2 Thessalonians
Introduction

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"God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned." -- 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12

Second Thessalonians for Skeptics

Although this epistle (1:1, 3:17) claims to have been written by Paul, many scholars think it was a later forgery (1). If Paul did write it, though, he completely changed his mind (since writing 1 Thessalonians) about the timing of Christ's return. The day of the Lord is no longer at hand. In fact, it's nowhere near. Many things must happen first: there will be a great "falling away," a "man of sin" will be reveled, and Satan will show off his power by doing all kinds of signs and wonders. (2:2-9)

Every skeptic should know one passage from Second Thessalonians: 2:11-12. ("God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned.")

Here are the highlights.

  • "Jesus ... in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God ... who shall be punished with everlasting destruction." 1:7-9

  • "Be not soon shaken in mind ... by letter as from us."
    What letter is being referred to here? Is it 1 Thessalonians? If so, then should Christians not read it to avoid being "skaken in mind?" 2:2

  • Jesus will "consume" the wicked "with the spirit of his mouth." 2:8

  • Satan, not God, is all-powerful. 2:9

  • "God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned." 2:11-12

  • "God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation." 2:13

  • Those who disagree with the views expressed in this epistle are to be shunned. 3:6, 14

  • Those who will not or cannot work should starve to death. 3:10


1. Bart D. Ehrman, The New Testament: A Historical Introlduction to the Early Christian Writings, 3rd ed. (2004), chap.23

Wikipedia
Second Epistle to the Thessalonians
Authorship of the Pauline epistles: Second Thessalonians

Deutero-Pauline and Pastoral Epistles