A Note on “Temple” (Naos) in 2 Thessalonians 2:4

Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple (naos) of God, proclaiming himself to be God. —2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

It is often assumed by some interpreters that a colossal Solomonic-like temple complex must be rebuilt. This is not the case, because the term for temple in this verse is naos, which does not require the meaning of a large temple-complex; instead, it can refer to just a tent-like structure or the inner sanctuary, a structure that could evidently be erected in a matter of weeks. Just one hundred years ago it would have been difficult to fathom a reconstituted state of Israel back in their land, nevertheless, it did happen in 1948 in God’s providential purposes. So that historical event should serve as confidence when we read that there will be a future temple. With God all things are possible, however difficult it may be to imagine that Jews would be allowed to build a temple within Islam’s exclusive presence on the Temple Mount. Perhaps a peace accord between Israel and Muslims will permit orthodox Jews to build a tent-like temple sanctuary beside, or even upon, the Temple Mount. However it will materialize, I accept the plain reading of Scripture that there will one day be a literal temple structure, and when the man of lawlessness is revealed he will appropriate the temple for his own blasphemous glory.


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