Upon considering the give-and-take on this difficult passage,
there is a phrase that has not figured in the discussion which, IMO, is
key to correct interpretation of the whole passage. The phrase was
mentioned in the original question that led to this thread on 2 Thess.
chapter 2, and I posted in answer to that particular query.
Nevertheless, the observations I expressed then have not been
incorporated in the subsequent discussion.
The phrase in question is EK MESOU GENHTAI at the end of v. 7.
According to BAGD, which cites several instances of the phrase, it has
the idiomatic meaning, "to be removed" or "to leave the scene" (BAGD,
s.v. GINOMAI, I:4:c:beta). For the "evil restrainer" theory to be
viable, EK MESOU GENHTAI would practically have to mean, "come out of the
midst," in the sense of "appear" or "come on the scene." BAGD's data
doesn't seem to support that meaning.
Additionally, KAI NUN TO KATEXON OIDATE at the beginning of v. 6
may well not mean, "and you now (or "already") know what restrains...."
Ridderbos suggests that NUN here modifies KATEXON (i.e. "what now
impedes"). He cites Blass-DeBrunner #474,5(c) for examples of this
construction in which the participle is "separated from its adjuncts" in
the way found here.
Whether Ridderbos's suggestion be valid or not, I find very
difficult Paul Dixon's interpretation that the EIS TO clause in v. 6
should be understood as of purpose. EIS TO here, rather, expresses
movement from the state of what now impedes to the revelation of the
antichrist. It is his coming that is referred to in v. 6b, not Christ's
since, if we take EK MESOU GENHTAI as "be removed," then hO KATEXON in
v. 7 is clearly referring to what presently restrains the antichrist.
And since the GAR of v. 7a ties v. 6 in meaning to v. 7, we should
understand that v. 6 is the logical antecedent to v. 7.
So the neuter TO KATEXON in v. 6 relates directly to the
masculine hO KATEXWN in v. 7, the reference in v. 6 being simply more
general in scope and so, expressed in the neuter whereas v. 7
personalizes this force, whatever it may be.
verse 8, then follows v. 7b, not as a restatement of the latter,
but as what takes place subsequent to it.
Regards to all,
-- David L. Moore Director Miami, Florida, USA Department of Education email@example.com Southeastern Spanish District http://www.netcom.com/~dvdmoore of the Assemblies of God