Heidegger's Bible Handbook: 1 Thessalonians: Time of Writing, Part 2

6. Also, the first Epistle was written before the second, contrary to the assertion of Grotius.

Hugo Grotius

Grotius certainly went wide of the mark, who makes this Epistle to the Thessalonians the second, which the unanimous authority of all Codices makes the first, so that he might support his erroneous hypothesis concerning Antichrist, the Man of sin, whom he takes to be Gaius Caligula.[1] And indeed, in this Epistle mention is made of the sending of Timothy to the Thessalonians, but no mention is made of an earlier Epistle written to them: but in the other, 2 Thessalonians 2:15, mention is made of a former Epistle sent to them. Moreover, the occasion of the principal part of the argument of the other Epistle is found in that which is called the first. For, when in 1 Thessalonians 4:15 he had said, we which are alive shall not prevent them which are asleep, the Apostle appeared to think that after a few years, with him yet surviving, the day of the Lord was going to come. But in 2 Thessalonians 2 he refutes that, showing that Christ would not appear, until the apostacy come, and the man of sin be revealed. In addition, in this Epistle Paul sets forth the conversion of the Thessalonians to the faith, but in the second the increase of it: in 1 Thessalonians 4:11, succinctly instructing them to do their business, and to work with their hands, he expounds upon this at greater length in 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12. I here pass by the additional things against this strange opinion set forth by most learned men, Simplicius Verinus, that is, Salmasius,[2] Cocceius, Henry More,[3] and others.

[1] Caligula reigned from 37 to 41. [2] Salmasius wrote a letter critiquing Grotius’ de Jure belli et pacis under the pseudonym Simplicius Verinus. [3] Henry More (1614-1687) was a Fellow of Christ’s College, Cambridge. He was a learned divine and a Platonic philosopher.

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