2 Thessalonians 2:3
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,

King James Bible
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Darby Bible Translation
Let not any one deceive you in any manner, because it will not be unless the apostasy have first come, and the man of sin have been revealed, the son of perdition;

World English Bible
Let no one deceive you in any way. For it will not be, unless the departure comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction,

Young's Literal Translation
let not any one deceive you in any manner, because -- if the falling away may not come first, and the man of sin be revealed -- the son of the destruction,

2 Thessalonians 2:3 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Let no man deceive you by any means - That is, respecting the coming of the Lord Jesus. This implies that there were then attempts to deceive, and that it was of great importance for Christians to be on their guard. The result has shown that there is almost no subject on which caution is more proper, and on which men are more liable to delusion. The means then resorted to for deception appear from the previous verse to have been either an appeal to a pretended verbal message from the apostle, or a pretended letter from him. The means now, consist of a claim to uncommon wisdom in the interpretation of obscure prophecies of the Scriptures. The necessity for the caution here given has not ceased.

For that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first - Until an apostasy (ἀποστασία apostasia) shall have occurred - the great apostasy. There is scarcely any passage of the New Testament which has given occasion to greater diversity of opinion than this. Though the reference seems to be plain, and there is scarcely any prophecy of the Bible apparently more obvious and easy in its general interpretation; yet it is proper to mention some of the opinions which have been entertained of it.

Some have referred it to a great apostasy from the Christian church, particularly on account of persecution, which would occur before the destruction of Jerusalem. The "coming of the Lord" they suppose refers to the destruction of the holy city, and according to this, the meaning is, that there would be a great apostasy before that event would take place. Of this opinion was Vitringa, who refers the "apostasy" to a great defection from the faith which took place between the time of Nero and Trajan.

Whitby also refers it to an event which was to take place before the destruction of Jerusalem, and supposes that the apostasy would consist in a return from the Christian to the Jewish faith by multitudes of professed converts. The "man of sin," according to him, means the Jewish nation, so characterized on account of its eminent wickedness.

Hammond explains the apostasy by the defection to the Gnostics, by the arts of Simon Magus, whom he supposes to be the man of sin, and by the "day of the Lord" he also understands the destruction of Jerusalem.

Grotius takes Caius Caesar or Caligula, to be the man of sin, and by the apostasy he understands his abominable wickedness. In the beginning of his government, he says, his plans of iniquity were concealed, and the hopes of all were excited in regard to his reign; but his secret iniquity was subsequently "revealed," and his true character understood.

Wetstein understands by the "man of sin," that it referred to Titus and the Flavian house. He says that he does not understand it of the Roman Pontiff, who "is not one such as the demonstrative pronoun thrice repeated designates, and who neither sits in the temple of God, nor calls himself God, nor Caius, nor Simon Gioriae, nor any Jewish impostor, nor Simon Magus."

Koppe refers it to the King mentioned in Daniel 11:36. According to him, the reference is to a great apostasy of the Jews from the worship of God, and the "man of sin" is the Jewish people.

Others have supposed that the reference is to Muhammed, and that the main characteristics of the prophecy may be found in him.

Of the Papists, a part affirm that the apostasy is the falling away from Rome in the time of the Reformation, but the greater portion suppose that the allusion is to Antichrist, who, they say, will appear in the world before the great day of judgment, to combat religion and the saints. See these opinions stated at length, and examined, in Dr. Newton on the Prophecies, Dissertation xxii.

Some more recent expositors have referred it to Napoleon Bonaparte, and some (as Oldshausen) suppose that it refers to some one who has not yet appeared, in whom all the characteristics here specified will be found united.

Most Protestant commentators have referred it to the great apostasy under the papacy, and, by the "man of sin," they suppose there is allusion to the Roman Pontiff, the Pope. It is evident that we are in better circumstances to understand the passage than those were who immediately succeeded the apostles.

Eighteen hundred years have passed (written circa 1880's) away since the Epistle was written, and the "day of the Lord" has not yet come, and we have an opportunity of inquiring, whether in all that long tract of time any one man can be found, or any series of men have arisen, to whom the description here given is applicable. If so, it is in accordance with all the proper rules of interpreting prophecy, to make such an application. If it is fairly applicable to the papacy, and cannot be applied in its great features to anything else, it is proper to regard it as having such an original reference. Happily, the expressions which are used by the apostle are, in themselves, not difficult of interpretation, and all that the expositor has to do is, to ascertain whether in any one great apostasy all the things here mentioned have occurred. If so, it is fair to apply the prophecy to such an event; if not so, we must wait still for its fulfillment.

The word rendered "falling away" (ἀποστασία apostasia, apostasy), is of so general a character, that it may be applied to any departure from the faith as it was received in the time of the apostles. It occurs in the New Testament only here and in Acts 21:21, where it is rendered "to forsake" - "thou teachest all the Jews which are among us to forsake Moses" - apostasy from Moses - ἀποστασίαν ἀπὸ Μωῦσέως apostasian apo Mōuseōs. The word means a departing from, or a defection; see the verb used in 1 Timothy 4:1, "Some shall depart from the faith" - ἀποστήσονται apostēsontai; compare the notes on that passage; see also Hebrews 3:12; Luke 8:13; Acts 5:37. The reference here is evidently to some general falling away, or to some great religious apostasy that was to occur, and which would be under one head, leader, or dynasty, and which would involve many in the same departure from the faith, and in the same destruction. The use of the article here, "the apostasy" (Greek), Erasmus remarks, "signifies that great and before-predicted apostasy." It is evidently emphatic, showing that there had been a reference to this before, or that they understood well that there was to be such an apostasy. Paul says 2 Thessalonians 2:5, that when he was with them, he had told them of these things. The writers in the New Testament often speak of such a defection under the name of Antichrist; see Revelation 13:14; 1 John 2:18, 1 John 2:22; 1 John 4:3; 2 John 1:7.

continued...

2 Thessalonians 2:3 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Grace and Holiness.
"Now God Himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you. And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end He may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints."--1 THESS. iii. 11-13. There are few more precious subjects for meditation and imitation than the prayers and intercessions of the great Apostle.
W. H. Griffith Thomas—The Prayers of St. Paul

Of Antichrist, and his Ruin: and of the Slaying the Witnesses.
BY JOHN BUNYAN PREFATORY REMARKS BY THE EDITOR This important treatise was prepared for the press, and left by the author, at his decease, to the care of his surviving friend for publication. It first appeared in a collection of his works in folio, 1692; and although a subject of universal interest; most admirably elucidated; no edition has been published in a separate form. Antichrist has agitated the Christian world from the earliest ages; and his craft has been to mislead the thoughtless, by
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

The Third Wall.
The third wall falls of itself, as soon as the first two have fallen; for if the Pope acts contrary to the Scriptures, we are bound to stand by the Scriptures, to punish and to constrain him, according to Christ's commandment; "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every
Martin Luther—First Principles of the Reformation

Perseverance of the Saints Proved.
The following considerations, taken together, seem to me to establish the truth of the doctrine in question beyond reasonable doubt. 1. God has from eternity resolved upon the salvation of all the elect. This we have seen. No one of this number will ever be lost. These are given to Christ from eternity, as a seed to serve him. The conversion, perseverance, and final salvation of the elect, we have seen to be secured. Their conversion, perseverance, and salvation, are secured by means of the grace
Charles Grandison Finney—Systematic Theology

Cross References
Daniel 7:25
'He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.

Daniel 8:25
"And through his shrewdness He will cause deceit to succeed by his influence; And he will magnify himself in his heart, And he will destroy many while they are at ease. He will even oppose the Prince of princes, But he will be broken without human agency.

Daniel 11:36
"Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done.

John 17:12
"While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.

Ephesians 5:6
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

2 Thessalonians 2:8
Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;

1 Timothy 4:1
But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,

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