Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 3:12-4:2
Posted by Dim Bulb on November 24, 2012
I’ve included (in purple text) the Fr. MacEvilly’s paraphrase of the text he is commenting on. A brief comment at the end (in red text) is mine.
1Th 3:12 And may the Lord multiply you and make you abound in charity towards one another and towards all men: as we do also towards you,
May the Lord increase the number of the faithful amongst you, and make you advance in mutual charity towards one another, and towards all men, as I abound in charity towards you and all mankind.
“And may the Lord multiply you,” i.e., increase your number, so that a greater
number would embrace the faith. In Greek, may the Lord make you to increase and abound in love.
1Th 3:13 To confirm your hearts without blame, in holiness, before God and our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, with all his saints. Amen.
I also pray, that he may confirm your hearts in exterior edification, so as to be blameless before men, and in true interior sanctity in the sight of God and our Father, and that, on the day on which our Lord Jesus Christ will come, with all his saints, to judge the world. Amen.
“Without blame,” irreprehensible and free from all complaint before men, and “in holiness before God and our Father,” i.e., true and real holiness, “at the coming,” &c., and this with constancy and perseverance, to the end. “Amen” is not in the Greek. It is, however, found in several ancient versions, and in some of the chief manuscripts.
1Th 4:1 For the rest therefore, brethren, pray and beseech you in the Lord Jesus that, as you have received from us, how you ought to walk and to please God, so also you would walk, that you may abound the more.
For the rest, therefore, brethren, we implore and exhort you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that as you have received precepts from us, by word of mouth when amongst you, regarding the manner of living and of pleasing God, you would so live, as to observe these precepts, and by advancing in perfection, please him more and more.
“For the rest”—a form of transition usual with the Apostle, particularly at the close of his Epistles. The Greek copies want the words “so also you would walk;” according to the Greek, the words, “that you may abound the more,” will signify, that, not contenting themselves with mere precepts, they ought to practise matters of counsel.
1Th 4:2 For you know what precepts I have given to you by the Lord Jesus.
I have said, as you have received from us. For, you know what precepts of a holy life we delivered to you, in the name, and by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
Father MacEvilly offers no comment on this verse. I would like to point out that the instruction St Paul seems to have in mind is (at least in part) rehearsed for them again in 1 Thess 4:3-12 and 1 Thess 5:1-11. Sandwiched between these two passages, in 1 Thess 4:13-18, we find him giving them information they apparently did not have before.