2 Peter

1 2 3

2 Peter 3 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on 2 Peter 3 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:

2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

(3:4-5) "Where is the promise of his coming?"
The author of 2 Peter is aware of the failed expectations of early believers. He knows that Jesus, who was to come soon, didn't come at all. Many have begun to ask, "Where is the promise of his coming?" He tries to cover for Jesus by claiming that "one day with the Lord is as a thousand years."
The author of the SAB talks about falling expectations of early believers. But in other verses he interprets “last days” as something in the future. Isn't Peter addressing those in the last of the last days, i.e. us? We certainly have no lack of scoffers in our time. But we know for sure that Peter was addressing those after his life as he knew he would not live when Christ would return, see 1 Pet. 4:7.
And the ‘cover’ is not that one day is as thousand years, what Peter says the reason (verse 9) is that the Lord is longsuffering, not willing that any should perish!

5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

(3:5-6) "They are willingly ignorant"
Those who disbelieve in the Bible's creation and flood stories are "willingly ignorant."
And this is quite so. The evidence for the flood is overwhelming, except for those who don't like the concept of a God whom they have to give account to.

6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

(3:6) "The world ... being overflowed with water, perished."
God drowned everyone on earth except for Noah and his family.
This was not injustice, but punishment. And Noah preached to them for 120 years: they could have gone with him in the ark, if they had been willing to do so.

7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

(3:7) God will set the entire earth on fire so that he can burn non-believers to death.
Sinners will be burnt to death, not non-believers.

8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

(3:9) "The Lord is ... not willing that any should perish."
Does God want some people to go to hell?
The Saviour is preached to all, and all can believe. But God will condemn evil, and those we they in their wickedness, see Prov. 16:4 and Rom. 9:18.

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

(3:10) "The earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."
When Jesus finally does come, the heavens will "pass away with a great noise" and the earth will "be burnt up."
Will the earth last forever?
As this verse makes clear, the earth will not last forever in its current form. But see also Psalm 37:29.

11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

"We ... look for new heavens and a new earth."
Will the earth last forever?
What's new?
On if the earth will last forever, see verse 10.
On what's new, see Eccl. 1:9.

14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

"In all his epistles ... are some things hard to be understood."
Paul's epistles are hard to understand. And that those who try to understand them, as with the other scriptures, do so "unto their own destruction."
BOM: Alma 13:20
How did we get from Peter's claim that some things in Paul's letters are hard to understand to all Paul's epistles are hard to understand?
And the curse is not pronounced on those who try to understand them, but on those who twist Scripture into saying something it doesn't.

17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.