n HTS : Theological Studies - Who persecuted the Thessalonian Christians?

Volume 58, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0259-9422
  • E-ISSN: 2072-8050



This article argues that the recent scholarly consensus of an essentially gentile Thessalonian church being persecuted by its gentile neighbours is founded on unsound premises. The Jewish community in Thessalonica would have had good reason to oppose Paul and the congregation he formed. The exegesis of key texts in 1 Thessalonians does not support the reconstruction of the church as composed of gentiles unconnected with the synagogue, and the ethnic background of the persecutors cannot be ascertained on the basis of the letter. The dismissal of Acts as a source of historical information is unwarranted.

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