Paul did not burden them (1 Thess. 2:9)

“Brothers!

You remember

Our labors

And toil.

We worked

Night

And day,

So that we might not burden

Any of you,

While we proclaimed

To you

The gospel of God.”

μνημονεύετε γάρ, ἀδελφοί, τὸν κόπον ἡμῶν καὶ τὸν μόχθον· νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας ἐργαζόμενοι πρὸς τὸ μὴ ἐπιβαρῆσαί τινα ὑμῶν ἐκηρύξαμεν εἰς ὑμᾶς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ Θεοῦ.

Paul said, “Brothers (ἀδελφοί)!  You remember (μνημονεύετε γάρ) our labors (τὸν κόπον ἡμῶν) and toil (καὶ τὸν μόχθον).  We worked (ἐργαζόμενοι) night (νυκτὸς) and day (καὶ ἡμέρας), so that we might not burden any of you (πρὸς τὸ μὴ ἐπιβαρῆσαί) while we proclaimed to you (τινα ὑμῶν ἐκηρύξαμεν εἰς ὑμᾶς) the gospel of God (τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ Θεοῦ).”  Only the Pauline letters used this word μόχθον, that means toil, hardship, or wearisome labor, and the word ἐπιβαρῆσαί, that means to put a burden on or burdensome.  Paul asked the Thessalonians to remember the tireless work that Paul and his companions had done in Thessalonica.  They had worked night and day.  They never burdened the inhabitants of this town while they were proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ.  They accepted their burdens themselves.  Paul had supported himself by his own manual labor as a tent maker, according to Acts 18:3.  In other words, they did not ask for any financial assistance in their tough work of evangelization in Thessalonica.  Do you think that preachers should be paid?

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