2. Christian Greetings, the Salutation (2 Thes. 1:1-2)
1:1 From Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 1:2 Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
These verses are basically the same as in the first epistle to the Thessalonians,4 but there are two small changes in the salutation that should be noted. Evidently, the persecution had not only continued, but it had increased as the following verses suggest. The changes here, though small, may be reflected in the missionary team’s desire to comfort these believers.
In the first letter Paul said, “to the Thessalonians in God (the) Father,” but here he wrote “in God our Father.” Some believe the address in the first letter relates God as the Father to Jesus, but here to Christians. That Paul was speaking of the Father in His relationship to Jesus in the first letter is possible (see the exposition in 1 Thessalonians), but not necessarily. Regardless, the emphasis here by way of the pronoun “our” clearly focuses the Thessalonians on their relationship to God as their personal Father who loved and cared for them as His children who had been born into His family through faith in Christ. With the increase of persecution, they needed this reminder.
In the first letter, the apostle simply wrote, “Grace to you and peace,” and now he added, “from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!” Again, in view of their needs, this strongly focuses the readers on the source of both grace and peace. God is the ultimate source of both and this is found in the two persons of the Godhead mentioned in this passage. The Father and Jesus are connected with one preposition (apo), meaning “from.” In this context, it denotes the point from which something begins or has its source. The source of grace is not only in both the Father and the Son, but this close connection drives home the reality of the deity of Christ.
This is the only justification for placing his name beside the Father’s as co-author of the unmerited favor and harmonious relationship pronounced in this greeting.5
If we want to experience the peace of God, it can only come through a personal relationship with God through faith in the person and work of Christ for He is the manifestation of God’s grace and the one who is truly the maker and giver of peace (John 14:7; Eph. 2:1ff).
4 See comments on the salutation in 1 Thessalonians: An Exegetical and Devotional Commentary at www.bible.org.
5 Robert L. Thomas, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, New Testament, Zondervan, Frank E. Gaebelein, General Editor, Grand Rapids, 1976-1992, electronic media.
Related Topics: Introductions, Arguments, Outlines