Paul reminded the Thessalonians that he had told them earlier about both the man of sin and the one who was restraining the appearance of the man of sin (2 Thess. 2:5, 6). The man of sin was to be revealed only when the “one restraining” was taken out of the way. Divergent views are taken by different expositors concerning the “restrainer”.(146) The fundamentalists identify the restrainer as God holding the man of lawlessness.(147) But God Himself is not the restrainer, for the restrainer is to be taken out of the way.(148) Some commentators hold that the restrainer is any institution of authority or government maintaining law and order.(149) The view that the restrainer represents pagan Rome holding back the appearance of the antichrist or the man of sin was held by Tertullian: “What is this but the Roman state, whose removal when it has been divided among ten kings will bring on antichrist”. Chrysostom’s view was nearly identical.(150)
It is commonly acknowledged by many Bible expositors that Rome, the fourth beast of Daniel 7, consists of two phases: pagan and papal Rome. The view that pagan Rome restrained the appearance of papal Rome until pagan Rome was taken out of the way will be examined in the following exposition.
146) The Complete Biblical Library, Vol. 8, Springfield: The Complete Biblical Library, pp. 557-560, 1989.
147) D. Farrow, Crux, Vol. 25, No. 1, pp. 23-26, 1989. F. Martin, Est. Ecl., Vol. 54, No. 211, pp. 527-537, 1979. R. D. Aus, Journ. Bib. Lit., (4, ’77) 537-553.
148) F. F. Bruce, Word Book Commentary, Vol. 45, Wac: Word Book, p. 188, 1982.
149) F. F. Bruce, Bulletin of John Rylands Library, Vol. 66, No. 2, pp. 78-96, 1984.
150) F. F. Bruce, Word Book Commentary, Vol. 45, Waco: Word Book, p. 171, 1982.
|<= Previous||Return to Main Menu||Next =>|