2 Thess 2:6

Fri, 6 Sep 1996 11:54:06 -0700 (PDT)

Paul Dixon writes:

"It is difficult to distinguish between purpose and result here. Perhaps
both are present. The divine purpose behind their present knowledge of
the restraining mystery of lawlessness already at work (v. 7) was the
setting of the stage for the revelation of the man of lawlessness so that
when his time came to be revealed they would know and recognize him. If
they then knew the lesser (mysterious) evil already at work, the
necessary result is their recognition of the greater evil, the man of
lawlessness, when his time comes to be revealed...."

I'm sorry to say that although I have been an ETS member for a long time, I
haven't been paying much attention to the journal, and don't know, Paul,
whether you recieved comments on your article when it was published. I'm glad
you said "Perhaps" above, because it indicates you do not wish to be dogmatic.
It seems to me that the Greek puts severe limits upon your interpretation. If
by "divine purpose" you mean that expressed by the EIS clause itself, then
the purpose is that the man of lawlessness be revealed in his proper time, and
nothing more. You can speculate on a larger divine purpose, as you do above
with "...setting of the stage...they would know and recognize him", but that
is not coming from the EIS clause. Also, this is the problem of the purpose
not being that of the grammatical subject of the main verb, as I pointed out
before; i.e. here you are talking about God's purpose, not that of the "you"
of OIDATE, as you maintained at one point. On the other hand, when you explore
the result view of the EIS clause, you do connect it to the "you" of OIDATE,
which explains why you tried to correct me on this point in a more recent
post. The problem here, though, is that you again go beyond the meaning of
the EIS clause itself when you write, "...is their recognition...when his
time comes...." I don't deny you the right to interpret the passage this way,
but I do deny the possibility of getting all that from the EIS clause. If we
take it with OIDATE, then the result of their knowledge is the revelation of
the man of lawlessness, not their recognition of the evil *when* he is re-
vealed. And as I said at the beginning of our discussion, this idea makes less
sense to me than making the EIS clause go with TO KATECWN. To support your
view, it seems to me that the EIS clause needs to actually say something like
"so that you will recognize the great evil when he is revealed".

Don Wilkins
UC Riverside