2 Peter

1 2 3

2 Peter 1 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on 2 Peter 1 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

(1:1, 3:1) "Simon Peter"
Although this epistle claims to have been written by Peter, he was almost certainly not its author. It is thought to have been written around 90-100 CE, long after Peter's death. The late date is suspected because: 1) verses 3:3-4 make excuses for the failure of the expected second coming of Christ, 2) the author refers to "all of the letters of Paul" in a way that indicates that Paul's epistles were already considered equal to "the other scriptures", and 3) the epistle depends upon the letter of Jude, which is thought to have been written around 80-100 CE.
Let's go over these claims one by one:
  1. The so called excuses for Christ's second coming being delayed which the author of the SAB reads in chapter 3:3-4: see 1 Pet. 4:7.
  2. The reference to the epistles of Paul is in chapter 3:15-16. As it is fashionable to believe the Bible was an Open Source project anyway, why are these verses not simply later additions? Some overzealous scribe added it centuries later, or something like that. But I suppose one can only trod out the argument for ‘additions’ when it is a useful ‘argument.’
    But actually this reference in chapter 3:15-16 is a strong claim Peter did write it, as no forger would have dared to say that some things Paul wrote are hard to understand.
  3. The author of the SAB claims this epistle depends on the epistle of Jude. The name Jude does not occur in this epistle. But what he refers to is that this letter supposedly quotes Jude in a number of places. But assuming this is so, it is of course circular reasoning. Why doesn't quote Jude 2 Peter? Or why is Jude late? If Jude is early, this would make 2 Peter early as well.
The arguments the author of the SAB presents are explained at more length at this introduction to 2 Peter.
I find the reasoning very weak. This letter was accepted in the canon because the early church, led by the Spirit, accepted the author as Peter. They lived close to that time, not we, 2,000 years removed. Anyway, I think this article sums up the major arguments to accept the author as Peter very well. And see also The authorship of Second Peter.

2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.

13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;

14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.

15 Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.

16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.