1Περὶ δὲ τῶν χρόνων καὶ τῶν καιρῶν, ἀδελφοί, οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ὑμῖν γράφεσθαι, 2αὐτοὶ γὰρ ἀκριβῶς οἴδατε ὅτι ἡμέρα κυρίου ὡς κλέπτης ἐν νυκτὶ οὕτως ἔρχεται. 3ὅταν λέγωσιν· εἰρήνη καὶ ἀσφάλεια, τότε αἰφνίδιος αὐτοῖς ἐφίσταται ὄλεθρος ὥσπερ ἡ ὠδὶν τῇ ἐν γαστρὶ ἐχούσῃ, καὶ οὐ μὴ ἐκφύγωσιν. 4ὑμεῖς δέ, ἀδελφοί, οὐκ ἐστὲ ἐν σκότει, ἵνα ἡ ἡμέρα ὑμᾶς ὡς κλέπτης καταλάβῃ· 5πάντες γὰρ ὑμεῖς υἱοὶ φωτός ἐστε καὶ υἱοὶ ἡμέρας. Οὐκ ἐσμὲν νυκτὸς οὐδὲ σκότους· 6ἄρα οὖν μὴ καθεύδωμεν ὡς οἱ λοιποὶ ἀλλὰ γρηγορῶμεν καὶ νήφωμεν. 7Οἱ γὰρ καθεύδοντες νυκτὸς καθεύδουσιν καὶ οἱ μεθυσκόμενοι νυκτὸς μεθύουσιν· 8ἡμεῖς δὲ ἡμέρας ὄντες νήφωμεν ἐνδυσάμενοι θώρακα πίστεως καὶ ἀγάπης καὶ περικεφαλαίαν ἐλπίδα σωτηρίας· 9ὅτι οὐκ ἔθετο ἡμᾶς ὁ θεὸς εἰς ὀργὴν ἀλλ’ εἰς περιποίησιν σωτηρίας διὰ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ 10τοῦ ἀποθανόντος ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν, ἵνα εἴτε γρηγορῶμεν εἴτε καθεύδωμεν ἅμα σὺν αὐτῷ ζήσωμεν. 11Διὸ παρακαλεῖτε ἀλλήλους καὶ οἰκοδομεῖτε εἷς τὸν ἕνα, καθὼς καὶ ποιεῖτε.
The expressions used in vv. 1 and 11 define vv. 1-11 as a discourse segment. The writers use the περί construction to introduce the new topic and also mark it with δέ and the vocative ἀδελφοί. The new topic is τῶν χρόνων καὶ τῶν καιρῶν, presumably the times and ages that define human history and also the eschatological plans of the deity. If there is a distinction between these two terms, καιρός probably conveys the sense of “opportune time.” The writers employed the idiom οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε in 4:9. The complementary infinitive is present passive γράφεσθαι “to be written.” The indirect object ὑμῖν is repeated “you have no need for you to be written to.” The subject of the infinitive is probably an implied pronoun such as “anything.”
I would argue that a period should be placed at the end of v. 1 because the explanatory clause (γάρ) in v. 2 is an independent clause and indicates why the audience has no need of further instruction concerning this issue. The subject receives emphasis by means of the self-referential pronoun αὐτοί. The adverb ἀκριβῶς modifies the verb, indicating that the subjects know about these matters “accurately.” The verb οἴδατε has its object expressed as a content clause of indirect discourse marked by ὅτι. The subject of the ὅτι clause is ἡμέρα κυρίου. This phrase occurs frequently in the OT (יום יהוה) to describe specific times/events when Yahweh acts for salvation and/or judgment in history or at the end of history. The anarthrous κυρίου might refer to the deity, rather than specifically to Jesus Christ. The present middle indicative ἔρχεται is implied in the comparative clause marked by ὡς. κλέπτης functions as the subject of this comparative clause. The adverbial prepositional phrase ἐν νυκτί indicates a temporal sense, probably time at which with the dative case. Οὕτως coordinates with ὡς and probably describes manner here. This unexpected and some silent attack contrasts with the auditory phenomena that announce the resurrection.
The information in v. 3 explains why this ‘day of the Lord’ comes unexpectedly. The writers construct v. 3 as a “when…then” sentence using the correlative terms ὅταν (subordinate general, temporal conjunction)…τότε (temporal adverb). ὅταν clauses usually contain a subjunctive verb. In this case, it is a present active subjunctive verb λέγωσιν. It has an incomplete nuance that in this context might be inceptive. The object of the verb is the direct speech clause εἰρήνη καὶ ἀσφάλεια. This is a verbless clause, with the two nouns probably functioning as subjects (perhaps the implied verb is a form of γίνομαι). The nouns describe a period of peace and stability. The verb in the main clause ἐφίσταται is a present middle indicative form of ἐφίστημι, meaning “stands near; overtakes.” Its subject is ὄλεθρος “destruction.” αἰφνίδιος could function adverbially with the sense “unexpectedly,” modifying the verb, or it could be adjectival and qualifying the subject ὄλεθρος, with the separation being an example of hyperbaton. The dative αὐτοῖς probably marks the object of the verb. The writers employ another comparison using ὥσπερ and the implied verb ἐφίσταται. The subject in the comparison is ὠδίν “birth pains, travail” and the object is in the dative construction τῇ ἐν γαστρὶ ἐχούσῃ, an idiom used to describe a pregnant woman incorporating a substantival present active participle + ἐν γαστρί (locative prepositional phrase). Both comparisons in 5:2-3 occur in apocalyptic revelations that Jesus makes, urging people to commit to him lest they experience judgment upon his return. In both cases the focus is on the unexpected nature of the experience, even though there are signs that it is imminent. The last clause contains another (see 4:15) emphatic negative construction οὐ μή + subjunctive (ἑκφύγωσιν). “They shall never escape.”
The postpositive δέ in v. 4, along with the vocative ἀδελφοί, marks a new topic in this discourse segment. It probably has an adversative nuance as the writers contrast those who are prepared (“ὑμεῖς”) with those who are not. Expressing the subject with the pronoun and making it the first element in the clause gives it prominence. The main clause is an equative clause with the verb ἐστέ that the negative particle οὐκ modifies. The predicate is an adverbial prepositional phrase ἐν σκότει that has a locative sense and characterizes the subject. The verse concludes with a ἵνα result clause, explaining the consequence of believers not being “in darkness.” The subject is ἡ ἡμέρα with the article being anaphoric and referring back to ἡμέρα κυρίου in 5:1. The direct object is ὑμᾶς referencing the “brothers.” The main verb καταλάβῃ is an aorist active subjunctive tense form meaning “should seize, overtake.” The writers use again the analogy of the thief ὡς κλέπτης that occurs in 5:2, to characterize ἡμέρα.
In v. 5 the writers explain the reason (γάρ) for their declaration in v. 4. They continue with the equative clause structure, using ἐστε. Again, they make the subject explicit, place it at the head of the clause, and modify it with πάντες, expressing an inclusive group “you all.” The anarthrous predicate nominative υἱοὶ φωτός expresses the character of the subject. This is a Semitic idiom, indicating that these people are the “offspring” of light and thus belong in the day. It is compounded with υἱοὶ ἡμέρας. The genitives probably indicate source, but may function attributively. The second clause in v. 5 is another equative clause, but the writers use a first person plural subject, identifying themselves along with believers in the audience as divorced from darkness. Note that in this clause the negative verb comes first in the clause, a more “normal” word order. νυκτὸς οὐδὲ σκότους are two compounded, genitive nouns that describe source or relationship. The two clauses form a contrast, but the writers let the nouns in the clauses express the contrast without using any adversative particles.
The writers present one negative and two positive first person plural commands (cohortatives) in v. 6. They present them as a concluding note, marked by ἄρα οὖν (so then), to the preceding discussion (5:1-5). μὴ καθεύδωμεν expresses the negative cohortative, using a present active subjunctive (“so then we should not sleep”). They explain why not by using another analogy ὡς λοιποί, referring to other people who are not believers and who live their lives “asleep,” unaware of God’s purposes. This condition makes them vulnerable to destruction when God acts. The implied verb in the analogy is καθεύδουσιν. The μή…ἀλλά construction contrasts a rejected action with one that is acceptable. This is expressed by two present active subjunctive verbs γρηγορῶμεν καὶ νήφωμεν (“we should stay awake and should remain sober/controlled”). People in that culture often drank in the evening and thus sleeping and drunkenness were concurrent conditions in many cases. Jesus and NT writers use these verbs to describe the ethical and spiritual vigilance believers exercise as they await the Messiah’s return. Do the writers want to use these verbs of sleeping in 4:13, 15 and 5:7, 10 in an ironic, contrasting manner?
In v. 7 the writers draw out the implications of their metaphorical language of sleeping, sobriety, and vigilance. They mark the clause with the explanatory γάρ. The repeated use of the verbs καθεύδω…μεθύσκω creates emphasis in the discourse. Substantival participles serve as the subjects of cognate verbs, a construction the writers also employed in 4:8. Both participles are present forms, one active and one middle (“become drunk”) and the finite verbs are present active tense forms. The use of these tense forms adds a sense of generalization to these declarations, suggesting a proverbial kind of common sense logic. Sleeping and drunkenness occur “during the night” (genitive of time indicating the character of the time, i.e., night-time in contrast to day-time). So humans who live “asleep” and “without control” indicate that they are not ready for “day-time,” eschatologically speaking.
The writers continue their explanation in the complex sentence found vv. 8-10, but use the inclusive ἡμεῖς and the adversative δέ to advance the discussion. Again, they make the subject explicit with the pronoun and put it first in the clause. The main verb repeats the verb νήφωμεν, another cohortative, present active subjunctive form (see v. 6). Probably ἡμέρας ὄντες is an adverbial participial construction expressing a causal idea and frames the action of the main verb. ἡμέρας is a genitive that defines what the subject of the clause aligns with or belongs with (as in v. 5b). The writers add a second adverbial participle ἐνδυσάμενοι, being aorist middle. It may also have a causal nuance. The middle voice emphasizes the intentional involvement of the subject in the action, i.e., “clothed ourselves.” The participle has a compound direct object, namely θώρακα…καὶ περικεφαλαιαν, pieces of armour. This introduces a military metaphor into the discussion (note the military motifs in 4:16). The θώρακα “breastplate” is modified by a compound genitive construction πίστεως καὶ ἀγάπης that probably has an epexegetical function. An appositional construction ἐλπίδα σωτηρίας modifies περικεφαλαίαν “helmet.” The genitive σωτηρίας defines the object of the hope.
The subordinate causal conjunction ὅτι introduces another explanation for Christians’ sobriety. It has to do with God’s purposes defined by ὁ θεος…οὐκ ἔθετο. The deity is the subject (perhaps related to the anarthrous ἡμέρα κυρίου in 5.2?) and he “has not appointed” οὐκ ἔθετο (aorist middle indicative; the middle form generally does not have a meaning different from the active (BDAG, 1003)). The object is ἡμᾶς, reflecting the subject of the verb in the main clause (v. 8). The contrasting construction incorporating adverbial prepositional phrases οὐκ…εἰς ὀργὴν ἀλλὰ εἰς περιποίησιν, expresses contrasting goals or outcomes. Consider similar ideas in 1:10 linked with the Thessalonians’ conversion experience. The adverbial prepositional phrase διὰ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ indicates the intermediate agent that the deity uses to enable his people to “possess salvation.” Note the arthrous τοῦ κυρίου, the appositional Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ and the genitive of subordination ἡμῶν. In v. 10a the writers continue to describe this agent with the attributive aorist active participle τοῦ ἀποθανόντος, indicating a completed action and referring to this death. ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν indicates which group of people receives benefit from that death. 1:10 mentions Jesus’ resurrection as the basis for salvation. The writers give explicit reason for the Messiah’s death in the ἵνα clause of result. It contains two present active subjunctive verbs linked by the correlative conditional particle εἴτε…εἴτε expressing two alternatives as protases (whether…whether). The subjunctive mood indicates uncertainty about which of these alternatives might apply in a specific case. These verbs occur earlier in the discourse (v. 6) and so this subordinate clause provides an inclusio for this discussion. The main verb in the result clause, i.e., the apodosis, is the present active subjunctive verb ζῶμεν, referencing “eternal life” experienced as resurrection. The combined adverbial modifier ἅμα σὺν αὐτῷ (Jesus) occurs also in 4:17, but with a different referent for the pronoun (other believers).
The particle διό marks v. 11 as a summarizing statement for this discussion in 5:1-11. It has two verbs that express the writers’ purposes in providing this information. Both are present active imperative forms (παρακαλεῖτε…καὶ οἰκοδομεῖτε “encourage…and build up”). Each has a separate direct object, namely ἀλλήλους, the reciprocal pronoun, and εἷς τὸν ἕνα, “one (building up) the other,” individualizing the action linked with the second person plural imperative. The writers add another comparative clause marked by καθώς quickly affirming that the Thessalonian Christians already are doing (ποιεῖτε present active indicative) this.
12Ἐρωτῶμεν δὲ ὑμᾶς, ἀδελφοί, εἰδέναι τοὺς κοπιῶντας ἐν ὑμῖν καὶ προϊσταμένους ὑμῶν ἐν κυρίῳ καὶ νουθετοῦντας ὑμᾶς 13καὶ ἡγεῖσθαι αὐτοὺς ὑπερεκπερισσοῦ ἐν ἀγάπῃ διὰ τὸ ἔργον αὐτῶν. εἰρηνεύετε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς. 14Παρακαλοῦμεν δὲ ὑμᾶς, ἀδελφοί, νουθετεῖτε τοὺς ἀτάκτους, παραμυθεῖσθε τοὺς ὀλιγοψύχους, ἀντέχεσθε τῶν ἀσθενῶν, μακροθυμεῖτε πρὸς πάντας. 15ὁρᾶτε μή τις κακὸν ἀντὶ κακοῦ τινι ἀποδῷ, ἀλλὰ πάντοτε τὸ ἀγαθὸν διώκετε [καὶ] εἰς ἀλλήλους καὶ εἰς πάντας.
In v. 12 the postpositive δέ, the vocative ἀδελφοί, and the use of the verb ἐρωτῶμεν (cf. 4:1) signal that the writers are introducing a new topic. Who is being referred to as ἀδελφοί? Is it the leadership group among the Thessalonian believers or the entire Christian community? The substance of this new instruction is the content clause of indirect command that has two, compounded main verbs in the form of the infinitives εἰδέναι…καὶ ἡγεῖσθαι. These Christians are “to recognize…and consider….” In the first case, they should “recognize” one group of people characterized by three substantival present participles inter-connected by the initial, unrepeated article τούς. Again, who are these people? Is it the three writers or is it a leadership group within the Thessalonian Christian community? The first participle κοπιῶντας “those who labor, work” is modified by the adverbial prepositional phrase ἐν ὑμῖν indicating the location of this work, namely “among you.” The second participle προϊσταμένους is middle in voice and expresses the idea of caring for and is related to the cognate noun that describes a patron (see Romans 16:1-2). It takes a genitive object (ὑμῶν). Commonly commentators and translators render this verb as “lead” and it can have that significance. However, its use in 1 Timothy 3:4-5 suggests that such leadership gets expressed by the action of care. Such people have the capacity to exercise this care because they do it ἐν κυρίῳ, presumably a locative expression. The third participle is νουθετοῦντας and it means to tell someone the truth because they have a trusted relationship as friends and thus can speak the truth or “admonish” them. It takes an accusative direct object.
The second part of this instruction (v. 13a) requires these believers to ἡγεῖσθαι “consider,” perhaps with the sense “esteem,” this group who relates to them in this way (v. 12) to an immeasurable degree (ὑπερεκπερισσοῦ, adverb) ἐν ἀγάπῃ, presumably describing manner and modifying the verb. The adverbial prepositional phrase διὰ τὸ ἔργον explains why they should respond this way. αὐτῶν is a subjective genitive. The last clause in v. 13 expresses another command (εἰρηνεύετε present active imperative), with the sense “keep the peace.” The adverbial prepositional phrase ἐν ἑαυτοῖς includes a reflexive pronoun and is locative, indicating the context in which they should act this way. Who is the referent? Is it the general Christian community or the leadership group?
Whoever the writers are addressing in v. 12, they seem to continue to address the same group in vv.14-15, because they use the same designation ἀδελφοί. The postpositive δέ marks a new topic in this set of instructions, as does the verb of encouragement παρακαλοῦμεν (see v. 11 and 4:1). The object is ὑμᾶς. I think a colon should come after ἀδελφοί, indicating a major break, followed by the series of present imperatives in vv. 14-15 (perhaps continuing to the end of v. 22). The first imperative νουθετεῖτε repeats the same verb used in v. 12. The direct object τοὺς ἀτάκτους is an alpha-privative adjective used substantivally, with the sense “the unruly ones.” These are believers in the faith community. The second command παραμυθεῖσθε is a middle form describing actions such as “comfort, encourage” and its object is τοὺς ὀλιγοψύχους “the faint-hearted, discouraged.” Again, these are people within the faith community. The third command ἀντέχεσθε also is a middle form that measn “cling to, hold fast to” someone or something, perhaps indicating unrelenting attentiveness. In this case, the genitive adjective τῶν ἀσθενῶν, “the weak,” the spiritually or physically weak marks the direct object. The fourth imperative form μακροθυμεῖτε urges “patience.” And the object of this patience is expressed in the adverbial prepositional phrase πρὸς πάντας. This encompasses everyone in the faith community.
Although NA28 puts a period at the end of v. 14, the series of imperatives seems to continue in v. 15 with the introductory present active imperative ὁρᾶτε “see,” in the sense “see to it….” The substance of this command finds expression in the indirect imperatives that follow. The first is a prohibition μή + aorist subjunctive ἀποδῷ “repay, return, give back.” It is a rejection of the lex talionis principle. The subject is the indefinite pronoun τις. The direct object is the anarthrous neuter adjective κακόν “something evil, bad.” It is modified by the adverbial prepositional phrase ἀντὶ κακοῦ expressing the idea of exchange. The indirect object is another indefinite pronoun τινι (enclitic). Using the adversative ἀλλά the writers propose a very different response to evil. The adverb πάντοτε defines this as the expected response, without exception. The present active imperative διώκετε “pursue” indicates that believers “chase after, pursue” τὸ ἀγαθόν “the good,” the opposite of κακόν and to be defined according to each context. The final adverbial prepositional phrases εἰς ἀλλήλους καὶ εἰς πάντας indicate the goal or objective of this goodness and it is inclusive of those in the faith community as well as all others.
18ἐν παντὶ εὐχαριστεῖτε· τοῦτο γὰρ θέλημα θεοῦ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ εἰς ὑμᾶς.
19τὸ πνεῦμα μὴ σβέννυτε,
20προφητείας μὴ ἐξουθενεῖτε,
21πάντα δὲ δοκιμάζετε, τὸ καλὸν κατέχετε,
22ἀπὸ παντὸς εἴδους πονηροῦ ἀπέχεσθε.
In NA28 and often in English translations this series of imperatives is formatted as a separate paragraph, somewhat distinct from the imperatives in 5:14-15. However, the writers offer the series of imperatives in 5:14-15 without any connective particles and they are all present imperatives. We find the same structures in vv. 16-22. So is there any justification for segregating these imperatives from those expressed in 5:14-15? I will regard them as a part of the sequence of imperatives that begins in 5:14b.
In v. 16 we have command number six, following ὁρᾱτε in v. 15. In the case of each of the following imperatives, the writers position them at the end of the clause. The writers use the adverb πάντοτε once more (cf. v. 15) to indicate that this command is a constant requirement. The present active imperative χαίρετε means “be rejoicing,” indicating an incomplete action. The adverb ἀδιαλείπτως is virtually a synonym of πάντοτε, as also is illustrated in their usage in 1:2-3. In this case, it applies to the seventh command, a present middle imperative προσεύχεσθε “be praying.” The eighth command requires the audience to “be expressing thankfulness,” εὐχαριστεῖτε (present active imperative; see 1:2). The adverbial prepositional phrase ἐν παντὶ is placed first in this clause, giving it prominence and requiring thanksgiving to be a believer’s response to God “in every context” (a locative sense). The writers offer an explanation marked by γάρ. It is in the form of a verbless clause with τοῦτο, a demonstrative pronoun, functioning as the subject and referring back to the command to be thankful. The predicate nominative is θέλημα, an anarthrous noun. The genitive θεοῦ is subjective. The adverbial prepositional phrase ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ presumably defines θέλημα and, given the locative sense that the phrase often expresses, indicates that the sphere, in which Messiah Jesus exercises influence, adheres to the deity’s will. εἰς ὑμᾶς indicates the group for whom this will is the goal or objective.
The ninth command (v. 19) begins with the direct object τὸ πνεῦμα, presumably a reference to the Holy Spirit (where else in 1 Thessalonians do the writers refer to the Holy Spirit? See 4:8). This is a prohibition expressed as μή + present imperative. The verb σβέννυμι is a –μι verb and means “to extinguish, put out, quench, stifle, suppress.” It is not clear which sense the writers employ here. However, the following prohibition (v. 20), the tenth, may give some direction. It is another prohibition, employing a present imperative. ἐξουθενεῖτε means “to despise, reject, treat as nothing” and its object is προφητείας, a plural accusative form. The eleventh instruction comes in v. 21a and the writers revert back to positive commands. The postpositive δέ may suggest that the series is coming to an end and these last three commands are somewhat climactic and comprehensive. The direct object of δοκιμάζετε is the inclusive πάντα. In the twelfth command (v. 21b) the focus is on the object τὸ καλὸν, a substantival adjective (see 5:15 and τὸ ἀγαθόν). The present active imperative κατέχετε means “be holding fast, possessing” that which is good. The form of this verb is cognate with the one used in command thirteen, άπέχεσθε, a present middle imperative meaning “be abstaining.” The adverbial prepositional phrase ἀπὸ παντὸς εἴδος indicates separation from something. The genitive adjective πονηροῦ could modify εἴδος, meaning “from every evil form/sight,” or it could be used substantively to express an attributive genitive, i.e., “from every form/sight of evil.”
23Αὐτὸς δὲ ὁ θεὸς τῆς εἰρήνης ἁγιάσαι ὑμᾶς ὁλοτελεῖς, καὶ ὁλόκληρον ὑμῶν τὸ πνεῦμα καὶ ἡ ψυχὴ καὶ τὸ σῶμα ἀμέμπτως ἐν τῇ παρουσίᾳ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τηρηθείη. 24πιστὸς ὁ καλῶν ὑμᾶς, ὃς καὶ ποιήσει.
25Ἀδελφοί, προσεύχεσθε [καὶ] περὶ ἡμῶν.
26Ἀσπάσασθε τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς πάντας ἐν φιλήματι ἁγίῳ. 27Ἐνορκίζω ὑμᾶς τὸν κύριον ἀναγνωσθῆναι τὴν ἐπιστολὴν πᾶσιν τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς.
28Ἡ χάρις τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ μεθ’ ὑμῶν.
In v. 24 the writers offer a final prayer on behalf of their audience as they conclude the letter. The postpositive δέ signals a new topic in the discourse and the optative verb forms indicate some wish or request is being made. Compare a similar structure in 3:11-13. The writers place the subject of the first clause at the head of the clause, giving it prominence. The self-referential pronoun αὐτός adds emphasis to the subject, ὁ θεός (as in 3:11), that is modified by a genitive indicating the deity as the source of peace. The main verb is an aorist active optative tense form ἁγιάσαι (“may…make holy”; see 4:3, 7). The direct object is ὑμᾶς. It is modified by a predicate adjective ὁλοτελεῖς meaning “complete in every way.”
In the second clause, the verb is an aorist passive optative tense form τηρηθείη (“may be kept, preserved”). The subject is the series of nominative nouns τὸ πνεῦμα καὶ ἡ ψυχὴ καὶ τὸ σῶμα. The verb is singular because this complex subject is viewed as a neuter plural formation. The possessive pronoun ὑμῶν indicates to whom these elements belong. It is fronted for emphasis. The writers use another predicate adjective ὁλόκληρον to modify the subject (remember that this is part of a passive transformation). Its singular neuter ending problem occurs under the influence of the nearest noun that it modifies, namely τὸ πνεῦμα. Its meaning is “whole, complete, sound,” somewhat similar to ὁλοτελεῖς. Their sequential positioning is purposeful and creates paronomasia. The reference to “spirit, person, and body” probably reflects the previous discussion in chapter 4 about resurrection. The adverb ἀμέμπτως (see the cognate adjective at 3:13 and its link with holiness) modifies the verb and provides commentary upon the meaning of the prior verb ἁγιάσαι. The writers emphasize the same idea by means of the two predicate adjectives and this adverb. Presumably, the implied agent of the passive verb is the deity. The adverbial phrase ἐν τῇ παρουσίᾳ has a temporal nuance “time at which.” The genitive τοὐ κυρίου is probably an objective genitive (see 3:13; 4:15), modified by the genitive of subordination ἡμῶν and the appositional Ἱησοὺ Χριστοῦ.
The writers conclude their prayer with a verbless affirmation. The subject is the substantival present active participle ὁ καλῶν, presumably referring to the deity. What is the aspectual implication of the present tense form of the participle here? πιστός is a predicate adjective that affirms the deity’s trustworthiness in such matters. The participle has a direct object ὑμᾶς. The relative clause marked by ὅς could be construed as appositional to πιστός, indicating in what way the deity is trustworthy. καί is ascensive and the verb is a future active indicative tense form.
The writers make a request (v. 25) in the form of a present middle imperative προσεύχεσθε. The subject is defined by the vocative ἀδελφοί. Some textual witnesses read an ascensive καί before the adverbial prepositional phrase περὶ ἡμῶν, indicating for whom the prayers should be offered.
Another request comes in the form of a greeting (v. 26), an aorist middle imperative ἀσπάσασθε. Its direct object is τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς πάντας. Presumably this refers to all the believers in the Thessalonian house church(es). The adverbial prepositional phrase ἐν φιλήματι ἁγίῳ defines the means by which this greeting should be conveyed. The writers define the nature of the kiss with the adjective ἁγίῳ.
In v. 27 we discern a third request that is expressed in the first person singular with the strong verb ἐνορκίζω. Who is the subject and what does this first person singular verb form tell us about the primary writer of this letter? The verb expects that the recipients will make an oath to do what the request requires. The verb takes two accusative objects. ὑμᾶς defines who takes the oath and τὸν κύριον indicates the one under whose authority the oath is taken. In this case, the arthrous form probably indicates Jesus Christ. The writer expresses the subject of the oath in the indirect command expressed by the aorist passive infinitive ἀναγνωσθῆναι “to be read.” The subject of the infinitive is the accusative τὴν ἐπιστολὴν. The indirect object is the dative πᾶσιν τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς that seems inclusive of all those in the Thessalonian house church(es).
The writers conclude with a blessing expressed in a verbless clause. The arthrous ἡ χάρις indicates the subject. It is modified by the subjective genitive τοῦ κυρίου, that in turn is modified by the genitive of subordination ἡμῶν and the appositional Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. The predicate is the adverbial prepositional phrase μεθ’ ὑμῶν, indicating the party whom this favor benefits.