IV. Date And Occasion
According to the Delphi inscription, Gallio was proconsul in Achaia sometime between late summer 50 and spring a.d. 53. While Paul was in Corinth, he was arraigned before Gallio (Ac 18:12-17). If Paul wrote 1Th shortly after arriving in Corinth, then it was written between a.d. 50 and 51 (see Best, 7-13; Bruce, xxxv).
First Thessalonians responds to Timothy's report on his visit. Best suggests two other reasons: Paul's knowledge of the needs of young Christians in general and the specific conditions in Thessalonica (p. 15). The latter point dominates.
Three practical issues can be detected: the legitimacy of Paul's apostleship, persecution of the believers, and sexual ethics. Two theological issues also emerged: the fate of “the dead in Christ” at the Second Coming (Parousia) and its timing, and the indissoluble link between high standards of ethical behaviour and the Spirit-filled life.