2 Peter

The seductive influence of new and forceful teachers, recently at work in the congregations, was already destabilizing, the faithful. These 'lawless men', unrestrained by apostolic authority, were attracting a numerous following through their high-sounding promises to bring the believers into a hitherto unknown 'freedom' of experience (2:9). The purpose of 2 Peter is both to expose such false guides for what they were (cf. chapter 2) and to set before the churches the conditions of survival when doctrinal and moral perversions infiltrate their fellowships. So, in 3:17, the appeal to Peter's 'dear friends' is that they should be on their guard. The letter is a homily on Christian growth, set in the context of threats to Christian stability from a type of destructive and heretical teaching (2:1-3).



1 1Simon [Symeōn]

Lit. 'Simeon'.

Peter [Petros]

Peter writes with an urgency caused by the nearness of his own death (1:13-15) which will sever one more link in the chain that bound the early church to the authentic message that Jesus taught. Peter therefore wants to set forth the gospel message unequivocally. From his faltering start as a rough-hewn individualistic fisherman, Peter became significant in the history and authority of the early Church. Peter took the initiative to include Samaritans and Gentiles as Christians. He was known as a man of enormous courage and tenacity and evangelized in Corinth, Pontus-Bythinia and Antioch (1 Cor 1:12; 1 Pet 1:1; Gal 2:11-14). By the end of 1 Peter he is in 'Babylon', Rome. Of his further work and death, Irenaeus and Eusebius both mention the collaboration between Paul and Peter. They may well have been martyred together by Nero. The Roman historian Tacitus wrote, 'Derision accompanied (the Christians') end: they were covered with wild beasts' skins and torn to death by dogs; or they were fastened on crosses, and, when daylight failed, were burned to serve as lamps by night (Annuls 15.44). Peter, like Jesus, and any Jew of his day, would have been bilingual, speaking Aramaic at home and Greek when doing business in 'Galilee of the Gentiles'. Quite possibly, he would have known Hebrew from the synagogue too. His work was written to be listened to in public rather than read privately, and therefore the writers gave aural clues to the progress of an argument. The original MMS lacked punctuation, paragraphs and different typefaces and so their writers resorted to other methods of laying out the text to make the meaning clear.

, a servant [doulos]

In the OT is was seen as a position of honour to be owned by God as his slave, and Israel took enormous pride in being called the servant of God (Is 41:8; 49:3). One Israelite could not sell another into slavery since both were God's slaves (Lv 25:42). Israel's leaders, judges, kings and prophets were all called God's servants because they did his will and must be obeyed. Even a pagan king could be called God's servant (e.g., Je 25:9). Over the decades Israel's leaders fell short and prophets began to speak of the perfect Servant whom God would send (e.g., Is 49:1-7).

and apostle [apostolos]

Means a messenger commissioned to a task. There are five great commissioning scenes in the OT in which apostellō or exapostellō is used in LXX: Ex 3:10; Jdg 6:14; Is 6:8; Jer 1:7; Ezk 2:3. Peter is claiming to be the NT equivalent of an OT prophet.

of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained [lanchanō]

A word that comes from politics, and was used of the appointment of government officials and of persons who have a post assigned by lot.

a like precious faith [pistin] with us in the righteousness [dikaiosynē] of our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ: 2Grace [charis]

NT writers frequently started their letters by taking over the standard secular way of opening a letter. Charis normally meant no more than 'hello', but coupled with the Hebrew greeting for peace it became suffused with meaning and recognized that the church would be made up of converted Jews and converted Gentiles.

to you and peace be multiplied in the knowledge [epignōsei]

There is no inequality here between one Christian and another, or between the apostle and those of subsequent generations: this knowledge is given and has the sense of 'personal knowledge', knowledge shared between a husband and wife or between friends of the other person and not simply about them.

of God and of Jesus our Lord [kyriou]

The standard translation in LXX for the Hebrew name of God, Yahweh. Calling Jesus 'Lord' was to say that Jesus was present all the way through the history of Israel as their covenant Lord, compare Ps 23:1 and Jn 10:11. The titles 'Saviour', 'Lord' and 'God' were used in contemporary religious groups and political circles as titles for the Emperor. To use them of Jesus was to make a decisive stand against all other claimants for Jesus' crown.

, 3seeing that his divine power [dynameōs] has granted [dōreō]

Can mean a generous imperial gift, or royal or divine bounty. Can even mean volunteering for service.

to us all things that pertain to life and godliness [eusebeian]

Ordinary Christians would use this word to describe what they would hope to be the results of their religious practices in observable holiness. It spoke of decency, honesty, trust and integrity, and could mean something that a religious person has earned or deserved. Cf. Ac 3:12.

, through the knowledge [epignōseōs]

Full, personal, conversion-knowledge.

of him who called [kaleō] us by his own glory and virtue [aretē]

This word is found in Greek religion, but together with doxa belong to OT descriptions of God.

; 4by which he has granted to us his precious and exceedingly great promises; that through these you may become partakers [koinōneō]

Unlike some Greek philosophers the Bible teaches that we are humans, not gods, created nor creators, fallen, not from godliness in heaven but from full humanity on earth, not destined to be absorbed into the Godhead as we evolve upwardly.

of the divine nature, having escaped [apopheugō] from the corruption [phthoras] that is in the world [kosmō] by lust [epithymia]. 5Yes, and for this very cause adding [epichorēgeō]

Originally a theatrical term used for a dramatic 'angel', a chorēgos, who provided some of the money for staging a production. The word came to be used of any generous city benefactor, and by the time Peter was writing it simply meant an extremely generous giver.

on your part all diligence [spoudēn], in your faith [pistei] supply moral excellence [aretēn]

Such lists of virtues were common at the time and there are several in the NT (e.g., Ro 5:3-5; 2 Cor 6:4-10; Gal 5:22-23; Col 3:12-14; 1 Tim 4:12; 6:11; 2 Tim 2:22; 3:10). This one uses secular ideals but is Christianised by the words faith and love. Goodness was a matter of great concern to thinking non-Christians of the time. What made a person good at being a human was a preoccupation for some philosophers.

; and in moral excellence [aretē], knowledge [gnōsin]

Information knowledge, or knowledge that is built up by application and endeavour over a long period. This is knowledge that is gained (cf. v2). The two uses of spichoregeo form a bracket around vv 5-11.

; 6and in knowledge [gnōsei], self-control [hypomonēn]; and in self-control [hypomonē] patience; and in patience godliness; 7and in godliness brotherly affection [Philadelphian]

A common term for relationships within a family unit; the NT is the only place where the word has been found outside the context of a home; cf. 1 Pe 1:22; 3:8; Ro 12:10; 1 Thes 4:9; Heb 13:1. A first century reader would come across it with a sense of shock. For us, the metaphor has been dimmed through familiarity.

; and in brotherly affection [philadelphia], love [agapēn]

This kind of love is marked by its indiscriminate and deliberate habit of loving not just brothers but those outside the family circle too. Nothing could be further from the false teachers' attitude of self-centredness and exploitation.

. 8For if these things are yours [hyparchō]

Lit. 'for these things in you being and abounding'. An estate agent's word, the related noun meaning property which is fully possessed and completely at one's disposal.

and abound [pleonazō], they make you to be not idle nor unfruitful [akarpous] to the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9For he who lacks these things is blind [typhlos]

'Blind and nearsighted'. 'Blind' has been translated as the squint caused by looking for too long at the sun.

, seeing only what is near, having forgotten the cleansing [katharismou] from his old sins. 10Therefore, brothers [adelphoi], be more diligent [spoudazō] to make your calling [klēsin] and election [eklogēn] sure [bebaian]

This word has a legal flavour, suggesting 'ratified'.

. For if you do these things, you will never stumble [ptaiō]. 11For thus you will be richly [plousiōs] supplied [epichorēgeō]

This is the passive form of the verb epichorēgeō, 'provide', see v5. Here it means 'you will be provided with'. The marathon runner has been pictured being welcomed to the finishing tape by a delighted home crowd.

with the entrance into the eternal Kingdom [basileian] of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 12Therefore I will not be negligent to remind [hypomimnēskō]

Corporate memory within Israel plays an important teaching role. The weekly Sabbath, the Passover meal were memory reinforcing events (cf. Dt 5:15; 16:3; cf. 1 Cor 15:1; 2 Tim 2:8,14.

you of these things, though you know them, and are established [stērizō] in the present [parousē] truth. 13I think [hēgeomai] it right [dikaion], as long as I am in this tent [skēnōmati], to stir you up by reminding you; 14knowing that the putting off of my tent comes swiftly [tachinē]

Swiftly, cf. 2:1. Clement, the first bishop of Rome and a colleague of both Peter and Paul (cf. Phil 4:3), wrote a letter towards the end of the first century from the church in Rome to the church in Corinth. He mentions the vicious persecution under Nero: 'Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or tow, but numerous labours; and when he had at length suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him (1 Clement 5). So Peter died at the hand of Nero before 9 June AD 68, when Nero took his own life. The earliest records say that Peter was crucified, and Origen says he was crucified upside down. He received a simple and secret burial on the Vatican Hill in Rome.

, even as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. 15Yes, I will make every effort [spoudazō]

A solemn pledge. Cf. 1:5, 10. Peter here is making explicit his intention to leave written instructions which some have identified with the later apocryphal letters and Acts of Peter. Alternatively the record may have been this letter or the gospel or Mark.

that you may always be able to remember these things even after my departure [exodon]. 16For we did not follow cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power and coming [parousian]

A Greek word for the splendid arrival of a dignitary or king. It acquired a technical status for Christians. Cf. Justin Martyr, First Apology 48.

of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty [megaleiotētos]

A remarkable word of very high honour, speaking of divine rather than human majesty. Cf. LXX Dt 33:26; Pss 21:5; 145:5; Lk 9:43. The same word appears in Ac 19:27 where it is used by the Ephesian silversmiths of the Greek goddess Diana.

. 17For he received from God the Father honour and glory [doxan], when the voice came to him from the Majestic [megaloprepous] Glory [doxēs; Heb. Shkhinah], "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased [eudokēsa]." 18We heard this voice come out of heaven when we were with him on the holy [hagiō]

When God gave the law at Sinai, Moses had called the place 'holy'; in Psalm 2 God spoke again on a mountain, the holy hill called Zion, the foundation rock for Jerusalem.

mountain. 19We have the more sure word [logon] of prophecy [phropētikon]

'The word of the prophets' was a standard way of referring to the OT. In the current Jewish understanding all inspired Scripture was prophecy.

; and you do well that you heed it, as to a lamp shining [phainō]

The same Greek word is used by Jesus of the last great prophet, John; Jn 5:35.

in a dark [auchmērō]

The Bible as a light, and the darkness of the world, are common biblical themes, but this word is an unusual and strong one, meaning 'thirsty, sunburnt and so squalid'. It calls to mind the squalor and gloom of a dungeon.

place, until the day [hēmera]

The Day refers to the great OT expectation of judgment (e.g., Mal 4:5).

dawns, and the morning star [phōsphoros]

i.e., Venus, which catches the sun's rays just before dawn and is a promise of daytime, cf. Nu 24: 17. That was regarded by Jewish teachers of Peter's time as a promise of the coming Messiah which the Christians gladly took up and applied to Jesus and his second coming.

arises in your hearts: 20knowing this first [prōton]

'Of most importance', 'Above all', 'Especially'. Cf. 3:3.

, that no prophecy of Scripture [graphēs] is of private interpretation [epilyseōs]

Can be used of an exposition of the OT. The verb form is found in Mk 4:34; Ac 18:19. The false teachers exercised their own interpretation of Scripture (3:5,16).

. 21For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke, being moved [pherō] by the Holy Spirit.

2 1But false prophets [pseudoprophētai] also arose among the people, as false teachers [pseudodidaskaloi] will also be among you, who will secretly bring in [pareisagō] destructive heresies [haireseis apōleias]

The Greek word hairēsis meant 'opinion' or 'variant'. Originally, the Sadducees, Pharisees, and even the Christians could be referred to by the word, without any underlying criticism (Ac 5:17; 15:5; 24:5; 26:5.

, denying [arneomai]

Peter knew the shame of this (Mk 14:30-31) but also the humble wonder of being restored. This false teachers stubbornly denied Jesus' ability to save, or Christ's return, or his rightful authority over them.

even the Master [despotēn]

An usual word for slave ownership, e.g., 1 Tim 6:1; Tit 2:9; 1 Pet 2:18, stressing an absolute right to possess. It is used in the NT of God in his capacity as creator and ruler of his world.

who bought [agorazō]

A word from the public slave auction. Used twenty-five times in the NT for a simple commercial transaction, but also for the effect of the death of Christ. For the first readers the word rang with echoes from the OT reminding them that they were rightly owned by God who had brought their forefathers out of Egypt and owed him their gratitude at the very least.

them, bringing on themselves swift [tachinēn]

Unexpected and suddenly rather than imminent, 1:14.

destruction. 2Many will follow their immoral ways [aselgeiais]

This meaning is sensual, shading off into sexual, and here means different forms or habit-forming lasciviousness behaviour (repeated in 2:7 and 2:18).

, and as a result, the way of the truth will be maligned [blasphēmeō pleonexia]. 3In covetousness [pleonexia]

This word has overtones of extortion.

they will exploit [emporeuomai]

A normal commercial word translated 'carry on business' in Jas 4:13 which Paul used in a similar warning (1 Tim 6:5).

you with deceptive words [plastois logois]: whose sentence [krima] now from of old doesn't linger, and their destruction [apōleia] will not slumber. 4For if God didn't spare angels when they sinned, but cast them down to Tartarus [tartaroō]

'Sent them to Tartarus', a standard term in non-biblical Greek mythology for a part of hell to which rebellious gods were sent, and this is its only biblical appearance. Probably a synonym for hell which had lost its pagan overtones.

, and committed them to pits [seirais]

From which our word 'silo' is derived.

of darkness, to be reserved for judgment [krisin]; 5and didn't spare the ancient world [archaiou kosmou], but preserved Noah with seven others, a preacher of righteousness [diaiosynēs kēruka], when he brought a flood on the world [kosmō] of the ungodly [asebōs]

A word Peter has probably chosen because of its similarity to his word eusebeia, godliness.

; 6and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes [tephroō]

One writer would use this word to describe the horrific devastation caused by the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79.

, condemned [katakrinō] them to destruction [katastrophē], having made them an example to those who would live ungodly [asebein]

This is a pun on the word for godliness; eusebeia. Such word-plays, often used by Peter, would have had impact as a public reading. It was an attention-grabbing device that enabled the audience to grasp his main points at a first hearing.

; 7and delivered [rhyomai] righteous [dikaion] Lot, who was very distressed [kataponeō]

Occurs in Ac 7:24 for the way an Egyptian 'ill-treated' an Israelite in Moses' presence.

by the lustful [aselgeia] life of the wicked [asthesmōn] 8(for that righteous man [dikaios] dwelling among them, was tormented [basanizō]

Mark uses this word for 'torture' and 'straining at the oars', Mk 5:7; 6:48.

in his righteous soul [psychēn dikaian] from day to day with seeing and hearing lawless [athemitos] deeds [anastrophēs]): 9the Lord knows how to deliver [rhyomai] the godly out of temptation and to keep the unrighteous [adikous] under punishment for the day of judgment [kriseōs]; 10but chiefly those who walk after the flesh [sarkos] in the lust [epithymia] of defilement [miasmou], and despise [kataphroneō] authority. Daring, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil [blasphēmeō] of dignitaries [doxas]; 11whereas angels [angeloi]

The prime role of angels in the OT were God's law-bringers (Dt 33:2; Gal 3:19; Heb 2:2; Heb 2:2). In the background to this verse there lies a legend of the archangel Michael who refused to support Satan in bringing a legal judgment against Moses, but instead trusted God to uphold his gracious law (cf. Jude 9-10).

, though greater in might and power, don't bring a railing judgment [blasphēmon krisin]

This is a legal term meaning 'pass a judgment on the question of slander or blasphemy'.

against them before the Lord. 12But these, as unreasoning [aloga] creatures, born natural animals to be taken and destroyed, speaking evil [blasphēmeō] in matters about which they are ignorant [agnoeō]

The false teachers may claim some insightful gnōsis but are actually ignorant.

, will in their destroying [phtheirō] surely be destroyed [phtharēsontai]

Note the acid pun between 'destroyed' and 'perish' which has been rendered 'they will be done out of the profits of their wrong-doing'. The downfall of the false teachers will be inevitable: if they behave like animals they are treated like animals, and if they cheat they will find they have been out-witted.

, 13receiving the wages of unrighteousness [misthon adikias]; people who count it pleasure [hēdonēn]

The word hedonism is derived from this, which originally had overtones of self-indulgence and vice.

to revel in the daytime [hēmera tryphēn]

Drunkenness in the daytime was a sign of dissipation that brought down the condemnation of all decent people in the ancient world - Jewish, Christian or pagan (Is 5:11; 1 Thes 5:7). Pagan disapproval of drunkenness ran into lists.

, spots [spiloi] and blemishes [mōmoi], revelling in their deceit [apatais]

Cf. Jude 12, where the word is agapais in the equivalent passage, perhaps a grim pun since attendees at the Lord's table were gluttonous and drunk.

while they feast with you; 14having eyes full of adultery, and who can't cease from sin; enticing [deleazō]

A fishing word (also in 2:18 and Jas 1:14) which describes their careful luring away of unwary Christians.

unsettled [astēriktous]

Translated 'seduce the unstable'; possibly a subtle pun on estērigmenous, the Christians who are 'firmly established', 1:12 and 'secure position', stērigmou, 3:17.

souls; having a heart trained [gymnazō] in greed [pleonexias]; children of cursing [kataras]

'Curse children', a Hebrew-style phrase, cf. 1 Pet 1:14; Eph 2:2,3; 5:6,8.

; 15forsaking the right way, they went astray, having followed the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved [agapaō] the wages of wrongdoing [misthos adikias]

Cf. 2:13.

; 16but he was rebuked for his own disobedience. A mute donkey spoke with a man's voice and stopped the madness of the prophet. 17These are wells without water [anydroi]

Wells without water are a tragic disappointment to the eastern traveller.

, clouds [nephelai]

An unusual word that refers to the haze which is left after condensation has turned from clouds to rain.

driven by a storm [lailapos]

Peter knew the feeling of powerlessness on a small boat on the Galilean Sea (Mk 4:27; Lk 8:23).

; for whom the blackness of darkness has been reserved forever. 18For, uttering great swelling words of emptiness, they entice [deleazō]

Like pack hunters which prey on the weakest members of a herd, so the false teachers home in on the weakest converts.

in the lusts [aselgeiais] of the flesh [sarkos], by licentiousness, those who are indeed escaping [apopheugō] from those who live [anastrephō] in error; 19promising them liberty, while they themselves are bondservants of corruption [douloi phthoras]

Perhaps Peter is painting a word-picture of a gladiator caught in the thrown net of his opponent, or of a hunted animal caught in the trap of the hunter.

; for a man is brought into bondage [douloō] by whoever overcomes him. 20For if, after they have escaped [apopheugō] the defilement of the world [miasmata tou kosmou] through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in it and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness [dikaiosynēs], than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment [entolēs]

The 'command' was standard Christian shorthand for the entire message, OT, NT, or both. Cf. Ro 7:12; 1 Tim 6:14; Heb 7:18; 1 Jn 2:7.

delivered [paradimōmi]

Has a technical force; see Lk 1:2; 1 Cor 11:2, 23; 15:1-3; 2 Thes 3:6; Jd 3.

to them. 22But it has happened to them according to the true proverb, "The dog [kyōn]

A repulsive scavenger in the Ancient Near East (cf. 1 Ki 21:19).

turns to his own vomit again," and "the sow [us]

A ritually unclean animal in the OT (cf. Lv 11:7).

that has washed to wallowing in the mire [borborou]

The word used for the filth at the bottom of Jeremiah's cistern-cell in Je 38:6, LXX.

."

3 1This is now, beloved [agapētoi], the second letter [epistolēn] that I have written to you; and in both of them I stir up your sincere [eilikrinē]

Refers to that which will bear the full test of being examined by sunlight, and so carries the sense of transparent sincerity.

mind by reminding you; 2that you should remember the words [rhēmatōn] which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and the commandments [entolēs] of us, the apostles [apostolōn]of the Lord and Saviour: 3knowing this first [prōton]

The same phrase is used in 1:20: 'Of most importance', 'Above all', 'Especially'.

, that in the last [eschatōn] days mockers [empaigmonē] will come, walking after their own lusts [epithymias]

There is a Hebraic construction here using repetition for reinforcement.

, 4and saying, "Where is the promise of his coming [parousias]? For, from the day that the fathers [pateres]

A standard NT way of referring to OT believers, cf. He 1:1-2; Ac 3:13; Jn 6:31; Ro 9:5.

fell asleep [koimaō], all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation [ktiseōs]." 5For this they willfully forget, that there were heavens from of old, and an earth [gē] formed out of water and amid water, by the word [logō] of God; 6by which means the world [kosmos] that then was, being overflowed [kataklyzō]

LXX uses the related noun kataklysmos throughout the flood narrative.

with water, perished [apollymi]. 7But the heavens that now are, and the earth [gē], by the same word [logō] have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment [kriseōs] and destruction [apōleias] of ungodly men. 8But don't forget this one thing, beloved [agapētoi], that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count [hēgeomai] slowness; but is patient [makrothymeō] with us, not wishing that any should perish [apollymi], but that all should come to repentance [matanoian]. 10But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens will pass away [parerchomai] with a great noise [rhoizēdon]

Only occurrence in the NT but common elsewhere. It is a noisy word, used for arrows whizzing, birds' wings rustling, the rushing of a stream in spate, or the cracking of a fire.

, and the elements [stoicheia]

Not the chemical elements of the periodic table, nor the four elements of fire, earth, air and water which, according to ancient thought, constituted the universe; that would make one element, fire, the destroyer of the other three. Stoicheia was used of numbers in a series, letters in alphabetical order, or anything in a row. The word came to mean the stars, planets and galaxies, anything, in fact, which constituted part of the universe (Cf. Is 34:4 and Joel 2:10.

will be dissolved [parerchomai] with fervent heat [kausoomai], and the earth [gē] and the works that are in it will be burned up [katakaiō]. 11Therefore since all these things will be destroyed [luō] like this, what kind of people ought you to be in holy living [anastrephō] and godliness [eusebeiais]

Lit. 'in holy forms of behaviour and godly deeds.' Holy and godly are both plural.

, 12looking for [prosdokaō] and earnestly desiring the coming [parousian] of the day of God, which will cause the burning heavens to be dissolved [lythēsontai], and the elements [stoicheia] will melt [tēkō] with fervent heat [pyroomai]? 13But, according to his promise, we look [prosdokeō] for new [kainēn]

Emphasizes both radical change and continuation. 'Neos' means new in time or origin but kainos means new in nature or quality.

heavens and a new earth [gēn], in which righteousness [dikaiosynē] dwells [katoikeō]. 14Therefore, beloved [agapētoi], seeing that you look for [prosdokaō] these things, be diligent to be found in peace, without blemish [aspiloi]

and blameless [amōmētoi]

This was a requirement of both sacrificial animals and the sacrificing priesthood. The Greek is the standard word in LXX for this perfection (Ex 29:1; Lv 1:3,10). Cf. 1 Pe 1:19; Phil 2:15; Jas 1:27.

in his sight. 15Regard [hēgeomai] the patience [makrothumian] of our Lord as salvation; even as our beloved brother [agapētos adelphos]

Brother was an accepted term for a fellow Christian worker. Later descriptions of Paul for example were more honorific: 'the blessed and glorious' (Polycarp), 'the blessed Paul' (Clement), 'the sanctified Paul … right blessed' (Ignatius).

Paul [Paulos] also, according to the wisdom [sophian] given to him, wrote to you; 16as also in all of his letters [epistolais], speaking in them of these things. In those, there are some things that are hard to understand, which the ignorant [amatheis]

Not knowing anything but refusing instruction.

and unsettled [astēriktoi] twist [strebloō]

This is a word from twisting rope or torturing on a rack.

, as they also do to the other Scriptures [graphas], to their own destruction [apōleian]. 17You therefore, beloved [agapētoi], knowing [proginōskō]

As in 'prognosis'.

these things beforehand, beware [phylassō], lest being carried away [synapagō]

With or alongside others.

with the error of the wicked [athesmōn], you fall [ekpiptō]

The dramatic word-picture has been used by Luke (Ac 27:26,29) to describe a ship running aground and being dashed against the rocks.

from your own steadfastness [stērigmou]. 18But grow in the grace [charity]

Here a song is begun taking up words which have traditionally only been allowed in doxology to God. Peter breathtakingly applies it to his carpenter friend. Cf. other NT songs devoted to Jesus: 2 Tim 4:18; Rev 1:3-6; Rev 5:8-10,13-14; 7:9-12; Eph 5:19. No Jew would calmly listen to a man being described as divine, and it must have taken a transformational shift for Jesus' Jewish followers to use such language.

and knowledge [gnōsei] of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be the glory [doxa] both now and forever. Amen [amēn].

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