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THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS - Chapter 2 - Verse 6

Verse 6. Nor of men sought we glory. Or praise. The love of applause was not that which influenced them. See Barnes "Col 1:10".

 

Neither of you, nor yet of others. Nowhere has this been our object. The love of fame is not that which has influenced us. The particular idea in this verse seems to be, that though they had uncommon advantages, as the apostles of Christ, for setting up a dominion or securing an ascendency over others yet they had not availed themselves of it. As an apostle of Christ; as appointed by him to found churches; as endowed with the power of working miracles, Paul had every advantage for securing authority over others and turning it to the purposes of ambition or gain.

When we might have been burdensome. Marg., "or, used authority." Some understand this as meaning that they might have demanded a support in virtue of their being apostles; others, as Calvin, and as it is in the margin, that they might have used authority, and have governed them wholly in that manner, exacting unqualified obedience. The Greek properly refers to that which is weightyen bareiheavy, burdensome. Anything that weighs down, or oppresses —as a burden, sorrow, or authority, would meet the sense of the Greek. It seems probable, from the context, that the apostle did not refer either to authority or to support exclusively, but may have included both. In their circumstances it might have been somewhat burdensome for them to have maintained him and his fellow-labourers, though as an apostle he might have required it. Comp. 1 Co 9:8-15. Rather than be oppressive in this respect, he had chosen to forego his right, and to maintain himself by his own labour. As an apostle also he might have exerted his authority, and might have made use of his great office for the purpose of placing himself at the head of churches, and giving them laws. But he chose to do nothing that would be a burden; he treated them with the gentleness with which a nurse cherishes her children, 1 Th 2:7, or a father his sons, 1 Th 2:11, and employed only the arts of persuasion. Comp. See Barnes "2 Co 12:13"; See Barnes "2 Co 12:14"; See Barnes "2 Co 12:15"; See Barnes "2 Co 12:16".

 

As the apostles of Christ. Though the writer uses the word apostles here in the plural number, it is not certain that he means to apply it to Silas and Timothy. He often uses the plural number where he refers to himself only; and though Silas and Timothy are joined with him in this epistle, 1 Th 1:1, yet it is evident that he writes the letter as if he were alone, and that they had no part in the composition or the instructions. Timothy and Silas are associated with him for the mere purpose of salutation or kind remembrance. That this is so, is apparent from chapter 3. In 1 Th 3:1, Paul uses the plural term also. "When we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone." 1 Th 2:5 "For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith? Neither Silas nor Timothy were apostles in the strict and proper sense, and there is no evidence that they had the "authority" which Paul here says might have been exerted by an apostle of Christ.

{c} "men sought" Joh 5:41,44; Ga 1:10

{1} "been burdensome" "used authority"

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