If Only We Knew What μόνον Means (2 Thess 2:7)

~ Bill Mounce

I don’t know what kind of mood Paul was in when he wrote his second letter to the Thessalonians, but it is remarkable how many grammatical incongruities there are.

Read, for example, 2 Thess 2:7. Paul writes, τὸ γὰρ μυστήριον ἤδη ἐνεργεῖται τῆς ἀνομίας· μόνον ὁ κατέχων ἄρτι ἕως ἐκ μέσου γένηται. He has just said that something (τὸ κατέχον) — and will later say someone (ὁ κατέχων) — is restraining the coming of the antichrist. However, despite this restraint, the mystery of lawlessness (τὸ μυστήριον τῆς ἀνομίας) is already at work (ἤδη ἐνεργεῖται), a mystery that will some day (ἐν τῷ ἑαυτοῦ καιρῷ) give way to the obvious truth of who is behind the evil of our day.

The first “incongruity” is “the one who now holds it back (ὁ κατέχων) will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way” (ἄρτι ἕως ἐκ μέσου γένηται). I added the italics to show the NIV’s solution to the grammatical problem of ellipsis. You have to supply something after μόνον; it would have been nice if Paul had.

Read more: http://zondervanacademic.com/blog/if-only-we-knew-what-%CE%BC%CF%8C%CE%BD%CE%BF%CE%BD-means-2-thess-27-mondays-with-mounce-276/

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