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2 Peter

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2 Peter

Introduction

In this second letter, Peter describes (ch. 2) some twisted versions of Christian truth being taught. Recalling his experience of Christ’s glory at the transfiguration (1:17–18), Peter explains the “more fully confirmed” truth of the gospel as an antidote to heresy. The gospel is like “a lamp shining in a dark place” (1:19). In chapter 3 Peter focuses on those who scoff at the idea of Christ’s triumphant return and the final judgment. Just as God once destroyed the world with water, he will one day bring his fire to it. In light of this, we should live in “holiness and godliness” as we await his return and the salvation he has promised to all believers. Peter probably wrote this letter about a.d. 67–68, shortly before his death.

Greeting

Simeon1 Peter, a servant2 and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who have obtained aa faith of equal standing with ours bby the righteousness of our cGod and Savior Jesus Christ:

dMay grace and peace be multiplied to you ein the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

Confirm Your Calling and Election

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him fwho called us to3 his own glory and excellence,4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become gpartakers of the divine nature, hhaving escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith iwith virtue,5 and virtue jwith knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control kwith steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness lwith brotherly affection, and brotherly affection mwith love. For if these qualities6 are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or nunfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he ois blind, having forgotten that he was pcleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers,7 be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and qelection, for if you practice these qualities ryou will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you san entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

12 Therefore I intend talways to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in uthe truth that you have. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this vbody,8 wto stir you up by way of reminder, 14 xsince I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, yas our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.

Christ’s Glory and the Prophetic Word

16 For we did not follow zcleverly devised amyths when we made known to you bthe power and ccoming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but dwe were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, e“This is my beloved Son,9 with whom I am well pleased,” 18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on fthe holy mountain. 19 And gwe have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention has to a lamp shining in a dark place, until ithe day jdawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For kno prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God las they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

False Prophets and Teachers

But mfalse prophets also arose among the people, njust as there will be false teachers among you, who will osecretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master pwho bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth qwill be blasphemed. And rin their greed they will exploit you swith false words. tTheir condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

For if God did not spare uangels when they sinned, but vcast them into hell1 and committed them to chains2 of gloomy darkness wto be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but xpreserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought ya flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by zturning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, amaking them an example of bwhat is going to happen to the ungodly;3 and cif he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, dhe was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then ethe Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials,4 and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 and especially fthose who indulge5 in the lust of defiling passion and gdespise authority.

Bold and willful, they do not tremble gas they blaspheme the glorious ones, 11 hwhereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. 12 iBut these, like irrational animals, jcreatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, 13 suffering wrong as kthe wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure lto revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions,6 while mthey feast with you. 14 They have eyes full of adultery, ninsatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts otrained in greed. pAccursed children! 15 Forsaking the right way, qthey have gone astray. They have followed rthe way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved sgain from wrongdoing, 16 but was rebuked for his own transgression; ta speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

17 uThese are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. vFor them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. 18 For, wspeaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely xescaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them yfreedom, zbut they themselves are slaves7 of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. 20 For if, aafter they have escaped the defilements of the world bthrough the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, cthe last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For dit would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from ethe holy commandment delivered to them. 22 What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The fdog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”

The Day of the Lord Will Come

This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them gI am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, hthat you should remember the predictions of ithe holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come jin the last days with scoffing, kfollowing their own sinful desires. lThey will say, “Where is the promise of mhis coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth nwas formed out of water and through water oby the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed pwas deluged with water and qperished. But by the same word rthe heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and sdestruction of the ungodly.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and ta thousand years as one day. uThe Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise vas some count slowness, but wis patient toward you,1 xnot wishing that any should perish, but ythat all should reach repentance. 10 But zthe day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then athe heavens will pass away with a roar, and bthe heavenly bodies2 will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.3

11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, cwhat sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 dwaiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and ethe heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for fnew heavens and a new earth gin which righteousness dwells.

Final Words

14 hTherefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him iwithout spot or jblemish, and kat peace. 15 And count lthe patience of our Lord as salvation, just as mour beloved brother Paul also wrote to you naccording to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. oThere are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, pas they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, qknowing this beforehand, rtake care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But sgrow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. tTo him be the glory both now and to the day of ueternity. ...

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1

Some manuscripts Simon

2

Or slave (for the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface)

a
b
c
d
e

ver. 3, 8; ch. 2:20; [John 17:3; Phil. 3:8]

f
3

Or by

4

Or virtue

g
h

ch. 2:18, 20

i
5

Or excellence; twice in this verse

j
k
l
m
6

Greek these things; also verses 9, 10, 12

n
o
p
7

Or brothers and sisters. The plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) refers to siblings in a family. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, adelphoi may refer either to men or to both men and women who are siblings (brothers and sisters) in God’s family, the church

q
r
s
t
u
v
8

Greek tent; also verse 14

w

ch. 3:1

x
y
z
a
b
c
d
e
9

Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved

f
g
h
i
j
k
l
m
n
o
p
q
r
s
t
u
v
1

Greek Tartarus

2

Some manuscripts pits

w
x
y
z
a
b
3

Some manuscripts an example to those who were to be ungodly

c
d
e
4

Or temptations

f
5

Greek who go after the flesh

g
h
i
j
k

ver. 15

l
6

Some manuscripts love feasts

m
n
o

ver. 3; [1 Tim. 4:7]

p
q
r
s

ver. 13

t
u
v
w
x

ver. 20; ch. 1:4

y
z
7

Greek bondservants

a

ver. 18

b

See ch. 1:2

c
d
e
f
g

ch. 1:13

h
i
j
k

ch. 2:10

l
m
n
o
p

ch. 2:5

q
r

ver. 10, 12

s
t
u
v
w
1

Some manuscripts on your account

x
y
z
a
b
2

Or elements; also verse 12

3

Greek found; some manuscripts will be burned up

c
d
e

See ver. 10

f
g
h
i
j
k
l

See ver. 9

m
n
o
p
q
r
s
t
u

[ver. 8]

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