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Thessalonian & Corinthian Epistles
Azusa Pacific University
Dr. Ken Waters
September 9, 2002
"Introduction to Thessalonian & Corinthian Epistles"

I.   Context (Background) of Thessalonians
A.   Writing Location: Corinth
B.   Occasion: When Timothy returned from Thessalonica with good news about the Christian community there and their obedience to Christ
C.   Purpose: Letter of celebration; written in response to good news
II.   Important questions that must be answered to understand Paul
A.   What is the relationship between the Thessalonian and Corinthian letters
B.   What is the relationship between the Thessalonian and Corinthian letters compared to his other letters
C.   What is the relationship between the Thessalonian and Corinthian letters compared with his ministry and life
III.   Timeline of events (according to Ken Waters)
A.   30 AD - Christ death, and resurrection
B.   34 AD - Paul's encounter with Jesus on the Road to Damascus (Paul was approx. 18 to 19 years old) (Acts 7:58)
C.   49 AD - Begins his first missionary journey
D.   50 AD - Second missionary journey
1.   Philippi (thrown in Jail)
2.   Thessalonica (establishes the Thessalonian church)
3.   Athens
4.   Corinth
a.   1Thessalonians fairly confidently wrote this letter
i.   This is the first work from Paul
ii.   The is the oldest (earliest) work in the entire New Testament
b.   2Thessalonians was most likely written in this time period
5.   Returns to Antioch
E.   52 AD - Third Missionary Journey
1.   Galatia
2.   Ephesus (Writes 1Corinthians - 55 AD)
3.   Macedonia (Writes 2Corinthians - 55 AD)
4.   Corinth (3rd visit to Corinth)
a.   Writes to Galatians (56 AD)
b.   Writes to Romans (56 AD)
F.   56 AD - Arrested in Jerusalem
G.   58 AD - Imprisoned in Rome
1.   Writes to Philippi
2.   Writes to Philemon
3.   Writes to Ephesus
4.   Writes to Colossians
H.   60 AD - Released from Prision
1.   Writes 1Timothy (there is a lot of controversy over Paul's authorship of 1Timothy)
2.   Writes Titus (there is a lot of controversy over Paul's authorship of Titus)
I.   64 AD - Imprisoned in Rome for allegedly starting a fire in Rome
1.   Writes 2Timothy (there is a lot of controversy over Paul's authorship of 2Timothy)
J.   65 AD - Paul (and Peter) were put to death
IV.   General Observations
A.   There was at least 15 years for Paul to think, argue, and dispute his theology
B.   By the time his first letter was written he was a very "mature Christian"
C.   Paul was definitely not into writing
1.   Only wrote when he had to
2.   Usually wrote when there was crisis or when he had nothing else to do (in prison)
D.   Paul's letters are occasional writings
1.   Wrote them for specific times
2.   Wrote them for specific problems
3.   Very, very particular
E.   Paul did not intend to write scripture (he never thought it would be part of a "Bible")
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