Paulâ€™s first letter to the Thessalonians is considered to be one of the earliest New Testament epistles. The letter by James is usually considered the earliest, but 1 Thessalonians is considered the earliest of Paulâ€™s letters, written approximately at 51 A.D.
Structure of New Testament Letters
Knowing the form of a typical letter will help us find the key themes and key purpose for the writing of the book. The form of a first century letter had this look typically:
1. Author and rank
5. Body of letter
Let us examine Paulâ€™s letter looking for these elements to determine the overall message of the letter.
Structure of 1 Thessalonians
The first letter to the Thessalonians is one of the most difficult to outline. When we apply the above form of New Testament letters we see that 1 Thessalonians does not clearly follow the form like the other letters of Paul that we have examined. We will notice this problem in just a moment.
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