1sn There will be false teachers among you. Peter uses the same verb, γίνομαι (ginomai), in 2 Pet 2:1 as he had used in 1:20 to describe the process of inspiration. He may well be contrasting, by way of a catchword, the two kinds of prophets.

2tn Grk “who”; verse 1 is one sentence in Greek, the second half constituting a relative clause.

3sn By the use of the future tense (will infiltrate), Peter is boldly prophesying the role that false teachers will have before these Gentile believers. It was necessary for him to establish both his own credentials and to anchor his audience’s faith in the written Word before he could get to this point, for these false teachers will question both.

4tn Grk “will bring in,” often with the connotation of secretiveness; “your midst” is implied.

5tn Or “destructive opinions,” “destructive viewpoints.” The genitive ἀπωλείας (apwleia") could be taken either attributively (“destructive”) or as a genitive of destination (“leading to destruction”). Although the preferable interpretation is a genitive of destination, especially because of the elaboration given at the end of the verse (“bringing swift destruction on themselves”), translating it attributively is less cumbersome in English. Either way, the net result is the same.

6tn Grk “even.” The καί (kai) is ascensive, suggesting that the worst heresy is mentioned in the words that follow.

7tn Grk “bringing.” The present participle ἐπάγοντες (epagonte") indicates the result of the preceding clause.

8tn “Debauched lifestyles” is literally “licentiousnesses,” “sensualities,” “debaucheries.”

9tn Grk “because of whom,” introducing a subordinate clause to the first part of the verse.

10tn Or “blasphemed,” “reviled,” “treated with contempt.”

11tn Grk “to whom,” introducing a subordinate relative clause.

12tn Grk “the ancient judgment.”

13tn Grk “is not idle.”

14tn Greek has “and their.” As introducing a synonymous parallel, it is superfluous in English.

15tn The participle ἁμαρτησάντων (Jamarthsantwn) could either be attributive (“who sinned”) or adverbial (“when they sinned”). The relation to the judgment of the false teachers in v. 3 suggests that the objects of God’s judgment are not in question, but the time frame for the execution of justice is. If the participle is taken temporally, the point of comparison is not as acute. The objection that the illustrations following (the flood, Sodom and Gomorrah) are viewed temporally does not mitigate this translation, for in both instances only the time of executing judgment is in view. Further, in both instances the OT notes that God withheld punishment for a long time.

16tn Grk “casting them into Tartarus” or “holding them captive in Tartarus.” This verb, ταρταρόω (tartarow), occurs only here in the NT, but its meaning is clearly established in both Hellenistic and Jewish literature. “Tartarus [was] thought of by the Greeks as a subterranean place lower than Hades where divine punishment was meted out, and so regarded in Israelite apocalyptic as well” (BDAG 991 s.v.). Grammatically, it has been translated as an indicative because it is an attendant circumstance participle.

17tn Grk “handed them over.”

18tc The reading σειραῖς (seirai", “chains”) is found in 72 P Ψ 33 1739 ¤ vg sy, while σιροῖς (sirois [or σειροῖς, seirois], “pits”) is found in א A B C 81 pc. The evidence is thus fairly evenly divided. Internally, the reading adopted here (σειραῖς) is a rarer term, perhaps prompting some scribes to replace it with the more common word. However, this more common term is not a synonym and hence does not follow the normal pattern of scribes. As well, the use of the genitive ζόφου (zofou) in “chains of darkness” is a bit awkward (a rare genitive of place), perhaps prompting some scribes to change the imagery to “pits of darkness” (in which case ζόφου is an attributive genitive). A further point that complicates the issue is the relationship of 2 Peter to Jude. Jude’s parallel (v. 6) has δεσμοῖς (desmois, “chains”). Apart from the issue of whether 2 Peter used Jude or Jude used 2 Peter, this parallel suggests one of two possibilities: either (1) since these two books obviously have a literary relationship, σειραῖς is original, or (2) early scribes, recognizing that these two books shared their material, changed σειροῖς to σειραῖς to conform the wording, at least conceptually, to Jude 6. On balance, σειραῖς looks to be original because scribes were not prone to harmonize extensively between books other than the Gospels (although 2 Peter and Jude do display some of this harmonizing). Further, such harmonization is often, if not usually, verbally exact, but δεσμοῖς is not a variant here.

19tn The genitive ζόφου (zofou) is taken as a genitive of place. See previous note for discussion.

20tn “Along with seven others” is implied in the cryptic, “the eighth, Noah.” A more literal translation thus would be, “he did protect Noah [as] the eighth…”

21tn Grk “he”; the referent (God) has been repeated here for clarity, although this is somewhat redundant with the beginning of v. 4.

22tn Grk “a world of the ungodly.”

23tc Several important witnesses omit καταστροφῇ (katastrofh, “destruction”; such as 72* B C* 1241 1739 1881 pc), but this is probably best explained as an accidental omission due to homoioarcton (the word following is κατέκρινεν [katekrinen, “he condemned”]).

tn Or “ruin,” or “extinction.” The first part of this verse more literally reads “And [if] he condemned to annihilation the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, by turning them to ashes.”

sn The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is detailed in Gen 18:16—19:29.

24tn The perfect participle τεθεικώς (teqeikw") suggests an antecedent act. More idiomatically, the idea seems to be, “because he had already appointed them to serve as an example.”

25tn “To serve as” is not in Greek but is implied in the object-complement construction.

26tn Grk “an example of the things coming to the ungodly,” or perhaps “an example to the ungodly of coming [ages].”

27tn Or “unprincipled.”

28tn This verse more literally reads “And [if] he rescued righteous Lot, who was deeply distressed by the lifestyle of the lawless in [their] debauchery.”

29tn Grk “that righteous man tormented his righteous soul.”

30tn Grk “by lawless deeds, in seeing and hearing [them].”

31tn The Greek is one long conditional sentence, from v. 4 to v. 10a. 2áPet 2:4-8 constitute the protasis; vv. 9 and 10a, the apodosis. In order to show this connection more clearly, a resumptive summary protasis – “if so,” or “if God did these things” – is needed in English translation.

32tn Grk “from trial,” or possibly “from temptation” (though this second meaning for πειρασμός (peirasmo") does not fit the context in which Noah and Lot are seen as in the midst of trials, not temptation).

33tn The adverbial participle κολαζομένους (kolazomenou") can refer either to contemporaneous time or subsequent time. At stake is the meaning of the following prepositional phrase (at the day of judgment or until the day of judgment). If the participle is contemporaneous, the idea is “to keep the ungodly in a state of punishment until the day of judgment.” If subsequent, the meaning is “to keep the ungodly to be punished at the day of judgment.” Many commentators/translations opt for the first view, assuming that the present participle cannot be used of subsequent time. However, the present participle is the normal one used for result, and is often used of purpose (cf., e.g., for present participles suggesting result, Mark 9:7; Luke 4:15; John 5:18; Eph 2:15; 2 Pet 2:1, mentioned above; for present participles indicating purpose, note Luke 10:25; John 12:33; Acts 3:26; 2 Pet 2:10 [as even most translations render it]). Further, the context supports this: 2:1-10 forms something of an inclusio, in which the final end of the false teachers is mentioned specifically in v. 1, then as a general principle in v. 9. The point of v. 3 – that the punishment of the false teachers is certain, even though the sentence has not yet been carried out, is underscored by a participle of purpose in v. 9.

34tn Grk “those who go after the flesh in [its] lust.”

35tn There is no “and” in Greek; it is supplied for the sake of English convention.

36tn The translation takes βλασφημοῦντες (blasfhmounte") as an adverbial participle of purpose, as most translations do. However, it is also possible to see this temporally (thus, “they do not tremble when they blaspheme”).

37tn Δόξας (doxas) almost certainly refers to angelic beings rather than mere human authorities, though it is difficult to tell whether good or bad angels are in view. Verse 11 seems to suggest that wicked angels is what the author intends.

38tn Grk “whereas.”

39tn Grk “who are greater in strength and power.” What is being compared, however, could either be the false teachers or “the glorious ones,” in which case “angels” would refer to good angels and “the glorious ones” to evil angels.

40tn Or “insulting.” The word comes from the same root as the term found in v. 10 (“insult”), v. 12 (“insulting”), and v. 2 (“will be slandered”). The author is fond of building his case by the repetition of a word in a slightly different context so that the readers make the necessary connection. English usage cannot always convey this connection because a given word in one language cannot always be translated the same way in another.

41tc ‡ Some witnesses lack παρὰ κυρίῳ (para kuriw; so A Ψ 33 81 1505 1881 2464 al vg co), while others have the genitive παρὰ κυρίου (para kuriou; so 72 1241 al syph,h**). The majority of witnesses (including א B C P 1739 ¤) read the dative παρὰ κυρίῳ. The genitive expression suggests that angels would not pronounce a judgment on “the glorious ones” from the Lord, while the dative indicates that angels would not pronounce a judgment on “the glorious ones” in the presence of the Lord. The parallel in Jude 9 speaks of a reviling judgment against the devil in which the prepositional phrase is entirely absent. At the same time, in that parallel Michael does say, “The Lord rebuke you.” (Hence, he is offering something of a judgment from the Lord.) The best options externally are the dative or the omission of the phrase, but a decision is difficult. Internally, the omission may possibly be a motivated reading in that it finds a parallel in Jude 9 (where no prepositional phrase is used). All things considered, the dative is to be preferred, though with much reservation.

42tn 2 Pet 2:12 through 16 constitute one cumbersome sentence in Greek. It is difficult to tell whether a hard break belongs in the middle of v. 13, as the translation has it, or whether the compounding of participles is meant in a loosely descriptive sort of way, without strong grammatical connection. Either way, the sentence rambles in a way that often betrays a great “vehemence of spirit” (A. T. Robertson, Grammar, 435). The author is obviously agitated at these false teachers who are to come.

43tn The false teachers could conceivably be men or women, but in v. 14 they are said to have eyes “full of an adulteress.” This can only refer to men. Hence, both here and in v. 17 the false teachers are described as “men.”

44tn Grk “born for capture and destruction.”

45tn Grk “with [reference to] whom.”

46tn There is no conjunction joining this last clause of v. 12 to the preceding (i.e., no “and consequently”). The argument builds asyndetically (a powerful rhetorical device in Greek), but cannot be naturally expressed in English as such.

47tn This cryptic expression has been variously interpreted. (1) It could involve a simple cognate dative in which case the idea is “they will be utterly destroyed.” But the presence of αὐτῶν (autwn; their, of them) is problematic for this view. Other, more plausible views are: (2) the false teachers will be destroyed at the same time as the irrational beasts, or (3) in the same manner as these creatures (i.e., by being caught); or (4) the false teachers will be destroyed together with the evil angels whom they insult. Because of the difficulties of the text, it was thought best to leave it ambiguous, as the Greek has it.

48tn There is a play on words in Greek, but this is difficult to express adequately in English. The verb ἀδικέω (adikew) as a passive means “to suffer harm,” or “to suffer an injustice.” The noun ἀδικία (adikia) means “unrighteousness.” Since the Greek verb has a wider field of meaning than the English, to translate it as suffer an injustice is unwarranted, for it implicitly attributes evil to God. As R. Bauckham notes, “in English it is impossible to translate ἀδικούμενοι as a morally neutral term and ἀδικίας with a morally pejorative term, while retaining the play on words” (Jude, 2 Peter [WBC], 265).

49tn Grk “considering carousing in the daytime a pleasure.”

50tn Or “carousing,” “reveling.” The participle ἐντρυφῶντες (entrufwnte") is a cognate to the noun τρυφή (trufh, “carousing”) used earlier in the verse.

51tn Grk “having eyes.” See note on “men” at the beginning of v. 12.

52tn Grk “full of an adulteress.”

53tn Grk “and unceasing from sin.” Some translate this “insatiable for sin,” but such a translation is based on a textual variant with inadequate support.

54tn Grk “enticing.” See note on “men” at the beginning of v. 12.

55tn “People” is literally “souls.” The term ψυχή (yuch) can refer to one’s soul, one’s life, or oneself.

56tn Grk “having hearts trained in greediness, children of cursing.” The participles continue the general description of the false teachers, without strong grammatical connection. The genitive κατάρας (kataras, “of cursing”) is taken attributively here.

57tn Although many modern translations (e.g., NASB, TEV, NIV, CEV, NLT) read “Beor” here, this is due to harmonization with the OT rather than following a variant textual reading. The Greek text of NA27 reads “Bosor,” an otherwise unattested form of the name of Balaam’s father.

58tn “Wages of unrighteousness” in Greek is the same expression found in v. 13, “wages for harmful ways.” The repetition makes the link between the false teachers and Balaam more concrete.

59tn Grk “but he had a rebuke.”

60tn The Greek word ἄφωνος (afwno") means “mute, silent” or “incapable of speech.” For reasons of English style the word “dumb” was used in the translation. Despite the potential for misunderstanding (since “dumb” can refer to a lack of intellectual capability) more dynamic glosses were judged to be inelegant.

61tn Grk “a voice of a (man/person).”

62sn Balaam’s activities are detailed in Num 22—24 (see also Num 31:8, 16).

63tn Although some translations have simply “these” or “these people,” since in v. 14 they are described as having eyes “full of an adulteress,” men are in view.

64tn Grk “utter darkness of darkness.” Verse 4 speaks of wicked angels presently in “chains of utter darkness,” while the final fate of the false teachers is a darker place still.

65tn Grk “high-sounding words of futility.”

66tn Grk “they entice.”

67tn Grk “with the lusts of the flesh, with debauchery.”

68tn Grk “those.”

69tn Or “those who are barely escaping.”

70tn Or “deceit.”

71tn Verse 19 is a subordinate clause in Greek. The masculine nominative participle “promising” (ἐπαγγελλόμενοι, epangellomenoi) refers back to the subject of vv. 17-18. At the same time, it functions subordinately to the following participle, ὑπάρχοντες (Juparconte", “while being”).

72tn Grk “them.”

73tn Grk “slaves of.” See the note on the word “slave” in 1:1.

74tn Or “corruption,” “depravity.” Verse 19 constitutes a subordinate clause to v. 18 in Greek. The main verbal components of these two verses are: “uttering…they entice…promising…being (enslaved).” The main verb is (they) entice. The three participles are adverbial and seem to indicate an instrumental relation (by uttering), a concessive relation (although promising), and a temporal relation (while being [enslaved]). For the sake of English usage, in the translation of the text this is broken down into two sentences.

75tn Grk “for by what someone is overcome, to this he is enslaved.”

76tn Grk “defilements”; “contaminations”; “pollutions.”

77sn Through the rich knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The implication is not that these people necessarily knew the Lord (in the sense of being saved), but that they were in the circle of those who had embraced Christ as Lord and Savior.

78tn Grk “(and/but) they.”

79tn Grk “they again, after becoming entangled in them, are overcome by them.”

80tn Grk “the [statement] of the true proverb has happened to them.” The idiom in Greek cannot be translated easily in English.

81tn The quotation is a loose rendering of Prov 26:11. This proverb involves a participle that is translated like a finite verb (“returns”). In the LXX this line constitutes a subordinate and dependent clause. But since the line has been lifted from its original context, it has been translated as an independent statement.

82tn Or “after being washed.” The middle verb may be direct (“wash oneself”) or permissive (“allow oneself to be washed”).

83tn The source of this quotation is uncertain. Heraclitus has often been mentioned as a possible source, but this is doubtful. Other options on the translation of the second line include a sow, having (once) bathed herself (in mud), (returns) to wallowing in the mire, or a sow that washes herself by wallowing in the mire (BDAG 181 s.v. βόρβορος). The advantage of this last translation is that no verbs need to be supplied for it to make sense. The disadvantage is that in this context it does not make any contribution to the argument. Since the source of the quotation is not known, there is some guesswork involved in the reconstruction. Most commentators prefer a translation similar to the one in the text above.