2 Thessalonians 2:8-9, The Lawless One

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders. 

//In my book about Revelation, I make the offhand statement that “Paul,” in the book of 2 Thessalonians, probably refers to Revelation in his promise of a coming “man of lawlessness” (the Son of Perdition, or the One Doomed To Destruction, or in Revelation, the Beast, or in today’s vernacular, merely the Antichrist). I still feel this way; I subscribe to a relatively early dating of Revelation (around year 80) and a late dating of 2 Thessalonians (about 90 CE, certainly not by the apostle Paul).

But, others argue, didn’t the expectation of an evil leader precede Revelation by decades, even centuries? Yes, this dualism precedes Christianity, and the book of Daniel writes about this fiendish character. There were also other apocalyptic writings contemporary with Revelation. But nothing matches “Paul’s” description quite like Revelation. Note the “breath of his mouth” and the “splendor of his coming”:

Revelation 1:16, In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

And here is the final victory over the enemy and his “counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders”:

Revelation 19:20-21, But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.

Just one more bit of evidence that 2 Thessalonians was not written by Paul.

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