2 Thess 2:6-7 = "holding fast"?

From: Chris A Vlachos (chreemann@juno.com)
Date: Mon Mar 13 2000 - 18:29:01 EST

A friend recently expressed a rather novel interpretation of 2 Thess
2:6-7 in regard to what or who it is that is holding back the coming of
the "man of sin." (1) Has anybody ever come across this view point
before? (2) Can somebody please give me a critique of it?

His thesis is as follows:

A plausible translation of vv. 6-8 is: "And now you know the EXPERIENCE
OF holding fast, which means that he will be revealed in his own time.
For the mystery of lawlessness is already working; only he who holds fast
now IS EFFECTIVE until he is out of the midst. And then the lawless
one will be revealed..."

Paraphrase = "You Thessalonians are holding fast, a condition which is
the opposite of apostasy. Thus the man of lawlessness cannot be
revealed at this time - there not being apostasy. Lawlessness is
already working, but the man of lawlessness will not be revealed until
holding fast is no longer characteristic of the church.

The central point to my friend's thesis is that KATECHO here stands as
the opposite of APOSTOSIA. To substantiate his translation of
KATECHO as "hold fast" he points to the use of KATECHO in 1 Thess 5:21
and the fact that in each instance where KATECHO serves as the opposite
of APHISTEMI the meaning is to "hold fast." See Luke 8:13 & 15; Heb 3:12
& 14. He says to translate GENETAI is never translated as "taken
away" elsewhere and be merely translated here as "he is." He thus
sees the man of sin being in check as long as the church "holds fast."
When the church no longer "holds fast", i.e., apostatizes, the man of
lawlessness will then make his appearance. The restrainer, therefore,
is "the church when it is holding fast." Thus Paul's encouragement
in 2:15 for them to "stand" and "hold" to the traditions.

I would appreciate any comments.


Chris V.

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