1 So when we could bear it no longer, we decided to stay on in Athens#map For location see JP1-C2; JP2-C2; JP3-C2; JP4-C2. alone. 2 We#tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. sent Timothy, our brother and fellow worker for God#tc A variety of readings occurs in this verse. Instead of “and fellow worker for God” (καὶ συνεργὸν τοῦ θεοῦ, kai sunergon tou qeou), B has “and fellow worker” (καὶ συνεργόν); א A P Ψ 0278 6 81 629* 1241 1739 1881 2464 lat co read “and servant of God” (καὶ διάκονον τοῦ θεοῦ, kai diakonon tou qeou); D2 Ï and a few versional witnesses read “and a servant of God and our fellow worker” (καὶ διάκονον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ συνεργὸν ἡμῶν); and F G have “servant and fellow worker for God” (διάκονον καὶ συνεργὸν τοῦ θεοῦ). The reading of the text (καὶ συνεργὸν τοῦ θεοῦ) is found in D* 33 b {d m o} Ambst {Pel}. It may be argued that all readings that do not collocate συνεργόν with θεοῦ are secondary, as this is certainly the harder reading. Indeed, in only one other place in the NT are human beings said to be συνεργοὶ θεοῦ (sunergoi qeou; 1 Cor 3:9), and the simplest (though by no means the only) interpretation is that the genitive should be taken associatively (“a fellow worker in association with God”). It is difficult to account for συνεργὸν τοῦ θεοῦ here unless it is authentic because of the theological difficulty that would be easily seen in this wording. A genealogy of the readings suggests that various scribes may have deleted τοῦ θεοῦ or swapped διάκονον for συνεργόν to remove the offense. The readings of the Byzantine text and two Western mss (F G) appear to be conflations of earlier readings, but the reading of F G nevertheless indirectly supports καὶ συνεργὸν τοῦ θεοῦ since it does not remove the offense. Although the witnesses for καὶ συνεργὸν τοῦ θεοῦ are minimal, the internal evidence is quite strong in favor of this reading. With hesitation, it is adopted as authentic.tn Although 1 Thess 3:2 is frequently understood to mean that Timothy is “God’s fellow worker,” such a view assumes that the genitive θεοῦ (qeou) is associative for it is related to συνεργόν (sunergon). However, a genitive of association is not required by the syntax (cf. ExSyn 130). in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen you and encourage you about your faith, 3 so that no one would be shaken by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this. 4 For in fact when we were with you, we were telling you in advance that we would suffer affliction, and so it has happened, as you well know.#tn Grk “just as it also occurred and you know.” 5 So#tn Or “for this reason.” when I could bear it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter somehow tempted you and our toil had proven useless.
6 But now Timothy has come#tn Grk “but now Timothy having come,” a subordinate clause leading to the main clause of v. 7. to us from you and given us the good news of your faith and love and that you always think of us with affection#tn Grk “you have a good remembrance of us always.” and long to see us just as we also long to see you!#tn Grk “just as also we you.” 7 So#tn Or “for this reason.” in all our distress and affliction, we were reassured about you, brothers and sisters,#tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:4. through your faith. 8 For now we are alive again,#tn Grk “because now we live,” in comparison with his feelings of dread in not knowing how they were doing (cf. 2:17-3:5). if you stand firm in the Lord. 9 For how can we thank God enough for you,#tn Grk “what thanks can we render to God about you.” for all the joy we feel#tn Grk “all the joy with which we rejoice.” because of you before our God? 10 We pray earnestly night and day to see you in person#tn Grk “to see your face.” and make up what may be lacking in your faith.
11 Now may God our Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. 12 And may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we do for you, 13 so that your hearts are strengthened in holiness to be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.#tc ‡ Important and early witnesses (א* A D* 81 629 lat) have ἀμήν (amhn, “amen”) at the end of this benediction, while the majority of mss, including several excellent witnesses (א2 B D2 F G Ψ 0278 1739 1881 Ï it sy sa), lack the particle. A decision is difficult, but in light of Paul’s habit of adding the ἀμήν to his notes of praise, even in the middle of his letters (cf. Rom 9:5; 11:36; 15:33; Gal 1:5), one might expect scribes to emulate this practice. Although a decision is difficult, it is probably best to follow the shorter reading. NA27 has the particle in brackets, indicating some doubts as to its authenticity.
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