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|New American Bible|
2002 11 11
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1 Symeon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus
Christ, to those who have received a faith of equal value to ours through the
righteousness of our God and savior Jesus Christ:
may grace and peace be yours in abundance
through knowledge 2 of God and of Jesus our Lord.
3 4 His divine power has
bestowed on us everything that makes for life and devotion, through the
knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and power.
Through these, he has bestowed on us the
precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in
the divinenature, after escaping from the corruption that is in the world
because of evil desire.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to
supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge,
knowledge with self-control, self-control with
endurance, endurance with devotion,
devotion with mutual affection, mutual
affection with love.
If these are yours and increase in abundance,
they will keep you from being idle or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord
Anyone who lacks them is blind and
shortsighted, forgetful of the cleansing of his past sins.
6 Therefore, brothers, be all the more eager to
make your calland election firm, for, in doing so, you will never stumble.
For, in this way, entry into the eternal
kingdom of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you.
7 Therefore, I will always remind you of these
things, even though you already know them and are established in the truth you
I think it right, as long as I am in this
"tent," 8 to stir you up by a reminder,
since I know that I will soon have to put it
aside, as indeed our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me.
I shall also make every effort to enable you
always to remember these things after my departure.
We did not follow cleverly devised myths when
we made known to you the power and coming 9 of our Lord
Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty.
For he received honor and glory from God the
Father 10 when that unique declaration came to him from the
majestic glory, "This is my Son, my beloved, with whom I am well
We 11 ourselves heard this
voice come from heaven while we were with him on the holy mountain.
Moreover, we possess the prophetic message that
is altogether reliable. You will do well to be attentive to it, as to a lamp
shining in a dark place, until day dawns and the morning star rises in your
12 Know this first of all, that there is no
prophecy of scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation,
for no prophecy ever came through human will;
but rather human beings moved by the holy Spirit spoke under the influence of
1  Symeon Peter: on the authorship
of 2 Peter, see Introduction; on the spelling here of the Hebrew name Simon, cf
⇒ Acts 15:14. The greeting is especially similar to
those in 1 Peter and Jude. The words translated our God and savior Jesus Christ
could also be rendered "our God and the savior Jesus Christ"; cf
⇒ 2 Peter 1:11; ⇒ 2:20;
⇒ 3:2, ⇒ 18.
2  Knowledge: a key term in the
letter (⇒ 2 Peter 1:3,
8; ⇒ 2:20;
⇒ 3:18), perhaps used as a Christian emphasis
against gnostic claims.
3 [3-4] Christian life in its fullness
is a gift of divine power effecting a knowledge of Christ and the bestowal of
divine promises (⇒ 2 Peter 3:4,
9). To share in the divine nature, escaping from a
corrupt world, is a thought found elsewhere in the Bible but expressed only
here in such Hellenistic terms, since it is said to be accomplished through
knowledge (⇒ 2 Peter 1:3); cf ⇒ 2
Peter 1:2; ⇒ 2:20; but see also
⇒ John 15:4; ⇒ 17:22-23;
⇒ Romans 8:14-17; ⇒ Hebrews
3:14; ⇒ 1 John 1:3;
4  By his own glory and power: the
most ancient papyrus and the best codex read "through glory and
5 [5-9] Note the climactic gradation
of qualities (⇒ 2 Peter 1:5-7), beginning with faith
and leading to the fullness of Christian life, which is love; cf
⇒ Romans 5:3-4; ⇒ Gal 5:6,
⇒ 22 for a similar series of "virtues,"
though the program and sense here are different than in Paul. The fruit of
these is knowledge of Christ (⇒ 2 Peter 1:8)
referred to in ⇒ 2 Peter 1:3; their absence is
spiritual blindness (⇒ 2 Peter 1:9).
6 [10-11] Perseverance in the
Christian vocation is the best preventative against losing it and the safest
provision for attaining its goal, the kingdom. Kingdom of . . . Christ, instead
of "God," is unusual; cf ⇒ Col 1:13 and
⇒ Matthew 13:41, as well as the righteousness of .
. . Christ (⇒ 2 Peter 1:1).
7 [12-19] The purpose in writing is
to call to mind the apostle's witness to the truth, even as he faces the end of
his life (⇒ 2 Peter 1:12-15), his eyewitness
testimony to Christ (⇒ 1 Peter 1:16-18), and the
true prophetic message (⇒ 2 Peter 1:19) through the
Spirit in scripture (⇒ 2 Peter 1:20-21), in
contrast to what false teachers are setting forth (2 Peter 2).
8  Tent: a biblical image for
transitory human life (⇒ Isaiah 38:12), here
combined with a verb that suggests not folding or packing up a tent but its
being discarded in death (cf ⇒ 2 Cor 5:1-4).
9  Coming: in Greek parousia,
used at ⇒ 2 Peter 3:4,
⇒ 12 of the second coming of Christ. The word was
used in the extrabiblical writings for the visitation of someone in authority;
in Greek cult and Hellenistic Judaism it was used for the manifestation of the
divine presence. That the apostles made known has been interpreted to refer to Jesus'
transfiguration (2pe ⇒ 1:17) or to his entire first
coming or to his future coming in power (2 Peter 3).
10  The author assures the readers
of the reliability of the apostolic message (including Jesus' power, glory, and
coming; cf the note on ⇒ 2 Peter 1:16) by appeal to
the transfiguration of Jesus in glory (cf ⇒ Matthew
17:1-8 and parallels) and by appeal to the prophetic message
(⇒ 2 Peter 1:19; perhaps
⇒ Numbers 24:17). Here, as elsewhere, the New
Testament insists on continued reminders as necessary to preserve the
historical facts about Jesus and the truths of the faith; cf
⇒ 2 Peter 3:1-2; ⇒ 1 Cor
11:2; ⇒ 15:1-3. My Son, my beloved: or,
"my beloved Son."
11  We: at Jesus' transfiguration,
referring to Peter, James, and John (⇒ Matthew
12 [20-21] Often cited, along with
⇒ 2 Tim 3:16, on the "inspiration" of
scripture or against private interpretation, these verses in context are
directed against the false teachers of 2 Peter 2 and clever tales
(⇒ 2 Peter 1:16). The prophetic word in scripture
comes admittedly through human beings (⇒ 2 Peter
1:21), but moved by the holy Spirit, not from their own
interpretation, and is a matter of what the author and Spirit intended, not the
personal interpretation of false teachers. Instead of under the influence of
God, some manuscripts read "holy ones of God."
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