We were mistreated in Philippi (1 Thess. 2:2)

“Although we had already suffered

And been shamefully mistreated

In Philippi,

As you know,

We had courage

In our God

To declare to you

The gospel of God

In spite of a great struggle.”

ἀλλὰ προπαθόντες καὶ ὑβρισθέντες καθὼς οἴδατε ἐν Φιλίπποις ἐπαρρησιασάμεθα ἐν τῷ Θεῷ ἡμῶν λαλῆσαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐν πολλῷ ἀγῶνι.

Paul said, “Although we had already suffered (ἀλλὰ προπαθόντες) and been shamefully mistreated (καὶ ὑβρισθέντες) in Philippi (ἐν Φιλίπποις), as you know (καθὼς οἴδατε), we had courage (ἐπαρρησιασάμεθα) in our God (ἐν τῷ Θεῷ ἡμῶν) to declare to you (λαλῆσαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς) the gospel of God (τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ Θεοῦ) in spite of a great struggle (ἐν πολλῷ ἀγῶνι).”  Only this letter to the Thessalonians used this unique word προπαθόντες, that means to suffer before or suffer previously.  Only the Pauline letters used this word ἀγῶνι, that means a gathering, contest, or struggle.  Paul referenced the problems that he had in Philippi in Acts, chapter 16:19-24, where Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into prison.  Previously in Philippi, Paul had a vision to go to Macedonia in Acts, chapter 16:9-10.  Thessalonica was less than 100 miles from Philippi.  Both towns were in Macedonia.  When they got to Thessalonica, he also had a run in with the local leaders, so that he had to leave there also in Acts, chapter 17:5-9.  This might have been the great struggle that Paul mentioned here.  Despite all these difficulties, Paul and his companions had the courage to boast and preach the gospel of God about Jesus Christ in Thessalonica.  Do you have difficulties preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ?

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