A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

That we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men, for not all have faith

In addition, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen and guard you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to God’s love and Christ’s endurance. Now we command you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from every brother or sister who is idle and does not live according to the tradition received from us. (2 Thessalonians 3:1-6, CSB)

Here is a commentary on this passage, from Barnes’ Notes on the Bible:

And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men — That is, from opposition in their endeavors to spread the gospel. Paul encountered such men everywhere, as all do who labor to diffuse the knowledge of the truth, but it is probable that there is particular reference here to the opposition which he encountered when in Corinth. This opposition arose mainly from the Jews; see Acts 18:5-6, Acts 18:12-13. The word “unreasonable” is rendered in the margin as “absurd.” The Greek word (ἀτόπος atopos) means, properly, “out of place;” then “absurd, unusual, strange; then improper, unreasonable, wicked.” It is rendered in Luke 23:41 as “amiss;” in Acts 28:6 as “harm.” It does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament. It refers here to people who acted amiss or improperly; people who were not found in the right place, or who did not have the right views of things; and probably does not refer so much to their being positively wicked or malicious, as “to their putting things out of their proper place.” 

And wicked men — Men with bad aims and purposes. It is not always true that those who would come under the appellation of what the apostle here calls “unreasonable,” are wicked. They are sometimes well-meaning, but misguided people. But in this case, it seems, they were men of bad character, who were at heart opposed to what was good, as well as inclined to put things out of their place.

For all men have not faith — Of the truth of this, no one can doubt. … The connection seems to require us to understand it as meaning that all people are not prepared to embrace the gospel. Hence, they set themselves against it, and from such people Paul prayed that he might be delivered; compare 2 Timothy 3:8. 

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