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Bible Commentaries
2 Thessalonians 2

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Verses 1-99


The discouragement of those converts who feared that they were not morally prepared for the day of judgment (1:3-12) was intensified by the assertion of some, perhaps the idle brethren, supported, it was alleged, by the authority of Paul, that the day of the Lord was actually present. Paul, who receives news of the situation orally or by letter, together with a request for information about the Parousia and Assembling, is at a loss to understand how anything he had said in the Spirit, orally, or in his previous epistle, could be misconstrued to imply that he was responsible for the misleading assertion, “the day of the Lord is present.” Believing, however, that the statement has been innocently attributed to him, and feeling sure that a passing allusion to his original oral instruction concerning times and seasons will make plain the absurdity of the assertion, and at the same time quiet the agitation of the faint-hearted, he answers the request in words not of warning but of encouragement (cf. also vv. 13 f.). “Do not be discouraged,” he says in effect, “for the day of the Lord, though not far distant, will not be actually present until first of all the Anomos comes; and again be not discouraged, for the advent of the Anomos is intended not for you believers, but solely for the unbelievers, and destruction sudden and definitive is in store both for him and for them.”

The exhortation falls roughly into four parts (1) the object of the exhortation (vv. 1-2); (2) the reason why the day of the Lord is not present (vv. 3-8a); (3) the triumph of the good over the evil in the destruction of the Anomos (v. 8b. c); and (4) the spiritual significance of the Parousia of the Anomos (vv. 9-12). There is no formal counterpart in I either of the exhortation or of the preceding prayer (1:11-12); furthermore the material of 2:1-12 like that of 1:5-12 is, compared with I, almost wholly new.

1Now brothers, in reference to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to meet him, we ask you 2not to be readily unsettled in your mind or to be nervously wrought up by the statement made by Spirit, orally, or by letter, as if we had made it, that the day of the Lord is present.

3Let no one deceive you in any way whatever: for (the day of the Lord will not be present) unless first of all there comes the apostasy and there be revealed the man of lawlessness, the son of perdition, 4the one who opposes and exalts himself against every one called God or an object of worship so that he sits (or, attempts to sit) in the temple of God and proclaims (or, attempts to proclaim) that he himself is really God. 5You remember, do you not, that when I was yet with you, I used to tell you these things? 6And as to the present time, you know the spirit or power that detains him (or, is holding sway), in order that he (the lawless one) may be revealed in his appointed time. 7For, the secret of lawlessness has already been set in operation; only (the apostasy will not come and the Anomos will not be revealed) until the person who now detains him (or, is now holding sway) is put out of the way. 8And then will be revealed the Anomos whom the Lord Jesus will slay with the breath of his mouth and will destroy with the manifestation of his coming.

9Whose coming, according to the energy of Satan, attended by all power and signs and wonders inspired by falsehood 10and by all deceit inspired by unrighteousness, is for those destined to destruction; doomed because they had not welcomed the love for the truth unto their salvation. 11And so for this reason, it is God that sends them an energy of delusion that they may believe the falsehood; 12that (finally) all may be judged who have not believed the truth but have consented to that unrighteousness.

1-2. First stating the theme as given him in their letter, “concerning the advent and the assembling to meet him” (v. 1), Paul exhorts the readers not to let their minds become easily unsettled, and not to be nervously wrought up by the assertion, however conveyed and by whatever means attributed to him, that the day of the Lord is actually present (v. 2).

1. ἐρωτῶμεν δὲ ὐμᾶς�

ὑπὲρ τῆς παρουσίας κτλ. The prepositional phrase, introduced by ὑπέ = περι (see 1:4 and I 3:2, 5:10), announces the two closely related subjects (note the single τῆ) about which the readers of I had solicited information, “the coming of our (B and Syr. omit ἡμῶ) Lord Jesus” and “our assembling unto him.” The addition of ἐπʼ αὐτό intimates that not only the well-known muster (ἐπισυναγωγη) of the saints (cf. Mark 13:27 = Matthew 24:31) that precedes the rapture (I 4:17) is meant, but also the sequel of the rapture (σὺν κυριῳ εἶνα, I 4:17).

Since ἐρωτά is rare in Paul (see on I 4:1), it is not strange that ἐρωτάω ὑπέ is unique in Paul; he uses, however, παρακαλεῖν ὑπέ (see on I 3:2) as well as παρακαλοῦμεν δὲ ὑμᾶς�Romans 15:30, Romans 15:16:17, 1 Corinthians 1:10, 1 Corinthians 16:15); cf. further οὐ θέλομεν�1 Corinthians 12:1, and 2 Corinthians 1:8 (אAC, et al.) where BKL have ὑπέ). On the exact phrase ἡ παρουσία κτλ cf. I 5:23.—ἐπισυναγωγη (elsewhere in Gk. Bib. only 2 Malachi 2:7, Hebrews 10:25; cf. Deiss. Light, 101 ff.) refers to the constant hope of the Jews that their scattered brethren would be gathered together in Palestine (Isaiah 27:13, Sir. 36:13, 2 Mac. 2:18; cf. the ἐπισυνάγει under the leadership of the Messiah in Ps. Sol. 17:28. 50), a hope which passed over, with some changes, into Christian apocalyptic; see for details Schürer, II, 626 ff.; Bousset, Relig2 271 ff.; and Volz. Eschat. 309 ff. Swete (on Mark 13:27,) observes that ἐπισυναγωγη in Hebrews 10:25 “is suggestively used for the ordinary gatherings of the church, which are anticipations of the great assembling at the Lord’s return.” On ἐπι for πρό, here due to the substantive, cf. Galatians 4:9 and especially Habakkuk 2:5 (B; AQ have πρό).

2. εἰς τὸ μὴ ταχέως κτλ. The object (εἰς τὸ μη) of ἐρωτῶμε is specified by two infinitives, one aorist σαλευθῆνα which looks at the action without reference to its progress or completion; the other present, θροεῖσθα which defines the action as going on; hence, “we urge you not to be easily unsettled and not to be in a constant state of nervous excitement.” The phrase σαλευθῆναι�

On the analogy of παρακαλεῖν εἰς το (I 2:12) or τὸ μη (I 3:3) and δεῖσθαι εἰς το (I 3:10) or τὸ μη (2 Corinthians 10:2), ἐρωτῶμεν εἰς τὸ μη is natural, and that too as an object clause (BMT 412). Parallel to this negative exhortation is the independent negative prohibition μή τις κτλ (v. 3). Wohl., however, takes εἰς τὸ μη as final and finds the content of the exhortation in μή τις κτλ a construction which is smoother and less Pauline.—σαλεύει, only here in Paul but common elsewhere in Gk. Bib., is used literally “of the motion produced by winds, storms, waves,” etc. (Thayer; cf. Psalms 17:8 and σάλο Luke 21:25), and figuratively of disturbance in general (Ps. 9:27, Psalms 9:12:5; cf. especially Acts 17:13 of the Jews in Berœa). It is sometimes parallel to (Job 9:6, Nahum 1:5, Habakkuk 2:16) or a variant of (Isaiah 33:20, 1Mac. 9:13) σείει; and it is construed with�Psalms 32:8), “by” (1 Mac. 9:13 (A) Ps. Sol. 15:6), or as here “from” (cf. 1:9); Vulg. has a vestro sensu (cf. 4 Reg. 21:8 = 2 Chronicles 33:8 Dan. (Th.) 4:11). DE add ὑμῶ after νοῦ; cf. 1 Corinthians 14:14.—θροεῖσθα, indicating a state of alarm (cf. θροῦ Sap. 1:10, 1 Mac. 9:39), occurs elsewhere in Gk. Bib. only Song of Solomon 5:4, and Mark 13:37 = Matthew 24:6, an apocalyptic word of the Lord which, so some surmise (Wohl., Mill., Dob.), Paul has here in mind. On θροεῖσθα, see Kennedy, Sources, 126, and Wrede, 48 f.—On μη … μηδε cf. Romans 14:21; EKLP, et al., have μήτ due probably to the following sequence where D has μηδέ, μηδέ, μήτ, and F μηδέ, μήτ (corrected to μηδε), μηδε Though μήτ is common in Gk. Bib. (3 Reg. 3:26, Hosea 4:4, etc.), it occurs only here in Paul; see Bl 77:10.

διὰ πνεύματος κτλ. The instrument or means (δια not ὑπο) by which the σαλευαθῆνα and θροεῖσθα are effected is specified in three parallel clauses standing together in negative correlation (the triple μήτ being due to μηδε), διὰ πνεύματος, διὰ λόγο and διʼ ἐπιστολῆ In the light of I 5:19, πνεῦμ (anarthrous as often in Paul) refers clearly to the operation of the Spirit in the charisma of prophecy; λόγο, in the light of ἐπιστολῆ, means probably an oral as contrasted with an epistolary utterance (v. 15, Acts 15:27); and ἐπιστολη is probably an allusion not to a forged or an anonymous letter, but to I.

Chrys. apparently understands πνεῦμ either of the spirit of prophecy or of false prophets who deceive by persuasive words (διὰ λόγο; cf. Ephr.). λόγο is sometimes understood of the “reckoning” of times and seasons, or of a real or falsified λόγος κυρίο (see Lün.); but it is usually explained as an oral utterance inspired (=διδαχη 1 Corinthians 14:6. 1 Corinthians 14:26; cf. λόγος σοφία and γνώσεω 1 Corinthians 12:8) or uninspired.

ὡς διʼ ἡμῶ. “As if said by us.” Since this clause is separated from the construction with the triple μήτ, it is not to be construed with the infinitives σαλευθῆνα and θροεῖσθα; and since the three preceding phrases with δια are closely united in negative correlation, ὡς διʼ ἡμῶ is to be connected not with ἐπιστολῆ alone, not with both ἐπιστολῆ and λόγο, but with all three prepositional phrases. The reference is thus not to the unsettlement and agitation as such, and not to the instruments of the same, but to the unsettling and agitating cause conveyed by these instruments, the statement, namely, “that the day of the Lord is present.” While it is possible that some of the converts, perhaps the idle brethren, had themselves said in the Spirit, or in an address, that the day had actually dawned, and had supported their assertion by a reference to an anonymous letter attributed innocently to Paul, it is probable, in view of the unity of the negative correlation with the triple μήτ, that an actual utterance of Paul in the Spirit, or in an address, or in his first epistle (cf. Jerome, Hammond, Kern and Dob.) had been misconstrued to imply that Paul himself had said that “the day of the Lord is present,” thus creating the unsettlement and nervous excitement.

That the three instruments specified do not exhaust the number of actual instruments about which Paul was informed, or of possible instruments which he thinks may have been employed, is a natural inference from v. 3: “let no one deceive you in any way,” the ways mentioned or other possible ways. In writing ὡς διʼ ἡμῶ, Paul does not deny that he has used such instruments, or that he has expressed himself in reference to times and seasons; he disclaims simply all responsibility for the statement: “the day of the Lord is present.” The context alone determines whether or not ὡ (1 Corinthians 4:18, 1 Corinthians 4:7:25, 1 Corinthians 4:9:26, 2 Corinthians 5:20, etc.) indicates an erroneous opinion.

That ὡς διʼ ἡμῶ is to be joined with all three substantives is regarded as probable by Erasmus, Barnes, Lft., Mill. ,Dob., Harnack, Dibelius, et al. (1) Many scholars, however (from Tertullian to Moff.), restrict the phrase to ἐπιστολῆ, and interpret it as meaning ὡς διʼ ἡμῶν γεγραμμένη (Thayer, 681), or ὡς ἡμῶν γεγραφότων αὐτή (Bl 74:6; P reads παρʼ ἡμῶ). According to this construction, some of the converts either (a) ἐν πνεύματ (or ex falsis visionibus quas ostendunt vobis, Ephr.), or (b) in an oral address (Chrys.; cf. Ephr. ex commentitiis sophismati vesbis quae dicunt vobis) or in the charisma of διδαχη, or (c) in a forged letter (Chrys., Theodoret, Ell. and many others; cf. Ephr. per falsas epistolas minime a vobis scriptas tamquam per nos missas) asserted that the day is present. But while some of the converts might innocently make such an assertion in the Spirit or in an address, inspired or not, they could not innocently forge a letter. And if they had done so, Paul would scarcely have written as he now writes. Hence, many commentators content themselves with the supposition that an anonymous letter had been attributed, innocently or wilfully, to Paul; or that Paul suspected that a letter had been forged. (2) Still other scholars (Theodoret, Grot., De W., Lün., Lillie, Ell., Schmiedel, Vincent, et al.), influenced doubtless by v. 15, join ὡς διʼ ἡμῶ with both λόγο and ἐπιστολῆ According to this view, πνεῦμ is understood of an utterance of some of the converts in the Spirit, λόγο of a pretended oral word of Paul, and ἐπιστολη of an anonymous or a forged letter. (3) A more recent theory (Dods, Askwith in his Introd. to Thess. Epistles, 1902, 92 ff., and Wohl.) connects ὡς διʼ ἡμῶ closely with the infinitives, and explains that Paul is here disclaiming not the Spirit, or word, or letter, but simply the “responsibility for the disturbance which has arisen”; and that ὡς διʼ ἡμῶ means “as if such disturbance came through us.” This attractive suggestion seems to overlook the evident detachment of ὠς διʼ ἡμῶ from the negative correlation with the triple μὴτ (cf. Dibelius).

ὡς ὅτι ἐνέστηκεν κτλ. The actual statement of some of the converts, based on a misconstruction of Paul’s utterance by Spirit, by word, or by his first epistle, is now given: “that the day of the Lord is present.” That this statement is not a word of Paul has already been indicated by ὡς διʼ ἡμῶ The second ὠ may be separated from ὅτ, in which case the judgment of the first ὡ is reiterated, “as if we said that”; or ὡς ὅτ may be equivalent to a simple ὅτ “that,” in which case the utterance is quoted without further qualification: “to wit that the day of the Lord is present” (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:19). ἐνέστηκε means not “is coming” (ἔρχετα I 5:2), not “is at hand” (ἤγγικε Romans 13:12), not “is near” (ἐγγύς ἐστι Philippians 4:5), but “has come,” “is on hand,” “is present.” The period indicated by ἠμέρ has dawned and the Lord is expected from heaven at any moment. Paul of course had not expressed any such opinion; and it is with a trace of impatience that, after noting what first must come, he asks: “Do you not remember,” etc. (v. 5). It is this misleading assertion that accounts both for the increased discouragement of the faint-hearted to encourage whom Paul writes 1:3-2:17, and for the increased meddlesomeness of the idle brethren to warn whom Paul writes 3:1-18.

ὡς ὅτ occurs elsewhere in Gk. Bib. 2 Corinthians 5:19, 2 Corinthians 5:11:21, 2 Corinthians 5:2 Reg. 18:18 (A B omits ὡ) Esther 4:14. (B A omits ὡ); for other examples, mostly late (since recent editors no longer read ὠς ὅτ in Xen. Hellen. III, 2:14; Dion Hal. Antiq. 9:14; Josephus, Apion, I, 58), see Wetstein on 2 Corinthians 5:19, 2 Corinthians 11:21. In late Gk. ὡς ὅτ = ὅτ = “that” (Sophocles, Lex. sub voc.). Moulton (I, 212), however, urges that this usage appears “in the vernacular at a rather late stage” and so takes ὡς ὅτ = quasi with most interpreters. But while the sense “as if,” “on the ground that” would fit most of the instances in Gk. Bib., it does not fit 2 Corinthians 5:19. Since ὡς ὅτ cannot mean “because,” and since the reading ὅτ (Baljon, Schmiedel) for ὡς ὅτ in 2 Corinthians 5:19 is pure conjecture, there remains only the sense “to wit that” (so Dob. here, and Bernard, EGT on 2 Corinthians 5:19, 2 Corinthians 11:21).—ἐνίστημ is used in N. T., apart from 2 Timothy 3:1, Hebrews 9:9, only by Paul; in Romans 8:38, 1 Corinthians 3:22, ἐνεστώ is contrasted with μέλλω “The verb is very common in the papyri and inscriptions with reference to the current year” (Mill.; cf. Esther 3:13 τοῦ ἐνεστῶτος ἔτου). Lillie cites Josephus, Ant. XVI, 6:2 οὐ μόνον ἐν τῷ ἐνεστῶτι καιρῷ�1 Corinthians 5:5), see I 5:2; D omits η and GFP omit του; K, et al., read Χριστου for κυρίο

3-8a. Allow no one, Paul continues, to delude you into such a belief whatever means may be employed (v. 3a). Then, choosing to treat the question given him (v. 1) solely with reference to the assertion (v. 2), and having in mind the discouragement of the faint-hearted, he selects from the whole of his previous oral teaching concernin times and seasons only such elements as serve to prove that the assertion (v. 2) is mistaken, and proceeds to remind them that the day of the Lord will not be present until first of all the apostasy comes and a definite and well-known figure, variously described as the man of lawlessness, the son of destruction, etc., is revealed,—allusions merely with which the readers are quite familiar, so familiar, indeed, that the Apostle can cut short the characterisation (v. 4), and appeal, with perhaps a trace of impatience at their forgetfulness, to the memory of the readers to complete the picture (v. 5). Then, turning from the future to the present, he explains why the apostasy and the revelation of the Anomos are delayed, and so why the day of the Lord is not yet present. To be sure, he intimates, the day of the Lord is not far distant, for there has already been set in operation the secret of lawlessness which is preparing the way for the apostasy and the concomitant revelation of the Anomos; but that day will not actually be present until the supernatural spirit which detains the Anomos (or, which is holding sway) for the very purpose that the Anomos may be revealed only at the time set him by God, or the supernatural person who is now detaining the Anomos (or, who is now holding sway), is put out of the way (vv. 6-7). And then there will be revealed the lawless one (v. 8a).

3. ὅτι ἐὰν μὴ ἔλθῃ. The ὅτ introduces the reason why the readers should not be alarmed or excited (v. 2), or, more directly, why they should not allow themselves to be deceived about the time of the day of the Lord in any way whatever, the ways mentioned in v. 2 or in any other way; and at the same time it starts the discussion of the theme (v. 1) “concerning the advent and the assembling unto him.” However, in the treatment of the theme, only such points are brought to the memory of the readers as make clear (1) that the Parousia will not be present until first of all there comes the apostasy and there be revealed the Anomos (vv. 3-4); (2) why the day of the Lord is not yet present (vv. 5-8); and (3) what the significance is of the advent of the Anomos,—points selected with a view to the encouragement of the faint-hearted. The clause with ὅτ remains unfinished; from v. 2 we may supply after ὅτ “the day of the Lord will not be present” (ἡ ἡμέρα τοῦ κυρίου οὐκ ἐνστήσετα).

On the rare prohibitory subj. in the third person (1 Corinthians 16:11), see BMT 166; in view of 1 Corinthians 16:11, 2 Corinthians 11:16, it is unnecessary to construe μή τι with ἐρωτῶμε, and to take εἰς τὸ μη (v. 2) as indicating purpose. The clause with μή τι is quite independent; it is not probably parenthetical, although ὅτι κτλ may be connected directly with vv. 1-2.—As θροεῖσθα (v. 2) suggests the μὴ θροεῖσθ of Mark 13:7 = Matthew 24:6, so ἐξαπατής recalls the βλέπετε μή τις ὑμᾶς πλανήσῃ of Mark 13:5 = Matthew 24:4. ἐξαπατά, frequent in Lxx, is in the N. T. used chiefly by Paul.—On κατὰ μηδένα τρόπο, “evidently a current phrase” (Mill.), which strengthens μή τι, cf. 3 Mac. 4:13, Malachi 4:4 Mac. 4:24, 10:7; also κατὰ πάντα τρόπο Romans 3:2. Though κατα (v. 9, 1:12, 3:6) is common in Paul, it does not appear in I.

ἡ�Malachi 2:15), that is, of Judaism to Hellenism; thereafter, as one of the fearful signs of the end (cf. Eth. En. 91:7), it became a fixed element in apocalyptic tradition (cf. Jub. 23:14 ff. 4 Ezra 5:1 ff. Matthew 24:10 ff.). Paul, however, is probably thinking not of the apostasy of Jews from Moses, or of the Gentiles from the law in their hearts, or even of an apostasy of Christians from their Lord (for Paul expects not only the Thessalonians (I 5:9, II 2:13 ff.) but all believers (1 Corinthians 3:15) to be saved), but of the apostasy of the non-Christians as a whole, of the sons of disobedience in whom the prince of the power of the air, the evil spirit, is now operating (cf. Ephesians 2:2). This apostasy or religious revolt is not to be identified with “the mystery of lawlessness” (v. 7), for that mystery, already set in operation by Satan, precedes the apostasy and prepares the way for it; it is therefore something future, sudden, and final, like the revelation of the Anomos with which apparently it is associated essentially and chronologically. Whether this definitive religious revolt on earth synchronises with the revolt of Satan (Revelation 12:7 ff.) in heaven, Paul does not say.

On the term, see Bousset, Antichrist, 76 ff., and Volz. Eschat. 179. That the revolt is not political, whether of all peoples (Iren. V, 25:2) or of Jews (Clericus, et al.) from Rome, and not both political and religious (see Poole, ad loc., and Wohl.), but solely religious, is probable both from the fact that elsewhere in the Gk. Bib.�Joshua 22:22 (B) 3 Reg. 20:13 (A) 2 Chronicles 29:19, 2 Chronicles 33:19 (A) Jeremiah 2:19, Jeremiah 2:1 Malachi 2:15, Acts 21:21), and from the fact that in vv. 3-12, as elsewhere in the apocalyptic utterances of Paul, there is no evident reference to political situations. (It is not evident that τὸ κατέχο and ὁ κατέχων ἄρτ in vv. 6-7 refer to Rome). Furthermore, it is unlikely (1) that heresy is in mind, since “the doomed” here (v. 10) and elsewhere in Paul are outside the Christian group, “the saved” (Hammond and others (see Poole) find the prophecy fulfilled (cf. 1 Timothy 4:1 ff.), while Cyril of Jerusalem (Cat. 15:9) sees the fulfilment in the heresies of his own day); or (2) that ἡ�Deuteronomy 15:9, Judges 19:22, Judges 19:1 Reg. 2:12, 10:27, 25:17, Ps. 16:27, Nahum 1:11).—Whether πρῶτο (without a following ἔπειτ I 4:17 or δεύτερο 1 Corinthians 12:28) belongs to both ἔλθῃ and�

ἀποκαλυφθῇ The Anomos, described in the following words, is indeed in existence, concealed, perhaps imprisoned, somewhere, as�Ephesians 6:12), in the firmament, on earth, or in the abyss, is not stated. That he is influencing “the doomed” from his place of concealment is nowhere suggested; it is hinted only (vv. 6-7) that at present (that is, in the time of Paul) there is a supernatural spirit or person that directly by detaining him (or keeping him in detention) or indirectly (by holding sway until the appointed time of the coming of the Anomos) prevents his immediate revelation. This function of τὸ κατέχοor ὁ κατέχων ἄρτ is not, however, permanent; indeed, it is exercised for the purpose (God’s purpose) that the Anomos may be revealed in his proper time, the time, namely, that has been appointed by God. Not until then will the Anomos be revealed, then when the supernatural spirit or person is removed.

Since Paul does not describe the place or conditions of concealment, it is impossible to ascertain precisely what he means. His interest is not in the portrayal of the movements of the Anomos but is in his character (vv. 3-4) and his significance for the unbelievers (vv. 9-12). Paul uses φανερό (Colossians 3:3) and�1 Corinthians 1:7) of the advent of Christ, but not�Luke 17:30, Luke 17:4 Ezra 7:28, 13:22). The revelation or Parousia of the Anomos (v. 9) is perhaps intended as a counterpart of that of the Messiah (1:7); but whether Paul is responsible for the idea or is reproducing earlier Christian or Jewish tradition is uncertain. In the later Asc. Isa. 4:18, the Beloved rebukes in wrath “all things wherein Beliar manifested himself and acted openly in this world.”

ὁ ἄνθρωπος τῆς�

While (ο) ἄνθρωπο (του) θεου is quite frequent in the Lxx (cf. also 1 Timothy 6:11, 2 Timothy 3:17), ἄνθρωπο with an abstract gen. (Sir. 20:26, 31:25, Luke 2:14) is less frequent than�Psalms 5:7); and cf. υἱὸς θανάτω (1 Reg. 20:31, 2 Reg. 12:5) with�Exodus 34:7, Isaiah 53:12, Ezekiel 16:51, Ezekiel 29:16); occasionally A has�Ezekiel 36:19) or א (Ps. 108:14) has ἁμαρτί As these variants and the parallelism in Job 7:21, Psalms 31:5, Isaiah 53:5 show, the two words are similar in meaning, ἁμαρτί being the more general (cf. 1 John 3:4). Though common in Lxx, both�Romans 4:7, Romans 4:6:19, 2 Corinthians 6:14) and ἄνομο (1 Corinthians 9:21) are rare in Paul. Unless Bא revised in the light of vv. 7-8 (Weiss), or substituted�Judges 19:22) observes: “The oldest etymology of the word is found in Sanhedrin, 111 f. … ‘men who have thrown off the yoke of Heaven from their necks’ (עול + בלי). So also Jerome in a gloss in his translation of Judges 19:22: filii Belial, id est absque iugo”; but the word is “without analogy in the language” (ibid.); see further, Cheyne in EB 525 ff. In the Hebrew O.T. Belial is not certainly a proper name, though in Psalms 18:5 = 2 Samuel 22:5 “torrents of Belial” (Briggs) is parallel to “cords of sheol” and “snares of Death.” In the Lxx בליעל is rendered by υἱοὶ βελιά (Judges 20:13 A),�Judges 20:13 B, where A has βελιά; Judges 19:22, where Th. has βελιά)�Deuteronomy 15:9),�Psalms 17:5, parallel with θάνατο and ᾅδη), etc.; see Moore, loc. cit. In the Test. xii (see Charles on Reub. 2:1), Jub. (see Charles on 15:33 “sons of Beliar”), and Asc. Isa. (see Charles on 1:8), Belial or Beliar is definitely a Satan or the Satan (cf 2 Corinthians 6:15).

Charles (Asc. Isa lxi ff.) not only identifies “the man of lawlessness” with Belial but elaborates an hypothesis to account for the Antichrist as he appears in Paul and in later N. T. literature. The Anomos of Paul, a god-opposing man, a human sovereign armed with miraculous power, is the resultant of a fusion of two separate and originally independent traditions, that of the Antichrist and that of Beliar. The Antichrist is not, as Bousset supposes, originally the incarnate devil but a godopposing being of human origin. The first historical person to be identified with Antichrist is Antiochus Epiphanes; and the language applied to him “recalls, though it may be unconsciously, the old Babylonian saga of the Dragon’s assault on the gods of heaven.” Beliar, on the other hand, is a purely Satanic being. “It is through the Beliar constituent of the developed Antichrist myth that the old Dragon saga from Babylon gained an entrance into the eschatologies of Judaism and Christianity.” This fusion of Antichrist with Beliar “appears to have been effected on Christian soil before 50 a.d.,” and is attested by 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12. The subsequent history of Antichrist was influenced by the incoming of the Neronic myths; for example, Rev. xiii betrays the fusion of the myth of Antichrist with that of Nero Redivivus; Sib. Orac. III, 63-74, reflects the incarnation of Beliar as Antichrist in Nero still conceived as living; and Asc. Isaiah 4:2-4 (88-100 a.d.; Harnack and Bousset put the passage much later) suggests the incarnation of Beliar as Antichrist in the form of the dead Nero: “Beliar … will descend from his firmament in the likeness of a man, a lawless king,” etc.

ὁ υἱὸς τῆς�1 Corinthians 1:18 οἱ σωζόμενο) The same description is applied to Judas Iscariot in John 17:12.

Abaddon is in Lxx rendered by�Job 26:6, Proverbs 15:11), θάνατο (Job 28:22) and τόφο; cf.�Psalms 17:5. Bousset (Antichrist, 99) calls attention to the angel of the abyss in Revelation 9:11 whose name is Ἀβαδδώin Hebrew and Ἀπολλύω in Greek. The abyss is apparently “the abode of the ministers of torment from which they go forth to do hurt” (Taylor in ERE. I, 54). It is not, however, probable that ὁ υἱὸς τῆς�Romans 9:22, Philippians 1:28, Philippians 1:3:19; cf. Isaiah 57:4 τέκνα�Proverbs 24:22a υἱὸς�Revelation 17:8, the beast that ascends from the abyss is to go off ultimately εἰς�

4. ὁ�

Since both�1 Timothy 5:14 1 Timothy 5:1 Clem. 51:1) or ὁ διάβολο who stands at the right hand of Joshua in Zechariah 3:1 τοῦ�2 Corinthians 12:7) ὑπεραίρεσθα is found in Gk. Bib. Psalms 37:4, Psalms 71:16, Proverbs 31:29, 2 Chronicles 32:23, Sir. 48:13, 2 Mac. 5:23; the construction with ἐπι (only here in Gk. Bib.; cf. ὑπέ in Psalms 71:16 and the dat. in 2 Mac. 5:23) is due, perhaps, to the allusion in ἐπὶ πάντα θεό—Since�Isaiah 66:6, 1 Corinthians 16:9, Philippians 1:28) is regularly construed with the dative, a zeugma is here to be assumed, unless the possibility of�Acts 17:23 Sap. 14:20, 15:17 Dan. (Th.) Bel 27; cf. Sap. 14:20 with 14:12 εἴδωλ, 14:15 εἰκώ, and 14:16 τά γλυπτα) indicates not a divinity (numen) but any sacred object of worship.—On λεγόμενο, cf. 1 Corinthians 8:5, Colossians 4:11, Ephesians 2:11.—The omission by א* of καὶ ὑπεραιρόμενο is not significant.

ὥστε αὐτὸν καθισαι κτλ. The session in the sanctuary of God is tantamount to the assumption of divine honours, “proclaiming that he himself is really (ἔστι) God.” The attempt to sit in the sanctuary of God is made quite in the spirit of the king of Babylon (Isaiah 14:13 ff.) and the prince of Tyre (Ezekiel 28:2); but whether the attempt is successful or not (cf. Luke 4:29 ὥστε κατακρημνίσαι αὐτό) is not indicated certainly by ὥστ with the infinitive.

τὸν ναὸν τοῦ θεσυ. This is apparently the earliest extant reference to the session of the Antichrist in the temple of God (Bousset, Antichrist, 104 ff.). It is, however, quite uncertain whether the temple is to be sought in the church (on the analogy of 1 Corinthians 3:16 ff. 1 Corinthians 3:6:19, 2 Corinthians 6:16), in Jerusalem (Psalms 5:8, Psalms 78:1, Psalms 137:2), “in the high mountains toward the north” (Isaiah 14:13), “in the heart of the sea” (Ezekiel 28:2), or in the holy heavenly temple where God sits enthroned; cf. Psalms 10:4 κύριος ἐν ναῷ ἁγίῳ αὐτοῦ, κύριος ἐν οὐρανῷ ὁ θρόνος αὐτου (see Briggs, ad loc., and cf. Isaiah 66:1, Micah 1:2, Habakkuk 2:20, Psalms 17:7). If the reference is to the heavenly temple, then there is a reminiscence, quite unconscious, of traits appearing in the ancient saga of the Dragon that stormed the heavens, and (beginnings being transferred in apocalyptic to endings) is to storm the heavens at the end (cf. Bousset, loc. cit.). In this case ὥστ with the infinitive will indicate either (1) that the tendency of the spirit of defiance and self-exaltation is toward self-deification, the reference to the temple not being pressed; or (2) that after his revelation or advent, the Anomos, like the Dragon, attempts an assault on the throne of God in his holy temple in heaven, but is destroyed in the act by the breath of the mouth of the Lord Jesus.

Dibelius thinks that the original saga has been humanised by the insertion of the temple in Jerusalem, and compares Revelation 13:6 βλασφημῆσαι τὴν σκήνη Other commentators who find here a reference to the temple in Jerusalem hold either that the prophecy has been (Grot.) or will be fulfilled (e. g. Iren. V, 25:4 30:4; Hippolytus (Daniel 4:29 Antichrist, 6) has the temple rebuilt; and Cyril of Jerusalem (Cat. 15:5) has it rebuilt on the ruins of the old temple). When the significance of ὥστ with the infinitive is faced, it is held either (1) that the Anomos, when he comes, actually takes his seat in the temple, and exercises therefrom his demonic powers until his destruction, the exact manner in which ὥστ is realised being left indeterminate; or (2) that ὥστ indicates tendency or purpose not realised, the description being intended to set forth the trend of defiance and self-exaltation, and the reference to the temple not being forced. Still other commentators interpret the temple as equivalent to the church (Th. Mops., Chrys. Theodoret, Jerome, et al.), an interpretation which makes easy the application to heresy (Calv.), or when necessary, by Protestants, to the Pope sitting in the cathedra Petri.

The difficulty with the reference to the temple in Jerusalem is that the evidence adduced for this interpretation is not convincing. Neither Antiochus who erected a heathen altar on the altar of burnt-offering, and presumably placed thereon a statue of Zeus Olympios (cf. 1 Mac. 1:54, Daniel 9:27, Daniel 9:11:31, Daniel 9:12:11; Mark 13:14, Matthew 24:15), nor Caligula who ordered Petronius to set up his statue in the temple (Josephus, Ant. 18:8) is conceived as sitting or attempting to sit in the sanctuary of God. Contrast our verse with Asc. Isa. 4:11: “He (Beliar) … will set up his image before him in every city.” The temple then is probably to be sought in heaven; and there is in the allusion an unconscious survival of traits in the ancient tradition of the Dragon. On this saga, cf. Bousset, Antichrist, 104 ff.; Gunkel, schöpfung und Chaos, 221 ff.; Cheyne in EB 1131 ff.; Mill. 163 f.; and Dob. or Dibelius ad loc.—καθίζει is intransitive; on εἰ (Exodus 16:29, Exodus 16:1 Reg. 5:11, 2 Reg. 15:25 (A) Lamentations 2:10), see Bl 39:3. The ναὸς τοῦ θεου (1 Es. 5:52, Judith 5:18 Dan. (Th.) 5:3, Matthew 26:61, etc.; or κυριο Luke 1:9 and often in Lxx) is elsewhere in Paul used metaphorically; the Christians are the temple of God, or the body is the temple of the Spirit. —ἀποδείκνυμ (1 Corinthians 4:9) may mean “exhibit,” “prove” (Acts 25:7), “appoint” (Acts 2:22), or “designate” (a successor, 2 Mac. 14:26 (A); cf. Polyb. V, 43:4, Josephus, Ant. 6:35 7:338 The latter meaning in the sense of “nominate” or “proclaim” is here preferred by Lft. and Mill. The participle�Acts 3:26) or attendant circumstance (BMT 449). Before καθίσα, KL, et al., put ὡς θεό

5. οὐ μνημονεύετε κτλ. With an unfinished sentence behind him (vv. 3-4), Paul abruptly reminds his readers that they have already been instructed in the matter of the times and seasons, particularly the signs which must precede the Parousia of Christ (ταῦτ referring strictly to vv. 3-4). With a trace of impatience it may be (contrast μνημονεύετ in I 2:9) he asks: “Do you not remember that when I was yet with you, I was repeatedly telling you these things?”

Paul is wont to appeal not only to the knowledge of his readers (cf. I 2:1, etc.), but also, and specifically, as Chrys. has seen, to his previous oral communications (3:10, I 3:4).—On πρὸς ὑμᾶς εἶνα, cf. 3:10, I 3:4.—Even without πολλάκι (Philippians 3:18), Ἔλεγο may denote customary or repeated action,—On the first person sing. without ἐγω, cf. 3:17; with ἐγω I 2:18, 3:5. —For ἔτι ὤ, DE have ἔτι ἐμοῦ ὄντο; so also Ambst (Souter). On the view that ἔτ (a word found in the Major Epistles and Philippians 1:9; cf. Luke 24:6, Luke 24:44) excludes a reference to Paul’s visit and indicates a reference to Timothy’s visit, and that therefore Timothy is here proclaiming himself that he is really the author of II (Spitta), see Mill. xc.

6-8a. In these verses, Paul is evidently explaining the delay of “the apostasy” and of the revelation or Parousia of the Anomos, and consequently the reason why the day of the Lord is not yet present. As the readers are not receiving new information, it is sufficient for Paul merely to allude to what they know already. Unfortunately, the allusions are so fragmentary and cryptic that it is at present impossible to determine precisely what Paul means. The conspicuous difficulty lies in the interpretation of To τὸ κατέχο and ὁ κατέχεω ἄρτ (v. infra). Since the reference is unknown, it is impossible to determine whether κατέχει is to be translated “withhold” or “detain,” an object αὐτό (= ἄνομο) being supplied; or, “hold sway” “rule” (κρατεῖ), κατέχει being intransitive. It is worth noting, however, that in vv. 6-12 there is nothing obviously political. The thought runs in the sphere of the supramundane; the categories are concrete and realistic; and the interest, as in apocalyptic at its best, is religious and moral, the assertion of faith that the universe is moral, the justification of the ways of God to men. Though the Devil controls his own, his movements are directed by the purpose of God. Indeed, as vv. 9-12 make clear, God first of all endeavours through his Spirit to stir up within men the love for his truth unto their salvation. When they refuse to welcome the heavenly visitor, then God as judge prepares them for the consequences of their refusal. It is thus God himself who sends an “operation unto delusion” into the souls of those who have destroyed themselves by refusing to welcome the love for the truth unto their salvation. Since then there is no obvious reference in vv. 6-12 to a political power, it is antecedently probable that τὸ κατέχο and ὁ κατέχων ἄρτ refer not to the Roman Empire and emperor as a restraining principle or person, but to a supernatural spirit or person conceived either as an unknown being who keeps the Anomos in detention as the Dragon of the saga is kept (cf. Dibelius), or as a well-known spirit or person, possibly the Devil himself who is in control of the forces of evil, the prince of the power of the air that operates in the sons of disobedience (cf. Schaefer).

The Meaning of τὸ κατέχο and ὁ κατέχων ἄρτ

The sphere of conjectural interpretations of τὸ κατέχο and ὁ κατέχων ἄρτ seems to be limited by the following probabilities: (1) The presence of a ἄρτ with ὁ κατέχω indicates that ὁ κατέχω (and similarly τὸ κατέχο, notwithstanding the fact that we do not have τὸ νῦν κατέχο or τὸ κατέχον νῦ) is not a proper name but a description of a definite and well-known figure whose activity in κατέχει is in progress at the time of Paul; (2) the ἄρτ is “now” to Paul; the τότ is of his expectation, and is not a far-distant “then”; (3) κατέχει has the same meaning in both participial phrases (so Boh “that which layeth hold” (Horner) and Syr.), though the Vulg (Th. Mops., Ambst) renders the former quid detineat and the latter qui tenet nunc. Within the limits of these probabilities, two types of opinion may be briefly sketched, the one based on the “contemporary-historical,” the other on the “traditional-historical” method of interpretation.

I. The usual conjecture finds a reference in both τὸ κατέχο and ὁ κατέχων ἄρτ to the Roman Empire. The older expositors (e. g. Tert. de resur. 24, and Chrys.) stretch the limits of τότ and include in ἄρτ both their own and Paul’s present. Modern writers, following the example of Wetstein (who thinks of Nero), Whitby (who thinks of Claudius), and Hitzig (who unlocks the pun qui claudit), are inclined to adhere firmly to the contemporary reference. Bacon (Introd. 77; cf. Spitta, Zur Geschichte und Litteratur, 1893, I, 1146 ff. and Dob. ad loc.) states the prevailing conjecture cogently: “We need not assume with Hitzig a play upon the name Claudius, nor deny that “the restrainer” may well be a primeval element of the Antichrist legend; but in the present application of the word, first neuter, then masculine, the reference is certainly to Paul’s unfailing refuge against Jewish malice and persecution, the usually incorruptible Roman magistracy (Romans 13:1-6) which at this very period was signally befriending him (Acts 18:12-17), The difficulty with this generally accepted interpretation is (1) that while the fall of Rome is one of the signs of the Messianic Period (4 Ezra 5:3 Apoc. Bar. 39:7; cf. for the rabbinical literature Klausner, Die Messianischen Vorstellungen, etc. 1904, 39 ff. and Rabinsohn, Le Mcssianisme, etc. 1907, 63 ff.), the notion of Rome as a restrainer does not appear in Jewish apocalyptic literature (cf. Gunkel, Schöpfung, etc. 223). To obviate this objection, it is assumed that the trait is due to Paul or to contemporary Christianity (cf. Dob.). (2) A second difficulty is the fact that Paul the Roman citizen, although he does not identify the Roman Empire or emperor with the Antichrist (contrast Rev.), is compelled with grim apocalyptic determinism to put the Roman emperor, if not also the empire, ἐκ μέσο when once he, if not also it, has performed his service as restrainer. Augustine, in his interesting review of conjectural explanations (de civ. dei, xx, 19), notes the opinion of some that Paul “was unwilling to use language more explicit lest he should incur the calumnious charge of wishing ill to the empire which it was hoped would be eternal,” and concedes that “it is not absurd to believe” that Paul does thus refer to the empire as if it were said: “Only he who now reigneth, let him reign until he is taken out of the way.” But while the conjecture is not absurd, it creates the only political reference not simply in this passage but in Paul’s apocalyptic utterances as a whole. A theory which is not open to this objection would be distinctly preferable.

II. Passing by other opinions, as, for example, that the Holy Spirit is meant (noted by Chrys.), or a friendly supernatural being (Hofmann thinks of the angel prince of Daniel), or Elijah (Ewald, who notes Matthew 17:11, Revelation 11:3), we turn to the distinctively “traditional-historical” interpretations. (1) Gunkel (Schöpfung, 223 ff.) remarks that the heavenly or hellish powers who are to appear at the end are already in existence, and that the natural query why they have not yet manifested themselves is answered by the reflection that there must be something somewhere that holds them back for the time. The idea of κατέχω is originally mythical. Gunkel thinks that to Paul the κατέχω is probably a heavenly being, Elijah. (2) Dibelius in his Geisterwelt im Glauben des Paulus, 1909, 58 ff. and in his commentary (1911) on our passage attaches himself to Gunkel’s method, and makes the acute suggestion, supported by such passages as Job 7:12, Revelation 13:1 Apoc. Bar. 29:4, 4 Ezra 6:52 and by instances from mythology and folk-lore, that τὸ κατέχο or ὁ κατέχω is the something somewhere (Paul does not know who or what it is exactly, and therefore shifts easily from neuter to masculine) which keeps the Anomos in detention until the time appointed by God for his advent. The trait is thus mythical, as Gunkel suspected. It is of interest to observe that while Gunkel takes κατέχει in the sense of κωλύει (so most from Chrys. on), Dibelius understands it in the equally admissible sense (see on I 5:21) of κρατεῖ confirming the meaning by an apt quotation from the Acta Pilati, 22:2, where Christ, in delivering Satan to Hades, says: λαβὼν αὐτὸν κάτεχ (“in Banden halte”)�2 Corinthians 4:4), “ the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2), the (temporary) ruler (ὁ κατέχων ἄρτ) of the spiritual hosts of wickedness, and (2) the evil spirit (τὸ κατέχο) that energises in the sons of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2). The effect of the operation of Satan, the spirit or person who is now holding sway, is characterised as “ the mystery of lawlessness,” that is, the lawlessness which is secretly growing in unbelievers under the spell of Satan. This control of Satan is in accordance with the divine purpose, for it prepares the way for the revelation of the Anomos in the time set him by God and not before, the reason being that the mystery of lawlessness, which Satan sets in operation, is to culminate in a definitive apostasy on earth which is the signal for the advent of Satan’s instrument, the Anomos. But this apostasy will not come, and the Anomos will not be revealed until Satan, who is now holding sway, is put out of the way. The notion that a iimit has been set to the authority of Satan has recently received fresh confirmation in a manuscript of the Freer collection (cf. Gregory, Das Freer Logion, 1908), where between Mark 16:14: and 16:15 we read: “This age of lawlessness �Revelation 12:7 ff.), the religious revolt led by Satan, which is the signal for the sudden apostasy on earth. In this case, ἐκ μέσου refers to Satan’s expulsion from heaven to earth. Though he is thus removed, he makes use of his peculiar instrument, the Anomos, who now issues forth from his place of concealment, and gives him all his power, just as the Dragon (Revelation 13:2) gives the beast his power, his throne, and great authority. Equipped with this power, the Anomos, whose advent is for the doomed alone, gathers his forces for war against Christ (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:24 ff.), attempts the assault on the throne of God in his holy temple in heaven, but is slain in the attempt by the Lord Jesus with the breath of his mouth and is destroyed with the manifestation of his advent. To this conjecture, based on Schaefer’s identification of ὁ κατέχω with Satan, it may be objected not that Satan is described in reference to his function of κατέχει, for Paul calls Satan ὁ πειράζω (I 3:5), but that (1) Paul might not subscribe either to the identification or to the deductions therefrom indicated above, and (2) that ἐκ μέσο, which to be sure designates only the fact not the manner (forced or voluntary) of the removal, does not at first blush suggest an ἐκβάλλεσθαι εἰς τὴν γῆ (Revelation 12:9).

This brief review of conjectures only serves to emphasise the fact that we do not know what Paul had in mind, whether the Roman Empire, or a supernatural being that keeps the Anomos in detention, or Satan who is temporarily in control of the forces of evil, or something else quite different. Grimm (1861), for example, thinks of the Anomos himself and Beyer (1824) of Paul; see other conjectures in Lün. (ed. Gloag, 222-238). It is better, perhaps, to go with Augustine who says on v. 6; “Since he said that they (the Thessalonians) know, he was unwilling to say this openly. And thus we, who do not know what they knew, desire and yet are unable even cum labore to get at what the Apostle meant, especially as the things which he adds (namely, vv. 7-8a), make his meaning still more obscure”; and to confess with him: ego prorsus quid dicert me fateor ignorare (de oiv dei. xx, 19).

6. καὶ νῦν τὸ κατέχον οἴδατ. “And as to the present, you know that which restrains him” (if the reference is to the Roman Empire), or “detains him” (if the reference is to a supernatural being that keeps the Anomos, in detention), or “is holding sway” (if the reference is to Satan). From things to come (vv.3b-4), Paul turns with καὶ νῦ to things present (vv. 6-7); and then, having indicated the reason for the delay of the advent of the Anomos and so of Christ, he reverts in v. 8 with τότ to the future. The νῦ (cf. I 3:8) is not logical but temporal, calling attention to what is going on in the present in contrast not with the past (v. 5) but with the future (vv. 3-4; cf. the next clause ἐν τῷ αὐτοῦ καιρῷ and καὶ τότ v. 8). τὸ κατέχο is not a title, but the description of a supernatural being (or the Roman Empire) that is functioning as κατέχο in Paul’s present.

Some commentators (especially Lün.) explains νῦ in the temporal sense: “and now to pass to a further point.” This explanation puts so great a stress on the new point as such as to demand νῦν δε (cf. I Cor. , one of the few instances of logical νῦ in Paul). Since, however, the readers have already been instructed (Lün.) and need only to be reminded again of the point, and that too allusively, it is more likely that the emphasis is laid not on the new point as such but on the present situation involved in κατέχο as contrasted with the future situation when ὁ κατέχων ἄρτ will be removed, and the prophecy of v. 3 will be realised; and that therefore νῦ is temporal (so most). But to seek the contrast in ἔτ (v. 5) is to be forced to assume that the readers had never heard of τὸ κατέχο until now, and that from the cryptic utterances of vv. 6-8 a they could divine, without previous knowledge, Paul’s meaning. Dob. asks too much of the readers when he remarks: “Paulus muss seiner Sache in dieser Hinsicht sehr sicher gewesen, dass er sich mit dieser Andeutung begnügt.—The καὶ νῦ is detached and emphatic (cf. John 4:18), “und für jetzt” (Dibelius).—If κατέχει = “restrain” or “detain,” αὐτό = ἄνομο is to be supplied here and in v. 7; if it means “hold sway” “rule,” it is intransitive.

εἰς τὸ�

The emphatically placed αὐτου (אAKP, et al.) is misunderstood by BDEGFL, et al., and changed to ἑαυτου (Zim; cf. Romans 3:25). The καιπό (cf. I 2:17, 5:1) is a day γνωστὴ τῷ κυρίῳ (Zechariah 14:7; cf. Ps. Sol. 17:23).—It is to be observed that we have εἰς τὸ�Luke 4:42) or ἕως αὐτὸς�

7. τὸ γὰρ μυστήριον κτλ “For” (γά), to explain the connection between the present action intimated in τὸ κατέχο and the future revelation of the Anomos, “the secret, namely, of lawlessness has already been set in operation” (by Satan), and is preparing the way for the definitive apostasy on earth and its concomitant, the revelation of the Anomos (v.3). “Only,” that apostasy will not come and the Anomos will not be revealed, “until he who is now holding sway (or, detains or restrains him) is put out of the way; and then will be revealed the Anomos.” The phrase τὸ μυστήριον τῆς�

In the light of I 2:13 ἐνεργεῖτα may be middle “is already operating,” or passive “has already been set in operation.” In the latter case, the present tense with the adverb is to be rendered by the English perfect; cf. I 3:6 ἔχετε πάντοτ and BMT 17.—It is to be observed in passing that in vv. 6-7 Paul not only exposes the absurdity of the allegation that the day is present (v. 2) but also intimates (ἤδη ἐνεργεῖτα) that that day is not far distant.—On μυστήριο, which may have been suggested by�1 Corinthians 2:1, etc. (with τοῦ θεου), Colossians 4:3, etc. (with τοῦ Χριστου), Ephesians 1:9 (with θελήματο; cf. Judith 2:2 with βουλῆ), and Ephesians 6:19 (with εὐαγγελίο); also�Romans 11:25; Lft. on Colossians 1:26; Swete on Mark 4:11; and Robinson, Ephesians, 235 ff.

μόνον ὁ κατέχων ἄρτι κτλ. There is an ellipsis here; and since the clause with μόνο is evidently the link between the present action implied in τὸ κατέχο and the terminus of that action at the revelation of the Anomos, it is natural to supply not only “that apostasy, which is the culmination of the secret of lawlessness, will not come,” but also, in the light of vv. 6b and 8a, “the Anomos will not be revealed.” Both the ellipsis and the position of ἕω have a striking parallel in Galatians 2:10: μόνον τῶν πτωχῶν ἵνα μνημονεύωμε

On the probable meaning of these obscure words, v. supra, pp. 259 ff.—Since Galatians 2:10 explains, satisfactorily both the ellipsis and the inverted order of the words, it is unnecessary to resort to other expedients, as, for example, that of the Vulgate: tantum ut qui tenet nunc, teneat, donec de medio fiat. Many commentators think it needless “to supply definitely any verb to complete the ellipsis. The μόο belongs to ἕως and simply states the limitation involved in the present working of the μυστήριον τῆς�1 Corinthians 4:5 (ἕως ἄ; so GF in our passage; cf. BMT 323).—ἐκ μέσο is rather frequent in Gk. Bib. with αἴρει (Colossians 2:14, Isaiah 57:2, ἐκ μέσο being absolute in both instances), ἐξολευθρεύει (Exodus 31:14 with λαου), and ἁρπάζει (Acts 23:10 with αὐτῶ); but ἐκ μέσο with γίνεσθα occurs only here in the Gk. Bib. Wetstein notes Plut. Timol. 238 B: ἔγνω ζῆν καθʼ ἑαυτὸν ἐκ μέσου γενόμενο The fact not the manner of the removal (cf. Fulford) is indicated: “to be put out of the way.” See further, Soph. Lex sub μέσο and Steph. Thesaurus, 6087.

8. καὶ τότ … ὁ ἄνομο With καὶ τότ (cf. 1 Corinthians 4:5, Mark 13:21, Mark 13:26 f.) balancing καὶ νῦ (v. 6), Paul turns from the present (vv. 6-7) to the future, to the fulfilment of the condition stated in vv. 3-4. The words “and then will be revealed the Anomos” (note ὁ ἄνομο = the Hebraistic ὁ ἄνθρωπος τῆς�

ὃν κύριος�Isaiah 11:4: καὶ πατάξει γῆν τῷ λόγῳ τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν πνεύματι διὰ χειλέων�Psalms 32:6 where the same phrase balances the creative word of God (τῷ λόγῳ τοῦκυρίο). The second member is synonymous but not quite identical with the first, for instead of “breath of his mouth” we have “manifestation of his Parousia.” The words ἐπιφάνει and παρουσί are ultimately synonymous, the former being the Hellenistic technical term for the appearance of a god, and the latter (see I 2:19), the Christian technical term for the expected coming of Christ. If any distinction between the terms is intended, the former will emphasise the presence, the latter, the arrival. The point is that the manifest presence itself is sufficient to destroy the Anomos; cf. Chrys.�

In the phrase “with the breath of his mouth” (cf. Isaiah 27:8 Sap. 11:19 f. Job 4:9), the means of destruction is not the word (cf. Eth. En. 62:2 Ps. Sol. 17:27; also Eth. En. 14:2, 84:1) but the breath itself. Dibelius sees in the phrase traces of the primitive conception of the magical power of the breath and refers to a passage in Lucian (The Liar, 12) where the Babylonian magician gathered together all the snakes from an estate and blew upon them (ἐνεφύσης), “and straightway every one of them was burnt up by the breathing” (κατεκαύθη ὑπὸ τῷ φυσήματ).—Against the majority of witnesses (אAD*G, et al., the versions and most of the fathers), BDcK, et al., omit Ἰησοῦ after κύριο (so Weiss (84) who thinks Ἰησοῦ is added to explain κύριο; cf. B in 1 Corinthians 5:5, 1 Corinthians 11:23).—The reading�Luke 22:2. On�Galatians 5:15, Luke 9:54.—καταργεῖ, a favourite word of Paul, occurs rarely elsewhere in Gk. Bib. (2 Timothy 1:10, Luke 13:7, Hebrews 2:14; cf. Barn. 2:6, 5:6, 9:4, 15:5 (καταργήσει τὸν καιρὸν τοῦ�1 Corinthians 15:24, 1 Corinthians 15:26 of the evil powers including death; cf. 2 Timothy 1:10 Barn. 5:6).—In the N. T. ἐπιφάνει appears elsewhere only in the Pastorals, where the Christian παρουσί is supplanted by the Hellenistic ἐπιφάνεια; in the Lxx (mainly 2, 3 Mac.), it is used of the manifestation of God from the sky; e. g. ἡ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐπιφάνει (2 Mac. 15:27 Ven.); cf. ὁ ἐπιφανὴς κύριο (2 Mac. 15:34), and ὁ ἐπιφανὴς θεό (3 Mac. 5:35; cf. also Driver’s Daniel, 191 f. for coins inscribed “of King Antiochus, god manifest”). Mill. (151) remarks: “ἐπιφάνει draws attention to the ‘presence’ as the result of a sublime manifestation of the power and love of God, coming to his people’s help.” Deissmann (Light, 374, 378) notes a third-century (b.c.) inscription which records a cure at the temple of Asclepius at Epidaurus: τάν τε παρουσίαν τὰν αὐτοῦ παρενεφάνιξε ὁ Ἀσκλάπιο, “and Asclepius manifested his Parousia.” In view of the equivalence of ἐπιφάνει and παρουσί, the former does not mean “brightness,” illustratio (Vulg.); cf. Bengel: “Sometimes the apparitio is spoken of, sometimes, and in the same sense, adventus (v. 1); but here the apparitio adventus is prior to the coming itself, or at least is the first gleam of the advent, as ἐπιφάνεια τῆς ἡμέρα” (quoted by Lillie who renders our phrase, “with the appearing of his coming or presence”).

9-12. Careless of chronological order but careful of spiritual values (cf. v. 8), Paul reverts in vv. 9-12 to the Parousia of the Anomos. The section, introduced by ου parallel to ὅ (v. 8), is intended both as a justification of the universe as moral and as an encouragement (cf. vv. 2, 13 ff.) of the disheartened among the readers. Concerned primarily in the description with the character of the advent of the Anomos, he assures the faint-hearted that his Parousia, inspired by Satan and attended by outward signs and inward deceit prompted by falsehood and unrighteousness, is intended not for believers but for unbelievers, “the destined to destruction” like “the son of destruction himself (vv. 9-10a). Then justifying the ways of God to men, he observes that the advent of the Anomos is for “the doomed” because they have already put themselves into this class by refusing to welcome the heavenly visitor, the influence of the Spirit designed to awaken within them the love for the truth of God which is essential to their salvation (v. 10b). As a consequence of their refusal, God as righteous judge is himself bound (for he, not Satan or the Anomos, is in control of the universe) to send them “an inward working to delude them” into believing the falsehood of the Anomos (v. 11), in order that, at the day of judgment, they might be condemned, all of them, on the moral ground that they believed not the truth of God but consented to the unrighteousness of the Anomos (v. 12).

9. οὗ ἐστιν ἡ παρουσία κτλ. Instead of ἡ�1 Corinthians 3:13). This advent is first described as being “in accordance with, in virtue of (κατα), the energy, that is, the inward operation of the indwelling spirit of Satan,” daemone in eo omnia operante (Th. Mops.), the parallel between the Spirit of holiness in Christ (Romans 1:4) and the indwelling of Satan in the Anomos being thus strikingly close (cf. Th. Mops.)

The grammatical arrangement of the clauses following παρουσί is uncertain. Many commentators (e. g. Lün., Riggenbach, Born, Dob.) “connect ἐστί closely with ἐν πάση δυνάμει κτλ for the predicate and treat κατʼ ἐνέργειαν τοῦ Σατανα as a mere explanatory appendage; but with no advantage either to the grammar or the sense” (Lillie). In the light of the succession of dative clauses in such passages as Romans 15:18 ff. Colossians 1:11, etc., it is natural to construe ἐστί with each of the dative clauses, the και before the second ἐ (v. 10) serving to unite the parallel clauses with ἐν (ἐν πάση δυνάμει κτλ v. 9 and ἐν πάσῃ�Ephesians 1:19, Ephesians 3:7 with κατα) and of Christ (Colossians 1:29, Philippians 3:21 with κατα). This single instance of ἐνέργει in reference to Satanic activity is in keeping with the usage of ἐνεργεῖ in v. 7 and Ephesians 2:2. In the Lxx ἐνέργει is found only in Sap. and 2, 3 Mac.; it indicates among other things the operation of God (Sap. 7:26, 2 Mac. 3:29, Malachi 3:3 Mac. 4:21, Malachi 4:5:12, 28). ἐνέργει differs from δύναμι with which it is sometimes associated (as here and Sap. 13:4, Ephesians 3:7), as “operative power” from “potential power” (Mill.); cf. Reitzenstein, Poimandres, 352, I. 24: δαίμονος γάρ οὐσία ἐνέργει On Satan, see I 2:18.

ἐν πάσῃ δυνάμει κτλ. The advent of the Anomos is further described in a second prepositional clause as being “in (that is, ‘clothed with,’ ‘attended by’) all power and signs and portents that originate in falsehood.” Paul co-ordinates δύναμι, the abstract potential power, with σημεῖα καὶ τέρατ, the concrete signs and portents, intending no doubt by δύναμι the specific power to perform miracles. Since he seems to feel no difficulty with this co-ordination, we need not hesitate to construe πάσῃ both with δυνάμε and (by zeugma) with σημείοις καὶ τέρασι (a common phrase in the Gk. Bib.). It follows that ψεύδου is likewise to be taken with all three substantives (cf. v. 2 ὡς διʼἡμῶ). The reality of the capacity and of its expression in outward forms is not denied; but the origin is stigmatised as falsehood.

While many expositors connect πάς and ψεύδου with all three nouns (e. g. Lün., Ell., Lillie, Lft., Schmiedel, Wohl., Mill.), some (e. g. Calv., Find., Dob.), feeling troubled it may be by the abstract δύναμι, restrict πάσῃ to the first and ψεύδου to the last two nouns, “in all power—both signs and wonders of falsehood” (cf. Vulg.).—The ἐ is variously understood, “in the sphere or domain of” (Ell., Mill., et al.), “consisting in” (Born, Dob.), or “verbunden mit” (Wohl.). The gen. ψεύδου is interpreted as of “origin” (Dob.), “quality” (Chrys., Find., Mill.), “object” (Ambst, Grot., De W., Lün., Ell.), or “reference” in the widest sense (e. g. Riggenbach, Alford, Wohl.).—As all Christians are empowered ἐν πάσῃ δυνάμε (Colossians 1:11), and as the indwelling Christ works in Paul ἐν δυνάμει σημείων καὶ τεράτρω (Romans 15:19), so Satan operates in the Anomos with the result that his advent is attended by all power to work wonders. Since elsewhere in Paul we have not the singular “a power” (Mark 6:5, Mark 9:39) but the plural δυνάμει (2 Corinthians 12:12; cf. Acts 2:22, Hebrews 2:4) in reference to miracles, the rendering “with every form of external power” is evidently excluded. The phrase σημεῖα καὶ τέρατ is common in the Gk. Bib. (Exodus 7:3, Exodus 11:9, etc.; Romans 15:19, 2 Corinthians 12:12, Hebrews 2:4, etc.), σημεῖ suggesting more, clearly than τέρατ (which in N. T. appears only with σημεῖ) that the marvellous manifestations of power are indications of the presence of a supramundane being, good or evil. φεῦδο, a rare word in Paul, is opposed to�Romans 1:25, Ephesians 4:25) and parallel with�Revelation 13:13 Asc. Isaiah 5:4 Sib. Orac. 3:63 f., 2:167 ff.; see Bousset, Antichrist, 115 ff. and Charles on Asc. Isaiah 5:4.

10. καὶ ἐν πάσῃ�Revelation 13:13 f. καὶ ποιεῖ σημεῖα μεγάλ … καὶ πλανᾷ

τοῖς�Philippians 3:19) like that of “the son of destruction” is�1 Corinthians 1:18, 2 Corinthians 2:15, 2 Corinthians 4:3) is οἱ σωζόμενο (1 Corinthians 1:18, 2 Corinthians 2:15; cf. Luke 13:23, Acts 2:47), a phrase that characterises the remnant in Isaiah 37:32 (cf. 45:20, Tobit 14:7). As “the saved” are the believers so “the doomed” are the unbelievers irrespective of nationality.

The phrase�Colossians 2:8, Ephesians 4:22, Ecclesiastes 9:6, Ecclesiastes 9:4 Mac. 18:8; for the genitive, cf. Mark 4:19, Hebrews 3:13 and contrast Test. xii, Reub. 5:5.�Romans 1:18, Romans 1:2:8, 1 Corinthians 13:6).—The present participle�Isaiah 10:20, Nehemiah 1:2). Bousset (Antichrist, 13) restricts “the doomed” to the Jews, a restriction which is “permitted neither by the expression nor by the context” (Dob.). The ἐ (before τοῖ) inserted by KLP, et al., may have been influenced by 2 Corinthians 2:15, 2 Corinthians 4:3. In the light of Matthew 24:24, 2 Corinthians 4:3, Lillie is disposed to take τοῖς�

ἀνθʼ ὧν τὴν�Romans 1:25), or Christ (2 Corinthians 11:10; hence DE add here Χριστου), or the gospel (Galatians 2:5, Galatians 2:14, Colossians 1:5); and that they had refused to welcome the heavenly visitor. Having thus refused the help designed (εἰς το) for their salvation, they must take upon themselves the consequences of their refusal as stated in vv. 11-12.

ἀνθʼ ὧ, very common in Lxx (cf. Amos 5:11), is used elsewhere in the N. T. only by Luke; it means regularly “because,” but occasionally “wherefore” (Luke 12:3); cf. Bl 40:1.—In Paul, ἡ�Romans 1:18, Romans 1:2:8, Romans 1:20, 1 Corinthians 13:6, etc.), means not “truthfulness,” or “the truth” in general, but specifically the truth of God, of Christ, or of the gospel preached by Paul as contrasted with the falsehood of the Anomos (v. 11; cf. Romans 1:25, Romans 3:7). In the light of πιστεύειν τῇ�Luke 11:42), Χριστοῦ, πνεύματο (Romans 15:30), to denote the divine love for men. Chrys. explains “the love of truth” as equivalent to Christ; Primasius takes�John 5:43, John 14:6). The phrase, however, is natural in view of the use of�Ephesians 5:25; cf. 2 Timothy 4:8, 2 Timothy 4:10, Hebrews 1:9 = Psalms 44:8, John 3:19; also�Psalms 50:8, Psalms 83:12, Zechariah 8:19). The divine offer, made through Christ or the Spirit, is not simply the gospel which might be intellectually apprehended, but the more difficult love for it, interest in it; contrast this refusal with the welcome which the readers gave to the gospel (δέχεσθα I 1:6, 2:13).—εἰς το (I 2:12) may indicate purpose (ἵνα σωθῶσι I 2:16) or intended result (εἰς τὴν σωτηρίαν αὐτῶ; cf. ὥστ v. 4). On the variant ἐξεδέξαντ cf. Sir. 6:23.

11. καὶ διὰ τοῦτο πέμτε “And for this reason (because they did not welcome the love for the truth), God sends (is to send) them an inward working of delusion.” The και may be consecutive, “and so,” or it may designate the correspondence of guilt and punishment. The πέμτε refers not to the time previous to the revelation of the Anomos (ἐνεργεῖτα v. 7) but, as ἐστί (v. 9) intimates, to the time when the apostasy comes and the Anomos is revealed.

ὁ θεὸς ἐνέργειαν πλάνης κτλ. The position of ὁ θεό is emphatic. In appearance, Satan is responsible for the future success of the Anomos with “the doomed”; in reality it is God who is in supreme control, working out his moral purposes through the agencies of evil. Since the divine influence designed to stir up a love for the gospel is unwelcome, God sends another visitor, the ἐνέργεια πλάνη, whose function it is, as a servant of the divine purpose, to prepare the way for final judgment (v. 12) by first deluding the minds of “the doomed” into believing the falsehood of the Anomos.

τῷ ψεύδε balances τῆς�1 Corinthians 4:17, Philippians 2:19. D omits και; GF, et al., omit αὐτού; F omits τῷ KLP, et al., forgetting ἐστί (v. 9) read πέμψε On διὰ τοῦτο πέμπε, cf. Romans 1:24.Romans 1:26; Romans 1:26 διὸ παρέδωκε

12. ἵνα κριθῶσιν κτλ The ultimate purpose of πέμπε is contingent upon the fulfilment of the initial purpose in εἰς τὸ πιστεῦσα; hence ἵν depends on εἰς το Wishing to insist that the basis of judgment (cf. 1:5-10) is “believing the falsehood,” Paul repeats the thought in a parallelism which designates “the doomed” negatively as “all who have not believed the truth” of Christ, and positively, “who have consented to the unrighteousness” of the Anomos (cf.�Romans 2:8, 1 Corinthians 13:6) intimates that “truth” is regarded more on the moral than on the purely intellectual side, the truth of God, Christ, or the gospel as preached by Paul; and the parallelism of πιστεύει and εὐδοκεῖ hints that in believing the will is an important factor.

The phrases πιστεύειν τῷ ψεύδε (v. 11) and τῇ�Romans 4:3 τῷ θεῷ Romans 10:16 τῇ�1 Corinthians 13:7 πάντα πιστεύε). For the impersonal object, cf. πίστι with εὐαγγελίο (Philippians 1:27) and ἐνεργεία (Colossians 2:12). The construction εὐδοκεῖν τιν (1 Esd. 4:39, Sir. 18:31 (A) 1 Mac. 1:43) does not appear elsewhere in N. T.; Paul construes εὐδοκεῖ elsewhere with the infinitive (see I 2:8) and with ἐ and dative (1 Corinthians 10:5, 2 Corinthians 12:10; so here AEKLP, et al.).—κρίνεσθα (opposed to σώζεσθα v. 10) gets here by context the meaning κατακρίνεσθα (cf. Hebrews 13:4); κρίνει is common in Gk. Bib. (Romans 2:12, Romans 3:7, Isaiah 66:16, etc.).—Exegetically it is unimportant whether πάντε (BDEKLP, et al.) or ἅπαντε (אAGF, et.al.) is read (cf. Galatians 3:28); WH. read ἅπα but once in Paul (Ephesians 6:13). The expression ἅπας ο or ὁ ἅπα is chiefly Lukan (also Matthew 28:11, Mark 16:15, 1 Timothy 1:16; cf. Genesis 19:4, etc.); on πάντες οἱ πιστεύοντε (which K reads here), see I 1:7; on πάντες οἱ πιστεύσαντε, cf. 1:10.—On the contrast between�Romans 2:8, 1 Corinthians 13:6; on the thought of vv. 11-12, cf. Born ad loc. and Romans 1:18-32.

The Origin and Significance of the Anomos

On the basis of what has been said above on vv. 3-7, a general word may be added as to the origin of the Anomos and the significance of the same to Paul. The name “Antichrist,” commonly employed to designate the being variously described by Paul as “the man of lawlessness” = “the lawless one,” “the son of destruction,” “the one who opposes and exalts himself against every one called God,” etc., does not appear in extant literature before First John (2:18, 22, 4:3; cf. 2 John 1:7). In that epistle, the Antichrist, who is assumed to be a familiar figure, is both the definite being who is to come and the spirit already in the world (κόσμο), possessing men so that they are themselves called “Antichrists” (2:18), and leading them both to deny that Jesus is the Christ, Son of God, come in the flesh (4:2) and to separate themselves from their fellow-Christians (2:19). Whether the name was coined by the Ephesian school is unknown.

But while the designation “Antichrist” is later than Paul, the idea for which it stands is evidently pre-Christian. On the one hand, the opponent of Israel and so of God is identified with a heathen ruler, for example, with Antiochus Epiphanes by Daniel (the earliest instance; cf. Pompey in Ps. Sol., and “the last leader of that time” in Apoc. Bar. 40:1); on the other hand, the opponent of God is conceived as a Satanic being, Beliar (e. g. Jub. and Test. xii). But the Anomos of Paul is neither a heathen tyrant, nor a political ruler, nor a Zealotic false-Messiah (Mark 13:22 = Matthew 24:24 and possibly John 5:43), but is an extraordinary man controlled completely by Satan,—a non-political conception that suggests the original influence of the Babylonian myth of Tiâmat, the sea-monster that opposes Marduk and is vanquished, but who at the end is to revolt only to be destroyed. In fact, due to the researches of such scholars as Gunkel, Bousset, Charles, and Gressmann, it is not infrequently held that traces of that primeval myth, however applied, are discoverable in the O. T. (cf. Daniel’s description of Antiochus), in subsequent Jewish apocalyptic, and in the apocalyptic utterances in the N. T.; and it is confidently expected by some that from the same source light may shine upon the hitherto inexplicable technical terms of apocalyptic. The precise question, however, whether the Anomos of Paul is the indirect result of the conception of the Antichrist as originally a humanised devil (Bousset) or is the direct result of the fusion of the Antichrist conceived as purely human and of Belial conceived as purely Satanic (Charles, whose sketch of the development of the idea of Antichrist, especially in the period subsequent to Paul when the figure of Antichrist is further affected by the Neronic myths, is particularly attractive) may perhaps be regarded as still open.

In estimating the significance of apocalyptic in general, it is to be remembered that actual experiences of suffering compelled the Jews, a people singularly sensitive to spiritual values, to attempt to reconcile these experiences with the ineradicable conviction that the Lord is righteous and that they are his elect, and that the apocalyptic category, whatever may have been the origin of its component elements, is the means by which the assertion of their religious faith is expressed. The Book of Daniel, for example, is considered as a classic instance not only of apocalyptic form but also of the venture of faith in the triumph of righteousness,—a judgment sustained by the immediate effect of that “tract for the times,” and by its subsequent influence not only on apocalyptic writers in general but also on the Master himself. The literary successors of Daniel are not to be reckoned as purely imitators; they adhere indeed closely, sometimes slavishly, to the classic tradition; but they also proclaim, each in his way, their originality by what they retain, omit, or insert, and by what they emphasise or fail to emphasise; and still further, they keep alive the old religious faith, even if they differ widely from one another in spiritual insight.

Into the apocalyptic and eschatological tradition and faith of late Judaism, Paul entered as did the Master before him. But Paul, to refer only to him, brought to his inheritance not only his own personal equation but also his religious experience in Jesus the Christ. Through that experience, his world became enlarged and his sympathies broadened. To him, Christianity was a universal religion in which Jesus the Messiah was not a national political factor but the world-redeeming power and wisdom of God. While holding to the traditional conceptualism of apocalyptic and to the essence of its faith, he demonstrates the originality of his religious insight in his attitude to the traditional forms. This scribe who had been made a disciple to the kingdom knows how to bring forth out of his treasures things new and old. The political traits of the Antichrist being uncongenial, he reverts, quite unconsciously, in the attempted session of the Anomos in the heavenly temple of God, to elements of the non-political primeval myth; and equips the Anomos with Satanic power not for political purposes, but to deceive the doomed (cf. the false prophet in Revelation 16:13, Revelation 19:20, Revelation 20:10). On the other hand, his mystical experience in Christ leads him to make the parallel between the Spirit of holiness in Christ and the operation of the spirit of Satan in the Anomos almost complete. This fusion of the old and new in the mind of the Christian Paul gives an original turn to the conception of the Antichrist. With a supreme disregard for externals and with a keen sense for the relevant, he succeeds in making pre-eminent his faith that God is Abba, that the world is moral, that righteousness triumphs; and his confidence is immovable that a day will come when the sway of the sovereign Father of the Lord Jesus Christ will be recognised, for obstacles will be removed and the believer will be delivered from the evil one. And Paul is at pains to observe that even Satan and his peculiar instrument, the Anomos, are under the control of the divine purpose; that “the destined to destruction” destroy themselves by refusing to welcome the heavenly influence which makes for their salvation; and that therefore it is really God himself who on the ground of their refusal sends to the doomed an ἐνέργεια πλάνη “It must have been a great, deeply religious spirit who created this conception, one proof more for the genuinely Pauline origin of our epistle” (Dob. 296).

The literature of the subject is enormous. Of especial importance are Schürer; Bousset, Relig2; Charles, Eschat. (together with his editions of apocalyptic literature and his articles in EB and Ency. Brit.11); Söderblom, La Vie Future d’ apres le Mazdeisme, 1901; Volz. Eschat.; Gunkel, Zum religionsgeschichtlichen. Verständniss des N. T. 1903; Klausner, Die Messianischen Vorstellungen des jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter der Tannaiten, 1904; Gressmann, Der Ursprung der Israel itschen jüdischen Eschatologie, 1905; Mathews, The Messianic Hope in the N. T. 1905; Bousset’s commentary on Revelation in Meyer, 1906; J. H. Gardiner, The Bible as English Literature, 1906, 250 ff.; Rabinsohn, Le Messianisme dans le Talmud et les Midraschim, 1907; Oesterley, Evolution of the Messianic Idea, 1908; Clemen, Religionsgeschichtliche Erklärung des N. T. 1909; Dibelius, Die Geisterwelt im Glauben des Paulus, 1909; and Moffatt’s commentary on Revelation in EGT 1910. Likewise of special importance are such specific works as Gunkel’s Schöpfung und Chaos, 1895; Bousset’s Antichrist, 1895 (in English, 1896; cf. his articles on Antichrist in EB ERE. and Ency. Brit.11); Wadstein’s Eschatologische Ideengruppe: Antichrist, etc., 1896; Charles’s Ascension of Isaiah, 1900, li ff.; Friedländer’s Der Antichrist in den vorchristlichen jüdischen Quellen, 1901; the articles on Antichrist by Louis Ginsberg in the Jewish Ency., and by Sieffert in PRE; and the discussions by Briggs in his Messiah of the Apostles, and by Born, Find., Schmiedel, Wohl., Mill., Dob. and Dibelius in their respective commentaries. For the later history of the Antichrist, see, in addition to Bousset’s monograph, Preuss, Die Vorstellung vom Antichrist im späteren Mittelalter, bei Luther, etc. 1906 (and Köhler’s review in TLZ 1907, 356 ff.). For the history of the interpretation of 2:1-12, see the commentaries of Lün., Born and Wohl.; Mill. (166-173) gives an excellent sketch.


Like the thanksgiving and prayer (1:3-12) and the exhortation (vv. 1-12), this new section (vv. 13-17), though addressed to the converts as a whole, is intended especially for the encouragement of the faint-hearted whose assurance of salvation was wavering, and who had become agitated by the assertion (v. 2) that the day of the Lord was actually present. With a purposed repetition of 1:3, Paul emphasises, his obligation to thank God for them notwithstanding their discouraged utterances, because, as was said in the first epistle (I 1:4 ff.), they are beloved and elect, chosen of God from everlasting, and destined to obtain the glory of Christ (vv. 13-14). Thus beloved and elect, they should have no fear about the future and no disquietude by reason of the assertion that the day is present; on the contrary, remembering the instructions received both orally and in the first epistle, they should stand firm and hold to those deliverances (v. 15). Aware, however, that only the divine power can make effectual his appeal, and aware that righteousness, guaranteed by the Spirit, is indispensable to salvation, Paul prays that Christ and God who in virtue of their grace had already commended their love to Christians in the death of Christ and had granted them through the Spirit inward assurance of salvation and hope for the ultimate acquisition of the glory of Christ, may vouchsafe also to the faint-hearted readers that same assurance of salvation, and strengthen them in works and words of righteousness.

This section differs from 1:3-12, and from I 2:13-3:13 which it resembles closely in arrangement (cf. αὐτὸς δε vv. 16-17 with I 3:11, and the repeated thanksgiving v. 13 with I 2:13), in having the command (v. 15).

13Now we ought to thank God always for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning of time to be saved by consecration of the Spirit and by faith in the truth; 14and to this end he called you by the gospel which we preach, namely, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15So then, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the instructions that you have been taught whether we delivered them orally or by letter. 16Now may our Lord, Jesus Christ himself and God, or Father, who loved us (Christians) and gave us, in virtue of grace, eternal encouragement and good hope, 17encourage your hearts, and make you steady in every good work you do and word you utter.

13. ἡμεῖς δὲ ὀφείλομεν κτλ The similarity in thought and language between the first clause of this verse and that of 1:3 suggests of itself a purposed return to the obligation there expressed “to give thanks to God always for you, brothers”; and the differences observable in our verse, the order of ὀφείλομεν εὐχαριστεῖ and the insertion of ἡμεῖ, tend to confirm the suggestion. By putting ὀφείλομε first, Paul lays stress on the obligation and at the same time, by the very emphasis, intimates that the repetition of 1:3 is intentional. By inserting ἡμεῖ (i. e. Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy as in I 2:13, 17) he reiterates emphatically what was implied in 1:3 that he and his fellow-writers are morally bound to thank God, notwithstanding the fact that the readers, voicing the discouragement of the faint-hearted, had declared to Paul by letter that they were not worthy of salvation and that therefore Paul ought not to thank God for them as he had done in his former epistle. If this is the case, δε is not adversative, contrasting in some manner with vv. 9-12, but introduces, as in v. 1, a new point.

That δε introduces a resumption of 1:3 is frequently admitted (B. Weiss, Dob., Dibelius, et al.). Usually, however, a contrast is discovered between ἡμεῖ and the doomed in v. 10 (e. g. Lün., Ell., Lft.), a contrast which is pertinent only if ἡμεῖ referred to the Thessalonians or all Christians. To obviate this difficulty, ἡμεῖ is put over against God who sends the energy of delusion; or over against the Anomos; or over against the mystery of lawlessness (Hofmann, Riggenbach, Denney, et al.); but these interpretations are, as Wrede insists (21), somewhat forced. On the other hand, the contention of Wrede (and Schmiedel) that ἡμεῖ is taken over mechanically from I 2:13 arises from the necessity of explaining the workings of the falsarius. A similar resumption of the thanksgiving occurs in I 2:13 (from 1:2; cf. 3:9); but in 2:13 we have και not δε, and the main point of I 2:1-12 is resumed as well as the thanksgiving of 1:2. Contrast with our verse I 2:17 (ἡμεῖς δε) where δε is adversative: “we apostles” over against the Jews who insinuated that we did not wish to return.

ἠγαπημένοι ὑπὸ κυρίο The readers are addressed not simply as brothers (1:3, 2:1) but as brothers “beloved by the Lord,” that is, “whom Christ loved and loves.” The phrase ἠγαπημένοι ὑπὸ κυρίο does not appear in 1:3 ff., though the idea of election is there implied in the statement that the endurance and faith of the readers is evidence of God’s purpose to deem them worthy of the kingdom. In I 1:4, however, where Paul openly draws the conclusion that the readers are elect from the fact that the Spirit is at work not simply in him (1:5) but especially in the Thessalonians who welcomed the gospel (1:6-10), the same estimate is given:�Romans 1:7, Colossians 3:12) that as beloved they are elect (I 1:4), is evidently designed for the purpose of encouraging the faint-hearted with the assurance of salvation, and of awakening within them, as elect and beloved, the obligation to fulfil their Christian duty (v. 15 ἄρα οὖ).

On the phrase, cf. Test. xii, Iss. 1:1 (v. l.) ἡγαπημένοι ὑπὸ κυρίο and Deuteronomy 33:12; and see note on I 1:4. On the perfect participle “implying a past action and affirming an existing result,” cf. . 154 and ἐκκέχυτα Romans 5:5.—(ο) κύριο is used frequently in Paul of the Lord Jesus; but it is especially characteristic of the Macedonian letters, fourteen times in I, eight times in II, and ten times in Phil. In our letters it appears in reminiscences from the Lxx (I 4:6, II 1:9, 2:13); in such phrases as ὁ λόγος τοῦ κυρίο (I 1:8, 4:15, II 3:1), ἑν κυρίῳ (I 3:8, 5:12; cf. Galatians 5:10, Romans 16:2 ff. and eight times in Phil.), and ἡμέρα κυρίο (I 5:2, II 2:2; cf. 1 Corinthians 5:5); in prayers (I 3:12, II 3:5, 16); and in other connections (I 1:6, 4:15-17, 5:27, II 3:3). In the light of this usage, κύριο here (contrast I 1:4) and 3:16 (contrast I 5:23) is natural; cf. παρὰ θεῷ II 1:6) with ἔκδικος κύριο I 4:6 in the light of βῆμα θεου (Romans 14:10) or Χριστου (2 Corinthians 5:10). On the use of ὁ κύριο, see especially Mill. 136 ff. and Zahn, Introd. I, 254.—D corrects to θεου; אA, et al., read τοῦ κυρίο

ὅτι εἵλατο ὑμᾶς κτλ. In advancing the reason why (ὅτ = “because” as in I 2:13, II 1:3) he ought to thank God always for them, Paul lets his religious imagination range from everlasting to everlasting,—from the choice of God unto salvation before the foundation of the world, to the divine invitation in time extended to the readers through the preaching of the gospel, and to the consummation in the age to come, the acquiring of the glory which Christ possesses and which he will share with those who are consecrated to God by the Spirit and have faith in the truth of the gospel. The purpose of this pregnant summary of Paul’s religious convictions (cf. Romans 8:28-30) is the encouragement of the faint-hearted. Not only are they chosen, they are chosen from all eternity �

The order of words, εἵλατο ὑμᾶς ὁ θεό (cf. I 5:9) not ὑμᾶς εἵλατ, tells against the suggestion that the readers are contrasted with “the doomed” (v. 10). K reads εἵλετ (cf. προείπομε (AKL) in I 4:6, and see, for mixed aorists, Bl 21:1). For ὑμᾶ (BAGFP, et al.), אD, et al., read ἡμᾶ; so also for ὑμᾶ after ἐκάλεσε in v. 14, BAD read ἡμᾶ, a reading which takes the nerve out of Paul’s intention and which in v. 14 leads to the impossible.—αἱρεῖσθα (Philippians 1:22, Hebrews 11:25), like ἐκλέγεσθα (1 Corinthians 1:27 ff. Ephesians 1:4), προγινώσκει (Romans 8:29, Romans 11:2) and προορίζει (Romans 8:29 f.; 1 Corinthians 2:7 πρὸ τῶν αἰώνω; Ephesians 1:5, Ephesians 1:11), is used of God’s election as in Deuteronomy 26:18 (cf. προαιρεῖσθα Deuteronomy 7:6 f. Deuteronomy 7:10:15); cf. τιθένα I 5:9, καταξιοῦ II 1:5, and�1 Corinthians 2:7),�Colossians 1:26) or πρὸ καταβολῆς κόσμο (Ephesians 1:4) to express the idea “from eternity,” while�James 1:18, Revelation 14:4, is found in the N. T. only in Paul (seven times; it is common in Lxx, especially in Ezek.). Most commentators prefer�Psalms 89:2); a few, however (so recently Wohl.), seek to refer�1 John 2:7, 1 John 2:24), though more appropriate to a later period in Paul’s career, but not probable in Paul who, when he refers to ἐν�Philippians 4:15) adds not only τοῦ εὐαγγελίο (cf. 1 Clem. 47:2) but also ὅτε ἐξῆλθον�Isaiah 63:16, Sir. 24:9, 1 John 2:13, Matthew 19:4, etc.; also 2 Reg. 7:10, Psalms 73:2, Luke 1:2, etc.). Apart from our passage and Philippians 4:15,�1 Corinthians 15:26 implying others to come); or (3), combining an estimate of worth with the idea of historical priority, to the fact that the Thessalonians are consecrated for a possession (James 1:18, 14:4), and are, along with the Philippians and others, especially a first-fruit from paganism (B Weiss).—It is noteworthy, however, that, apart from Romans 11:16 where the reference to the cult (Numbers 15:19 f.) is obvious, Paul elsewhere qualifies�Romans 16:5, 1 Corinthians 16:15 (cf. Romans 8:23, 1 Corinthians 15:20, 1 Corinthians 15:23; and 1 Clem. 24:1). The absence of the qualifying genitive in this passage suggests either that the Thessalonians are first in value, a choice fruit, which is improbable; or that they are the first in time, which is impossible, for they are not even the first-fruits of Macedonia. Grot. obviates the difficulty by supposing that our letter was written as early as 38 a.d., that is, before Paul came to Thessalonica, and was addressed to Jason and other Jewish Christians who had come thither from Palestine. Harnack likewise (v. supra p. 53 f.) thinks that our letter was addressed to Jewish Christians in Thessalonica, a group of believers that formed a kind of annex to the larger Gentile Christian church, and interprets�Acts 17:4). But apart from the fact that, in a section written for the encouragement. of those who were losing the assurance of salvation,�1 Corinthians 16:15).—In passing it is to be noted not only that D in Romans 16:5 and א in Revelation 14:4 change the forceful�

εἰς σωτηρίαν κτλ. The eternal choice of God includes not only the salvation (I 5:9) of the readers (εἰς σωτηρία = εἰς τὸ σωθῆναι ὑμᾶ; cf. v. 10, I 2:16), but also the means by which (ἐ = δια, Chrys.) or the state in which (cf. I 4:8) salvation is realised (Denney). The ἁγιας μὸς πνεύματο designates the total consecration of the individual, soul and body, to God, a consecration which is inspired by the indwelling Holy Spirit, and which, as the readers would recall (I 4:3-8, 5:23), is not only religious but ethical. The phrase πίστις�Philippians 2:12 f.). The fact that the means or state of salvation is included in the eternal choice, and that it is mentioned before the calling (when the means or state is historically manifested) suggests that Paul is choosing his words with a view to the encouragement of the faint-hearted. To know that they are elect from everlasting, and hence destined to the future salvation to which they were called, they have only to ask themselves whether the consecrating Spirit is in them and whether they have faith in the truth of the gospel. By the same token, Paul, in I 1:4 ff., expresses the conviction that the readers are elected, namely, by the presence of the Spirit in the readers who heard him and welcomed his gospel. “We find in ourselves a satisfactory proof (of election) if he has sanctified us by his Spirit, if he has enlightened us in the faith of his gospel” (Calvin).

Grammatically ἐν ἁγιασμῷ κτλ is to be construed not with εἵλατ alone (Whol.), or with σωτηρία alone (Riggenbach, Schmiedel, Born), but with εἵλατο εἰς σωτηρία (Lün., Ell., Lft., Dob. et al.). In the light of I 5:23, πνεύματο is not the human (Schott., Find., Moff. et al.) but the divine Spirit (Calv., Grot. and most); and the gen. is not of the object but of the author. The phrase ἐν ἁγιασμῷ πνεύματο in 1 Peter 1:2 “probably comes from 2 Thessalonians 2:13” (Hort). On ἁγιασμό, see I 4:3 ff.; on πίστις�Philippians 1:27, Colossians 2:12.

14. εἰς ὃ ἐκάλεσεν κτλ. “To which end,” “whereunto” (1:11), that is, “to be saved in consecration by the Spirit and faith in the truth.” The eternal purpose is historically manifested in God’s call (καλεῖ I 2:12, 4:7, 5:24; κλῆσι II 1:11), an invitation extended through the gospel which Paul (cf. Romans 10:14 ff.) and his associates preach (ἡμῶ; cf. I 1:5). That is, οὓς δὲ προώρισεν τούτους καὶ ἐκάλεσε (Romans 8:30).

εἰς περιποίησιν δίξης κτλ. With this clause, standing in apposition to εἰς ο, Paul proceeds to the final consummation of the purpose of God in election and calling, explaining εἰς σωτηρία as the acquisition of divine glory, “to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The “glory of Christ” (1:9), like the glory of God (to which he calls in I 2:12), is the glory which Christ possesses, and which he shares (cf. Romans 8:17) with “the beloved of the Lord.” In other words, οὕς ἐκάλεσε … τούτους καὶ ἐδόξασε (Romans 8:30). The repetition, in this appositional explanation, of a part of the language of I 5:9 (εἰς περιποίησιν σωτηρίας διὰ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστου) where the faint-hearted are likewise encouraged is undoubtedly purposed.

Lillie properly remarks: “There is no reason for restricting εἰς ο to any one (σωτηρία, as Piscator, Bengel, et al.; or πίστε, as Aretius, Cocceius, et al.), or any two (ἁγιασμῷ … καὶ πίστε, as Grotius, Flatt, Schott, de Wette, Hofmann, et al.), of the three; though, inasmuch as salvation is the leading idea and ultimate end, this is repeated and defined in the latter clause of the verse, εἰς περιποίησιν κτλ” Most commentators agree with the above in referring εἰς ο to σωτηρίαν ἐν ἁγιασμῷ … πίστε (Theophylact, Lün., Ell., Lft., Find., et al.); but B. Weiss refers it to εἵλατ “with reference to which election” (cf. εἰς ο in 1:11 which resumes εἰς τὸ καταξιωθῆνα 1:5).—A few codices read εἰς ὃ και (אPGF, Vulg), the και coming probably from 1:11 (but see Weiss, 112); cf. I 4:8 τὸν καὶ διδόντ (אDGF, Vulg et al.), and contrast the simple εἰς ο in Philippians 3:16.—On διὰ τοῦ εὐαγγελίο, cf. Ephesians 3:6, 1 Corinthians 4:15.—In vv. 13-14 (on which see especially Denney in Expositor’s Bible, 1892), which are “a system of theology in miniature” (Denney), nothing is expressly said of the death and resurrection of Christ, or of the specific hope of believers for a redeemed and spiritual body conformed τῷ σώματι τῆς δόξης αὐτου (Philippians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:42 ff.; Romans 8:23 f.). But these essential convictions of Paul, who is already a Christian of over seventeen years’ standing, are given in the very words “our gospel.”

15. ἄρα οὖν κτλ. With his characteristic ἄρα οὗ (I 5:6), to which an affectionate�Romans 8:12), Paul commands the brethren to fulfil their Christian duty, their good work and word. This imperative is based on the fact that they are beloved of Christ and elected and called of God to obtain the glory of Christ, and is expressed (1) in στήκετ (a word of Paul; see I 3:8), “stand firm” and (2) in κρατεῖτε τὰς παραδόσει, “hold to the deliverances or instructions which you have been taught by us whether by our word or by our letter,” ἡμῶ being construed with both substantives. Since ἐδιδάχθητ has in mind instructions hitherto conveyed by Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy (ἡμῶ; cf. v. 14) to the Thessalonians, λόγο refers to the oral teaching during the first visit; and “our letter” (not διʼ ἐπιστολῶ “our letters”) refers specifically to the first epistle. While these instructions comprehend the various elements, religious and moral, communicated by Paul and his associates to the Thessalonians orally or by letter up to the time of the writing of II (ἐδιδάχθητ), the presence of στήκετ, recalling the σαλευθῆνα of v. 2, goes to show that Paul has in mind not only generally “our gospel” as outlined in vv. 13-14 but also specifically the instructions concerning the Parousia which he had given orally (I 5:2, II 2:5) and had touched upon in the first epistle (5:1-11 which has the faint-hearted in mind). Knowing, as they should remember (v. 2), that the day is not actually present, and aware that, as elect and beloved (I 1:4 ff.), they are put not for wrath but for the acquiring of salvation (I 5:9), they should not be agitated and nervously wrought up (v. 2), but should stand firm and stick to the deliverances that they had been taught, “whether we conveyed them by word of mouth when we were yet with you or by our letter,” that is, the first epistle (sive per verbum praesentes sive et absentes per litteras Th. Mops.; cf. also Theodoret: λόγους οὕς καὶ πάροντες ὑμῖν ἐκηρύξαμεν καὶ ἄποντες ἐγράψαμε).

As Dob. (ad loc.) and J. Weiss (in Meyer on 1 Corinthians 11:2) have pointed out, the use of παράδοσι betrays the Jewish training of Paul who as a Pharisee outstripped many of his comrades in his zeal for τῶν πατρικῶν μου παραδόσεω (Galatians 1:14). Here, as in 1 Corinthians 11:2 (ὅτι καθὼς παρέδωκα ὑμῖν τὰς παραδόσεις κατέχετ), the deliverances are not defined; contrast the single tradition below 3:6 which is stated in 3:10; and note also the comprehensive ἡ παράδοσις τῶν�Colossians 2:6-8; cf. Mark 7:8) which is antithetical to Christ. In our passage, Paul might have said τὴν διδαχὴν ἥν ὑμεῖς ἐμάθετ (Romans 16:17; cf. Philippians 4:9, Colossians 1:7, Colossians 2:6 ff. Ephesians 4:20; also 1 Corinthians 4:17); or, on the analogy of I 4:1-2, 1 Corinthians 7:10, τὰς παρογγελίας ἅς ἐδώκαμεν ὑμῖ The thought is constant, but the language varies. Paul is ὁ διδούς, ὁ παραδιδούς, ὁ διδάσκων, ὁ παραγγέλλω, and ὁ γνωρίζω (1 Corinthians 15:1); and the readers or hearers receive (παραλαμβάνει Galatians 1:9, 1 Corinthians 15:1, Philippians 4:9, Colossians 2:6, I 4:1, II 3:6), learn (μανθάνει Philippians 4:9, Romans 16:17, Colossians 1:7, Ephesians 4:20), and are taught (διδάσχεσθα Colossians 2:7, Ephesians 4:21; cf. Galatians 1:12); and they likewise “hold fast to the instructions” (here and 1 Corinthians 11:2; cf. 15:2). While the source of these words, deliverances, teaching, commands, etc., is for Paul the indwelling Christ, and may thus be opposed to human authority (Galatians 1:12) or his own opinion (1 Corinthians 7:10 ff.), still they are historically mediated by the O. T., sayings of Jesus, and the traditions of primitive Christianity (1 Corinthians 15:3).—κρατεῖ is used elsewhere by Paul only Colossians 2:19 (κεφαλή); cf. Mark 7:3, Mark 7:8 κρατεῖν τὴν παράδοσι; but παράδοσι, apart from Paul, appears in Gk. Bib. only Mark 7:3 ff. = Matthew 15:2 ff., and in 2 Ezra 7:26, Jeremiah 39:4, Jeremiah 41:2 of “delivering up” a city.— The construction διδάσκεσθαί τ is found elsewhere in Gk. Bib. 1 Chronicles 5:18, Song of Solomon 3:8 Sap. 6:10 (but cf. Galatians 1:12); on διδάσκει, cf. 1 Corinthians 4:17, Colossians 2:7, Ephesians 4:21.—The implication of this specification of alternative modes of conveying instruction, διὰ λόγο and διʼ ἐπιστολῆ (εἴτ being disjunctive as in I 5:10), is that each is equally authoritative; et par in utroque auctoritas (Grot.). Paul had previously referred to both these modes (vv. 2, 5, I 5:2, 27); but the reminder here may imply an intentional contrast both with the erroneous inferences drawn by some from Paul’s oral utterances (inspired or not) and from his first epistle (v. 2), and (probably) with the statement implied in I 5:27 that some of the brothers (presumably “the idlers”) would give no heed to the letters of Paul (cf. below 3:14).—ἐπιστολη with an article may refer to “this” present letter (I 5:27, II 3:14, Romans 16:22, Colossians 4:16; cf. P. Oxy. 293:8 f. (a.d. 27) τῷ δὲ φέροντί σοι τὴν ἐπιστολή), or to a previous letter, “that” letter (1 Corinthians 5:9, 2 Corinthians 7:8), the context determining in each instance the reference. The plural ἐπιστολαι indicates with the article previous past letters in 2 Corinthians 10:9-10; and without the article, either letters to be written (1 Corinthians 16:3) or the epistolary method (2 Corinthians 10:11).

16-17. αὐτὸς δέ κτλ. The δε, which introduces a new point (cf. I 3:11, 5:23, II 3:16), is here, as in I 5:23, slightly adversative. “We have commanded you to stand firm and hold to the instructions which you have received, and we have based our imperative on the fact that you are beloved and elect; but after all (δε), the only power that can make the appeal effective, that can encourage your purposes and strengthen them in the sphere of righteousness, is Christ and God, to whom consequently we address our prayer for you.” As in I 3:11, so here the divine names are united and governed by a verb in the singular; there, however, God, as usual, takes the precedence; here (as in Galatians 1:1, 2 Corinthians 13:13) Christ is named first, perhaps because the good hope is pictured as the sharing of the glory of Christ (v. 14). Due to the position of the name of Christ, the arrangement of the divine names is chiastic, “Our Lord, Jesus Christ,” and “God, our Father” (the phrase ὁ θεὸς ὁ πατὴρ ἡμῶ being unique; see on I 1:3).

ὁ�Galatians 1:1, “through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised him from the dead,” where ἐγείραντο logically excludes the double reference). Since the aorists look upon the past event simply as an event without reference to its progress or existing result (BMT 38), it is probable (1) that ὁ�Romans 5:8) or Christ (Galatians 2:20) manifested in his sufferings and death, though the aorist does not exclude the idea of the continued love of God and Christ (“who has loved us”; cf. I 1:4, II 2:13 ἠγαπημένο, and Romans 8:35 ff.); and (2) that the δού, which is closely attached to�Galatians 4:6, Romans 5:5), though the aorist does not exclude the idea of the permanent possession of the gift (“and has given us”).

παράκλησιν αἰωνίαν καὶ ἐλπίδα�Romans 5:1 ff.), and is likewise a present possession (cf. Romans 8:23) due to the Spirit. It is “good” not only negatively in contrast with the empty hope of non-Christians (I 4:13) but also positively in that it is genuine and victorious (Romans 5:5), certain to be realised in the future kingdom of God.

17. παρακαλέσα … καὶ στηρίξαι κτλ. Having named the divine persons and recalled their gracious love and gift to all Christians (v. 16), Paul petitions Christ and God (the two persons being united here as in I 3:11 by the singular optatives) first of all (1) to “encourage” the inward purposes or will of the faint-hearted among the readers (ὑμῶν τὰς καρδία as 3:5, I 3:15; note the change from the general ἡμᾶ (v. 16) to the specific ὑμῶ), that is, to put into their hearts the confident assurance of salvation, the “eternal encouragement” of which he had just spoken (παρακαλέσα resuming παράκλησι). Then (2), recognising still the needs of the faint-hearted and gently reminding them that the future salvation, though it is assured by the indwelling Spirit, is contingent upon righteousness (cf. 1:11-12, I 3:13, 5:6 ff.; Romans 14:10, 2 Corinthians 5:10, 1 Corinthians 3:13 ff. Philippians 1:6), he petitions further (as in 1:11, I 3:13) Christ and God to “establish (στηρίξα; cf. I 3:2, 13 and στήκετ above v. 15) their hearts (sc. ὑμῶν τὰς καρδία; KL, et al., insert ὑμᾶ) in every good work that they do (contrast περιεργάζεσθα 3:11) and in every good word that they speak” (contrast v. 2).

On αὐτὸς δε, see 3:16, I 3:11, 5:23. Most codices have Ἰησοῦς Χριστό; but A reads Ἰησοῦς ὁ Χριστό, and B Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦ (cf. Romans 16:25, Ephesians 5:20; also D in 1:1 above). The unique ὁ θεὸς ὁ πατὴρ ἡμῶ is given by אGF; BD omit ο before θεό, yielding an equally unusual phrase; θεό (K) or ὁ θεό (APL) καὶ πατὴρ ἡμῶ (AKLP) is conformation to Paul’s regular usage.—Paul speaks elsewhere of the love of God (3:5, Romans 5:5, Romans 5:8:39, 2 Corinthians 13:13) and of the love of Christ (Romans 8:35, Romans 8:37, 2 Corinthians 5:14); of God as the author of παράκλησι (Romans 15:5, 2 Corinthians 1:3) and of Christ as the inspiration of the same (Philippians 2:1); of God as the author of hope (Romans 15:5) and of Christ in us the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27); and of the grace both of God and of Christ (see I 1:1). There is no intrinsic difficulty therefore in referring ὁ�Hebrews 9:12, Numbers 25:13, Jeremiah 20:17, etc.—For ἐλπὶς�Job 6:8, Sir. 13:6; on�Isaiah 57:18 may be cited: παρεκάλεσα αὐτὸν καὶ ἔδωκα αὐτῷ παράκλησιν�Romans 5:15, Galatians 1:6, 2 Corinthians 1:12).—Why Paul writes not “word and work” (so GFK, et al.; cf. Colossians 3:17, Romans 15:18, 2 Corinthians 10:11) but “work and word” (not elsewhere in Paul; but cf. Luke 24:19), and adds�Colossians 4:8, Ephesians 6:22, Sir. 30:23.—Ell. notes Chrys. on στηρίξα: βεβαιώσαι, ὥστε μὴ σαλεύεσθαι μηδὲ παρακλίνεσθα

אԠא (e a p r). Cod. Sinaiticus, saec. iv, now at St. Petersburg. Edited by Tischendorf, its discoverer, in 1862. Photographic reproduction by H. and K. Lake, Oxford, 1911. Contains I and II complete.

A A (e a p r). Cod. Alexandrinus, saec. v, now in the British Museum. Edited by Woide in 1786. Facsimile by E. M. Thompson, 1879. Contains I and II complete.

C C (e a p r). Cod. Ephraemi Rescriptus, saec. v, now in the National Library at Paris. The N. T. fragments were edited by Tischendorf in 1843. Contains I 1:2 ευχαριστουμεν—2:8 εγενηθητε.

B B (e a p r). Cod. Vaticanus, saec. iv, now in the Vatican Library. Photographic reproduction by Cozza-Luzi, Rome, 1889, and by the Milan firm of Hoepli, 1904. Contains I and II complete.

K K (a p). Cod. Mosquensis, saec. ix, now at Moscow. Collated by Matthaei, 1782. Contains I and II complete.

L L (a p). Cod. Angelicus, saec. ix, now in the Angelican Library at Rome. Collated among others by Tischendorf (1843) and Tregelles (1845). Contains I and II complete.

Deiss. A. Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East (1910) = Licht vom Osten (19093).

Schürer E. Schürer, Geschichte des Jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi (4th ed., 1901-9).

Bousset, W. Bousset, Die Religion des Judentums im neutestamentlichen Zeitalter (19062).

Grot Hugo de Groot (Grotius).

Ell Ellicott.

BMT E. D. Burton, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses in N. T. Greek (18983).

Wohl Wohlenberg.

Mill George Milligan.

Dob Ernst von Dobschütz,

Kennedy, Sources of N. T. Greek (1895).

E E Cod. Sangermanensis, saec. ix, now at St. Petersburg. A copy of D.

P P (a p r). Cod. Porphyrianus, saec. ix, now at St. Petersburg. Edited by Tischendorf (1865). Contains I and II except I 3:5 μηκετι—ημεις οι 4:17.

Bl F. Blass, Grammatik des neutestamentlichen Griechisch (1896, 19022).

Chrys Chrysostom.

Ephr Ephraem Syrus.

Lün Lünemann.

Lft Lightfoot.

Moff James Moffatt.

De W De Wette.

Lillie John Lillie, Epistles of Paul to the Thessalonians, Translated from the Greek, with Notes (1856).

Vincent M. R. Vincent, Word Studies in the N. T., vol. IV, 1900.

EGT The Expositor’s Greek Testament (ed. W. R. Nicoll, 1897-1910).

Find G. G. Findlay.

D D (p). Cod. Claromontanus, saec. vi, Graeco-Latin, now in the National library at Paris. Edited by Tischendorf in 1852. Contains I and II complete.

G G (p). Cod. Boernerianus, saec. ix, now in the Royal Library at Dresden. “It is closely related to F, according to some the archetype of F” (Souter). Edited by Matthaei, 1791. Im Lichtdruck nachgebildet, Leipzig (Hiersemann), 1909. Contains I and II complete.

F F (p). Cod. Augiensis, saec. ix, Graeco-Latin, now in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. An exact transcript by Scrivener, 1859. Contains I and II complete.

Lxx The Old Testament in Greek (ed. H. B. Swete, 1887-94).

Th. Mops Theodore of Mopsuestia, in epistolas Pauli commentarii (ed. H. B. Swete, 1880-82).

ICC International Critical Commentary.

Weiss B. Weiss in TU. XIV, 3 (1896).

EB The Encyclopædia Biblica (London, 1899-1903; ed. J. S. Black and T. K. Cheyne).

Calv Calvin.

Ambst Ambrosiaster.

Boh Coptic version in the Bohairic dialect.

Vulg Vulgate.

Zim F. Zimmer, Der Text der Thessalonicherbriefe (1893).

Hatch, E. Hatch, Essays in Biblical Greek (1889).

SH Comm. on Romans in ICC. by W. Sanday an A. C. Headlam.

Soph. E. A. Sophocles, Greek Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine Periods (revised by J. H. Thayer, 1887, 1900).

Born Bornemann.

WH The New Testament in the Original Greek (1881; I, Text, II, Introduction and Appendix).

Charles, R. H. Charles, Eschatology, Hebrew, Jewish, and Christian (1899).

Meyer Kritisch-exegetischer Komm. über das N. T.

PRE Real-Encyclopädie für protest. Theologie u. Kirche (3d ed. Hauck, 1896-1909).

TLZ Theologische Literaturzeitung.

Pesh Syriac Vulgate.

Arm Armenian version.

Bibliographical Information
Driver, S.A., Plummer, A.A., Briggs, C.A. "Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 2". International Critical Commentary NT. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/icc/2-thessalonians-2.html. 1896-1924.
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