Man of Sin
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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Man of Sin

MAN OF SIN

(ho anthropos tes hamartias; many ancient authorities read, "man of lawlessness," anomias):

1. The Pauline Description:

The name occurs in Paul's remarkable announcement in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-10 of the manifestation of a colossal anti-Christian power prior to the advent, which some of the Thessalonians had been misled into thinking of as immediately impending (2:2). That "day of the Lord," the apostle declares, will not come till, as he had previously taught them (2:5), there has first been a great apostasy and the revelation of "the man of sin" (or "of lawlessness"; compare 2:8), named also "the son of perdition" (2:3). This "lawless one" (2:8) would exalt himself above all that is called God, or is an object of worship; he would sit in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God (2:4). For the time another power restrained his manifestation; when that was removed, he would be revealed (2:6, 7). Then "the mystery of lawlessness," which was already working, would attain its full development (2:7, 8). The coming of this "man of sin," in the power of Satan, would be with lying wonders and all deceit of unrighteousness, whereby many would be deceived to their destruction (2:9, 10). But only for a season (2:6). Jesus would slay (or consume) him with the breath of His mouth (compare Isaiah 11:4), and bring him to nought by the manifestation of His coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8).

2. The Varying Interpretations:

Innumerable are theories and speculations to which this Pauline passage has given rise a very full account of these may be seen in the essay on "The Man of Sin" appended to Dr. J. Eadie's posthumous Commentary on Thessalonians, and in Lunemann's Commentary, 222;, English translation).

(1) There is the view, favored by "moderns," that the passage contains no genuine prediction (Paul "could not know" the future), but represents a speculation of the apostle's own, based on Daniel 8:23;; 11:36;, and on current ideas of Antichrist (see ANTICHRIST; BELIAL; compare Bousset, Der Antichrist, 93;, etc.). This view will not satisfy those who believe in the reality of Paul's apostleship and inspiration.

(2) Some connect the description with Caligula, Nero, or other of the Roman emperors. Caligula, indeed, ordered supplication to be made to himself as the supreme god and wished to set up his statue in the temple of Jerusalem (Suet. Calig. xxii0.33; Josephus, Ant, XVIII, viii). But this was long before Paul's visit to Thessalonica, and the acts of such a madman could not furnish the basis of a prediction so elaborate and important as the present (compare Lunemann and Bousset).

(3) The favorite Protestant interpretation refers the prediction to the papacy, in whom, it is contended, many of the blasphemous features of Paul's representation are unmistakably realized. The "temple of God" is here understood to be the church; the restraining power the Roman empire; "the man of sin" not an individual, but the personification of an institution or system. It is cult, however, to resist the impression that the apostle regards "the mystery of lawlessness" as culminating in an individual-a personal Antichrist-and in any case the representation outstrips everything that can be conceived of as even nominally Christian.

(4) There remains the view held by most of the Fathers, and in recent times widely adopted, that "the man of sin" of this passage is an individual in whom, previous to the advent, sin will embody itself in its most lawless and God-denying form. The attempts to identify this individual with historical characters may be set aside; but the idea is not thereby invalidated. The difficulty is that the apostle evidently conceives of the manifestation of the "man of sin" as taking place, certainly not immediately, but at no very remote period-not 2,000 years later-and as connected directly with the final advent of Christ, and the judgment on the wicked (compare 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9), without apparently any reference to a "millennial" period, either before or after.

It seems safest, in view of the difficulties of the passage, to confine one's self to the general idea it embodies, leaving details to be interpreted by the actual fulfillment.

3. The Essential Idea:

There is much support in Scripture-not least in Christ's own teaching (compare Matthew 13:30, 37-43; Matthew 24:11-14 Luke 18:8)-for the belief that before the final triumph of Christ's kingdom there will be a period of great tribulation, of decay of faith, of apostasy, of culmination of both good and evil ("Let both grow together until the harvest," Matthew 13:30), with the seeming triumph for the time of the evil over the good. There will be a crisis-time-sharp, severe, and terminated by a decisive interposition of the Son of Man ("the manifestation of his coming," the Revised Version margin "Gr presence"), in what precise form may be left undetermined. Civil law and government-the existing bulwark against anarchy (in Paul's time represented by the Roman power)-will be swept away by the rising tide of evil, and lawlessness will prevail. It may be that impiety will concentrate itself, as the passage says, in some individual head; or this may belong to the form of the apostle's apprehension in a case where "times and seasons" were not yet fully revealed: an apprehension to be enlarged by subsequent revelations (see REVELATION OF JOHN), or left to be corrected by the actual course of God's providence. The kernel of the prediction is not, any more than in the Old Testament prophecies, dependent on its literal realization in every detail. Neither does the final manifestation of evil exclude partial and anticipatory realizations, embodying many of the features of the prophecy.

See THESSALONIANS, THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE, III.

James Orr

ATS Bible Dictionary
Man of Sin

See ANTICHRIST.

Strong's Hebrew
6213. asah -- do, make
... provide, put, requite, X sacrifice, serve, set, shew, X sin, spend, X surely, take,
X thoroughly, trim, X very, + vex, be (warr-)ior, work(-man), yield, use. ...
/hebrew/6213.htm - 6k

2611. chaneph -- profane, irreligious
... chaneph Definition profane, irreligious NASB Word Usage godless (11), godless man
(2). hypocritical. From chaneph; soiled (ie With sin), impious -- hypocrite ...
/hebrew/2611.htm - 6k

Library

The Man of Sin, the Son of Perdition
... Names And Titles of the Antichrist 2. The Man of Sin, the Son of Perdition. ... He will
be the Serpent's masterpiece. "That Man of Sin." What a frightful name! ...
//christianbookshelf.org/pink/the antichrist/2 the man of sin.htm

Whether the Devil Can Induce Man to Sin of Necessity?
... OF THE CAUSE OF SIN, AS REGARDS THE DEVIL (FOUR ARTICLES) Whether the
devil can induce man to sin of necessity? Objection 1: It ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/whether the devil can induce 2.htm

Whether a Man Can Sin First of all against the Holy Ghost?
... OF BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE HOLY GHOST (FOUR ARTICLES) Whether a man can sin
first of all against the Holy Ghost? Objection 1: It would ...
//christianbookshelf.org/aquinas/summa theologica/whether a man can sin.htm

Whether the Devil Can Induce Man to Sin, by Internal Instigations?
... OF THE CAUSE OF SIN, AS REGARDS THE DEVIL (FOUR ARTICLES) Whether the devil
can induce man to sin, by internal instigations? Objection ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/whether the devil can induce.htm

Whether Pride was the First Man's First Sin?
... OF THE FIRST MAN'S SIN (FOUR ARTICLES) Whether pride was the first man's first sin?
Objection 1: It would seem that pride was not the first man's first sin. ...
/.../christianbookshelf.org/aquinas/summa theologica/whether pride was the first.htm

Of the Nature of Man's First Sin.
... Book XIV. Chapter 12."Of the Nature of Man's First Sin. If any one finds
a difficulty in understanding why other sins do not alter ...
//christianbookshelf.org/augustine/city of god/chapter 12 of the nature of.htm

Another Cavil Met, IE , the Devil who Instigated Man to Sin ...
... Chapter X."Another Cavil Met, ie, the Devil Who Instigated Man to Sin Himself the
Creature of God Nay, the Primeval Cherub Only Was God's Work. ...
/.../tertullian/the five books against marcion/chapter x another cavil met i e.htm

(2) Whether There is in this World a Man Without Sin.
... Book II. Chapter 8 [VII.]"(2) Whether There is in This World a Man Without
Sin. [2nd.] If, however, I am asked the second question ...
/.../augustine/anti-pelagian writings/chapter 8 vii 2 whether there.htm

That God Foreknew that the First Man Would Sin, and that He at the ...
... Chapter 22."That God Foreknew that the First Man Would Sin, and that He at the Same
Time Foresaw How Large a Multitude of Godly Persons Would by His Grace Be ...
/.../augustine/city of god/chapter 22 that god foreknew that.htm

Christ, the Great Teacher
... He is the great source of our knowledge of what God, man, sin, righteousness, duty
and salvation are. ... Man's sin is everywhere doing its destroying work. ...
/.../sell/studies in the life of the christian/study i christ the great.htm

Subtopics

Man

Man Hair

Man is of the Earth Earthy

Man of Every Nation, Made of One Blood

Man of Sin

Man of War

Man Shall not Lay With Man

Man: Able to Sustain Bodily Affliction

Man: All the Ways of, Clean in his own Eyes

Man: Allowed to Eat Flesh After the Flood

Man: Approved of by God

Man: Banished from Paradise

Man: Blessed by God

Man: Born in Sin

Man: Born to Trouble

Man: Called: A Worm

Man: Called: Flesh

Man: Called: The Potsherd of the Earth

Man: Called: Vain Man

Man: Cannot be Just With God

Man: Cannot Cleanse Himself

Man: Cannot Direct his Ways

Man: Cannot Profit God

Man: Cannot Retain his Spirit from Death

Man: Christ is the Head of Every

Man: Christ was Found in Fashion As

Man: Christ: A Refuge As, to Sinners

Man: Christ: Approved of God As

Man: Christ: As Such, is the Cause of the Resurrection

Man: Christ: Called the Second, As Covenant Head of the Church

Man: Christ: Knew What Was In

Man: Christ: Made in the Image of

Man: Christ: Took on Him Nature of

Man: Clothed by God With Skins

Man: Compared to a Sleep

Man: Compared to a Wild Donkey's Colt

Man: Compared to Clay in the Potter's Hand

Man: Compared to Grass

Man: Compared to Vanity

Man: Covered Himself With Fig Leaves

Man: Created

Man: Created by Christ

Man: Created by God

Man: Created by the Holy Spirit

Man: Created in Knowledge (Inferred)

Man: Created in the Image of God

Man: Created in Uprightness

Man: Created: A Living Soul

Man: Created: A Type of Christ

Man: Created: After Consultation, by the Trinity

Man: Created: After the Likeness of God

Man: Created: from the Dust

Man: Created: Male and Female

Man: Created: On the Sixth Day

Man: Created: Under Obligations to Obedience

Man: Created: Upon the Earth

Man: Days of, As the Days of a Hireling

Man: Days of, Compared to a Shadow

Man: Design of the Creation of

Man: Disobeyed God by Eating Part of the Forbidden Fruit

Man: Dominion of

Man: Equality of

Man: Every Herb and Tree Given To, for Food

Man: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Man: Filled With Shame After the Fall

Man: Gave Names to Other Creatures

Man: God: Destroys the Hopes of

Man: God: Enables to Speak

Man: God: Instructs

Man: God: Makes his Beauty Consume Away

Man: God: Makes the Wrath of, to Praise Him

Man: God: Orders the Goings of

Man: God: Prepares the Heart of

Man: God: Preserves

Man: God: Provides For

Man: God: Turns to Destruction

Man: God's Purpose in Creation Completed by Making

Man: Has an Appointed Time on the Earth

Man: Has But Few Days

Man: Has Sought out Many Inventions

Man: Ignorant of What is Good for Him

Man: Ignorant of What is to Come After Him

Man: Inferior to Angels

Man: Insignificance of

Man: Intellect of, Matured by Age

Man: Involved Posterity in his Ruin

Man: Little Lower than the Angels

Man: Made by God in his Successive Generations

Man: Made for God

Man: Made Wise by the Inspiration of the Almighty

Man: More Valuable than Other Creatures

Man: Mortal

Man: Nature and Constitution of, Different from Other Creatures

Man: No Trust to be Placed In

Man: Not Good For, to be Alone

Man: Not Profited by all his Labour and Travail

Man: Ordinary Limit of his Life

Man: Originally Naked and not Ashamed

Man: Placed in the Garden of Eden

Man: Possessed of a Body

Man: Possessed of a Soul

Man: Possessed of a Spirit

Man: Possessed of Affections

Man: Possessed of Conscience

Man: Possessed of Memory

Man: Possessed of Understanding

Man: Possessed of Will

Man: Punished for Disobedience

Man: Quickened by the Breath of God

Man: Received Dominion Over Other Creatures

Man: Shall be Recompensed According to his Works

Man: Sinks Under Trouble of Mind

Man: Spirit

Man: The Help of, Vain

Man: The Whole Duty of

Man: Unworthy of God's Favour

Man: Walks in a Vain Show

Man: Wiser than Other Creatures

Man: Woman Formed to be a Help For

Man: Would Give all his Possessions for the Preservation of Life

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