3

The Scripture in Question

2 Thessalonians 2:8-9 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: [9] Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders

The Question Should katá be translated according to/after or should it be translated against

Katá Definition katá, Strong's 2596, according to, against, among;

katá (a preposition, governing two grammatical cases) – properly, "down from, i.e. from a higher to a lower plane, with special reference to the terminus (end-point)" (J. Thayer).

My Reasons For Questioning the Translation

(I) In the above scripture the Wicked One is Revealed

(II) The Lord destroys him with the brightness of His Coming.

(III) In the following verse [9] Even him is not in the original text and added for clarity, so let's ignore it for now.

(IV) The scripture reads the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming, whose coming is [katá] the working of Satan. The Wicked one is being revealed and Christ is coming, so shouldn't whose coming be a reflection on Christ not the Wicked One?

(V) Couldn't this be translated as such, 2 Thessalonians 2:8-9 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: [9] whose coming is against the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders

(VI) with all power and signs and lying wonders being attributed to Satan, and the object which Christ is also coming against.

Final Questions and Remarks Could according to have been a mistranslation? Being misapplied to the wicked one as opposed to Christ. Even him was added for clarity as though to reflect back on the wicked one, but whose coming seems to indicate Christ, since the wicked one is by revelation.

Which is correct according to/after or against?

If this was not mistranslated why is it translated as such and what original texts might exist to clarify that?

Thank you

1
  • Great first question. Hope to hear more from you. Mar 31 at 23:32

1 Answer 1

3

Grammatically, there are two cases to consider:

  • kata when used with the genitive means "against", or, "into/throughout"
  • kata when used with the accusative (as in 2 Thess 2:9) means "according to" (as well as other things which are not germane here)

Therefore, since the following word is ἐνέργειαν is accusative, kata means "according to".

Hence the correct translation of 2 Thess 2:9 must be as per the BLB:

whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in every power, and in signs, and in wonders of falsehood,

The Cambridge commentary expands upon this point:

κατʼ ἐνέργειαν τοῦ σατανᾶ does not belong as an independent statement to ἐστίν (so Hofmann, as before him already Georgii, in Zeller’s theol. Jahrb. 1845, Part 1, p. 8, who gives the meaning that the act of the appearing of the ἄνομος will itself be a work of Satan), but is a subsidiary statement to the principal clause ἐστὶν ἐν κ.τ.λ., assigning the reason of it. It does not import “after the example of the working of the devil” (similiter ac si satanas ageret, Michaelis), but in conformity with it, that an ἐνέργεια τοῦ σατανᾶ is its characteristic, that is, that the devil works in and through him.

Albert Barnes is similar:

Greek, κατ ̓ ἐνέργειαν τοὺ Σατανᾶ kat' energeian tou Satana. According to the energy of Satan; that is, the energetic or efficient operation of Satan. The word rendered "after," it need not be said to one who looks at the Greek, does not refer to time, but is a preposition, meaning according to; in conformity with; meaning that the manner of his appearing would be accompanied by such works as would show that the agency of Satan was employed, and such as he only could produce. It does not mean that the coming of the Lord Jesus would be after Satan had worked in this manner, but that the manifestation of that wicked one would be with such demonstrations of power and wonder as Satan only could effect. The system over which he presides is originated by Satan, and sustained by those things which he alone can perform.

3
  • + 1 This seems very clear to me now that you've explained it. I think this interpretation also makes much more sense with the context that the one suggested by the OP Mar 31 at 23:32
  • @DanFefferman - many thanks for your kind remarks.
    – Dottard
    Mar 31 at 23:33
  • Thank you for the grammatical explanation. I did wonder if there was something grammatical about the word choice but I don’t know Greek. I appreciate your clear and kind response! Thank you again. Apr 1 at 1:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.