Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Verse 13 (1 Thessalonians 4:13)

I would not have you to be ignorant - Instead of εχομεν , have, θελομεν , wish, is the reading of ADEFG, many others, besides the Arabic, Ethiopic, Armenian, some of the Slavonian, the Vulgate, and Itala, with many of the Greek fathers. This is undoubtedly the true reading: Brethren, I would not wish you to be ignorant; or, I would not that you should be ignorant.

This was probably one of the points which were lacking in their faith, that he wished to go to Thessalonica to instruct them in.

Them which are asleep - That is, those who are dead. It is supposed that the apostle had heard that the Thessalonians continued to lament over their dead, as the heathens did in general who had no hope of the resurrection of the body; and that they had been puzzled concerning the doctrine of the resurrection. To set them right on this important subject, he delivers three important truths:

  1. He asserts, as he had done before, that they who died in the Lord should have, in virtue of Christ's resurrection, a resurrection unto eternal life and blessedness.
  • He makes a new discovery, that the last generation should not die at all, but be in a moment changed to immortals.
  • 3. He adds another new discovery, that, though the living should not die, but be transformed, yet the dead should first be raised, and be made glorious and immortal; and so, in some measure, have the preference and advantage of such as shall then be found alive. See Dodd.

    - Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible