Q. I have read the following on a web site and am wondering if the translations are correct. “There are two different Greek words that are translated as “temple” in English. One word “hieron” is used by Paul when referring to an actual building made with wood and stones. The other word “naos” is used when referring to the spiritual temple of God which refers to His people. The word “naos” is the one used in this 2 Thessalonians 2:4 verse, and therefore is NOT talking about a physical temple.”
A. The Greek word naos, used in 2 thes. 2:4, is used 46 times in the New Testament. 45 times it’s translated temple, and once it refers to a pagan shrine (Acts 19:24). It can be used metaphorically as the body of believers, like it is in 1 Cor. 3:16: “Don’t you know that you are God’s Temple and God’s Spirit lives in you?” But the metaphorical use is by no means exclusive. The word most often refers to the physical temple building. (You can tell by the context which is meaning is intended.)
2 Thes. 2:4 is a description of the Abomination of Desolation, the kick off event of the Great Tribulation. It’s the defilement of a physical Temple in Israel, as foretold in Daniel 9:27 and Matt. 24:15, and is the signal for Jews in Israel to flee into the mountains. The metaphorical use of the word in describing this event is not consistent with other Old and New Testament prophecies, and would not fulfill them. I think your source is misreading the context of the passage.