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But the translation in the New King James Version and other modern translations is preferred. The Thessalonians were not afraid that the day of Christ was coming , but that they were in it. From this, it is obvious that the day of Christ had not been completed. Paul will go on to demonstrate that it also had not yet dawned , because the Thessalonians were afraid that they were in the Great Tribulation the day of the Lord , and feared that they had missed the rapture.

But Paul will demonstrate that they are not in the day of Christ ; because if they were, then certain signs would be present. It is important to notice that the Thessalonians would be shaken or troubled by the thought of being in the Great Tribulation only if they had been taught by Paul that they would escape that period through the rapture. Otherwise they would, in a sense, welcome the Great Tribulation as a necessary prelude to the Second Coming. Either by spirit or by word or by letter : Perhaps the troubling word had come through a misguided prophecy spirit or by word.

Or perhaps some other leader wrote the Thessalonians a letter teaching that they were already in the day of Christ.


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Either way, they were upset at the idea that they had somehow missed the rapture. But these Thessalonians imagined it to be already come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,. For that Day will not come : Paul will not describe events which must precede the rapture, but events that are concrete evidence of the Great Tribulation — the day of Christ.

In this sense, one cannot be certain the day of Christ the Great Tribulation has come unless these signs are present. This phrase is not in the original text, but is very appropriately added. Unless the falling away comes first : The ancient Greek wording for falling away indicates a rebellion or a departure. Bible scholars debate if it refers to an apostasy among those who once followed God, or a general worldwide rebellion.

In fact, Paul may have both in mind, because there is evidence of each in the end times 1 Timothy , 2 Timothy and But you can know that we are not in the Great Tribulation, because we have not yet seen the falling away that comes first. This is not a falling away , but the falling away , the great and final rebellion.

Some have suggested that the idea behind falling away is really a departure , in the sense of the rapture of the church. But a departure implies that the one leaving does so of his own accord and initiative, and this is not the case with the catching away of the church. In addition, the ancient Greek word in the New Testament Acts , forsake or in the Septuagint, always implies something sinful and negative.


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  • The idea of a great end-times apostasy also does not contradict the idea of a great end-times revival. Some Christians doubt the idea of great revival in the last days, or even welcome apostasy believing it signals the end. But just as the Book of Revelation describes great rejection of Jesus during the Great Tribulation Revelation and and great acceptance of Him Revelation , the two can stand side-by-side.

    And the man of sin is revealed : Before the Great Tribulation can be identified with certainty, a particular person — known as the man of sin , — must be revealed. But you can know that we are not in the Great Tribulation, because we have not yet seen the man of sin … revealed. The most traditional understanding of this man of sin is to say that he is not an individual, but a system or an office. Historically, Protestant interpreters have seen the man of sin to be the succession of popes. This we see accomplished in popery. However, there is no good reason to see this man of sin to be other than what the plainest meaning is here — an individual who will come to great prominence in the very last days.

    This was how it was understood in the earliest days of Christianity. This man of sin is a prominent figure in the Bible, and the ultimate personification of the spirit of the Antichrist spoken of in 1 John He will no doubt live many years before the Great Tribulation, but he will only be revealed as the man of sin during that period. Son of perdition : Perdition means destruction , the complete loss of well-being.

    Who wrote the book?

    It is really the opposite of salvation. To call him the son of perdition means his character is marked by this destruction. Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or is worshipped : The man of sin demands worship for himself that belongs to God only Luke This demand for worship is also described in Revelation Understanding the strength and breadth of this statement shows us that saying that the Antichrist is the Pope is far too simplistic.

    He will sponsor a religion that does not tolerate the worship of anyone or anything except himself.

    Who wrote the book?

    The apostate Roman Catholic Church may be part of this end-times religion, but it will not encompass it. The temple of God : That this is a literal temple is clear from the text, and has been understood as such by even the earliest Christians. He sits as God in the temple : The specific ancient Greek word for temple indicates the most holy place and not the temple as a whole. His action is itself a claim to deity. The prophet Daniel told us the Antichrist will break his covenant with the Jews and bring sacrifice and offerings to an end; that the Antichrist will defile the temple by setting something abominable there Daniel , , and Showing himself that he is God : The man of sin is truly an Anti -Christ.

    1 Thessalonians celebrates the Church's holiness, love and hope. | The Bible Project

    Satan has planned the career of the man of sin to mirror the ministry of Jesus. Yet in the end, the man of sin can only show himself that he is God. The coming of Jesus and the judgment of God will make it clear that the man of sin is not God at all. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.

    And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. When I was still with you I told you these things : Paul was only with the Thessalonians a few weeks Acts But Paul thought it important to teach these brand new Christians about Biblical prophecy, and he taught them in some detail. And now you know what is restraining : For now, Satan and the man of sin are being restrained. The principle of their working is now present the mystery of lawlessness is already at work.

    But at the right time, the Holy Spirit He who restrains who restrains their full revelation will be taken out of the way. Taken out of the way : We should not think that the Holy Spirit would leave the earth during the Great Tribulation. The Holy Spirit is taken out of the way , not removed.

    The mystery of lawlessness is already at work : This great principle of evil is already present in the world. It will be ultimately unveiled in the man of sin, but he does not introduce a new wickedness into the world, only an intensity of prior wickedness. Right now, this lawlessness is a mystery — that it is, it can only be seen and understood by revelation.

    Relationship Between 1 and 2 Thessalonians (in 1 & 2 Thessalonians)

    Otherwise it is hidden. Or a forged letter written in the name of Paul? Or an indication that 1 Thessalonians was apparently being misinterpreted? The wording of Paul's autograph greeting in has been taken to communicate a concern to assure the Thessalonians of the authenticity of this letter.

    Why was this concern expressed in the second letter and not in the first? Some interpreters read this as an indication that 2 Thessalonians was pseudonymous. In the writers exhort the Thessalonians: Stand firm and observe the traditions which you were taught either by our word or by our letter.

    A similar reference in usually translated this letter can be read to refer either to a previous letter 1 Thessalonians or to the letter being written 2 Thessalonians.

    Introduction to the Second Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians

    The most plausible reading of these references, as argued in the Explanatory Notes for these texts, is that the letter mentioned in 2 Thess. Scholars have also made several other proposals for resolving the puzzling question of the relationship between these letters.

    Book of 1 Thessalonians

    We examine three of these hypotheses briefly summarized from Jewett, chaps. Separate recipients for the two letters have been suggested by several scholars. Harnack argued that there were Jewish and Gentile factions in the congregation at Thessalonica, and that 1 Thessalonians was addressed to the Gentile majority group and 2 Thessalonians to the Jewish minority. Earle Ellis posits that 1 Thessalonians was written to the congregation as a whole, and 2 Thessalonians was targeted for the congregational leaders.

    None of these separate recipient hypotheses has found wide acceptance among scholars and commentators. Since canonical order of the NT books is not based on chronological order, the present order in the NT does not rule out this hypothesis. But what is the evidence? We name a few arguments for 2 Thessalonians being written first and some counterarguments chart below. All things considered, the arguments for 2 Thessalonians being written first are not persuasive.

    There are strong reasons for believing that indeed 1 Thessalonians came first, and the reasons include references in 2 Thessalonians to a previous letter see above. The story about how Paul and his companions went about their ministry and how they were welcomed in Thessalonica seems appropriate in a first letter 1 Thess. A reference to the growth of the Thessalonian congregation 2 Thess. The problem existed even during the initial visit. First Thess. The emphasis on the genuineness of the letter in 2 Thess.

    Paul apparently fears the possibility of a forger, which is more likely only after a first letter. In 1 Thess. The pseudonymity of 2 Thessalonians is another explanation for the combination of striking similarities and major differences between 1 and 2 Thessalonians. This proposal has gained widespread academic support. A survey of articles given at a colloquium dealing with the Thessalonian correspondence reveals that among scholars, the advocates of Pauline authorship of 2 Thessalonians are definitely in the minority Collins, According to an increasingly dominant view, 2 Thessalonians was not written by Paul.

    Other scholars, notably Wilhelm Wrede, propose that a writer around A.


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    • As indicated in the introduction "Who Wrote These Letters? Complete certainty about such matters may not be possible, and so the debate continues.