Our Sunday School class, after working through the NT book of Galatians with the help of N.T. Wright, John Stott, and Martin Luther, has commenced 1 Thessalonians. What a refreshing change! The Galatians were being pushed off the Gospel by "insiders," the Judaizers, much to Paul's dismay. The believers at Thessalonica, on the other hand, are standing up against persecution from outsiders, pagans, and experiencing the joy of the Holy Spirit in the bargain, a joy that Paul obviously shares.
Walter especially enjoyed Thessalonica ("Thessaloniki") on the Davidson College "Classics Trip", as I recall. He must have taken the Via Egnatia to reach that city from Istanbul (then, Byzantium). There is a great article on Thessaloniki on Wikipedia.
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