James Denney’s Commentary on the Letters to the Thessalonians

James Denney [1856-1917], The Epistle to the Thessalonians, W. Robertson Nicoll, ed., The Expositor's Bible, New Edition

James Denney’s commentary, part of Expositor’s Bible series, has long been valued by preachers. One commentary survey I looked at cautioned that it should be read in conjunction with more exegetical works.

My thanks to Book Aid for making a copy of this public domain title available for digitisation.

James Denney [1856-1917], The Epistle to the Thessalonians, W. Robertson Nicoll, ed., The Expositor’s Bible, New Edition. London: Hodder & Stoughton, n.d. Hbk. pp.404. [Click to visit the download page for this title]

Table of Contents

The First Epistle to the Thessalonians

  1. The Church of the Thessalonians
  2. The Thanksgiving
  3. The Signs of Election
  4. Conversion
  5. Apologia Pro Vita Sua
  6. Impeachment of the Jews
  7. Absense and Longing
  8. Love and Prayers
  9. Personal Purity
  10. Charity and Independence
  11. The Dead in Christ
  12. The Day of the Lord
  13. Rulers and Ruled
  14. The Standing Order of the Gospel
  15. The Spirit
  16. Conclusion

The Second Epistle to the Thessalonians

  1. Salutation and Thanksgiving
  2. Suffering and Glory
  3. The Man of Sin
  4. The Restraint and its Removal
  5. The Theology of Paul
  6. Mutual Intercession
  7. The Christian Worth of Labor
  8. Farewell

Chapter 1

Thessalonica, now called Saloniki, was in the first century of our era a large and flourishing city. It was situated at the north-eastern corner of the Thermaic gulf, on the line of the great Egnatian road, which formed the main connection by land between Italy and the East. It was an important commercial centre, with a mixed population of Greeks, Romans, and Jews. The Jews, who at the present day amount to some twenty thousand, were numerous enough to have a synagogue of their own; and we can infer from the Book of Acts (xvii. 4) that it was frequented by many of the better spirits among the Gentiles also. Unconsciously, and as the event too often proved, unwillingly, the Dispersion was preparing the way of the Lord.

To this city the Apostle Paul came, attended by Silas and Timothy, in the course of his second missionary journey. He had just left Philippi, dearest to his heart of all his churches; for there, more than anywhere else, the sufferings of Christ had abounded in him, and his consolations also had been abundant in Christ. He came to Thessalonica with the marks of the lictors’ rods upon his body; but to him they were the marks of Jesus; not warnings to change his path, but tokens that the Lord was taking him into fellowship with Himself, and binding him more strictly to His service. He came with the memory of his converts’ kindness warm upon his heart; conscious that, amid whatever disappointments, a welcome awaited the gospel, which admitted its messenger into the joy of his Lord. We need not wonder, then, that the Apostle kept to his custom, and in spite of the malignity of the Jews, made his way, when Sabbath came, to the synagogue of Thessalonica.

Pages 3-4

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