Who was the author? St. Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write 1 Thessalonians.
What is the book? The book is the apostle's letter to the believers in Thessalonica, the important capital city of the Roman province of Macedonia, what today would be identified with part of Greece.
Where was it written? Paul wrote the letter from Corinth, to which he had moved on to as he continued his so-called second missionary journey and where he stayed for some 18 months.
When was it written? Usual dates for the second missionary journey are A.D. 49-51, and 1 Thessalonians is thought to have been written in the earlier part of 50.
Why? Paul had left the city somewhat abruptly and, in order to see how they were doing, probably sent back to them Timothy, who returned to Paul with a generally good report but also some concerns about false teaching and staying faithful through persecution-all of which apparently prompted the letter.
How? Spirit-given wisdom and a caring pastoral heart are evident in the letter as teaching about the last things (what is called "eschatology") permeates its thanksgiving, exhortations, and conclusion. Hardly any other letter offers more nourishment for the sure and certain hope we have as Christians.
For further reading on the book of 1 Thessalonians:
- Kretzmann, Paul E. Popular Commentary of the Bible: The New Testament, Volume II, The Epistles of the Apostle Paul, The Epistle to the Hebrews and the Catholic Epistles, the Book of Revelation. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1922. (This volume has 17 pages on 1 Thessalonians.)
- Lenski, R. C. H. The Interpretation of St. Paul's Epistles to the Colossians, to the Thessalonians, to Timothy, to Titus and to Philemon. Columbus, Ohio: The Wartburg Press, 1946. (With its original publication in 1937, the scholarship is dated, although his comments are by and large still helpful. The volume has 161 pages on 1 Thessalonians.)