An honor and shame reading of 1 Thessalonians reveals that Paul wrote the letter as a riposte to a series or challenges that emanated from the young congregation. In combining this reading with a consideration of the role of praise and blame as ancient epistolary devices, this study reconciles the letter's defensiveness with what has long been recognized as its "warmth".

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Journal Biblical Theology Bulletin
Crook, Z.A. (1997). Paul's riposte and praise of the thessalonians. Biblical Theology Bulletin, 27(4), 153–163. doi:10.1177/014610799702700404