2 Thessalonians 3
Request for Prayer1 Finally, pray for us, brothers and sisters, ▼ that the Lord’s message ▼
▼ Or “the word of the Lord.”▼
▼ “The word of the Lord” is a technical expression in OT literature, often referring to a divine prophetic utterance (e.g., Gen 15:1, Isa 1:10, Jonah 1:1). In the NT it occurs 15 times: 3 times as ῥῆμα τοῦ κυρίου (rhēma tou kuriou; Luke 22:61, Acts 11:16, 1 Pet 1:25) and 12 times as λόγος τοῦ κυρίου (logos tou kuriou; here and in Acts 8:25; 13:44, 48, 49; 15:35, 36; 16:32; 19:10, 20; 1 Thess 1:8, 4:15). As in the OT, this phrase focuses on the prophetic nature and divine origin of what has been said. Here the phrase has been translated “the Lord’s message” because of the focus upon the spread of the gospel evident in the passage.may spread quickly and be honored ▼
▼ Grk “may run and be glorified.”as in fact it was among you, 2 and that we may be delivered from perverse and evil people. For not all have faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful, and he ▼
▼ Grk “who.”will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. 4 And we are confident about you in the Lord that you are both doing – and will do – what we are commanding. 5 Now may the Lord direct your hearts toward the love of God ▼
▼ The genitive in the phrase τὴν ἀγάπην τοῦ θεοῦ (tēn agapēn tou qeou, “the love of God”) could be translated as either a subjective genitive (“God’s love”) or an objective genitive (“your love for God”). Either is grammatically possible. This is possibly an instance of a plenary genitive (see ExSyn 119–21; M. Zerwick, "Biblical Greeks, ##36–39). If so, the emphasis would be on believers being directed toward the love God gives which in turn produces increased love in them for him.and the endurance of Christ. ▼
▼ The genitive in the phrase τὴν ὑπομονὴν τοῦ Χριστοῦ (tēn hupomonēn tou Christou, “the endurance of Christ”) could be translated as either a subjective genitive (“Christ’s endurance”) or an objective genitive (“endurance for Christ”). Either is grammatically possible. This is possibly an instance of a plenary genitive (see ExSyn 119–21; M. Zerwick, "Biblical Greeks, ##36–39). If so, the emphasis would be on believers being directed toward the endurance Christ showed which in turn produces endurance in them for him.
Response to the Undisciplined6 But we command you, brothers and sisters, ▼ in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from any brother who lives an undisciplined ▼ life ▼
▼ Grk “walking in an undisciplined way” (“walking” is a common NT idiom for one’s way of life or conduct).and not according to the tradition they ▼
▼ The reading “you received” (παρελάβετε, parelabete) is found predominately in Western witnesses (F G 1505 2464 pc), although the support of B and the Sahidic version strengthens the reading considerably. The reading “they received” is found in two different forms: παρελάβοσαν (parelabosan; in א* A [D*] 0278 33 pc) and παρέλαβον (parelabon; in א2 D2 Ψ 1739 1881 Maj.). (παρέλαβον is evidently a correction of παρελάβοσαν to the more common spelling for the third person aorist form). The external evidence is divided fairly evenly, with παρελάβετε and παρελάβοσαν each having adequate support. Internal evidence leans toward “they received“: Given the second person reading, there is little reason why scribes would intentionally change it to a third person plural, and especially an archaic form at that. There is ample reason, however, for scribes to change the third person form to the second person form given that in the prior context παράδοσις (paradosis, “tradition”) is used with a relative clause (as here) with a second person verb (see 2:15). The third person form should be regarded as original.received from us. 7 For you know yourselves how you must imitate us, because we did not behave without discipline ▼ among you, 8 and we did not eat anyone’s food without paying. ▼
▼ Grk “we did not eat bread freely from anyone.”Instead, in toil and drudgery we worked ▼
▼ Grk “but working,” as a continuation of the previous sentence. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started with the word “Instead” in the translation.night and day in order not to burden any of you. 9 It was not because we do not have that right, but to give ourselves as an example for you to imitate. ▼
▼ Grk “an example for you to imitate us.”10 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this command: “If anyone is not willing to work, neither should he eat.” 11 For we hear that some among you are living an undisciplined life, ▼
▼ Grk “walking in an undisciplined way” (“walking” is a common NT idiom for one’s way of life or conduct).not doing their own work but meddling in the work of others. ▼
▼ There is a play on words in the Greek: “working at nothing, but working around,” “not keeping busy but being busybodies.”12 Now such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly and so provide their own food to eat. ▼
▼ Grk “that by working quietly they may eat their own bread.”13 But you, brothers and sisters, ▼ do not grow weary in doing what is right. 14 But if anyone does not obey our message through this letter, take note of him and do not associate closely with him, so that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. ▼
▼ That is, as a fellow believer.
Conclusion16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with you all. 17 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand, which is how I write in every letter. ▼
▼ Grk “The greeting in my hand, Paul, which is a sign in every letter, thus I write.”▼ 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. ▼
▼ Most witnesses, including some early and important ones (א2 A D F G Ψ Maj. lat sy), conclude this letter with ἀμήν (amēn, “amen”). Such a conclusion is routinely added by scribes to NT books because a few of these books originally had such an ending (cf. Rom 16:27; Gal 6:18; Jude 25). A majority of Greek witnesses have the concluding ἀμήν in every NT book except Acts, James, and 3 John (and even in these books, ἀμήν is found in some witnesses). It is thus a predictable variant. Further, the witnesses for the omission are among the best mss (א* B 0278 6 33 1739 1881* 2464 sa), giving sufficient base to prefer the shorter reading.
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