Gratitude for Grace

1 Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received1 a faith no less precious than our own by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the spiritual knowledge2 of God and of Jesus our Lord, seeing that His divine power has bestowed on us everything necessary for life and godliness through the spiritual knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and moral excellence. Through these things He has granted us exceedingly great and precious promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world because of lust.

Diligence for Fruit

And for this very reason you, on your part,3 must make every effort to supplement your faith with moral excellence; and moral excellence with knowledge; and knowledge with self-control; and self-control with perseverance; and perseverance with godliness; and godliness with brotherly kindness; and brotherly kindness with love. For if these virtues are truly yours and continually increasing, they will show that you are4 neither ineffective nor unfruitful in your quest for5 the spiritual knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind—spiritually shortsighted—having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure; for by practicing these things you will never stumble; 11 for in this way the entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly presented to you.

Reminder Before Departure

12 For this reason I intend to remind you of these things constantly, though you already know them and are well established in the truth, which is now present among you13 Indeed, as long as I am in this earthly tent, I think it only right to stir you up by refreshing your memories, 14 knowing that the laying aside of my tent is near, just as our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me.15 Moreover, I will also be diligent to ensure that after my departure you will always have a reminder of these things.

The Many Witnesses to Christ

16 For we were not following cleverly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were in fact eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, a voice such as this was borne to Him by the Majestic Glory, saying: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”7 18 And we ourselves heard this voice borne from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. 19 Moreover, we also possess the trustworthy8 prophetic word, which you do well to keep in view as though it were a lamp9 shining in a dark and dismal place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts; 20 recognizing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s private10 inspiration,11 21 for no prophecy ever had its origin12 in the will of man, but holy men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Notes

  1. Lit. received by lot
  2. Greek epignosis; in the NT, special spiritual and ethical knowledge
  3. Lit. also
  4. Or cause you to become
  5. Or simply in the spiritual knowledge
  6. Or supplied, provided
  7. Matt. 17:5
  8. Lit. firm, well-founded
  9. Lit. do well to attend to, as to a lamp
  10. Lit. own
  11. Or interpretation; lit. unloosing
  12. Lit. was ever carried, brought (i.e. into being)

 

Inevitability of False Teachers

2 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you; men who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, thereby bringing swift destruction upon themselves. And many will follow their unbridled lust, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed; and in their greed they will exploit you with deceptive words; their judgment, declared from long ago, does not sit idly by, and their destruction will not be delayed.

Protection from False Teachers

For if God did not spare angels who sinned,1 but cast them into the depths of Hades2 and consigned them to dark dungeons,3 there to be held for judgment; and if He did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; and if He condemned to destruction the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, reducing them to ashes, making them an example to those who afterwards would live ungodly lives; and if He rescued righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the lewd conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, while4 living among them, tormented his righteous soul day after day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment. 10 This is especially true of those who follow after the corrupt desires of the flesh, and who despise authority; brazen and self-willed, they do not tremble as they revile satanic rulers,5 11 whereas angels who are far greater in power and might dare6 not bring a slanderous judgment7 against them before the Lord.

Depravity of False Teachers

12 But these men—like unreasoning beasts, like creatures of instinct born only to be caught and killed—blaspheme in matters of which they know nothing at all, and will therefore be destroyed in the same way as those beasts, 13 suffering harm as the wages (?) for the harm they have done. They think it a pleasure to carouse in broad daylight. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their own deceptions as they feast together with you. 14 Their eyes are full of adultery, and they never cease from sin. They entice unstable souls. Their hearts8 are trained in greed. Accursed children! 15 They have forsaken the right path and gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 but he received a rebuke for his own transgression: a dumb donkey, speaking with a man’s voice, restrained the madness of the prophet!

Deceptiveness of False Teachers

17 These are springs without water, mists driven by a storm, men for whom the blackness of darkness is held in store. 18 For speaking high-sounding yet empty words, they entice with the lusts of the flesh—with licentiousness and debauchery—the ones who are barely escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them liberty, though they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by that he also is enslaved. 20 For if, having escaped the defilements of the world through the spiritual knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, their final condition has become worse than their first. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 It has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to its own vomit,” 9 and, “A sow, having washed, returns to wallowing in the mire.”

Notes

  1. Or angels when they sinned
  2. Lit. Tartarus, understood by Greeks and Hebrews as the lowermost region of Hades
  3. Lit. handed them over to pits (or chains) of darkness
  4. Or by
  5. Possibly temporal rulers, authorities; lit. glories
  6. Lit. do not
  7. Or accusation
  8. Lit. a heart
  9. Prov. 26:11

 

Divine Testing in the Last Days

3 Beloved, this is now the second letter I have written to you, in both of which I am seeking to stir up your pure minds by refreshing your memories. I want you to recall the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets, as well as the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, recognizing this first of all, that in the last days mockers will appear on the scene, mocking on, following after their own evil desires, and saying, “What’s become of His promise to return?1 For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue just as they have from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact,2 that long ago, by the word of God, the heavens came to be, and the earth stood forth3 out of water and through water, by which things the world of that time was also destroyed, being flooded with water. But by that same word the present heavens and the present earth are now reserved for fire, being kept in store for the Day of Judgment and the destruction of ungodly men.

The Day of the Lord Will Come

But, beloved, do not let this one thing escape your notice,4 that with the Lord a single day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a single day. The Lord is not delaying his promise in the way some think about delays, but is longsuffering toward you, not desiring5 that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the elements6 will be dissolved in blazing fire; and the earth and the works done7 in it will be burned up.8 11 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this manner, what kind of persons ought you9 to be, conducting yourselves in holiness and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens will be dissolved by burning, and the elements6 will melt with intense heat? 13 Nevertheless, according to His promise, we are looking for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

Final Exhortations

14 Therefore, beloved, since you are looking for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and without blame. 15 And consider that the longsuffering of our Lord means salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you. 16 Indeed, he has done the same in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are difficult to understand, things that untaught and unstable people twist—along with the rest of the Scriptures—to their own destruction. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing all this ahead of time, guard yourselves carefully lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness; 18 but instead, grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and until10 the day of eternity. Amen.

Notes

  1. Lit. Where is the promise of His coming?
  2. Or For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that
  3. Or was formed, compacted
  4. Or possibly do not forget this one thing
  5. Or possibly purposing
  6. Or possibly heavenly bodies
  7. Or found; lit. the works in it
  8. Some ancient mss laid bare, found, uncovered, exposed
  9. Some mss omit the personal pronoun, requiring we or you to be supplied
  10. Or on