Known today as Salonica, it is the second largest city in Greece, and a thriving commercial port. In the 4th century BC, it was founded by Cassander of Macedonia beginning from the city of Therma (or Therme), named for hot springs in the area. His wife was named Thessalonica, and was sister of Alexander the Great.
Silvanus, in Paul’s opening greeting to the Christians at Thessalonica refers to Silas. The church there was founded in Acts 17:1-9 on Paul’s second missionary journey. In this portion of the epistle, Paul praises and encourages them for their faith and the example that they have been for Christians elsewhere, as word of their conversion and faith in the Lord Jesus has spread throughout the region by reason of the comings and going of people doing trade there, and possibly evangelistic efforts on their part. They had moved from pagan idol worship to deep faith in the resurrected Lord, while at the same time facing tremendous persecution for doing so (Acts 17:5-8).
Side note:This article at Ferrell’s Travel Blog shows pictures of the ruins of the Roman forum there.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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