Outline Analysis of the Books of the Bible

By Barnard C. Taylor



1. AUTHOR. — Paul.

2. DATE. — About 53–54 A. D.

3. TO WHOM WRITTEN. — To the church at at Thessalonica, in Macedonia, founded by Paul on his second missionary journey, perhaps two years before writing this letter. The church was composed mostly of Gen tiles.

4. HISTORICAL OCCASION. — It was written while Paul was at Corinth, where he remained at least a year and a half, having come through Athens on his way from Thessalonica. Since he had been unable to continue with the church there on ac count of the hostilities of the Jews, and desiring to give them further instructions about the gospel, he had sent Timothy to them, and on his return with the news of their firm faith and Christian character, Paul wrote them this letter.

LEADING TOPICS. — Paul's rejoicing in their steadfastness, and anxiety for them; assurance of the welfare of those dying in Christ; his second coming; an exhortation to continue in the ordinary affairs of life.

6. CHIEF PURPOSE. — To give instructions concerning the Christian's relation to this life. Though a new creature, he is yet related to the present world, and is to engage in his usual business. To show farther that though Christians die before Christ comes again, they are safe, and there should not be unnecessary anxiety about the time of Christ's return.


Part I. Paul's relation to the Thessalonians, Ch. 1-3.

(a) He rejoices in their faith, Ch. 1.

(b) His conduct among them, Ch. 2:1-12.

(c) His anxiety about them, Ch. 2:13– 3:13.

Part II. Exhortation and instruction, Ch. 4, 5.

(a) Exhortation to right conduct, Ch. 4: 1-12.

(b) The coming of the Lord, Ch. 4:13– 18; 5:11.

(c) Exhortation to the performance of duties, Ch. 5:12–28.

8. SPECIAL TEACHING OF THE BOOK. — The gospel is the word of God; Christ is God; holiness in the Christian is essential; Christ is to come again; the dead are to be raised; all are to labor diligently,

9. RELATION TO OTHER N. T. BOOKS. — This is the first of Paul's Epistles, yet in its teachings about Christ it is in accord with his latest. Other epistles show the Christian's relation to Christ, to each other and to the world; this shows his relation as a spiritual being to the present life.

10. TOPICS FOR SPECIAL STUDY. — The history of the Thessalonian church; The New Testament doctrine of the second coming of Christ.