The First Letter from Paul the Apostle to the Thessalonians


Paul, Silvanus and Timothy to the community of the Thessalonians, in God the father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers without pause, 3 recalling your work of faith and labor of love, and that you remain in the hope of our Lord Jesus Christ before our God and father, 4 knowing, brothers beloved of God, your having been selected, 5 for my gospel has been toward you not merely in word, but also in power, and in the holy spirit, and in much certainty, such as you know, what manner we had been among you for your sake. 6 And you have become imitators of us, and of the Lord you have received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the holy spirit, 7 to the point that you were an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 For from you the word of the Lord was spread forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place; your faith, which is in God, has gone out, so that there is no need for us to speak of it. 9 For they proclaim of us what manner of entrance we had to you; and how you were turned to God from idols, that you may serve the living and true God, 10 and await his son from heaven whom he raised from the dead, Jesus, who freed us from the coming wrath.


For you yourselves, brothers, know our entrance to you, that it was not empty; 2 but having been before treated badly and treated shamefully (as you know) in Philippi, we were bold in our Lord, to the speaking with you of the gospel of God, in much certainty. 3 For our exhortation was not from fraud, nor from uncleanness, nor in guile, 4 but as he have been proven by God that the gospel be committed to us; such we speak, not as pleasers of men, but of God, who proves our hearts. 5 For neither were we ever turned to words of adulation, as you know, nor in the occasion of greed—God is our witness— 6 nor seeking glory from people—neither from you, nor from anyone else, 7 where we may have burdensome to you, as Christ’s apostles, we rather became gentle in your midst, much as a nurse cherishes her wards, 8 thus affectedly desiring, in you, we desired to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own souls, because you were most dear to us. 9 For you remember, brothers, our toil and sweat, working night and day, that we not be in any way burdensome to you, preaching the gospel of God to you. 10 But you are witnesses, and God too, to how holy and righteously and guiltlessly we carried ourselves among you who believe, 11 as you know, that toward each of you, like a father to his sons, we were affected, 12 beseeching you, and consoling, and charging you to walk worthy of God, who has called you into his kingdom and glory.

13 And therefore we give thanks to God without ceasing, that when you received the word, having heard it from us, you did not take it as the word of people but, as it truly is, the word of God, which also works in you who believe; 14 for you became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judaea in Christ Jesus; for likewise you have suffered, and you from those of your own country, just like we ourselves have from the Jews, 15 who also killed the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and furthermore harassed us, and do not please God, and are adversary to all people, 16 who prevent us from speaking to the nations that they may be saved, that they may always fill up their sins; and the fury of God has come upon them in the end.

17 However, we, brothers, having been desolated from you for a period of time (in face, not in heart), have been all the more studious to see your face with much desire, 18 for which we wished to come to you, even I myself, Paul, once, and again; but Satan stood in our way. 19 For what is our hope or joy, or crown of glorying? Or are you not also in the sight of our Lord Jesus Christ, in his coming? 20 For you people are our glory and joy.


Since therefore we could hold back no longer, it pleased us to reside at Athens alone, 2 and we sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and assistant in our work in the gospel of Christ, to confirm you, and console you of our faith, 3 lest this affliction should disturb anyone; for you yourselves know us to be placed in this use. 4 For also when we had been with you, we preached to you beforehand that we would suffer this affliction, as it so came to pass and you are aware. 5 Therefore also, myself no longer being able to hold back, I sent so that I might be knowing of your faith, lest somehow the one who tempts shall have tempted, and our labor be rendered void of effect. 6 But now, when Timothy came to us from you and proclaimed to us of your faith and love, and that you have always a good memory of us, desiring to see us as we you, 7 therefore we received consolation, brothers, of your name, in all our affliction and need, by your faith; 8 for now we live, if you shall stand firm in the Lord.

9 For how can we give thanks to God again for you, in all the joy with which we joy because of you in the sight of our God night and day, 10 praying above and beyond the usual, that we might see your face, and perfect those things which your faith lacks? 11 But may our God and father himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you, 12 and may the Lord make you abundant and growing in love toward one another, and toward all, as we toward you, 13 that your hearts may be confirmed, blameless in holiness before our God and father, in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, with all his holy ones. Amen.


Furthermore, brothers, we ask and beseech you in the Lord Jesus that, as you have received from us how you need to walk and please God, you may abound the more greatly. 2 For you know what commandments we gave you by our Lord Jesus. 3 For these things are the will of God, your sanctification—that you restrain yourselves from fornication, 4 and that you may know each and every one of you to possess your vessel in sanctification and honor; 5 not in affection of lust like the nations which do not know God, 6 lest anyone go beyond and cheat his brother in business; for which reason the Lord is the avenger of all these, as also we said to you before and have borne witness. 7 For God has not called us to the cause of uncleanness, but to sanctification. 8 Therefore the one who rejects rejects not a person, but God, who has given also his holy spirit in us. 9 However, as to brotherly love, you do not need me to write you; for you yourselves are God-taught that you should love each other. 10 For you do also do so toward all the brothers who are in all of Macedonia. But we beseech you, brothers, to abound the more greatly, 11 and remain in this, that you should be quiet and do your own things, and that you should work with your own hands, as we have commanded you, 12 that you should walk honestly toward outsiders, and nothing shall be lacking to you.

13 But I do not want you unaware, brothers, of those who have fallen over; do not sorrow over them, like over others not having hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus is dead and rose again, thus also God will, by Jesus, lead with him those who have fallen over. 15 For we say this to you in the word of the Lord, that we, who live and remain at the coming of the Lord, shall in no way come before those who have fallen over. 16 For the Lord himself, with a shout, and the voice of the archangel, and with the horn of God, shall descend from heaven; and the dead in Christ will rise up again first. 17 Then those of us who live, who remain, shall be seized up together with them in the clouds, joining the Lord in the air; and thus forever shall we be with the Lord. 18 Therefore console each other with these words.


But of times and matters of time, brothers, I do not need to write to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that that day of the Lord, like a robber in the night, so shall be coming; 3 for when they shall say, “Peace and all safety”, then at once destruction shall come upon them like the labor pangs of a pregnant woman, and they will not flee away.

4 But you, brothers, are not in the dark, that that day should seize upon you like a robber; 5 you are all sons of light, sons of the day; we are not of the night nor darkness. 6 Therefore we should not sleep like others, but keep watch, and remain sober. 7 For those who sleep sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But we who are of the day shall be sober, donning the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.

9 For God has not placed us in rage, but in the acquisition of salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we remain awake or fall asleep, we should live together with him, 11 for which reason, console each other, and build each up, as you already do.

12 And we ask you, brothers, that you know those who labor among you, and who are above you in the Lord, and admonish you, 13 that you may hold them in the highest price in love because of their work; have peace with them. 14 And we beseech you, brothers, to admonish the restless ones, console the weak of spirit, lift up the weak of body, and be patient toward all. 15 See that no one repay anyone evil for evil; but always follow that which is good, both toward each other, and toward all.

16 Always rejoice.

17 Pray without pause.

18 In all things give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus toward you.

19 Do not put out the spirit.

20 Do not spurn prophesies.

21 Test everything; hold to that which is found good.

22 From every manner of evil abstain.

23 And may the God of peace himself sanctify you all; and your whole spirit, and soul, and body, may they be kept in no respect guilty at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He is faithful, who calls you, and who shall do it.

25 Brothers, pray for us. 26 Greet all the brothers with the holy kiss. 27 I adjure you by the Lord that this letter be read to all the holy brothers. 28 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

The first to the Thessalonians. Written from Athens.