1 & 2 Thessalonians For You – Ligon Duncan

1 & 2 Thessalonians For You by Ligon Duncan
Series: God's Word for You
Published by Good Book Company on July 1, 2023
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Theology

Applied expository Bible-study guide to 1 and 2 Thessalonians.

We’ve been saved by Jesus... so what’s next? How do we discern good teaching from bad, what does it look like to grow in holiness, and what should our expectations be for the future? Find answers to those questions in the warm, instructive letters Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church.

Pastor and professor Ligon Duncan unpacks these two letters verse by verse, teaching us about Christ’s future return and showing us what it means to live in the light of that, whether we’re new Christians, seasoned ministers of the gospel, or somewhere in between. Along the way we see why Scripture is so important; learn to find reasons for thankfulness; clarify our beliefs about death, judgment, and eternity; and witness Paul’s deeply pastoral attitude toward his readers.

This accessible, absorbing expository guide is less academic and more applied than a traditional commentary. This makes it a great resource for personal devotion, as well as useful for leading small-group studies or for sermon preparation.

In this guide to 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Ligon Duncan draws out different ideas and applications to help people better understand these books of the Bible and how they apply to our lives. Duncan moves through these books from beginning to end, and he draws on other Scriptures to provide context for different topics and issues that come up. He also shares some anecdotes from his life and pastoral ministry to illustrate different concepts and share encouragement.

Duncan’s concern and care for other believers comes through clearly in this book, and he shares many helpful thoughts about the theological and Christian living topics that Paul addressed in 1 and 2 Thessalonians. However, while those epistles take up only eight pages in my smallest Bible, this commentary is 208 full-sized pages long. It is far longer than necessary, to the point where many of Duncan’s reflections feel like word-padding to make the book longer. His insights can be valuable and helpful, but he often takes deep dives into concepts that seem obvious, and he explores lots of ideas and application points that are really just side notes to an exegesis of the passage.

1 & 2 Thessalonians For You can be a helpful study resource for pastors and Bible study leaders, and it’s appropriate for both individual reading and discussion groups. However, because of this book’s length compared to the fairly short Bible books it’s based on, I would recommend it much less than other volumes in the series. This book feels overly long and dragged out, and because the author spends so much time making fairly basic points, this book seems most appropriate for a new believer who is learning more about their faith.