by Mark Mountjoy
Christians from a wide variety of traditions and creedal backgrounds normally entertain predictable and popular ideas and concepts about the apostasy directly preceding the Second Coming described by Paul in 2 Thessalonians the second chapter. In the four great Christian traditions these can be summed up as being either a past Roman, Catholic or future European figure as "the man of sin." Rote tradition (rather than critical studies) govern interpretations and the Apostle Paul's prophecy of the coming of the Lord in 2 Thessalonians is one of the more familiar yet (at the very same time) obscure of these.
But today, in the light of ancient Judæan history, we want to take a fresh look at it to grapple with this question: Does it portend a person claiming to be the true God himself, or does it predict a complete apostasy away from the God of the Hebrew Old Testament?