church? (See Acts 15:22; 16:1, 19; 17:4, 14)

To add depth to your Bible study in 1 Thessalonians, locate and summarize the different texts where these other contributors appear in the NT. They were quite active in ministry with Paul.


Questions to reflect on your life


  • Are you someone that enjoys team ministry or doing it alone?
  • What are the potential benefits / drawbacks to team ministry?
  • Which method of ministry do you think God prefers or does he have a preference? Explain why you think this way.
  • Have you ever been part of a short-term or longer term ministry team or missionary team? Describe your experiences, challenges, benefits.

The Founding of the Church in Thessalonica

Read Acts 17:1-10


Questions about the book / text


  • Describe the founding of the Thessalonian church as narrated in Acts 17:1-10?
  • What was Paul’s experience in Philippi prior to arriving in Thessalonica (See Acts 16)?
  • What was Paul’s experience in Berea after leaving Thessalonica (See Acts 17:10-14)?

Questions to reflect on your life


  • Have you ever been persecuted, harassed or oppressed for being a Christian or for sharing the gospel? Describe.
  • Have you ever purposely downplayed your Christian faith so as not to draw attention to it at work, school or other contexts? Describe.
  • How does being harassed for your faith or being afraid to share your faith impact your walk with God?
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