Dear <<First Name>>,
I hope you found our reflections on the 10 Commandments useful.
Last year we looked at 1 Thessalonians and now it’s time to catch up with the sequel. The letter is traditionally attributed to Paul the Apostle, with Timothy as a co-author. Modern biblical scholarship is divided on whether the epistle was written by Paul; most New Testament scholars believe Paul wrote it but some modern scholars reject its authenticity based on what they see as differences in style and theology between this and the First Epistle to the Thessalonians. Scholars who support its authenticity view it as having been written around 51–52 AD, shortly after the First Epistle. Those who see it as a later composition assign a date of around 80–115 AD. The letter deals with themes of the Second Coming.
Thessalonica was the second city in Europe where Paul helped to create an organized Christian community. Members of the fledgling church wondered if those who had died would share in the Second Coming. This letter was written in response. If this letter was not written by Paul then it would have been written in the latter part of the first Century when the “man of sin” in the second chapter of the letter might be identified with the Antichrist of 1 John and Revelation, or with a historical person like Caligula.
I hope you find the reflections on this short letter as we read and pray through it together.
with every good wish
The Rev’d Andy Braunston
Co-ordinator, Daily Devotions from the URC