1 Thessalonians 2:13-16
13. For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but (as it is in truth) the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
13 Quapropter nos quoque indesinenter gratias agimus Deo, quod, quum sermonem Dei praedicatum a nobis percepistis, amplexi estis, non ut sermonem hominum, sed quemadmodum revera est, sermonem Dei: qui etiam efficaciter agit in vobis credentibus.
14. For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews;
14. Vos enim imitatores facti estis, fratres, Ecclesiarum Dei, quae sunt in Iudaea in Christo Iesu: quia eadem passi estis et vos a propriis tribulibus, quemadmodum et ipsi a Iudaeis.
15. Who both killed the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men;
15. Qui Dominum Iesum occiderunt, et proprios Prophetas, et nos persequuti sunt, et Deo non placent, et cunctis hominibus adversi sunt:
16. Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles, that they might be saved, to fill up their sins always: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.
16. Qui obsistunt ne Gentibus loquamur, ut salvae fiant, ut compleantur eorum peccata semper: pervenit enim in eos ira usque in finem.
Hence we learn from this passage what credit ought to be given to the gospel--such as does not depend on the authority of men, but, resting on the sure and ascertained truth of God, raises itself above the world; and, in fine, is as far above mere opinion, as heaven is above earth: 3 and, secondly, such as produces of itself reverence, fear, and obedience, inasmuch as men, touched with a feeling of Divine majesty, will never allow themselves to sport with it. Teachers 4 are, in their turn, admonished to beware of bringing forward anything but the pure word of God, for if this was not allowable for Paul, it will not be so for any one in the present day. He proves, however, from the effect produced, that it was the word of God that he had delivered, inasmuch as it had produced that fruit of heavenly doctrine which the Prophets celebrate, (Isaiah 55:11,13; Jeremiah 23:29) in renewing their life, 5 for the doctrine of men could accomplish no such thing. The relative pronoun may be taken as referring either to God or to his word, but whichever way you choose, the meaning will come all to one, for as the Thessalonians felt in themselves a Divine energy, which proceeded from faith, they might rest assured that what they had heard was not a mere sound of the human voice vanishing into air, but the living and efficacious doctrine of God.
As to the expression,
In the mean time, he prudently provides against a dangerous temptation which might prostrate or harass them; for they endured grievous troubles from that nation which was the only one in the world that gloried in the name of God.
This, I say, might occur to their minds: "If this is the true religion, why do the Jews, who are the sacred people of God, oppose it with such inveterate hostility?" With the view of removing this occasion of offense, 7 he, in the first place, shews them that they have this in common with the first
"Behold," says he, "the virtues for which they deserve praise among the good and pious!--they killed their own prophets and at last the Son of God, they have persecuted me his servant, they wage war with God, they are detested by the whole world, they are hostile to the salvation of the Gentiles; in fine, they are destined to everlasting destruction."
It is asked, why he says that Christ and the prophets were killed by the same persons? I answer, that this refers to the entire body, 9 for Paul means that there is nothing new or unusual in their resisting God, but that, on the contrary, they are, in this manner, filling up the measure of their fathers, as Christ speaks. (Matthew 23:32)
1 Calvin refers here to the harmony which happily subsisted between the preaching of Paul and the faith of the Thessalonians.--Ed.
2 "Il ne se pent faire que nous ne venions quant et quant a auoir vne saincte affection d'obeir;"--"It cannot but be that we come at the same time to have a holy disposition to obey."
3 "Aussi lois d'vne opinion, ou d'vn cuider;"--"As far above opinion, or imagination."
4 "Les Docteurs, c'est a dire ceux qui ont la charge d'enseigner;"--"Teachers, that is to say, those that have the task of instructing."
5 "En renouelant et reformant la vie des Thessaloniciens;"--"In renewing and reforming the life of the Thessalonians."
6 "Car il n'a pas prins garde que c'estoit yci vne façon de parler prinse de la langue Hebraique;"--"For he did not take notice that it was a manner of expression taken from the Hebrew language."
7 "Aux Thessaloniciens;"--"To the Thessalonians."
8 "De Juif;"--"Of Jew."
9 "A tout le corps du peuple;"--"To the whole body of the people."
10 "Il insiste si longuement a deschiffrer et toucher au vif la malice des Juifs;"--"He insists to so great a length in distinctly unfolding and touching to the quick the malice of the Jews."
11 "Et condemnation;"--"And condemnation."
12 "Chacun iour;"--"Every day."