Understanding 2 Thes. 2:7

Q. I used to hold to the pre-trib position simply because I was taught it and given a few “fine threads” of “evidence?” After wiping the slate clean and letting Scripture speak, I have come to the conclusion that there are too many problems and passages I can’t explain if I hold to that view. For example, I was taught that 2 Thessalonians 2:7 which is often used to “prove” the rapture since “the one restraining is taken away” must be the rapture of the church. The problem with that is the verb translated “taken away” doesn’t mean that at all, it’s the verb ginomai which is never translated “taken away”. It always refers to birth, or coming into existence. What do you say in response to this?

A. By far, the most common translation of ginomai in the Bible is “to be, or become”. But you have to put the word in the context of 2 Thes. 2:7 to understand who is “to be” (obviously it’s the restrainer) and where he is “to be”. The Greek words that follow ginomai are ek, which means “out of” and implies both time and place, and mesos which means “middle, or midst”.

Put the whole thought together and you see the restrainer has “to be out of the midst” of the time and place he’s currently in before the lawless can be revealed. 400 years ago the King James translators decided that the English phrase “taken out of the way” while not a literal translation, best conveyed Paul’s intent. Most modern translations agree.

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