2nd Peter: Problems with Defectors

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2nd Peter
Problems with Defectors

Holiness, Heresy, Hope.

Background: From Rome, Peter warns christians in Asia Minor around 64-66 AD
Theme: Problems with false teachers and defectors
Outline: Holiness, Heresy and Hope
Key Verse: "Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." (2 Pet 1:20-21, NIV)

Second Peter Chapter Index



Author: Written by Peter, known also as Simeon, Simon, Cephas, and Simon Peter. Peter was often the spokesman for the disciples during Jesus earthly ministry. Peter also wrote the earlier book of First Peter.

These notes use and refer to the Bible Knowledge Commentary (Vol 2, New Testament).

I. Introduction (1:1-2)

1:1 "Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a like prescious faith in the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ," Peter claims to be a servant, the Greek word doulos meaning a bond-servant or house slave. He is owned by the Master. Do we consider ourselved to be 'owned by God?"

The faith of the audience, perhaps Gentiles, was as prescious as that of the the eyewitness apostle, Peter. Our faith today is of the same value, even though we are not Jews (as Peter was) nor did we actually see and walk alongside of Jesus during his earthly ministry.

We did not earn our faith, but it was given to us through the righteousness of Jesus Christ (who died for our sins). Jesus did not merely die for our sins, he actually earned a righteousness by never sinning either in eternity or during his 33 year life on this earth. "Received" is from a Greek word for 'lot'. Just as the land of Israel was distributed by 'lots' to the children of Israel as God directed, this faith was distributed to us not by what we deserved, but by the will of God. This is our portion, our share, our lot; we received a share in the prescious faith.

II. The Christian’s Nature: The Work of God (1:3-11)

III. The Christian’s Nurture: The Word of God (1:12-21)

1:20-21 This is an important verse to memorize. It expresses that the words of the prophets did not originate with the prophets themselves. Rather, they spoke from God. Two things are to be noted. First, prophecy refers to all of the words of the prophets spoken in God’s name, not just predictions of the future. Second, because they spoke from God, there is a world of difference between Aristotle and Jeremiah. Aristotle was a deep thinker and learned philosopher, who gave his opinions and reasoning from his own mind and from the other men he had learned from. Jeremiah makes no such claims, and perhaps in himself was no great thinker. Rather, he and other prophets were taught, inspired, and actually guided and carried along by God by the Holy Spirit. We may not always understand Jeremiah’s words (in Scripture), but we must always agree that they are correct.

1:9  I agree with Mr. Gangel, Bible Knowledge Commentary,   that this verse speaks of believers who are spiritually immature. They are ‘backsliders’.

1:16 Sometimes, ‘word’ is used for Scripture and other times for the incarnate Word, Jesus Christ. Some Mennonites (denominations of the Anabaptists, common in the Mid-Atlantic states and central Canada) therefore do not refer to Scripture as the ‘Word of God’, but reserve this title exclusively for Jesus. Although motivated by good intentions, it does not match usage in the Scriptures.

IV. The Christian’s Warfare: The Attack of False Teachers (2)

2 With the Edict of Milan (313 AD) began a series of steps moving from the Roman Empire tolerating Christianity, adopting it as the official empire religion, and finally bringing it under the control of the secular government. There is a major difference between the world and false teachers influencing the church in Apostolic times (as in this letter) and the secular government attempting to control the church and use it for its own purposes.

2:1 BKC: I agree with Mr. Gangel that the false teachers were ‘bought’ in the sense that Jesus died for their (and all men’s) sins. I do not think they were ever saved by placing their faith in Jesus as Savior.

2:4  It is some interest that the word for ‘hell’ here is ‘Tartarus’, not the more common ‘Gehenna’.

2:22 It must be remembered that dogs were scavengers and ate refuse in the cities. They were not pets as we take care of them in our society. The biblical dogs were closer to what we call strays or wild dogs.

V. The Christian’s Hope: The Lord’s Return (3:1-16)

3:5-6 BKC: Mr. Gangel wrote, "Interestingly, Peter was both a creationist and a believer in the universal Flood." These verses are important in considering how the Apostle interpreted these events. Peter did not consider them as fables or myths, nor as fictitious parables expressing true moral realities. Peter interpreted them as historical events.

3:7 BKC: Mr. Gangel, as other authors of this commentary set have, says the ‘day of the LORD’ includes a large number of years. Here, he includes the Tribulation, Millennium, White Throne Judgment, and destruction of the present heavens and earth. This is quite a long day. Perhaps this whole sequence of events is inaugurated on a particular 24-hour day called the ‘day of the LORD’.

VI. Conclusion (3:17-18)


New Testament Survey by Merrill Tenney : Highly recommend this book for a good background to the life of Jesus and the New Testament. The first half covers background, what the world was like under Roman rule and what the conditions of the Jews were. The second half gives background, outline, and introductions to each of the New Testament books (including Acts).

Bible Background Commentary (New Testament) by Craig S. Keener : Printed by InterVarsity Press, this is an excellent one-volume resource for understanding the customs and background (history, language, and geography) behind the verses of the New Testament. It is not an interpretation of the New Testament as are most commentaries, its purpose is to give background information. I highly recommend this to the serious student of Scripture, who already has a good grasp of the meaning and application of the New Testament.

Bible Knowledge Commentary (New Testament, Volume II) by the Staff of Dallas Theological Seminary : Admittedly a 'dispensational' interpretation, meaning that the authors take the book of Revelation very literally and teach that Jesus will take the Church out of the world before the 'Tribulation Period'. Although I do not agree totally with their opinions, I have found this to be a fair commentary, also explaining the views of others which the authors do not hold. If you use my notes you will receive some insight as to where the points of disagreement are. Highly recommended as the best short commentary on the market. I am easily in agreement with 98% of what this commentary teaches, and who knows if I am right about the other 2%??

Updated March 2012
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