Original Research

The relation between 1 Thessalonians and 2 Thessalonians and the inauthenticity of 2 Thessalonians

Eduard Verhoef
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 53, No 1/2 | a1610 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v53i1/2.1610 | © 1997 Eduard Verhoef | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 December 1997 | Published: 13 December 1997

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Eduard Verhoef,, Netherlands

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The relation between 1 Thessalonians and 2 Thessalonians is a disputed question. Many scholars argue that 2 Thessalonians is pseudepigraphic, written one or more decades after 1 Thessalonians.  Others defend the authenticity of 2 Thessalonians. Wanamaker argues in his recent commentary that 2 Thessalonians was written before 1 Thessalonians. In this way the problems raised by the complicated relation between the two letters would be solved. Wanamaker argues that Timothy on his visit to Thessalonica (1  Thes 3:1-5) brought the letter we call 2 Thessalonians. Lecompte argues that Silas wrote 1 Thessalonians and that Paul himself is the author of 2 Thessalonians, so he could correct the misunderstandings caused by Silas's writing. Or perhaps Silas did not exactly write what Paul had agreed with his co-workers. I will argue in this article that the arguments used by Wanamaker and Lecompte are invalid for grammatical reasons. The great resemblance between 1 Thessalonians and 2 Thessalonians in spite of these different opinions, is best explained if we see 2 Thessalonians as a pseudepigraphic epistle.


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