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New Testament Survey: The Book Of Second Peter

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The Book Of Second Peter

Author:  Peter (1 Pet 1:1)(In 2 Pet 3:1, Peter wrote that it was his second Epistle.)
(For more on Peter see: Survey: Biography Of Peter)

1. The author refers to Jesus' prediction of his death (2 Pet 1:14). Jesus said this of Peter in (Jn 21:18-19).

2. The author states in (2 Pet 1:16-18) that he was present at the Transfiguration of Christ (Mt 17:1-4). Only Peter, James, and John were there.

3. 2nd Peter shares a number of unique words with 1st Peter:

"putting away/off" (Gr: apothesis)(used only twice in the NT)(1 Pet 3:21) / (2 Pet 2:3)
"liberty" (Gr: eleutheria)(1 Pet 2:16) / (2 Pet 2:19)
"precious" (Gr: timios)(1 Pet 1:7) / (2 Pet 1:4)
"old time" (Gr words used together only twice in the NT)(1 Pet 3:5) / (2 Pet 1:21)
"called you"(1 Pet 5:10) / (2 Pet 1:3)
"grace unto you and peace be multiplied"(1 Pet 1:2) / (2 Pet 1:2)
both Epistles also mention Noah and the flood(1 Pet 3:20) / (2 Pet 2:5)

4. 2nd Peter also shares a number of unique words with Peter's speeches in Acts:

"obtained" (Gr: lagchano)(used only twice in the NT)(Acts 1:17) / (2 Pet 1:1)
"godliness/holiness" (Gr: eusebeia)(Acts 3:12) / (2 Pet 1:3,6,7)
"punish/punished" (Gr: kolazo)(used only twice in the NT)(Acts 4:21) / (2 Pet 2:9)
"day of the Lord"(Acts 1:18) / (2 Pet 3:10)
(Jude 1:1) / (2 Pet 1:2)(Jude 1:9) / (2 Pet 2:11)
(Jude 1:4) / (2 Pet 2:1)(Jude 1:11) / (2 Pet 2:15)
(Jude 1:6) / (2 Pet 2:4)(Jude 1:12) / (2 Pet 2:17)
(Jude 1:7) / (2 Pet 2:6)(Jude 1:16) / (2 Pet 2:18)
(Jude 1:8) / (2 Pet 2:10)(Jude 1:18) / (2 Pet 2:1, 3:3)

There are several reasons as to why this may have occurred:

1. They may have shared a common source for information (i.e as Luke did when writing his Gospel: Lk 1:1-4).

2. They may have spoken with each other on this subject and wrote similarly.

3. Most likely, however, one writer borrowed from the other. Whether Peter borrowed from Jude, or Jude from Peter, has been a point of contention amongst scholars. There are arguments for each viewpoint:

Peter borrowed from Jude:

1. From a logical standpoint, it seems to make more sense for a larger work (2 Peter) to incorporate a smaller work (Jude) into it (quoting) than for a smaller work to be written with the sole purpose of repeating what has already been said.

2. Peter may have quoted Jude to give apostolic authority to it, just as the early church fathers gave credibility to the various letters we have mentioned in these surveys by quoting them in their writings.

Jude borrowed from Peter:

1. In (2 Pet 2:1-3)(2 Pet 3:3) Peter says there "shall be" (future tense) the coming of false teachers and scoffers, while in Jude (4,11-12,17-18) it speaks of their arrival (present tense).

2. In (Jude 17-18), Jude directly quotes (2 Pet 3:3) and states that it was from an Apostle, implying that Peter wrote before him.

3. If Peter had quoted the book of Jude, it would have gained instant apostolic authority, but instead, it was one of the last books accepted into the Canon.

The Stats:

Date Written:

Place Written:  Almost certainly Rome (likely from prison)

Written To: 

Key Verses:  (2 Pet 1:3-4,20-21)(2 Pet 2:9,11,20-22)(2 Pet 3:5-8)

Purpose: 

Special Emphasis:

Survey:

1. The great Christian virtues, 1:1-14.

2. The Scriptures exalted, 1:15-21.

3. Warnings concerning apostate teachers, 2:1-22.

4. The second coming of Christ and the day of Jehovah, 3:1-18.

(Survey from Scofield Reference Notes [1917 ed.]: Public Domain)