The Bad: V 1 – the authorship of this letter is disputed. V 4-6 – the glorification of suffering, again!
The Ugly: V 7-10 Intolerance and cruelty. It’s not even subtle – clearly Yahewh hasn’t changed much since the OT.
The Bad: V 2 The author warns people not to believe everything they hear – not even from those who claim to have had a vision or revelation. How can he miss the irony?
The Ugly: Pretty much the whole rest of the chapter. It’s creepy, and similar to Revelation, which is coming up. First of all, Paul (or whoever wrote this) is backtracking on his promise that Jesus will be returning soon (v 2-3). He says there will be a whole lotta destruction and lawlessness, and other nasty violent stuff that I can barely figure out, even when I read it in modern English. And I’m not gonna waste too much time trying to make it make sense, because it sounds like the ravings of someone on a drug trip. But the implications of v 9-12 are especially ugly, if I understand them correctly – Satan will use evil deception, and then god will cause people to believe lies so that he can then condemn them for enjoying evil. Did I get that right??? Because who would worship a god like that, and who would read this to little children????
And then after all those threats, Paul sits back and in v 13-17 congratulates his followers on being among the chosen/saved. Well isn’t that just hunky-dory? To hell with the rest of the world – I and my little band of followers are going to the heaven and the rest of you be damned! He’s sick.
The Ugly: V 2 – Unbelievers are all wicked and evil people. Paul sandwiches this hateful and intolerant message in between Christianese platitudes about prayer, faithfulness, and the love of god (v 1-5). V 6 – another command to disfellowship or shun those who don’t follow the religious rituals.
V 10 – “those unwilling to work will not get to eat” – apparently quoted by a Republican politician who voted against food stamps. People should settle down and work for a living (v 12). Is their no end to cruelty in the bible? Whoever said the NT was less violent and cruel than the OT can’t have read it.
Quotes: Absolutely nothing in this whole book is familiar to me. Liberal churches don’t read Thessalonians – and now I know why!