The Time of the Rapture as Indicated in Certain Scriptures Part II: Time of the Rapture in Second Thessalonians -- By: William K. Harrison

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 115:457 (Jan 1958)
Article: The Time of the Rapture as Indicated in Certain Scriptures Part II: Time of the Rapture in Second Thessalonians
Author: William K. Harrison


The Time of the Rapture as Indicated in Certain Scriptures
Part II:
Time of the Rapture in Second Thessalonians

William K. Harrison

Verse 4 in the first chapter of this epistle shows that the church was in serious persecution and tribulation “so that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure.”

The deciding passage in this epistle is 2:1–12, and the understanding of it is dependent on verse 1. Here Paul is speaking concerning the coming of the Lord and the rapture. The word “concerning” is used rather than “by” as the proper translation in the Revised Standard Version, and “touching” in the American Standard Version. Thus we see what follows in the passage has a direct relation to the rapture. In fact, it may be said to be about the rapture.

In verse 2 it is evident that Paul had learned that the Thessalonian Christians were shaken in mind, disturbed or troubled, as the Day of the Lord was at hand. The condition of these people was not mere excitement or anticipation regarding the Lord’s return and the rapture in connection with the Day of the Lord, but it was fear. This is clear from the use of the word “troubled.” In the Greek dictionary of Strongs Concordance the Greek word throeō, translated “troubled,” is given the meaning “to frighten.” According to the same authority, this Greek word is used only twice elsewhere in the new Testament, Matthew 24:6 and Mark 13:7. In these verses the evident meaning of the word is that of fear caused by wars and rumors of wars. In translating throeō in 2 Thessalonians 2:2, Ronald Knox uses the word “terrify.” In the Matthew and Mark references the word is translated “alarmed” by the RSV and

Phillips, “disturbed” by Knox, and “troubled” by the ASV. It is evident that reports that the Day of the Lord was at hand were causing confusion and fear.

The question arises why should these people be afraid of the coming of the Day of the Lord and particularly as it concerned the rapture at the Lord’s coming. The key to the solution appears to be in verse 2 in the phrase translated “at hand” in the Authorized Version. Phillips giv...

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