3:1 Finally, pray for us, brothers and sisters, 1 that the Lord’s message 2 may spread quickly and be honored 3 as in fact it was among you, 3:2 and that we may be delivered from perverse and evil people. For not all have faith. 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and he 4 will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. 3:4 And we are confident about you in the Lord that you are both doing – and will do – what we are commanding. 3:5 Now may the Lord direct your hearts toward the love of God 5 and the endurance of Christ. 6
3:6 But we command you, brothers and sisters, 7 in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from any brother who lives an undisciplined 8 life 9 and not according to the tradition they 10 received from us. 3:7 For you know yourselves how you must imitate us, because we did not behave without discipline 11 among you, 3:8 and we did not eat anyone’s food without paying. 12 Instead, in toil and drudgery we worked 13 night and day in order not to burden any of you. 3:9 It was not because we do not have that right, but to give ourselves as an example for you to imitate. 14 3:10 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this command: “If anyone is not willing to work, neither should he eat.” 3:11 For we hear that some among you are living an undisciplined life, 15 not doing their own work but meddling in the work of others. 16 3:12 Now such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly and so provide their own food to eat. 17 3:13 But you, brothers and sisters, 18 do not grow weary in doing what is right. 3:14 But if anyone does not obey our message through this letter, take note of him and do not associate closely with him, so that he may be ashamed. 3:15 Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. 19
3:16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with you all. 3:17 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand, which is how I write in every letter. 20 3:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. 21
sn “The word of the Lord” is a technical expression in OT literature, often referring to a divine prophetic utterance (e.g., Gen 15:1, Isa 1:10, Jonah 1:1). In the NT it occurs 15 times: 3 times as ῥῆμα τοῦ κυρίου (rJhma tou kuriou; Luke 22:61, Acts 11:16, 1 Pet 1:25) and 12 times as λόγος τοῦ κυρίου (logo" tou kuriou; here and in Acts 8:25; 13:44, 48, 49; 15:35, 36; 16:32; 19:10, 20; 1 Thess 1:8, 4:15). As in the OT, this phrase focuses on the prophetic nature and divine origin of what has been said. Here the phrase has been translated “the Lord’s message” because of the focus upon the spread of the gospel evident in the passage.
[3:5] 5 tn The genitive in the phrase τὴν ἀγάπην τοῦ θεοῦ (thn agaphn tou qeou, “the love of God”) could be translated as either a subjective genitive (“God’s love”) or an objective genitive (“your love for God”). Either is grammatically possible. This is possibly an instance of a plenary genitive (see ExSyn 119-21; M. Zerwick, Biblical Greek, §§36-39). If so, the emphasis would be on believers being directed toward the love God gives which in turn produces increased love in them for him.
[3:5] 6 tn The genitive in the phrase τὴν ὑπομονὴν τοῦ Χριστοῦ (thn Jupomonhn tou Cristou, “the endurance of Christ”) could be translated as either a subjective genitive (“Christ’s endurance”) or an objective genitive (“endurance for Christ”). Either is grammatically possible. This is possibly an instance of a plenary genitive (see ExSyn 119-21; M. Zerwick, Biblical Greek, §§36-39). If so, the emphasis would be on believers being directed toward the endurance Christ showed which in turn produces endurance in them for him.
[3:6] 10 tc The reading “you received” (παρελάβετε, parelabete) is found predominately in Western witnesses (F G 1505 2464 pc), although the support of B and the Sahidic version strengthens the reading considerably. The reading “they received” is found in two different forms: παρελάβοσαν (parelabosan; in א* A [D*] 0278 33 pc) and παρέλαβον (parelabon; in א2 D2 Ψ 1739 1881 Ï). (παρέλαβον is evidently a correction of παρελάβοσαν to the more common spelling for the third person aorist form). The external evidence is divided fairly evenly, with παρελάβετε and παρελάβοσαν each having adequate support. Internal evidence leans toward “they received”: Given the second person reading, there is little reason why scribes would intentionally change it to a third person plural, and especially an archaic form at that. There is ample reason, however, for scribes to change the third person form to the second person form given that in the prior context παράδοσις (paradosis, “tradition”) is used with a relative clause (as here) with a second person verb (see 2:15). The third person form should be regarded as original.
[3:8] 13 tn Grk “but working,” as a continuation of the previous sentence. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started with the word “Instead” in the translation.
sn Up to 3:17 the letter was dictated by Paul but written down by a secretary or amanuensis. But Paul took up the pen and wrote vv. 17-18 personally to authenticate that it was his (how I write in every letter). See similar indications in 1 Cor 16:21; Gal 6:11; and Col 4:18.
tc Most witnesses, including some early and important ones (א2 A D F G Ψ Ï lat sy), conclude this letter with ἀμήν (amhn, “amen”). Such a conclusion is routinely added by scribes to NT books because a few of these books originally had such an ending (cf. Rom 16:27; Gal 6:18; Jude 25). A majority of Greek witnesses have the concluding ἀμήν in every NT book except Acts, James, and 3 John (and even in these books, ἀμήν is found in some witnesses). It is thus a predictable variant. Further, the witnesses for the omission are among the best