First and Second Thessalonians: Prophetic Benchmarks



I want to say something about the significance of the early dates of 1 and 2 Thessalonians. They are indeed the first letters that Paul wrote (in 51 and 52 A. D.) and may be the earliest of all the New Testament books, except maybe the book of James (44-55 A.D.). This fact I think gives us good reason why Paul seems to mention Christ’s second coming, both the first phase of His coming and the second phase, more than any other book.  Also, it contains the passage, in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18, that I think best describes the rapture over any other New Testament passage.

Paul also explains in verse 15 of this passage that his understanding of this rapture event was “by the word of the Lord.” In other words, this was something that he didn’t learn by any other teacher, except by the Holy Spirit; it was a direct revelation from God.

Therefore, since this revelation of the rapture was new, even to Paul, in the writing of these early letters, this is probably why he spent more time than in other letters talking about Christ’s coming—because he was so excited about it; also, because the Thessalonians were asking him about it and he had answers for them.

For these reasons, Paul’s letters to the Thessalonian church became prophetic benchmarks for all later prophetic writings. And thus, I think we can and should regard these books as some of the most significant in prophecy writings.


The Dates of New Testament Books, according to J. Lawrence Eason, M.A., Ph.D., in his The New Bible Survey

  1. 1 Thess. — 51 A.D.
  2. 2 Thess. — 51-52 A.D.
  3. James — 44-55 A.D.
  4. Gal. — after 50 A.D.
  5. 1 Cor. — 57 A.D.
  6. 2 Cor. — 57 A.D.
  7. Rom. — 58 A.D.
  8. Mark — 50-60 A.D.
  9. Luke — 60-61 A.D.
  10. Col. — 61 A.D.
  11. Eph. — 61 A.D.
  12. Philemon — 61 A.D.
  13. Phil. — 61-63 A.D.
  14. Heb. — 61-63 A.D.
  15. 1 Tim. — 61-63 A.D.
  16. Titus — 63 A.D.
  17. Acts — 63 A.D.
  18. 1 Pt. — 64-65 A.D.
  19. 2 Pt. — 67 A.D.
  20. 2 Tim. — 67 A.D.
  21. Jude — 67 A.D.
  22. Matt. — 70 A.D.
  23. John — 80-90 A.D.
  24. 1-3 John — 90-91 A.D.
  25. Rev. — 96-100 A.D.





About Stephen Nielsen

I'm an author, a self publisher, and a painting contractor. I live in beautiful Minnesota, USA . Welcome to my blog site.
This entry was posted in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, Bible Passages on Prophecy, Prophecy Topics, Rapture, Second Coming and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to First and Second Thessalonians: Prophetic Benchmarks

  1. I think that what you are getting at in saying that Paul “didn’t learn by any other teacher, except by the Holy Spirit; it was a direct revelation from God.” is spot on. From studying Galatians, this is true of all that Paul taught in his epistles: But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. [Gal 1:11-12]
    Keep up the good work, I have been enjoying your writing!

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