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The Day of the Lord has received little attention in New Testament scholarship, making a study of how it is used in 1 Thessalonians worthy of consideration. Paul employsthe Day of the Lord explicitly in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 in the context of exhortation. This study explores how Paul uses and appropriates the Day of the Lord, studies the background for Paul’s use of the motif and determines whether the Parousia and the Day of the Lord are interchangeable. This is a New Testament exegetical study. Part 1 is a literature review,which surveys: the Day of the Lord motif in scholarship with special reference to those studies that include 1 Thessalonians; and a review of methodological approaches to 1 Thessalonians. The adopted approach focuses on the Greek text of the epistle to show that the conclusions are drawn from 1 Thessalonians. It is established for purposes of later exegesis that the Thessalonian church is undergoing conflict. Part 2 studies Paul’s source for the Day of the Lord concluding that his source for understanding the motif is the Jewish Scriptures. As there is no common consensus as to the meaning and referent of the Day of the Lord in the Jewish Scriptures, a representative sample of Day of the Lord texts are studied within the books of Amos, Joel, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Malachi. This found that the Day of the Lord motif is; flexible being able to refer to local and eschatological judgment, is imminent, has an ethical appeal which is to turn back to Yahweh, expresses hope and vindication for God’s faithful people and is the day on which Yahweh will reveal himself to the world. Part 3 is the exegesis of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 5:1-11 to ascertain how Paul uses the motif and appropriates it for the Thessalonians. The pericope 4:13-18 is included to assess whether Paul uses the motif of the Parousia interchangeably with the motif of the Day of the Lord and provides context to 5:1-11. It was found that when Paul uses the term Parousia he does so with an eschatological sense which equates similar concepts that are included in the Day of the Lord. The study of 5:1-11 found the Day of the Lord motif: affirms the certainty of the Thessalonians hope, is an ethical call to live sober and alert lives, is imminent, cannot be directly interchanged with the Parousia motif, is positive because of Jesus’ death ‘for us’, and is evidence of Paul’s high Christology.


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