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#9.02 WHO OR WHAT IS TAKEN OUT OF THE WAY (2 Thessalonians 2:7)?
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Related Greek Word Studies
601 || ἀποκαλύπτω || apokalupto || to reveal.
602 || ἀποκάλυψις || apokalupsis || revelation.
2347 || θλῖψις || thlipsis || tribulation.
3952 || παρουσία || parousia || coming.
|Greek - 2 THESSALONIANS 2:7 - KJV|
|τὸ γὰρ μυστήριον ἤδη ἐνεργεῖται τῆς ἀνομίας μόνον ὁ κατέχων ἄρτι ἕως ἐκ μέσου γένηται||7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.|
|Greek - 2 THESSALONIANS 2:7 - RPT|
|τὸ γὰρ μυστήριον ἤδη ἐνεργεῖται τῆς ἀνομίας μόνον ὁ κατέχων ἄρτι ἕως ἐκ μέσου γένηται||7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already working: only there is he who now restrains, until he comes into being out of the midst.|
This scripture has caused much controversy concerning the last days. The King James translation is really very poor in this verse. The word translated "iniquity" (KJV), and "lawlessness" (RPT) (Gr. ἀνομία, Gtr. anomia) is made up from two parts, "α" which is a negative, and νόμος (Gtr. nomos) which means "law". It literally means "not law", "no law", or "lawlessness", and refers to things done which are contrary to the law of God, namely, a transgression or a breaking of the law. The word translated "letteth" (KJV) and "restrains" (RPT) is a present participle of the Greek verb κατέχω (Gtr. katecho) "to hold down", "to hinder", or "to restrain". The KJV "letteth" seems to mean the opposite to this. Most people seem to recognize these errors, and the New King James version translates as follows:
(2 Thessalonians 2:7) "For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way."
However, it is the last part of this verse which causes the problem, because as we can see the New King James agrees with the Old King James, with the translation, "until he is taken out of the way." There are some who say that the restrainer is the Holy Spirit working through the church, and that this scripture proves a rapture of the church before the Antichrist is revealed.
(Gerald B. Stanton KEPT FROM THE HOUR p102)
"Even so, just prior to the Tribulation judgment, the restraining hand of the Holy Spirit shall be removed from the earth. Then shall the wrath of God be poured out and the Man of Sin be revealed."
(GBS p106) "He who now restrains and will be taken away before the manifestation of the Man of Sin is undoubtedly the Holy Spirit."
(GBS p107) "When the Spirit is removed, then the church must also be snatched away."
(GBS p107) "The removal of the Spirit takes place before the Wicked One shall be revealed, and this removal sets the time for the rapture of the church."
This is one of the strongest arguments by the pre-tribulation teachers, but it contradicts the words of Jesus.
(Matthew 28:20) "And lo, I am with you all the days until the completion of the age."
(John 14:16) "And I will ask the father, and he will give you another helper, that he may remain with you for the age. The spirit of truth ..."
Jesus said that neither he nor the Holy Spirit would leave us until the end of the age, but this age does not end until Jesus comes back for Armageddon and the Antichrist is removed from power. (Revelation 19:11-21). This denies that the Holy Spirit can be removed from the earth as has been stated, as long as there are Christians here.
Now let us examine the scripture, which literally reads like this:
|until||out of||midst||he comes into being|
The Greek word μέσου is the Genitive of μέσος (Gtr. mesos) which occurs 61 times in the New Testament, and is variously translated "midst" (41x), "among" (6x), "from among + ἐκ" (5x), "midnight + νύξ = night" (2x) etc. Only in this one scripture is it translated "way". If Paul had meant "way" here he had a perfectly good Greek word for it, which is ὁδός (Gtr. hodos). This word means "a way", "a road", "a path", and occurs 102 times in the New Testament. It is variously translated "way" (83x), "way side" (8x), "journey" (6x), "highway" (3x), etc. The fact is that "hodos" means "way", and "mesos" means "midst", and there is no need to confuse these words as some translators have done. As we can see there is no word for "taken" in the Greek text, and the idea that something is "taken" away here has been inserted by the translators, and has no basis in the original Greek.
The Greek word translated "he be taken" (KJV) and "he comes into being" (RPT) is the word γένηται (Gtr. genetai). It is a second aorist, middle, deponent, subjunctive, of the Greek verb γίνομαι (Gtr. ginomai) which has the basic meaning of "to come into existence", "to be created", "to be born", or "to be produced". The verb γίνομαι occurs 678 times in the New Testament, and is used with great latitude in the KJV. Translations include "be" (255x), "come to pass" (82x), "be made" (69x), "be done" (63x), "come" (52x), "become" (47x), "God forbid + μή" (15x) lit. "may it not come to be", "arise" (13x), "have" (5x), "be fulfilled" (3x) etc. It is mistranslated "being ended" (John 13:2), where a literal translation would be "having come into being", but nowhere does it have the sense of anything being "taken" away, unless there are other words with it to indicate it. The Greek verb γίνομαι (Gtr. ginomai) is translated in the sense of "arise" in the following scriptures:
(Matthew 8:24) "there arose a great tempest in the sea."
(Matthew 13:21) "when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word,"
(Mark 4:17) "when affliction or persecution arises for the word’s sake,"
(Mark 4:37) "And there arose a great storm of wind,"
(Luke 6:48) "and when the flood arose,"
(Luke 15:14) "there arose a mighty famine in that land;"
(John 3:25) "Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews"
(Acts 6:1) "there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews,"
(Acts 11:19) "the persecution that arose about Stephen"
(Acts 19:23) "there arose no small stir about that way."
(Acts 23:7) "there arose a dissention between the Pharisees and the Sadducees;"
(Acts 23:9) "And there arose a great cry;"
(Acts 23:10) "And when there arose a great dissention,"
In every one of these cases the word "arose" could be replaced by "came into being" or "came to pass" without and change of meaning. The word "arises" could be replaced by "comes into being" or "comes to pass" without any change of meaning. There is no thought of anything being "taken away" in any of these scriptures, and the verb "ginomai" should never be translated with any idea or thought of anything being "taken" away, unless it is clearly specified by other words, which in this case it is not.
Note 2: The exact same Greek word γένηται (Gtr. genetai) is used in 46 places in the New Testament, so compare how it is translated there.
|17 translations of γένηται in the New Testament|
|Scripture Reference||Literal Greek Idiom||King James Version||New King James Version|
|Matthew 5:18||until all may come to pass.||till all be fulfilled.||till all is fulfilled.|
|Matthew 10:25||that he may become as his teacher||that he be as his master||that he be like his teacher|
|Matthew 18:12||If there may be belonging to any man a hundred sheep||If a man have an hundred sheep||If a man has a hundred sheep|
|Matthew 18:13||if he may come to find it||if so be that he find it||if he should find it|
|Matthew 21:19||No more may there be fruit of you||Let no fruit grow on thee||Let no fruit grow on you|
|Matthew 23:15||when he has become so||when he is made||when he is won|
|Matthew 23:26||that may become also the outside of them clean||the outside of them may be clean also||the outside of them may be clean also|
|Matthew 24:20||not may be the flight of you in winter||your flight be not in winter||your flight may not be in winter|
|Matthew 24:21||no, certainly not shall be||no, nor ever shall be||no, nor ever shall be|
|Matthew 24:32||the branch of her may become tender||his branch is yet tender||its branch has ... become tender|
|Matthew 24:34||until all these things may have taken place||till all these things be fulfilled||till all these things are fulfilled|
|Matthew 26:5||that not a tumult comes into being among the people||lest there be an uproar among the people||lest there be an uproar among the people|
|Mark 9:50||if the salt becomes without saltiness||if the salt have lost his saltness||if the salt loses its flavour|
|Mark 13:18||that may not be your flight in winter||that your flight be not in winter||that your flight may not be in winter|
|Mark 13:19||and certainly not shall be||neither shall be||nor ever shall be|
|Mark 13:28||the branch of her becomes tender||her branch is yet tender||its branch has ... become tender|
|Mark 13:30||all these things shall have taken place||all these things be done||all these things take place|
Now look at all of these translations and ask yourself, "Where is anything taken out of the way?" Nowhere? Some may point to
Mark 9:50 where salt loses its saltiness, but here the Greek idiom is, "it becomes" or "comes to be without saltiness". The fact that there is something
lost is not indicated by γένηται but by the Greek word ἄναλον which means "without
saltiness" or "unsalted". The other scripture references for γένηται you can check for yourself.
Luke 1:20, 4:3, 14:12, 20:14, 21:32, 23:31, John 5:14, 9:22, 13:19, 14:29, Acts 20:16, Romans 3:19, 7:3, 7:13, 15:16, 15:31, and 1 Corinthians 3:18, 8:9, 9:15, 16:10; 2 Corinthians 8:14 (twice), Galatians 3:14, Ephesians 6:3, Colossians 1:18; 1 Thessalonians 3:5; 2 Thessalonians 2:7, Philemon 1:6, Hebrews 2:17.
What then does this scripture (2 Thessalonians 2:7) mean? Look at the context from verse 3. "Who" and "he" (v4),
"he" (v6), "he" (v7) except for "he who restrains", "whom" (v8), "whose" (v9); all these pronouns refer to the
"man of sin" (v3), also called "that Wicked" (v8). This is none other than the Antichrist. It is technically possible to translate
"it comes into being" (v7), which could refer to a state of complete
lawlessness, but the context really indicates that "he" is correct, and refers to the Antichrist. Therefore sin and lawlessness are being restrained at
present, and will continue to be restrained until "transgressors have come to the full" (Daniel 8:23), then the Antichrist will be revealed. God will then send
the world a "strong delusion" (2 Thessalonians 2:11) and the unsaved Gentile world will be cut off from salvation.
We have made no plea for any special translation here, but only that which is obvious from the meaning of the words, so we cannot be accused of twisting the scripture to support our own beliefs. This bible study proves that neither the church nor the Holy Spirit are taken out of the way in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 before the Antichrist appears. The idea that this verse refers to a pre-tribulation rapture of the church has been thoroughly refuted.
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