A falling away (2 Thessalonians 2)
This chapter was my morning reading today, and I noticed a lot of markings on it from previous study – there are also two sections of JST for the chapter; so it’s obviously one that has been muddled around a bit through its life and needs helpful interpretation. I wanted to give here a possible translation from these mixed sources – French, alternate Greek translations from the footnotes, JST and BYU roundtable discussions (with BYU professors of ancient scripture and religion). If you found this chapter hard to make sense of, this might help.
- Now we beseech you, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our reunion with him,
- Don’t let yourselves be easily shaken in your good sense, or be troubled by letter seeming to be from us; neither by spirit, nor by word, as that the day of Christ is here.
- Let no man deceive you by any means: for there must come a defection/apostasy first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
- The Adversary who exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; even unto sitting in the temple of God, proclaiming himself God.
- Remember ye not, that, when I was still with you, I told you these things?
- And now ye know the one who restrains him that he might be revealed only in his time.
- For the mystery of iniquity doth already work, and he it is who now worketh, and Christ suffereth him to work, until the time is fulfilled that he shall be taken out of the way. – Another way of translating this would be that Christ allows Satan to work his lawlessness, until the time when he (Christ) who now holds him in firm grasp will release that grasp so that he can be defeated. I’m not sure I have this right, so suggestions might help. It seems to make more sense that Christ is now reigning him in so he doesn’t do so much that it would destroy our freedom, and will at His Second Coming completely reign him in. But this verse seems to say that Christ will stop restraining his power, or release him so that he can be destroyed. Not sure.
- And then shall that wicked/lawless one be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.
- Yea, the Lord, even Jesus, whose coming is not until after there cometh a falling away, by the working of Satan with all power, and signs and lying wonders – I think that’s a great phrase: ‘lying wonders’, to describe his work. We can say that Satan has great power and can imitate many wonders of God. But his power is limited, while God’s is unlimited.
- And with all the seductions of iniquity for those who perish because they have received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
- And for this cause God shall allow them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
- That they all might be condemned/brought to trial who have believed not the truth, but have taken pleasure in unrighteousness.
- But we are bound to give thanks continually to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
The next several verses are clear and I don’t have any changes for them. Verse 17, of course, could read: “strengthen you in every good word and work”.
Does this help with the clarity of this chapter?