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Bible Commentaries

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical
2 Peter 1

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-11

THE SECOND EPISTLE GENERAL OF PETER 1

———

2 Peter 1:1-11

Analysis:—The brotherly salutation and prayer of blessing are followed by the exhortation: Forasmuch as God richly furnishes you with whatever is necessary for your spiritual life, do ye also furnish whatever is agreeable to His will; then the entrance to His kingdom shall be opened to you.

1Simon 1 Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through2 the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: 2Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus3 our Lord, 3According as his divine power hath given unto us all things4 that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:5 4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious6 promises; that by these ye might be partakers7 of the divine nature, having escaped8 the 5 corruption that is in the world through lust. And besides this,9 giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; 6And to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; 7And to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity 8 For if these things be in you,10 and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.11 10Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence12 to make13 your calling14 and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11For so an entrance15 shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

2 Peter 1:1. Simon Peter.—The opening of the first Epistle has only Peter. It seems that he uniformly bore the name of Simon only while he continued to accompany Jesus till after His ascension; at least Jesus always called him Simon, Matthew 17:25; Mark 14:37; Luke 22:31; John 21:15-17. The disciples also appear to have called him Simon, Luke 24:34; Acts 15:14. Afterwards they began to distinguish him from others of the same name by the honourable surname Peter, Acts 10:5; Acts 10:18. The Evangelists call him more frequently Peter than Simon Peter; in the Pauline Epistles Peter is already the constant form; in the Gospels the two names are sometimes used alternately, John 13:36-37; cf. Matthew 4:18; Matthew 10:2; Matthew 16:16; Matthew 17:25.—It is improbable that the conjoining of both names denotes on the part of Peter the design of describing merely his natural and his new birth. There is more probability in Besser’s suggestion, “that the full name, Simon Peter, has a kind of testamentary form,” for he was near his life’s end.[Simon, or rather Simeon, Συμεών, שִׁמְוֹן, cf. Acts 15:14. The Aramaic form of Simon seems to favour the view, that this Epistle was addressed to Jewish Christians. Alford remarks, that the occurrence of this form 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.—M].

A Servant and Apostle of Jesus Christ.—The same designation is used by St. Paul, Romans 1:1; Titus 1:1; and St. James also calls himself a servant of Christ, one of the highest titles of honour, 2 Peter 1:1; cf. Galatians 1:10. The former denotes his relation of dependence; the latter, the dignity of his office.

To them that have obtained like precious faith with us: τοῖς λαχοῦσι sc. χαίρειν λέγει. λαγχάνω=I obtain by lot, by fortune, by Divine appointment, or by inheritance, cf. Luke 1:9; John 19:24; Acts 1:17. The word excludes all personal agency and merit.—Faith may here be taken objectively or subjectively, either as a cycle of truths believed, or as a definite disposition of faith; the former agrees better with λαγχάνω and ἰσότιμος, and accords with παρούσῃ ἀληθείᾳ, 2 Peter 1:12, cf. Judges 3. Every faith and every construction of the truths of faith are not of equal value; there are inadequate and adequate, light and weighty representations of the Divine truths. But Peter here assures his readers that the faith, which in the dispensation of God was communicated to them, is equal in value and weight to that confessed by him and the other Apostles, cf. Acts 11:17; Acts 15:9; Acts 15:11. The consideration of these passages seems to convey the idea that Peter is here addressing Gentile Christians.—ἡμῖν, elliptically for τῇ ἡμῶν πίστει, Winer, 6 ed, p645, equal in value to our faith. [Hornejus: “Dicitur fides æque pretiosa, non quod omnium credentium æque magna sit, sed quod per fidem illam eadem mysteria et eadem beneficia divina nobis proponantur.” The references to Acts are hardly necessary; whoever they were, Jewish or Gentile Christians, their faith, says Peter, is equally precious in the sight of God with his (Peter’s) faith and that of the other Apostles.—M].

In the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ.—This clause also favours the objective construction of faith. Its centre and foundation are in the righteousness of God. Gerlach and Dietlein maintain that “our God and Saviour Jesus Christ” are here intimately connected, so that Jesus is called God. But seeing that the Petrine doctrine calls Jesus Lord, but in no other place except this, God, the former is more correctly applied to the Father. But what is the righteousness of God and that of the Saviour? We must here distinguish two subjects. So Huther, δικαιοσύνη derived by Aristotle from δίχα, διχάζειν, to divide in two equal parts, to appoint to each his own. δίκαιος, one who sustains a right relation to others, who is just what he ought to be. צַדִּיק applied to the judge or king who protects and administers justice, hence frequently used of the judicial acts of God as evidenced in the salvation and reward of the godly, and in the punishment of the ungodly. This is often expressed by the terms צְדָקָה,צֶדֶק, which sometimes denote truth and goodness. Here it is clearly not to be taken, as in Romans 1:17, in the sense of righteousness which comes from God and is valid before Him, i. e., imputed righteousness; this, to say nothing of its being an essentially Pauline idea, is impossible on account of the following καὶ σωτῆρος. It is rather to be taken as an attribute of God, as it occurs in Romans 3:25-26, descriptive of the judicial activity of God. The manner how Peter understood its manifestation in the centre of our faith, viz, in the work of redemption, is not further indicated in our passage. But we may doubtless infer from 2 Peter 2:1, where the term “to buy” is used, that his conception is the same as in Romans 3:25, that Jesus satisfied the justice of God, which demands the death of the sinner, by paying a sufficient ransom for all mankind. This required Jesus to be perfectly sinless and holy. This is the δικαιοσύνη σωτῆρος; so that the word bears a double sense, applicable to the righteousness of God and to the holiness of Jesus. That our passage is closely connected with the doctrine of Paul, seems almost unmistakable, and is not surprising in consideration of the passage 2 Peter 3:15. Huther takes δικαιοσύνη=the conduct corresponding to His holiness, which makes no difference between the one party and the other; de Wette incorrectly=grace and love. [Winer, p142, has fully shown that τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος I. x. may be grammatically rendered “of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ”; Bp. Middleton, p595, also asserts that “this passage is plainly and unequivocally to be understood as an assumption that Jesus Christ is our God and Saviour.” The ostensible design of the Epistle to refute the errors of those who separated Jesus from Christ, and denied the Lord that bought them, and rejected the doctrine of His divinity, supports this construction. See more in Wordsworth.—M.]

2 Peter 1:2 contains the salutation of blessing, as 1 Peter 1:1; but further specified by ἐν ἐπιγνώσει, a stronger expression than the simple γνῶσις, and of frequent occurrence in this Epistle; 2 Peter 2:20. Paul often uses it, especially in, the Epistle to the Colossians, 2 Peter 1:9-10; 2 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:10; also Romans 1:28; Romans 3:20; Romans 10:3; Ephesians 1:17; Ephesians 4:13; Philippians 1:9; 1 Timothy 2:4; 1 Timothy 6:20; Titus 1:1; Philippians 6; Hebrews 10:26.—It deserves to be particularly noticed because of the tendency to false gnosis, which was then beginning to appear. The word denotes acknowledgment, a knowledge which enters into an object and takes affectionate cognizance thereof; which is not satisfied with a merely outward relation to it, but seeks to enter into and to lay hold of that object. The verb is also found in the Gospels; e. g., Matthew 7:16; Matthew 11:27; Matthew 14:35; Mark 2:8; Luke 1:4. Calov defines it correctly as “practical, confiding knowledge=faith.” He adds, that it contains a gentle caution against their forfeiting grace and peace by sins against their conscience or by apostasy. The gifts of God presuppose not only a vessel to receive them, but an advance on our part. ἐν ἐπιγνώσει, it is the medium and vehicle of the multiplication of grace, τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Ἰησοῦ; Ἰησοῦ does not require the Article, because the Father and the Son are one in Essence.

2 Peter 1:3. Here begins the Epistle proper, which, as Roos observes, may be compared to a stream which is wide and deep at its very source. In this it resembles the first Epistle. 2 Peter 1:3-4, show what God does for believers, 2 Peter 1:5-8, what they are expected to do. Gerlach: “The beginning of the Epistle is peculiarly full of fire and life, and translates us forthwith into the whole plenitude of Gospel grace.”

Forasmuch as His Divine power hath given us all things; ὡς—δεδωρημένης. Grotius connects ὡς with the preceding, and explains that he did not value that knowledge so highly for nothing, forasmuch as it is the means whereby the Divine Power communicates all things to us; but it is better to connect ὡς with Calov with what follows. ὡς is not pleonastic, but denotes here, as frequently elsewhere, a well founded assurance; so De Wette, Dietlein, Huther. One might therefore translate: “Assured that the Divine Power has given us all things, strive,” cf. 1 Corinthians 4:18; Acts 27:30; Winer, p639.—δεδωρημένης, from the Middle δωρέομαι, not as if the perf. passivi were used instead of the perf. activi. Winer, p277. So LXX Genesis 30:20. αὐτοῦ refers both to θεοῦ and Ἰησοῦ.

His Divine Power.—The Holy Ghost is not any more referred to here than in Ephesians 1:19, although the Holy Ghost is described as “power from on high,” Luke 24:49; cf. Acts 1:5, and He is usually the medium whereby God bestows grace. Which are (necessary) for the (true spiritual) life, which is planted through regeneration, for the life emanating from God, and for the evidences of the same, for the exhibition of godliness. Gerlach: “The Divine Power has given us all things necessary for regeneration and holiness, so that the Christian has no excuse.” Bengel: “Look, it is not only by piety that we attain life, the Divine glory brings life, the Divine power godliness, to the one is opposed destruction, to the other lust ( 2 Peter 1:4.)”

Through the knowledge, of Him that called us.—Here, as in 2 Peter 1:2, believing knowledge is the medium of the attainment of the Divine communications of life.

That called us, cf. 1 Peter 2:9; 1 Peter 1:15; 2 Peter 1:10. The calling of God is the temporal fulfilment of the pre-temporsl. [eternal—M.] act of election. The end of the calling is not indicated here; where it is not mentioned, as in 1 Peter 2:21; 1 Peter 3:9, we may supply it, as importing eternal salvation and glory, 1 Peter 5:10; cf. 1 Thessalonians 2:12; 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 1:9; Hebrews 9:15.

By His glory and virtue.—διὰ δόξης καὶ ἀρετῆς. [The reading ἰδίᾳ δόξῃ καὶ ἀρετῇ given in Appar. Crit., which see, is the most authentic. ἴδιος=suus is peculiar to Peter; cf. 2 Peter 2:22; 2 Peter 3:3; 2 Peter 3:16-17; 1 Peter 3:1; 1 Peter 3:5. Athanasius, Dialog, de Trin.,1:164, cites this passage as from “The Catholic Epistles.”—M.] Peter, who often uses the word glory, connects it elsewhere with κρατός, 1 Peter 4:11; 2 Peter 1:11, here with ἀρετή. So Paul also praises the glory of the grace of God, Ephesians 1:6; cf. Acts 7:2; Romans 1:23; Romans 2:7; Romans 1:2; Romans 9:4; Romans 15:7; 1 Corinthians 2:8; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Corinthians 8:23; Philippians 1:11; Colossians 1:11. On glory see the note on 1 Peter 1:7. δι’ ὦν shows that δόξα and ἀρετή must not be reduced to one idea and rendered “glorious power.” Respect being had to the above mentioned connection, and to the derivation of ἀρετή (from ἀνήρ or ἄρης, like virtus from vir), which denotes primarily manhood, strength, valour, we cannot, with Bengel, refer ἀρετὴ to the moral attributes of God, but rather adopt the exposition of Roos, that “God calls us by means of a glorious, great, rich and wonderful grace, which is worthy of His Divine Name, and by a mighty energy, because His call is powerful and also a drawing, which renders our coming to Christ possible, John 6:44; cf. 1 Peter 2:9.”—δόξα; connect with the brightness with which God shines in the hearts of those whom He wakens, 2 Corinthians 4:6. Others refer δόξα and ἀρετή to the manifestation of the glory and moral perfection of God in the Person of Christ. John 1:14; Acts 2:22; Acts 10:38. Huther refers δόξαι to His Being, ἀρετή to His acts.

2 Peter 1:4. Through which He hath given unto us the greatest and (most) precious promises.—Through which, i. e., His glory and Divine power.—ἐπαγγέλματα properly, promises, which, although they are gifts per se, are the more precious because their bestowal involves also the bestowal of part of the promised riches. Thus we read in Acts 2:33, “having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost,” i. e., the Holy Ghost who had been promised. Hence Gerhard understands it of the promised riches themselves, i. e., redemption and atonement, adoption, union with God, the gift of righteousness and eternal life. Only it should be remembered that these are likewise the earnest of still greater riches to come.—δεδώρηται, again Middle, to be joined with καλέσας.

That by means of these ye might become partakers of the Divine nature.—It is incorrect to construe with Roos and al.: “The sum-total of what is contained in the great and precious promises of God, is that we may become partakers of the Divine nature.” ἵνα rather intimates that the reference is to the end contemplated in those glorious attributes and promises of God.—διὰ τούτων refers both to δόξα and ἀρετὴ and to ἐπαγγέλματα. [But it is doubtful whether there is such a double reference; τούτων seems to point to ἐπαγγέλματα as the nearest noun. See Winer, p170. ἵνα is telic, and the end proposed in’ these promises is their becoming partakers of the Divine nature.—M.]

Partakers of the Divine nature; φύσις, the Being, the Essence proper, cf. Romans 11:24; Ephesians 2:3; James 3:7, from φύω, as it is with God from all eternity, and comprises all His perfections. “What is the Divine nature?” asks Luther. “Eternal truth, righteousness, eternal life, peace, joy, delight, and whatsoever good may be named. Hence Hebrews, who becomes a partaker of the Divine nature, is wise, righteous and omnipotent against the devil, sin and death.” Calvin aptly compares the incarnation of Christ. As His human nature partook of the Divine, so believers are to become partakers of the Divine nature.—The reference, consequently, is not only to a moral resemblance, to an ideal communion, but to a veritable communion of being, which begins here below in our regeneration, 1 John 1:3, but will be consummated hereafter. Cf. Romans 8:29; John 17:21. This involves the glorification of the body, Philippians 3:21, seeing God and sharing in His glory, 1 Corinthians 13:12, and increasing resemblance to Him, 1 John 3:2. “When He shall appear we shall resemble (ὅμοιοι) Him.” “This does not mean that the partakers of the Divine nature shall be exactly like (i. e., equal to) God. God reserves to Himself His Person, although He shares with us His nature. As the sun reflects his image in a clear lake or a dew-drop and yet remains the sun, so also does God remain as He was and as He Isaiah, although He has made men partakers of His nature.” Zeller’s Biblisches Wörterbuch. [Origen, in Levit. Hom. 4, cites this passage as from a genuine writing of Peter, also Athanasius, c. Arian. Orat. 21133. Wordsw.—M.]

Having escaped from the corruption, etc.—ἀποφυγόντες, not in a preceptive sense, as Calov takes it, “only ye shall escape,” for it is immediately connected with the preceding clause and not with the following Imperative: it rather means after, on the supposition that, ye have escaped. The Aorist, which denotes an action merely as a past event (Winer, pp290291) forbids the rendering, “if ye escape forthwith.” Bengel: “There is an antithesis between partakers and escaping, and also between Divine nature and corruption in lust. This escaping denotes not so much our duty as a Divine benefit which accompanies the communion with God.”

τὴν φθοράν (cf. Romans 8:21; Galatians 6:8; Colossians 2:22; 2 Peter 2:12; 2 Peter 2:19) not Active, but Passive, not only moral, but physical corruption. Here we meet again the antithesis between the perishable and the imperishable which is deeply rooted in the Apostle’s soul. Cf. 1 Peter 1:4; 1 Peter 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23-25; 2 Peter 3:10, etc.—Corruption reigns in the world and penetrates it in all its parts; its source and strength lie in the anti-divine lust which excites the wrath of God and ruins human nature, in soul and body. Cf. Ephesians 4:22. Roos: “There lies a corruption in the lusts common to the world. The old man through lusts corrupts himself in error, so that he grows worse and worse. The carnal lusts war against the soul, which thereby is increasingly enfeebled and darkened. It grows in wickedness, becomes more like the devil, and inclines to hell. Through many of these lusts the naturally good condition of the body also is ruined.” [Calvin: “Hanc non in elementis quae nos circumstant, sed in corde nostro esse ostendit, quia illic regnant vitiosi et pravi affectus, quorum fontem vel radicem voce concupiscentiae notat. Ergo ita locatur in munda corruptio, ut scimus in nobis esse mundum.”—M.]

2 Peter 1:5. But for this very reason—knowledge.—καὶ αὐτὸ τοῦτο δὲ begins the apodosis. αὐτὸ τοῦτοused adverbially, it is just therefore—wherefore I exhort you, it is for this very reason, on this very account, see Winer, p155.—καὶ as God does His part, so do ye yours, δὲ is added, because the positive side of their escape is now made prominent, [τοῦτο δὲ σπ. παρεισενέγκαντες stands parallel to ὡς πάντα. δεδωρημένης, etc, and 2 Peter 1:4 is an explanatory relative clause to the words διὰ δόξης καὶ ἀρετῆς, so Winer.—M.]

All diligence.—Cf. 2 Peter 1:10; 2 Peter 1:15; 2 Peter 3:14. A very comprehensive term. Use with all earnestness the energies of faith which have been bestowed upon you for your holiness.—Luther:—“Ye have a goodly heritage and a good field, take care that you suffer no thistles and weeds to grow in it.”—παρεισενέγκαντες (ἅπαξ λεγ.) denotes bringing in something along with one, quietly and without ostentatious display.—ἐπιχορηγεῖν, a word peculiar to Paul, 2 Corinthians 9:10; Galatians 3:5; Colossians 2:19, to furnish, supply. Generally the reference to the chorus is entirely ignored. The word is often used of expenses that are incurred, and denotes here that we must be prepared to incur expenses in order to furnish this garland of virtues. The furnishing on our part corresponds to the furnishing on God’s part, 2 Peter 1:10. “The gifts of God are followed by our diligence, our diligence is followed by the entrance into the kingdom.” Dietlein gives the ungrammatical rendering: “leads in the dance.”—ἐν τῇ πίστει. Faith, which leads the chorus, identical with the practical knowledge of 2 Peter 1:2-3, is the root of those virtues, love, its crown, ends it. Augustine: “Faith is the root and mother of all virtues.” It appears here as a gift of grace, John 6:29; Ephesians 2:8-9.—ἀρετήν, manly, decided conduct before the three enemies of our salvation, and readiness to good works. It corresponds to the ἀρετὴ of God, 2 Peter 1:4, which energetically repels all evil. De Wette and Huther are too general in rendering “moral fitness.” of the seven fruits on the tree of faith this is the first and the best, cf. Philippians 4:8. It must be coupled with γνῶσις, which is different from ἐπίγνωσις, of which it is the fruit, cf. 1 Peter 3:7; Philippians 1:9; a wise demeanour with a ready perception of what is useful or harmful, of what is to be done and to be avoided, cf. Ecclesiastes 8:9. It preserves us from indiscreet zeal and exaggerations. Luther:—“Prudence is the eye of all virtues, without which virtue easily degenerates into faults.” Calov:—“It leads and moderates all virtues, so that in the practice of it we err neither by doing too much nor too little, nor stray from the right goal.”

2 Peter 1:6-7. And in knowledge—love.—ἐγκράτεια, abstinence from the lust of the world, self-control. “It abstains from the evil it knows to identify, and in Christian liberty steadily bridles the desires, 1 Peter 4:8; Galatians 1:22.” Richter. ὑπομονή, endurance, perseverance under abuse, want, troubles, dangers and sufferings. “Self-government accustoms men to be hard to themselves, and thus to endure sufferings.” Ph. M. Hahn.—τὴν εὐσέβειαν, the disposition in which the consideration of God controls the whole life, in which He is held in supreme honour, whereby His approval is sought, and the doing of which things constitutes its own happiness.—φιλαδελφία, 1 Peter 1:22; Romans 12:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:9; Hebrews 13:1; Galatians 6:10.—τὴν ἀγάπην, love in general, universal kindness toward all men. Bengel:—“Each of these several steps begets and facilitates the next; each next tempers and perfects the preceding.”—Gerlach:—“The import of this scale of Christian graces may be still more appreciated by considering it in an inverted order, and by acquiring the conviction that each successive step necessarily presupposes the one which precedes it.”

2 Peter 1:8. For if these things are in you, etc.—ὑπάρχειν, to lie under, to be taken for granted, to be truly subsisting, to be at one’s command, like a property. If these qualities have become your inward property, cf. Acts 3:6.—πλεονάζοντα, and if by daily practice they multiply, Romans 5:20; Romans 6:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:3, they will not suffer you to appear as unworkful [ἀργός =ἄεργος.—M.] and unfruitful; they will exhibit themselves in all manner of good works, and impel you to an ever growing, profound, comprehensive and thorough knowledge of Jesus Christ. Thus there is an admirable fitness, in that the knowledge of Christ, which consists of different gradations, is first described as the source and afterwards as the fruit of those virtues. [Christ is the Author and Finisher of our faith.—M.]

2 Peter 1:9. For he to whom these things—not seeing afar off.—Supply before γάρ the thought, ‘strive so much the more earnestly after these things, for—otherwise you go in the direction of relapse and blindness.’ Huther:—“A negative illustrative explanation of the preceding verse. He is blind while he thinks after the manner of those false teachers, that he has light; he knows neither himself, nor God, nor Christ; he is in the darkness, 1 John 2:9; 1 John 2:11; Revelation 3:17; Proverbs 4:19.”—μυωπάζων from μύωψ, one who is near-sighted and obliged partly to shut his eyes in order to see objects at a distance. Such an one accordingly is blind both in regard of the present and of the future; he intentionally shuts the eyes of his spirit against the light, wherever it is disagreeable to him. Grotius, falsely:—“He is blind, or if not wholly blind, short-sighted.” Huther:—“He only sees that which is near (earthly things), not that which is distant (heavenly things).” [Fronmüller’s view is the reproduction of that of Suidas: “Itague τυφλὸς μυωπάζων is dicitur qui idea cæcus Esther, quia sponte claudit oculos, ut ne videat, aut qui videre se dissimulat, quod vel invitus cernit.”—M.]

Having placed in forgetfulness the purification of his former sins.—This describes the way in which that getting blind is brought about. Bengel notes the fitness of the term λήθην λαβὼν as expressive of that which man willingly suffers, that which he wishes for, cf. [Oecumenius:—“καὶ γὰρ καὶ οὖτος ἐπιγνοὺς ἑαυτὸν διὰ τὸ καθαρθῆναι τῷ ἁγίῳ βαπτίσματι, ὅτι πλήθους ἁμαρτιῶν ἐξεπλύθη δέον εἰδέναι ὅτι καθαρθεὶς καὶ ἁγιότητα ἔλαβε, νήφειν ἵνα διαπαντὸς τηρῇ τὸν ἁγιασμόν, οὖ χωρὶς οὐδεὶς ὄψεται τὸν κύριον, δὲ ἐπελάθετο.”—M.]

[Bengel: In priore epistola nunguam, in altera semel hanc appellationem Petrus adhibet: ex quo gravitas hujus loci apparet.—M.]

Your calling and election sure.—The calling is placed first with reference to ourselves, who become first conscious of our calling, and afterwards of our election. ἐκλογή denotes not the worthiness and distinction conditioned by our our own doings, nor our entering here in time into communion with God, but as usual, the eternal purpose of God, cf. 1 Peter 1:1; 1 Peter 2:4; 1 Peter 2:6; 1 Peter 2:9; Acts 9:15; Romans 9:11; Romans 11:5; Romans 11:7; Romans 11:28; 1 Thessalonians 1:4. Those who consider themselves elect are still liable to stumble and fall. Huther applies it to the separation of the called from the world and to their translation into the kingdom of God, in which their calling is instrumental.—Augustine:—“Even for perseverance in obedience you must hope in the Father of Light, and implore Him in daily prayers; but in doing so you must have the assurance that you are not excluded from the election of His people, because it is God Himself who enables you to do so.”

For if ye do these things, if ye exhibit these qualities ( 2 Peter 1:5, etc.), ye shall never stumble.—οὐ μὴ πταίσητε.—πταίειν, to strike the foot against a stone, to stumble, to fail, to come to grief. The figure is taken here, as in 1 Corinthians 9:24, from those who, at the games, run within the course. Tossan:—“James ( 2 Peter 3:2) says, indeed, that we all fail or stumble in various ways; but Peter here refers to a stumbling which denotes a man’s keeping down, or his falling wholly away from the grace of God, or forfeiting it,” cf. Hebrews 12:13.—The Intensive οὐ μή with the Conj. Aor. is used when something is to happen at an indefinite period, or very rapidly, see Winer, p528.

For thus shall be richly furnished to you, etc.—Richly corresponds to πλεονάζειν, 2 Peter 1:8, and is the antithesis to 1 Peter 4:18, “that ye may enter not as from shipwreck or a fire, but as it were in triumph.” Bengel.—“But those who enter otherwise (although we ought not to despair of the weak) will not pass on thus joyously, the door will not be open as wide for them, but it will be narrow and hard to them, so that they struggle and would rather be weak all their life than die once.” Luther.—Huther understands the rich fulness of future felicity.—ἐπιχορηγηθήσεται corresponds to 2 Peter 1:5. If ye richly contribute, furnish forth those virtues, God also will furnish you a richly opened entrance into His kingdom. Roos thinks that this entrance begins already here upon earth. “The state of grace builded upon the foundation of the calling and election of God becomes more and more immovable, so that the danger of losing it is continually lessening. One enters also further and further into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, so that one receives more and more richly the Spirit who rules all things therein, and through this Spirit one obtains more and more fully the knowledge of the Father and the Son and the capacity of acting in all cases more and more in conformity to the laws which are valid in that kingdom.”—βασιλείαν is connected with the synoptical sayings of Christ, and is not found in the first Epistle, which describes eternal life by the figure of an inheritance, 1 Peter 1:4; 1 Peter 3:9; 1 Peter 3:7.

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL

1. It is impossible to enter into the stream of truth, power and Apostolical majesty which we encounter at the opening of this Epistle without gaining the firm conviction that here speaks not an unknown personage of the second century, who falsely arrogates to himself the title of an Apostle and the name of the Prince of the Apostles, but that it is he himself, as he testifies in the Introduction to the Epistle.

2. As in Paul, so here, the atonement whereby the justice of God was satisfied, and justification by faith in the free grace of God in Christ, are represented as the centre of the Christian faith.

3. An essential moment of faith is knowledge, to which peculiar prominence is given in the second Epistle of Peter, doubtless, among other reasons, because the Apostle had to deal with an intellectual tendency which attached a very great value to knowledge, although it was only onesided and theoretical. Hebrews, therefore, vindicates the claims of vital, practical knowledge, 2 Peter 1:2-6; 2 Peter 1:8; 2 Peter 2:20; 2 Peter 3:18; the beginning, progress and completion of which should be duly distinguished from one another, 2 Peter 1:3; 2 Peter 1:8. “He opposes to the falsely celebrated knowledge of those false teachers the true knowledge.” Besser. Cf. Revelation 2:24; 1 John 2:23; John 17:3.

4. The wakening of a sinner from spiritual death and the communication of a new life to him require on the part of God the same putting forth of power as the resurrection of Christ from the dead, Ephesians 1:19-20. Hence every thing is here referred back to the Divine Power. “In conversion, justification, and the first bestowal of grace, grace alone works for and in us sinners. But afterwards we are bound and able to coöperate, not in our own strength, but in the strength of God by grace.” Richter. Our confessions teach rightly: “That as those who are physically dead cannot of themselves and of their own strength reanimate their dead bodies and restore them to life, so also those who are dead in sins cannot of their own strength achieve their spiritual and heavenly righteousness and spiritual life, unless the Son of God deliver them from the death of sins and quicken them,” 2 Corinthians 3:5; 1 Corinthians 2:14; John 15:5; Philippians 2:13; Formula Concordiæ. Müller, p590.—Confess. Aug., Art2, 18.

5. How lofty the vocation of us poor, sinful men! The kingdom of God, communion with God, His glory and actually participation in His Nature are all held out to us. While pantheism dreams of a God, who as the universal Spirit of the world is ever engaged in an incessant alternation of ebb and flow, now distributing and again gathering Himself, now scattering in innumerable drops and again flowing back into an ocean, Holy Scripture makes us acquainted with the living, personal God, eternally exalted above His creatures, and yet so condescending to those who love Him as to make them partakers of His Being. The Triune God wills to dwell in His elect, to make them one spirit with Him, and yet to make them personally different from Him.

6. “Corruptible and perishable lust often commends itself as a thing permitted, and wicked men often turn and twist the commandments of God until they think that they have found a warrant for the gratification of that lust; because then this perverted dogma of Christian liberty constitutes the whole of their Gospel, which they are minded and ready to practise.” Roos.

7. Doubts of one’s calling and election to eternal life are best overcome by giving all diligence in furnishing those virtues ( 2 Peter 1:5), and warring against the opposite sins. “Although all the rest ( 2 Peter 1:5, etc,) flows from faith in the grace of God in Christ, it attains only gradually the control of man’s doing and not-doing through proof.” Gerlach. “On the seven-fold tree of faith one part grows out of the other; the first contains the germ of the second, the second enables the third to come to a healthy growth, and all of them together are consummated in love.” Besser.—Good works are indissolubly united to the true knowledge of Jesus Christ, so that knowledge also must be denied to the idle and unfruitful.

8. Those who forget the principal article of the forgiveness of sins through the blood of Jesus, lack the most efficient incentive to holiness, the Spirit, who teaches men to abhor sin as the greatest evil, takes flight, and relapse inevitably ensues.

9. The election of believers is forever objectively secure; but they must become more and more firmly established in it, so that nothing shall be able to upset their being sealed with the Holy Spirit.

10. “The seven-fold furnishing forth of virtue on the part of believers will encounter in the eternal kingdom of Jesus Christ, the riches of which are unfathomable, a seventy times sevenfold furnishing forth of glory. As on the arrival of a welcome guest with numerous attendants, we throw open the folding door of the house, so likewise a rich entrance into the hall of heaven awaits those who arrive there with the retinue of honest works of faith, Revelation 14:13.” Besser.

HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL

The highly-important knowledge that Jesus is my Lord.—The fountain of all godliness flows in the living knowledge of Christ.—Participation in the Divine Nature the highest aim of Christianity.

2 Peter 1:7. Glorious fruits on the tree of faith.—The gifts of God and the fidelity of man must go hand in hand.—The cycle–life of Christianity which begins and ends with the knowledge of Jesus.—The straight way to the heavenly Zion.—The great blindness of those who forget the purification from their former sins.

Starke:—The Apostles have no privileges over other believers, either in salvation or the appointment of it, but they are all alike loved by God in Christ, and regarded, as it were, as one, Romans 3:29-30; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 4:5.—The omnipotence and might of God is as evident in the kingdom of grace as in the work of creation and the kingdom of nature. The same power wakens, enlightens, quickens; cleanses, sanctifies, strengthens, confirms, and keeps the sinner unto salvation.—Nobody can be right in complaining of his inability to do good; is it not given to him of God? Piety is not impossible in the power of God. Use it with all diligence and earnestness, Philippians 4:13.—To receive in faith according to the Gospel, and to give in love according to the law, must ever go together in the Christian life, so that receiving may truly promote giving, and the giving truly evidence the receiving.—False conceit, to hanker after sinful desires, and yet to imagine that one is the child of God! The two cannot exist together. If you desire the latter, you must let go the former, Ephesians 5:1.—The regenerate must faithfully use all the powers of grace they have received, and be very diligent in good works, and thereby prove their new birth, Titus 2:14.—The golden chain of virtue is man’s most becoming ornament; let no one sever its links; who wants one, shall have them all, James 2:10.—Although godliness begins at once with faith, it does not truly evidence itself in its proofs until it endures; then it is not confined to good motions and resolutions, but the practice of good becomes a continual and blessed habit, Titus 3:14.—How very different is genuine Christian love from merely natural love! Who knows this truly but those who are born of God?—The more a believer grows in holiness, the more vanish the obstacles to true enlightenment, and the clearer grows his knowledge of spiritual and heavenly things, Romans 12:2.—Those who have received gifts from God and do not use them faithfully, are worse off than if they had received nothing at all, for they only increase their condemnation, Luke 12:47-48.—Godliness does not merit eternal life, but it belongs to the order of salvation.—Shameful deceit, if thou leadest a godless life, and yet fanciest to be saved at last. Art thou sure that thou wilt be converted on thy dying bed? Depend not on the case of the dying thief; it may happen to one, but the most are lost, Sirach 18:22.—To live a truly godly life belongs to a happy, as well as to a joyful death. For although a joyful readiness to die is purely of God’s grace, it can only happen to those who, because of an unblemishable life, have a good conscience, Proverbs 14:32.

Lisco:—The heavenly possessions of the Christian.—The communion of faith of Christians: 1. Its foundation; 2. Its effect.—The most precious jewel of the members of the Kingdom.—The final aim of the members of the Kingdom.

Bek:—Of true enlightenment.—How faith evolves a whole garland of virtues.

Gerok:—The Divine garden of a Christian heart; 1. With its heavenly nurture; 2. Noble plants; 3. Its glorious prospects.

W. Hofacker:—The most necessary and important prayers.

Scheffer:—Man glorified into a Christian.

H. Rieger:—If God sends rain and fruitful seasons from heaven, the husbandman also does not fail in diligence, and thus the expected harvest is attained. Song of Solomon, likewise, if God accords to us in various ways His Divine power, and man gives all diligence, that which is proposed in the heavenly calling is also attained.—The diligence we use, impels us more and more to the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, to make a good use of all the treasures it contains on all occasions, and to overcome thereby remaining obstacles.—There is no want of occasions to stumble. Unless the heart increasingly enters into purity, and the eye into simplicity, we shall stop here and there to our hurt, take a wrong view of things, make not the proper use of the power contained in our heavenly calling against those things, and this occasions stumbling, inward uncertainty, entanglements in lust and complaisance, outward stumbling and laying hold of something which weakens the hope of our calling.

[ 2 Peter 1:1. The Divinity of Christ the beginning and end of this Epistle, cf. 2 Peter 3:18.

2 Peter 1:5-8. Three figures suggested by the Apostle’s language:

1. The chain or garland of Christian virtues.

2. Faith, the foundation of the Christian life, has been laid by God; on that foundation let Christians rear the superstructure, taking care that each succeeding virtue rests firmly in and on the one preceding it.

3. The tree of the Christian life bearing sevenfold fruit, of which the last kind, charity, is the most precious and perfect.—M.]

[ 2 Peter 1:9. Ungodliness the cause of spiritual blindness; godliness opens and perfects spiritual vision. (See Wordsworth).

2 Peter 1:11. “According to our different degrees of improvement of the grace of God here, will be our different degrees of participation in His everlasting glory hereafter.”—Bp. Bull.

The Christian’s triumphal entry into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

The things, not seen, are eternal. Life there is everlasting, Luke 10:25; the inheritance is everlasting, Hebrews 9:15; the house and the tabernacles are everlasting, 2 Corinthians 5:1; Luke 16:9; the glory is everlasting, 2 Timothy 2:10; salvation is everlasting, Hebrews 5:2; and so is the kingdom of the King eternal, 1 Timothy 1:17.—M.]

[Sermons on this Section:

2 Peter 1:1. Simeon, C.: Every thing needful provided for us. Works, XX, 286.

2 Peter 1:5-7. Beveridge: The Chain of Christian graces. Works, VI, 274.

Lenfant: Les engagements de la foi. Sermons, I.

Warburton: The edification of Gospel righteousness. Confirmation. Works, IX, 163.

2 Peter 1:7. Zollikoffer: Whether or not Christianity be favourable to patriotism? Sermons on the Evils of the World, II, 243.

2 Peter 1:10. Bp. Hall: Good security; or, the Christian’s assurance of heaven. Works, V, 570.

2 Peter 1:11. Bp. Bull: The different degrees of bliss in heaven answer to the different degrees of grace here. Works, I, 168.

Jay, W.: Happiness in death. Works, IX, 411.—M.]

Footnotes:

FN#1 - Title. [steph. επιστολη πετρου καθολικη δευτερα elz πετρ. του αποστ. επιστ. καθ. δευτερα: επιστολη καθολικη δευτ.—του αγιου αποστολου πετρου G. al.—πετρουεπιστ. β’ C:—πετρου επιστ. δευτερα Cod. Mosq. πετρου β. A. B. Cod. Sin—M.]

2 Peter 1:1. Lachmann, Tischend. Ed7, reads Συμεὼν with A. G. K. and the majority of Codd, cf. Luke 3:30; Luke 7:40 : Revelation 7:7; Acts 15:14; Heb.שִׁמְעון.

[German: …. in the righteousness of our God, and of the Saviour Jesus Christ.—M.]

FN#2 - 2 Peter 1:2.[ εἰς δικαιοσύνην τ. κυρίου. Cod. Sin.—M.]

3] 2 Peter 1:2.[ ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ Α. Cod. Sin. al.—M.] Tisch. omits τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Ἰησοῦ.

[German: Grace and peace happen to you more and more richly, in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

Translate: Grace to you and peace be multiplied in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.—M.]

(4) 2Pe 1:3. [τὰ πὰντα Α. Cod. Sin.—M.]

2 Peter 1:3.[* πρὸς τὸν θεόν καὶ (* * improb. τ. θ. κ., Tisch.) ζωὴν Cod. Sin.—M.]

[ἰδίᾳ δόξη καὶ ἀρετῇ A. C. Cod. Sin.—M.] Lachm. Tisch.

[German: Forasmuch as His divine power hath given us all things which are necessary for life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that called us by His glory and Divine virtue.

Translate: …. By His own glory and virtue.—M.]

[τίμ.ἡμῖν καὶ μέγιστ. B. Cod. Sin. al. Rec. ἡμῖν beforeκαὶ τίμια, with Cod. Mosq, Cod. Angel. Rom.; μέγ. καὶ τίμια ἡμῖν A. B. C.—M.]

(7)2Pe 1:4. [φύσεως κοινωνοὶ Cod. Sin.—M.]

[τὴν ἐν τῷ κὸσμῳ ἐπιθυμίαν Cod. Sin.; τῷ before κόσμῳ A.B.Cod.Angel. Rom.; ἐπιθυμίαις καὶ C—M.]

[German: Through which He hath given unto us the greatest and most precious promises, that by means of these ye might become partakers of the Divine nature, having escaped from the corruption in lust which is in the world.

Translate: …. the corruption which Is in the world In lust.—M.]

[δὲ τοῦτο Cod. Sin.; αὐτὸ δὲ τοῦτο C**; αὐτοὶδὲΑ; καὶ αὐτὸ τοῦτο δὲ Rec.—M.]

[German: But for this very reason use all your diligence, and present in your faith manly courage, In courage discrimination.

Translate: …. giving on your side (Alford) all diligence, furnish in your faith virtue, and in your virtue knowledge.—M.]

[German: In discrimination, self-control, and in self-control, stedfastness.….

Translate: …. in self-control endurance.….—M.]

[German: In godliness brotherly love, and in brotherly love universal charity.—M.]

(10) 2Pe 1:8. [ἡμῶν C—M.]

[German: For where these things are found In you and abound, they will not let you be idle or unfruitful for the knowledge,…

Translate: For these things being yours (Lillie) and multiplying, render you not idle nor yet unfruitful for (De Wette, Alford).….—M.]

(11) 2Pe 1:9. [ἁμαρτημάτων A. Cod. Sin. Cod. Mosq.—M.]

[German: For he to whom these things are not present, is blind, not seeing afar off, having placed in forgetfulness the purification of his former sins.

Translate: For he that lacketh these things is blind, short-sighted, having incurred forgetfulness (Alford). ….—M.]

[σπουδ. ἵνα διὰ τῶν καλῶν ἔργων Cod. Sin.; same addition with further ὑμῶν A. Vulg. Syr. al.—M.] ἵνα διὰ τῶν καλῶν ὺμῶν ἔργων βεβ. Lachmann

[ποιεὶσθε A.—M.]. ποιῆσθε, Lachmann.

(14) 2Pe 1:10. [παράκλησιν A.—M.]

[German:.… ye shall never stumble.—M.]

[εἴσοδος without the Article.—M.]

[German: For thus shall be richly presented to you the entrance into the.….

Translate:.… richly furnished.…—M.]


Verses 12-21

2 Peter 1:12-21

Analysis:—The Apostle enforces his exhortation to holiness by the consideration of the expected nearness of his departure, confirming the certainty of the doctrine in which his readers had been instructed, a, by the eye-witness of him self and all the Apostles; b, by the word of prophecy.

12Wherefore I will not be negligent16 to put you always in remembrance of these things, though17 ye know them,18 and be established in the present truth 13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;19 14Knowing that shortly20 I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me 15 Moreover I will endeavour21 that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance 16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming22 of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were23 eye-witnesses of his majesty 17 For he received from God24 the Father honour and glory, when there came25 such a voice to him from the excellent26 glory, This is my beloved Song of Solomon, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven27 we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount 19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day28 dawn, and the daystar arise in your hearts: 20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy29 men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

2 Peter 1:12. Wherefore.—The connection is as follows: In order that this glorious consummation [of participation in the blessings and glories of Christ’s Kingdom, Alf.—M.] may be yours, I will not fail to exhort you to the zealous cultivation of holiness, more particularly, because my departure is close at hand. Here we have the tendency of the whole Epistle. The Apostle’s aim is neither dogmatical instruction nor the refutation of false teachers, but the strengthening and encouragement in the practice of good, the growth of a virtuous disposition and of a virtuous life on the part of those to whom he writes. He mentions first the vital knowledge of God and Christ as the chief means to that desirable end.

I will not be negligent, etc.—οὐκ ἀμελήσω. [See Appar. Crit.—M.] His anxious care for their encouragement and confirmation is made more intense by ἀεί. Bengel:—“I will always think of the one thing, that it is my duty to stir you up (admonish you).”—This was doubly necessary, because of the danger of their being seduced by false prophets, 2 Peter 2:1-2. Luther:—“The Christian ministry is of two kinds, as says St. Paul in Romans 12:7-8. Teaching is laying the foundation of faith, and preaching it to those who are ignorant of it. Exhorting, or, as St. Peter says, reminding, is preaching to those who know and have heard (the Gospel), admonishing and stirring them up to recollect what they know, to continue and increase therein.”—ὑπομιμνήσκειν, cf. John 14:26; 2 Timothy 2:14; Titus 3:1; 3 John 1:10; Judges 5. Paul uses the term ἐπαναμιμνήσκειν, Romans 15:15

Although ye know them and have been established.—εἰδότας sc. ταῖτα.—ἐστηριγμένους; στηρίζω to set fast, establish. The truth was preached to you, 1 Peter 1:12, confirmed by me,,5:12, and you are fully convinced of it.—ἐν τῇ παρούσῃ, the truth has been brought near to you, yea it is present in your hearts. Similarly, Paul in Romans 10:8, “The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart.” [Calvin: “Vos quidem, inquit, probe tenetis quænam sit evan-geliæ veritas, neque vos quasi fluctuantes confirmo, sed in re tanta monitiones nunquam sunt supervacuæ, quare nunquam molestate esse debent. Simili excusatione utitur Paulus ad Romans 15:14.”—M.]

2 Peter 1:13. But I deem it right—reminding.—δὲ is often used by way of explanation, γάρ might have been used, but on account of the preceding εἰδότας and ἐστηριγμένους we have an adversative conjunction. Winer, p474, 475.—σκήνωμα like σκηνή,στῆνος, tent, tabernacle. Thus the Doric poets and Pythagorean philosophers call the body the σκῆνος of the soul. Plato calls σῶμα the σῆμα of the soul, its prison, or grave. Paul makes use of the phrase, “earthly house of tabernacle,” 2 Corinthians 5:1, with reference to the metaphor in Isaiah 33:12 and Wisdom of Solomon 9:15. Bengel:—“It denotes the immortality of the soul, the brevity of its stay in this mortal body, and the facility of its departure in faith.” We may add that it also describes Christians as strangers and warriors, who use tents or huts instead of houses.—διεγείρειν. Intensive form of ἐγείρειν, thoroughly to arouse from sleep and Sleepiness through every impediment.

[Vulgate:—“Certus quod velox est depositio tabernaculi mei.” Bengel:—“Repentina est. Præsens, qui diu ægrotant, possunt alios adhuc pascere. Crux id Petro non erat permissura. Ideo prius agit, quod agendum est.”—M.]—ἀπόθεσις seems to apply to the figure of a garment, but suits also that of a tent, because this is laid aside after having served its purpose. In the following verse, the Apostle calls death an exodus (a going out), just as our Lord spoke of it as a going to the Father, John 14:2, etc. A proof of the calmness with which the Master and the disciple contemplated the violent and painful death of the cross. [ἔξοδος in connection with σκήνωμα seems to be associated with the history of the Transfiguration, cf. Luke 9:31-33, and contain incidental internal evidence of the genuineness of the Epistle, as such an association would hardly have occurred to any but an eye-witness of that memorable event.—M.]

2 Peter 1:15. Moreover, I will endeavour, etc.—σπονδάσω for the usual σπουδάσομαι, see Winer, p101. I will take pains, that ye may have, etc, similar to the Latin studeo with Infin.—ἑκάστοτε, every time, on every occasion of necessity or emergency.—ἐχειν μνήμην ποιεῖσθαι ἔχω with Infin., as in the Classics, to be able to exercise the memory. As to the subject matter, it may relate to the present Epistle; but the conjecture of Richter “that the Apostle here holds out to them the hope of a fixed, written Gospel, the Gospel according to Mark being considered Peter’s Gospel,” may not be improbable. Cf. Lange on Mark, p6, etc. On this supposition only the true import of this verse is realized, for otherwise it would seem to be rather pleonastic. So Michælis, Pott, and al. De Wette thinks that Peter here holds out the promise of other Epistles, but 2 Peter 1:14 renders this conjecture improbable.—μνήμην ποιεῖσθαι.—Romish interpreters discover here falsely an intimation of Peter’s intercession in heaven, but such an interpretation is even grammatically impossible. [This is not all; the Papists not only twist this passage into the intercession of saints, but use it in support of their doctrine of the invocation of saints. As a sample of such perversion of Holy Writ take the interpretation of Corn.–a Lap.: “ἔχειν, habere scilicet in mente et memoria mea ut crebro vestri sim memor apud Deum, cumque pro vobis orem, ut horum monitorum meorum memoriam vobis refricet… Hinc patet S. Petrum et Sanctos vita functos curare resmortalium, ideoque esse invocandos.” See the judicious note of Alford.—M.]

[Bengel:—τὸ ἐξ errorem notat. Talis error in hac re nullus.—M.]

When we made known to you.—,Where? Partly orally, partly in the first Epistle, cf 1 Pe1:7; 1 Peter 1:18; 1 Peter 2:4; 1 Peter 2:21; 1 Peter 3:18, etc.; 1 Peter 4:7; 1 Peter 4:13. The reference to St. Mark’s Gospel is here out of the question. [But why any more here than in 1 Peter 1:15 ? Such a reference is far from improbable.—M.]

The power and appearing refer to the chief epochs of His life, as indicated in 2 Peter 3:18, etc. Not by hendiadgs=the power visible at His appearing, but two different though closely connected ideas. δύναμις embraces the riches of His whole life and salvation, the whole treasure of the Divine power centred in Him, His wonderful works, His power over the hearts of men, His power as Teacher and Redeemer, His resurrection in power after His crucifixion in weakness, 2 Corinthians 13:4, His descent to the realms of death, His ascension and His supreme dominion.—παρουσία, the presence, appearing, coming. It is used of Christ coming to judgment, Matthew 24:3; Matthew 24:27; Matthew 24:37-39; 1 Corinthians 15:23; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8; James 5:7; 2 Peter 3:4-12; 1 John 2:28. In this sense it might be taken here (so Gerhard, Huther, de Wette); but seeing that παρουσία is used of the present in 1 Corinthians 16:17; 2 Corinthians 7:6-7; 2 Corinthians 10:10; Philippians 1:26; Philippians 2:26, that the present and the future interpenetrate each other in the previous passages, that, moreover, the sequel refers to the past, it is perhaps best to adopt the exposition of Hahn, who blends the two: “His manifestation in the flesh accompanied by miraculous power, and His expected future appearing in glory.” We have here also an antithesis to the economy of the Old Testament, under which salvation and the Author of salvation were only promised, but had not yet appeared in reality, 1 Peter 1:11; 1 Peter 2. Pet. 2 Peter 1:19. Calov:—“The Epistle is directed against those who denied the power and the first advent of Christ.”

But were eye-witnesses of His majesty.—ἐπόπται, sometimes used of those who were admitted to the third and highest degree of initiation in the Eleusinian mysteries; the verb is also used in this sense. Peter, to whom the word is peculiar, 1 Peter 2:12; 1 Peter 3:2, does not advert to its technical sense, but uses it in the sense of careful and close inspection and observation. Huther says that reference is made to the circumstance that the μεγαλειότης of Christ has a mystery concealed from the others.—μεγαλειότης=might and greatness, majesty, used of the mighty power of God, and exhibited in the miracles of Christ, Luke 9:43; of the admired greatness and splendour of Diana, Acts 19:27. Similarly μεγαλωσύνη, Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 8:1.

2 Peter 1:17. For He received from God the Father honour and glory.—λαβὼν γάρ. An anacoluthon, to which ἐτύγχανε may be supplied. The construction is interrupted by the parenthesis. The sentence, “He was declared to be the Father’s beloved Son.” Winer, 368, 369. [But this construction, although possible, is not that recommended by Winer, who gives Fronmüller’s in a note, but says in the text: “The structure is interrupted by the parenthetical clause φωνῆς—εὐδόκησα; and the Apostle continues in 2 Peter 1:18 with καὶ ταύτην τὴν φωνὴν ἡμεῖς ἠκούσαμεν, instead of saying ἡμᾶς εἰχε ταύτην τὴν φωνὴν ἀκούσαντας, of something similar.” To give this in English render, “For having received from God the Father honour and glory, (when a voice was borne to Him—well pleased), and this voice ye heard, etc.”—M.] The transfiguration of Jesus on the mount is produced as an example of the personal experience of the Apostle of the power and appearing of Christ, cf. Acts 10:39; Acts 5:32, where Peter also refers to his having been an eye-witness.—τιμὴν καὶ δόξαν, see 1 Peter 1:7; Romans 2:7; Romans 2:10. The former may apply to His mission, the latter to His person. [Or perhaps, better, and less far fetched, τιμήν may refer to the voice which spoke to Him, and δόξαν to the light that shone from Him; so Alford. Burgon calls attention to the remarkable resemblance of this passage and John 1:14 concerning the same event, of which St. Peter and St. John were eyewitnesses.—M. ]

When there came to Him such a voice—well pleased.—ἐνεχθείσης indicates the manner how He received honour and glory: φέρεται φωνή=נָפַל, Isaiah 9:8; Daniel 4:28, elsewhere γίγνεται, Luke 9:35-36, or ἔρχεται, John 12:30; John 12:28, denotes the objective, unmistakable, important character of the voice. It was not a dream or an imaginary illusion, like many fables, but it was a voice sounding from on high. The word is repeated with emphasis in the next verse. According to Matthew 17:5, and Mark 9:7, it came out of a bright cloud, but Peter carries us higher up to the μεγαλόπρεπὴς δόξα, of which the cloud was only the symbol. The last words seem to be a periphrasis of God Himself (so Gerhard, de Wette, Huther and al.), such as δύναμις is used in Matthew 26:64; cf. Psalm 104:2; 1 Timothy 6:16.—Οὗτός ἐστιν υἱός; the same words occur in Matthew, but with the addition: αὐτοῦ ἀκούετε, and ἐν instead of εἰς ὃν; the latter occurs also at Matthew 12:18.—εἰς indicates the direction of the Divine pleasure on Him from before the foundation of the world; according, to Dietlein, the historical motion of the Divine plan of salvation with reference to Him. [Wordsworth:—The originality of the reading εἰς ὅν εὔδόκησα may be remarked as an argument for the genuineness of the Epistle. A forger would have copied the reading in Matthew 17:5.—M.]

2 Peter 1:18. And this voice we heard, etc.—ἡμεῖς refers specifically to the three Apostles, Peter, James and John, while the plural number in 2 Peter 1:16 includes also the other Apostles. The celestial declaration was not reported to us by others, but we heard it, being with Him at the time, with our own ears.

On the holy mount.—Not on Mount Zion, as Grotius maintains, connecting it erroneously with the incident recorded in John 12:28. Calvin: “Wherever the Lord comes, He hallows (because He is the fountain of all holiness) everything by the fragrance of His presence.” The mountain of transfiguration is generally identified with Mount Tabor, about two hours’ distance from Nazareth, in the north-eastern part of the plain of Jezreel; but because Mount Tabor was fortified, and consequently not a solitary place, and because Jesus at that time had retired to the head-waters of the river Jordan, the mountain of transfiguration is placed by others in the neighbourhood of Hermon. See Zeller, Biblisches Wörterbuch II:710. [The epithet “holy,” applied to that mount, affords evidence that the history of the transfiguration was well known at the time when Peter wrote this Epistle. The inference of de Wette, that it indicates a belief of the miraculous, is neither logically correct nor creditable to his estimate of Apostolical Christianity.—M.]

2 Peter 1:19.—Here follows the second testimony for the glory of Christ and the irrefragable certainty of his doctrine, viz.: the word of prophecy. The reference here is evidently to the prophecies of the Old Testament, which are taken as a connected whole, and not to the prophecies of the New Testament, as Griesbach alleges. 2 Peter 2:1, etc, settles this point, which is further confirmed by other references of Peter to O. T. prophecies, cf. 1 Peter 1:10; Acts 3:18; Acts 10:43. Bengel: “The words of Moses, Isaiah and all the prophets really constitute only one word (sermo) exhibiting a perfect agreement in all its parts.”

And we have the prophetic word as more sure.—ἔχομεν. “We possess,” not, “We hold it surer.” βεβαιότερον, not “fast” or “very fast,” as Luther and Beza. The force of the comparative must be brought out. Gerhard: “The testimony of the prophets is declared to be more sure than that of the Apostles concerning the voice of the Father in heaven and the transfiguration of Christ. Not more sure per se and absolutely, but in respect of the readers of the Epistle. Among these were converts from Judaism who paid the utmost reverence to the prophetical writings and did not set so high a value on the preaching of the Apostles.” Cf. Acts 18:11. So (substantially) Augustine, Bede and al. But Peter was hardly prepared to subordinate the testimony of his eyes and ears to that of the prophets. The view of de Wette is forced, “the prophetic word is more sure to us now (that we have seen and heard these things, Acts 10:17-18).” Nor can we approve of Huther’s exposition, that in respect of the Christian’s hope the word of prophecy is more sure and certain than the testimony of the transfiguration, which presented only the glory of Christ in the days of His flesh, but did not directly confirm His future coming in glory (this is the sense in which he takes the παρουσία), whereas the prophetic word does point to the future coming of Christ. Oecumenius gives the right sense, saying that the truth of the promise was confirmed by its fulfilment, and that this has made the prophetic word more sure and certain now than it was before. So Grotius, Bengel, Dietlein. “We possess now the prophecies of the Old Testament as more sure than they were before.” Gerlach: “The fulfilment of the chief burden of the prophecies, viz, the manifestation of Jesus Christ, has now confirmed them altogether more fully to us than before.” [But although Fronmüller endorses the view of Oecumenius, Grotius, Bengel, Dietlein, as the right view, we have to object, that the Apostle has no such reference to now and then; but which is the right view? Alford seems to come nearest; he adheres to the grammatical force of the comparative, and renders “We have, i. e., we possess, more sure,” etc.; and explains the comparison of the word of prophecy and the incidents of the transfiguration. The Apostle calls the former more sure than the latter, because of its wider range, embracing not only a single testimony to Christ, as that Divine voice did, but τὰ εἰς χριστὸν παθήματα καὶ τὰς μετὰ ταῦτα δόξας, 1 Peter 1:11; as presenting a broader basis for the Christian’s trust, and not only one fact, however important.—To this may be added the fact that the voice from heaven and the vision of the transfiguration were vouchsafed to the three Apostles only, but the testimony of the word of prophecy, as the concurrent testimony of many inspired persons in different ages, is vouchsafed to the whole Church and to every individual believer.—M.] Hence the increased responsibility of those who despise it.—Others refer the comparison to the myths, mentioned in 2 Peter 1:16, so Semler; but saying that the word of prophecy is more sure than those myths, would be saying very little indeed.

Whereunto ye do well—dark place.—ᾦ καλῶς ποιεῖτε προσέχοντες, to which ye do well that ye take heed. The Participle is used because they had already begun to do so (Winer, p46, 1). De Wette remarks that this seems to apply to Jewish Christians, but it applies still better to Gentile Christians, because it was self-evident in the case of the former.—προσέχοντες sc. νοῦν, to give attention, bend the mind, give heed to a thing, cf. Hebrews 2:1; Acts 8:6; Acts 8:10-11; Acts 16:14; 1 Timothy 1:4; 1 Timothy 4:1; 1 Timothy 4:13; Titus 1:14; Hebrews 7:13.—ὡς λύχνῳ φαίνοντι; λύχνος, a light, a lantern, a candle used at night, Bengel takes φαίνοντι as the Imperfect on account of διαυγάσῃ; but better take it as a Present.—αὐχμηρὸς=dry, arid, rough, dusty, dirty, dim, dark, because filth and darkness are often found together. What is meant by this dark place cannot be determined until we have ascertained the sense of the words following.

Until the day shall have dawned.—ἕως οὖ belongs to προσέχοντες, not to φαίνοντι. Many commentators understand the day of the blissful eternity. So Calvin: “This darkness I extend to the whole course of earthly life, and interpret that that day shall dawn when we shall see face to face that which we now see only through a mirror and in a riddle. Christ indeed shines on us in the Gospel as the Sun of Righteousness, yet so that our spirit, in part at least, remains shrouded in the darkness of death until we shall enter heaven from this carnal prison house. Then shall dawn the splendour of the day, when no mists and clouds of ignorance and error shall shut out from us the clear view of the Sun.” Similarly Dietlein: “The moment of Christ’s coming,” τόπος αὐχμηρός would accordingly denote not only the whole pre-christian era, but also the whole of this present life, the world not yet illumined by the glorious coming of Christ, and the hearts of believers, as yet not seeing, but only longing for the glory of Christ. This gives a beautiful meaning, and we may certainly call even the time of the New Testament, night, as contrasted with the future era, in which the glory of God shall light the heavenly Jerusalem and the Lamb shall be the light thereof, Revelation 21:23. But Gerhard rightly objects to this interpretation, that if the day referred to were the day of a blissful eternity, ἡμέρα ought to have the article, and that such a description of the day of Christ’s advent to glory, or of the last judgment is against all analogy. Others interpret the verse of the contrast between the time of the Old Testament and that of the New. But it is against this view that the time of the N. T. had already dawned in a general sense, while the Conj. Aor. points to something future and possible. The reference, as Calvin observes, is rather to the antithesis between the state of nature and the state of grace. The day dawns in the heart, when man awakes from his dream-life, when the light of the holiness and justice of God shines into his heart, and enables him clearly to perceive his sinfulness; the morning star arises, when thereupon he is profoundly and vitally moved by the mercy of God in Christ, and faithful to the leadings of grace, gradually attains to a knowledge of Christ and the Divine mysteries, which is continually growing, expanding and developing into greater clearness and perfection, cf. Romans 13:12; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Ephesians 5:14. The readers of this Epistle are indeed spoken of as knowing and established in the truth, 2 Peter 1:12, but immediately before it is also said that they stand in need of constant reminding. This involves not any more a contradiction than does the language of Paul in the Epistle to the Ephesians, where, at 2 Peter 1:18, he prays that the eyes of their understanding might be enlightened, although he had said before that God had abounded toward them in all wisdom and prudence, 2 Peter 1:8-9. The majority of the readers of this Epistle we may consider to have stood only in the outer court of the sanctuary, at the beginning of true conversion; they believed the external evidences, held to the word of prophecy, separated themselves from the world, but had not yet attained a vital knowledge of Christ and entered into intimate communion with Him.—[This is substantially the view of Huther and Alford; see the latter, whose notes are very full on this passage.—M.]

And the morning star shall have arisen in your hearts.—φωσφόρος, light-bringing sc. ἀστήρ, the morning star. Hesych. understands by it the Sun. [This is a tradition among commentators, which has been set aside by Alford, who, instead of quoting from the commentators, quotes Hesych, who merely says: φωσφόρος,φωτοδότης, λαμπρὸς ἀστὴρ, light-bringer, light-giver, bright star.—M.], but the word is not used in this sense elsewhere, whereas Christ calls Himself the bright Morning Star, that heralds the eternal sunrise, Revelation 22:16. To him that over-cometh he promises the Morning Star, i. e., Himself and the brightness of His grace, Revelation 2:28.—διαυγάζειν used of dawn. Huther quotes a passage from Polybius [ἅμα τῷ διαυγάζειν.—M.] ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις, in the hearts touched by grace, not in the world generally. Now we perceive clearly what is meant by the dark place (αὐχμηρῷ τόπῳ); it Isaiah, as Bengel explains it, our heart, which before conversion, is unclean, dry and dark. But considering that the same state of heart is everywhere in the world, the world in general may be described as an arid, desert and dark place.—ἕως οὖ with Aor. Conj. denotes the duration of an action, until the possible event has actually taken place. Winer, p312. But this does not imply that the use of prophecy is superfluous after the illumination has taken place, cf. Matthew 1:25; Matthew 5:18; Matthew 5:26. This is evident from the examples of the Apostles themselves.

2 Peter 1:20. Knowing this first of all.—The Apostle having exhorted them to give heed to prophecy, now further reminds them of the origin of prophecy, and that it must be interpreted in the same spirit, out of which it proceeded.—τοῦτο belongs to what follows.—πρῶτον, not as Bengel, “before I say it” [priusquam ego dico], but first and foremost, 1 Timothy 2:1, being conscious, bearing in mind, James 1:3; Hebrews 10:34, like εἰδότες, 1 Peter 1:18.

That all prophecy of the Scripture is not matter of its own interpretation.—It is not necessary to understand here a Hebraism, Winer, p185. The preceding shows that the reference is to the prophecies contained in the Old Testament. The prophecy of the Scripture is opposed to the false prophets. 2 Peter 2:1.—οὐκ ἰδίυς ἐπιλυσέως, happens not as matter of its own interpretation. ἐπιλύειν, Mark 4:34, to interpret, to expound, to settle, to determine, to decide, Acts 19:39.= פָּתַר‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏ Genesis 41:12; Genesis 40:8. The reference is to the origin, not to the interpretation of the prophecy, as is evident from 2 Peter 1:21. Even as to its origin it is not matter of its own interpreting. “The prophets, receiving the prophecies, were passive: a vision, a painting appeared before their mind, which they described to their hearers and readers as they saw it, without understanding all it signified, so that they themselves searched what or what manner of time the Spirit did signify, 1 Peter 1:10-12.”—“A prophecy only expresses that which God had communicated to the seer, and is consequently as much an object of search and deciphering to him as it is to us.” Gerlach.—Ἰδίας is most simply construed with θελήματι ἀνθρώπου; that which depends on the exercise of the natural power and will of man. De Wette cites the following passage from Philo: “A prophet utters nothing of his own.” Dietlein’s interpretation is too full: “No prophecy occurs in the Scripture that could be regarded as already possessing its own interpretation; all prophecy has rather the significance and interpretation of history, and therefore must not be treated allegorically, but has its fulfilment in the facts of history and thence also its interpretation.” Huther institutes a comparison with Joseph’s interpretation of dreams, Genesis 40:8. The words in which Joseph foretells the prisoners their fate constitute the προφητεία; this presupposes, on the part of Joseph, an ἐπίλυσις, an interpretation of those dreams; but Joseph ascribes that power to God, cf. Genesis 41:15-16. Better take those dreams as προφητεία, the interpretation of which was communicated to Joseph from on high. Bengel defines ἐπίλυσις as the interpretation in virtue of which the prophets were enabled to unlock to men things previously locked up.

[Alford shows that the reference here is to the prophets themselves, who were unable to solve or interpret. He quotes from Oecumenius; τουτέστιν ὅτι λαμβάνουσι μὲν ἀπὸ θεοῦ οἱ προφῆται τὴν προφητείαν, ἀλλ’ οὐχ ὡς ἐκεὶνοι βούλονται,’αλλ’ ὡς τὸ κινοῦν αὐτοὺς ἐνεργεῖ πνεῦμα. καὶ ᾔδεσαν μὲν καὶ συνίεσαν τὸν καταπεμπόμενον αύτοῖς προφητικὸν λόγον, οὐ μέντοι καὶ τὴν ἐπίλυσιν αὐτοῦ ἐποιοῦντο…… καίπερ εἰδότες οὐ χρείαν εἶχον ἑρμηνεύειν τὰ ὑπ’ αὐτῶν, ἀλλ’ ἑτέροις διηκόνουν ταὺτα ἡμῖν γάρ. De Wette adds that this is said to excuse the difficulty of the interpretation of prophecy, and to remove occasion of unbelief and scoffing ( 2 Peter 3:3). Alford agrees with Huther that the 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 truth. Huther’s view arises from the 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. This Alford considers much confirmed by γίνεται, which with a Genitive, 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, etc. This seems also to be the view of Bengel.—M.]

2 Peter 1:21. For no prophecy—Holy Ghost.—Further substantiation of the foregoing position negatively and positively.—θελήματι, Dative of the cause, cf. ad rem John 1:13. The pleasure, the arbitrary will of man as opposed to the Spirit of God.—The sense: The production of a true prophecy does not depend upon the exercise of man’s own power, as it was attempted in the case of heathen divination—ἠνέχθη answers to ἐνεχθείσης φωνῆς, 2 Peter 1:17-18, and denotes not the utterance (so De Wette), but the origin.—φερόμενοι corresponds to the classical terms θεοφόρητος, θεοφορούμενος. They were impelled, borne along by the Holy Ghost, like a ship before a strong wind. Under this influence they remained passive, although they were fully conscious. Josephus says of Balaam, that he was moved by the Divine Spirit, cf. Hebrews 1:1. Calov: “It relates as much to inward illumination as to outward impulse, yet not so that the prophet lost all self-control,” Psalm 45:1.—ἐλάλησαν (see Appar. Crit.) This includes also their writings, Acts 2:31; James 5:10. Their written words were determined by the Holy Ghost not only as to their contents, but, in a certain manner, also as to their form.—ἅγιοι θεοῦ ἄνθρωποι, cf. 1 Timothy 6:11, particular instruments of the Holy Ghost, prophets or other holy men. This proves the security and the venerable character of the testimony of prophecy. But it is also to suggest the conclusion, that due regard being had to the matter, prophecy must not be arbitrarily interpreted, but in the sense of the Holy Ghost. Bernard says: “With the same spirit in which the Holy Scripture is written, it must be read and understood.” For the Holy Ghost is the best interpreter of His words.

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL

1. The evangelical Church rests upon the double foundation of the pure, unadulterated word of God and the great truth of the sinner’s justification through faith in the saving merit of Christ. “It is remarkable,” says Besser, “that in the first chapter of this Epistle, written with the design of fortifying the Church against false teaching the Apostle extols first that precious faith whereby we possess righteousness and exhibit virtue, and then the precious Scriptures, the light of the world in a dark place.”

2. Mark the Apostle’s anxious care to leave to believers a written testimony of the fundamental truths of the Gospel directed against the many false teachers, who even then began to stir themselves. “Peter therefore was not of opinion that oral tradition could preserve the memory of Apostolical teaching. It was for this very reason that he wrote; yea, he foretells, that the truth would be perverted by feigned words ( 2 Peter 2:3); to these he opposes Holy Scripture, that Isaiah, the sure prophetic word of the Old Testament and the Apostolical eye- and ear-witness of Jesus Christ, which is written in the books of the New Testament, 2 Peter 3:16.”—Chemnitz.

3. 2 Peter 1:16 and the following verses contain strong evidence of the genuineness of our Epistle. Stier: “The presumption that words, dogmas, testimonies like those contained in the second Epistle of Peter from beginning to end, could have originated in the mind of a forger, that such power and illumination, such assurance of speech could have coëxisted in the same soul alongside of a Song of Solomon -called pious fraud,—that this μυθολόγος, should intentionally personate in a “second Epistle” the Apostle exhorting, confessing and prophesying before his death, and yet have the audacity of expressly renouncing all σεσοφισμένους μύθους, and withal endowed with such extraordinary knowledge, and using such bold original language—such an hypothesis contradicts the whole psychology of thi Christian consciousness, and the real defenders of the genuineness Of the Epistle should not be ashamed to confess it openly out of their Christian consciousness.”

[ 2 Peter 1:19. Wordsworth: “A forger, personating St. Peter, would have magnified the importance of the supernatural visions vouchsafed especially to him whose character he assumed. He would have exalted those revelations above prophecy. But the Apostle, whose characteristic is humility, is not “elated by the greatness of his revelations,” but wisely and soberly commends the ordinary means of grace, which all Christians, of every age and country, possess in the sacred Scriptures, as of more cogency and value for their assurance and growth in grace, than any extraordinary visions which were vouchsafed personally to himself.”—M.]

4. We should consider the Transfiguration of Jesus not only as a miraculous testimony in favour of His Divine mission for the disciples, but also as a seal set to His glory for Himself. See Stier, II, 198; Lange on Matthew 16:28; Matthew 17:1; Beck, Lehrwissenschaft, I, 512.

5. De Wette thinks it strange that the author, in his argument, 2 Peter 1:19-21, does not quote the speeches of Christ Himself concerning His coming, as recorded by the synoptists; that 2 Peter 3:16, shows that he must have been acquainted with them, and that he passes them by because the rapid succession of the destruction of Jerusalem, and the advent of Christ announced in them, had not been verified. But this remark proceeds on wholly false premises, and it formed part of the Apostle’s plan to advert not to the testimony of Christ, which might have been disputed by the scoffers, and of which the adversaries, at all events, did not think very highly, but to the testimony of eye-witnesses of Christ.—Delitzsch, Psychol., 2 Peter 312: “ The manner of the revelation of prophecy is not always ecstatic; it may also consist only in that the willing, the thinking and the feeling Spirit-life of the prophet in a state of full and waking self-power is raised and borne along by a gentle, Divine influence, which he (and this is indispensable) is able clearly to distinguish from the working of his own spirit.”

6. Those who, like many adherents of separatistic tendencies, take so one-sided a view of prophecy that they place it alongside, or even above the work of Christ, prove that the day has not yet dawned to them, and that the morning-star has not yet risen in their hearts. But the pretext that the day has dawned, says Roos, should not cause men to despise the word of prophecy; they should rather inquire whether it is day ?

7. Wordsworth: “Herein consists the probationary use of prophecy, viz, to try the faith and exercise the vigilance and patience of believers, and to make unbelievers themselves to become witnesses to the truth, and instruments in establishing it. If prophecy had been ἰδίας ἐπιλύσεως, if its interpretation had been declared at the same time with its delivery, then none of those moral and probationary purposes would have been answered. The fulfilment of prophecy in a manner contrary to all previous expectation, proves the prophecy to be Divine.”—M.]

HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL

The Apostle’s motto is that of his Master: “I must work…. while it is day; the night cometh when no man can work.”—The nearness of departure a powerful motive of working for the Lord.—“Those who in unbelief despise the revelation of God, fall superstitiously into fables,” 2 Thessalonians 2:11, Besser.—Christianity is objectively given and revealed from on high, and infinitely remote and different from all human devices, subjective opinions, and personal imaginings.—The testimony of the prophets and the Apostles two immoveable pillars for the support of the truth of the Gospel.—Dawn in the conversion of a sinner.—When does the morning-star arise in the heart? The true key to understanding the word of prophecy.—The secret of the true interpretation of the sacred Scriptures.

Starke:—Teachers must not desist from teaching, exhorting and admonishing, 1 Timothy 4:13.—Grow not weary in exhorting one another. Foremost among good works is the work of saving souls from the burning, James 5:19-20. The opportunity is daily at hand; we must not wait for to-morrow.—There is nothing more certain than death, nothing more uncertain than the time of death. Happy is the man who daily lives as if he were to die to-day, Ecclesiastes 9:12.—It cannot be denied that God by some peculiar grace announces to some the time of their death, not indeed in virtue of immediate Revelation, but in virtue of some deep impression conveyed to the heart; but this happens hardly to one in a thousand: dear friend, wait not for it, but prepare betimes.—The good which hearers have heard from their teachers, or seen in them, they should diligently remember after their decease, Hebrews 13:7.—Those who run after will-o’-the-wisps, will sink into morasses. Christians are on their guard against such lights. Christ and His word the true Light on our ways, John 8:31.—Those who seek to glorify Christ in others, and desire to fill worthily the office of glorifying Him in a manner worthy of the Holy Ghost, must have experienced with Christ (although in an inferior degree, and in a different yet true manner,) the power and glory of Christ in themselves, and be able to speak according to the Holy Scripture from their own experience ( 2 Corinthians 4:6).—With those who suffer themselves to be found in Christ through faith, God is as well pleased as with Christ Himself. For He has been made righteousness unto us, so that in Him we are considered righteous, 2 Corinthians 5:21.—O Prayer of Manasseh, that art by nature dark, suffer thyself to be made a bright and shining light through the right use of the word of God, or thou wilt not see the light of heaven, John 5:35.—Whatever remains as yet dark to us in the word of prophecy, shall hereafter become all light, if not in this present time, yet, according to the promise in Daniel 12:4; Daniel 12:9-10, when Christ, the true Morning Star, shall arise on that great day both of judgment and light, 1 Corinthians 13:12.—It is enough to have learnt something from the word of God. As the light of day grows more bright after dawn, so also the knowledge of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ must grow and increase.—Holy Scripture does not contradict itself. Though it seem Song of Solomon, it is not so. Compare the one with the other, and you will find the most beautiful agreement.—God uses holy (sanctified) men in His service, so that those who would be His instruments, must also be His temples and work-shops.—Reasonable proof of the Divinity of the Holy Ghost: He spake of future things by the prophets, which things, for the most part, have come to pass; but this is solely a work of the omniscient God.

Gerhard:—There is no other access to reconciliation with God and to forgiveness except through the Song of Solomon, Isaiah 13:1; for Christ’s sake and through Christ only are we made partakers of those blessings.

Roos:—Woe to him, whose works, words and writings cause others to sin, even after his death. Happy Hebrews, whose works, words and writings bear good fruit, even after his death. Such an one’s reward of grace will be great.

Lisco:—Pastoral fidelity even unto death.—The legacy of a departing pastor.—The firm foundation of the citizenship of the heavenly kingdom.

Kapff:—The firm reason of our faith. This reason rests, 1. on the outward testimony of the Apostles and the miracles of Christ; 2. on the inward testimony of the Holy Ghost.

Staudt:—How firmly Christians may step forward in their faith, 1. in all that depends on the coming of Jesus in the flesh; 2. in all that depends on the coming of Jesus to glory.

[On 2 Peter 1:15.—Illustration:—When Socrates was about to take the poison, to which the Athenian judges had condemned him, Crito asked him, “But how shall we bury thee?” Socrates replied, “As you please, if you can take me, and I do not elude your pursuit.” Then gently smiling and looking at us he said: “Friends, I cannot persuade Crito that I am that Socrates who now converses with you.…, but he thinks that I am he whom he shall shortly see dead, and asks me how I would be buried. I have already declared that after I have drunk the poison, I should no longer remain with you, but shall depart to certain felicities of the blessed.” Plato, Phædon, 64.—M.]

[Secker:—We find in multitudes of places, from the earliest book of Scripture to the latest, supernatural impulses and illuminations ascribed to the Spirit of God: Genesis 6:3; Genesis 41:38; Numbers 6:25-26; Numbers 24:2; 1 Samuel 10:10; 2 Kings 2:9, etc.: 1 Chronicles 12:18; 2 Chronicles 15:1; Nehemiah 9:30; Ezekiel 2:2; Zechariah 7:12; Revelation 1:10; Revelation 2:7; Revelation 4:2, etc.; we cannot doubt, therefore, but they proceed from Him always, though sometimes it is not expressly affirmed. So that we are to honour the third Person as the immediate inward instructor of men from the foundation of the world; as Him who hath admonished, reproved and striven with the wicked; who hath warmed and cheered the hearts of the pious in all times with the manifestations of God’s will, with declarations of His favour, with precautions against unseen dangers, with promises of deliverance from the heaviest afflictions, with His presence and guidance in the most intricate difficulties.”—M.]

[On 2 Peter 1:21.—See Bp. Hurd’s Sermon on False Ideas of Prophecy, and the whole volume will be found a most valuable aid to students of the difficult subject of prophecy. It is entitled “An Introduction to the Study of the Prophecies,” etc. vol5 of the works, but also published separately. See also Dr. McCaul’s Essay on Prophecy in “Aids to Faith,” Bp. Ellicott’s Essay on Scripture and its Interpretation, in the same volume, and Canon Wordsworth’s Essay on the Interpretation of Scripture, in the volume “Replies to Essays and Reviews.”—M.]

Footnotes:

FN#16 - 2 Peter 1:12.[διὸ μελλἠσω ἀεὶ περ.τούτ.ὑπομ.ὑμᾶς Cod. Sin. ὑμᾶς before ἀεὶ Rec. A. διὸ μελλ.ἀεὶ ὑμᾶς ὑπομ.περ.τούτ. B. C. Lachmann, Tisch, Alf, al.—M.]

[Lachmann reads μελλήσω, therefore I shall always be about to, always be ready to remind you; so Tischendorf. The sense is the same.—M.]

FN#17 - καίπερ εἰδ—διεγείρ ὑμ. omitted in Cod. Sin.; but the omission is doubtful.—M.]

FN#18 - German “it.”—M.]

[German:.… always to remind you of these things, although ye know it, and are established in the truth which is present in you.

Translate:.… present with you.—M.]

FN#19 - ἐν τῆ ὑπομνήσει A. Cod. Sin.—M.]

[German: But I think it right.…. to stir you up in such reminding.—M.]

FN#20 - German “ploetzlich kommt, “comes suddenly.”—M.]

[Knowing that the putting off of my tabernacle comes suddenly,.…

Translate:. … tabernacle is swift. ….—M.]

FN#21 - σπουδάζω, Cod. Sin.; minusc.—M.]

[German:.… that after my departure ye may always be able to have these things in remembrance…Translate:. … to call these things to mind.—M.]

FN#22 - 2 Peter 1:16 [παρουσίαν, German “Erscheinung,” appearing.—M.]

FN#23 - So German; literally with Passive force “having been made or admitted eye-witnesses. The last preferable on account of the faint allusion to initiated admittance to the Eleusinian mysteries.” See Exegetical and Critical.—M.]

[Translate: “For we had not.… when we made known.… but had been.… Lillie. On the use of the Aorist for the Pluperfect see Buttmann, § 13736. Winer, § 415.—M.]

FN#24 - παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ Cod. Sin. C. minusc.—M.]

FN#25 - So German; more correctly Peile and Alford, “When a voice was borne to Him of such a kind,” viz, as is stated in what follows.—M.]

FN#26 - ὑπὸ τῆς μεγ. δόξης. “by the sublime glory.”—M.]

FN#27 - ἐκ τοῦ οὐρ. Cod. Sin. A.—M.]

[German: And this voice we heard coming from heaven, when; …

Translate: And this voice we heard borne from heaven, when. ….—M.]

FN#28 - ἡμέρα Cod. Sin. minusc.—M.]

[German: And we have the prophetic word as a more sure one.… until the day shall have dawned, and the morning star shall have arisen in your hearts.

Translate: And we have the prophetic word more sure.….as unto a lamp.….until the day dawn, etc.—M.]

[German: Knowing this first of all, that all prophecy of the Scripture is not matter of its own interpretation.—M.]

FN#29 - Rec. οἰ ἅγιοι;ἅγιοι τοῦ A. Cod. Sin. (ἀπὸ Θεοῦ without οἱ ἅγιοι) B. Tisch, Alf.—M.]

[German: For no prophecy was at any time brought forth out of the will of Prayer of Manasseh, but holy men of God spake, being borne along by the Holy Ghost.

Translate: For prophecy was never brought by the will of Prayer of Manasseh, but men spake from God, borne along by the Holy Ghost.—M.]

 


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Bibliography Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on 2 Peter 1:4". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/2-peter-1.html12. 1857-84.

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