You yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our coming to you was not in vain, but though we had already suffered and been shamefully mistreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition. For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts. As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.
This is the Epistle selection from the Episcopal Lectionary for Year A, Proper 25, the twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost. This will next be read aloud in church on Sunday, October 29, 2017. This is important as it sheds more light on the motives and actions of true Christians, in relationship with other true Christians.
In the past interpretations of Paul’s epistles, I have made reference to “segments” of his long-winded “sentences.” I use that terminology because of my having been enlightened in how to read the complex letters of Nostradamus, which are part of the posthumous publications of his work The Prophecies (Les Propheties). In that regard, I have stated the need to slow down one’s natural reading process, from normally quite fast, to very slow. This means breaking the text down into “segments” (the words between punctuation marks, either directly written or implied in some way), so those words can be more deeply inspected for meaning.
Because the letters of Nostradamus are so difficult to read, due to a very limited number of period marks (among other difficulties), I have found it easier for the readers of my Nostradamus publications to grasp the deeper meaning by breaking down pages of block text into segments, dictated by the presence of punctuation marks. This process allows the actual text to be more clearly presented, and it prevents the automatic processes, of a brain taught to read text fast, that make auto-corrects of inconsistencies in tense, number, and gender, so that we are trained to quickly paraphrase complexities of writing into understandable language.
While Nostradamus was commanded by God to write extremely complex epistles, Paul was meant to be understood, making the two prophets seem only similar in their penchant for long, run-on statements. However, as the source influence for both was God’s Holy Spirit, meaning both were writing in a holy language, with its own purposeful syntax applied, Paul’s epistles can be broken down into segments, in the same way that I have done previously with the text of Nostradamus’ letters.
The translation of 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 listed above is the New International Version of the original Greek text. This is a valid translation, based on the syntax of normal Greek being applied to the syntax of normal American English, where certain syntactical liberties are naturally taken. When translated in this way, one reads what normal Paul wrote, in a letter sent to normal Thessalonians. However, we know neither Paul (and his apostle companions) nor the Thessalonians receiving this letter were normal; as they were all true Christians, each filled with the Holy Spirit.
In order to see the holiness of this epistle more clearly, I advise the readers here to open a separate window and read along in the Interlinear Bible presentation of 1 Thessalonians 2, which shows the Greek, a standard translation for each word, and the root word that is linked to that word’s usage and definitions, as indicated by Strong’s Concordance (and others). With that guide to assist you, please read now the above eight verses in segmented fashion, reflecting on each segment before leaping rapidly to the next.
(Literal Translation of Interlinear Bible – Viable Literal Translation from Strong’s)
1. You yourselves indeed know, – Your selves truly know,
brothers, – brethren in Christ,
the coming of us to you, – the entrance of ourselves to you,
that not in vain has been; – that [entrance] not pretentious was born;
2. but having previously suffered and having been mistreated, – except suffered previously and having been injured,
even as you know, – just as you know,
in Philippi, – in Philippi,
we had boldness in the God of us, – we spoke freely within the God of us,
to speak to you the gospel of God, – to talk with you the good news of God,
amid much conflict. – among many [who] struggle.
3. For [the] exhortation of us [was] not of error, – Indeed a calling of us not of delusion [or wandering, sin],
nor of impurity, – nor of uncleanness [impurity],
nor in trickery; – nor in deceit [or guile, treachery];
4. but just as we have been approved by God, – but according to the manner we have been tested by God,
to be entrusted with the gospel, – to be given faith in the good news,
so we speak; – in this manner we proclaim;
not as men pleasing, – not as humans approving,
but God, – on the other hand God,
the [One] examining the hearts of us. – he proving [or testing] the intentions of us.
5. Never indeed at any time with word of flattery were we [coming], – not for once a word used for advantage or gain,
even as you know, – just as you know,
nor with a pretext for greed – – not in an excuse for covetousness —
God [is] witness; – God a witness;
6. nor seeking from men glory, – not desiring from humans praise,
nor from you, – not from you,
nor from others, – not from others,
[though] having authority in [it] burden to be, – having the ability by weight [or burden] to be,
as Christ’s apostles. – as the Anointed One’s messengers.
7. But we were gentle in [the] midst of you, – However our birth an infant in the middle of you,
as if a nursing mother would cherish her own children. – like as if a nursing care-giver would foster her own children.
8. So yearning over you, – In this way desiring earnestly for you,
we were pleased to have imparted to you, – we well-pleased to have given shares to you,
not only the gospel of God, – not only the good news of God,
but also our own lives, – but also our own souls,
because beloved to us you have become. – because beloved by God to us you have been born.
I will just make a couple of comments, beyond stating the obvious: The above text is from holy men to holy men, conceived by God in apostles and received by apostles who were enlightened by God to its true purpose. That truth lasts forever, to all who read these holy words, in all times: past, present, and future. The epistles of Paul are in a Holy Bible, for that reason – they are holy documents; and it requires the assistance of God to fully understand the holiness of their words.
That said, look at how the Greek word “adelphoi” was written and then translated as “brothers and sisters” in the New International Version above. That one word in Greek means, “A brother, member of the same religious community, especially a fellow-Christian.” (Strong’s) It is translated a number of times in the New American Standard Bible to be: “believing husband (1), brethren (170), brethren* (13), brother (111), brother’s (8), brothers (40).” (NAS)
As a typical statement of male apostles writing to male apostles, at an historic time when female apostles were never addressed as the caretakers of a church, it then becomes a modern paraphrase to change the essence to “brothers and sisters,” due to the allowance of female priests these days. However, that is not grasping the deepest spiritual meaning of this particular one-word statement, surrounded by two commas.
The word “adelphoi” means both the writer(s) and the recipient(s) were related. As such, the epistles were intended to both males and females, with both sexes referred to as “brothers.” They were not physically related, which means the differences in sex organs are inconsequential in this address. The relationship was solely Spiritual. All were brothers because all had been reborn as the Son of God, Jesus Christ. To reduce this to “brothers and sisters” is to put women back into a subservient role to men, as if only men could be filled with God’s Holy Spirit. That is not the intent of this word’s spiritual intent.
Second, the repeating of the segment that says “kathōs iodate,” translated as “just as you know,” says that Paul was not telling the Christians of Thessaly anything new. Because all were equally filled with the same Holy Spirit of God, the elements stated by Paul about the sufferings experienced and injuries caused, prior to becoming apostles of Christ, and the purpose their lives had taken on, after becoming apostles of Christ, were dawnings that all understood.
For this reason, Paul wrote that segment twice here (as influenced by the Mind of Christ to write) because the same statement is made to each reader, for as long as this epistle will be read. Understanding the steps of apostlehood is “even as you know.” If you are a fast reader, and everything Paul wrote seems to be “Greek to you,” then you know little of being an apostle of Christ (a true Christian). If you read Paul and believe this epistle was written to you, then the experiences recounted here as “just as you know.”
With that said, I will leave this letter to speak for itself, with the presentation I have shown an aid towards understanding. If anyone has questions or comments, then feel free to post them for all to see. I will answer any comment that specifically references the internal text of this posting.