• Danny Yencich deposited Peace, Security, and Labor Pains in 1 Thessalonians 5.3 on Humanities Commons 6 years, 7 months ago

    Although much of what follows will focus on those two words in 1 Thess 5.3 — peace and security — the ultimate aim is to root 5.3 more firmly within the wider literary context of the letter and the social world in which 1 Thessalonians was composed and received. Following a sketch of the debate over whether 5.3 represents false prophecy or a Roman slogan, I will present the case for reading eirene and asphaleia as separate but complementary qualities that Rome proclaimed of its imperial identity, power, and rule. From this follows the conclusion that 5.3 is part of Paul’s salvation narrative in which God’s kingdom eclipses and destroys the unjust kingdoms of the present age, of which Rome was chief in Paul’s lifetime. Lastly, I will make suggestions for how Paul’s unique apocalyptic politics can enliven and enable the ministry of the church today as we, too, await in active expectation the coming of the kingdom of God.