1. 1 Thessalonians 1:1 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

How did Paul come up with this particular greeting?

1 Thessalonians 1:1 (ESV)

1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.

It is difficult to discern with certainty the precise origins of Paul’s greeting, but he seems to have been influenced by three sources: (a) the usual greeting was χαίρειν, which simply means greetings; a small change would have led to the similar-sounding χάρις, which means grace; (b) a common Jewish blessing formula read ἔλεος καὶ εἰρήνη, meaning mercy and peace; (c) the standard Jewish greeting was shalom, meaning peace. However Paul arrived at grace and peace, the result is a distinctively Christian greeting in which grace and peace express some of the essential blessings of the gospel.1,2,3