Contributor(s)Malherbe, Abraham J.
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AbstractFirst Thessalonians was written within a few months, following the conversion of Paul’s
Greek readers, and reflects how his ethical teaching was part of his proclamation. Paul’s
preaching of the gospel, intimately connected with the kind of person he was, brought about
a close personal relationship between him and his converts. Whilst he stood as a moral model
for them, he nevertheless spoke for God, and thus, his ethical instruction was grounded
theologically. His converts would have understood how moral dicta, with which they were
familiar, were derived from philosophy, but not from religion, as Jews and Christians held. In
the overtly paraenetic sections of the letter (ch. 4 and 5), Paul was at great pains to underline
this connection, which was the main point he was making.
Malherbe, A.J., 2012, ‘Ethics in Context: The Thessalonians and their neighbours’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 68(1), Art. #1214, 10 pages. http://dx.DOI.org/ 10.4102/ hts.v68i1.1214.