The Jews in Judea (1 Thess. 2:14)

“Brothers!

You became imitators

Of the churches of God

In Jesus Christ

That are in Judea.

You suffered

The same things

From your compatriots

As they did

From the Jews.”

ὑμεῖς γὰρ μιμηταὶ ἐγενήθητε, ἀδελφοί, τῶν ἐκκλησιῶν τοῦ Θεοῦ τῶν οὐσῶν ἐν τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, ὅτι τὰ αὐτὰ ἐπάθετε καὶ ὑμεῖς ὑπὸ τῶν ἰδίων συμφυλετῶν, καθὼς καὶ αὐτοὶ ὑπὸ τῶν Ἰουδαίων,

Paul said “Brothers (ἀδελφοί)!  You became imitators (ὑμεῖς γὰρ μιμηταὶ ἐγενήθητε) of the churches of God (τῶν ἐκκλησιῶν τοῦ Θεοῦ) in Jesus Christ (ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ) that are in Judea (τῶν οὐσῶν ἐν τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ).  You suffered the same things (ὅτι τὰ αὐτὰ ἐπάθετε) from your own compatriots (ὑπὸ τῶν ἰδίων συμφυλετῶν) as they did (καθὼς καὶ αὐτοὶ) from the Jews (ὑπὸ τῶν Ἰουδαίων).”  Only the Pauline letters used this word μιμηταὶ, that means an imitator or follower.  Only this letter to the Thessalonians used this unique word συμφυλετῶν, that means a fellow tribesman or a fellow country-man.  Paul indicated that the Christian Thessalonians were actually imitating the Christian churches in Judea.  Both groups of followers of Jesus Christ were being tormented by their fellow countrymen.  They were suffering the same things that that the Judean churches of Jesus Christ were enduring.  Paul knew about these persecutions because he himself had been one of these Jewish persecutors before his Damascus conversion in Acts, chapters 7-9.  Also, Acts, chapter 17:1-9, talked about how upset the Jews were in the Jewish synagogue in Thessalonica.  Have you ever known anyone who was persecuted for their religious beliefs?

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