An Exegetical Study of 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 as it Pertains to the Doctrine of the Antichrist
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The purpose of this thesis is to address the topic of the Antichrist. This paper will demonstrate that the misconceptions held by many cinematographers, authors, church bodies, Bible scholars, and exegetes result from personal attitudes and opinions coupled with misinterpretation of Scripture regarding eschatological events. This thesis will examine the identifying marks of the Antichrist by means of an exegetical study of 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12. The attributes as Paul describes them will be shown to clearly identify the Roman Catholic papacy as the Antichrist. Corroboration will be offered by the confessional writings of Dr. Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon. Salient comments by theologians Francis Pieper and Adolf Hoenecke validate the indictment. Incontrovertible proof will confirm that it is neither a Lutheran idiosyncrasy to define the papacy as the Antichrist, nor is it an historical opinion or open question. The doctrine of the Antichrist is found in Scripture. Its most comprehensive portrayal is found in Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians. This treatise by means of a thorough exegetical study will focus on the Scriptural definition, characterization, and attributes of the Antichrist as identified by the Apostle Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12. On the basis of the clear teachings of this portion of Scripture and what the Lutheran Confessions corroborate, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod boldly and correctly stands on the truth that the Roman Catholic papacy is the fulfillment of the Antichrist revealed in God’s Word.