Appendix – 1.1 The Man of Sin

Some Bible expositors have taken the view that the man of sin is a contemporary figure appearing in an eschatological setting just prior to the second coming, thus ignoring the papacy.(139) Some of these expositors equate the man of sin to: 1) the antichrist referred to in the first and second epistles of John; 2) the little horn of Daniel 7 and 8; 3) the beast of Revelation 13 (but these expositors such as Ryrie ignore the papacy and also place the occurrence in an eschatological setting).(140) Both G. Kittel(141) and S. S. Smalley(142) associate Paul’s man of lawlessness with the antichrist. Moreover, F. F. Bruce cites evidence that the man of lawlessness would begin to appear after the fall of Rome which also identifies the restraining power preventing the appearance as pagan Rome. He also cites evidence that the antichrist, the man of lawlessness and the beast of Rev. 13 are all linked as one.(143)

While Bible expositors may disagree with one another, the Bible alone interprets itself. Paul’s man of lawlessness who opposes and exalts himself above God, making himself equal with God, is parallel with both the description of the little horn in Dn. 7:8, 25; 8:10, 12 (and 8:11 where the little horn, by implication, lifts up “the daily”) who opposes God and changes times and laws, and also with the picture of the beast in Rev. 13 who with a “mouth” speaks great pompous words and “blasphemies” (Rev. 13:5). The evidence is unequivocal that the beast, the little horn and the man of sin, all refer to the papacy. Seventh-day Adventist expositors have taken this view consistently(144) as well as the early Protestant reformers.(145)

139) Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. 11, Nashville: Abingdon Press, pp. 325-330, 1955. D. Farrow, Crux, Vol. 25, No. 1, pp. 23-26, 1989. New International Commentary of the New Testament, Vol. 13, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, pp. 218-232, 1959.
140) The Complete Biblical Library, Vol. 8, Springfield: The Complete Biblical Library, pp. 557-560, 1989.
141) G. Kittel and G. Friedrich, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, (Abridged in One Volume), Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, p. 1335, 1985.
142) S. S. Smalley, Word Book Commentary, Vol. 51, Waco: Word Book, pp. 98-99, 1982.
143) F. F. Bruce, Word Book Commentary, Vol. 45, Waco: Word Book, pp. 179-182, 1982.
144) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, Washington, DC: Review & Herald, pp. 816-819, 1957.
145) Ibid., p. 105.


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