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at the command of the apostle by one of his followers, as he had already conjectured that Malachi was a name assumed by Ezra. This is a reasonable line of criticism, and it has become a favourite in several quarters. Recently, for example, the allied hypothesis of a literary amanuensis has been ingeniously used to account for the faults and conflicting facts of style and expression. On this view the writing becomes Petrine rather than Peter's ; the cast of thought is secured for the apostle, while the peculiar Greek is attributed to a different secretary from the Silvanus who composed the first epistle. But this notion raises more difficulties than it solves. Nor does it fairly satisfy the internal evidence of the writing, which is crucial. A better attempt upon the same line is that of Professor Ramsay (CRE, pp. 492, 493). He regards the author as a pupil of Peter, who reproduced his master's counsels and spirit in face of new and later circumstances, just as the author of the “pastorals” is held to have done with Pauline ideas. But, as he proceeds to point out, some words of Tertullian (Adv. Marcion, iv. 5) 2 indicate that in ancient opinion a pupil's work could often be treated as that of his master : consequently, pseudonymity in a case like the present—though a further development-might be considered as a method which betokened humility and self-effacement upon the part of the author, rather than any attempt to deceive his contemporaries. This indeed would be the true standpoint from which to regard any NT pseudepigrapha. Probably, too, 2 Peter was put under Peter's name owing to the eminence of the genuine first epistle and the increasing authority of the Petrine tradition among the sub-apostolic communities.
The Greek style of the book has drawn upon it severe, though slightly exaggerated, strictures from Dr. Abbott, who inveighs against its “use of some words almost unknown to Greek literature, its misuse of other words and idioms, its fondness for grandiloquent novelities and strained sonorousness, its weak reduplication of florid phrases." This laboured and ambitious character suggests to him the English written by a Bengalee affecting the “fine style.” After one gets over the odd associations of the parallel, “Baboo Greek” helps to elucidate at least one or two points in the epistle ; it is decisive against the Petrine authorship, though not directly for the second-century date. 3 Chase also terms] the vocabulary “ambitious, poor, and inadequate” (DB, iii. pp. 806–809).
The origin of the epistle has been usually given as Egyptian, but Deissmann (Bibel-Studien, pp. 277–284) has discovered some interesting parallels between the style of the introduction and a decree of Stratonicea, which would rather point to Asia Minor.
1 E.g. by Farrar and Simcox. But the notion is as old as Jerome's day. Much more plausible is the idea that 2 Peter is by the author of the “Apocalypse of Peter
2 “Since it is permissible that what scholars publish should be regarded as the work of their master”; cp. Dr. Sanday's most cautious sentences ("Inspiration,” Bampton Lectures, pp. 348–350).
3 The growing distance from the religious centre of Christianity is even more noticeable in 2 Peter than in the other NT productions of the second century. It comes out in the diminution of simplicity, the increased recourse to vehement appeals and threats, the dependence on Jewish Haggada, and the presence of popular ideas such as that of the world's catastrophic overthrow and renewal (a Štoical opinion, Cicero, de Nat. Deorum, ii. 46).
The libertines who are attacked in the epistle of Judas appeal to a deeper Gnosis, they criticise the traditional faith and are on the point of separating themselves from Christendom; but in 2 Peter they reveal themselves in à still more advanced stage of development. They cast doubts upon the Christian tradition and occasion heresies. Their libertine tendencies and the background for these in angelology remain the same, even if the details are somewhat clearer and the propaganda more energetic. But they have brought one new idea into action, which for the time has produced a widespread opposition in Christian circles. This idea is to doubt the eschatological Christian outlook ; and it assumes the guise of an appeal to a deeper knowledge of Christ, to a particular conception of the OT, as well as to the position of Paul. The last-named point could be manipulated in support of a theoretical basis for libertinism, and also—by an ingenious change of meaning-to extinguish the outlook for the second Advent.
The author places himself in the ranks of those apostles who were invested with canonical authority. Indeed, he lays emphasis on this expressly. His aim is to deepen the impression of what he writes by introducing it as the last word of Peter, the testament of the apostle given immediately before his death.-von Soden.
11-4 Greeting : the possession of the Divine Life :
its moral obligations. 112-21 To urge these, the motive of the writer : his authority. The need of such counsel : in (a) the rise of false prophets and teachers
doom of these and their adherents foretold
and certain. 31-13 (6) the doubts of the second Arrival
the day of the Lord, certain and critical. 314-18 Final appeal.
SYMEON PETER, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ,
privilege, through the justice of our God and the Saviour Jesus
2 Grace to you and peace be multiplied in the full knowledge of God 3 and of Jesus our Lord, as his divine power has bestowed on us all that
makes for life and piety through the full knowledge of him who called us 4 by his own majesty and virtue—through which he has granted promises
that are precious to us and most great, in order that through these you may come to share in the divine nature and escape from the corruption 5 which, thanks to lust, is in the world. Yea and for this very object,
contributing on your part all eagerness, in your faith furnish virtue ; and 6 in virtue, knowledge ; and in knowledge, self-control ; and in self-control, 7 patience; and in patience, piety; and in piety, brotherly love ; and in 8 brotherly love, love. For if these things exist with you and increase,
they render you neither idle nor fruitless in gaining the full knowledge 9 of our Lord Jesus Christ ; for he who has not these things by him is
blind, short-sighted, since he has forgotten the cleansing from his sins 10 of long ago. Therefore, brothers, endeavour all the more eagerly to
make sure of your calling and selection, for by so doing you shall 11 never stumble. In this way you shall have richly furnished to
you the entrance into the eternal reign of our Lord and Saviour Jesus
Christ. 12 Therefore I shall take care always to remind you of these things,
although you know them and are established in the truth you now 13 possess. Indeed I consider it right, so long as I dwell in this tent, to 14 stir you up by way of reminder; since I know my tent must be struck 15 speedily, as our Lord Jesus Christ also pointed out to me. Yes and I
will eagerly endeavour that even after my departure you may constantly 16 recollect these things. For it was no sophistical myths that we followed,
when we made known to you the power and arrival of our Lord Jesus 17 Christ; nay, we were admitted to the spectacle of his grandeur. For he
received honour and majesty from God the Father, when such a voice as this reached him from the grand Majesty,
“This is my beloved Son,
With whom I am delighted”18 and this voice we heard borne out of the sky, when we were with him on 19 the holy mountain. And so we have the word of prophecy more sure
than ever, to which you do well to devote yourselves, as to a lamp shining
in a darksome place, until the day dawn and the day-star arise within 20 your hearts; especially as you know that every prophecy eludes indi
vidual interpretation, 21 For it was not through man's will that any prophecy was ever borne, But holy 1 men of God spoke as they were impelled by the holy
21 But false prophets also appeared among the People,
As among you also there shall be false teachers,
destruction upon themselves.
Through whom the way of the truth shall be maligned.
And their destruction slumbers not.
But thrusting them down to Tartarus, to pits of nether blackness,
Delivered them to be kept for judgment;
sentenced them to overthrow, Making an example of them for future impiety, And rescued upright Lot, weighed down by the sensual conduct
of the lawless
their unlawful deeds from day to day)-
And to keep the unjust in punishment for the day of judgment,
pollution and despise the Lordship. 11 Daring, arrogant, they tremble not when they abuse Majesties! Whereas
angels, greater though they are in might and power, do not bring an 12 abusive accusation against them before the Lord. Bụt these, like
irrational brutes, by nature born for capture and corruption, uttering
abuse about what they are ignorant of, shall also perish in their cor13 ruption, obtaining the wages of iniquity; men who reckon it a pleasure
to live luxuriously in open daylight, spots and blots, luxuriating in their 14 deceits as they feast with you, with eyes full of adultery and insatiable ?
in sin, beguiling unstable souls, with their heart trained in covetousness, 15 children to be cursed. Leaving the straight road, they erred as they
followed the road of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of 16 iniquity but got rebuked for his own malpractice: a dumb beast of
burden spoke with human voice and prevented the infatuation of the 17 prophet. These men are waterless fountains and mists driven by a 18 squall, for whom the nether blackness of darkness has been kept. For,
uttering futile extravagances, they beguile in the lusts of the flesh, by
sensuality, those who are just escaping from men of erring conduct, 19 promising them freedom while they are slaves of corruption themselves ! 20 For whatever a man is worsted by, to that he is enslaved. For, after escaping the pollutions of the world through the full knowledge of our 3
i Reading .. 2 Reading &zxT6 TOOTOUS. 3 Adding ipwr.
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, if they are once more entangled and 21 worsted by these, their last state turns out worse than their first. Better
had it been for them never to have known the way of uprightness than,
after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to 22 them. What has happened to them is what the true proverb says: a dog,
that has turned back to his own vomit; and, “a sow that had washed, to
wallowing in the mud.” 31 This is now the second letter, beloved, that I write to you, and in
2 them I seek to stir up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you remember the words which have been spoken beforehand by the holy prophets, and the commandment of the apostles sent you from the Lord 3 and Saviour; as you know this first of all, that in the last days scoffers 4 shall come scotfing, walking after their own lusts and saying, "Where is
the promise of his arrival ? For, from the day when the fathers fell asleep, all things remain exactly as they were from the beginning of the 5 creation.” They forget, in this notion of theirs, that skies and earth
existed long ago, composed out of water and through water by the word 6 of God, through which (water and word) the then-existing world was 7 deluged and destroyed; while the present skies and earth have been
reserved by the same word, kept for fire, for the day when impious men are judged and destroyed.
Now forget not this one thing, beloved :
With the Lord a single day is like a thousand years,
And a thousand years like a single day.
Nay, he is longsuffering towards you,
them to repentance.
And in it the skies shall pass away with hurtling noise,
As these things are all thus to be dissolved,
By which the skies shall be set on fire and dissolved,
And the elements shall be set aflame and melt?
And in them uprightness dwells. 14 Wherefore, beloved, as you are expecting these things, endeavour eagerly 15 to be found in peace, unstained and unblamable before him ; and reckon
the longsuffering of our Lord as salvation—just as our beloved brother 16 Paul also wrote to you by the wisdom given him, speaking of these
matters, as indeed he did, in all his letters ; letters containing some
things hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable distort (as 17 they do the rest of the scriptures) to their own destruction.
As for you then, beloved, knowing these things beforehand, be on your guard that
you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from 18 your own steadfastness; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be the majesty both now and to the day of eternity.