This book breaks new ground in offering an exposition of the theological message of the Shorter Pauline Letters. Karl P. Donfried expounds the theology of 1 and 2 Thessalonians, examining the cultural setting of these letters and the particular milieu in which their distinctive themes took shape. He shows that the notion of election is a key theme in the Thessalonian correspondence, while both letters have important things to say to people in our own day about Christ, about forgiveness, and about a sanctifying God who pours out his Spirit. I. Howard Marshall's study of Philippians brings out especially the understanding of the theological basis of the Christian life which underlies the letter, while his discussion of Philemon emphasises how the main theme of the letter is the relation between the gospel and Christian ethics; the implications of Paul's teaching on slavery are considered in a manner which goes much further than the surface of the text might imply.
Table of Contents
1. The setting of 1 Thessalonians
2. The theology of 1 Thessalonians
3. 1 Thessalonians, the Pauline corpus and Acts
4. The setting of 2 Thessalonians
5. The theology of 2 Thessalonians
6. Thessalonians and the New Testament
7. The significance of 2 Thessalonians for today
8. Exploring the building site
9. Laying the foundation
10. Building the walls
11. The shape of the Church
12. Philippians and its architect
13. A building that still stands
14. The Gospel and slavery.