Periodical Reviews -- By: Anonymous
BSac 159:633 (Jan 02) p. 108
by the Faculty and Library Staff of
Dallas Theological Seminary
Robert D. Ibach, Editor
“Is There a Departure in 2 Thessalonians 2:3?” John M. Sweigart, Conservative Theological Journal 5 (August 2001): 186-204.
This article argues that the ἀποστασία in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 should be understood as a reference to the rapture of the church. This is a minority view since almost all translators and interpreters take this as “the rebellion,” or apostasy from true worship, that will be led by the future man of lawlessness described in verses 4–12. It is conceivable that a cogent case can be made for the minority view here, but this article does not do so.
Numerous typographical mistakes and spelling errors occur in the article. The author’s Greek font has apparently been simply printed in English characters, resulting in repeated errors in transliteration. There are several misquotations (p. 189), a few completely incorrect citations of sources (p. 195), and one case of factual error in citing word frequency (p. 202, where the erroneous frequency is central to the point being argued).
The author says he will argue the case from five lines of evidence and then presents four of them in the article. In a section on the use of the definite article (“the apostasia”), he shows why his view could be accepted, but not why it must be or even should be. In the section on literary structure he has interesting things to say about the outline of the two Thessalonian letters, but never shows why this has any bearing on the point at issue except to assert his conclusion without argumentation. In his discussion of parallel passages he argues that since 1 Thessalonians 4:16 uses πρῶτον to set up a sequence of events, πρῶτον in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 must give an event-sequence also (i.e., the ἀποστασία first and then the revelation of the man of lawlessness). But he fails to notice that ἔπειτα (“then”) continues the sequence in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, but does not occur at all in 2 Thessalonians 2. Also the force of πρῶτον in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is to compa...
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