Biblical Eschatology

A Biblical study of eschatology and the pre-tribulational & post-tribulational rapture views of the end times.

There was an event called the Apostasia of 1965. Apostasia is from the Greek word Αποστασία, and although the Wikipedia page talks about how this was a rebellion of apostates, I find this doubtful. Why? Because the verbal cognate of Αποστασία is ἀφίστημι, and the verb ἀφίστημι can denote a spatial departure. Therefore, I believe the "Apostasia of 1965" was when the "partial rapture" took place, thus explaining all the missing persons reported in 1965. I know, this sounds pretty crazy right. Yup it is. However, there are some pre-tribers that believe a similar error, based on a myriad of lexical fallacies and general research errors. Obviously, I was just giving an absurd example equal to the pre-trib argument, and no, I don't believe in the partial rapture.

Does Apostasia (ἀποστασία) in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 refer to the rapture or an apostasy (rebellion) against God?

Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. (James 3:1 NASB)

As a disclaimer, with this article I am not criticizing all pre-tribulationists, since not all hold to this view. For instance, Paul D. Feinberg (a pre-trib scholar) on this passage concluded the "noun, apostasía, has a variety of meanings, but none of them relate to a physical departure. Thus, it seems that any fair assessment of the data leads to the conclusion that Paul does not refer [to] the rapture in 2 Thessalonians 2:3."1 Another noted pre-trib theologian and former president of Dallas Theological Seminary, the late Dr. John Walvoord originally believed that apostasia in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 referred to the rapture. However, his mind was changed by the evidence given by Robert Gundry.2

I quote D.A. Carson a good bit in this article. His book "Exegetical Fallacies" is the standard followed by faithful Greek scholars. I highly recommend his book. Reading it is both funny and enlightening.

The thought provoking question for this article is, "Is it okay to lie or be deceptive, if you feel it's for God's glory?" I know it sounds like a crazy question, but it's an honest one. Hopefully, all responses are, "God never wants us to lie or deceive." John 8:44 says Satan's very nature is to lie, he is the father of lies, and there is no truth in him.

But if through my lie the truth of God abounded to His glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner? 8And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some claim that we say), "Let us do evil that good may come"? Their condemnation is just. (Romans 3:7-8 NASB)

I decided to write this article after reading an article by Dr. Thomas Ice, which was the most deceptive I have ever read.3 Honestly, I've read articles from cults that are less deceiving! Seriously! He claims to know Greek, so he should know better.

Ice starts the article off by citing Gordon Lewis, which makes it look like apostasia (ἀποστασία) is a verb.4 Those who know Greek know that apostasia is not a verb, it's a noun. In English the same exact word could be both a noun and a verb. However, in Greek this is never the case. In Greek there is no such thing as a word being both a noun and a verb. He should know this since he apparently took Greek in college and has his doctorate. However, in his article does Ice ever once call apostasia a noun? Nope, not even once. Therefore, if you don't know Greek, you are left to assume that apostasia is a verb. Then he dogmatically defines apostasia as "depart" based on the evidence of the usage of a completely different Greek word, the verb aphístēmi (ἀφίστημι). He never disclaims that he is referencing another Greek word and just keeps calling aphístēmi apostasia.5

He does this on the basis that apostasia is a cognate of aphístēmi, which once again, he never even explains. This is one of the many root fallacies called the cognate fallacy. The cognate fallacy is when you believe the range of definitions of a noun are the same as the verb it originated from.

In regard to the cognate fallacy, D.A. Carson comments:
"One of the most enduring of errors, the root fallacy presupposes that every word actually has a meaning bound up with its shape or its components. In this view, meaning is determined by etymology; that is, by the root or roots of a word. How many times have we been told that because the verbal cognate of ἀπόστολος (apostolos, apostle) is ἀποστέλλω (apostellō, I send), the root meaning of 'apostle' is 'one who is sent'"?6

Carson concluded that it's "linguistic nonsense" 7 to take the meaning of a noun from it verbal cognate. Either Thomas Ice never read Carson's book, or has, but ignored everything in it. Gundry properly points out, instead of following any form of root fallacy, to arrive at the proper translation "We should take the meaning which a word had during the time and in the culture in which it was written."8

In a debate Thomas Ice was asked to give one single reference where the noun apostasia was used to mean a spatial departure, at any time during the Koine Greek area (330BCE to 330CE). He could give none. He then cited Wayne House's chapter on the topic, in the book "When the Trumpet Sounds," and said there was evidence there.9

In the chapter Ice cites, House shows zero references to the noun apostasia being used during the Koine period to denote a spatial departure.10 He does however make several faulty assertions when it comes to how people translated apostasia into other languages. The first error was to look at translations in other languages for guidance and proof. The Bible wasn't originally written in Latin or English, so any such evidence is not really evidence at all. I call this the "Appeal to a Translation" or the "Appeal to English" fallacy.

House states, "The Vulgate uses the Latin word discessio, meaning 'departure'"11 to translate apostasia. However, he is just assuming that Jerome meant a spatial departure with this translation. House dogmatically asserts the only meaning of discessio is a spatial departure which is wrong! He either once again failed to do research or is blatantly deceiving the reader. Discessio is a noun not a verb, and if a spatial movement was intended Jerome should have used a verb. Although the primary meaning of discessio is "going away" or "withdrawal," it can also mean "division;" "schism;" "divorce;" or "separation." So most probably, Jerome's intent in his translation was "schism," rather than a spatial departure. It's surprising that House would be so frivolous with his analysis, and completely ignore the full range of meanings that discessio can have, and just assume Jerome was referring to a spatial departure without looking at all the facts. Therefore, House's argument here is dead in the water. Not only is it invalid because he is making an argument based on a translation, he is also wrong because the translation can mean apostasy or schism.

Oxford Latin Dictionary:

House then asserts that the 1384 Wycliffe Bible translates apostasia as "departynge".12 I checked about 5 versions and found they all contained the Middle English word "dissencioun,"13 which means "dissension," ie. Apostasy. There are modern English translations of Wycliffe that have "dissension come first [For no but departing away, or dissension, shall come first]."14 However, this was not a translation by Wycliffe, and translators of the newer version are definitely referring to a rebellion. Therefore, not only is this evidence wrong, it actually proves the opposite of his point. Interestingly, the Wycliffe Bible was a literal translation of the Latin Vulgate, and adds more proof that the use of discessio was intended to mean rebellion.

I find it appalling that someone that is a "research professor" would write something that contained such shoddy research. House's chapter was published in the book "When the Trumpet Sounds," in 1995. Even more shocking is the fact that in 24 years I was the only one to point out to House that his reference to the Wycliffe Bible is incorrect. This means everyone just believes what House teaches blindly! No wonder there are so many pre-tribulationists. You will never find the truth unless you search for it on your own and find out what the Bible really says. You cannot just believe someone and take their word for it because you respect them or because they have a bunch of fancy credentials. I emailed House about the mistake, he said he would get back to me and never has. Additionally, Dr. Andy Woods15 and Dr. Thomas Ice16 stated the same error. I contacted both with no reply.

"Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit." (Matthew 15:14 NASB)

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, (2 Timothy 4:3 NASB)

the prophets give false prophecies, and the priests rule with an iron hand. Worse yet, my people like it that way! But what will you do when the end comes? (Jeremiah 5:31 NLT)

House then cites the 1599 Geneva Bible, "[a]for that day shall not come, except there come a departing first." However, the Geneva notes state, "(a) 2 Thessalonians 2:3 The Apostle foretelleth that before the coming of the Lord, there shall be a throne set up clean contrary to Christ's glory, wherein that wicked man shall sit, and transfer all things that appertain to God, to himself, and many shall fall away from God to him."17 Here the translators used "departing" to refer to rebellion.

Why would any of the early Middle English translations use departing? Doesn't that mean a spatial departure? Had House done his research, and consulted a Middle English dictionary, he would have learned that the Middle English meaning for "depart" and "departynge," is "division,"18 "break up" or "separation."19

A Dictionary of the First, or Oldest Words in the English Language
Concise Dictionary of Middle-English

Therefore, House commits what Carson calls the "Semantic Anachronism" fallacy20. "This fallacy occurs when a late use of a word is read back into earlier literature. At the simplest level, it occurs within the same language."21 Although today "depart" means to leave one place and go to another, in Middle English it meant something completely different. The meaning of words change over time, for instance, in Middle English the word "nice" meant "silly" or "foolish."22 Therefore, if I found the word "nice" in Middle English literature I can't translate it the same as we would today, and state the author's intention was to call the person "kind." Once again House is in error.

A Dictionary of the First, or Oldest Words in the English Language:

These arguments were mute and invalid to begin with since they were based on Latin and English. However, when evaluating and researching the evidence, we find his arguments were based off false premises. Therefore, in light of what my research found, House's argument is greatly weakened by his own so called "evidence."

What's surprising is Wayne House's credentials. Here is part of the list from his web sites bio page: He is a Distinguished Research Professor of Theology, Law, and Culture, Faith Evangelical College and Seminary. He has a B.A. in Classical and Hellenistic Greek, a M.A. in Biblical and Patristic Greek, and a Th.D., Exegetical Theology.23 After reading some of these credentials, you would feel like you could trust the accuracy of the man's research. That he would be thorough, and would have a good comprehension of Greek. Surprisingly, none of that is true in his treatment of apostasia in 2 Thessalonians 2:3.

Based on this faulty research, Ice cites House, while obviously not checking the validity of his research, and stated:

Why was the King James Version the first to depart from the established translation of "departure"? Most scholars say that no one knows the reason for the translation shift. However, a plausible theory has been put forth by Martin Butalla in his Master of Theology thesis produced at Dallas Theology Seminary in 1998. It appears that the Catholic translation into English from Jerome's Latin Vulgate known as the Rheims Bible (1576) was the first to break the translation trend. "Apostasia was revised from 'the departure' to 'the Protestant Revolt,'" explains Butalla. "Revolution is the terminology still in use today when Catholicism teaches the history of the Protestant Reformation. Under this guise, apostasia would refer to a departure of Protestants from the Catholic Church." The Catholic translators appear eager to engage in polemics against the Reformation by even allowing it to impact Bible translation. By 1611, when then original version of the King James Bible came out, the translators changed the English translation tradition from "departure" to "falling away," which implied "apostasy." Such a change was a theological response to the Catholic notion that the Reformation was a revolt against the true church; instead, Protestants saw Catholic beliefs as "the falling away" or "the great apostasy. This would mean that the shift in translation was not based upon research of the meaning of the original language but as a theological polemic against the false teachings of Romanism.24

All this nonsense probably sounds convincing unless you do the research and realize that none of the translators ever meant apostasia to mean a spatial departure. Here you see a pre-tribulationists true colors. Give them a little info and they can write a whole book on it, even if the premise is 100% wrong.

Robert Gundry stated, "Our remaining primary source, the koinē, as given by MM, offers several examples of political rebellion and religious apostasy, but not one example of simple spatial departure. No wonder, then, that NT lexicons uniformly give the special senses of religious apostasy and political rebellion—BAG, Kittel, Cremer, Abbott-Smith, Thayer, and others. No wonder also that scholarly commentators on 2 Thessalonians interpret ἀποστασίας as bearing this meaning—Alford, Ellicott, Moffatt, F. F. Bruce, Frame, Milligan, Morris, and others."25

Replying to Gundry, House comments, "Certainly this reference to notable authorities is both primafacie persuasive and formidable. This argument is the most compelling to me, since I wonder how the major lexica and scholars studying this passage could be in such harmony on this meaning of the word apostasia and yet be in error regarding 2 Thessalonians 2:3."26

To answer House's question, it's very simple, lexicons offer unbiased references and are simply showing how a particular word is translated by various sources. It probably also helps that these authorities realize that apostasia is a noun and that apostasia and aphístēmi are completely different words.

House does concede that, "If one merely counted the times Apostasia is used with these meanings, or wholly relied on the lexica, then the case would be closed on the rapture view."27 However, this is exactly how you translate the Bible! You can't just make up meanings for words. That is what cults do. You have to follow the lexical range of what the word can mean. If it is outside that range, then it is not a valid translation! Even though all his arguments were fallacious and full of errors, House's own conclusion in the end is "certainly the case is not conclusive."28

Another argument made by fellow pre-triber Dr. Andy Woods, is that, "The Greek noun apostasia is a compound word, which means that it is a word that is created by combining two previously existing words. The first word is the Greek preposition apo, which means 'away from.' The second word is the Greek verb histēmi, which means, 'to stand.' Thus, apostasia simply means to 'to stand away from' or 'to depart.'" Dr. Woods gives us a textbook example of root fallacy. This argument would fall under what Carson called "linguistic nonsense!"

Carson in his book quotes Louw, who points out the obvious flaws of root fallacy. In English it would be like "deriving the meaning of 'butterfly' from 'butter' and 'fly,' or the meaning of 'pineapple' from 'pine' and 'apple.'"29 Carson then points out the obvious, that "Even those of us who have never been to Hawaii recognize that pineapples are not a special kind of apple that grows on pines."30 However, it is this kind of flippant hermeneutic that is prevalent in all their arguments.

Another argument made by Dr. Andy Woods is that, "Sometimes in English we use the same word for both a noun and a verb. For example, if I said, 'Jane went on a run,' I would be using 'run' as a noun. However, if I said 'see Jan run,' I would be using 'run' as a verb. The verb form of the noun apostasia is the verb aphistēmi."31 This would be a great argument if the Bible was written in English. However, since the Bible was written in Greek the argument is mute. As already outlined, in Greek there is no such thing as the same Greek word being both a noun and a verb. It will only be one or the other. It's not like English, where you see "run" and have to figure it out. In Greek this is never the case. Yet, arguments like these by Dr. Woods deceives the reader into thinking that verbs and nouns in Koine Greek are the same as they are in English. Additionally, even in English, using "run" as an example, the meaning of "run" is altered based on whether it is used as a verb or a noun. If it's used as a noun, you're not going to give it the meaning of a verb and vice versa. Therefore, this point made by Woods is completely pointless, and only serves to deceive and confuse the reader.

Similarly Gordon Lewis, also quoted by Ice, creates the same root fallacy, when he states, "The verb [for apostasia] may mean to remove spatially. There is little reason then to deny that the noun can mean such a spatial removal or departure. Since the noun is used only one other time in the New Testament of apostasy from Moses (Acts 21:21), we can hardly conclude that it's Biblical meaning is necessarily determined."32

There is general consensus among Greek scholars that the Greek Old Testament (LXX) greatly influenced the New Testament and when citing the Old Testament, writers of the New Testament generally quoted the LXX. For this reason, Greek and Hebrew words through tradition can have a different religious meaning, apart from the secular meaning. For example, angel vs. messenger (ἄγγελος), Bible vs. book (βίβλος), and Church vs. congregation (ἐκκλησία). These "Biblical" meanings are rarely debated, based on their historical usage. However, apostasia can't have a "Biblical" meaning of a spatial departure unless there is some evidence, somewhere in that time period, of it being used that way. Also, unless it had this meaning in other passages in the New Testament or the LXX, it could hardly be called a Biblical definition.

It's absolute nonsense to say we don't know the Biblical meaning of apostasia. The Biblical meaning of apostasia is apostasy. It's actually where the English word comes from. It's used that way in secular Greek literature, the LXX and the New Testament to refer to apostasy/rebellion, and never a spatial departure.

When Paul wrote apostasia, no Christian of his time would have saw that and thought he was talking about the rapture. In the same way; if today I was making the argument, the Day of the Lord can't arrive until the Apostasy comes first; no one is going to read into that and think, "Ahhh, but when he said apostasy he meant the rapture; because apostasy comes from the Greek word apostasia, and it's verbal cognate can mean spatial departure." Pardon my bluntness, but if someone responded to my statement in that way, everyone would think they were a moron! IF I MEANT RAPTURE, I WOULD HAVE WRITTEN RAPTURE! But this argument shows the weakness of the pre-trib rapture stance. 2 Thessalonians 2 so clearly outlines a post-trib position, they are left grasping at straws.

No one is arguing that aphístēmi can't denote a spatial departure. It would be crazy to make such an argument. Aphístēmi is a verb, and the very definition of a verb is a "word used to describe an action." Therefore, the very essence of a verb, on some level, is basically the description of some type of spatial departure, action or movement. This is not the case with nouns and the reasons why nouns exist. I learned this in kindergarten, and it would make sense that individuals with doctorates would understand this as well.

Since I don't disagree with the range of meanings that the verb aphistemi can have, and since using this evidence would commit a cognate fallacy, thus making the argument invalid anyway; I will skip all cognate examples since the exercise would be pointless.

Thomas Ice also quotes Paul Lee Tan, who said, "The Greek word for 'falling away', taken by itself, does not mean religious apostasy or defection. Neither does the word mean 'to fall,' as the Greeks have another word for that.....The best translation of the word is 'to depart.'"33

If Paul Lee Tan wasn't dealing with the Bible, his insane analysis would be comical. He says there are better Greek words that mean "fall," while ignoring the fact that there are much better words to denote the resurrection or rapture. For instance, if Paul meant a spatial departure, he would have used ἀπέρχομαι (aperchomai), which is a verb! Although Ice makes you think it is a verb, apostasia is a noun. In the New Testament the verb ἀπέρχομαι (aperchomai) is used 118 times34, which makes it one of the more commonly used words. This commentary by Paul Lee Tan commits what is called the Red Herring fallacy.

In his book The Falling Away, Dr. Andy Woods stated:

By providing these two definite articles essentially Paul is indicating that the apostasy will be something that has specific, time bound-qualities just like the man of sin’s coming has such qualities. In other words, just like the advent of the man of sin will be specific and an instantaneous event in future history, the coming apostasia, or departure, will similarly be specific and time bound.35
So basically, his point is if a Greek Noun has an article, it must have "time bound-qualities." First, that makes no sense because the majority of nouns don't have time-bound qualities. But let's assume he's right. Essentially what he is asserting is that God is not eternal! Why? Because Revelation 1:8 states, "'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.'"

The Greek from that verse is (I put a star before each Greek Article): Ἐγώ εἰμι * τὸ Ἄλφα καὶ * τὸ Ὦ,” λέγει Κύριος * ὁ Θεός, * ὁ ὢν καὶ * ὁ ἦν καὶ * ὁ ἐρχόμενος, * ὁ Παντοκράτωρ. Almost every word in that sentence contains a Greek Article. Based on this teaching by Dr. Woods, Jesus only existed instantaneously for about a second. This is obviously absurd. Making up your own Greek grammar rules that are not based in reality is how heresy's and cults get started.

Now that we are through all the nonsense, let's look at the facts.

Here are the examples from the LXX:
2 Chronicles 29:19
καὶ πάντα τὰ σκεύη, ἃ ἐμίανεν Αχαζ ὁ βασιλεὺς ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ αὐτοῦ ἐν τῇ ἀποστασίᾳ αὐτοῦ, ἡτοιμάκαμεν καὶ ἡγνίκαμεν, ἰδού ἐστιν ἐναντίον τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου κυρίου
and all the vessels which king Achaz polluted in his reign, in his apostasy [τῇ ἀποστασίᾳ], we have prepared and purified: behold, they are before the altar of the Lord. (Brenton LXX)

Joshua 22:22
῾Ο θεὸς θεός ἐστιν κύριος καὶ ὁ θεὸς θεὸς κύριος αὐτὸς οἶδεν καὶ Ισραηλ αὐτὸς γνώσεται εἰ ἐν ἀποστασίᾳ ἐπλημμελήσαμεν ἔναντι τοῦ κυρίου μὴ ῥύσαιτο ἡμᾶς ἐν ταύτῃ
The LORD, the Mighty One, is God! The LORD, the Mighty One, is God! He knows, and may Israel also know. If this was in rebellion [ἀποστασίᾳ] or breach of faith against the LORD, do not spare us today. (Brenton LXX)

Jeremiah 2:19
παιδεύσει σε ἡ ἀποστασία σου, καὶ ἡ κακία σου ἐλέγξει σε καὶ γνῶθι καὶ ἰδὲ ὅτι πικρόν σοι τὸ καταλιπεῖν σε ἐμέ λέγει κύριος ὁ θεός σου καὶ οὐκ εὐδόκησα ἐπὶ σοί λέγει κύριος ὁ θεός σου
Thine apostasy [ἡ ἀποστασία] shall correct thee, and thy wickedness shall reprove thee: know then, and see, that thy forsaking me has been bitter to thee, saith the Lord thy God; and I have taken no pleasure in thee, saith the Lord thy God. (Brenton LXX)

1 Maccabees 2:15
καὶ ἦλθον οἱ παρὰ τοῦ βασιλέως οἱ καταναγκάζοντες τὴν ἀποστασίαν εἰς Μωδεϊν τὴν πόλιν ἵνα θυσιάσωσιν
Then the king's officers who were enforcing the apostasy [τὴν ἀποστασίαν] came to the city of Mo′de-in to make them offer sacrifice. (RSV)

Secular references include:
Josephus. Jewish War 7.82
So when a great part of the Germans had agreed to rebel [ἀποστασίαν], and the rest were no better disposed, Vespasian, as guided by Divine Providence, sent letters to Petilius Cerealis, who had formerly had the command of Germany...36

Josephus. Jewish War 7.164
Macherus; for it was highly necessary that this citadel should be demolished, lest it might be a means of drawing away many into a rebellion [ἀποστασίαν], by reason of its strength; for the nature of the place was very capable of affording the surest hopes of safety to those that possessed it, as well as delay and fear to those that should attack it...37

Josephus. Life 43
When John, the son of Levi, saw some of the citizens much elevated upon their revolt [ἀποστασίαν] from the Romans...38

To support their claims, they cite the Liddell-Scott and the Lampe Patristic Greek Lexicons, since departure is a lexical entry in both. Each lexicon gives one reference for those entries. However, several notes must be made. First, these appearances occur well after the Koine period, about 500-700 years after Paul wrote Second Thessalonians. Therefore, using these references as evidence commits the semantic anachronism fallacy.

Lexical entries that vary from the norm should be examined. Taking the entry at face value assumes that the passage was translated properly with a meaning on par with what the original writer intended. Second, you must understand the context of how the word was used. With that in mind, let's look at the two examples that the lexicons give as "departure."

Olympiodorus of Alexandria was "a Greek monk, said also to have been a deacon of a church in Alexandria, is believed to have lived in the first part of the 6th century A.D."39 In Olympiodorus Meteora Commentaria 320.2 we find "ὁ Ἀριστοτέλης τουτέστι τὴν πῆξιν τῇ ξηρότητι τὴν αἰτίαν τῆς ἀποστασίας τοῦ ὑγροῦ παρατίθεται καὶ ταύτῃ δίδωσι τὴν πῆξιν τουτέστι τὴν θερμότητα." I would translate this as "Aristotle attributes the cause of dryness to the defection [ἀποστασίας] of the water (moisture) by the process of solidification and this process creates heat which is released." Note: it would be wrong to translate ἀποστασίας here as "depart." If the water departed, that would be evaporation. When water changes from a liquid to a solid, that is called solidification. If the water departed during the process it would be impossible to create ice.

My opinion is that ἀποστασίας was used to explain a scientific phenomenon in terms a common person could understand. For instance if I were to translate this into English in terms a child could understand, I would translate it as: "The process of solidification is made up of two teams, Team solid and team liquid. When team liquid switches to team solid, all liquid becomes a solid block of ice. When solidification occurs the process releases heat."

In essence that is what rebellion or defection is, changing from one side to the other. The key for this translation is the context which is solidification. Obviously if we were talking about evaporation in the same context then a spatial departure would make more sense. However, since we are talking about solidification, the translation of departure makes zero sense.

Someone at Liddell-Scott assumed the author meant "departure", probably based off of τοῦ ὑγροῦ and thus erroneously added it to the gloss off meanings.

Merriam-Webster defines rebellion as "opposition to one in authority or dominance."40 Similarly, James outlines that rebellion is a sin. "Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin." (James 4:17 NASB) Anything that we know we should do and don't do, is rebelling against God's will. This same kind of idea is exemplified in the next and last example used to say that apostasia can mean a spatial departure.

The final work to be examined, "Iohannis Liber De Dormitone Mariae," has been dated late 5th to 7th century A.D. The context of the passage is the commander was coming after Mary the mother of Jesus in Bethlehem. Mary was warned of the attack by the Holy Spirit, and so Mary left Bethlehem and went to Jerusalem. Rebellion is when you act contrary to how the powers in charge want you to act, as just discussed. Therefore since Mary knew that the commander was after her, the very act of leaving so she couldn't be apprehended was rebellion, since she had knowledge that her leaving was contrary to the commanders will.

The Greek text in question picks up with the part where the commander finds out that Mary left contrary to his will. It states, " ἠγνόει γὰρ ὁ χιλίαρχος τὴν τῶν ἀποστόλων καὶ τῆς μητρὸς τοῦ Κυρίου ἀποστασίαν τὴν εἰς Ἰερουσαλὴμ" which should be translated, "For the commander did not realize the rebellion [ἀποστασίαν] of the apostles and the mother of the Lord to Jerusalem." Previously in the passage the movement was mentioned, so in the readers mind, the movement was already outlined and understood. The focus here of the writer is on the mindset of the commander that was looking for them and did not know they had fled in rebellion to his wishes.

This type of context, is the same we see in all other instances where apostasia is used to denote rebellion. It generally denotes a military force or presence, and someone acting contrary to what that military force wants.

BDAG notes that ἀποστασία is a late form of ἀπόστασις. BDAG even goes so far as to combine the lexical entries of the two words. Although it appears they have the same meaning, I'm hesitant to go as far as BDAG has. For one, the use of ἀπόστασις continued even after ἀποστασία had been well established. In fact, I found ἀπόστασις used in Josephus as well as the Alexiad written around the year 1148AD.

Anna Komnene. The Alexiad 13.3
ἐπειδὴ ἀποχρώντως εἶχεν αὐτοῖς ἡ ἐγγύτης καὶ συμμέτρως τὰ πρὸς ἀπόστασιν
Therefore, so I don't commit the same root fallacy committed by the pre-tribers, I will avoid using ἀπόστασις to prove my position. What is clear however, is that ἀποστασία has a long history of meaning apostasy and rebellion. The Alexiad has a myriad of examples, here are a couple with ἀποστασίαν; 8.7 rebellion, 9.2 rebelled, 9.8 rebellion, 12.7 rebellion, etc...

Therefore, we must conclude that the Greek NOUN apostasia NEVER means spatial departure. Not only does the evidence prove this, the fact that apostasia is a NOUN and not a verb also proves it. Referring back to my first paragraph, even to this day Αποστασία in modern Greek means rebellion or defection. This was the meaning behind the name given to the rebellion in Greece in 1965, "the Apostasia of 1965." In fact if you use Google translate, and enter "defection" it will be translated as "Αποστασία." Notice, "departure" is not one of the definitions.

This shows the blatant disregard of facts and honest research shown by some of the most "respected" pre-trib theologians. At the outset I noted that not all pre-tribers believe this doctrine. However, this should encourage us all to thoroughly research arguments whether they help or hurt what we believe, because the truth is the most important thing!

(1) Feinberg, When the Trumpet Sounds, 310.
(2) Walvoord. Blessed Hope, 125.
(3) Ice. The Departure, 1-4.
(4) Ice. The Departure, 1.
(5) Ice. The Departure, 1-4.
(6) Carson. Fallacies, 28.
(7) Carson. Fallacies, 28.
(8) Gundry, Great Tribuation, Loc 1863.
(9) Start video at 3:30:
(10) House. Trumpet, 262-295.
(11) House. Trumpet, 270.
(12) House. Trumpet, 270.
(13) Viewable online:
Full Bible can be downloaded here:
(14) Viewable online:
And @
(15) Woods. The Falling Away, Ebook Loc 393.
(16) Ice. The Departure, 1.
(17) Viewable online:
(18) Concise Middle-English Dictionary, Page 61
(19) Oldest Words Dictionary, 23
(20) Carson. Fallacies, 33.
(21) Carson. Fallacies, 33.
(22) Oldest Words Dictionary, 56
(24) Ice, The Departure, 2
(25) Gundry, Great Tribuation, Loc 1841 - 1848.
(26) House. Trumpet, 280.
(27) House. Trumpet, 272.
(28) House. Trumpet, 286.
(29) Louw. Semantics, 27.
(30) Carson. Fallacies, 30.
(31) Woods, The Falling Away, Ebook Loc 237-240.
(32) Lewis, Pretrib Evidence, 218.
(33) Ice, Rapture in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, no pages.
(34) Matthew 2:22, 4:24, 5:30, 8:18-19, 21, 32-33, 9:7, 10:5, 13:25, 28, 46, 14:15-16, 16:4, 21, 18:30, 19:22, 20:5, 21:29-30, 22:5, 22, 25:10, 18, 25, 46, 26:36, 42, 44, 27:5, 60, 28:8, 10, Mark 1:20, 35, 42, 3:13, 5:17, 20, 24, 6:27, 32, 36-37, 46, 7:24, 30, 8:13, 9:43, 10:22, 11:4, 12:12, 14:10, 12, 39, 16:13, Luke 1:23, 38, 2:15, 5:13-14, 25, 7:24, 8:31, 37, 39, 9:57, 59, 60, 10:30, 17:23, 19:32, 22:4, 13, 24:12, 24, John 4:3, 8, 28, 47, 5:15, 6:1, 22, 66, 68, 9:7, 11, 10:40, 11:28, 46, 54, 12:19, 36, 16:7 (x2), 18:6, 20:10, Acts 4:15, 5:26, 9:17, 10:7, 16:39, 23:32, 28:29, Romans 15:28, Galatians 1:17, James 1:24, Jude 1:7, Revelation 9:12, 10:9, 11:14, 12:17, 16:2, 18:14, 21:1, 4
(35) Woods, The Falling Away, Ebook Loc 158.
(36) Josephus. Jewish War 7.82.
Viewable online:
(37) Josephus. Jewish War 7.164.
Viewable online:
(38) Josephus. Life 43.
Viewable online:
(39) Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
Viewable online:
(40) Marriam-Webster, 2019, via IOS app.

A Dictionary of the First, or Oldest Words in the English Language, John Camden Hotten, Piccadilly; London, 1862

Carson, D.A. Exegetical Fallacies. Second Edition. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1996-1999.

Feinberg, Paul D. When the Trumpet Sounds. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 1995.
His chapter also viewable online:
Gundry, Robert H. The Church and the Great Tribuation. Epub Edition, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2010.

House, H. Wayne. When the Trumpet Sounds. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 1995.

Ice, Thomas, The Departure in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Research Paper, Tom's Perspectives.
Viewable online:
Ice, Thomas, The Rapture in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Research Paper, Posted on Rapture Ready.
Viewable online:
Lewis, Gordon R. Biblical Evidence for Pretribulationism. Bibliotheca Sacra, vol. 125, no. 499, 1968.

Louw, J.P. Semantics of New Testament Greek. Philadelphia: Fortress, Chico: Scholars Press, 1982.

Walvoord, John. The Blessed Hope and the Tribulation. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1973.

Woods, Andy. The Falling Away. Taos, New Mexico: Dispensational Publishing House, Inc., 2018.

We Are Not Appointed to Wrath

The Timing of the Rapture

The Testimony and Parables of Jesus

Does apostasia in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 refer to the rapture?

The Church Not Found In Revelation

The Resurrection

1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11, New Doctrine or Just a Clarification?

Who Escapes What in Revelation 3:10?

Imminence Refuted

John 14 - In My Fathers House

Harpazo the Greek Word for Rapture

Behold! I tell you what mystery means

The Dead in Christ & Tribulation Saints

Andy Woods

Revelation is NOT Chronological

Is the Holy Spirit the Restrainer?

What I believe - Day of the Lord Timeline

Understanding Zechariah 14

Blasted Hope or Blessed Hope?

Understanding Greek Pronouns and Their Importance

The Comfort Given by Paul

The Rapture in Revelation 7, Part 1

The Rapture in Revelation 7, Part 2

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