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

From: Paul Dixon - Ladd Hill Bible Church (
Date: Fri Jan 31 1997 - 01:09:29 EST

On Wed, 29 Jan 1997 wrote:

> In a message dated 1/27/1997 1:56:49 AM, (Paul Dixon - Ladd
> Hill Bible Church) wrote:
> <<The big thing you are overlooking is that Mt 24:29-31 forces the coming of
> the day of the Lord to a post-tribulational setting, not to a mid-trib
> one. Note Christ says, "but immediately after the tribulation of those
> days" (v. 29, indicating the great tribulation has run its course and is
> over), "the sun shall be darkened and the moon will not give its light."
> Since this occurs before the day of the Lord begins (Joel 2:28ff), then
> the day of the Lord does not come, arrive, begin, start (call it what you
> will), until after the great tribulation is complete.>>
> Actually I see Matt 24:29-31 as parallel to the fourth and fifth bowls of Rev
> 16 rather than the sixth seal of Rev 6. As I stated before I think that Joel
> 2:30-31 refers to signs before the climax of the day of the Lord, not its
> beginning. I see the DOL as beginning with the first seal, being recognized
> by man at the sixth seal and being climaxed at the return of Christ and the
> bowl judgments.

I'm sorry, but you don't get off so easily. You've got to deal with this
central fact: the unifying thread in all this is the darkening of the sun
and the moon 1) immediately after the great trib has run its course (Mt
24:29), 2) before the day of the Lord starts (Joel 2:28-31), 3) before the
Lord returns and gathers us together (Mt 24:30-31; 2 Thess 2:1-3).

This might not jive with what you believe, but you've got to deal with it.
You can't just say you disagree because you believe diffferently.

> >>The Granville Sharp rule came under serious criticism early on, and
> serious questions seem to have plagued it for years. It does seem that so
> many have abused it that its legitimacy or practicality is still under
> question. Show me where it really has made a difference. In proving the
> deity of Christ? Ha. We hardly need the rule to demonstrate that.
> Besides, the Granville Sharp rule, if applied to
> our discussion, would only support my contention, i.e., that the coming of
> the Lord and our gathering together unto Him are one and the same event.
> You notice, however, I never appealed to it, although you seem to assume I
> did.<<
> Sharps rule has been misunderstood and misapplied, but that does not make it
> invalid. The problem with most applications is that many apply the rule to
> constructions other than those which have personal, singular, non-proper
> substantives. Those constructions outside these three criteria have a broader
> range of semantic categories. Dan Wallace wrote his dissertation on "The
> Article with Multiple Substantives" construction (not just the rule) and
> spends twenty pages on it in his grammar (270-290). Here is his comment on 2
> Thess 2:1:

I have Wallace's grammar. He refers to my Th.M. thesis several times in
it (favorably), particularly with regard to Colwell's rule which I showed
has no exegetical value (except possibly for textual criticism), and has
been abused by many to prove things it does not say and does not imply.

> "This text impacts the discussion in some American evangelical circles over
> the time of the rapture. Many posttribulationists/non-dispensationalists have
> considered the two to have the same referent precisely because of their
> misunderstanding of Sharp's rule and its specific requirements.
> Since the TSKS [the article + substantive + KAI + substantive] construction
> involves impersonal substantives, the highest degree of doubt is cast upon
> the probability of the terms referring to the same event. This is especially
> the case since the terms look to concrete temporal referents (the parousia
> and the gathering of the saints), for the identical category is unattested
> for "concrete" impersonals in the NT.
> This is not to say that one could not see a posttribulational rapture in the
> text, for even if the words do not have an identical referent, they could
> have simultaneous ones. Our only point is that because of the misuse of
> syntax by some scholars, certain approaches to the theology of the NT have
> often been jettisoned without a fair hearing."
> Dan categorizes this verse as "second entity as a subset of the first." My
> point is that whether you appeal to Sharp's rule or not, identical referents
> is still the least likely possibility.
Regardless, if you posit two different comings or two different times in 2
Thess 2:1, then the burden of proof falls upon you to show such in the
text. Pretribbers have never been able to clearly substantiate two
different comings of Christ, i.e., one before the tribulation, then one
after it. If 2 Thess 2:1ff is their appeal for such, then they have do
have a serious problem. But, please give it a go. I'm all ears,
seriously. You said Wallace says something about it. Could you summarize
what he says?


Paul Dixon

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