2 Peter 3:15-16, Ignorant and Unstable People

Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

//Unlike 1 Peter, the epistle of 2 Peter was not widely accepted or even known in the early church. The first definitive reference to 2 Peter is in the third century. Church fathers in the third and fourth century gradually came to believe it was written by the apostle Peter, and thus it found its way into the canon of the Bible.

But could it have really been written by Peter? The letter is an explosive denouncement of heresy, and the wicked teachers who introduced that heresy. The end of the world hadn’t arrived as expected, which encouraged scoffers, and worse yet, people who wrongly interpreted scripture to imagine that, when Jesus and Paul promised immediate fulfillment, they meant immediate fulfillment. Such a denouncement of heresy would hardly need proclaiming before, say, the war of 70 A.D.

To bolster his opinion, the writer of the epistle refers to “our dear brother Paul” and the “other Scriptures.” In other words, by the time of 2 Peter’s writing, Paul’s letters had already been collected and distributed as scripture! Much of 2 Peter is borrowed from the book of Jude. It is, basically, a rewrite and expansion of Jude. Jude may have been written near the end of the first century; if so, 2 Peter was likely penned in the early second century.

This letter certainly could not have been written by Peter himself, who died, according to tradition, around the year 67 A.D.

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6 Comments

  1. The writer does say he was there for the transfiguration.

    2Pe 1:17-18
    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.And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

    If it wasn’t Peter, who was it? James or John? Why would they masquerade as Peter? Why would someone else?

  2. Hi Elle, the majority of scholars, but by no means all, consider the book to be psuedonymous–that is, written in Peter’s name. There are other reasons that I didn’t mention above: It refers to a prior letter, but there are linquistic differences between it an 1 Peter. It seems in places to be a response to 2nd-century gnosticism. And it just doesn’t have any support among early church fathers.

    It was common then to write in the name of a known teacher or prophet, usually one already dead, and it was not considered tricky or forgery. This lent credence to one’s writing, prepared a proper stage and setting, and honored the original man. The New Jerusalem Bible 1, discussing the pseudonymous writing of Timothy and Titus describes this style of writing in this way:

    “The best explanation may be that the Pastoral Epistles are letters written by a follower of Paul, conscious of inheriting his mantle and seeking to give advice and instruction for the administration of local churches. This adoption of a revered name in such circumstances was a literary convention of the times.”

  3. Anonymous

    Your wrong and your liberal stance will afford you no such liberty….

    • Anonymous

      Your wrong and your fundamental stance will afford you no such intelligence…

  4. Tunji Babatope

    Those who had experienced the truth even the Lord Jesus Christ himself, will consider all these dubious write ups of demented minds as hogwash

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