Re: 2 Thess 2:6

Paul Dixon - Ladd Hill Bible Church (
Fri, 6 Sep 1996 21:29:31 -0700 (PDT)

Don, thanks for your interaction. It has been stimulating and fun. I
have three points to make.

1. You argue that making the EIS To clause in 6b dependent upon the
immediately preceding OIDATE then requires that something be said in the
clause itself about their knowledge of the man when his time comes to be
revealed. I disagree. It seems to me that that is clearly implied in
the word APOKALUPHTHENAI. The basic meaning of the word is uncover,
disclose, bring to light. A cursory review of its usage in the NT seems
to suggest that when something is revealed by God it is for the purpose
of making it clear for the understanding of the intended recipients. Not
only that, but it also seems to be the necessary result. An especially
interesting passage in light of this is Mark 4:10-12 where Christ
explains why He suddenly now is teaching in parables. To the disciples
He says, "To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but
those who are outside get everything in parable, in order that while
seeing they, they ma see and not preceive; and while haering, they may
hear and not understand lest they return and be forgiven." This last
part is especially of interest, the idea being that Christ taught in
parables, i.e., kept things hidden from them, so that they would not
repent and be forgiven. Keeping things hidden keeps them from repentance
and forgiveness. But, the opposite seems to be that to those to him it
had been given they would receive revelation, hear, and be saved.

It seems that not only the basic meaning of the word itself, but its
purpose and necessary results are disclosure, uncovering and bringing to
light so that the necessary result for those for whom it is intended is
recognition and understanding. Some would say this also fits in with
the concepts of sovereign, efficacious grace.

2. I want to come back to the argument for taking the EIS TO clause back
to OIDATE. I meant to quote the following paragraph earlier (taken from
my paper again):

"Second, the assumption that the purpose clause depends on TO
KATECHON has serious difficulties. No Pauline precedent exists for
relating a smilar construction (EIS TO["so that"] plus the infinitive) to
a substantive such as the substantival participle TO KATECHON (E. Burton
shows that Phil 1:23 is not an exception to this). C.H. Giblin has
shown, on the other hand, that whenever Paul uses such a constructin
elsewhere it depends on the nearest verb (footnote on Giblin). This is
quiclly verified by observing the similar constructions in 2 Thess 1:4-5;
2:1; 2:10; 2:11; 3:9."

3. I'll do this point on a separate post because of time. It concerns
the relationship between v. 6 and v. 7.

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 Fri, 6 Sep 1996 wrote:

> 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, " 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