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1 and 2 Thessalonians
A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary

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POD; Published: 11/2/2006
ISBN: 978-0-8028-2836-1
Price: $ 33.50
318 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6.14 x 9.21
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Paul's two letters to the Thessalonians stand as some of the very earliest Christian documents, yet they appear well into Paul's missionary career, giving them a unique context well worth exploring. In this first full-scale socio-rhetorical commentary on 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Ben Witherington gleans fresh insight from reading Paul's text in the light of rhetorical concerns and patterns, early Jewish theology, and the first-century historical situation in Macedonia.

Witherington's distinctive socio-rhetorical approach helps unearth insights that would otherwise remain hidden using only form criticism, epistolary categories, and traditional criticism. Witherington details Thessalonica's place as the "metropolis" of Macedonia, and he carefully unpacks the social situation of Paul and his recipients. Scholars will appreciate the careful analysis and rhetorical insights contained here, while Witherington's clear prose and sensitivity to Paul's ideas make this work ideal for all who desire a useful, readable commentary on 1 and 2 Thessalonians.

Todd D. Still
— Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University
"Students of the New Testament have come to expect from Ben Witherington not only unfathomable productivity but also serious scholarly work that is unfailingly informed and insightful. Witherington's socio-rhetorical treatment of 1 and 2 Thessalonians reinforces and even heightens these expectations. Witherington sheds much light on these early Pauline letters by paying particular attention to their rhetorical features and socio-historical milieu. All the while, he is aware of and alive to the theological and pastoral dimensions of 1 and 2 Thessalonians. As I seek to understand these fascinating documents more fully, I will keep this significant commentary close to hand. Those who are seeking a clear, thorough, and creative reading of Paul's Thessalonian correspondence would do well to do the same."
Bruce W. Longenecker
— University of St. Andrews, Scotland
"Ben Witherington is a master at crafting commonsense commentaries that are accessible to a broad spectrum of readers and conversant with the best of scholarship. In this regard his 1 and 2 Thessalonians does not disappoint. It is one of his best."