Re: K.S. Wuest on 2 Thes 2:3

Date: Sun Jan 26 1997 - 07:49:56 EST

In a message dated 1/25/1997 5:19:55 AM, (Paul Dixon - Ladd
Hill Bible Church) wrote:

<<The Day of the Lord in scripture can be traced at least from Joel 2:28-31
to Mt 24:29-31 and to Rev 6:12 ff, as well as 2 Thess 2:1 ff.
        1) Joel says before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes
the son will be darkened and the moon turned into blood,
        2) Christ says immediately after the tribulation of those days
(an obvious reference to the great tribulation) the sun will be darkened
and the moon shall not give its light (Joel 2:28ff), Mt 24:29ff.
        3) Rev 6:12 adds that when the 6th seal is opened then the sun is
darkened and the moon became as blood (Joel 2:28ff).

The result of this, at least from a futurists point of view, is the
following necessary chronology (combining all these passages): the
abomination of desolation and the great tribulation period occur, after
which the sun and moon are darkened, followed by the coming of the day of
the Lord which is apparently precipitated by the coming of the Lord and
our gathering together unto Him (Mt 24:30-31), that is, the rapture of the

That the day of the Lord does not precede, nor include, the great
tribulation is clear. Christ says, immediately after the tribulation of
those days the events of Joel occur which necessarily precede the coming
of the day of the Lord.

Why didn't Paul say something here about the sun and moon being darkened
as necessary precursors? Simply because he didn't have to. The apostasy
and abomination of desolation (revelation of the man of lawlessness) were
sufficient. The point is the rapture in this scheme necessarily is what
starts the day of the Lord (so, Mt 24:29-31, Rev 6:12 ff).

 The one problem passage for the pretribulational view is Joel 2:31: "The sun
will be turned to darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and
awesome day of the Lord comes." In Rev 6:12, these events mark the opening of
the sixth seal. Although this does not necessarily support a
posttribulational rapture, it does sound as if the Day of the Lord begins
just before the midpoint of the Tribulation (in a premillennial scheme).
However, what seems significant is that if the Day of the Lord begins as late
as just prior to the midway point of the Tribulation, the post-tribulational
view that the Day of the Lord will not take place until after the Antichrist
is manifested when he enters the temple is proven false. However Joel 2:31
could be taken to mean that the heavenly catastrophes will take place before
the Day of the Lord comes to completion.

>>I said nothing about the Granville Sharp rule and would never even attempt
an argument from that highly suspect rule. I have already argued my case,
that is, that the coming of the Lord and our gathering together unto Him
refer to one and the same event.<<

But the Granville Sharp construction is very significant here. This is an
impersonal construction which does not fit the structural requirements of the
rule, which is not highly suspect. It is valid for every personal, singular,
non proper name construction in the NT. The semantics for impersonal
constructions are more complex. As I stated before, the "coming" and
"gathering" referring to the same event is the least likely possibility,
statistically speaking. The most likely possibility is that the "gathering"
is a subset of the "coming." This could have the same temporal ramifications
as the identity view, but not necessarily. The construction implies that the
"gathering" is a smaller event with in the larger event, the "coming."

>>In the meanwhile, look for mine
already published in JETS (Dec 1990) entitled: The Evil Restraint in 2
Thess 2:6.<<

I interacted with your article in my thesis (along with Giblin, Krodel, Best,
Wanamaker, and others) and there is a brief reference to it in my forthcoming
article. I have toyed with the idea of doing a paper or article critiquing
the hostile KATECWN view, but right now I'm immersed in my dissertation on
the semantic relationships between the protasis and apodosis of NT
conditional constructions.

By the way, I did not intend for this string to get into an extended
discussion on eschatological schemes, except where the Greek text bears on
the matter. As many of you know 2 Thess 1:1-15 is a notoriously difficult
passage filled with many grammatical, lexical, and structural issues, as well
as theological issues.

Charles Powell

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