2 Thessalonians 2
The Passion Translation
The Coming of the Lord
2 Now, regarding the coming[a] of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to him,[b] we plead with you, beloved friends, 2 not to be easily confused or disturbed in your minds by any kind of spirit, rumor, or letter allegedly from us, claiming that the day of the Lord[c] has already come. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. Before that day comes the rebellion[d] must occur and the “outlaw”[e]—the destructive son—will be revealed in his true light. 4 He is the opposing counterpart who exalts himself over everything that is called “God” or is worshiped[f] and who sits enthroned in God’s temple[g] and makes himself out to be a god.[h] 5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I went over all these things?
6 Now you are aware of the ruling power[i] so that he may be fully revealed when his time comes. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness[j] is already active, but the one who prevails[k] will do so until he is separated from out of the midst.[l] 8 Then the “outlaw” will be openly revealed, and the Lord will overthrow him by the breath of his mouth[m] and bring him to an end[n] by the dazzling manifestation of his presence.[o]
9 The presence[p] of the “outlaw” is apparent by the activity of Satan, who uses all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs, spurious wonders, 10 and every form of evil deception in order to deceive those who are perishing because they rejected the love of the truth[q] that would lead them to being saved. 11 Because of this, God sends them a powerful delusion[r] that leads them to believe what is false. 12 So then all who found their pleasure in unrighteousness and did not believe the truth will be judged.
Chosen for Wholeness
13 We always have to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, for you are dearly loved by the Lord. He proved it by choosing you from the beginning for salvation[s] through the Spirit, who set you apart for holiness, and through your belief in the truth.[t] 14 To this end he handpicked you for salvation through the gospel so that you would have[u] the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.[v]
16 Now may the Lord Jesus Christ and our Father God, who loved us and in his wonderful grace gave us eternal comfort and a beautiful hope that cannot fail, 17 encourage your hearts and inspire you with strength to always do and speak what is good and beautiful in his eyes.[y]
- 2:1 Or “presence.”
- 2:1 The noun form of the Greek word for “gathering together” (episunagoge) is found twice in the New Testament, here and in Heb. 10:25. It is used as a verb (episunago) in Matt. 23:37; 24:31.
- 2:2 This is a common term that describes the day of the Lord’s judgment. (See Jer. 30:7; Joel 1:15; 2:1–2; Amos 5:18; Zech. 1:14–18.)
- 2:3 Or “apostasy” or “abandonment” (falling away).
- 2:3 A few manuscripts have “the man who missed the mark” (i.e., Adam), while others have “the person owned by [associated with] lawlessness.”
- 2:4 See Dan. 11:36.
- 2:4 Some see this prophecy fulfilled in AD 70 during the Roman war, when foreigners came into the temple and desecrated it and declared themselves the true rulers of the Jewish people. Roman emperors were considered to be gods. But the one who sits in God’s temple, which was not made with hands, is the sin of man, a sinful nature that is traced back to Adam.
- 2:4 See also Ezek. 28:2.
- 2:6 An intransitive verb meaning “to rule” or “to hold sway” or “to possess.” The Aramaic likewise is “Now you know that which controls.” The neuter form of the Greek participle suggests a principle, not a person, which could be referring to the mystery of lawlessness in human hearts (v. 7). However, some see “it” as the god of this world (Satan) or the Roman Empire, which ruled the world in the days of Paul’s writings.
- 2:7 Or “the secret power of lawlessness/wickedness.”
- 2:7 Or “restrains.”
- 2:7 Or “until he is removed.”
- 2:8 Figuratively, this is the word spoken from his mouth, the Word of God. See also Rev. 19:15, 21.
- 2:8 Or “deactivate.”
- 2:8 Or “coming.”
- 2:9 Or “coming.”
- 2:10 Or “did not welcome the love for the truth.”
- 2:11 Or “a [power] working of error.” The Aramaic can be translated “God will dispatch to them servants of deception.”
- 2:13 Or “He has chosen you as firstfruits [in the harvest] for salvation.”
- 2:13 Or “by sanctifying your spirits and convincing you of his truth.”
- 2:14 Or “share in” or “possess.” This is the Greek word peripoiēsis, which means “an encompassing,” “a surrounding” or “encircling.” Believers are brought within the perimeter of the glory of God through Jesus Christ. There is nothing in the context to imply it is a future event, but rather a present enjoyment and participation in the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 17:10, 22).
- 2:14 These two verses (13–14) contain some of the most wonderful truths of the New Testament. Read them over again slowly and think about all that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit have done for us (e.g., his eternal love, the drawing work of the Holy Spirit, sanctification or being set apart for holiness, faith in Jesus, and much more). Paul states in v. 14 that the purpose of our salvation is more than being set free from guilt; it is so that we would share in and possess the glory of Christ (John 17:10, 22).
- 2:15 Or “traditions.”
- 2:15 The “letter” Paul refers to is likely 1 Thessalonians.
- 2:17 The Aramaic can be translated “He will comfort your hearts and will stand by all [your] words and by all (your) beautiful deeds.” Another possible Aramaic translation of this verse is “He will make your hearts a well of prophecy and he will stand you in every word and in every beautiful deed.”