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Thessalonica was a prosperous port city on the Aegean Sea and a main station on the Via Egnatia, an important east-west road in northern Greece. As the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia, it was an important political center with strong historic ties to Rome. Paul came to Thessalonica after receiving harsh treatment in Philippi. According to Acts 17:1-9, some of the Jewish population of Thessalonians accepted Paul's message, but others became hostile and denounced the Christian community. Paul's First Letter to the Thessalonians, however, addressed a church composed of Gentiles who previously "turned to God from idols" (1 Thessalonians 1:9). When he left Thessalonica, Paul traveled southward into Greece, but he remained in contact with Christians in the city.

AUTHOR: Robert Brusic, Seminary Pastor Emeritus, Matt Skinner, Associate Professor of New Testament