The End Times
The dangers to the Church
2:1 Rogamus autem vos, fratres, per adventum Domini nostri Jesu Christi, et nostrae congregationis in ipsum: [n. 27]
2:1 And we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and of our gathering together unto him: [n. 27]
2:2 ut non cito moveamini a vestro sensu, neque terreamini, neque per spiritum, neque per sermonem, neque per epistolam tamquam per nos missam, quasi instet dies Domini. [n. 29]
2:2 That you be not easily moved from your sense nor be terrified, neither by spirit nor by word nor by epistle as sent from us, as if the day of the Lord were at hand. [n. 29]
2:3 Ne quis vos seducat ullo modo: quoniam nisi venerit discessio primum, et revelatus fuerit homo peccati filius perditionis, [n. 32]
2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition [n. 32]
2:4 qui adversatur, et extollitur supra omne, quod dicitur Deus, aut quod colitur, ita ut in templo Dei sedeat ostendens se tamquam sit Deus. [n. 38]
2:4 Who opposes and is lifted up above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits in the temple of God, showing himself as if he were God. [n. 38]
2:5 Non retinetis quod cum adhuc essem apud vos, haec dicebam vobis? [n. 41]
2:5 Do you not remember that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? [n. 41]
27. Superius Apostolus ostendit futura, quantum ad poenas malorum, et praemia bonorum, hic annuntiat futura quantum ad pericula Ecclesiae, quae erunt tempore Antichristi. Et
27. Above, the Apostle taught what will happen in the future regarding the punishments of the wicked and the rewards of the good. Here he announces what will happen in the future as regards the dangers to the church that will arise during the time of the Antichrist. And
primo nuntiat veritatem de futuris periculis;
first, he sets forth the truth about future dangers;
secundo monet, ut in veritate permaneant, ibi itaque, fratres.
second, he admonishes the Thessalonians to persevere in the truth, there at therefore, brethren.
Circa primum duo facit, quia
Concerning the first, he does two things, for
primo excludit falsitatem;
first, he excludes a falsehood;
secundo instruit de veritate, ibi quoniam nisi.
second, he gives instruction regarding the truth, at for unless.
Iterum prima in tres, quia
And his exclusion of falsehood has three parts, for
primo commemorat illud ex quo debent induci;
first, he shows that by which they should be persuaded;
secundo ostendit ad quid debent induci, ibi ut non cito;
second, he shows that to which they should be persuaded, at that you be not easily moved;
tertio removet illud quod eos movere posset, ibi neque per spiritum.
third, he forestalls that which could move them, at neither by spirit.
28. Inducit autem ex tribus, scilicet propriis precibus, ibi rogamus, non praeceptis. Philem. V, 8: multam fiduciam habens in Christo Iesu imperandi tibi, quod ad rem pertinet, propter caritatem magis obsecro.
28. Now he persuades them by three means. First, by means of his own prayers, at we beseech you, and not by commanding them. Having complete confidence to command you in Christ Jesus to perform the necessary thing, for the sake of charity I rather beseech you (Phlm 5:8).
Secundo ex adventu Christi, desiderabili bonis, licet terribili malis. Amos V, 18: vae desiderantibus diem Domini, et cetera. II Tim. IV, v. 8: non solum autem mihi, sed et his qui diligunt adventum eius, et cetera. Apoc. ult.: veni, Domine Iesu, et cetera.
Second, by the coming of Christ, which is desirable to the good even though terrifying to the wicked. Woe to those who desire the day of the Lord (Amos 5:18); and not only to me, but also to those who love his coming (2 Tim 4:8); come, Lord Jesus (Rev 22:20).
Tertio ex desiderio et amore totius congregationis sanctorum, in idipsum, scilicet ubi Christus est, quia Matth. XXIV, 28: ubi erit corpus, ibi congregabuntur et aquilae. Vel in idipsum, id est, in idem, quia omnes sancti loco et gloria erunt in eodem. Ps. XLIX, v. 5: congregate illi sanctos eius.
Third, by the desire and love of the whole congregation of the saints, unto him, namely where Christ is, for where the body is, there will the eagles be gathered (Matt 24:28). Or unto him, i.e., in the same, for all the saints will be in the same place and glory. Gather to him his saints (Ps 99:5).
29. Sed ad quid inducit? Ut non cito moveamini a vestro sensu. Est autem aliud moveri, aliud terreri. Movetur autem a suo sensu, qui praetermittit quod tenebat; quasi dicat: non cito dimittatis doctrinam meam. Eccli. XIX, 4: qui cito credit, levis est corde. Terror autem est quaedam trepidatio, cum formidine contrarii. Et ideo dicit ne terreamini. Iob XV, 21: sonitus terroris semper in auribus eius. Item si pax, illi semper insidias suspicantur. Sap. XVII, 10: cum enim sit timida nequitia, dat testimonium condemnationi, et cetera.
29. But of what is he trying to persuade them? That you be not easily moved from your sense. It is one thing to be moved and another to be terrified. Now the one who is moved from his sense loses what he had previously held fast. The Apostle says, in effect, do not easily let go my teaching. Who easily believes is light of heart (Sir 19:4). But terror is a kind of trepidation with fear of what opposes one. And so he says nor be terrified. The sound of terror always in his ears (Job 15:21). And if there is peace, they always suspect treacheries. For since wickedness is always fearful, it gives testimony for its own condemnation (Wis 17:10).
30. Deinde cum dicit neque per spiritum, removet quod eos movere posset,
30. Then when he says, neither by spirit, he forestalls that which could move them,
primo in speciali,
first, in particular,
secundo in generali, ibi ne quis.
second, in general, at let no man.
31. Seducitur autem quis per falsam revelationem; unde dicit neque per spiritum, id est: si quis dicat sibi revelatum per Spiritum Sanctum, vel a Spiritu Sancto aliquid quod est contra doctrinam meam, non terreamini. I Io. IV, 1: nolite omni spiritui credere. Ez. XIII, 3: vae prophetis insipientibus, qui sequuntur spiritum suum, et nihil vident. Aliquando etiam Satanas transfigurat se in angelum lucis, ut dicitur II Cor. c. XI, 14; et III Reg. ult.: egrediar, et ero spiritus mendax in ore omnium prophetarum eius.
31. Now someone can be deceived by a false revelation. Hence he says, neither by spirit, i.e., if someone announces to you as a revelation by the Holy Spirit, or from the Holy Spirit, something contrary to my teaching, do not be terrified. Do not believe every spirit (1 John 4:1). Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and see nothing (Ezek 13:3). Sometimes even Satan transfigures himself into an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14); I will go out, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets (1 Kgs 22:22).
Secundo per ratiocinationem, vel falsam expositionem Scripturae; ideo dicit neque per sermonem. II Tim. II, 17: sermo eorum ut cancer serpit. Eph. V, 6: nemo vos seducat inanibus verbis.
Second, someone can also be deceived by reasoning, or a false exposition of Scripture, and so he says nor by word. Their word spreads like gangrene (2 Tim 2:17). Let no one deceive by foolish words (Eph 5:6).
Tertio per auctoritatem inductam in malo intellectu. II Petr. ult.: sicut charissimus frater noster Paulus, secundum sibi datam sapientiam scripsit vobis, sicut in omnibus epistolis, loquens in eis de his, in quibus sunt quaedam difficilia intellectu, quae indocti et instabiles depravant, sicut et caeteras Scripturas, et cetera.
Third, someone can be deceived by an authority quoted but wrongly understood. As our most beloved brother Paul has written to you in accord with the wisdom given to him, speaking as in all his letters of things in which there are certain points difficult to understand, which the unlearned and unstable twist as they do the other Scriptures (2 Pet 3:15–16).
Sed de quo seducebantur? Quasi instet dies Domini.
But what were they being deceived about? As if the day of the Lord were at hand.
Et dicit neque per epistolam tamquam per nos missam. Quia in prima epistola nisi bene intelligatur, videtur dicere instare Domini adventum, ut illud: deinde nos qui vivimus, et cetera.
And he says nor by epistle as sent from us, because his first epistle to the Thessalonians, if it is not understood well, seems to say that the Lord’s coming is at hand, as when it says, then we who are alive (1 Thess 4:16).
32. Deinde cum dicit ne quis, etc., facit idem in generali. Lc. XXI, 8: videte ne seducamini, et cetera. I Cor. XV, 33: nolite seduci.
32. Then when he says let no man deceive you by any means, he says the same thing more generally. Beware lest you be deceived (Luke 21:8); do not be deceived (1 Cor 15:33).
Ratio autem quare haec removet Apostolus, scilicet de adventu Domini, est, quia praelatus nullo modo debet velle quod per mendacium aliqua bona procurentur. I Cor. c. XV, 15: invenimur autem et falsi testes, et cetera. Item quia res credita erat periculosa, quod scilicet instaret dies Domini. Primo quia daretur occasio maioris seductionis, quia futuri erant post tempora apostolorum aliqui, qui dicerent se esse Christum. Lc. XXI, 8: multi dicent: ego sum, et cetera. Et ideo Apostolus noluit. Item Daemon frequenter praetendit se esse Christum, sicut patet de beato Martino. Et ideo ne seducantur, noluit. Augustinus autem ponit aliam rationem, quia immineret periculum fidei. Unde diceret aliquis: tarde veniet Dominus, et tunc praeparabo me ad eum. Aliud diceret: veniet cito, et ideo nunc me praeparabo. Alius diceret: nescio. Et hic melius dicit, quia concordat Christo. Sed ille plus errat, qui dicit: cito; quia, elapso termino, homines desperarent, et crederent falsa esse quae scripta sunt.
Now the reason why the Apostle forestalls this, namely this error concerning the Lord’s coming, is that no prelate should desire that any good be achieved by a lie. We are even found to be false witnesses (1 Cor 15:15). Also, because, the thing believed, namely that the Lord’s day was at hand, was dangerous. First, it could be the occasion of a greater deception, because after the time of the apostles men were going to come who would claim to be Christ. Many will say: I am he (Luke 21:8). And so the Apostle did not want them to believe this error regarding the Lord’s coming. Similarly, demons frequently pretend to be Christ, as is clear in the case of blessed Martin. And so lest they should be deceived, he did not want them to believe this error. And Augustine gives another reason, namely that it posed a danger to faith. One person would say, the Lord will come late, and then I will prepare myself for him. Another would say, he will come quickly, and so I am preparing myself now. Still another would say, I don’t know when he will come. And this person speaks best, because what he says agrees with Christ. But the one who says quickly errs more seriously, because with the passing of time men would despair, and would think that the Scriptures spoke falsely.
33. Deinde cum dicit quoniam nisi venerit discessio, etc., astruit veritatem; et primo ostendit quae ventura sunt ad Antichristi adventum. Et sunt duo, quorum unum praecedit adventum Antichristi; aliud est ipse adventus eius.
33. Then when he says for unless there come a revolt, he proceeds to the truth. First he shows what will happen when the Antichrist comes. And two things will happen, one of which will precede the Antichrist’s coming and the other of which is itself his coming.
34. Primum est discessio, quod multipliciter exponitur in Glossa. Et primo a fide, quia futurum erat, ut fides a toto mundo reciperetur. Matth. XXIV, 14: et praedicabitur hoc Evangelium regni in universo orbe. Istud ergo praecedit quod secundum Augustinum nondum est impletum, et post multi discedent a fide, et cetera. I Tim. IV, 1: in novissimis temporibus discedent quidam a fide, et cetera. Matth. XXIV, 12: refrigescet caritas multorum.
34. First comes the revolt, which is explained in many different ways in the Gloss. And first it is explained as a revolt from faith, because later the faith would be accepted by the whole world. And this Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world (Matt 24:14). Therefore this comes before what according to Augustine has not yet been fulfilled, and afterwards many will depart from the faith, etc. In the last times certain men will depart from the faith (1 Tim 4:1). The love of many will grow cold (Matt 24:12).
Vel discessio a Romano imperio, cui totus mundus erat subditus. Dicit autem Augustinus, quod hoc figuratur Dan. II, 31 in statua, ubi nominantur quatuor regna; et post illa adventus Christi, et quod hoc erat conveniens signum, quia Romanum imperium firmatum fuit ad hoc, quod sub eius potestate praedicaretur fides per totum mundum.
Or a revolt from the Roman empire, to which the whole world was subject. And Augustine says that this is represented in Daniel by the statues (Dan 2:31), where four kingdoms are named after whom comes Christ, and that this was a fitting sign because the Roman empire was strengthened for this very purpose, namely that under its power the faith should be preached throughout the whole world.