Third Epistle to the Thessalonians

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[[Image:Stpaul.jpg|thumb|300px|St. Paul, explaining the consequences of [[Jesus|Christ's]] return to the Thessalonians. ''Again''.]]
 
[[Image:Stpaul.jpg|thumb|300px|St. Paul, explaining the consequences of [[Jesus|Christ's]] return to the Thessalonians. ''Again''.]]
   
'''The [[UnBooks:Third Epistle to the Thessalonians|Third Epistle to the Thessalonians]]''', also known as the '''The Third Letter to the Thessalonians''', is a purported [[letter]] from [[priest|St. Paul]] to the community at [[Greece|Thessalonika]]. Unlike the first two epistles to the [[church]], in which Paul expressed [[love]] and support to the [[Christian|Christians]] in the city while attempting to answer their questions, the [[Minnesota|apostle]] completely loses it in the third letter, and [[liberal|liberally]] sprinkles his [[Apocalypse|escathology]] with [[idiot|insults]] like "doofus" and "morons."
+
'''The [[UnBooks:Third Epistle to the Thessalonians|Third Epistle to the Thessalonians]]''', also known as the '''The Third Letter to the Thessalonians''', is a purported [[letter]] from [[3 Thessalonians|St. Paul]] to the community at [[Thessaloniki|Thessalonika]]. Unlike the first two epistles to the [[church]], in which Paul expressed [[love]] and support to the [[Christian|Christians]] in the city while attempting to answer their questions, the [[Minnesota|apostle]] completely loses it in the third letter, and [[liberal|liberally]] sprinkles his [[Apocalypse|escathology]] with [[idiot|insults]] like "doofus" and "morons."
   
Debates over the authenticity of 3 Thessalonians have raged since at least the [[Roman Empire|second century]]. [[Castration|Origen]] apparently knew of it, but was too busy writing ''Contra Celsum'' ''(Against Celsus)'' and ''Contra Testicles'' ''(It is not a tragedy to lose one's balls)'' to prepare a commentary. [[History|Eusebius]] mentions the letter in his ''Historia Ecclesia,'' but the work was thought lost until it was found in a [[book|leather-bound manuscript]] in [[Egypt|Cairo]] in [[1993]].
+
Debates over the authenticity of 3 Thessalonians have raged since at least the [[Roman Empire|second century]]. [[Wikipedia:Origen|Origen]] apparently knew of it, but was too busy writing ''Contra Celsum'' ''(Against Celsus)'' and ''Contra Testicles'' ''(It is not a tragedy to lose one's balls)'' to prepare a commentary. [[Wikipedia:Eusebius of Caesarea|Eusebius]] mentions the letter in his ''Historia Ecclesia,'' but the work was thought lost until it was found in a [[book|leather-bound manuscript]] in [[Egypt|Cairo]] in [[1993]].
   
 
Modern [[teacher|scholars]] tend to reject the epistle's authenticity outright. A small but influential group of dissidents argue that the [[anger|frustration]] in the letter, as well as the "Copyright: [[Camp|Tentmaker]] Productions, Just Before Jesus' Return in Glory" notice at the end of the letter, suggest Pauline authorship.
 
Modern [[teacher|scholars]] tend to reject the epistle's authenticity outright. A small but influential group of dissidents argue that the [[anger|frustration]] in the letter, as well as the "Copyright: [[Camp|Tentmaker]] Productions, Just Before Jesus' Return in Glory" notice at the end of the letter, suggest Pauline authorship.
   
  +
{{Unchristianity}}
 
==Composition==
 
==Composition==
+
If 3 Thessalonians is [[true|authentic]], it was probably composed sometime between 55 and 56 A.D., perhaps in [[Athens]]. Toward the end of the letter, Paul mentions that he was "planning a trip to Ephesus until I got your latest idiotic [[letter|correspondence]]." (3 Thess. 5:6) He mentions that [[friend|Timothy]] and Silvanus were still with him, "and believe, as I do, that a [[dog]] could learn our commands faster than you." (3 Thess. 1:2) However, the letter could have been written later: Paul adds that he was in the middle of writing an epistle to the [[Rome|Romans]], "but let me put that aside so I can [[Deal or No Deal|deal]] with your questions about how to arrange the chairs during [[Mass]]." (3 Thess. 3:17). This might move the composition date to 58 A.D.
If 3 Thessalonians is [[true|authentic]], it was probably composed sometime between 55 and 56 A.D., perhaps in [[Athens]]. Toward the end of the letter, Paul mentions that he was "planning a trip to Ephesus until I got your latest idiotic [[letter|correspondence]]." (3 Thess. 5:6) He mentions that [[friend|Timothy]] and Silvanus were still with him, "and believe, as I do, that a [[dog]] could learn our commands faster than you." (3 Thess. 1:2) However, the letter could have been written later: Paul adds that he was in the middle of writing an epistle to the [[Rome|Romans]], "but let me put that aside so I can [[deal]] with your questions about how to arrange the chairs during [[Mass]]." (3 Thess. 3:17). This might move the composition date to 58 A.D.
 
   
 
==Purpose==
 
==Purpose==
 
The first [[two]] epistles to the Thessalonians were designed for instruction, and to answer basic [[philosophy|questions]] about the organization of the new church and the [[Christ|resurrection]] of the [[dead]]. 3 Thessalonians suggests that these letters did not fully take with the Thessalonians:
 
The first [[two]] epistles to the Thessalonians were designed for instruction, and to answer basic [[philosophy|questions]] about the organization of the new church and the [[Christ|resurrection]] of the [[dead]]. 3 Thessalonians suggests that these letters did not fully take with the Thessalonians:
   
:''We are bound to thank [[God]] for you, as your [[faith]] and love for one another grows. And yet, we also wonder what exactly it will take for you to put [[two]] and [[two]] together. We shall glory in our Lord [[Jesus]] once you [[people]] show the mental capacity of a brain-damaged [[cow]].'' (3 Thess 1:4-6)
+
:''We are bound to thank [[God]] for you, as your [[faith]] and love for one another groweth. And yet, we also wonder what exactly it will take for you to put [[two]] and [[two]] together. We shall glory in our Lord [[Jesus]] once ye [[people]] show the mental capacity of a brain-damaged [[cow]].'' (3 Thess 1:4-6)
   
 
The letter that inspired Paul's epistle is lost, but the Thessalonians apparently did not fully grasp Paul's [[theology]]:
 
The letter that inspired Paul's epistle is lost, but the Thessalonians apparently did not fully grasp Paul's [[theology]]:
   
:''Did I not [[church|preach]] these things to you? SORROW. NOT. How many times must I say it? There will be a [[trumpet]]. The dead in Christ go to [[heaven]] first. We who believe in him will follow. See? Simple. [[Tattoo]] the preceding sentences on your [[arm]], if it helps. Read this to the [[holy]] brethren, although I doubt it will do any [[good]].'' (3 Thess. 3:7-13)
+
:''Did I not [[church|preach]] these things to you? SORROW. NOT. How many times must I say it? There will be a [[trumpet]]. The dead in Christ go to [[heaven]] first. We who believe in him will follow. See? Simple. [[Tattoo]] ye the preceding sentences on your [[arm]], if it helpeth you. Read this to the [[holy]] brethren, although I doubt it will do any [[good]].'' (3 Thess. 3:7-13)
   
 
There were also questions about [[army|organization]].
 
There were also questions about [[army|organization]].
   
:''Brethren, rejoice in one another and in [[Christ]]. Work on [[good]] deeds, and worry not about the color of the [[carpet|carpets]] (I prefer [[red]], but that's just me). Be satisfied with [[tree|oaken]] pews. Offer each other a [[love|kiss]], or the [[Black Jesus|soul brother handshake]], if appropriate.'' (3 Thess. 4:1-4)
+
:''Brethren, rejoice in one another and in [[Christ]]. Work on [[good]] deeds, and worry not about the color of the [[rug|carpets]] (I prefer [[red]], but that's just me). Be satisfied with [[tree|oaken]] pews. Offer each other a [[love|kiss]], or the [[Black Jesus|soul brother handshake]], if appropriate.'' (3 Thess. 4:1-4)
   
 
==Discovery and questions about authenticity==
 
==Discovery and questions about authenticity==
 
[[Image:Stpaulpreaching.jpg|thumb|left|250px|St. Paul preaching to the Thessalonians, hoping they will learn the word of God. Good luck, buddy.]]
 
[[Image:Stpaulpreaching.jpg|thumb|left|250px|St. Paul preaching to the Thessalonians, hoping they will learn the word of God. Good luck, buddy.]]
   
The [[lost]] work was discovered in the back of a manuscript that that also contained copies of the ''Gospel of [[Judas]]'', the ''Gospel of Mary Magdalene'' and ''[[Blue]]: The Incredible Story of [[Country music|LeeAnn Rimes]]''. Scholars immediately praised it as the most important recovery of [[old|ancient]] literature since the [[old|Nag Hammadi]] discovery in 1945. However, study of 3 Thessalonians immediately raised questions. Chapter 4, the "organization" section, drew particular concern, particularly over these passages:
+
The [[lost]] work was discovered in the back of a manuscript that that also contained copies of the ''Gospel of [[Judas]]'', the ''Gospel of James'' and ''[[Blue]]: The Incredible Story of [[Country music|LeeAnn Rimes]]''. Scholars immediately praised it as the most important recovery of [[old|ancient]] literature since the [[old|Nag Hammadi]] discovery in 1945. However, study of 3 Thessalonians immediately raised questions. Chapter 4, the "organization" section, drew particular concern, particularly over these passages:
   
:''Brethren... ['''''w''''']hen you sing, sing of the glory of [[God]]. Do not engage in [[sex|sexual immorality]] or thoughts that defile the [[church|temple]] Christ has built in your hearts. When you sing "Proud Mary," sing it slowly and [[brain|pensively]]. An [[Tina Turner|up-tempo]] version leads to [[evil]] thoughts.'' (3 Thess. 4:1-7)
+
:''Brethren... ['''''w''''']hen ye sing, sing of the glory of [[God]]. Do not engage in [[sex|sexual immorality]] or thoughts that defile the [[church|temple]] which Christ hath built in your hearts. (3 Thess. 4:1-7)
   
 
Chapter 5 has also raised doubts:
 
Chapter 5 has also raised doubts:
   
:''Do you not know of the great [[love]] God had, in sending his only [[son]] into the [[world]]? Oh, when you hear his [[voice]], harden not your [[heart|hearts]]! Go, and buy this one-of-a-kind [[water|beachfront]] property. I, Paul, write this in my own hand: No [[money]] down. A great investment in the few [[day|days]] left before Christ's return.'' (3 Thess. 5:1-5)
+
:''Know ye not of the great [[love]] God had, in sending his only [[Christ|son]] into the [[world]]? Oh, when ye hear his [[Talk|voice]], harden not your [[heart|hearts]]! I, Paul, write this in my own hand: No [[money]] down. A great investment in the few [[day|days]] left before Christ's return.'' (3 Thess. 5:1-5)
   
These passages have led many to dismiss the letter as a pure [[Iraq|forgery]], although defenders say they are later interpolations. Some believe the letter itself may be a compilation of several shorter Pauline letters, citing Chapter 6:
+
:''I send Phoebe to [[you]], a worthy deaconness. Greet her as ye would greet me. The churches all send their [[Hello|greetings]]. Furthermore, brethren, Phoebe sendeth [[news]] that she hath settled with the brethren in Herodian. Phoebe telleth me that the [[wolf|wolves]] are loose in your community: Heed not their words! And brethren, when ye write me next, tell me: Have ye heard anything of Phoebe?'' (3 Thess. 6:2-8)
   
:''I send Phoebe to [[you]], a worthy deaconness. Greet her as you would greet me. The churches all send their [[Hello|greetings]]. Furthermore, brethren, Phoebe sends [[news]] that she has settled with the brethren in Herodian. Phoebe tells me that the [[wolf|wolves]] are loose in your community: Heed not their words! And brethren, when you write me next, tell me: Have you heard anything of Phoebe?'' (3 Thess. 6:2-8)
+
Though most churches dismiss the epistle as uninspired, it is included as part of the canon of the controversial [[Church of God the Wholly Incompetent]]; its inclusion, voted in by a 150-man committee as 75-70, hinges on a few key lines:
  +
  +
:''But, alas, thus far ye ['''''Thessalonians'''''] have dashed all my hopes and dreams for your people, and ye have been relegated to a barren place in my heart. To think that I relied on you when I could have relied on God, who is not known for such dumbness. But perhaps ye are God’s children because of it, not in spite.'' (3 Thess. 1:8-10)
   
 
The [[Jesus]] Seminar included the letter in its book, ''Early Christian Writings''. [[Theology|John Dominic Crossan]], although doubting the letter's Pauline origin, says it "shines a light on early Christian belief, particularly related to timeshares."
 
The [[Jesus]] Seminar included the letter in its book, ''Early Christian Writings''. [[Theology|John Dominic Crossan]], although doubting the letter's Pauline origin, says it "shines a light on early Christian belief, particularly related to timeshares."
 
Though most churches dismiss the epistle as uninspired, it is included as part of the canon of the controversial [[Church of God the Wholly Incompetent]]; its inclusion, voted in by a 150-man committee as 75-70, hinges on a few key lines:
 
 
:''But, alas, thus far you ['''''Thessalonians'''''] have dashed all my hopes and dreams for your people, and you have been relegated to a barren place in my heart. To think that I relied on you when I could have relied on God, who is not known for such dumbness. But perhaps you are God’s children because of it, not in spite.'' (3 Thess. 1:8-10)
 
   
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
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*[[UnBooks:Third Epistle to the Thessalonians|Text of ''3 Thessalonians'']]
 
*[[UnBooks:Third Epistle to the Thessalonians|Text of ''3 Thessalonians'']]
   
{{QFH}}
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{{FA|revision=1404490|date=4 January 2007}}
 
[[Category: Religion]]
 
[[Category: Religion]]
 
[[Category: Jesus]]
 
[[Category: Jesus]]
 
[[Category: Christianity]]
 
[[Category: Christianity]]
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[[Category:Bible]]

Latest revision as of 07:50, May 25, 2011

Stpaul

St. Paul, explaining the consequences of Christ's return to the Thessalonians. Again.

The Third Epistle to the Thessalonians, also known as the The Third Letter to the Thessalonians, is a purported letter from St. Paul to the community at Thessalonika. Unlike the first two epistles to the church, in which Paul expressed love and support to the Christians in the city while attempting to answer their questions, the apostle completely loses it in the third letter, and liberally sprinkles his escathology with insults like "doofus" and "morons."

Debates over the authenticity of 3 Thessalonians have raged since at least the second century. Origen apparently knew of it, but was too busy writing Contra Celsum (Against Celsus) and Contra Testicles (It is not a tragedy to lose one's balls) to prepare a commentary. Eusebius mentions the letter in his Historia Ecclesia, but the work was thought lost until it was found in a leather-bound manuscript in Cairo in 1993.

Modern scholars tend to reject the epistle's authenticity outright. A small but influential group of dissidents argue that the frustration in the letter, as well as the "Copyright: Tentmaker Productions, Just Before Jesus' Return in Glory" notice at the end of the letter, suggest Pauline authorship.

Part of a series of articles on
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Christian Church
Roman Catholicism
The Pope
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Eastern Orthodoxy
Protestantism Christian erudition
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Christian ecumenism
Christian scholastica
Christian discourses

Important Figures
Apostle Paul
Augustine · Aquinas
Wycliffe · Luther
Calvin · Trammell
· Carver

edit Composition

If 3 Thessalonians is authentic, it was probably composed sometime between 55 and 56 A.D., perhaps in Athens. Toward the end of the letter, Paul mentions that he was "planning a trip to Ephesus until I got your latest idiotic correspondence." (3 Thess. 5:6) He mentions that Timothy and Silvanus were still with him, "and believe, as I do, that a dog could learn our commands faster than you." (3 Thess. 1:2) However, the letter could have been written later: Paul adds that he was in the middle of writing an epistle to the Romans, "but let me put that aside so I can deal with your questions about how to arrange the chairs during Mass." (3 Thess. 3:17). This might move the composition date to 58 A.D.

edit Purpose

The first two epistles to the Thessalonians were designed for instruction, and to answer basic questions about the organization of the new church and the resurrection of the dead. 3 Thessalonians suggests that these letters did not fully take with the Thessalonians:

We are bound to thank God for you, as your faith and love for one another groweth. And yet, we also wonder what exactly it will take for you to put two and two together. We shall glory in our Lord Jesus once ye people show the mental capacity of a brain-damaged cow. (3 Thess 1:4-6)

The letter that inspired Paul's epistle is lost, but the Thessalonians apparently did not fully grasp Paul's theology:

Did I not preach these things to you? SORROW. NOT. How many times must I say it? There will be a trumpet. The dead in Christ go to heaven first. We who believe in him will follow. See? Simple. Tattoo ye the preceding sentences on your arm, if it helpeth you. Read this to the holy brethren, although I doubt it will do any good. (3 Thess. 3:7-13)

There were also questions about organization.

Brethren, rejoice in one another and in Christ. Work on good deeds, and worry not about the color of the carpets (I prefer red, but that's just me). Be satisfied with oaken pews. Offer each other a kiss, or the soul brother handshake, if appropriate. (3 Thess. 4:1-4)

edit Discovery and questions about authenticity

Stpaulpreaching

St. Paul preaching to the Thessalonians, hoping they will learn the word of God. Good luck, buddy.

The lost work was discovered in the back of a manuscript that that also contained copies of the Gospel of Judas, the Gospel of James and Blue: The Incredible Story of LeeAnn Rimes. Scholars immediately praised it as the most important recovery of ancient literature since the Nag Hammadi discovery in 1945. However, study of 3 Thessalonians immediately raised questions. Chapter 4, the "organization" section, drew particular concern, particularly over these passages:

Brethren... [w]hen ye sing, sing of the glory of God. Do not engage in sexual immorality or thoughts that defile the temple which Christ hath built in your hearts. (3 Thess. 4:1-7)

Chapter 5 has also raised doubts:

Know ye not of the great love God had, in sending his only son into the world? Oh, when ye hear his voice, harden not your hearts! I, Paul, write this in my own hand: No money down. A great investment in the few days left before Christ's return. (3 Thess. 5:1-5)
I send Phoebe to you, a worthy deaconness. Greet her as ye would greet me. The churches all send their greetings. Furthermore, brethren, Phoebe sendeth news that she hath settled with the brethren in Herodian. Phoebe telleth me that the wolves are loose in your community: Heed not their words! And brethren, when ye write me next, tell me: Have ye heard anything of Phoebe? (3 Thess. 6:2-8)

Though most churches dismiss the epistle as uninspired, it is included as part of the canon of the controversial Church of God the Wholly Incompetent; its inclusion, voted in by a 150-man committee as 75-70, hinges on a few key lines:

But, alas, thus far ye [Thessalonians] have dashed all my hopes and dreams for your people, and ye have been relegated to a barren place in my heart. To think that I relied on you when I could have relied on God, who is not known for such dumbness. But perhaps ye are God’s children because of it, not in spite. (3 Thess. 1:8-10)

The Jesus Seminar included the letter in its book, Early Christian Writings. John Dominic Crossan, although doubting the letter's Pauline origin, says it "shines a light on early Christian belief, particularly related to timeshares."

edit External links

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