2 Peter Summary
2 Peter, II Peter or Second Peter is a book included in New Testament of the Christian Bible. Also known as the Second Epistle of Peter, 2 Peter is allegedly written by Saint Peter, even though most modern scholars consider the work as pseudepigraphical. Being one of the final epistles to be included in New Testament, 2 Peter is the first NT book to view other NT works as scripture. 2 Peter is also a part of Antilegomena. 2 Peter also identifies Jesus Christ with God, quotes extensively from the Epistle of Jude, and addresses issues pertaining to a threatening heresy that cropped up as the much anticipated Second Coming hadn’t occurred yet.
The Second Epistle of Peter or 2 Peter is dramatically different from the First Epistle of Peter, a reason for which its authorship is heavily debated. Apart from being linguistically different from the earlier book, 2 Peter makes allusions to Gnosticism practices of the second century and encourages people not to lose hope because of the apparent delay in parousia. The dating of the work is intimately related to its supposed authorship. If 2 Peter was truly written by Saint Peter, then it would have to be before his death in around 65 AD or 67 AD. As it makes extensive reference to Paul’s epistles, it should be written at least after some of them, no matter who wrote it; hence a date prior to 60 AD is not possible.
2 Peter starts with an initial reference to the writer and then moves on to exhort the main Christian values. The author says that simply by having knowledge of Lord Jesus, we come to partake of his divine power which provides us with the impetus to live a godly life. By participating in divine nature, mankind can escape corruptive tendencies caused by evil, unholy desires. It is for this reason that people should try to make the effort to cultivate the virtues of goodness, knowledge, perseverance, self-control, godliness and love. Having these qualities in an increased measure will never allow one to develop a spiritually lazy attitude on Jesus the Savior.
2 Peter then said that even though the people already know these things, he just said them so that they are deeply embedded in their memories. He also asserts the fact that while the prophets were claiming about the return of Christ, they were not fashioning stories but stood witness to the miracles of His majesty. It was none other than God the Father who bestowed Jesus with his glory and honor, and the author together with his companions heard His voice in person when they were all present on the holy mountain.
The prophetic message that promises the return of Jesus Christ is something that is completely reliable, much like a guiding light that shines in a darkened place. The author also asks his readers to understand that there are no prophecies in the Scriptures that resulted from any of the prophets’ own interpretations. For prophecies do not have their origin within human will but are made by prophets who were directly inspired by the Holy Spirit.
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