Second Epistle of Peter

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The Second Epistle of Peter is a letter in nearly every New Testament canon among religions that identify as Christian. The author identifies himself as Peter the Apostle speaking to other church followers. He describes what a proper teacher of Jesus should be like, and details the hellfire that awaits any who teach differently. It ends with a reminder that the world will end in horrible destruction.

While church tradition holds that the author is Peter, one of Jesus' 12 disciples, the majority of New Testament scholars are in agreement that Peter did not write the letter. They give several reasons:

  • Peter is described as an uneducated fisherman in the bible meaning he was most likely illiterate, but the letter is expertly written.
  • Peter, being from Galilee, most likely spoke Aramaic or Hebrew, but the letter is written in scholarly Greek.
  • Historians date Peter's death to 64 or 67 CE, but they date the letter as having been written around 90-120 CE.

In addition to Peter not being the author this epistle, he also probably wasn't the author of the First Epistle of Peter, and, in fact, the letter carries such a different message and style than the first, that many New Testament scholars don't even believe that the two letters were written by the same person.

The letter borrows a lot from the Epistle of Jude, only with the references to the two apocryphal works excised.

One interesting aspect of this epistle is that it is the only book in the New Testament to refer to other writings as "scripture," indicating that it wasn't written until after the religion was canonizing its writings.

Status

I have several translations of this book from various bibles, and have read it.

Review

  • I found this epistle to be depressing and bigoted. The author revels in his vengeance and joyously awaits the destruction of the world.
  • The author explains that he wasn't following cleverly invented stories about Jesus, but was an eyewitness (1:16). This is especially dishonest once you realize that the author wasn't an eyewitness. This lie is dug deeper in (1:20) where the author says that no prophecy or scripture came about from interpretation or the will of man, but from the words of God carried along by the Holy Ghost. And again in (2:2-3) where the author warns against greedy false teachers who would exploit people's faith for greedy shameful gain, which is most likely what the author is doing. It ends with the author comparing his writing to Paul's in that they speak in the same manner, when, in fact, the author doesn't write the same as in the first epistle (3:15-16)!
  • One of the common arguments of Christian apologists is that God doesn't send people to Hell, people choose to go to Hell by refusing God's help. However, starting with (2:4) the author clearly explains that God himself sends angels and men alike to hell.
  • The author describes people who mock celestial beings as being brutes, beasts, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, and to perish like beasts (2:12).

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