The Authenticity of the Second Letter to the Thessalonians

By William Wrede and Robert Rhea (translator)

A classic of New Testament scholarship, this new translation faithfully sets out William Wrede’s case for the pseudonymous authorship of Second Thessalonians.

ISBN: 9780227176917


Scholars continue to debate whether Second Thessalonians was written by Paul or or pseudonymously. The suggestion that the letter is a late imitation is largely based on the comparison of the parallel expressions of the two epistles to the Thessalonians. There are more words and phrases that are shared between these two letters than there are in any other two New Testament letters. William Wrede’s study is the ultimate source of scholarly perception of these parallels. Not only does Wrede locate some exact parallels, he also finds definite words, verses, and related passages that precisely mirror and reflect their counterparts in First Thessalonians. Scholars who conclude that Second Thessalonians is pseudonymous owe much of that conclusion to Wrede’s work. Wrede’s order of the Greek parallels has been reproduced with his original annotations in this translation.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 132

Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

William Wrede was born in 1859 at B├╝cken in Hanover. He became an associate professor at Breslau in 1893, and full professor in 1896. He died in office in 1906. Wrede is author of The Messianic Secret: Das Messiasgeheimnis in den Evangelien.

Robert Rhea is a graduate of Davidson College, Union Theological Seminary, and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and studied at the University of Marburg with Georg Werner Kuemmel, at the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich with Werner Vordtriede, and at the Evangelisch-Theologische Fakultaet of the University of Vienna. At Union Theological Seminary he wrote a thesis entitled The Johannine Son of Man (1990).


Translator’s Preface
Translator’s Note
Abbreviations for Reference Works
Notes on the Greek

Preliminary Remarks

1. The Literary Relationship of the Two Letters to the Thessalonians: A Comparison of the Parallels
2. Objections to an Early Fiction: The Writer’s Purpose and Situation
3. Literary Form and Composition
4. The Letter as Forgery
5. The Significance of the Jerusalem Temple



Endorsements and Reviews

Robert Rhea has made a valuable contribution to Pauline (and especially Thessalonians) scholarship. He made sure that William Wrede’s Die Echtheit des zweiten Thessalonicherbriefs Untersucht is in print again, and his translation makes Wrede’s detailed authorship arguments accessible to a broader audience.
Benjamin E. Reynolds, Associate Professor of New Testament, Tyndale University College, Toronto

Whether or not one agrees with Wrede’s analysis of the Thessalonian correspondence, his treatment of its unity and disunity is essential reading for New Testament scholars. Now ably translated, this text makes a valuable contribution to Pauline studies, within the English-speaking world and beyond.
Paul N. Anderson, Professor of Biblical and Quaker Studies, George Fox University