What to Expect When You’re Expecting (1 Thess 5:1-11)

Below is a short exegetical paper I wrote during my final semester at Emmanuel Christian Seminary.

The climax of Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonian church (5:1-11) is a discourse in dialogue with the shared discourse(s) of the Thessalonian audience, and strikes harmonies on at least two levels of shared tradition: the religious and social-political. The former harmony echoes in Paul’s adoption of “day of the Lord” (ἡμέρα κυρίου) and “birth pains” (ἡ ὠδὶν), language from inherited prophetic traditions of the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple sources (5:2-3). The latter discursive harmony, echoes of the social-political milieu shared between author and audience, is found primarily in the strange appeal to the “peace and security” saying of an unnamed “they” in 5:3—an allusion, I argue, to Roman imperial propaganda.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s