While the usual question about this verse concerns who or what restrains, my concern is with what is restrained. I understand why those sold on the Nero theory like this translation because a "him" that "is" being "restrained" makes the man of lawlessness a contemporary of Pauls, but does the Greek bear this out?

A couple of posts in here seem to pick up on the problem. I like one by Dottard and [another] (Has Paul's concept in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 been misunderstood?)

The issue is that the Greek word κατεχω for "restraining" or "holding back" doesn't have an object. There is no "him" being held back. So what is being held back?

Would more justice be done to the passage if we maintain that rather than a person of Paul's time being restrained, what's restrained is the evil that will give rise to such a person?

Can we hold that sin and evil will, when unrestrained in the future, result in a collusion between mankind and Satan? Couldn't we hold that this collusion will be facilitated by the man of lawlessness who is yet to come?

  • Do you have the Link? Also, I'm not quite sure what you're saying. Do you think a reference to "him" that is not there should be included because surrounding verses include "him?" Why assume this verse is talking about a person who existed in Paul's time at all so much as an adversary who will come later which is close to what the rendering from BDAG suggests? The point is that, rather than a person of Paul's time being restrained, what's restrained is the evil that will give rise to such a person.
    – William
    Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 4:28
  • Oh, if that is your link, then you are talking about a different verse. The problem I'm addressing is in verse 6, not 7.
    – William
    Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 4:59
  • See Dottard. The link from the original post. And I think this [post] (hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/q/48665/50810) makes the same point just as well. As for Nero...hmm
    – William
    Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 5:10
  • I already posted that in the original post and again immediately above your post. That is where the discussion started. :)
    – William
    Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 14:41
  • Those versions supplying neuter "it" (holding it) assumes the object is the mystery of lawlessness. Those without the object assumes (him, the man). There is no object but it's easy to infer from the context, the object is the man. Paul is writing conspicuously things which he had already taught personally. The holder maybe the prev emperor to Nero. We dont have to dwell coz its 2000 yrs old history biblehub.com/parallel/2_thessalonians/2-7.htm search "it" on this parallel versions
    – Michael16
    Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 16:00