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In the video below at 24:25, pastor J. D. Farag claims that since the Geneva Bible renders the Greek word apostasia as “departure” then that is proof that it is referring to “the rapture.”
This is not only wrong on his part but it is a blunder.
Some pretribulationists, such as Thomas Ice and Andy Woods, argue that the Greek word apostasia in this instance of 2 Thess 2:3 refers to a “physical departure” (i.e. the rapture) and not a “religious departure” (i.e. departing from the faith).
This view was first introduced in 1895 by J. S. Mabie and popularized by E. Schuyler English in 1949.
Pretrib proponents have pointed out that early English Bibles such as Tyndale, Coverdale, and Geneva have rendered the Greek apostasia in 2 Thess 2:3 as departure. For these pretrib interpreters, the implication of the English word departure in these old English translations is suppose to suggest a physical departing, and thus it is assumed that the concept of the rapture was in the mind of these older English translators.
This is not correct for three good reasons:
1. Appealing to sixteenth-century English versions to understand the meaning of a Greek word is naïve at best and only pushes the question back a step further: What did the early English translators mean by the word departure? The English word—both today and back then—carry non-physical and physical meanings (see an old English dictionary if you do not believe me).
2. Just to use one example to make my point, these same early English translations use “departing” at Hebrews 3:12. For example the KJV reads, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” In this instance, “departing” is clearly non-physical, which demonstrates that the translators did not use the English word “departing/departure” as having some single technical meaning.
3. Finally, there is no evidence that these early translators in this instance understood apostasia as a “physical departure.”
This pretrib argument rears its fallacious head on occasion. Honestly, I am surprised that this argument is still used by some pretribbers since it has been thoroughly refuted (see the articles below). The only reason I can think why it continues to be used is that it is useful as smoke and mirrors to read back the interpreter’s motivated meaning into God’s Holy Word.
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