1 Thessalonians ii.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Vain. Our entrance among you was not in vain fables, or lies; our preaching was not in trifles: (Ĺ’cumenius) or rather was not without fruit. Others have spoken of it every where; but why refer you to others when yourselves know that it was every where followed by abundance of good works, faith, patience? &c. (Estius)

Ver. 3. Our exhortation was not proceeding from error.[1] That is, was not by promoting errors, or uncleanness. (Witham)

Ver. 4. As we were approved of and chosen by God to announce his gospel, we have tried to correspond with his designs; and we speak in a spirit of disinterestedness, not to please men, but God. Being chosen by God, it is to him we must render an account. Have we spoken to you in words of flattery? Have we disguised the gospel truth, or concealed its austerity? Have we made piety a cloak for avarice? &c. (Calmet)

Ver. 5. Nor taken an occasion of covetousness. Not so as to make the gospel a cloak for gain-sake. (Witham)

Ver. 7. But we became little,[2] by our carriage, and by our humility and kindness. In the Greek, made ourselves gentle, good natured, &c. (Witham)

Ver. 8. Because you were become most dear to us. Literally, desiring you.[3] St. Chrysostom admires the tender expressions of love in St. Paul. (Witham)

Ver. 10. You are witnesses. We must necessarily conclude that the apostle speaks this not from vain glory, or personal vanity; but in the just right of defending his own character against the aspersions of enemies, and lest the faith of any might be staggered by the calumnies. In such cases self-praise is not only lawful, but frequently an imperative duty, if confined within the limits of truth. (Haydock)

Ver. 13. The word[4] of the hearing of God, which can only signify the word of God you heard from us. (Witham)

Ver. 16. To full up the measure of their sins, after which God’s justice would punish them. (Witham) — The Jews filled up the measure of their iniquities by the opposition they every where manifested to the religion of Christ. The earliest Fathers of the Church testify that they dispersed people into every nation to blaspheme the name of Christ; and hence sprang the evil fame which Christians bore among the pagans. See the apologies of St. Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Origen, &c. — For the wrath of God is come upon them to the end. It seems a foretelling of their entire destruction, which happened not long after under Vespasian and Adrian. (Witham)

Ver. 17. Being taken away from[5] you. Literally, become desolate, because of our separation from you. (Witham)

Ver. 18. Satan hindered us. That is, has raised such an aversion to me among the pagans and Jews of Thessalonica, that my friends do not think it safe I should come among you. I am now detained from you by violence; but when this life is past, you shall form my joy and my crown. I will present you at the tribunal of my Saviour, and say: Behold me and my children; behold the fruits of my labours, the proofs of my fidelity, and my claims for a recompense. (Calmet) — If the apostle here calls his disciples his hope, joy, glory, why may we not call the blessed Virgin Mary, or other saints, their joy and hope, for the special confidence they have in their prayers?


[1] Ver. 3. De errore, &c. i.e. ex errore, ek planes, &c.

[2] Ver. 7. Parvuli: and so nepioi, in divers Greek copies; but in the common copies, epioi, placidi.

[3] Ver. 8. Desiderantes vos, imeiromenoi umon. See Legh’s Crit. Sacra.

[4] Ver. 13. Verbum auditus Dei, logon akoes.

[5] Ver. 17. Desolati a vobis, aporphanisthentes.

Bible Text & Cross-references:

The sincerity of the apostle’s preaching the gospel to them: and their receiving it.

1 For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance unto you, that it was not in vain:

2 But having suffered before, and being contumeliously treated (as you know) at Philippi, *we had confidence in our God, to speak to you the gospel of God in much solicitude.

3 For our exhortation was not of error, nor of uncleanness, nor in deceit.

4 But as we were approved of God, that the gospel should be committed to us: even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God, who proveth our hearts.

5 For neither have we used at any time, the speech of flattery, as you know: nor taken an occasion of covetousness: God is witness:

6 Nor sought we glory of men, neither of you, nor of others.

7 Whereas we might have been burdensome to you, as the apostles of Christ: but we became little ones in the midst of you, as if a nurse should cherish her children.

8 So desirous of you, we would gladly have imparted to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own souls: because you were become most dear to us.

9 For you remember, brethren, our labour and toil: *working night and day, lest we should be burdensome to any of you, we preached among you the gospel of God.

10 You are witnesses, and God, how holily, and justly, and without blame we have been among you, who have believed:

11 As you know, in what manner, entreating and comforting you, (as a father doth his children).

12 We testified to every one of you, that you would walk worthy of God, who hath called you to his kingdom and glory.

13 Therefore,we also give thanks to God without ceasing: because that when you had received of us the word of the hearing of God, you received it not as the word of men, but (as it truly is) the word of God, who worketh in you, who have believed.

14 For you, brethren, are become followers of the churches of God which are in Judea, in Christ Jesus: for you also have suffered the same things from your own countrymen, even as they have from the Jews:

15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and the prophets, and have persecuted us, and they please not God, and are adversaries to all men;

16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, to fill up their sins always: for the wrath of God is come upon them to the end.

17 But we, brethren, being taken away from you, for a short time, in sight, not in heart, have hastened the more abundantly to see your face with great desire:

18 For we would have come to you, even I, Paul, once and again; but Satan hath hindered us.

19 For what is our hope or joy, or crown of glory? Are not you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

20 For you are our glory and joy.



2: Acts xvi. 19.

9: Acts xx. 24.; 1 Corinthians iv. 12.; 2 Thessalonians iii. 8.