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- 2 Peter
by Editor - Joseph S. Exell
The Preacher’s Complete Homiletic
ON THE GENERAL EPISTLES
I-II Peter, I-II-III John, Jude
OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE
By the REV. ROBERT TUCK, B.A.
Author of the Commentaries on Hebrews and James
FUNK & WAGNALLS COMPANY
LONDON AND TORONTO
ON THE BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
WITH CRITICAL AND EXPLANATORY NOTES,
INDEXES, ETC., BY VARIOUS AUTHORS
PREACHER’S HOMILETICAL COMMENTARY
HOMILIES FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS
Church Seasons: Advent, 1 Peter 4:7; 2 Peter 3:1-7; Revelation 1:9; Revelation 22:20-21. St. Thomas’s Day, 1 Peter 1:8. Christmas, 1 John 4:9; 1 John 5:20. Lent, 1 John 3:3; Revelation 2:7. Good Friday, 1 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 4:1; 1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10; Revelation 1:5; Revelation 5:12. Easter, Revelation 1:17-18. Ascension Day, 1 Peter 1:3. Whit Sunday, 1 John 2:20. All Saints’ Day, Revelation 7:9-10.
Holy Communion: 2 Peter 3:11; 2 Peter 3:18; 1 John 1:3; 1 John 3:1; 1 John 3:13-17; 1 John 3:24; Jude 1:21.
Missions to Heathen: Revelation 11:15; Revelation 14:6-7; Revelation 22:17. Bible Society, 2 Peter 1:16-21; Revelation 1:1-3; Revelation 14:6-7.
Special: Ordination, 1 Peter 5:1-4. Workers, 1 Peter 2:12; 1 Peter 4:1-2. Baptism, 1 Peter 3:21. Confirmation, Revelation 2:4. Marriage, 1 Peter 3:1-6. Women, 1 Peter 3:1-6. Harvest, Revelation 14:13-16; Revelation 15:0; Revelation 17:0 -
20. Death, 2 Peter 1:11; 2 Peter 1:14-15; Revelation 14:13; Revelation 21:7. Close of year, Revelation 21:5.
THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PETER
DEPRECATING the use of extravagant language concerning the consequences of rejecting St. Peter’s authorship of this epistle, the Rev. A. Plummer, M.A., has the following useful passage in “Ellicott’s Commentary.”
“The question of the genuineness of the epistle is one of immense interest and of no small importance; but there is no terrible alternative before us. If, after all, we have to admit that the epistle is possibly, or probably, or certainly not the work of St. Peter, the spiritual value of the contents, both in themselves and in having received the stamp of the Church as canonical, will remain absolutely unchanged; although, possibly, our own views of God’s providence in relation to the canon of Scripture may require re-consideration and re-adjustment. This, however, is but the common experience, both of the individual and of the race. Men’s views of God’s dealings with them are ever needing re-adjustment, as He hides and manifests Himself in history; for His ways are not as our ways, nor His thoughts as our thoughts.”
In the time of Eusebius this epistle was classed among the disputed books. The first definite references to it are not found before Origen, in the third century. There is manifest difference in style, subject-matter, and persons addressed, between it and the earlier epistle. The similarity between 2 Peter 2:1-19, and Jude 1 Peter 5:3-14, suggests copying one from the other; and probably Peter from Jude. The epistle was received as in the canon at the Council of Laodicea (372 A.D.), and the Council of Carthage (397 A.D.).
The object of the epistle is twofold (2 Peter 3:17-18):
1. That the readers might believe, lest, being led away with the error of the wicked, they should fall from their steadfastness.
2. That they might grow in grace and the knowledge of their Lord and Saviour; this last being the final aim of the whole, as the one means of fellowship with God, of escape from the pollutions of the world, and of access into the Divine kingdom.
There is no reference in the epistle to dangers from without affecting the Churches in the way of persecution. The dangers dealt with are those which arise from
(1) the encouragement to evil living given by false teachers, and
(2) from disbelief of the Lord’s coming.
Canon Maclear, D.D., says that “its style differs considerably from that of the earlier epistle,” a fact which, as St. Jerome tells us, weighed with those who rejected it, and which he accounted for by supposing that different “interpreters” or secretaries were employed. It has a greater unity of thought. It is more elegant, and comes nearer to having a Greek air about it.
ANALYSIS OF THE CONTENTS
The writer salutes those who have like faith with himself in the righteousness of their God and Saviour. He exhorts them to growth and fruitfulness in the knowledge of Christ. He lays down the grounds on which this knowledge rests, in the testimony of apostles and the word of prophecy. He describes the erroneous teachers who were about to arise, their unholy practices, and the destruction sure to come upon them, as of old. He rejects the scoffers who deny Christ’s coming. He exhorts believers in view of the Lord’s coming.—From “The Comprehensive Teachers’ Helps.”
the Fifth Week after Epiphany