Gratitude for Grace

1 Simon Peter, a bondservant 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 granted 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 also 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 due to 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 things are yours and constantly increasing, they will ensure4 that you are neither ineffective nor unfruitful in5 the spiritual knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things 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.

Parting Words

12 Therefore I intend to remind you of these things as often as necessary,6 though you already know them and are well established in the truth now present among you13 Indeed, as long as I remain in this earthly tent I think it only right to stir you up by refreshing your memory, 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 make every effort ensure that after my departure you will always have a reminder of these things.

Manifold 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 instead were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, this is the utterance that was brought to him7 by the majestic glory: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”8 18 And we ourselves heard this utterance as it was brought from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.

19 Moreover, we also possess the trustworthy9 prophetic word, which you do well to keep in view as though it were a lamp10 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 private11 inspiration,12 21 for no prophecy ever had its origin13 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; i.e. special spiritual and ethical knowledge
  3. Lit. also
  4. Or show; lit. put in place, render, establish
  5. Or in (your) pursuit of; Greek eis (unto, for, in)
  6. Or constantly
  7. Lit. such a voice (utterance) was carried to him
  8. Matt. 17:5
  9. Lit. firm, well-founded
  10. Or as you would a lamp; lit. do well to attend to, as to a lamp
  11. Lit. own
  12. Or interpretation; lit. unloosing
  13. Lit. was ever carried (brought)

Inevitability of False Teachers

2 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there also will be false teachers among you. Such men will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even to the extent of denying the Master who bought them, thereby bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Moreover, many will follow them in their unbridled lust, and because of them the way of truth will fall into reproach. In their greed they also will exploit you with deceptive words; but their judgment, declared from long ago, does not sit idly by, and their destruction will suffer no delay.

Protection from False Teachers

For if God did not spare the 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) and seven others when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; and if he sentenced to destruction the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, reducing them to ashes, making them an example to those who afterwards would lead 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 keep the unrighteous under punishment for the Day of Judgment, 10 and especially those who follow after the corrupt desires of the flesh and 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 dare not6 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 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. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness. 16 But for his transgression he received this rebuke: a dumb donkey, speaking with a man’s voice, finally restrained the madness of the prophet!

Deceptiveness of False Teachers

17 These are springs without water, mists driven by a violent wind, men for whom the blackness of darkness is held in store. 18 For by uttering high-sounding yet empty words, they entice with fleshly lusts and debaucheries those who are barely escaping from the rest9 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, after escaping 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 never to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then turn away from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 In their case, the words of the true proverb have been fulfilled:10 “A dog returns to its own vomit,”11 and, “A sow, after washing herself, goes back 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 (chains) of darkness
  4. Or by
  5. Or possibly temporal rulers, authorities; lit. glories
  6. Lit. do not
  7. Or accusation
  8. Lit. a heart
  9. Lit. those
  10. Lit. it has happened to them of the true proverb
  11. Prov. 26:11

Divine Testing in the Last Days

3 Beloved friends, this is now the second letter I’ve written you, in both of which I seek to stir up your pure minds by refreshing your memory. I want you to recall the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets, and the commandment of our1 Lord and Savior delivered through your apostles, understanding this first of all, that in the last days scoffers will arrive on the scene, scoffing at the faith, following their own evil desires, and saying, “What’s become of his promise to return?2 For ever since the fathers fell asleep, everything continues just as it has from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact,3 that long ago, by the word of God, the heavens came into being, and the earth stood forth4 out of water and through water, by which things the world of that time was also destroyed when it was 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.

But beloved friends, don’t let this one fact escape your notice,5 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 people think about delays; rather, he is longsuffering towards you, not desiring6 that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

The Day of the Lord Will Come

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar, the elements7 will be dissolved in blazing fire, and the earth—and the works done8 in it—will be laid bare.9 11 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what kind of persons should you10 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 elements11 will melt with intense heat? 13 Nevertheless, in accordance with his promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.12

Concluding Exhortations

14 Therefore, beloved friends, since you are eagerly waiting for these things, make every effort to be found by him in peace, spotless and blameless. 15 And regard the patient forbearance of our Lord as salvation—just as our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, also wrote to you. 16 Indeed, he addresses these matters in all his letters,13 which do contain certain things that are hard to understand, things that the untaught and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they also do with the rest of the scriptures. 17 Therefore, beloved friends, since you know all this ahead of time, see to it you are not led astray by the error of unprincipled men, and so fall from your own steadfastness. 18 Instead, you must keep on growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory, both now and until14 the day of eternity.

Notes

  1. Lit. the
  2. Lit. Where is the promise of his coming?
  3. Or For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice
  4. Or was formed, compacted
  5. Or possibly never forget this one thing
  6. Or possibly purposing
  7. Or possibly heavenly bodies
  8. Or found; lit. the works in it
  9. Lit. found; some mss burned up
  10. Some mss omit the personal pronoun, allowing we to be supplied
  11. Or heavenly bodies
  12. Isaiah 65:17; 66:22
  13. Lit. as also in all letters, speaking of these things
  14. Or on