sexta-feira, 31 de agosto de 2012


By Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry Jr

Remarkably imperial law so checks the Jews that they do not kill James the Just in Jerusalem until about A.D. 62. This is after the death of the Roman procurator Festus and before the arrival of Albinus (Josephus, Ant. 20:9:1). About this time, Paul writes Philippians from prison with confidence he will be released (Phil. 1:25). But with the outbreak of the Neronic Persecution (Nov., A.D. 64) the “mystery of lawlessness” becomes the “revelation of the Man of Lawlessness.” During Paul’s second Roman imprisonment he is sure he will die (2 Tim. 4:6ff).
The evil “mystery of lawlessness” is “already working,” though restrained in Claudius’s day (2 Thess. 2:7). This could be an allusion to the evil conniving and plotting of Nero’s mother Agrippina, who (apparently) poisons Claudius so that Nero can ascend the imperial throne. [1] The cunning machinations to secure imperial authority for Nero are in gear. Or it could suggest that the true nature of lawlessness is already mysteriously at work in the imperial cultus and its rage for worship, though it has not yet jealously broken out upon the Christian community. Either of these possibilities are suggestive of preterism.
Final comment: I am finished with “the mystery of lawlessness” analysis. In just two brief paragraphs! But so that you won’t feel short-changed for having gotten up at 5:31 am to catch this blog, I will let you have one of my favorite jokes for free.
A first grade girl in art class was drawing a picture of Jonah being swallowed by a whale. Her teacher looked at the picture and said: “Jonah could not have been swallowed by a whale and lived, it would have killed him.” The little girl insisted he was swallowed by a whale, but the teacher just laughed.
The little girl then said: “When I get to heaven I am going to ask Jonah if he was swallowed by a whale.” To which the teacher responded: “What if Jonah didn’t go to heaven?” The little girl replied: “Well then you can ask him.”
[1] Bruce, New Testament History, 310. John A. T. Robinson, Redating the New Testament (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1976), 17-18. John Lightfoot, A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica, vol.2 (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, rep. 1989 [1658]), 312.See: J. R. V. Marchant and Joseph F. Charles, Cassell’s Latin Dictionary (New York: Cassell, n.d.), 101-2: “Claudius” “1. claudo. . . to shut, close, opp. aperire).

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