2 Peter 1

2 Peter 1
We are now moving forward with 2 Peter, it is near the end of Peter’s life. 

From Bullinger’s “Notes on the Second Epistle of Peter”

“In spite of much divergence of opinion, we conclude that the apostle who wrote the First Epistle wrote this one also. While there is some difference between the tone of the two, this difference has been exaggerated by those who deny that Peter wrote the second letter. And a comparison of the language used shows close resemblance between the two epistles.”

There is a big debate about this subject I will put in 2 different links to two commentaries about this subject if you are interested in checking it out.

REV Commentary  Ray Stedman :: 2 Peter: In the Face of Falsehood

Those two links will give you the flavor of some of the debate. I believe the answer is far simpler. My brother Michael Lewis calls it “progressive Revelation” I call it “Our learning Curve”. Unlike many we believe these book were written many years apart. Just the tone is so different the First Epistle almost sounds as if it were written to Pharisee’s and there were some who were believers.

 Act 15:5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.

There were apostles in the 12 that fit into that group I believe. Peter may even have fit into that group after the day of Pentecost. 

Act 10:11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:

12 Wherein were all manner of four footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.

14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.

In verse 14 where it says not so lord the Greek is médamós: by no means. I have been told there is a version that translates this verse “Hell NO!” Peter was still fervent for the law at this point. This word is only used twice here and Acts 11 where Peter is recounting to “the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea” what had happened. Peter was being called on the carpet for what he had done. This would amount to what we call a congressional investigation. A bunch of stuffed shirts not liking what happened yelling at and threatening someone who had done something they didn’t approve of and didn’t have their blessing, sort of sounds like the Pharisees in gospels doesn’t it? (Mat. 9:11, Mat. 12:2, Mat. 15:12, Mat. 23:13 ff, Mark 2:16 ff, Mark 7:3, and it goes on and on and on)

Paul was always encountering Jews who were zealous for the law. (Acts 21:20)

Remember all these disciples had been raised to live the law and gotten the seal of approval for the most part from Jesus himself. Then along came Pentecost and everything changed suddenly. Most people seem to think that the 12 when they got born again changed their actions immediately and somehow knew that they were no longer under the law. Think back to when you got born again did your behavior suddenly completely change and you knew everything? Did you suddenly stop believing in the trinity, believe the dead were dead, know suddenly that there were 4 others crucified with Christ, shall I go on? No of course not it took time to learn these things and a great deal of meekness. Some never let it go. They would rather hold onto error than change their thinking. Alright bearing all this in mind let’s see where Peter’s learning curve has taken him now.

1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

The word servant is doulose. The bond slave the one who chose to become a slave and made a lifetime commitment to the master. In 1 Peter it is not used. I’m not sure why.

The word have is not in the text and should be omitted.

The word knowledge in the Greek is epignosis which means precise or further knowledge, thorough acquaintance with; true knowledge

3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 

He has given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness. That is a pretty bold statement. Consider this every situation you run into in life is covered by God’s word. Now if you need specific information about a situation he has that covered by word of knowledge and word of wisdom. If you need specific information like Jesus did with the woman at the well in Samaria he couldn’t have known her past history without revelation. It will be there if you need it.

5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 

Here we have the figure of speech polysyndeton it means many and’s. Each item in the list is of equal importance and there is no climax at the end. It is meant to draw our attention to each item of the list.

Virtue means a virtuous course of thought, feeling and action used 5 times in 4 verses.

Knowledge means knowledge signifies in general intelligence, understanding

Temperance means self-control (the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, esp. his sensual appetites)

Patience means steadfastness, constancy, endurance

godliness means reverence, respect

Brotherly kindness means love of brothers or sisters, brotherly love

Finally agape the love of God

This is how God and the Lord Jesus Christ want us to live and operate. I find it interesting that the last two words both translate to love, brotherly love and the love of God two different kinds of love.

This is talking to those who already believe that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. You could have brotherly love but as soon as the word agape is used you are talking about God’s love which only believers can operate.

8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let’s look at this verse in the NIV:

8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We do not want to become unproductive. There are many people I have run into who have a good knowledge of God’s word but they do nothing with it. What good does it do them to know all these things yet they never apply it.

 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 

This is talking about the list of qualities in verses 1 and 2. To me it seems hard to believe that someone could forget he has been purged but it does happen. I could understand forgetting for a space of time but not just forgetting never to remember. 

10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

(ESV) 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

We as children need to be active for God. We need to be attempting to help the younger believers and watching the young. You know there are these animals called yaks. When they aren't yaking around, they travel in herds and when the predators come around the adults circle the young to protect them from the predators. This is how we need to operate rallying to protect those younger ones from the lion seeking for someone to devour. 

Don’t forget if we are following what God says to do we are well pleasing in his sight. After all God has done for us, sending his son and watching him suffer and die so we could be forgiven, I want to give back when and where I can. If helping younger brothers and sisters doe this then that is my desire to help them because that is what God asks of me.

12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. 13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; 14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.15 Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.

Peter knows his time is coming to an end so he goes back to this basic to remind us to do this to help the brethren. Then he wants us to share this info.

16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

There are 66 books with over 40 writers most of whom never met each other the writing of this word of God took over 1500 years. To pull this off would have taken too much organization than would have been possible.

Then Peter starts talking about being on the mount of transfiguration with Jesus and they saw that vision and heard the voice of God.

19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

We have a more sure word of prophecy than what Peter saw and heard on the mount of transfiguration. We have the written word and holy spirit. Together those two give us all that pertains unto life and godliness.

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