1. 1 Thessalonians 1:2–10 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

How does Paul’s thanksgiving differ from those of other ancient letters?

1 Thessalonians 1:2–10 (ESV)

2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers,

Some ancient letters—though not a great many—from the Greco-Roman world also included a thanksgiving and/or a prayer wish. But Paul’s thanksgivings were very different from those of other ancient letters: (a) Paul’s thanksgivings are much longer; (b) his thanksgivings focus on spiritual rather than material benefits; (c) he thanks the one true God, rather than the gods.1