"The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
Ministry of John the Baptist
3 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing, 2 “ Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven! ” 3 He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said:
4 John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.
5 People from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and all around the Jordan River came to him. 6 As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 7 Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized by John. He said to them, “ You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? 8 Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. 9 And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire. 11 I baptize with water those of you who have changed your hearts and lives. The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out. ”
The two epistles to the Thessalonians are a study in contrasts. A comparison reveals considerable similarities of structure and language, but differences in tone and content. The most important concerns of the first letter all but disappear in the second, and minor concerns of the first letter increase in intensity in the second. Even when issues and concerns are shared by both, 2 Thessalonians seems at odds with comments in 1 Thessalonians. In this commentary, Beverly Roberts Gaventa discusses the issues central to each epistle, identifying what makes each book important for the life of the church today, as well as for preachers and teachers.
Interpretation is a set of full-length, practical, and clearly written commentaries that help teachers and preachers in their educational and homiletic work -- and laypersons in their study of the Bible. Interpretation bridges the gap between critical and expository commentaries and combines the most exciting biblical scholarship with illuminating textual expositions.