[XTalk] Jesus as deliverer from Wrath in 1 Thess
- I'd be grateful for any responses to the following questions:
In 1 Thessalonians Paul assures his readers that it is Jesus, the one
whom God has resurrected, who will "deliver" the Thessaloninan community
from a phenomenon Paul designates as "the wrath to come" (cf. 1 Thess.
1. Is there any indication or reason to believe that this declaration is
a counter proposal? That is to say, is Paul's identification of
**Jesus** as the one "who delivers us from the wrath to come" set in
opposition to a prior and (to the Thessalonians) more familiar claim
that **someone else** has the office that Paul attributes to Jesus. In
other words, is what we have in or behind Paul's declaration about Jesus
and wrath an assertion something along the lines of "contrary to what
you and others have been taught, it is **not** X or Y (e.g., the Kabrii,
the Emperor?), but Jesus, the crucified one, who delivers from wrath"?
2. Is there any evidence that prior to their conversion the Thessalonian
community already believed in a concept of wrath for which the Biblical
idea of God's wrath is a rough and already familiar parallel? Or is the
idea of the wrath of which Paul speaks something that is so
distinctively biblical, and so bound up with the story of Israel and of
how Israel's God relates to humanity, that the Thessalonians would not
have heard about, let alone accepted it, until Paul preached to them and
taught them to make as their own the ideological/religious framework of
which the idea is a part?
Thanks in advance for any thoughts you might have on these matters.
Jeffrey B. Gibson
7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
Chicago, Illinois 60626