3 1 Finally, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the Word of God may spread rapidly and be glorified everywhere as it was with you. 2 May God guard us from wicked and evil people, since not everyone has faith. 3 The Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and keep you safe from the Evil One. 4 Besides, we have in the Lord this confidence that you are doing and will continue to do what we order you. 5 May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
Let everyone work
6 We command you, beloved, to stay away from believers who are living in idleness contrary to the traditions we passed on to you. 7 You know how you ought to follow our example: we worked while we were with you. 8 Day and night we labored and toiled so as not to be a burden to any of you. 9 We had the right to act otherwise, but we wanted to give you an example.
10 Besides, while we were with you, we said clearly: If anyone is not willing to work, neither should that one eat. 11 However we heard that some among you live in idleness—busybodies, doing no work. 12 In the name of Christ Jesus our Lord we command these people to work and earn their own living. 13 And you, brothers and sisters, do not weary in doing what is right.
14 If someone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take note and do not have anything to do with him, so that he may be ashamed.
15 However, do not treat him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.
16 May the Lord of peace give you his peace at all times and in every way. May the Lord be with you all.
17 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is my signature in all my letters. This is how I write.
18 May the grace of Christ Jesus our Lord be with you.
1 • 1 From Paul, Sylvanus and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians which is in God our Father and in Christ Jesus, the Lord.
2 May grace and peace be yours from God the Father and Christ Jesus, the Lord.
3 Brothers and sisters, we should give thanks to God at all times for you. It is fitting to do so, for your faith is growing and your love for one another increasing. 4 We take pride in you among the churches of God because of your endurance and your faith in the midst of persecution and sufferings. 5 In this the just judgment of God may be seen; for you must show yourselves worthy of the kingdom of God for which you are now suffering.
The judgment and the coming of Christ
• 6 Indeed, it is just that God repays with affliction those who persecute you, 7 but to you who suffer, he will grant rest with us when the Lord Jesus will be shown in his Glory, coming from heaven and surrounded by his court of angels. 8 Then with flaming fire will be punished those who do not recognize God and do not obey the Gospel of Jesus, our Lord.
9 They will be sent to eternal damnation far away from the face of the Lord and his mighty glory. 10 On that day the Lord will be glorified in the midst of his saints, and reveal his wonders through those who believe in him, that is through you who have received our testimony.
11 This is why we constantly pray for you; may our God make you worthy of his calling. May he, by his power, fulfill your good purposes and your work prompted by faith. 12 In that way, the name of Jesus our Lord will be glorified through you, and you through him, according to the loving plan of God and of Christ Jesus the Lord.
You are citizens of the light
5 • 1 You do not need anyone to write to you about the delay and the appointed time for these events. 2 You know that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 When people feel secure and at peace, the disaster will suddenly come upon them as the birth pangs of a woman in labor, and they will not escape.
4 But you, beloved, are not in darkness; so that day will not surprise you like a thief. 5 All of you are citizens of the light and the day; we do not belong to night and darkness. 6 Let us not, therefore, sleep as others do, but remain alert and sober.
7 Those who sleep, go to sleep at night, and those who drink, get drunk at night. 8 Since we belong to the day, let us be sober, let us put on the breastplate of faith and love, and let the hope of salvation be our helmet. 9 For God has not willed us to be condemned but to win salvation through Christ Jesus our Lord. 10 He died for us so that we might enter into life with him, whether we are still awake or already asleep. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, as you are doing now.
12 Brothers and sisters, I want you to be thankful to those who labor among you, who lead you in the way of the Lord and also reprimand you. 13 Esteem them highly and love them for what they are doing. Live at peace among yourselves.
14 We urge you to warn the idle, encourage those who feel discouraged, sustain the weak, have patience with everyone. 15 See that no one repays evil for evil, but try to do good, whether among yourselves or towards others.
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing 18 and give thanks to God at every moment. This is the will of God, your vocation as Christians.
• 19 Do not quench the Spirit, 20 do not despise the prophets’ warnings. 21 Put everything to the test and hold fast to what is good. 22 Avoid evil, wherever it may be.
23 May the God of Peace make you holy and bring you to perfection. May you be completely blameless, in spirit, soul and body, till the coming of Christ Jesus, our Lord; 24 he who called you is faithful and will do it.
25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us. 26 Greet all the brothers and sisters with a holy kiss. 27 I order you in the name of the Lord that this letter be read to all of them.
28 May the grace of Christ Jesus our Lord be with you.
A call to a life of purity and work
4 • 1 For the rest, brothers, we ask you in the name of Jesus, the Lord, and we urge you to live in a way that pleases God, just as you have learned from us. This you do, but try to do still more. 2 You know the instructions we gave you on behalf of the Lord Jesus: 3 the will of God for you is to become holy and not to have unlawful sex.
4 Let each of you behave towards his wife as a holy and respectful husband, 5 rather than being led by lust, as are pagans who do not know God. 6 In this matter, let no one offend or wrong a brother. The Lord will do justice in all these things, as we have warned and shown you. 7 God has called us to live, not in impurity but in holiness, 8 and those who do not heed this instruction disobey, not a human, but God himself who gives you his Holy Spirit.
9 Regarding mutual love, you do not need anyone to write to you, because God himself taught you how to love one another. 10 You already practice it with all the brothers and sisters of Macedonia, but I invite you to do more. 11 Consider how important it is to live quietly without bothering others, to mind your own business, and work with your hands, as we have charged you. 12 In obeying these rules you will win the respect of outsiders and be dependent on no one.
Do not grieve as others do
• 13 Brothers and sisters, we want you not to be mistaken about those who are already asleep, lest you grieve as do those who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose; it will be the same for those who have died in Jesus. God will bring them together with Jesus and for his sake.
15 By the same word of the Lord we assert this: those of us who are to be alive at the Lord’s coming will not go ahead of those who are already asleep. 16 When the command by the archangel’s voice is given, the Lord himself will come down from heaven, while the divine trumpet call is sounding. Then those who have died in the Lord will rise first; 17 as for us who are still alive, we will be brought along with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the celestial world. And we will be with the Lord forever.
18 So, then comfort one another with these words.
The beginning of the Church of Thessalonica
2 • 1 You well know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not in vain. 2 We had been ill-treated and insulted in Philippi but, trusting in our God, we dared announce to you the message of God, and face fresh opposition. 3 Our warnings did not conceal any error or impure motive, nor did we deceive anyone. 4 But as God had entrusted his Gospel to us as to faithful ministers, we were anxious to please God who sees the heart, rather than human beings. 5 We never pleased you with flattery, as you know, nor did we try to earn money, as God knows. 6 We did not try to make a name for ourselves among people, either with you or anybody else, although we were messengers of Christ and could have made our weight felt.
7 On the contrary, we were gentle with you, as a nursing mother who feeds and cuddles her baby. 8 And so great is our concern that we are ready to give you, as well as the Gospel, even our very lives, for you have become very dear to us.
9 Remember our labor and toil; when we preached the Gospel, we worked day and night so as not to be a burden to you. 10 You are witnesses with God that we were holy, just and blameless toward all of you who now believe. 11 We warned each of you as a father warns his children; 12 we encouraged you and urged you to adopt a way of life worthy of God who calls you to share his own glory and kingdom.
13 This is why we never cease giving thanks to God for, on receiving our message, you accepted it, not as human teaching, but as the word of God. That is what it really is, and as such it is at work in you who believe.
14 Brothers and sisters, you followed the example of the churches of God in Judea, churches of Christ Jesus. For you suffered from your compatriots the same trials they suffered from the Jews, 15 who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and who persecute us. They displease God and harm all people 16 when they prevent us from speaking to the pagans and trying to save them. By doing so they are heaping up their sins, but now Judgment is coming upon them.
17 We are for a time deprived of your presence, but not in our heart, and we eagerly long to see you. 18 For we have wanted to visit you, and I, Paul, more than once; but Satan prevented us. 19 In fact, who but you are our hope and our joy? Who but you will be our glorious crown before Jesus, our Lord, when he returns? 20 Yes, indeed, you are our glory and our joy.
1 • 1 From Paul, Sylvanus and Timothy to the church of Thessalonica which is in God the Father and in Christ Jesus, the Lord.
May the peace and grace of God be with you.
2 We give thanks to God at all times for you and remember you in our prayers. 3 We constantly recall before God our Father the work of your faith, the labors of your love and your endurance in waiting for Christ Jesus our Lord.
4 We remember, brothers and sisters, the circumstances of your being called. 5 The gospel we brought you was such not only in words. Miracles, Holy Spirit and plenty of everything were given to you. You also know how we dealt with you for your sake.
6 In return, you became followers of us and of the Lord when, on receiving the word, you experienced the joy of the Holy Spirit in the midst of great opposition. 7 And you became a model for the faithful of Macedonia and Achaia, 8 since from you the word of the Lord spread to Macedonia and Achaia, and still farther. The faith you have in God has become news in so many places that we need say no more about it. 9 Others tell of how you welcome us and turned from idols to the Lord. For you serve the living and true God, 10 and you wait for his Son from heaven whom he raised from the dead, Jesus, who frees us from impending trial.
1 From Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy to Philemon, our friend and fellow worker, 2 to our dear sister Apphia, to Archippus faithful companion in our soldiering, and to all the Church gathered in your house.
3 Grace and peace be with you from God the Father and Jesus Christ the Lord.
4 I never cease to give thanks to my God when I remember you in my prayers, 5 for I hear of your love and faith towards the Lord and all the holy ones. 6 And I pray that the sharing of your faith may make known all the good that is ours in Christ. 7 I had great satisfaction and comfort on hearing of your charity, because the hearts of the saints have been cheered by you, brother.
8 Because of this, although in Christ I have the freedom to command what you should do, 9 yet I prefer to request you in love. The one talking is Paul, the old man, now prisoner for Christ. 10 And my request is on behalf of Onesimus, whose father I have become while I was in prison.
11 This Onesimus has not been helpful to you, but now he will be helpful both to you and to me. 12 In returning him to you, I am sending you my own heart. 13 I would have liked to keep him at my side, to serve me on your behalf while I am in prison for the Gospel, 14 but I did not want to do anything without your agreement, nor impose a good deed upon you without your free consent.
15 Perhaps Onesimus has been parted from you for a while so that you may have him back forever, 16 no longer as a slave, but better than a slave. For he is a very dear brother to me, and he will be even dearer to you. 17 And so, because of our friendship, receive him as if he were I myself. 18 And if he has caused any harm, or owes you anything, charge it to me. 19 I, Paul, write this and sign it with my own hand: I will pay it… without further mention of your debt to me, which is you yourself. 20 So, my brother, please do me this favor for the Lord’s sake. Give me this comfort in Christ.
21 Confident of your obedience I write to you, knowing you will do even more than I ask. 22 And one more thing, get a lodging ready for me because, thanks to all your prayers, I hope to return to you.
23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings. 24 So do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my assistants.
25 May the grace of the Lord Christ be with you. Amen!
16 1 I recommend to you our sister Phoebe, deaconess of the church of Cenchreae. 2 Please receive her in the name of the Lord, as it should be among brothers and sisters in the faith, and help her in whatever is necessary, because she helped many, among them, myself.
3 Greetings to Prisca and Aquilas, my helpers in Christ Jesus. 4 To save my life, they risked theirs; I am very grateful to them, as are all the churches of the pagan nations. 5 Greetings also to the church that meets in their house. Greetings to my dear Epaenetus, the first in the province of Asia to believe in Christ. 6 Greet Mary, who worked so much for you.
7 Greetings to Andronicus and Junias, my relatives and companions in prison; they are well known apostles and served Christ before I did.
8 Give greetings to Ampliatus, whom I love so much in the Lord. 9 Greetings to Urbanus, our fellow worker, and to my dear Stachys. 10 Greetings to Apelles, who suffered for Christ, and the family of Aristobulus. 11 Greetings to my relative Herodion and those in the household of Narcissus, who works in the Lord’s service. 12 Greetings to Tryphaena and Tryphosa, who toil for the Lord’s sake. 13 Greetings to Rufus, elected of the Lord, and his mother who was a second mother to me. 14 Greetings to Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the brothers and sisters staying with them. 15 Greetings to Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, Olympas and all the holy ones in Christ Jesus with them. 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send their greetings.
• 17 Brothers and sisters, I beg of you to be careful of those who are causing divisions and troubles in teaching you a different teaching from the one you were taught. Keep away from them, 18 because those persons do not serve Christ our Lord, but their own interests, deceiving with their soft and entertaining language those who are simple of heart. 19 Everybody knows that you are very obedient, and because of that I am happy, but I want you to be sensible in doing good and firm against evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan and place him under your feet.
May Christ Jesus, our Lord, bless you. 21 Timothy, who is with me, sends you greetings, and so do Lucius, Jason and Sosipatros, my relatives.
22 I, Tertius, the writer of this letter, send you greetings in the Lord.
23 Greetings from Gaius, who has given me lodging and in whose house the church meets. 24 Greetings from Erastus, treasurer of the city, and from our brother Quartus.
Glory be to God!
25 He is able to give you strength, according to the Good News I proclaim, announcing Christ Jesus.
Now is revealed the mysterious plan kept hidden for long ages in the past.
26 By the will of the eternal God it is brought to light, through the prophetic books, and all nations shall believe the faith proclaimed to them.
27 Glory to God, who alone is wise, through Christ Jesus, for ever! Amen.
15 1 We, the strong and liberated, should bear the weakness of those who are not strong, instead of pleasing ourselves. 2 Let each of us bring joy to our neighbors helping them for the good purpose, for building up. 3 Christ himself did not look for his own contentment, as Scripture says: The insults of those insulting you fell upon me. 4 And we know that whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, for both perseverance and comfort given us by the Scripture sustain our hope. 5 May God, the source of all perseverance and comfort, give to all of you to live in peace in Christ Jesus, 6 that you may be able to praise in one voice God, Father of Christ Jesus, our Lord.
7 Welcome, then, one another, as Christ welcomed you for the glory of God. 8 Look: Christ put himself at the service of the Jewish world to fulfill the promises made by God to their ancestors; here you see God’s faithfulness. 9 The pagans instead give thanks to God for his mercy, as Scripture says: Because of that, I will sing and praise your name among the pagans. 10 And in another place: Rejoice, pagan nations, with God’s people. 11 And again: Praise the Lord, all people and let all nations speak of his magnificence. 12 Isaiah says: A descendant of Jesse will come who will rule the pagan nations and they will hope in him.
13 May God, the source of hope, fill you with joy and peace in the faith, so that your hope may increase by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Paul feels responsible for the Christians of Rome
• 14 As for me, brothers and sisters, I am convinced that you have goodwill, knowledge and the capacity to advise each other; 15 nevertheless I have written boldly in some parts of this letter to remind you of what you already know. I do this according to the grace God has given to me 16 when I was sent to the pagan nations. I dedicated myself to the service of the Good News of God as a minister of Christ Jesus, in order to present the non-Jews to God as an agreeable offering consecrated by the Holy Spirit. 17 This service of God is for me a cause of pride in Christ Jesus.
18 Of course, I would not dare to speak of other things but what Christ himself has done through me, my words and my works, 19 with miracles and signs, by the power of the Holy Spirit—so that non-Jews may obey the faith. In this way I have extended the Good News to all parts, from Jerusalem to Illiricum.
20 I have been very careful, however, and I am proud of this, not to preach in places where Christ is already known, and not to build upon foundations laid by others. 21 Let it be as Scripture says: Those not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.
Help for the Christians in Jerusalem
• 22 This work has prevented me from going to you. 23 But now there is no more place for me in these regions, and as I have wanted for so long to go and see you, 24 I hope to visit you when I go to Spain. Then you could help me go to that nation, once I have fully enjoyed your company.
25 Right now I am going to Jerusalem to help that community. 26 Know that the churches of Macedonia and Achaia have decided to make a contribution for the poor among the believers of Jerusalem. 27 They have decided to do that and, in fact, they were indebted to them. For the non-Jews have shared the spiritual goods of the Jews and now they must help them materially. 28 So I am to complete this task and give over the amount that has been collected. Then I will go to you and from there to Spain. 29 And I am sure that when I go to you, I will go with all the blessings of God.
30 I beg of you, brothers and sisters, by Christ Jesus our Lord and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in the fight, praying to God for me; 31 pray that I may avoid the snares of the enemies of faith in Judea, and that the community of Jerusalem may welcome the help I bring. 32 And so I will go to you with joy and, God willing, be refreshed in your company. 33 The God of peace be with you. Amen.
The weak and the strong
14 • 1 Welcome those weak in faith and do not criticize their scruples. 2 Some think they can eat any food, while others, less liberated, eat only vegetables. 3 If you eat, do not despise those who abstain; if you abstain, do not criticize those who eat, for God has welcomed them. 4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? Whether he stands or falls, the one concerned is his master. But he will not fall, for his master is able to keep him standing.
5 Some judge one day to be better than the other; let us act according to our own opinion. 6 The one who distinguishes among days does that for the Lord; and the one who eats eats for the Lord and in eating gives thanks to the Lord. And the one who does not eat does it for the Lord and gives him thanks as well.
7 In fact, none of us lives for himself, nor dies for himself. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord. Either in life or in death, we belong to the Lord; 9 It was for this purpose that Christ both died and come to life again to be Lord both of the living and of the dead.
10 Then you, why do you criticize your brother or sister? And you, why do you despise them? For we will all appear at the tribunal of God. 11 It is written: I swear by myself—word of the Lord—every knee will bend before me, and every tongue shall give glory to God. 12 So each of us will account for himself before God.
13 Therefore, let us not continue criticizing one another; let us try, rather, never to put in the way of our brother anything that would make him stumble or fall. 14 I know, I am sure of this in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself, it is only unclean for those who consider it unclean. 15 But if you hurt your brother or sister because of a certain food, you are no longer walking according to love. Let not your eating cause the loss of one for whom Christ died.
16 Don’t put yourself in the wrong with something good. 17 The kingdom of God is not a matter of food or drink; it is justice, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 and if you serve Christ in this way, you will please God and be praised by people. 19 Let us look, then, for what strengthens peace and makes us better.
20 Do not destroy the work of God because of food. All food is clean, but it it is wrong for you to make others fall by what you eat. 21 And it may be better not to eat meat, or drink wine, or anything else that causes your brother or sister to stumble.
22 Keep your own belief before God, and happy are you if you never act against your own belief. 23 Instead, whoever eats something in spite of his doubt is condemned by his conscience, because whatever we do against our conscience is sinful.