From: Harold R. Holmyard III (
Date: Mon May 08 2000 - 07:26:51 EDT

Dear Mark,
     You write:>

>He contends that APOSTASIA does not mean a "religious falling away" or a
>"falling away from the faith" UNLESS THE CONTEXT imposes that meaning to
>it. Hence, by itself, APOSTASIA simply means a movement from Point A. to
>Point B, without any religious implications. If one checks the uses of
>APOSTASIA elsewhere in the New Testament, most noteably Acts, I believe
>Dr. English's contention proves true. APOSTASIA is always modified in the
>context to give it its "religious departure" meaning. Therefore, if his
>conclusions are true, then 2 Thess. 2, which has no "religious apostasy"
>context, would simply mean a departure of some kind, not excluding the
>Rapture. Add to that that the "apostasy" mentioned in 1 Timothy 4 does NOT
>mention a worldwide, large-scale apostasy by any means. Here is my
>question: It is almost universally accepted that Paul is referring to THE
>(hence, well-known) APOSTASIA of 1 Timothy 4 in 2 Thess. 2. How can this

Mark, there are several reasons for thinking that the above belief does not
take into account all the facts. The NT only uses the word APOSTASIA twice,
in Acts 21:21 and 2 Thess 2:3. In Acts 21:21 it refers to rebellion against
the Mosaic law. In the Septuagint the word appears six times: Josh 22:22; 3
Kgs 20 (21):13; 2 Chron 29:19; 33:19; Jer 2:19; and 1 Macc 2:15. In every
instance APOSTASIA refers to rebellion. This is also the use of the related
     In 1 Tim 4:2 the word is AFISTNMI, which means "depart." The word is
related to APOSTASIA, which is some places can mean "departure." The word
AFISTNMI is not exactly the same as APOSTASIA. Besides, the context in 2
Thessalonians 2 need not lack clarity. The rise of the Antichrist is
described in Daniel, in Revelation, and in the Olivet discourse. It is an
evil time, a time of rebellion from God. The time indicators in 1 Tim 4:1-2
suggest the same period as these other documents.

                                Harold Holmyard

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