The Second Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians
translation by Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D.

1. Paul and Silvanus and Timothy to the Thessalonian church in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ

3 We are indebted always to give thanks for you, brothers and sisters in as much as it is fitting, in order that (or because) your faith grows abundantly and the love of each one of you all for one another increases

4 so that we ourselves boast of you in the churches of God concerning your endurance and faith in all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure,

5 a plain indication of God's righteous judgment, of your being considered worthy of the kingship of God, concerning which also you suffer,

6 if indeed since righteous according to God to repay to your oppressors afflictions

7 and (in turn) to you (who are) oppressed rest/relief with us, in the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his angels of power (or mighty angels)

8 in flaming fire, imparting punishment to those who do not know God and to those who do not follow/ are not subject to the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

9 whoever will pay/ undergo a penalty of eternal (destruction) death from before (the face of ) the lord and from the glory of his strength/power.

10 When (at which time) he will come to be glorified among/in his saints and to be admired/ marveled at among/in all those who believe, because our testimony (among?) you was believed, in that day.

11 And to this (end) for this we pray always concerning you, in order that our God may make you worthy of the call and fill you will every desire for goodness and work of faith in power,

12 in order that the name of our lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and lord Jesus Christ.

2.1 Now we ask/beseech you, brothers and sisters, concerning the parousia of the (our) lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to him,

2 to not be shaken/be made to waver from your minds nor to be inwardly aroused/ be disturbed, neither by the pueuma, nor by logos nor by a letter as from us, (to the effect) that the day

3 of the lord has come. Do not be deceived in any way, for not until first the apostasy has come and the person of lawlessness has seen

4 revealed, the son of destruction, the enemy and one exalting himself against all that is called divine and is worshiped, so that he installs himself in the temple of God proclaiming of himself that he is God.

5 Do you not remember that when we were with you we told you these things?

6 and now you know the restrain, in order for him to be revealed in his time.

7 for the mystery of lawlessness already works. Only until now the restrainer arose from the midst.

8 and then shall be revealed the lawless, whom the lord Jesus will consume with the pneuma of his mouth and put then to an end with the appearance of his parousia,

9 whose parousia is against the working of Satan in all power and signs and false portents

10 and in every kind of unjust/wicked deception/deceptive trickery in/to those being sent away, since they did not accept the love of the truth for their to be saved.

11 and because of this God will send to them a deluding influence to make them believe the false/ the lie, in order that all those not believing in the truth but rather took delight in injustice may be judged/condemed /handed over for judicial punishment.

13 But we are bound/indebted to give thanks to God concerning all of you, brothers and sisters beloved in/by the lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning () for/to salvation in the holy spirit and true belief,

14 and to this he called you through our gospel, to acquire/bring about the glory of our lord Jesus Christ.

15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand form, and hold fast to the traditions which you have been taught, whether through logos or through our letter.

16 And our lord Jesus Christ himself and God our father, who loved us and gave us eternal consolation and good hope in grace,

17 comfort your hearts and establish/support (you) in every good work and logos.

3.1 Finally pray, brothers and sisters, concerning us, that the logos of the lord might spread rapidly and

2 be glorified as also among you and that we may be saved/ delivered from the evil and viscous wicked people for not all are faithful.

3 But the lord us faithful, who will make you stand fast and guard you from the wicked. And we have confidence in the lord about you, that you do now and will continue doing those things which we command/instruct

5 and the lord direct your to the love of God and to the patience/endurance of Christ.

6 But we command you, brothers and sisters, in the name of the lord Jesus Christ, to avoid (keep yourselves away from) all Brothers walking in an irresponsible manner (living in idleness) and not according to the traditions which they received from us.

7 for you know yourselves how it is necessary to imitate us, that we were not lazy/idle among you,

8 but neither have we eaten bread with/from anyone without paying (for it), but in toil and hardship/labor might not be a burden to/on you.

9 Not that we have not power/authority () but that we ourselves give you an example/model/pattern for you to imitate

10 for even when w were with you, we commanded this of you, that if anyone willed not to work, neither (should) he/she eat.

11 for we hear (that some walk among you in an irresponsible manner (idly), not even working but being busy bodies (doing unnecessary or useless).

12 But to these such (to such persons) we command and entreat/urge in (the) lord Jesus Christ that with an undisturbed life (with quietness/rest/silence) working to eat their own bread.

13 But/and you, brothers and sisters, do not become weary of doing what is right/good.

14 And if anyone does not follow/obey our logos through this epistle, mark that one, do not mingle with him, that he may turn/be ashamed.

15 And do not regard/consider (him) as an enemy,

16 but admonish/warn (him) as a brother. And the lord of peace himself give you peace through all in every way. The lord be with you all.

17 The greeting of Paul in my own hand, which is the mark in every letter, so I write

18 The grace of our lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.

 Variants in I Thess

1:1 grace to you and peace *from God our father and lord Jesus Christ (D) pl syh; txt Bgpc lat syp cop sa, fay 1739

the shorter version is to be able preferred; longer version is a conflation from 2Th 1:2. Alexandrian & Western text types support the shorter reading. If longer reading was original , and no reason why it would have been deleted.

1:7 / more likely a scribe would alter s. to pl. to make it agree with µ then v=v

1:9 pl µv / µv either would work; B and a few minuscules supports "you", but

everyone else supports "us" must be "us." variant easily ex-

plained by a scribal error.

2:7 vlol / lol dittography for nepioi vs haplography for epioi. problems of

metaphor from babe to nurse/ mother but gentleness vs arrogance

disclaimed in v. 6. vlol: used almost a dozen times elsewhere

by Paul- but always for converts, not for self - stronger external

attestation. lol: only found in 2 tm 2:24.

2:8 ud- / dokoµe / dokoaµv ??

2:12 / ??

2:15 / 20 witnesses for longer reading; the shorter reading is decisively supported by the best representatives of several text-types (XABD*GIP 33 811739 it vg cap sa, bo, fay atm eth)

I Th

3:2 Kai v to in spite of external evidence in favor of GREEK this reading should be retained because it best accounts for the other variant readings,

3:13 GREEK could have been dropped as inappropriate context, esp. when v.13 came to be the end of an eccl. election . Rather evenly balanced external attestation with and without.

4:1 GREEK elaus lacking in some mass dropped either as superfluous or through confusion (accidentally) with the proceeding GREEK clause. External testimony supporting the clause in strong and internal considerations support it (GREEK) presupposes an earlier mention to the ths having begun the Lu life, but such a beginning is not implied in the proceeding text without clause).

4:8 GREEK simple error(not very many witnesses)

(under influence of)

or changed to GREEK purposefully parallel v.7

or changed to GREEK to parallel Ez 36:26f&37:14

go with GREEK due to greater external evidence

4:9 GREEK changed to is to simply reading: first reading to be preferred; 3rd choice merelyt different. Orthography GREEK second reading attempts to clarify, reject, well supported and explain rise of other readings

4:10 GREEK better external evidence without, but could have been eliminated as needless

4:11 GREEK could have been added as explanatory, or eliminated by accident due to same ending as previous word: good external evidence for either (but omit?)

I Th

4:13 GREEK

external evidence divided - Alexandrian witnesses for reading 1, and Western & Byzantine witnesses for reading 2 r.1 found in the order mss. & less usual expression ; more likely to have been changed to r.2 (usual expression) than conversely.

4:18 GREEK addiction has minimal external evidence, but is an interesting variant

5:2 GREEK -def. article could have been added by dittography (or as an intentional completion) or omitted by haplography. Haplography is very possible, with Alexandrian and the Koine witnessing to the article, but the earlier Alexandrian texts (GREEK) lacking it probably not original.

5:4 GREEK Supported by S Alexandrian witnesses prob. Arose through conformation to prev. (GREEK). Doesn't make too much sense. External evidence is ambiguous, though.

5:13 GREEK Alexandrian, Byzantine and Western witnesses to both readings either could have arisen through sloppy handwriting of the other. (GREEK) could have arisen through reading (GREEK) in next sentence.

*Which makes more sense grammatically?

5:21 GREEK almost necessary for the sense, as Lightfoot observed and, where omitted, could have been observed by the first syllable of the following word, (GREEK)

5:25 GREEK could have been added by copyists who recalled Col 4:3; could have been omitted when ref to v. 17 was overlooked. (Probably original)

5:27 GREEK could have fallen out via homoeoteleuton; but the expression oc a.a. occurs nowhere else in Paul, the accc. Omission isn't as great as it being added from (GREEK) in the prev. verse and the weight of the external evidence for the shorter reading is slightly superior. The reading (GREEK) arose from homeoeteleuton.

5:28 GREEK added through liturgical usage. It is absent from good representatives of both the Alexandrian and the Western text-types. (GREEK reason why a scribe would omit it.)

II Th 1.2 GREEK there originally later omitted for stylistic reasons (of v. 1), or added in imitation of the stereotyped formula. (probably added, or why would it not be altered in the other letters, ie. No variants in I and II Cor, Phil, and Rom?)

2.1 GREEK added due to imitation of stereotyped formula? Or could have been dropped, by homoeotelenton.

2.3 GREEK broader external testimony for (GR) (witnesses from each of 3 text types); but, on the whole, the earlier Alexandrian texts preserve (GR) a word rarely used by Paul, altered by the copyists much more frequently used (GR). Furthermore, (GR) in v. 7 seems to presuppose (GR) here.

2.4 GREEK text w/o is strongly supported by early and diversified witnesses.

2:8 GREEK is present in a wide variety of Gk and versional witnesses. Introduced by pious scribes (GR read GR)? Or omitted accidentally (homoet.) Or intentionally to bring the quoted more in live w Is. 11:4 (prob. original)

GREEK stronger ext. Evidence for r. 1, through possibly an assimilation to GR Is. 11:4. R.3 is unusual form, r. 4 a grammatical correction made under the influence of the future (GR) r. 2 a spelling error-nonsense in this context (to loose/until)

2:13 GREEK r. 2 strongly supported but

(A) it occurs nowhere else in the Pauluis corpus,

(B) except for Phil 4:15, (GR) in Paul always means "power'

(C)GR occurs at other places in Paul (although in 5 it is with a qualifying genitive; and

(D)elsewhere copyists took offense at GR and altered it to GR, even though the latter expression is inappropriate in these passages.

2:16 GREEK some copyists altered it to the more familiar expression GR some niss. lack the article before GR (which could well have been eliminated as redindant), so it is doubtful it should be included.


3:6 GREEK r.1 is the one which seems best to explain the origin of the others. Its dialectic termination was corrected very frequent in the GR acc. to Henry St. John Thackeray later to GR. Since the GR is surprising in the context which involves such frequent reference 2 ppl, the introduction of the predominantly Western reading GR is perhaps to be expected. The GR is very weakly attested and arose either contextually (approp. To the subject implied in GR or graphically (from GR)

3:8 GREEK genitives are in conformity w/Paul's usage in I Th 2:9 and 3:10. The reading w/accusatives appears to be a heightening of the apostle's statement by emphasizing the duration of his labors ("throughout night and day") Slightly stronger ext evidence for gens, but it seems acc, would be the more difficult reading] since it could be easily transformed under the influence of the passages in I Th.]

3:16 GREEK r. 1 is strongly supported; r. 2 is a more usual expression, in conformity w 1 Cor 1:2; 2 Cor 2:14; I Th 1:8,-I Tim 2:8 (probably not original).

3:18 GREEK liturgical GR added by copyists into most witnesses, some resisted.

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Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Religious Studies
John Carroll University
Last page update: 9 December 1999

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