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Bible Commentaries

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

2 Peter 1

Verses 1-2


1, 2 .] ADDRESS AND GREETING. Symeon (see var. readd. The form, as belonging to our Apostle, is found, besides here, only in Acts 15:14 . Its occurrence is at all events a testimony in favour of the independence of the second Epistle. It was not adapted to the first: which, considering that it refers to the first, is a note, however slight, on the side of its genuineness) Peter, a servant ( Rom 1:1 ) and apostle (an ingenious reason is given by De Wette for the occurrence of both these designations: that the Writer combined 1 Peter 1:1 , with Jud 1:1 ) of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained ( λαγχάνειν (with acc. as reff. Acts, 3 Macc.) shews, as Beng., that “non ipsi sibi pararunt:” as Huss in Huther, “sicut sors non respicit personam, ita nec divina electio acceptatrix est personarum”) like precious faith ( faith , i. e. substance of truth believed: faith objective, not subjective, of equal value : not, as De W., which confers equal right to God’s kingdom, equal honour and glory: such a meaning would be unexampled. The E. V. has hit the meaning very happily by like precious . Cf. 1 Peter 2:7 . Huther quotes from Horneius (similarly Estius); “dicitur fides æque pretiosa, non quod omnium credentium æque magna sit, sed quod per fidem illam eadem mysteria et eadem beneficia divina nobis proponantur”) with us (apparently, in the first place, the Apostles: but more probably, in a wider sense, the Jewish Christians, with whom the Gentiles had been admitted into the same covenant, and the inheritance of the like precious promises) in the righteousness of our God and (our) Saviour Jesus Christ (first, concerning ἐν δικαιοσύν . Some Commentators, as Beza, Grot., Piscator, al., take δικ . for an attribute of God, and ἐν as instrumental, by the righteousness, goodness, truth, of God: others, as Estius, Horneius, al., understand δικ . as “justitia quam Deus nobis dat et Christus peperit” (Horn.), explaining ἐν as ‘cum’ or ‘per:’ but, as Huther well replies, this is objectionable, seeing that righteousness comes by faith, not faith by righteousness. De Wette would give two different meanings to δικ . as applied to the Father and to the Son, in the former case making it mean grace , in the latter love : but this is evidently quite arbitrary. Gerhard would confine it altogether to the “obedientia et satisfactio Christi,” against which is τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν . The best explanation seems to me that of Huther, that δικαιοσύνη here betokens the righteous dealing of God, corresponding to His attribute of righteousness, as opposed to προσωποληψία : and that the words are to be taken in close connexion with the foregoing, τοῖς ἰσότιμον ἡμῖν λαχοῦσιν πίστιν , ἐν being used of the conditional element, in which the λαχεῖν πίστιν ἰσότιμον is grounded: so that the sense is, in His righteousness, which makes no difference between the one party and the other, God has given to you the like precious faith, as to us. De W.’s objection to this, that thus the Epistle must be regarded as written to Gentile Christians, is not valid, or proves too much: for at all events there must be two parties in view in the words ἰσότιμον ἡμῖν , whatever these parties be.

Next, as to the words τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν καὶ σωτῆρος Ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ . Undoubtedly, as in Titus 2:13 , in strict grammatical propriety, both θεοῦ and σωτῆρος would be predicates of Ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ . But here, as there, considerations interpose, which seem to remove the strict grammatical rendering out of the range of probable meaning. I have fully discussed the question in the note on that passage, to which I would refer the reader as my justification for interpreting here, as there, τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν of the Father, and σωτῆρος Ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ of the Son. Here, there is the additional consideration in favour of this view, that the Two are distinguished most plainly in the next verse):

Verse 2

2 .] grace to you and peace be multiplied (so in ref.: but further specified here by what follows) in (as the vehicle, or conditional element of the multiplication) knowledge ( ἐπίγνωσις , “cognitio maturior:” but this can hardly be given in English without too strong a phrase) of God, and of Jesus our Lord (every unusual expression, like Ἰης . τοῦ κυρ . ὑμῶν , occurring only Romans 4:24 , should be noticed as a morsel of evidence to the independence of the Epistle).

Verse 3

3 .] Seeing that (the connexion with the greeting which precedes must not be broken: it is characteristic of this Epistle, to dilate further when the sense seems to have come to a close. The sense of ὡς with a gen. absolute is, “assuming that,” “seeing that;” cf. Plato, Alcib. i. p. 10, οὐκοῦν ὡς διανοουμένου σου ταῦτα ἐρωτῶ , ἀφίημί σε διανοεῖσθαι : Xen. Cyr. iii. 1. 9, ἀλλ ʼ ἐρώτα , ἔφη , ὦ Κῦρε , ὅτι βούλει , ὡς τἀληθῆ ἐροῦντος . See Matthiæ, § 568. 2. Winer, § 65. 9. The latter explains the usage thus, “ ὡς with a participle in the gen. absolute construction, gives to the idea of the verb a subjective character, of assumption, or intention”) His divine ( θεῖος , a word peculiar in N. T., as an adjective, to this Epistle: see reff.) power hath given ( δεδωρημένης , middle in signification, as perfect passives so often: so προσκέκλημαι αὐτούς , Acts 13:2 ; Acts 16:10 ; Acts 25:12 ; ὃ ἐπήγγελται , Romans 4:21 ; Hebrews 12:26 ; see Winer, § 39. 3) us all things ( πάντα is prefixed by way of emphasis) which are ( requisite ) for (reff.) life and godliness ( εὐσέβεια is a mark of the later apostolic period: reff.), through (by means of, as the medium of attainment: “Dei cognitio principium est vitæ ( Joh 17:3 ) et primus in pietatem ingressus.” Calv.) the knowledge ( ἐπι γν . see above) of Him that called us (i. e. of God, who is ever the Caller in the N. T.: see e. g. 1Pe 2:9 ) by (dat. of the instrument, as in Acts 2:33 ; Acts 5:31 ; Jam 3:7 ) His own glory and virtue ( αἱ ἀρεταί are predicated of God in ref. 1 Pet. However these words be read, whether as in text, or διὰ δόξης κ . ἀρετῆς , both substantives belong to God, not to us: still less must we render, as in E. V., “called us to glory and virtue,” of which meaning there is not a trace in either reading. Bengel seems to give the meaning well, “ad gloriam referuntur attributa Dei naturalia, ad virtutem ea quæ dicuntur moralia: intime unum sunt utraque” Cf. Galatians 1:15 , καλέσας διὰ τῆς χάριτος αὐτοῦ ),

Verses 3-11

3 11 .] Exhortation to advance in the graces of the spiritual life : introduced ( 2Pe 1:3-4 ) by a consideration of the rich bestowal from God of all things belonging to that life by the knowledge of Him, and the aim of His promises, viz. that we should partake in the divine nature.

Verse 4

4 .] through which (His attributes and energies) He hath given to us ( δεδώρηται again middle in sense, see above: not as E. V., passive: the subject is ὁ καλέσας ) the [or, His ] greatest and precious promises ( ἐπαγγέλματα , as in ch. 2 Peter 3:13 , promises : not, things promised (Est., Beng., al.), still less, as Dietlein, proclamations of Christian doctrine, which the word cannot mean. Benson’s idea, that by ἡμῖν are meant the Apostles, and that the second person γένησθε refers to the Gentile Christians, seems quite beside the purpose), that by means of these (promises: i. e. their fulfilment: not to be referred, as Calv., Benson, De Wette, to τὰ πρὸς ζωὴν κ . τ . λ . as the antecedent: nor, as Beng., to δόξη καὶ ἀρετή : τούτων shews pointedly that the last-mentioned noun is the antecedent) ye may become (aor., but not on that account to be rendered, as Huther, wurdet , that ye might be , adding, that the Writer assumes the participation to have already taken place: for the aor. is continually thus used of future contingencies without any such intent: e. g. πιστεύετε εἰς τὸ φῶς , ἵνα υἱοὶ φωτὸς γένησθε , John 12:36 . The account of this usage of the aor. has not been any where, that I have seen, sufficiently given. It is untranslateable in most cases, but seems to serve in the Greek to express that the aim was not the procedure, but the completion, of that indicated: not the γίνεσθαι , the carrying on of the process, but the γενέσθαι , its accomplishment) partakers of the divine nature (i. e. of that holiness, and truth, and love, and, in a word, perfection, which dwells in God, and in you, by God dwelling in you: “vocat hic divinam naturam id quod divina præsentia efficit in nobis, i. e. conformitatem nostri cum Deo, seu imaginem Dei quæ in nobis reformatur per divinam præsentiam in nobis.” Hemming in Huther: which is only so far wrong, that it confounds our κοινωνία in the divine nature, of which the above would be a right description, with that nature itself), having escaped (not a conditional participial clause, but like ὀλίγον παθόντας in 1 Peter 5:10 , merely a note of matter of fact, bringing out in this case the negative side of the Christian life, as the former clause did the positive: ‘when ye have escaped’) from (the construction, of ἀποφεύγω with a gen. is not very usual. Matthiæ gives a similar instance from Xen. An. i. 3. 2, ἐξέφυγε τοῦ μὴ καταπετρωθῆναι , and another from Soph. Antig. 488, οὐκ ἀλύξετον μόρου κακίστου . In Philoct. 1034 we have δοκοῖμ ʼ ἂν τῆς νόσου πεφευγέναι . These last instances shew that the gen. here is due, not to the preposition ἀπο , but to the idea of separation and distance implied in the sense of the verbs) the corruption (= destruction, of soul and body) which is in the world in (consisting in, as its element and ground) lust (Calvin: “hanc non in elementis quæ nos circumstant, sed in corde nostro esse ostendit, quia illic regnant vitiosi et pravi affectus, quorum fontem vel radicem voce concupiscentiæ notat. Ergo ita locatur in mundo corruptio, ut sciamus in nobis esse mundum”).

Verse 5

5 .] And on this very account ( αὐτὸ τοῦτο , lit. “ this very thing :” but just as τί , “ what ,” has come to mean “ why? ” “ for what reason? ” so αὐτό , or τοῦτο , or the strengthened demonstrative produced by the juxtaposition of both, has come to mean, “ wherefore ,” “ for this reason .” See Winer in reff.: and cf. Xen. Anab. i. 9. 21, αὐτὸ τοῦτο οὗπερ αὐτὸς ἕνεκα φίλων ᾤετο δεῖσθαι , … καὶ αὐτὸς ἐπειρᾶτο συνεργὸς τοῖς φίλοις κράτιστος εἶναι , ‘for the very reason, for which he thought that he himself wanted friends.… he also tried to be’ &c.: and Plato, Protag. p. 310 E, αὐτὰ ταῦτα νῦν ἥκω παρά σε . The reason here being, ὡς .… δεδωρημένης κ . τ . λ ., above: so that this forms a sort of apodosis to that sentence. The E. V. ‘ beside this ’ is entirely at fault. Nor can we, as Dietlein, make αὐτὸ τοῦτο the object after ἐπιχορηγήσατε ) giving on your part ( παρεισενέγκαντες , lit. introducing by the side of ; i. e. besides those precious promises on God’s part, bringing in on your part) all diligence (so σπουδὴν εἰσενέγκαι or εἰσενέγκασθαι in Libanius, Josephus, Antt. xx. 9. 2, Diod. Sic. p. 554, in Wetst.), furnish (from the original meaning of the verb, to provide expenses for a chorus , it easily gets this of furnishing forth : see reff. And the construction and meaning of the following clauses is not as Horneius and the E. V., “adjicite fidei virtutem &c.,” but the ἐν is each time used of that which is assumed to be theirs, and the exhortation is, to take care that, in the exercise of that, the next step is developed: “præsens quisque gradus subsequentem parit et facilem reddit: subsequens priorem temperat ac perficit,” Bengel) in your faith (Bengel remarks, “fides, Dei donum: ideo non jubemur subministrare fidem, sed in fide fructus illos, qui septem enumerantur: fide chorum ducente, amore concludente”) virtue (best perhaps understood with Bengel as “strenuus animi tonus ac vigor.” Œc. gives it τὰ ἔργα ; but this seems too general: it is indeed that which produces τὰ ἔργα , without which faith is dead: and hence the connexion), and in your virtue, knowledge (probably that practical discriminating knowledge, of which it is said Ephesians 5:17 , μὴ γίνεσθε ἄφρονες , ἀλλὰ συνίετε τί τὸ θέλημα τοῦ κυρίου : “quæ malum a bono secernit, et mali fugam docet,” Beng.: not as Œc., ἡ τῶν τοῦ θεοῦ ἀποκρύφων μυστηρίων εἴδησις ),

Verses 5-7

5 7 .] Direct exhortation , consequent on 2 Peter 1:3-4 , to progress in the spiritual life .

Verse 6

6 .] and in your knowledge, self-restraint ( ἐγκράτεια , τὸ μηδενὶ ἀποσύρεσθαι πάθει , as Œc. “Temperance” is now too much used of one sort only of self-restraint, fully to express the word. The Commentators compare Sir 18:30 , where under the head ἐγκράτεια ψυχῆς is said, ὀπίσω τῶν ἐπιθυμιῶν σου μὴ πορεύου , καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν ὀρέξεών σου κωλύου . The connexion is: let such discriminating knowledge not be without its fruit, of steady holding in hand of the passions and tempers), and in your self-restraint, patient endurance (in afflictions and trials), and in your patient endurance, godliness (i. e. it is not to be mere brute Stoical endurance, but united with God-fearing and God-trusting. Or it may perhaps be used without direct reference to God, as in Dio Cass. xlviii. 5, διὰ τὴν πρὸς τὸν ἀδελφὸν εὐσέβειαν : but the other is much more likely in the N. T.: especially as the social virtues follow),

Verse 7

7 .] and in your godliness, brotherly kindness (not suffering your godliness to be moroseness, nor a sullen solitary habit of life, but kind and generous and courteous), and in your brotherly kindness, love (universal kindness of thought, word, and act towards all: a catholic large-heartedness, not confining the spirit of φιλαδελφία to ἀδελφοί only, Matthew 5:46-47 . So that these two last correspond to the ἀγάπη εἰς ἀλλήλους καὶ εἰς πάντας of 1 Thessalonians 3:12 .

Verse 8

8 .] For these things (the above-mentioned graces) being in you ( ὑπάρχειν of previous subsistence, εἶναι of mere matter-of-fact being: see note on Act 16:20 ) and multiplying (not merely as E. V. “ abounding :” see reff.) render you (not pres. for future, but as expressing the habitual character and function of these virtues) not idle ( ἀργός = ἄεργος ) nor yet ( οὐδέ introduces a slight climax: a man may be in some sense not unworkful, but yet unfruitful) unfruitful towards ( εἰς not = ἐν as E. V. after Luth., Calv., Grot., al.: these virtues are all regarded as so many steps in advancing towards the ἐπίγνωσις of Christ, which is the great complex end of the Christian life) the perfect knowledge (here, considering the place which it holds, it is well to give the full sense of ἐπί γνωσις ) of our Lord Jesus Christ (in Him are hid, ethically as well as doctrinally, all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge: the knowledge of Him is the imitation of Him: for as it is true that hereafter the seeing Him as He is will ensure our being perfectly like Him, so it is true that here the only way in any degree increasingly to see Him as He is, is to become increasingly like Him. He only can declare Christ, who reflects Christ).

Verses 8-9

8, 9 .] Reasons for the foregoing exhortations : 1. positive , the advantage of these Christian graces in bringing forth fruit towards the mature knowledge of Christ: 2. negative , the disadvantage of their absence from the character.

Verse 9

9 .] For ( negative reason : see above: and that, with reference not only to the exhortations of 2 Peter 1:5-7 , but by this γάρ connected also with 2 Peter 1:8 ; the advantage of the presence is great, for the disadvantage of the absence indicates no less than spiritual blindness and oblivion) he to whom these are not present (contrast to ταῦτα ὑμῖν ὑπάρχοντα κ . πλεονάζοντα , 2Pe 1:8 ) is blind (lacks discernment altogether of his own state as a member or Christ and inheritor of heaven), short-sighted ( μυωπάζειν λέγονται οἱ ἐκ γενετῆς τὰ μὲν ἐγγὺς βλέποντες , τὰ δὲ ἐξ ἀποστάσεως οὐχ ὁρῶντες · ἐναντία δὲ πάσχουσιν οἱ γέροντες τοῖς μυωπάζουσιν , τὰ γὰρ ἐγγὺς μὴ ὁρῶντες τὰ πόῤῥωθεν βλέπουσιν , Aristot. Probl. § 31. Hence some, e. g. Beza, Grot., Est., De W., Huther, interpret the word of not being able to see the heavenly things, which are distant, only earthly, which are close at hand. Perhaps, however, Horneius is right in characterizing this as an “interpretatio argutior quam ut Apostolo proposita fuisse videri possit.” The vulg. “manu tentans” (Luth., und tappet mit der Hand : “manu viam tentans,” Erasm.) seems to have come from the gloss ψηλαφῶν . Thl. explains it by τυφλώττειν , ἀπὸ τῶν ὑπὸ τὴν γῆν μυῶν τυφλῶν εἰς ἅπαν διατελούντων : but thus we should have a mere tautology. Wolf adopts the interpretation “shutting the eyes,” seeing that Hesych. and Suidas explain it by καμμύειν , and that μυωπάζειν is only μύειν τὰς ὦπας . “Itaque,” he proceeds, “ τυφλὸς μυωπάζων is dicitur qui ideo cæcus est, quia sponte claudit oculos, ut ne videat, aut qui videre se dissimulat, quod vel invitus cernit.” This was also the opinion of Bochart, Hieroz. i. 4, whose arguments will be found reproduced in Suicer sub voce. On the whole I prefer the interpretation “ short-sighted ,” without endorsing the ingenious explanation of Beza al. above), having incurred forgetfulness (reff. and Athen. xii. 5, p. 523, λήθην λαβόντες τῆς Κρητῶν περὶ τὸν βίον εὐκοσμίας . See more examples in Kypke, Krebs, and Loesner, h. l. Bengel says, “participio nactus exprimitur quod homo volens patitur.” But surely this is very doubtful; certainly not upheld by the usage of the phrase) of the purification of his former sins (i. e. of the fact of his ancient, pre-Christian, sins having been purged away in his baptism. This, and not the purification of the sins of the world, and of his among them, by the cross of Christ, is evidently the sense, by the πάλαι and αὐτοῦ . And thus almost all the Commentators, καὶ γὰρ καὶ οὗτος ἐπιγνοὺς ἑαυτὸν διὰ τὸ καθαρθῆναι τῷ ἁγίῳ βαπτίσματι , ὅτι πλήθους ἁμαρτιῶν ἐξεπλύθη , δέον εἰδέναι ὅτι καθαρεὶς καὶ ἁγιότητα ἔλαβε , νήφειν ἵνα διαπαντὸς τηρῇ τὸν ἁγιασμόν , οὗ χωρὶς οὐδεὶς ὄψεται τὸν κύριον , ὁ δὲ ἐπελάθετο . Œc. and so Thl.).

Verse 10

10 .] Wherefore the rather (“quæ cum ita sint, impensius.” διό referring to the two considerations urged in 2 Peter 1:8-9 , and μᾶλλον making them reasons for increased zeal in complying with the exhortation), brethren (making the appeal more close and affectionate), give diligence (so the E. V. admirably. ‘Be earnest’ would express rather σπουδάζετε pres., whereas the aor. includes the whole σπουδάσαι in one lifelong effort) to make (not ποιεῖν , which lay beyond their power, but ποιεῖσθαι , on their side, for their part. But the verb must not be explained away into a pure subjectivity, ‘to make sure to yourselves:’ it carries the reflective force, but only in so far as the act is and must be done for and quoad a man’s own self, the absolute and final determination resting with Another. Calvin’s “studete ut re ipsa testatum fiat, vos non frustra vocatos esse” ( βεβαίαν ποιεῖσθαι ?) is a very weak dilution of the sense. We must take the passage as we find it: and as it stands its simple and irrefragable sense is that by σπουδὴν παρεισενέγκαι ἐπιχορηγῆσαι ἐν κ . τ . λ . is the way βεβαίαν ποιεῖσθαι our κλῆσιν and ἐκλογήν . How this is to be reconciled with the fact, that our κλῆσις and ἐκλογή proceed entirely and freely from God, would not be difficult to shew: but it must not be done, as Calvin attempts it, by wresting plain words and context) your calling and election (as Grot., al., “vocatio quæ vobis contigit per evangelium, et electio eam secuta, qua facti estis Dei populus.” Both these were God’s acts, cf. 2Pe 1:3 and 1Pe 1:1-2 ) secure (‘ ratæ ,’ as Grot.: for both, in as far as we look on them from the lower side, not able to penetrate into the counsels of God, are insecure unless established by holiness of life. In His foreknowledge and purpose, there is no insecurity, no uncertainty: but in our vision and apprehension of them as they exist in and for us, much, until they are made secure in the way here pointed out): for, doing these things (act., ποιοῦντες , now, because these are works done. And the participle is conditional, carrying with it an hypothesis: as E. V. ‘ if ye do these things ’), ye shall never offend (reff. stumble and fall):

Verses 10-11

10, 11 .] The exhortation is resumed , and further pressed , both on the preceding grounds, and on account of its blessed ultimate results, if followed.

Verse 11

11 .] for thus (i. e. ταῦτα ποιοῦντες ) shall be richly (the adverb πλουσίως is not, as Huther, surprising, but most natural and obvious with the verb ἐπιχορηγηθήσεται , which is one of furnishing and ministering; therefore of quantity. The adverb belongs to the figure latent in the verb: and must therefore be interpreted in and with the interpretation of the verb: in which case it will indicate high degrees and fulness of glory) furnished to you (the verb seems expressly chosen in order to answer to ἐπιχορηγήσατε , 2 Peter 1:5 ; “furnish forth your own lives with these Christian graces, so shall be furnished to you” &c.) the [or, your ] entrance (which all Christians look for: not the fact of this entrance taking place, but the fact of its πλουσίως ἐπιχορηγηθῆναι , is that asserted) into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ .

Verse 12

12 .] Wherefore (namely, because ταῦτα ποιοῦντες is the only way to a rich participation in the blessings and glories of Christ’s kingdom) I will be sure ( μελλήσω , ref., is of very rare occurrence. The expression is nearly equivalent to “I will take care” ( σπουδάσω , Hesych.): for (see Lexx. and esp. Palm and Rost) the original idea of μέλλω (akin to μέλω and the Latin “velle”) includes purpose; and the verb is very commonly used, by Homer, e. g., to signify intent: so Od. ν . 293, οὐκ ἄρ ʼ ἔμελλες λήξειν ἀπατάων , and in other examples in Palm and Rost. At the same time there is an objectivity in the word, of which it is not possible to divest it, implying that the thing intended is surely about to happen: and which I have tried to express as above) always to remind you concerning these things ( τούτων , the things just now spoken of: in the widest sense: it does not merely take up the ταῦτα of ταῦτα ποιοῦντες , nor merely, as De W., refer to the kingdom of Christ and His coming), although ye know them ( ἕκαστον ὑμῶν , καίπερ ἀκριβῶς εἰδότα , ὅμως ἐπαναμνῆσαι βούλομαι . Demosth. p. 74. 7) and are confirmed (firmly established) in the truth which is present with you (the words “ the present truth ,” E. V., give a wrong idea to the English reader: seeming to mean, the truth at present under notice. The meaning is exactly as in ref., τοῦ εὐαγγελίου τοῦ παρόντος εἰς ὑμᾶς : ‘which is (known and professed) among you.’ “Vos quidem, inquit, probe tenetis quænam sit evangelii veritas, neque vos quasi fluctuantes confirmo, sed in re tanta monitiones nunquam sunt supervacuæ, quare nunquam molestæ esse debent. Simili excusatione utitur Paulus ad Rom., 15:14.” Calvin).

Verses 12-15

12 15 .] The Apostle holds it necessary to remind them of this truth, and will do so up to his approaching end .

Verses 12-21

12 21 .] The above exhortations confirmed by the consideration of the certainty of the power and announced coming of Christ , as shewn, 1. by apostolic testimony , 2. by O. T. prophecy .

Verse 13

13 .] But (notwithstanding this previously conceded fact, that you know and stand firm in the truth) I think it right ( why , follows, 2Pe 1:14 ) as long as ( ἐφ ʼ ὅσον , scil. χρόνον , see Rom 7:1 al.) I am in this tabernacle (see for the sense 2 Corinthians 5:1 ff.: and below), to stir you up in (not, “ by :” in , as the medium in which I strive towards the stirring up, and in using which it has place) reminding (the same phrase occurs in ch. 2Pe 3:1 ):

Verse 14

14 .] knowing (as I do: reason for δίκαιον ἡγοῦμαι above) that rapid is (see below. ἔστιν , of that which is to be: the normal present) the putting off (the two figures, of a tabernacle or tent, and a garment, are intermingled, as in 2 Corinthians 5:1 ff.) of my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ declared to me (the allusion is to John 21:18 ff., where a swift and sharp death is announced to St. Peter by our risen Lord. And the sentence does not mean to say, as commonly understood, that he must soon put off his tabernacle, but that the putting off, whenever it did come, would be sudden and quick; so vulg: “certus quod velox est depositio tabernaculi mei” (which can hardly be interpreted with Estius, “id est, brevi futura est”): so Bengel, “ repentina est ; præsens. Qui diu ægrotant, possunt alios adhuc pascere. Crux id Petro non erat permissura. Ideo prius agit quod agendum est.” So Eur. Hippol. 1044, ταχὺς γὰρ ᾅδης ῥᾷστος ἀνδρὶ δυστυχεῖ : Soph. Ajax 833, σὺν ἀσφαδάστῳ καὶ ταχεῖ πηδήματι πλευρὰν διαῤῥήξαντα : Mosch. iii. 26, σεῖο , Βίων , ἔκλαυσε ταχὺν μόρον αὐτὸς Ἀπόλλων . Missing this point, some have imagined that some other special revelation to St. Peter is implied: and such revelations are related by Hegesippus de excid. Hierosol. iii. 2, Ambros. Sermo de bas. trad. Ep. 21 (32), vol. iii., p. 867: see especially Corn.a-Lapide h. l. But even if ταχινή be understood ‘ soon ,’ ‘ not far off ,’ no such inference need be drawn. For it might well be that advancing old age might lead the Apostle to the conclusion that the end prophesied to him ὅταν γηράσῃς could not be far off. The Commentators quote Jos. Antt. iv. 8. 2, where Moses says, ἐπεὶδεῖ με τοῦ ζῇν ἀπελθεῖν .… δίκαιον ἡγησάμην μηδὲ νῦν ἐγκαταλιπεῖν τὸ ἐμὸν ὑπὲρ τῆς ὑμετέρας εὐδαιμονίας πρόθυμον ).

Verse 15

15 .] Moreover ( δὲ καί both serve for connexion with the foregoing) I will endeavour that ye may on every occasion have it in your power (reff.) after my decease (it is at least remarkable that, with the recollection of the scene on the mount of transfiguration floating in his mind, the Apostle should use so close together the words which were there also associated, viz. σκή νωμα and ἔξοδος : see Luke 9:28 ff. The coincidence should not be forgotten in treating of the question of the genuineness of the Epistle) to exercise the memory of these things ( μνήμην ποιεῖσθαι is almost always used for to make mention of : so Herodot. vi. 19, 55, vit. Hom. 14, and other examples in Wetst.: but such evidently is not its sense here. In Thucyd. (ref.) the sense is ambiguous, but from οὕτως ᾄσονται following, it would appear that to quote or make mention is also the sense there, though Palm and Rost give it as here. An interpretation has been given to this latter clause which the very position of the Greek words, μετὰ τὴν ἐμὴν ἔξοδον , after ἔχειν ὑμᾶς , ought sufficiently to have guarded against: viz. that St. Peter says σπουδάσω καὶ μετὰ τὴν ἐμὴν ἔξοδον , meaning, as Œc. and Thl. mentioning this view, ὅτι καὶ μετὰ θάνατον οἱ ἅγιοι μέμνηνται τῶν τῇδε , καὶ πρεσβεύουσιν ὑπὲρ τῶν ζώντων (but not with approval, merely stating that τοῦτό τινες ἐν ὑπερβάτῳ ἀκούοντες (per hyperbaton intelligentes) βούλονται παριστᾷν ἀπὸ τούτου ὅτι κ . τ . λ .). Many of the R.-Catholic interpreters take this view; so Corn. a-Lap., ἔχειν , “habere scilicet in mente et memoria mea (?) ut crebro vestri sim memor apud Deum, eumque pro vobis orem, ut horum monitorum meorum memoriam vobis refricet. Ita Œcumenius (compare above. The more candid Estius confesses, “Œc. etiam hujus meminit interpretationis, sed alteram præfert ut simpliciorem”), &c.” and he concludes: “Hinc patet S. Petrum et Sanctos vita functos curare res mortalium, ideoque esse invocandos.” And so Justiniani, but not so confidently: Feuardentius, doubtingly at first, but “vires acquirens eundo,” and ending with a vehement invective against the heretics who hold the interpretation which he himself had previously given. Estius, on the other hand, impugns this view, supporting the ordinary one, and ending “Jam quid attinet, statuere velle doctrinam certissimam argumento incerto, cum alia certissima nequaquam desint?” It is most instructive, especially in our days, to take up any of the texts, by which the abuses of Rome are supposed to be sanctioned, and to trace their interpretations through the R.-Cath. Commentators themselves. It will be most frequently found, as here, that the confident allegation of them has arisen at first out of some merely conjectural sense, impugned by the very authorities which they quote for it, or supported, as in this case (compare the citations in Corn. a-Lap. and Estius), by spurious writings attributed to the Fathers.

Verse 16

16 .] For (reason for the zeal which he had just predicated of himself) not in pursuance of ( ἐξακολ ., see reff. The preposition must not perhaps be pressed: certainly not as Bengel, “ τὸ ἐξ errorem notat, cap. ii. 2, 15.” If it is to be rendered, its sense may be much as in our expression, “following out,” i. e. “in pursuance of,” as given above) cunningly-devised fables (add to reff., Aristoph. Nub. 543, ἀεὶ καινὰς ἰδέας σοφίζομαι . They are, as Pott (in Huther), “fabulæ ad decipiendos hominum animos artificiose excogitatæ atque exornatæ.” The Commentators quote from the proœmium of Josephus, οἱ μὲν γὰρ ἄλλοι νομοθέται τοῖς μύθοις ἐξακολουθήσαντες κ . τ . λ . Such cunningly-devised fables would be the mythologies of the heathen, the cabalistic stories of the Jews; and these may be alluded to, and perhaps also the fables of the Gnostics, which could, it is true, only be in their infancy, but still might be pointed at by St. Peter, as by St. Paul in reff.: see Prolegomena, Vol. III. ch. vii. § i. 34) did we make known to you (the Writer of this Epistle, says De Wette, wishes to appear to stand in closer relation to his readers, than the writer of 1 Peter: cf. 1 Peter 1:12 . But why so? May not the same Apostle in one place mean the actual preachers who delivered the Gospel to them, in the other, the Apostles, who were its first witnesses? For observe, that first Epistle is addressed to certain definite churches; this, to all Christians generally. Or again, why should it be regarded as absolutely impossible that the publication of some one or more of the existing Gospels may have taken place, and may be alluded to in these words?) the power (viz., that conferred on Him by the Father at His glorification, of which the following scene testified, and the actuality of which He himself asserted, when He said, Matthew 28:18 , ἐδόθη μοι πᾶσα ἐξουσία ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς : in the strength of which He will come to judge the world) and coming (i. e., as ever, second and glorious coming: not, as Erasm. and many others, His first coming. Nor must the two words be made by hendiadys into “præsentissima majestas,” as Bengel) of our Lord Jesus Christ, but ( in virtue of ) having been admitted (the part., as so often, renders the reason, the enabling cause of the act. The γενηθέντες may here be pressed to its passive sense, ‘having been admitted as:’ seeing that γενόμενοι would have been the more natural word, were no such meaning intended) eye-witnesses ( ἐπόπτης is a technical word, used of those who were admitted to the highest degree of initiation in the Eleusinian mysteries: and, considering the occasion to which allusion is made, there seems no reason for letting go altogether this reference here: “admitted as initiated spectators.” Still, in English, we have no other way of expressing this than as above. Any attempt to introduce the allusion would overcharge the Ianguage. The word “admitted” gives a faint hint of it) of His majesty (viz. on the occasion to be mentioned. The words must not be generalized, to reach to all occasions of such witnessing: but it is obvious that neither must the Transfiguration be regarded as standing altogether alone in such an assertion. It is indeed here that incident which marked, to the Apostle’s mind, most certainly the reality of Christ’s future glory: but it was not the only occasion when he had seen the exhibition of divine power by Him as a foretaste of His power at his return to judgment: cf. John 5:25-28 , with Joh 11:40-44 ).

Verses 16-18

16 18 .] Corroboration of the certainty of the facts announced by apostolic eye-witness .

Verse 17

17 .] For (justification of the above assertion that we were admitted witnesses of His majesty) having received (the construction is an interrupted one, and seems rightly explained by Winer, as in reff.: “the construction is broken off by the parenthetical clause φωνῆς .… εὐδόκησα , and the Apostle continues, 2 Peter 1:18 , καὶ ταύτην τὴν φωνὴν ἡμεῖς ἠκούσαμεν , instead, as he would have said, ἡμᾶς εἶχε ταύτην τὴν φωνὴν ἀκούσαντας (- οντας ?), or the like.” So that the participle does not want supplying by ἦν or ἐτύγχανε , nor is it put for the finite verb) from God the Father (not τοῦ πατρός , or τοῦ π . αὐτοῦ , because θεὸς πατήρ was a term well known: cf. the same in Galatians 1:3 ; Ephesians 4:23 ; Philippians 2:11 ; 1 Thessalonians 1:1 ; 2 Timothy 1:2 ; Titus 1:4 ; 1 Peter 1:2 ; 2 John 1:3 ; Jud 1:1 ) honour and glory (honour, in the voice which spoke to him: glory, in the light which shone from Him), when a voice was borne to Him (the occurrence of a similar expression in ref. 1 Pet. is to be noticed. The dative is purely local) of such a kind (viz. as is stated in what follows: “purporting as follows”) by (uttered by: the ὑπό of agency after a passive verb. As Winer remarks, § 47, all other renderings are arbitrary) the sublime glory (the words seem to be a periphrasis of God Himself. In ref. Deut., God is called ὁ μεγαλοπρεπὴς τοῦ στερεώματος . So Gerh., De Wette, Huther. Others understand them of the bright cloud which overshadowed the company: others of the heaven: but ὑπό , in its only admissible meaning (see above), will not suit either interpretation), This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (the words are as in Matthew 17:5 , where however we have ἐν ᾧ for εἰς ὅν , and αὐτοῦ ἀκούετε is added. In Mark and Luke the words εἰς ὃν κ . τ . λ . are wanting [and in the critical text of St. Luke. it is ὁ υἱός μουἐκλελεγμένος ]. It is worth notice, that the words are in an independent form here. εἰς ὅν is a pregnant construction, “on whom my pleasure has lighted and abides.” εὐδόκησα , aor., but only to be given in Eng. by the present. If an account is to be given of the aoristic sense, it must be “my pleasure rested from eternity”).

Verse 18

18 .] Substantiation of the personal testimony above adduced by reference to the fact. And this voice we (Apostles: Peter, James, and John) heard borne from heaven (not, as E. V. ungrammatically, “ this voice which came from heaven ” ( τὴν ἐξ οὐρ . ἐν .): we heard it borne, witnessed its coming, from heaven), being with Him in the holy mount (De Wette is partly right, when he says that this epithet “holy” shews a later view of the fact than that given us in the evangelistic narrative: but not right when he designates that later view wunderglaubigere . The epithet would naturally arise when the gospel history was known, as marking a place where a manifestation of this divine presence and glory had taken place. The place whereon Moses stood is said, ref. Exod., to be holy ground . So that really all we can infer from it is, that the history was assumed to be already well known: which is one entirely consistent with the probable date of the Epistle: see Prolegg. It is hardly necessary to refute Grotius’s idea, that Mount Sion is meant, and that the voice referred to is that related in Joh 12:28 ).

Verse 19

19 .] And we have more sure the prophetic word (first, for the construction: βεβαιότερον is predicative after ἔχομεν : ‘ we have more sure :’ either in the sense of, a. we hold faster , making βεβαιότερον quasi-adverbial: or, b. we possess, more secure .… Of these, the latter (see below) is the only one which suits the interpretation of the comparative which we prefer. And thus a double explanation is possible: 1. that the comparative alludes to what has gone before as its reason , as if it had been said διὸ ἔχομεν βεβαιότερον , or καὶ νῦν ἔχ .… or καὶ ἐκ τούτου ἔχ .: i. e. ‘on account of this voice from heaven which we heard, we have firmer hold of, or esteem (possess) more sure, the prophetic word, as now having in our own ears begun its fulfilment.’ So Œc., ἐπεὶ δὲ διὰ τῶν πραγμάτων ἔγνωμεν διὰ τὴς πείρας τὰ ὑπὸ τῶν προφητῶν προκατηγγελμένα , βεβαιότεραν κρίνομέν φησι διὰ τούτων τὴν προφητείαν αὐτῶν : the scholia, Grot., Bengel (“firmior fit sermo propheticus ex implemento”), al., and hesitatingly, De Wette. The great objection to such a view is, the omission of any such connecting particles as those above supplied. It is true the Apostle may have omitted them: but even supposing that, it is further against the view, that if such be the force of the comparative, the thought is not at all followed up in the ensuing verses. We come then to the other possible force of the comparative: 2. that it is used as comparing the prophetic word with something which has been mentioned before, as being firmer, more secure than that other. And if so, what is that other? The most obvious answer is, the voice from heaven: and this is at first sight confirmed by the consideration that one word would thus be compared with another, the φωνή with the λόγος . But then comes in the great difficulty, How could the Apostle designate the written word of God, inspired into and transmitted through men, as something firmer, more secure, than the uttered voice of God Himself? And our reply must be, that only in one sense of βεβαιότερος can this be so, viz. as being of wider and larger reference, embracing not only a single testimony to Christ as that divine voice did, but τὰ εἰς χριστὸν παθήματα , κ . τὰς μετὰ ταῦτα δόξας : as presenting a broader basis for the Christian’s trust, and not only one fact, however important. This is a modification of Huther’s view, which takes the comparison to be, that the testimony of the Transfiguration presented only the glory of Christ in the days of His flesh, whereas the prophetic word substantiates His future glory also. But this is insufficient, or rather is not strictly correct: for the Apostle clearly does regard the voice at the Transfiguration as a pledge of Christ’s future glory. Either of these is better than Calvin’s view: “non difficilis est hujusmodi solutio, quia hic respectum habet gentis suæ Apostolus: … quum apud Judæos indubium esset, a Domino profectum quicquid Prophetæ docuerant, non mirum est si dicat Petrus, firmiorem esse eorum sermonem: jam vetustas quoque ipsa semper aliquid reverentiæ secum trahit.” Bede’ [1] view is worth quoting: “si enim quispiam (inquit) nostro testimonio discredendum putaverit, quod in secreto gloriam Redemptoris nostri conspeximus divinam, quod vocem Patris ad eum factam audierimus, certe sermoni prophetico nemo contradicere, nullus de hoc ambigere audebit, quem divinis Scripturis jam olim insertum omnes verum esse testantur.” And so nearly, Estius. But in this case we should have expected ἔχομεν δὲ καὶ .… A modification of this view is found in Augustine, in Joan. Tract. xxxv. 8, vol. iii. pt. ii., “quia nos non ibi fuimus, et istam vocem de cœlo tunc non audivimus, ait ad nos ipse Petrus, Et habemus certiorem propheticum sermonem. Non audistis vocem de cœlo delatam, sed certiorem habetis propheticum sermonem” (see the same more fully expanded in his Serm. de Scripturis xliii. (xxvii.) 3, 4 (5), vol. v. p. 256). But then we should have expected ἔχετε . Of course, all attempts to shelve the comparative by making it into a positive ( Wir haben ein festes prophetisches Wort , Luth.), or a superlative (“habemus firmissimum sermonem propheticum,” Beza), are out of the question. τὸν λόγον προφητικόν cannot be as Sherlock, Griesb., N. T. prophecies, nor as Benson, al., O. and N. T. prophecies combined, on account of the subsequent expression in ch. 2 Peter 2:1 , which confines it to O. T. times), to which ye do well in paying attention (cf. Joseph. in reff. προσέχοντες , sc. τὸν νοῦν , gives the idea of adherence, not merely of notice: compare Heb 2:1 ), as to a candle (the figure is taken from the lighting of a candle at night, and the imagery is as in Romans 13:12 , ἡ νύξ προέκοψεν , ἡ δὲ ἡμέρα ἤγγικεν ) shining in a dark place ( αὐχμηρὸς ( αὔω ), lit. dry, arid : hence neglected, dirty, dark: “Aristoteles de coloribus opponit τὸ στίλβον κ . λαμπρὸν τῷ αὐχμηρῷ καὶ ἀλαμπεῖ .” Wetst. (which seems to answer Kypke, who questions if the sense “dark” can be proved except from Suidas and the grammarians). Suidas gives αὐχμηρόν , στυγνόν , ἤ σκοτεινόν : and so Hesych., ξηρόν , σκοτῶδες ) until day shall dawn (aor. in the sense of ‘futurus exactus:’ the fact involved in the διαυγάσαι coming in upon and putting an end to the state indicated by the pres. participles above. The ἕως οὗ belongs more naturally to προσέχοντες than to φαίνοντι , because that which follows ἕως οὗ relates to the readers, not to the word of prophecy. For διαυγάζειν in the sense of dawning, see ref. Polyb. Plut. moral., p. 893 E, uses it of lightning, τῇ πληγῇ καὶ τῷ σχισμῷ διαυγάζει ) and the morning-star shall rise in your hearts (it is said by the Commentators quoting from one another, that φωσφόρος is taken by Hesych. for the sun. But he merely says, φωσφόρος , φωτοδότης , λαμπρὸς ἀστήρ . And as there is no precedent, so also is there no occasion, for thus understanding it here. The dawn of the day is accompanied by the rising of the morning-star. It is not quite clear, what time is here pointed out by the ἕως οὗ . Gerhard says, “Petrus h. l. docet, scripta prophetica lucem quandam tenuem tempore V. T. exhibuisse, donec per verbum evangelii et operationem Spiritus sancti uberior, clarior et perfectior lux divinæ notitiæ in N. T. fuerit secuta.” But it is entirely against this view, that the pres. ᾧ καλῶς ποιεῖτε προσέχοντες makes it necessary, as indeed does the whole context, that the time spoken of, which the ἕως οὗ is to put an end to, should be present . De Wette modifies this last view by saying, that this O. T. darkness of the pre-Christian time still endures for those who have not yet embraced the Christian faith. But this would make the readers, who are said, 2 Peter 1:12 , to be ἐστηριγμένοι ἐν τῇ παρούσἀληθείᾳ , to be still unconverted to Christianity. Bed [2] , Calvin, al., understand it of the glorious day which is to come when the Lord shall be manifested. So Bed [3] : “ad lucernam noctarnam pertinet quod ‘filii Dei sumus et nondum apparuit quid erimus.’ Et in comparatione quidem impiorum, dies sumus, Paulo dicente, Fuistis aliquando tenebræ, nunc autem lux in Domino. Sed si comparemur illi vitæ in qua futuri sumus, adhuc nox sumus, et lucerna indigemus.” So Calvin, “Ego hanc caliginem ad totum vitæ stadium extendo, ac diem tunc nobis illucere interpreter, quum facie ad faciem videbimus quod nunc cernimus per speculum et ænigmate:” so Dietlein, al. Others, as Grot., al., De Wette, Huther, think that some state in the readers themselves is pointed at, which is to supervene upon their present less perfect state: Grot. interpreting it of their attainment of the gift of prophecy: De Wette of their arriving at full conviction of the certainty of the coming of Christ: Huther, much the same, adding, “The writer distinguishes between two degrees of the Christian life: in the first, faith rests upon outward evidences, in the second, on inward revelations of the Spirit: in the first, each detail is believed separately as such: in the second, each is recognized as a necessary part of the whole. And hence the being in the former is naturally called a walking ἐν τόπῳ αὐχμηρῷ , in the light of a λύχνος , while the being in the latter is a walking in the light of the morning.” And this latter I believe to be nearly the true account. That which refers the words to the time of the Lord’s coming is objectionable, because thus, 1. the time of the Christian’s walk here, in which he is said to be light in the Lord, would, not comparatively (as Bede's [4] above), but absolutely, be described as a walking in darkness by the slender light of O. T. prophecy: 2. the morning-star arising in men’s hearts is not a description which can apply to the Lord’s coming. So that, whatever apparent analogy there may be with the comparison used in Romans 13:11 ff., the matters treated of seem to be different. At the same time it may well be, that the Apostle should have mingled both ideas together as he wrote the words; seeing that even in our hearts the fulness of the spiritual day will not have arisen, until that time when we see face to face, and know even as God knew us):

[1] Bede, the Venerable , 731; Bedegr, a Greek MS. cited by Bede, nearly identical with Cod. “E,” mentioned in this edn only when it differs from E.

[2] Bede, the Venerable , 731; Bedegr, a Greek MS. cited by Bede, nearly identical with Cod. “E,” mentioned in this edn only when it differs from E.

[3] Bede, the Venerable , 731; Bedegr, a Greek MS. cited by Bede, nearly identical with Cod. “E,” mentioned in this edn only when it differs from E.

[4] Bede, the Venerable , 731; Bedegr, a Greek MS. cited by Bede, nearly identical with Cod. “E,” mentioned in this edn only when it differs from E.

Verses 19-21

19 21 .] The same i. e. the certainty of the coming of Christ, before spoken of, is further confirmed by reference to O. T. prophecy .

Verse 20

20 .] Caution as to the interpretation of O. T. prophecy : to be borne in mind, while taking heed to it. This first knowing ( τοῦτο , viz. what follows, introduced by ὅτι . πρῶτον , not as Bengel, “prius quam ego dico,” but first and as most important in applying yourselves to prophetic interpretation γινώσκοντες , as in reff., being aware of , and bearing in mind: = εἰδότες , 1Pe 1:18 ), that no prophecy of Scripture ( γραφή most probably here imports the O. T. only, from the ποτε , and indeed the aorists in the next verse.

πᾶσα οὐ , in the Hebr. manner for οὐδεμία : see Romans 3:20 ; 1Co 1:29 al.) comes of private interpretation (how are these words to be understood? Two references seem to be possible: 1. to us , who try to understand written prophecies: 2. to the prophets themselves , as they spoke them. And of these the former, maintained by Bed [5] , Erasm., Aret., Gerhard, Pott, Steiger, al., seems precluded by the context, the next verse assigning as a reason for the position in this, that the prophets spoke not of themselves, but as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. And though this might have been alleged as a reason why private interpretation cannot solve those prophecies, yet in that case we should expect not οὐ γάρ , which simply assigns the direct reason, but οὐδὲ γάρ , which assigns an analogical or remote reason. So that we seem driven to the conclusion that the saying regards, not our interpretation of prophecy, but its resolution , or interpretation, by the prophets themselves . And so Œc.: τουτέστιν ὅτι λαμβάνουσι μὲν ἀπὸ θεοῦ οἱ προφῆται τὴν προφητείαν , ἀλλ ʼ οὐχ ὡς ἐκεῖνοι βούλονται , ἀλλ ʼ ὡς τὸ κινοῦν αὐτοὺς ἐνεργεῖ πνεῦμα . καὶ ᾔδεσαν μὲν καὶ συνίεσαν τὸν καταπεμπόμενον αὐτοῖς προφητικὸν λόγον , οὐ μέντοι καὶ τὴν ἐπίλυσιν αὐτοῦ ἐποιοῦντο : and below, … καίπερ εἰδότες οὐ χρείαν εἶχον ἑρμηνεύειν τὰ ὑπ ʼ αὐτῶν , ἀλλ ʼ ἑτέροις διηκόνουν ταῦτα , ἡμῖν γάρ . Similarly Thl.: and De Wette, adding, that this is said to excuse the difficulty of the interpretation of prophecy, and to remove occasion of unbelief and scoffing (ch. 2Pe 3:3 ). But as Huther well remarks, this last purpose is not only not indicated in the context, but is quite out of the question; the Apostle referring to prophecy not as difficult of interpretation, but as a candle shining in a dark place, nay, as being even more firm and secure than external proofs of the same truths. I believe Huther’s view to be the true one: which arises from this consideration, that ἐπίλυσις is not the subsequent interpretation of a prophecy already given, but the intelligent apprehension of the meaning of the prophecy, out of which (but not ἰδίας on the part of those by whom it is sent) the prophecy itself springs. And this is much confirmed by γίνεται , which with a gen. as here, is not = ἐστιν , but rather seems to denote origin . So that the sense will be, that prophecy springs not out of human interpretation , i. e. is not a prognostication made by a man knowing what he means when he utters it: but &c. Thus, and thus alone, the whole context coheres. And this appears to be Bengel’s view, though he does not express himself very clearly: “ut callide concinnatis fabulis opponitur spectatio apostolica: sic propriæ interpretationi opponitur φορά , vectura prophetica. Itaque ἐπίλυσις dicitur interpretatio qua ipsi prophetæ res antea plane clausas aperuere mortalibus. Prophetia nec primo humana est, nec a se ipsa unquam ita desciscit ut incipiat esse verbum propriæ, i. e. humanæ ἐπιλύσεως , sed plane divinæ patefactionis est, et in rebus exituque talis cognoscitur, imo etiam firmior fit”).

[5] Bede, the Venerable , 731; Bedegr, a Greek MS. cited by Bede, nearly identical with Cod. “E,” mentioned in this edn only when it differs from E.

Verse 21

21 .] Reason of the above position . For prophecy was never (at any time: ποτέ belongs to the negative, and though pointing, as do likewise the aorr., to a state of things passed away, and therefore not to be referred to N. T. prophecies, (see on ch. 2 Peter 2:1 ,) must not be rendered as E. V. (after Beza, as usual) “ in old time ”) sent (‘allata,’ vulg.: cf. above, 2Pe 1:17-18 ) after the will (dat. of the cause; or rule, by or according to which: as in τίς στρατεύεται ἰδίοις ὀψωνίοις ποτέ ; 1 Corinthians 9:7 ; cf. 1 Corinthians 11:5 ; Heb 12:18 ) of man: but men spoke from God (spoke as with the voice of, as emissaries from, God: the ἀπο of ἀποστέλλω and ἀπόστολος . Besides critical considerations, probability seems against the reading ἅγιοι , in that, on account of the repetition, ἁγίου .… ἅγιοι , the stress, in the latter part of the sentence, would be laid on the fact of ἁγιότης , which does not form any logical contrast to ἰδίας ἐπιλύσεως , instead of on the fact of the φορά and the λαλιά coming from God, which does ), [ being ] borne (borne along, carried onward, as a ship by the wind, reff. Acts. “Impulsos fuisse dicit, non quod mente alienati fuerint (qualem in suis prophetis ἐνθουσιασμόν fingunt Gentiles) sed qui nihil a se ipsis ausi fuerint, tantum obedienter sequuti sint Spiritum ducem.” Calv. See besides reff., Jos. Antt. iv. 6. 5, οὐκ ὢν ἐν ἑαυτῷ , τῷ δὲ θείῳ πνεύματι κεκινημένος : Macrob. i. 23, speaking of the processions carrying the image of the Sun at Heliopolis, “ferunturque divino spiritu, non suo arbitrio, sed quo deus ropellit vehentes”) by the Holy Spirit .

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Bibliographical Information
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 2 Peter 1". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. 1863-1878.