#9.02 WHO OR WHAT IS TAKEN OUT OF THE WAY (2 Thessalonians 2:7)?
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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 recognise 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."
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."
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:
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."
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.
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 saltines". 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.
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.
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