World Wide Study Bible
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3. Timothy's Encouraging Report
1Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left behind at Athens alone; 2and sent Timothy, our brother and God's minister in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith; 3that no man be moved by these afflictions; for yourselves know that hereunto we are appointed. 4For verily, when we were with you, we told you beforehand that we are to suffer affliction; even as it came to pass, and ye know. 5For this cause I also, when I could no longer forbear, sent that I might know your faith, lest by any means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor should be in vain. 6But when Timothy came even now unto us from you, and brought us glad tidings of your faith and love, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, longing to see us, even as we also to see you; 7for this cause, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our distress and affliction through your faith: 8for now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord. 9For what thanksgiving can we render again unto God for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God; 10night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face, and may perfect that which is lacking in your faith? 11Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way unto you: 12and the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we also do toward you; 13to the end he may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
2. minister of God and our fellow labourer—Some oldest manuscripts read, "fellow workman with God"; others, "minister of God." The former is probably genuine, as copyists probably altered it to the latter to avoid the bold phrase, which, however, is sanctioned by 1Co 3:9; 2Co 6:1. The English Version reading is not well supported, and is plainly compounded out of the two other readings. Paul calls Timothy "our brother" here; but in 1Co 4:17, "my son." He speaks thus highly of one so lately ordained, both to impress the Thessalonians with a high respect for the delegate sent to them, and to encourage Timothy, who seems to have been of a timid character (1Ti 4:12; 5:23). "Gospel ministers do the work of God with Him, for Him, and under Him" [Edmunds].
establish—Greek, "confirm." In 2Th 3:3, God is said to "stablish": He is the true establisher: ministers are His "instruments."
concerning—Greek, "in behalf of," that is, for the furtherance of your faith. The Greek for "comfort" includes also the idea, "exhort." The Thessalonians in their trials needed both (1Th 3:3; compare Ac 14:22).