Re: 2 Thess. 6-7

Paul Dixon - Ladd Hill Bible Church (
Mon, 2 Sep 1996 10:38:39 -0700 (PDT)

Don Wilkins asks for a clarification of how relating EIS TO ... back to
OIDATE rather than TO KATECHON makes better sense.

The first difficulty to over come is where most of us are locked in. The
usual argument against an evil restrainer view here is that then we have
evil restraining evil, and since that makes no sense, then it must be
rejected. Try, for the sake of argument, not assuming that what is being
restrained is the man of lawlessness. This assumption, by the way, is
the basis of a good restrainer view and should be seriously challenged on
the basis of the continued perspective (KAI, v. 6) begun in verse 4 where
the subject is the man of lawlessness and the object is "all that is
called God."

Anyhow, I contend it makes better sense, because it is the only view that
does justice to Paul's over all argument. The Thessalonians had been
led to believe that the day of the Lord was at hand (probably better than
"has come," but inconsequential) and that the associated troubles and
difficulties with it. Paul refutes this misconception on the basis that
the apostasy must come first and the man of lawlessness be revealed, v.
4. But, what guarantee did they have that when the man of lawlessness
was revealed that they would know it, and not miss it? That assurance
and guarantee is based on their present knowledge of the mystery of
lawlessness already at work. They already knew and understood what now
restrains (explained in v. 7 as the mystery of lawlessness) all that is
called God (v. 4, including the truth, v. 10). They knew this so that
EIS TO (the end result or purpose of which is) they would know and
recognize the man of lawlessness when he was revealed, a fortiori. Their
know of the lesser, the mystery of lawlessness already at work, assured
them of their recognition of the epitome of lawlessness, the man of
lawlessness when his time comes to be revealed.

Also, this is the only view that find the identity of the restrainer in
the text itself. He is Satan, v. 9.

Hope this helps.

Paul S. Dixon, Pastor Check out my doctoral product:
Ladd Hill Bible Church "The Evangelism of Christ: a Model for
Wilsonville, OR 97070 Evangelism Today"

On Sun, 1 Sep 1996 wrote:

> At least it's nice to agree to disagree, Paul, so I appreciate that. Your
> point about the preface in the NASB is well taken. We probably should change
> it to reflect such "exceptions" as the one seen here; it's just that it would
> be difficult to clarify it without going into a lot of detail, but even so
> a fuller explanation may be called for. As to the KAI, we're not looking for
> any contrast. Even if you take the KAI as resumptive with v. 4 (I have no pro-
> blem with that), there is no grammatical reason for the parallelism you ar-
> gue; the only situation I can think of off-hand that is somewhat analogous to
> your argument is the "Granville Sharp Rule", but of course that's not what we
> have here. Finally, the idea that taking the EIS clause with OIDATE as the
> nearest antecedent "certainly has good Greek support" is like saying that
> it was a good idea to polish the brass on the Titanic. The word order just does
> not make that much difference here because the two possible governing words
> are too close together. You are left with the argument from sense, and I can't
> see how "you know so that he will (may) be revealed in his own time" is better
> (or even as good as) "you know the one who is restraining (him) so that he
> will be...." But that's not to say you are necessarily wrong about the last
> argument; maybe it does make better sense, and I'm just not seeing it. Perhaps
> you can enlighten me further, but let's not retread any old ground.
> Don Wilkins
> UC Riverside