Use of DE in 2 Thess.

From: Harold R. Holmyard III (
Date: Tue May 09 2000 - 14:46:48 EDT

Dear Mike,
     Your observation about DE as a discourse marker in 2:13 seems valid.
     In 2 Thess 2:1 the single article THS links PAROUSIAS and
EPISUNAGOGHS. These concepts had stirred anxiety in the Thessalonians due
to misconceptions about the day of the Lord. Paul in 2:3-12 strives to
refresh their knowledge of the truth so as to allay their concern.
     Your idea is not without merit that the chapter breaks down into two
parts, with 2:3-12 referring to the PAROUSIAS and 2:13-17 to the
EPISUNAGOGHS. For DOXHS in 2:14 can refer back to DOXHS in 1:9, with
cognates in 1:10 and 12, where the context is the EPISUNAGOGH. The
obtaining of this glory (v. 14) will be at the EPISUNAGOGH. Also, Paul
mentions eternal encouragement and good hope by grace, both of which point
forward to the EPISUNAGOGH. The whole context of the letter has been
eschatological, and we should read 2:13-17 in that light. All that Paul
says in 2:13-17 finds its proper completion in the EPISUNAGOGH.
     However, the clarification about the future that Paul has been
bringing is over by verse 12. He can shift back to the Thessalonians. DE
does not seem to mark a contrast between PAROUSIA and EPISUNAGOGH as much
as a contrast between the lost condition of those in 2:10-12 and the saved
condition of the readers (2:13-17). I find 2:13-17 a bit too staid to be
solely oriented toward the EPISUNAGOGH. Rather the passage emphasizes just
how saved those at Thessalonica are now, and what they should do now. Paul
may be trying to comfort the Thessalonians about their spiritual standing
so that they will be less anxious about what they hear (2:2). Their present
condition is a source of thanksgiving for Paul (2:13). They are beloved
now, have been chosen already, experience sanctification by the Spirit now,
and faith in the truth now. They need to stand now and hold fast the
traditions. Paul prays for the encouragement of their hearts now, and for
their strengthening in every deed and good work now.

                                Harold Holmyard

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