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1 Thessalonians 2:11

ESV For you know how, like a father with his children,
NIV For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children,
NASB just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children,
CSB As you know, like a father with his own children,
NLT And you know that we treated each of you as a father treats his own children.
KJV As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,
NKJV as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children,

What does 1 Thessalonians 2:11 mean?

Paul compares his relationship with the Thessalonian Christians to that of a father and his children. Because Paul had won the Thessalonians to Christ, he had become their spiritual father and they had become his spiritual children. Paul and Timothy, one of Paul's missionary companions, also had that kind of relationship. Apparently Paul had led Timothy to Christ at Lystra. In 1 Timothy 1:2 he refers to Timothy as "my true child in the faith."

The apostle John had a similar relationship with believers. In his letters, he refers to believers as "my little children" (1 John 2:1), "little children" (1 John 2:12, :28; 3:7, 18; 5:21), "children": (1 John 2:13, 18), and "my children" (3 John 1:4). Just as a loving father tries to protect his children from harm, so the apostle John endeavored to protect his "children" from spiritual harm. He warned them often to recognize and avoid false teachers and their harmful teachings. See, for example, 1 John 2:18–19, 21–22; 3:7–10; 4:1–6; and 2 John 1:7–10.
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