2 Thessalonians 2:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Thessalonians 2:3, NIV: "Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction."

2 Thessalonians 2:3, ESV: "Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,"

2 Thessalonians 2:3, KJV: "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;"

2 Thessalonians 2:3, NASB: "No one is to deceive you in any way! For it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,"

2 Thessalonians 2:3, NLT: "Don't be fooled by what they say. For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed--the one who brings destruction."

2 Thessalonians 2:3, CSB: "Don't let anyone deceive you in any way. For that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction."

What does 2 Thessalonians 2:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Referring to the false teaching he mentioned in verse 2, Paul tells the Thessalonians not to allow anyone to deceive them concerning the day of the Lord. Obviously, some of the Christians at Thessalonica had fallen victim to an erroneous teaching: that the day of the Lord was already in progress. Paul explains in this verse that it will not begin until two events transpire.

First, there will be "the rebellion." This likely means an overt and extreme revolt against truth. The word translated "rebellion" can also be translated, "the falling away," "the apostasy," or "the departure." The use of a definite article—"the" in English, from in Greek—attached to the word for "rebellion" indicates a specific event previously mentioned in the passage. It may refer to Israel's revolt against Old Testament teaching when the nation turns to idolatry. Perhaps it refers to the state of the world following the departure of the church due to the rapture. It is noteworthy that Paul describes the rapture in verse 1 as "the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathering together to him."

The second event Paul mentions in verse 3 is the appearance of "the man of lawlessness," "the son of destruction." Based on the description of this man's activities, it seems probable that he is the false prophet described in Revelation 13:11–17. God will punish the man of lawlessness by consigning him to eternal punishment in the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20–21).