1 Thessalonians 1:8 is described by the majority of Evangelical commentators and exegetes as referring to an evangelistic mission or other evangelism carried out by the recently-converted Thessalonians – evangelistic activity which covered the two Roman provinces of Macedonia (in which Thessalonica itself was situated) and Achaia.
In the article below, however, I wish to suggest that 1 Thess. 1:5-2:2 – the larger passage in which 1:8 is embedded – constitutes a chiasm with verse 8 at the thematic centre, and that consideration of this larger chiasm provides strong evidence that Paul is not here referring to evangelistic activity on the part of the Thessalonians. (This is not to deny that the Thessalonians did evangelism – rather it is the contention of this article that Paul does not refer specifically to such activity here in 1 Thess. 1:8).
The view in this article proposes that “the word of the Lord” in v. 8 is the word of the Lord preached by Paul to the Thessalonians and received by them, and that the “sounding forth” or “echoing forth” of this word referred to in v. 8 is actually the content-filled report of Paul’s apostolic preaching and its reception amongst the Thessalonians which goes out to these wider areas and which also acts as an example to other believers in Macedonia and Achaia.
I realise that not all readers will be convinced of this, and for my part, I welcome all correction and feedback! Many thanks!
To access the article, please click on the link below: