Commentaries on 1 Thessalonians

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Colossians  ⇐ ⇒  2 Thessalonians


For more great commentaries on 1 Thessalonian check:
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Order of Contents  24+

Best  6
Commentaries  14
Early & Medieval  8+



The Best Commentaries on 1 Thessalonians


Dickson, David – ‘The First Epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians Analytically Expounded’  in An Exposition of All St. Paul’s Epistles…  (London: Eglesfield, 1659), pp. 146-52

Dickson was a prominent Scottish covenanter.

*** – ‘Dickson is a writer after our own heart.  For preachers he is a great ally.  There is nothing brilliant or profound; but everything is clear and well arranged, and the unction runs down like the oil from Aaron’s head.  In this volume the observations are brief.’

Fergusson, James – ‘Exposition of the First Epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians’  in A Brief Exposition of Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians & the Thessalonians  (1656-1674; London: Ward, 1841), pp. 279-451

Fergusson was a Scottish covenanter.

*** – ‘He who possesses this work is rich.  The author handles his matter in the same manner as Hutcheson and Dickson, and he is of their class–a grand, gracious, savory divine.’



Lange’s Commentary – Commentary on 1 Thessalonians  by Auberlen & Riggenbach, trans. & enlarged John Lillie  (1869)

***  “Lillie’s Thessalonians will be found to be one of the best executed portions of the American edition of Lange.  The translation is remarkably accurate and elegant, and the additions from his own researches, and the best English Commentaries, are carefully selected and valuable.” – Dr. P. Schaff, as quoted by Spurgeon

Lillie, John – Lectures on the Epistles of Paul to the Thessalonians  (NY: Robert Carter, 1860)  585 pp.  no ToC  This work was written by Lillie in contrast to the Lange work above.

***  “Remarks on the preceding [work on Lange] will apply here.”



Eadie, John – ‘Commentary on 1st Thessalonians’  no ToC  in A Commentary on the Greek Text of the Epistles to the Thessalonians  (London: Macmillan, 1877), pp. 27-223

“Characterized by Eadie’s usual thoroughness.  Readers may not always agree with his exegesis, but he does provide a helpful evaluation of all the different points of view with an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses. An essay on ‘The Man of Sin’ is appended.”  “Expositions on several of Paul’s letters to the churches of the New Testament era followed [by Eadie], and it is significant that Dr. C.J. Ellicott considered them to be superior to anything in England up to that time.” – Cyril J. Barber

Lightfoot, J.B. – ‘1st Epistle to the Thessalonians’  in Notes on Epistles of St. Paul from Unpublished Commentaries  (London: Macmillan, 1895), pp. 1-92



Commentaries on 1 Thessalonians


Jewel, John – The First Epistle of St. Paul to the Thessalonians  ToC  in An Exposition upon the Two Epistles of the Apostle St. Paul to the Thessalonians  (1571; London: Newberie, 1584)  Also in An Exposition upon 1 Thessalonians  in The Works of John Jewel…  (Cambridge: Parker Society, 1847), vol. 2, pp. 813-86

**  “Hooker calls Jewel ‘the jewel of bishops’.  This work is in the usual style of the first Reformers, but rather more lively than most of them.  Many of the topics touched upon were peculiar to the times in which the exposition was written.  It will serve as a good specimen of the preaching of the Fathers of the English Church.” – Spurgeon

Rollock, Robert – 1 Thessalonians  ToC  in Lectures upon the Frist & Second Epistles of Paul to the Thessalonians…  (d. 1599; Edinburgh: Charteris, 1606)

**  “This renowned Scotchman’s writings generally come to us as translations from the Latin, and have been made preternaturally dull in the process of interpretation; but this appears to have been written in English by himself.  It is practical to a high degree, and goes into minute details of the married life, etc.  it will not be much appreciated in these days, though Dr. McCrie styles Rollock’s works ‘succinct and judicious.'” – Spurgeon



Sclater, William – An Exposition with Notes upon the First Epistle to the Thessalonians  (London: Stansby, 1619)  598 pp.  ToC

Sclater (1575-1626) was a reformed puritan.

**  “Sclater is antique; but, in the usual Puritanic manner, he gives very instructive disquisitions upon a vast variety of topics suggested by the text.” – Spurgeon




Hutchison, John – Lectures Chiefly Expository on St. Paul’s First & Second Epistles to the Thessalonians with Notes & Illustrations  (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1884)  373 pp.  ToC

“Rev. Dr. John Hutchison came to Renfrew from Renfield Street Church, Glasgow. He was ordained and inducted to Renfrew United Presbyterian Church on 16th February 1864. His scholarly achievements were widely known, and in 1874 he received the Degree of Doctor of Divinity from Glasgow University. In 1877 he was translated to the newly formed congregation of Bonnington, Leith, where he ministered till his death on 1st March 1901, the last six years of his ministry at Bonnington being as Senior Minister.

Dr Hutchinson published in 1884, Expository Lectures on the First and Second Epistles of Thessalonians, followed in 1887 by this corresponding volume on Philippians, and later by Messages to the Seven Churches in Asia.” – the book flap

On his commentary on Philippians:  ”This expositional commentary traces with care the unfolding of Paul’s thought and applies the principles that are laid bare to the needs of believers. Hutchinson deals deftly with the apostle’s varying moods and shows how these provide a pattern for the Christian’s growth.  This is an excellent volume, perspicuous and practical” – Cyril J. Barber

Patterson, Alexander – ‘Commentary on the 1st Epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians’  in Commentaries, Expository & Practical, on 1 Thessalonians, James & 1 John  new ed.  (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1857), pp. 1-115

**  “Notes of discourses with much in them.  Hints may be gleaned here in abundance by students who open their eyes.” – Spurgeon



Findlay, C.G. – The Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Thessalonians  in The Cambridge Greek New Testament for Schools & Colleges  (1904)  reprinted as part of the Thornapple Commentaries by Baker.  Contains a ten page appendix on ‘The Man of Lawlessness’

This work is accessible to those who do not know Greek.  Findlay (1849-1919) was tutor in New Testament exegesis and classics at the Wesleyan Theological Institution from 1881-1917.

“A brief, helpful, technical treatment.” – Cyril J. Barber

“A concise scholarly commentary on the Greek Text…” & “a classic work” – Baker

Hendriksen, William – Commentary on 1 Thessalonians  ToC  in Exposition of I & II Thessalonians  in New Testament Commentary  (Baker, 1955), pp. 37-152

“Hendriksen, abreast of the latest philological, archaeological, and patristic scholarship, combines the information from each of these disciplines with his exposition of the text. Amillennial.” – Cyril J. Barber

Morris, Leon

The Epistles of Paul to the Thessalonians: an Introduction & Commentary  in Tyndale New Testament Commentaries  (Eerdmans, 1957)  150 pp.  ToC

This Tyndale work is less detailed and in-depth than the NICNT work below.

“Brief, to the point, clear, relevant and generally helpful. Amillennial.” – Cyril J. Barber

1, 2 Thessalonians  in Word Biblical Themes  (Word Publishing, 1989)  115 pp.  ToC

The First & Second Epistles to the Thessalonians: Revised Edition  in The New International Commentary on the New Testament  (1959; Eerdmans, 1991)  285 pp.  ToC

“Does not manifest the same maturity which characterizes Morris’ later writings, but does contain a wealth of learning. The exposition is in keeping with the Reformed tradition.” – Cyril J. Barber

Hiebert, David Edmond – The Thessalonian Epistles: a Call to Readiness  (Moody, 1971)  380 pp.  ToC

“An outstanding exposition based upon unusually comprehensive and complete exegesis. A leader among commentaries for accuracy and reliability. Premillennial.” – Cyril J. Barber

Clark, Gordon – First Thessalonians  ToC  in First & Second Thessalonians  (Trinity Foundation, 1986), pp. 1-74




Ellicott, Charles J. – 1 Thessalonians  no ToC  in St. Paul’s Epistles to the Thessalonians, with a Critical & Grammatical Commentary  3rd ed.  (London: Longman, 1866), pp. 1-88

“Highly technical. Ranked as one of the most scholarly treatments of these letters.” – Cyril J. Barber



Frame, James Everett – Commentary on the First Epistle to the Thessalonians  in A Critical & Exegetical Commentary on The Epistles of St. Paul to the Thessalonians  in The International Critical Commentaries(Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1912)  345 pp.  ToC

“An important grammatical study. Weak because the writer sidesteps theological issues and fails to deal adequately with the eschatological passages.” – Cyril J. Barber

Plummer, Alfred – A Commentary on St. Paul’s 1st Epistle to the Thessalonians  (London: Scott, 1918)  145 pp.  no ToC

“While not as helpful as the writer’s excellent studies (on the Gospel of Matthew, etc.), this exegetical work may, nevertheless, be read with profit.” – Cyril J. Barber

Milligan, George – Commentary on 1 Thessalonians  (d. 1934)

Milligan (1860–1934) was the son of William Milligan and also a British Bible scholar.

“A brilliantly written, critical study which must of necessity take second place to more recent works. However, it is worth consulting.” – Cyril J. Barber



The Early Church on 1 Thessalonians


ed. Gorday, Peter – The First Epistle to the Thessalonians  in Ancient Christian Commentary: Colossians, 1-2 Thessalonians, 1-2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon  (IVP Academic, 2007), pp. 59-100

Thiselton, Anthony C. – 1 & 2 Thessalonians Through the Centuries  in Blackwell Bible Commentaries  Pre  (Blackwell)  ToC



Ambrosiaster – Commentary on 1 Thessalonians  in Commentaries on Galatians-Philemon  trans. Gerald Bray  in Ancient Christian Texts  Pre  Buy  (IVP Academic, 2009), pp. 101-12

Ambrosiaster (c. 366-384)

Chrysostom – Homilies on 1 Thessalonians  ToC  in NPNF1, vol. 13, pp. 323-76  HTML

Chrysostom (c. 347 – 407)

**  ‘Enough of solid truth and brilliant utterance will be found here to justify this father’s title of ‘Golden Mouth’; but still all is not gold which fell from his lips, and to modern readers Chrysostom is not so instructive as he was to his own age [A.D. 349-407].’ – Spurgeon

Theodore of Mopsuestia – ‘On 1 Thessalonians’  in Theodore of Mopsuestia: The Commentaries on the Minor Epistles of Paul  trans. Rowan Greer  in Writings from the Greco-Roman World  Pre  (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2010), pp. 439-95

Theodore (c. 350 – 428) was a bishop of Mopsuestia and is also known as Theodore of Antioch, from the place of his birth and presbyterate. He is the best known representative of the middle Antioch School of hermeneutics.

Augustine – Sermons on Selected Lessons of the New Testament by S. Augustine  in A Library of Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church  (Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1839), pp. 884-89  ToC

sermon 122, on 1 Thess. 4:13
sermon 123, on 1 Thess. 4:13

Augustine (354–430)

Theodoret of Cyrus – Commentary on the Letters of St. Paul, vol. 2: Galatians–Hebrews  Ref  (Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2007)

Theodoret (c. 393 – c. 458/466) was an influential theologian of the School of Antioch, biblical commentator and bishop of Cyrus.



The Medieval Church

Ishodad of Merv – On 1 Thessalonians (Intro & chs. 4-5)  at Patristic Bible Commentary

Ishodad (fl. 850) was a bishop of Hdatta during the Abbasid Caliphate (near current-day Mosul, Iraq) and prominent theologian of the Church of the East, best known for his commentaries on the Syriac Bible.

Aquinas, Thomas – Commentary on 1 Thessalonians  at Isidore

Aquinas (1225 – 1274)



On Chapters in 1 Thessalonians


1 Thessalonians 4

Case, Thomas – Mount Pisgah, or, A Prospect of Heaven, being an Exposition of 1 Thess. 4:13 to the End of the Chapter, Divided into Three Parts  (London: Milbourn, 1670)  3 parts independently paginated  Index

Case (d. 1682) was a reformed puritan.




Related Pages

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Old Testament Commentaries

New Testament Commentaries