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Reference: Peter, Second Epistle Of


The question of the authenticity of this epistle has been much discussed, but the weight of evidence is wholly in favour of its claim to be the production of the apostle whose name it bears. It appears to have been written shortly before the apostle's death (1:14). This epistle contains eleven references to the Old Testament. It also contains (3:15, 16) a remarkable reference to Paul's epistles. Some think this reference is to 1Th 4:13-5:11. A few years ago, among other documents, a parchment fragment, called the "Gospel of Peter," was discovered in a Christian tomb at Akhmim in Upper Egypt. Origen (obiit A.D. 254), Eusebius (obiit 340), and Jerome (obiit 420) refer to such a work, and hence it has been concluded that it was probably written about the middle of the second century. It professes to give a history of our Lord's resurrection and ascension. While differing in not a few particulars from the canonical Gospels, the writer shows plainly that he was acquinted both with the synoptics and with the Gospel of John. Though apocryphal, it is of considerable value as showing that the main facts of the history of our Lord were then widely known.


This Epistle cannot rank with 1Peter as a Christian classic; indeed, very many would agree with J

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The object of this epistle appears to be primarily the confirmation of the minds of Jewish believers in the certainty of the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have in it the only record by an eye-witness of what took place on the Mount of Transfiguration. This vision made more sure the word of prophecy to which saints did well in taking heed, as to a light shining in a dark place, till the day dawned, and the day-star arose in their hearts.

But before the kingdom could be displayed, it was necessary that the corruption of Christianity, which had already set in, should be complete and the course and climax of this corruption are vividly portrayed in 2 Peter 2. It originated in false teachers privily bringing in destructive heresies, denying the Lord that bought them. The development of this evil is viewed in the light of wickedness (rather than of apostasy, as in the Epistle of Jude), as that which is specially obnoxious to the government of God. While in Jude the gainsaying of Core is shown to be the culminating point of apostasy, here the incitement to abominable wickedness by Balaam is before the mind of the Spirit, indicating how corrupting the influence of those who held the place of 'prophet' would become.

In the concluding part of the epistle (2 Peter 3) we have also the closing phase of unbelief (perhaps Jewish), namely, scepticism, built up on the assumed unchangeability of the creation, as to the coming of the day of the Lord. And this becomes the occasion of the apostle's leading the minds of the saints beyond the thoughts of the kingdom to that which, resting on perfect moral foundations, is eternal and unchangeable. The day of the Lord was a means to an and, and would make way for the day of God, and the fulfilment of His promise of new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness would reside, and in view of which the existing heavens and earth would pass away. Saints, knowing these things before, were not to fall from their stedfastness, but to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.


Peter, Second Epistle of.

The following is a brief outline of the contents of this epistle: The customary opening salutation is followed by an enumeration of Christian blessings and exhortation to Christian duties.

2Pe 1:1-13

Referring then to his approaching death, the apostle assigns as grounds of assurance for believers his own personal testimony as eye-witness of the transfiguration and the sure word of prophecy--that is the testimony of the Holy Ghost. vs.

2Pe 1:14-21

The danger of being misled by false prophets is dwelt upon with great earnestness throughout the second chapter, which is almost identical in language and subject with the Epistle of Jude. The overthrow of all opponents of Christian truth is predicted in connection with prophecies touching the second advent of Christ, the destruction of the world by fire, and the promise of new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. ch. 3. This epistle of Peter presents questions of difficulty. Doubts as to its genuineness were entertained by the early Church; in the time of Eusebius it was reckoned among the disputed books, and was not formally admitted into the canon until the year 393, at the Council of Hippo. These difficulties, however, are insufficient to justify more than hesitation in admitting its ,genuineness. A majority of names may be quoted in support of the genuineness and authenticity of this epistle. (It is very uncertain as to the time when it was written. It was written near the close of Peter's life--perhaps about A.D. 68--from Rome or somewhere on the journey thither from the East --Alford.)

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