Thessalonian & Corinthian Epistles
Azusa Pacific University
Dr. Ken Waters
September 11, 2002
"Paul's Letter & the Big Disputes"

I.   Paul's Letters
A.   7 Undisputed
1.   Romans
2.   1 Corinthians
3.   2 Corinthians
4.   Galatians
5.   Philippians
6.   1 Thessalonians
7.   Philemon
B.   6 Disputed
1.   Ephesians
2.   Colossians
3.   1 Timothy
4.   2 Timothy
5.   Titus
II.   The authorship dispute between 1Thessalonians & 2Thessalonians
1Thessalonians 5:1-11
2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
1Th. 5:1 Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
1Th. 5:4 But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
2Th. 2:1 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for [that day will not come] until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
2Th. 2:5 Don't you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, 10 and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
A.   Points that support Paul's authorship
1.   Paul identifies himself the author of 2Thessalonians
2.   Same style & language
3.   Paul signs his name (his signature) at the end of the letter - this is done at the end of his letters
4.   No real contradiction between the two letters - slightly different emphasis, but not contradicting
B.   Points that refute Paul's authorship
1.   First letter there is only reference to the second coming (parousia) of Christ, second letter there is a reference to a parousia of the lawless one
2.   First letter has less reference to sings of the second coming
III.   Epistolary Partition Theory The integrity (wholeness) dispute between 1Corinthians & 2Corinthians
A.   1Corinthians & 2Corinthians are most likely composite letters (rather than whole letters) made up by 5 separate letters combined into 2
B.   Support for this theory
1.   Several references to previous letters
a.   1Cor. 5:9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people (this letter is referred to a missing letter named the Previous Letter)
b.   2Cor. 2:4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears; not that you should be made sorrowful, but that you might know the love which I have especially for you. (this letter is referred to a missing letter named the Severe Letter)
2.   Several references to previous visits to Corinth be either Timothy, Titus and Paul
a.   1Cor. 4:17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church. 18 Now some have become arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant, but their power. 20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in words, but in power. 21 What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod or with love and a spirit of gentleness?
3.   References to letters from Corinth to Paul
4.   Tensions or breaks in the text
a.   2Cor. 9:14 while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

2Cor. 10:1 Now I, Paul, myself urge you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ  I who am meek when face to face with you, but bold toward you when absent!

b.   The tension between chapter nine and chapter ten seems to indicate that a drastic change in the tempo and manner of Paul's
C.   Paul's 3rd Missionary Journey (52-56 AD)
1.   First letter - the Previous Letter (missing)
a.   Was sent to Corinth via Timothy
b.   Theory: 2Cor 6:14-7:1 is a segment of this letter
c.   Timothy came back with a good report of the letter being well received
2.   Second letter - 1Corinthians 1-15 (minus 2Cor 6:14-7:1)
a.   Written in 55 AD in Ephesus
b.   Letter sent to Corinth via Timothy
c.   Was a letter of thanksgiving in response to the first letter
3.   Trip to Corinth (the Painful Visit)
a.   Paul goes to Corith after all the good reports
b.   During his visit he finds that there is incredible evil (primarily a man who is sleeping with his stepmother)
c.   Returns to Ephesus, heart-wounded
4.   Third letter - the Severe Letter (missing)
a.   Was written in 55 AD in Ephesus
b.   Was sent to Corinth via Titus
i.   Timothy was a Jew (mother was at least a Jew)
ii.   Titus was a Gentle - Paul figured "one of there own" could give rebuke better than a "foreign Jew"
c.   Theory: 1Cor 16 is a segment of this letter
d.   It takes Paul a while to find Titus once he leaves for Corinth
e.   Titus is finally found in Macedonia
f.   Titus' response: they accepted the letter alright (keep in mind it was rebuke) but their feelings were hurt that Paul did not keep his word to come and see them in Corinth
5.   Fourth letter - 2Corinthians 1-9
a.   Written in 55 AD in Macedonia
b.   In response to Titus' report of the "lukewarm" reception of the third letter
c.   Was written to be a consolatory letter
6.   Fifth letter - 2Corinthians 10-13
a.   Written in 56 AD in Macedonia
b.   Was very sarcastic in nature (responding to criticism)
c.   After this letter he goes to Corinth for the third time - book of Acts picks it up here