1 But there were false prophets, too, among the people, just as among you also there will be false teachers. These will secretly bring in destructive sects, denying even the Master who bought them, and bringing swift ruin upon themselves. 2 Then there will be many who will follow their immorality, because of whom the Way of the Truth will be maligned. 3 In their covetousness, with cunning words, they will make merchandise of you; those whose doom has not been idle from of old, and whose destruction has not been slumbering.
4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them down to Tartarus, and committed them to chains of darkness, and reserved them for judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon an ungodly world; 6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and reduced them to ashes, thus holding them up as a warning to all who would live ungodly; 7 and he delivered righteous Lot who was worn out by the lascivious life of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, living among them, tormented his righteous soul in seeing and hearing, day after day, their lawless deeds), 9 then be sure that the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to keep the wicked (who are even now enduring punishment) for the "Day of Judgment"; 10 especially those who spend their lives following the flesh in the lust of defilement, and in despising all authority. Audacious and willful, they feel no awe in railing against dignities; 11 even where angels, though surpassing them in strength and might, do not bring a railing judgment against them before the Lord. 12 But these men, like irrational creatures, mere animals, born to be taken and destroyed, continually rail about matters of which they know nothing. In their corruption they will surely be destroyed, 13 suffering wrong as the wage of wrong which they have done. These are men who count it pleasure to carouse in open daylight; they are spots and blemishes reveling in their deceit, even while they are feasting with you. 14 They have eyes full of harlots, eyes that cannot stop sinning. They entice unsteady souls. Their heart is trained in greed. They are an accursed generation. 15 They have forsaken the right way; they have lost their way, and followed the road of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of wrong-doing. 16 He was, however, rebuked for his own transgression; a dumb ass spoke with a man's voice, and stopped the madness of the prophet.
17 Such men are like waterless springs, or mists storm-driven; for them the blackness of darkness has been reserved. 18 For speaking great swelling words of vanity, they entangle, by their lasciviousness, in the lusts of the flesh, those who are just about to escape from the men that live in misconduct. 19 They promise them liberty, while they themselves are slaves of rottenness! (For indeed a man is the slave of anything which masters him.) 20 For if, after having escaped the pollutions of the world, through the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, men are again entangled in them and overpowered, their last state is become worse than their first. 21 Indeed it would have been better for them not to have known the Way of Righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy command delivered to them. 22 In their case it has happened according to the true proverb, The dog returns again to his own vomit, and The sow, after washing, to her wallowing in the mire.