What does 1 Thessalonians 2:8 mean?
ESV: So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.
NIV: so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.
NASB: in the same way we had a fond affection for you and were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.
CSB: We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.
NLT: We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too.
KJV: So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.
NKJV: So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.
Verse Commentary:
Instead of greedily taking what they could get from the Christians at Thessalonica, Paul and his companions eagerly shared the good news about God with them. Because the Christians had become precious to Paul and his team, the missionaries were willing to give them all they had, including themselves.

Such love for the Thessalonians mirrors God's love for the lost. John 3:16 says God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son. The apostle John marveled at God's self-sacrificing love. He writes: "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God …" (1 John 3:1).

God's love, revealed in the death of Jesus, is amazing because it was poured out for all who had transgressed God's laws. Romans 5:8 tells us "God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." That love motivated Paul and his coworkers to share the gospel with others. He testified in 2 Corinthians 5:14, "For the love of Christ controls us…" and in verse 20 declared, "Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God."
Verse Context:
First Thessalonians 2:1–8 recalls Paul's brief three-Sabbaths visit to Thessalonica (Acts 17:2). He had served the Lord there honorably in the face of strong opposition. His message at Thessalonica was the pure gospel of God, and the Thessalonian believers had witnessed his holy, righteous, and blameless conduct. Here, Paul testifies that his intent was only to please God, not men, and that he strove to care for the Thessalonian believers as a mother would care for a child.
Chapter Summary:
Paul begins to flesh out the general ideas he mentioned in chapter 1. Here in chapters 2 and 3, he further explains how he came to preach to the Thessalonian people. Paul particularly notes that his good conduct, proving his unselfish motivations, was instrumental in his success. The warm response of the people also endeared them to Paul, making him long to visit them again. Unfortunately, Paul was prevented from doing so, a struggle he attributes to Satan. Paul once again expresses his gratitude for the Thessalonian Christians' ability to honor God despite persecution.
Chapter Context:
Chapter 1 briefly introduced the relationship between Paul and the Christians at Thessalonica. This introduction is expanded in chapter 2, where Paul gives additional details about how he came to preach there, why he left, and what he has heard of their spiritual progress. Chapter 3 will round out this glowing report with a reference to a visit from Paul's friend and student, Timothy.
Book Summary:
The apostle Paul's second missionary journey included a visit to the prominent Greek city of Thessalonica. This stood alongside a major land route and boasted a busy seaport. A number of individuals believed Paul's message (Acts 17:1–4), but an angry mob forced Paul to leave the city after his brief stay. Later, while in Athens, Paul received a glowing report: the believers at Thessalonica were growing spiritually and serving God fervently. However, they had questions about the Lord's return, including what happens to a believer who dies before that day. And, as all churches do, they had some areas in which they were falling short. In Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians, written about AD 51, he addresses these developments. Paul expresses gratitude for the Thessalonian believers' spiritual progress, and frequently makes references to Christ's impending return.
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