Original Research - Special Collection: Old and New Testament Studies

‘Der Tag des Herrn ist schon da’ (2 Thess 2:2b) – Ein Schlüsselproblem zum Verständnis des 2. Thessalonicherbriefs

Tobias Nicklas, Michael Sommer
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 71, No 1 | a2874 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2874 | © 2015 Tobias Nicklas, Michael Sommer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 December 2014 | Published: 25 September 2015

About the author(s)

Tobias Nicklas, Department of New Testament Studies, University of Regensburg, Germany; Department of New Testament Studies, University of the Free State, South Africa
Michael Sommer, Philosophische Fakultät III − Erziehungswissenschaften Institut für Katholische Theologie und ihre Didaktik, Martin-Luther-Universität, Germany


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Abstract

‘The day of the Lord is already here’ (2 Thess 2:2b) – A key problem to the understanding of the second letter to the Thessalonians. 2 Thessalonians 2:2b, that is, the words ἐνέστηκεν ἡ ἡμέρα τοῦ κυρίου are a crux interpretum. At the same time their interpretation is crucial for the overall understanding of 2 Thessalonians. Does this text offer a view of early Christian eschatology totally different from Paul’s or is it compatible to what we read for example in 1 Thessalonians? The article deals critically with two recent monographs by Norbert Baumert and Maria-Irma Seewann who offered a new interpretation of the passage according to which 2 Thessalonians 2:2 is not concerned with matters of Parousia, but with Christ’s presence in the community. It offers an overview of the development of the ‘Day of the Lord’ traditions in the Old Testament and Early Judaism and shows that Baumert and Seewann’s interpretation is untenable. After an analysis of the context of 2 Thessalonians 2:1–2 the article develops an own interpretation of 2 Thessalonians’ 2:2 in light of a parallel in Hippolyt’s Commentary on Daniel. The eschatology of 2 Thessalonians 2 finally, provides an argument for the text’s pseudepigraphy.

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