1 Thessalonians 2:2
(2) Even after "what was enough to have scared others" (Bengel). Such men were not likely to be "vain." The marks of their ill-treatment at Philippi were fresh upon them at Thessalonica (as ye know). See Acts 16 and Acts 17:1.

In our God.--These words give the ground of their boldness--"in reliance on the God whom we felt to be in union with us."

With much contention.--Rather, in the midst of much conflict arising from persecution.

Verse 2. - But even after we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated. As the word here rendered "suffered before" does not in itself imply that the sufferings were unjust, the apostle adds, "and were shamefully entreated." As ye know, at Philippi. We are informed, in the Acts of the Apostles, that Paul and Silas were publicly scourged and cast into prison; and scourging with rods was regarded as an ignominious punishment, and therefore was forbidden to be inflicted on Roman citizens, such as Paul and Silas were. "They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison" (Acts 16:37). We were bold in our God to speak unto you. The word here rendered "bold" denotes boldness or freedom of speech; and hence some render the clause, "We were bold of speech in our God, so as to speak unto you" (Ellicott). Perhaps, however, as the verb "to speak" follows, it is better to render the clause," We were confident in our God to speak;" or "emboldened to speak" (R.V., "we waxed bold"). This boldness or confidence was in our God, that is, on account of our fellowship or union with him. The gospel of God. The genitive of origin, denoting, not merely that God was the Object, but that he was the Author of the gospel. With much contention; or, in much conflict (R.V.), alluding to the peril and danger with which Paul preached the gospel in Thessalonica.

2:1-6 The apostle had no wordly design in his preaching. Suffering in a good cause should sharpen holy resolution. The gospel of Christ at first met with much opposition; and it was preached with contention, with striving in preaching, and against opposition. And as the matter of the apostle's exhortation was true and pure, the manner of his speaking was without guile. The gospel of Christ is designed for mortifying corrupt affections, and that men may be brought under the power of faith. This is the great motive to sincerity, to consider that God not only sees all we do, but knows our thoughts afar off, and searches the heart. And it is from this God who trieth our hearts, that we must receive our reward. The evidences of the apostle's sincerity were, that he avoided flattery and covetousness. He avoided ambition and vain-glory.But even after that we had suffered before,.... Before they came to Thessalonica, which they would not have done, had their ministry been a light and empty one in itself, and unprofitable to others; and especially had this been the case, they would never have rashly engaged in it again, and exposed themselves to fresh sufferings and dangers, as they did:

and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi; being beaten with many stripes, and put into prison, and their feet made fast in the stocks, at the instigation of the masters of the damsel that had a spirit of divination, by whom they got much gain, and which Paul dispossessed; see Acts 16:16

we were bold in our God to speak unto you the Gospel of God with much contention: and which still made it more manifestly appear, that the errand they came upon was a matter of importance, and that they did not proceed on a slight foundation: what they spoke was "the Gospel", salvation by Christ, and not by the works of the law; the pure Gospel, and not a mixed one, free from the mixture of all human doctrines and inventions of men, without any adulteration and inconsistency; the whole of the Gospel, and not a part of it only; they declared the whole counsel of God, and kept back nothing that might be profitable: and this is styled the Gospel of God, to distinguish it from the Gospel of men, or that which the false teachers taught, and which was called the Gospel, though it was not so; and to express the excellency of it, from the author of it, who is God, it being the produce of his wisdom and grace; and from the matter of it, it containing the good will of God to men, setting forth the grace of God in election, redemption, justification, pardon, adoption, regeneration, and glorification, and expressing things relating to the kingdom of God, a meetness for it, and a right unto it; and it being so called shows it to be something divine, a message sent from God to sinful men; and gives a reason why the apostles were so bold to speak it, because it was not of men, but God. The Syriac version renders it the "Gospel of Christ"; see Romans 1:16 and it being so, they "were bold to speak it"; or they spoke it both with liberty of mind, the Spirit of God being with them, and with freedom of speech, a door of utterance being opened for them; as also with great courage and intrepidity, notwithstanding what they had suffered before, and the ill treatment they had met with at Philippi; and though they knew that the Gospel they spoke was contrary to the Jews, was a stumblingblock to them, and they had an inveterate prejudice against it; and was foolishness to the Greeks, and was derided by them, and they were sure to meet with reproach and persecution on account of it: yet they boldly and faithfully preached it, fearing not the face of men, nor their revilings: though it was

with much contention; referring to the tumult raised by the baser sort, who, instigated by others, assaulted Jason and the brethren, where the apostles were, Acts 18:5 or to the disputes which they had with the unbelieving Jews, who contradicted and blasphemed what they said; or to the division the Gospel made, as through the corruption of nature it makes wherever it comes, between the nearest relations and friends, some being for it, and others against it; or this may be expressive of the zeal with which the apostles preached, who earnestly contended for it, as persons in a combat or agony; they fought the good fight of faith valiantly, they endured hardness as good soldiers of Christ, and gave not way to the enemy, no, not for an hour: and all this was "in our God"; or "by the confidence" of our God, as the Syriac version renders it; trusting in him and relying upon him, being assisted by his grace, and strengthened by his power, and receiving much encouragement from a view of him as a covenant God; faith in God as a covenant God, will make a man bold in his cause; see Daniel 3:17.

1 Thessalonians 2:1
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