An addition to the BHT, which may be the very earliest words written in the New Testament, around 50 AD, in Paul’s letter to the family who are gathering in Thessaloniki. Paul is exuberant about their faith, and talks about how they knew it for themselves through the manifestation of the Spirit in themselves, after much suffering, just like Paul and Jesus. Their great example was quickly spreading abroad.
(The photo above is of Papyrus 65 (rotated), dated to the 3rd century, an early papyrus manuscript copy of the New Testament, which contains the text of 1 Thessalonians 1:3-2:1 and 2:6-13.)
1 This is Paul, Silas (perhaps Saul, my alter ego?), and Timothy, writing to those gathered together in the Father God and the Master Christ (as known in Jesus), in Thessaloniki. May you all have Grace, Loving-Kindness, Peace, and Rest.
2 We are so grateful to God for each one of you, and we remember you in our daily prayers and meditation.
3 We are always mindful in the Presence of our Father God of your faith-filled work, your toil for Love, and your patient hope for our Master Christ (as known in Jesus).
4 We know, dear Beloved family of God, that you are ALL chosen, called and elected, each and every one.
5 Because our wonderful message came to you not merely in words alone, but also in actual Power, and through the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in you, so you gained tremendous confidence in it. For you knew what kind of people we became among you, for you.
6 And so you imitated us, as we imitated Jesus, receiving the true Word through great suffering of ego, but thereafter discovering the joy and happiness of the Holy Spirit within.
7 So then you became examples to all people that were committed and trusted in this spirituality, throughout Macedonia and Achaia.
8 And now, the Word of Christ, our inner Master, is echoing aloud from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but everywhere! Your deep trust in God is evident and spreading like crazy, so we don’t even have to say anything about it.
9 For they tell us all about the warm welcome you gave us, and how you changed your minds from mere idol worship, from worshiping all kinds of images and theologies and doctrines and ideas about God, to being at-one in the service of the living and the very real God within.
10 And they also talk about how you patiently wait and watch, contemplating the Presence of the Son revealed in heavenly consciousness, which God raises up or resurrects from ego death, even as God did in Jesus, which is what delivers, saves, or liberates you from the coming horrors of life.