An Argument Of The Book Of 2 PeterRelated Media
Peter Writes To Exhort His Readers Not To Be Influenced By The Coming False Teachers Who Deny That The Lord Will Return To Judge Those Who Do Evil But To Grow In God’s Provision And The Apostolic Truth Of Jesus Christ’s Future Coming
I. INTRODUCTION--SALUTATION AND PRAYER: Simeon Peter, the apostle and servant of Jesus Christ, writes to fellow believers and prays that they may receive grace and peace in the knowledge of God and of Jesus their Lord seeing that God has provided them everything pertaining to life and godliness through knowledge of Christ by His greatness and excellence 1:1-4
A. Address and Salutation: This letter is written by Simeon Peter, an apostle and servant of Jesus Christ, to fellow believers 1:1-2
1. Author: This letter is written from Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ 1:1a
2. Recipients: This letter was written by Simeon Peter to fellow believers (those who have a faith which through the justice of their God and Saviour Jesus Christ is of equal privilege with Peter’s and those with him)1 1:1b
B. Blessing/Theme--God Has Provided for Life: Peter prays that his readers may receive grace and peace in the knowledge of God and of Jesus their Lord seeing that God has provided them everything pertaining to life and godliness through knowledge of Christ by His greatness and excellence 1:2-4
1. Prayer: Peter prays that his readers may receive grace and peace in the knowledge2 of God and of Jesus their Lord 3:2
2. Theme--God Has Provided Everything For Life: Peter affirms that God has granted his readers everything pertaining to life and godliness through knowledge of Christ by His greatness and excellence 3:3-4
a. Seeing God’s Provision for Life: Peter prays that grace and peace might be multiplied to his readers in the knowledge of God as they see that his divine power has granted to them everything pertaining to life and godliness through the true knowledge ( ἐπιγνώσεως ) of Him who called them by His own glory and excellence 1:3
b. Promises--To Partake in Life: By God’s glory and excellence He has granted to believers His precious and magnificent promises in order that ( ἵνα ) believers might become partakers of life (the divine nature) having escaped death (the corruption that is in the world by Lust 1:4
II. EXHORTATION:3 In view of God’s provision of everything for life Peter urges, and will continue to urge, his readers to supplement their faith with diligent growth in the apostolic truth and refutes the objections to their teaching concerning the Lord’s return by false teachers because he and the other apostles did not follow myths but were eye witnesses of that future coming and hold to the prophetic word which is Spirit inspired and thus authoritative 1:5-21
A. Summary Exhortation: In view of God’s provision of everything for life Peter urges his readers to supplement their faith with diligent growth because this will prevent them from experiencing spiritual loss and enable them to have spiritual success in their lives 1:5-11
1. Supplement One’s Faith: Because God has provided everything for life, Peter urges his readers to apply all diligence in their faith to supplement it with the following characteristics (moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love): 1:5-7
a. Exhortation: Because ( καὶ αὐτὸ τοῦτο δέ ) God has provided everything for life (vv. 3-4 above), Peter urges his readers to apply all diligence in their faith to supplement it 1:5a
b. Moral Excellence: Peter urges his readers to supply (ἐπιχορηγήσατε )4 moral excellence ( τὴν ἀρετήν ) 1:5b
c. Knowledge: Peter urges his readers to supply to their moral excellence knowledge ( γνῶσιν ) 1:5c
d. Self-Control: Peter urges his readers to supply to their knowledge self-control ( ἐγκράτειαν ) 1:6a
e. Perseverance: Peter urges readers to supply to their self-control perseverance ( ὑπομονήν ) 1:6b
f. Godliness: Peter urges his readers to supply to their perseverance godliness ( εὑσέβειαν ) 1:6c
g. Brotherly Kindness: Peter urges his readers to supply to their godliness brotherly kindness ( φιλαδελφίαν ) 1:7a
h. Love: Peter urges his readers to supply to their brotherly kindness love ( τήν ἀγάπην ) 1:7b
2. Reason--Spiritual Success: The reason Peter urges his readers to supplement their faith with diligent growth is because this will prevent them from experiencing spiritual loss, and enable them to have spiritual success in their lives 1:8-11
a. Negatively: Peter urges his readers to supplement their faith because without such growth they will be useless, unfruitful, and blind with spiritual amnesia 1:8-9
1) Useless and Unfruitful: The reason Peter urges his readers to supplement their faith is because ( γὰρ ) without such growth they will be useless and unfruitful in the “true knowledge” ( ἐπιγνωσιν ) of God 1:8
2) Blind and with Spiritual Amnesia: The reason urges his readers to supplement their faith is because without such growth they will be blinded with spiritual amnesia 1:9
b. Positively: Peter concludes that his readers should therefore pursue their spiritual growth as he has described above because this will provide spiritual assurance of their relationship with God, this will keep them from stumbling in their daily lives, and this will enable them to be triumphantly received by God into their future home--the Kingdom 1:10-11
1) Assurance: Peter concludes that his readers should therefore ( διὸ ) pursue their spiritual growth, as he has described above, because this will provide experiential assurance concerning their relationship with God 1:10a
2) Not Stumble: Peter concludes that his readers should therefore pursue their spiritual growth as he has described above because this growth will keep them from stumbling in their daily lives 1:10b
3) Triumphantly Received by God: Peter concludes that his readers should therefore pursue their spiritual growth as he has described above because with such growth they will be triumphantly received by God into their future home--the Kingdom 1:11
B. Occasion--Peter’s Testament:5 Because of the benefits connected with the readers supplementing their faith with diligent growth, Peter affirms that he is going to continually arouse them with a reminder of the truth, even though he will soon die, and that he will do his best to see that after his death his readers will be able to recall these things at all times 1:12-15
1. A Present Reminder: Because ( Διὸ ) of the benefits connected with supplementing their faith with diligent growth (1:3-11) Peter affirms that he is going to continually arouse his readers with a reminder of the (apostolic) truth which they already are established in knowing that he will soon die as their Lord Jesus Christ informed him6 1:12-14
C. Replies to Two Objections:9 Peter explains that he and the other apostles did not follow myths about the Lord’s return but were eye witnesses of that future coming, and hold to the prophetic word which is Spirit inspired and thus authoritative 1:16-21
1. Replies to Objection-I about the Lord’s Future Return: Peter explains that he and the other apostles did not follow cleverly concocted myths when they made known to the readers the future coming of the Lord Jesus in Power but were eye witnesses of that future coming on the Mount of Transfiguration and hold to the prophetic word as the readers also should 1:16-19
a. First Reply to Objection I--Apostolic Eyewitness: Peter explains that he and the other apostles did not follow cleverly concocted myths when they made known to the readers the future coming of the Lord Jesus in Power but were eye witnesses of that future coming on the Mount of Transfiguration 1:16-18
1) The Future Coming of Jesus Is Not a Myth: Peter explains that he and the other apostles did not follow cleverly concocted myths when they made known to the readers the coming of their Lord Jesus Christ in Power 1:16a
2) The Apostles Saw His Future Coming:10 In contrast to a myth about the future coming of the Lord Jesus Peter explains they the apostles (we)11 were eyewitnesses of Jesus’ majesty when the Father bestowed honor and glory upon Him and they heard the Father’s voice on the Mount (of Transfiguration)12 when He proclaimed Jesus to be His Son (Davidic)13 with Whom He was well pleased (Servant)14 1:16b-18
b. Second Reply to Objection I--The Value of OT Prophesy: In addition Peter explains that he and the other apostles did not follow cleverly concocted myths when they made known to the readers the coming of their Lord Jesus Christ in Power because they place firm reliance on the prophetic word which he also urges the readers to attend to as they would to a lamp shining in a murky place until the day dawns and the morning star rises in their hearts15 1:19
2. Replies to Objection II--The Inspiration of OT Prophecy: Peter argues against those who would deny the Lord’s coming on the basis of the lack of prophetic authority by affirming that his readers need to understand that no prophecy of Scripture was derived from the prophet’s own interpretation because prophecy never came by the will of man, but by men impelled by the Holy Spirit 1:20-21
a. No Prophecy Was the Prophet’s Interpretation:16 Arguing against those who would deny the Lord’s coming on the basis of prophecy because some would reject its authority, Peter affirms that above all his readers must understand that no prophecy of Scripture derives from the prophet’s (one’s own) interpretation17 1:20
b. Reason--Prophets Were Spirit Enabled: The reason Peter affirms that no prophecy of Scripture derives from the prophets own interpretation is because ( γὰρ ) prophecy never came by the impulse (will) of man, but men impelled by the Holy Spirit ( ὐπὸ πνεύματος ἀγίου φερόμενοι ) spoke from God 1:21
III. WARNINGS AGAINST FALSE TEACHERS:18 Peter predicts that just as there were false teachers during the time of the OT prophets, there will be false teachers in the future who will initiate evil like denying the certainty of a future judgment, but Peter affirms that a future judgment will certainly come and that the false teachers will be judged at that time for their evil 2:1-22
A. Peter’s Prediction of False Teachers:19 Peter predicts that just as there were false teachers during the time of the prophets so will their be false teachers in the future who will initiate evil and effect many others with their evil 2:1-3a
1. False Teachers in the Past: Peter affirms that there were false teachers among the people (during the times of the prophets, [1:20 above]) 2:1a
2. False Teachers in the Future: Peter predicts that false teachers will be among his readers who will initiate evil (insinuate heresies, deny the master who bought them, and bring swift destruction upon themselves) and will bring about evil (many will follow their dissolute practices, the truth will be maligned, and many of the readers will be exploited)
a. False Teachers Will Be Among the Readers:Peter affirms that just as false teachers existed in the OT so is it that they will be ( ε῎σονται ) among the readers 2:1b
b. The Evil of the False Teachers: Peter affirms that the false teachers who will be among his readers will insinuate heresies, deny the Master who bought them, and bring swift destruction upon themselves 2:1c-e
1) Insinuate Heresies: Peter affirms that the false teachers who will be among his readers will insinuate heresies that lead to destruction 2:1c
2) Deny the Master: Peter affirms that the false teachers who will be among his readers will deny the Master who bought them ( τόν αγοράσαντα αὐτοὺς δεσπότην)20 2:1d
3) Bring Self-Destruction: Peter affirms that the false teachers who will be among his readers will bring swift destruction upon themselves 2:1e
c. The Effects of the False Teachers: Peter affirms that the effects of the false teachers will be that many will follow their dissolute practices, the truth will be maligned, and that many of the readers will be exploited 2:2-3
1) Many Will Follow: Peter affirms that many will follow the dissolute practices (sensuality) of the false teachers 2:2a
2) The Truth Will Be Maligned: Peter affirms that the way of truth will be maligned (βλασφημηθήσεται) because of the false teachers 2:2b
3) Exploit the Readers: Peter affirms that in their greed the false teachers will exploit the readers with fabricated arguments 2:3
B. Reply to an Objection--The Certainty of Judgment:21 Denying the assertion of the false teachers that there will not be an eschatological judgment, Peter affirms that God is not idle, asserts a basis for future judgment in the patterns of His judgment upon the angels, the ancient world and Sodom & Gomorrah, and concludes that He is well able to rescue the godly from trial and yet to keep the wicked to be punished at the day of judgment 2:3b-10a
1. A Denial That No Eschatological Judgment Is Coming: Denying the assertion of the false teachers that there will not be an eschatological judgment,22 Peter affirms that the condemnation pronounced on them long ago is not idle and that their destruction is not asleep23 2:3b
2. Basis for the Denial:24 Peter provides a basis for future judgment in the example of God’s judgment of angels, the ancient world, and Sodom and Gomorrah for their evil 2:4-8
a. The Judgment of Angels: Peter provides a basis for future judgment in the example of God’s judgment of the angles when they sin in that he cast them into hell and committed them to fetters of nether darkness25 to be kept until the (eschatological)26 judgment 2:4
b. The Judgment of the Ancient World: Peter provides a basis for future judgment in the example of God’s judgment of the ancient world27 when He brought the deluge on the world of ungodly people only to preserve Noah, the eighth person28--a preacher of righteousness29 2:5
c. The Cities of Sodom and Gomorrah: Peter provides a basis for future judgment in the example of God’s judgment and of Sodom and Gomorrah as well as his rescue of the righteous Lot who was daily tormented by the evil behavior of the lawless 2:6-8
1) God Judged and Condemned Sodom and Gomorrah As An Example: Peter provides a basis for future judgment in the example of God’s judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes30 and his condemnation of them to extinction making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly 2:6
2) God Delivered Righteous Lot: Peter notes that God did rescue the righteous man Lot31 who was daily distressed by the dissolute, unlawful behavior of the lawless 2:7-8
3. Conclusion--Future Judgment: Peter affirms that if God was able to bring about judgment upon angels, the ancient world, and Sodom & Gomorrah, then He is well able to rescue the godly from trial and yet to keep the wicked to be punished at the day of judgment--especially those who in polluting lust indulge the flesh and flout the authority of the Lord32 2:9-10a
C. Denunciation of False Teachers: Peter denounces the false teachers as being fearless in their renunciation of angelic majesties, as being like unreasoning animals who will perish, and as being deceptive and disappointing to their followers causing the darkness of judgment to await them 2:10b-22
1. Revile Angelic Majesties: Peter affirms that these false teachers are reckless and headstrong people who are not afraid to insult (βλασφημοῦντες ) the glorious ones33 where as angles, although they are greater in strength and power (than the false teachers), do not use insults when pronouncing judgment on them from the Lord 2:10b-11
2. Like Unreasoning Animals: Peter proclaims that these false teachers are like animals of mere instinct who are ignorant of those whom they insult and will perish, when the evil angels are destroyed, as they suffer harm in reward for the harm they have done 2:12-16
a. Animals of Mere Instinct: Peter proclaims that in contrast to angels ( δὲ ) these false teachers are like unreasoning animals which are born of mere instinct to be caught and destroyed 2:12a
b. Ignorant: Peter proclaims that the false teachers are like animals in that they are ignorant of those whom they insult 2:12b
c. Will Perish: Peter proclaims that when the evil angels are destroyed the false teachers themselves will also perish in the same destruction as they suffer harm in reward for the harm (below) they have done (self-indulgence, pollute worship, adulterous lust, ensnare people, follow the way of Balaam) 2:12c-15
1) Statement: Peter proclaims that when they evil angels (wild animals)34 are destroyed the false teachers themselves will also perish in the same destruction as they suffer harm in reward for the harm they had done 2:12c-13a
3) Reason II--Pollute Worship: Peter explains that these false teachers will suffer harm because they are spots and blemishes37 indulging in their deceitful pleasures while they feast with the readers38 2:13c
4) Reason III--Full of Adulterous Lust: Peter explains that these false teachers will suffer harm because their eyes are full of adulterous lust and are always on the lookout for sin39 2:14a
6) Reaffirmation of Judgment: Peter reaffirms that these false teachers are always under God’s curse (children of a curse) 2:14c
7) Reason V--Followed the Way of Balaam:43 Peter explains that these false teachers will suffer harm because they have left the straight way44 and followed the way of Balaam the son of Basor45 who loved wrong doing but was rebuked for his offense by a dumb ass who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness46 2:15-16
3. Deceptive and Disappointing for Whom Darkness Awaits: Peter describes these false teachers as deceptive and disappointing (as those who offer life to their followers) and darkness has been reserved for them because they enslave new believers with false promises of no future judgment 2:17-22
b. They Ensnare New Believers with Lies: Peter affirms that the nether gloom of darkness has been reserved for the false teachers because they ensnare new believers promising them freedom from future judgment even though they do not have freedom from judgment because they are in a worse state through their rejection of the gospel than before they heard the gospel
1) Statement--Darkness is Reserved for Them: Peter affirms that the nether gloom of darkness has been reserved for the false teachers 2:17b
2) Reason--They Ensnare People: Peter explains that the reason darkness has been reserved for the false teachers is because they ensnare new believers promising them freedom from future judgment even though they do not have freedom from judgment because they are in a worse state through their rejection of the gospel than before they heard the gospel 2:18-21
a) They Ensnare People: The reason ( γὰρ ) darkness has been reserved for the false teachers is because they ensnare people who are only just escaping from those who live in error49 by their high-flown empty talk with lusts of the flesh and dissolute practices50 2:18
b) Promise Freedom, But Do Not Have It: Peter affirms that the false teachers promise their victims freedom (from judgment),51 but they themselves are slaves of corruption (judgment)52 because “a man becomes the slave of him who overpowers him”53 2:19
c) Reason--They Are In a Worse State: Peter explains ( γὰρ ) that the false teachers do not have freedom from future judgment because “their final state has become worse than their first”54 since they once escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, but are again entangled in them and overpowered by them55 2:20
d) Reason--Turned Away from the Way of Righteousness: Peter explains ( γὰρ ) that they are in a worse state than at first because it would have been better for them never to have come to know the way of righteousness than to have known it and then to have turned away from it (the holy commandment56 which was delivered to them) 2:21
e) Explanation--Return to What They Have Rejected: Peter explains that the false teachers have demonstrated their nature in that they have returned to what was rejected as in the proverbs, “a dog which returns to its vomit”57 and “a sow which after washing returns to wallow in the mire”58 2:22
IV. REMINDERS: Peter reminds his readers to hold to the prophetic/apostolic truth concerning the coming of the Lord in judgment and His ethics and he urges them to understand that although scoffers will question this in the last days, they overlook his previous sovereign intervention through His word and they forget to look from God’s perspective where his apparent delay is forbearance 3:1-10
A. Peter’s Prediction of Scoffers: Peter reminds his readers to hold to the prophetic/apostolic truth concerning the coming of the Lord and His ethics, and to understand that in the last days scoffers will question the promise of the Lord’s return since everything seems to be following a normal pattern in life 3:1-4
1. Another Reminder to Hold to the Truth: Peter writes to his readers as loved ones ( ἀγαπητοί ) stating that this is his second letter to them wherein he is arousing their sincere understanding with a reminder that they should remember the predictions (words spoken beforehand) of the holy prophets (concerning the Lord’s return)59 and the (ethical) commandment60 of the Lord and Saviour through their apostles 3:1-2
2. An Objection--The Lord Is Not Coming; God Does Not Intervene in the World: Peter exhorts his readers above all to understand that in the last days61 scoffers62 will come, scoffing, following their own lusts and saying, “Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers63 fell asleep, everything remains just as it has been since the beginning of the world”64 3:3-4
B. Two Replies to an Objection: Peter explains that when the false teachers maintain that the Lord is not coming to intervene in judgment they overlook his previous sovereign intervention through his word (which he will do again), and they forget to look from God’s perspective where his apparent delay is forbearance, but he will sovereignly intervene with a cosmic judgment of fire 3:5-10
1. Reply to an Objection---The Sovereignty of God’s Word: Peter explains that when the false teachers maintain that the Lord is not coming to intervene in judgment they overlook the fact that God intervened by commanding the creation of the earth, intervened by commanding the deluge, and will intervene by commanding future judgment of the ungodly 3:5-7
a. God Intervened By Commanding the Creation of the Earth: Peter explains ( γὰρ ) that when the false teachers maintain that the Lord is not coming to intervene in judgment they overlook the fact that long ago there were heavens and an earth created by the word of God out of water and by means of water65 3:5
b. God Intervened by Commanding the Deluge: Peter explains that when the false teachers maintain that the Lord is not coming to intervene in judgment they overlook the fact that by these (the water and God’s word) the world of that time was deluged with water and destroyed 3:6
c. God Will Intervene with Judgment: Peter explains that when the false teachers maintain that the Lord is not coming to intervene in judgment they overlook the fact that by the same word (of God) the heavens and earth which now exist have been held in store for fire and are being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly people 3:7
2. Reply II to an Objection--The Forbearance of the Lord: Peter urges his dear readers not to forget (as the false teachers do) that the Lord has a broader perspective than they, that His apparent delay is actually forbearance so that all might be saved, and that He will bring about a cosmic judgment with fire 3:8-10
a. Don’t Forget God’s Time Perspective: Peter urges his dear readers ( ἀγαπητοί )66 not to forget67 the Lord’s time perspective which is broader than theirs, namely, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years are as one day68 3:8
b. God’s Apparent Delay is Actually Forbearance: Peter explains that the Lord is not late in fulfilling the promise according to some people’s idea of lateness,69 but He is forbearing towards mankind (you) because He does not desire that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance70 3:9
c. God’s Cosmic Judgment Will Come: In contrast to God’s forbearance ( δὲ ) Peter affirms that the day of the Lord (judgment) will come like a thief (unexpectantly) and that on that day there will be a cosmic judgment of fire (the heavens will pass away with a roar,71 the heavenly bodies72 will be dissolved in the heat, and the earth and the works in it will be burned up 3:10
V. EXHORTATIONS: In view of the coming eschatological events (judgment and recreation) Peter exhorts his readers to righteous living as they strive to be ready for the Lord’s return and to regard his forbearance as salvation as Paul also affirms in his letters (even though some distort them) 3:11-16
A. Consider Righteous Living: In view of the coming judgment Peter exhorts his readers to consider righteous living which will hasten the coming of the day of judgment even though they are waiting for the new righteous creation 3:11-13
1. Exhortation to Righteous Living: In view of the coming judgment Peter exhorts his readers to consider that they need to be holy, godly in all their conduct, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God which will bring about the judgment by fire 3:11-12
2. Waiting for New Creation: In contrast to the coming judgment Peter affirms that he and his readers (we) are waiting for the new heavens and earth in which righteousness is at home73 3:13
B. Strive to be Ready for the Lord’s Return and Regard His Forbearance as Salvation: Since Peter’s readers are waiting for the eschatological hope, he exhorts them to strive to be pure and at peace when He comes and to regard God’s forbearance as salvation as Paul also affirms even though some distort his writings 3:14-16
1. Strive to Be Pure and at Peace at His Coming: Since Peter’s readers are waiting for the eschatological hope (future judgment and righteous new creation), he exhorts them to strive to be without any spot or blemish in His sight (at his coming) and to be at peace 3:14
2. Regard God’s Forbearance as Salvation: Peter exhorts his readers to regard the forbearance of their Lord as bringing about salvation 3:15a
3. Paul Also Affirms This: Peter affirms that Paul also wrote to his readers to regard God’s forbearance as bringing about salvation in accordance with the wisdom that God gave him as he does in all his letters when he speaks of these matters 3:15b-16a
4. Others Distort Paul: Peter affirms that his letters contain some things that are hard to understand which the uninstructed and unstable distort as they do with other scriptures so as to bring about their own destruction 3:16b
VI. CONCLUSION/DOXOLOGY: Peter concludes his letter by exhorting his readers to be on guard not to be influenced by these coming false teachers but to grow in grace and the knowledge of their Saviour Jesus Christ to whom belongs the glory both now and on the day of eternity 3:17-18
A. Be On Guard: Peter concludes therefore ( ου῏ν ) that since his readers know this (about the coming false teachers) they should be on their guard 3:17a
B. Purpose--Not to Fall: Peter urges his readers to be on guard against the coming false teachers in order that ( ι῞να ) they may not be carried away by the error74 of these lawless people and fall from their stable position 3:17b
C. Grow in Grace and Knowledge: In contrast to falling away under the influence of the false teachers ( δὲ ) Peter urges his readers to grow in grace (from Jesus Christ) and in the knowledge of their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ 3:18a
D. Doxology--Glory to Christ: Peter proclaims that the glory belongs to their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ both now and on the day of eternity75 3:18b
1 This could be referring to the Jewish-Gentile issue (if Peter is writing primarily to Gentiles as in 1 Peter) of comparing the apostles and the readers. The latter may be more probable since the Jewish-Gentile issue does not show itself in the rest of the letter.
2 This term, ἐπιγνώσει, probably foreshadows the issue of the entire letter. Peter wants to emphasize the apostolic knowledge (or even tradition) of the Lord which the false teachers are going to attack and he prays that they will have a full, heart felt knowledge of it.
3 Beginning with this portion of the book, the structure is chiastic:
A Exhortations (1:5-21)
B Warnings (2:1-22)
C Reminders (warnings) (3:1-11)
A’ Exhortations (3:12-17)
4 This term is used again in 1:11 where Christ will then supply entrance into the eternal kingdom for believers.
5 Bauckham writes concerning this portion of the letter that, “its position in the letter at this point is no doubt determined by its function as a transition from the positive summary for Peter’s teaching in 1:3-11, to the apologetic defense of this teaching against objections in the rest of the letter. By introducing the idea that the letter, as a testament, is intended for the period after Peter’s death, the author is able to begin dealing with objections which are being raised in his own time” (Jude, 2 Peter, 194).
6 See John 21:18ff.
7 This is the term that Luke used to describe Jesus’ death on the Mount of Transfiguration (Luke 9:31).
8 This will be done through the letter which he is writing (cf. Jude 3).
9 The sense that this is a reply to an objection is in the grammatical structure οὐ...ἀλλά or “not...but” in verse 16 (cf. also 1:21 and 3:9). While this could be rhetorical (2:4-5; 3:9b), it seems more probable that Peter is refuting the arguments of the false teachers (cf. Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter, 204-205).
10 Peter treats the experience on the Mount of Transfiguration as an eschatological foreshadowing of the Lord’s return in His glory. This correlates well with the way in which the event is set up on the gospels when for instances Matthew has Jesus state, “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom” (16:28). The next event is then the revelation on the Mount.
11 More specifically Peter, James and John.
12 Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36.
13 Second Samuel 7; Psalm 2:7.
14 Isaiah 42:1
15 This is no doubt an allusion to Numbers 24:17 “a star shall rise out of Jacob” which had a Messianic interpretation in Judaism (see also Mal. 4:2; Matt. 4:16; Luke 1:78; Rev. 2:28; 22:16). This star is a symbol for the coming of Christ which inaugurates the eschatological age.
Concerning the phrase “in your hearts” Bauckham writes, “The phrase ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν (‘in your hearts’) no longer appears surprising, once it is realized that only one specific aspect of the Parousia is being discussed, namely the Parousia as the full revelation of God to Christian believers .... The only point being made is that prophecy, as a partial revelation pointing forward to the full eschatological revelation, will become superfluous when the full revelation arrives. Naturally it will be ‘in their hearts’ that Christian believers will receive and perceive this revelation” (Jude, 2 Peter, 226). Later he adds, “He takes the opportunity briefly to indicate the value of such prophecy for his Christian readers. The lamp of prophecy lights up the darkness of this present world’s hopeless ignorance with a bright beam of hope. But just as a lamp is used during the night but becomes superfluous when dawn comes, so prophecy’s role is to give partial illumination to those whom it enables to hope for the full eschatological revelation of God. When Christians experience that full revelation at the Parousia of Jesus Christ, it will be like the daylight which dispels all the darkness of the night, and Jesus Christ himself will be like the morning star whose rising signals the dawn” (Ibid., 227).
16 There are traditionally two different ways of understanding this passage: (1) it speaks of the interpretation of prophecy in the present, or (2) it speaks of the interpretation of prophecy in the future. While both are possible, the evidence seems to lean towards the second view. While Peter could be arguing that Scriptural prophecy is not a matter of the false teachers’ interpretation, but must be in line with the meaning God intended (view one; see Blum, “2 Peter’ in EBC 12:275), it seems more probable that Peter is affirming that the prophets’ dreams and visions were not only by God but their interpretation of them was too. Bauckham writes, “This conforms to a widely accepted view of the nature of prophecy, according to which the prophet is given a sign (e.g., Amos 7:1; Jer. 1:11, 13) a dream (e.g., Zech 1:8; Dan. 7:2) or a vision (e.g., Dan 8:1), and then its interpretation. In true prophecy this interpretation is not the prophet’s own explanation of his vision, but an inspired, God-given interpretation. This it is possible that 2 Pet 1:20 counters a view which held that the prophets may have received visions, but that their prophecies, found in the OT, are only their own interpretation of the visions, mere human guesswork. This was one way of denying the divine origin of scriptural prophecy” (Jude, 2 Peter, 231; for a full discussion of the textual and contextual defense see 229-235).
17 Perhaps the false teachers are even accusing Peter and the apostles of making up their own interpretation of the events on the Mount of Transfiguration (cf. 1:16-18 above).
18 Some, such as Bauckham, affirms that Peter now depends heavily upon Jude for this portion of the letter (Jude, 2 Peter, 236-37), but this is not a necessary conclusion. Both Jude and Peter may be relying upon a similar source (see this writer’s introduction to either Jude or 2 Peter). One thing is certain, both authors speak in very similar terms and concepts, but they are crafted into their own thoughts. In addition this unit includes the predictions of the last times which is common with a final testimony (cf. Acts 20:29--30; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 4:3-4).
19 When this unit is tied to its immediate context one finds a chiastic structure which provides a correlation and contrast between the apostles (whom Peter wants his readers to follow) and the false teachers (who will try to mislead his readers):
A Apostles (1:16-18)
B OT prophets (1:19-21)
B’ OT False prophets (2:1a)
A’ False teachers (2:1b-3)
Peter makes a smooth transition from OT prophecy to false prophets of OT time. This is a movement from his defense against the opponents charges to an offense where he will make charges against the false teachers (Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter, 236).
20 Bauckham understands this description to mean that these false teachers are Christians, “2 Peter does not deny that the false teachers are Christians, but sees them as apostate Christians who have disowned their Master” (Jude, 2 Peter, 240). But this is not a necessary conclusion. This may well be a description of an unlimited atonement without also concluding that these false teachers are Christians. Christ died for them, but they have denied Him (either with respect to Christology or practical immorality. Blum writes, “In my judgment, v. 2 asserts that Christ ‘bought’ the false teachers; but this does not necessarily mean that they were saved. Salvation in the NT sense does not occur till the benefits of Christ’s work are applied to the individual by the regeneration of the Spirit and belief in the truth. To put it in other words, Christ crucified is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). Yet the wrath of God is on all sinners--elect and nonelect (John 3:36; Eph 2:3)--till the work of the Cross is applied to those who believe.
‘Bringing swift destruction on themselves’ is ‘not a simple extinction of existence...but an everlasting state of torment and death’ (TDNT, 1:397). It will be ‘swift’ because it will descend on them suddenly either at their death or at the return of the Lord” (“James” in EBC, 12:276-77).
21 Although this unit is closely tied to the previous (“on whom”), the change from the future tense to the present tense probably indicates that this is part of a new unit where Peter is describing false teachers as his own opponents in the present (cf. 3:3, 5 where this occurs in the switch to another objection; Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter, 245).
22 For a similar pattern see 3:9a.
23 These terms were often used to describe the inactivity of the gods (Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter, 148).
24 Bauckham writes, “the OT examples are more than instances which establish the general rule (v 9b) that God punishes the wicked. They are also typological prophecies of the eschatological judgment. They foreshadow the doom of the wicked of the last days, among whom the false teachers and their followers are numbered, and so in their judgment certain. If the false teachers doubt the verbal prophecies of judgment, they should consider that there have also been acted prophecies.
The details of the references to the three examples in vv 4-6 bring out their typological character. The angels are detained in Tartarus awaiting condemnation and punishment at the final universal assize--which is to be the day of reckoning for all the wicked (cf. v 9b). The flood destroyed a whole world of ungodly people, thus prefiguring the only other universal judgment which the world is to suffer, the coming eschatological judgment (cf. 3:6-7). The burning of Sodom and Gomorrah was a warning example of the fate in store for the wicked in the future, especially of the cosmic conflagration in store for the wicked which threatens the ungodly of the last days (cf. 3:7) (Jude, 2 Peter, 256).
25 It is difficult to specifically identify Peter’s reference in this statement. It may be alluding to one of the following, or to all of the following:
(1) The original fall of angels form their exalted positions (cf. Deut. 32:8; Isa. 15:12; 24:21ff; Rev. 12:3-4,9)
(2) Allusions to 1 Enoch 6--19; esp. 10:5,6,15,16; 12:4; 16:1; 22:4,10,11; 97:5; 103:8
(3) An historical reference to the demonized despots in Genesis 6:1-4 (cf. 1 Enoch 7; 9:8; 10:11; 12:4).
These were all expressions of pride and arrogance.
26 See 2:9, 17; 3:7.
27 Peter is describing a universal scope to his judgment and implying that the coming judgment will also be universal (cf. 3:6-7).
28 This is an idiom which means “along with seven others” which include Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives (Gen. 8:18; Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter, 250).
29 See the Sibylline Oracles 1:148-98 where his sermon is supposedly recorded. Noah exhorted his contemporaries with to righteous living in contrast to their ungodliness.
30 This is a pattern for the future judgment (cf. 3:7).
31 See Abraham’s plea for the righteous in Genesis 18:23-32.
32 As Bauckham writes, “The reference will be to practical disregard for divine authority by ethical misconduct. Those who subject themselves to the flesh cannot be subject to the Lord. Thus v 10a specifies the same two sins as in vv 1-2 (‘deny the Master,’ ‘dissolute practices’)” (Jude, 2 Peter, 255).
33 These are probably angles as in Jude 8. In addition these are probably evil angels since good angels are contrasted with them in 2 Peter 2:11. Bauckham writes, “It is not likely that the false teachers slandered the angelic guardians of the Law (as Jude’s opponents did) or that, as Gnostics, they reviled the demiurge and his angels. In these cases the author of 2 Peter would have regarded the δόξαι (“glorious ones”) as good angels, whereas in fact he seems to share his opponents’ view of them as evil angels. The most plausible view is that in their confident immorality the false teachers were contemptuous of the demonic powers. When they were rebuked for their immoral behavior and warned of the danger of falling into the power of the devil and sharing his condemnation, they laughed at the idea, denying that the devil could have any power over them and speaking of the powers of evil in skeptical, mocking terms. They may have doubted the very existence of supernatural powers of evil” (Jude, 2 Peter, 262).
34 There are several options with respect to the referent of “they.” Bauckham writes, “οι῏ς is the nearest antecedent for αὐτῶν and so, if it is correct to take οι῏ς as masculine, referring to the evil angels (see above), this interpretation becomes the most natural. The false teachers will share the fate of the powers of evil who will be eliminated at the day of judgment. The objection that this interpretation destroys the connection between the first φθορά, “destruction,” in this v (that of the animals) and the second (Mayor) is not valid. The comparison of the false teachers’ fate with that of the animals has already been made in the first part of the v and does not need to be repeated in the phrase ἐν τῇ φθορᾷ αὐτῶν “(Jude, 2 Peter, 264).
35 The participles which follow are probably loosely dependent on “they will perish” explaining the harm they have done for which they will be destroyed (Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter, 258).
36 This was a mark of degeneracy (see Ecclesiasties 10:16; Isaiah 5:11).
37 The church was to be spotless and without blemish at the Lord’s coming (cf. 3:14). Bauckham writes, “Like the blemishes on an animal not fit for sacrifice (Lev 1:3) or on a man not fit for priestly service (Lev 21:21), these immoral people were frustrating the church’s aim of holiness and could make the church unfit to be presented as a sacrifice to God” (Jude, 2 Peter, 266).
38 Perhaps this is parallel to the kind of activity that Paul had to deal with in Corinth (1 Cor 11).
39 Bauckham suggests that this means that “their eyes are always looking for a woman with whom to commit adultery” (Jude, 2 Peter, 266).
40 As with bait when one fishes.
41 Those not grounded in Christian teaching who are easily led astray. This is often the case with cults today.
42 They are trained like an athlete would be trained. They are experts in greed and make a profit out of their disciples.
43 See Numbers 22:21-35. “The false teachers are Balaam’s followers on the road of disobedience to God for the sake of financial profit” (Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter, 267).
44 See Deuteronomy 11:28 (LXX); Proverbs 2:13; 21:16.
45 Bosor ( βοσόρ ) is clearly the best attested textual reading. Nevertheless, since this form of the name of Balaam’s father was not found elsewhere in the Scriptures, it was corrected to the LXX form βεωρ “Beor,” in a few MSS and versions. Green suggests that Bosor may represent ‘the Galilean mispronunciation of the guttural in the Hebrew name” (Peter and Jude, 113). Bauckham retorts, “A more plausible suggestion is that the form reflects a Jewish tradition of a play on the name and the word בשׂר (‘flesh’)” (Jude, 2 Peter, 267).
46 The prophet who should know God’s will was unable to perceive it, while a mere donkey uttered a prophetic rebuke--irony. Bauckham writes, “Why did our author include v 16...? Probably because he saw the opportunity of taking up a theme already mentioned in v 12: the false teachers are like α῎λογα ζῷα (‘unreasoning animals’). The same point is now make with humorous emphasis, but comparing them to Balaam, whose irrational behavior...was rebuked by an unreasoning animal speaking in rational speech.... He was so carried away by his cupidity that even a donkey knew better than he. Similarly the false teachers. That the author intended the donkey to represent his simple Christian readers (Reicke) is less certain” (Jude, 2 Peter, 269).
47 A dried up well is a discouragement for the traveler who is thirsty or the farmer who is trying to work the land.
48 Bauckham writes, “Instead of the damp mists which refresh the countryside in hot weather... ὁμίχλαι (“mists”) are the haze which heralds dry weather...and is quickly dispersed by a gust of wind...” (Jude, 2 Peter, 274).
49 These are probably new believers who are not established in the faith (1:12) and thus run the risk of slipping back into their former pagan ways.
50 Bauckham writes, “By removing the sanction of eschatological judgment the false teachers were encouraging their followers to return to the morally lax ways of pagan society” (Jude, 2 Peter, 274).
51 From the moral law? Or perhaps better “from the fear of eschatological judgment at Christ’s coming. The false teachers offer their followers freedom of from moral accountability and punishment.
52 This corruption is probably the consequence of their evil which ends in eschatological judgment (cf. 1:4; 2:12). This may well be a parallel from Romans 8:21.
53 This seems to be a common proverb (see also Rom. 6:16; John 8:34).
54 This is probably an allusion to Jesus’ discussion of resistant Israel to his teaching (Matt 12:45 = Luke 11:26).
55 Although some consider this to be a discussion concerning Christians (see Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter, 277), Blum seems to be more correct in his evaluation: “In my opinion, it refers basically to false teachers because (1) proximity makes the false teachers (spoken of in v. 19) the normal antecedent of ‘they,’ (2) the conjunction gar (untranslated in NIV) in v. 20 (ei gar, ‘for if’) logically connects v. 20 with v. 19, (3) ‘mastered’ (hettetai) in v. 19 is verbally linked to ‘overcome’ (hettotai) v. 20, and (4) the teachers are the main subject of the whole chapter....
Verse 20 mentions the possibility of reverting to the old paganism after having ‘escaped the corruptions of the world’ through knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Is it possible, then, for Christians to lose their salvation? Many would answer affirmatively on the basis of this and similar texts (e.g., Heb 6:4-6; 10:26). But this verse asserts only that false teachers, who have for a time escaped from worldly faith are worse off than they were before knowing Christ. It uses no terminology affirming that they were Christians in reality (e.g., ‘sons of God,’ ‘children,’ ‘born again,’ ‘regenerate,’ ‘redeemed’). The NT makes a distinction between those who are in the churches and those who are regenerate (cf. 2 Cor. 13:5; 2 Tim 2: 18-19; 1 John 3:7-8; 2:19: ‘They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us...but their going showed that none of them belonged to us’). So when Peter says, ‘They are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning,’ the reference is to a lost apostate” (“James,” in EBC, 12:282).
56 This is describing Christianity as a “body of ethical teaching” (Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter, 278; 1 Tim 6:14).
57 Proverbs 26:11.
58 Bauckham writes, “This verse is the author’s final extension of his comparison of the false teachers with α῎λογα ζῷα (‘unreasoning animals,’ 2:12, cf. 16). He sees them now as unclean animals, dogs and pigs, which to the Jewish mind symbolized the immorality of Gentile life (cf. Rev 22:15)” (Jude, 2 Peter, 280).
59 These are no doubt the predictions with respect to the Lord’s return as in 1:16-21 above.
60 As in 2:21, this commandment probably has reference to the ethical aspect of the Christian message.
61 See the LXX Gen 49:1; Jer 37:24; Ezek 38 16; Dan 2:28; Hos 3:5; Mic 4:1.
62 The term is ἐμπαῖκται describing those who scorn and despise God’s moral and prophetic revelation.
63 Although some identify the “fathers” as referring to first-generation Christians who are referred to by forger (Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter, 291-93), it is more probably that this refers to OT fathers (cf. John 6:31; Acts 3:13; Romans 9:5; Hebrews 1:1).
64 Bauckham writes, “It may be that the scoffers are portrayed in vv 3-4 in deliberate antithesis to v 2. Whereas the readers are to remember the predictions of the prophets and the apostolic commandment, the scoffers reject the commandment by following their own lusts (v 3), and the predictions of the prophets by mocking the Parousia hope (v 4)” (Jude, 2 Peter, 289).
The rhetorical question is a standard OT form for enemies who taunt when God does not intervene to rescue (LXX Ps 41:4, 11; 78:10; 113:10; Joel 2:17; Mic 7:10; Mal 2:17; Jer. 17:15)
65 Bauckham writes, “the writer means that the water was, in a loose sense, the instrument of creation, since it was by separating and gathering the waters that God created the world. This also provides a good parallel with the next v, which states that by means of water he afterward destroyed the world” (Jude, 2 Peter, 297-98).
66 This corresponds with verse 5 and thus marks off another argument against the scoffers’ objection in v 4.
67 This is what the scoffers do in verse 5 ( λανθανέτω ).
68 This is derived from Ps. 90:4 (LXX 89:4). Its meaning is probably that in God’s eyes a long period may appear short. Peter is contrasting man’s perspective with God’s perspective. God’s perspective is not limited by the span of man, but extends over ages in accordance with His purposes. Therefore, one should not measure what He will do in terms of their own timetable. Nevertheless, one may still expect Him to act at any time with the understanding that what would appear to be a delay is really part of God’s total perspective on the course of history (see Bauckham’s discussion Jude, 2 Peter, 309-311).
69 Perhaps some Christians were beginning to consider the delay in the coming of the Lord as slowness on His behalf.
70 Bauckham understands this to be a possible reference to the false teachers and a probable reference to Peter’s readers who have been influenced by the false teachers and thus need to repent (Jude, 2 Peter, 313), but this is probably saying too much since the option to not repenting in this verse is experiencing the judgment of God. But the righteous will be delivered from judgment (cf. 2:7-8).
This verse has been a problem for many interpreters over the ages--especially those who are Calvinists who argue that the “you” is speaking to the church and therefore, affirms that the you is speaking to the “elect” and not every man. But this is saying more than the text seems to be affirming. The people of the church were once people of the world and thus demonstrate the effect of God’s gracious delay of judgment.
71 This is an onomatopoeic word ( ῥοιζηδόν ) meant to describe the effects of fire (hissing, rushing, whizzing, crackling).
72 This term, στοιχεῖα , may refer to the elements, the heavenly body, angelic powers or even all of the above.
73 See Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; 32:16.
74 See 2:7.
75 This probably refers to the day which will dawn the Parousia and last forever.
Related Topics: Introductions, Arguments, Outlines