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1 Thessalonians


Paul’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 Paul’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
2. Recipients
3. Salutation
4. Thanksgiving
5. Body of letter
6. Closing
7. Greeting

Let us examine Paul’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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