II Peter 


An outline 


Bible books contents
background       place in Scripture      authorship         keyword       chapter outline



Background

The claim of this epistle to have been written by Peter and even its place in  Holy  Writ  has been hotly disputed  for many years

Its place in Scripture


We shall deal with its place in scripture first. One of the main arguments against its inclusion as part of scripture is that it was the last and only added very late on. If one took time to think on this one would see how nonsensical the argument is!  Imagine going to a supermarket to buy the weekly  shopping. After an hour or so you make your way   to the check-out and en-route the last thing you pick up is a large bag of  oven ready chips; can you now imagine the conversation? "Sorry I'm not paying for that bag of chips, I put it in my trolley last and very late on  in the day, it's not part of my shopping basket!"  Such an argument would be ridiculed, and rightly so; last and late does not mean it's not part of the shopping trip!

 Likewise, although II Peter was the last and accepted quite late on it does not mean the epistle is  not part of the canon of scripture; it just means it was the last book to be accepted, that's all, no more no less.

 

Authorship


If  its place in scripture can't be undermined then  attempts to destroy its credibility are made. Let us see firstly what II Peter actually says.

Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:  
II Pet.1:1

Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;   Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me

II Pet. 1:13-14


For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
 
II Pet.1:17-18

This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

II Pet.3:1-2





To sum up, the writer claims to be called Peter,  it is  his second epistle, he was an apostle, he was shown his  demise by Jesus and he was a witness on the mount of transfiguration.

  • Now only the apostle Peter fulfils all this!  There were only three of the disciples on the mount: Peter, James and John. The writer could not be John because Jesus did not reveal to John how he would die. James is also excluded because he was martyred quite early on in church history. Acts 12:1. So that leaves Peter. The evidence  leaves us in no doubt that this epistle  was written by the apostle Peter.
  • Another  argument forwarded  is that of  style: namely that the style of II Peter is different to that of I Peter and so II Peter must have been written by someone else. This is a non argument since style depends on content.  The first epistle deals with the Christian and suffering and the second with the  false teachers and apostasy of  the last days; two different  subject maters, two different styles.
  • Then again the claim is that  the claim that II Pet.3:16 mentions all of  Paul's epistles and since they were not all written in Peter's lifetime then Peter is not the author of this letter; but Ch.3:16  simply means all of Paul's letters THEN written.  The fact that Paul was to write more does not negate the truth of Peter's statement 
  • Finally, it is said that this letter was written by someone else much later on using the apostle's name to gain acceptance. Now this has to be  rejected, otherwise we have a book of the Bible that is there on false pretences, and thus the doctrine of  inspiration and inerrancy would fall: it would either mean II Peter is not canonical or, God  inspired someone to lie  and put that lie into the holy scriptures!  We have already seen that II Peter is a part of the Canon, and to even entertain the thought that God inspires someone to deceive His people is blasphemous; such a notion has to be rejected out of hand. 

We are then left with no other conclusion  that  the critics have not proven II Peter is not canonical, nor written by anyone else other than Peter the Apostle;  even on a superficial  level,  their arguments are not convincing to say the least. We  then can have great confidence that   II Peter  is genuine scripture and was  written by the Apostle Peter.


Key  Word :

 Remembrance

Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
 
Ch.1:12

 
Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;  

Ch.1:13

Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
 
Ch. 1:15


Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.  

 
Ch. 3:1


This was written by the  apostle Peter shortly before his death,  see  Ch.1: 14,  thus dating it  c. 60-68 AD .

Chapter Outline

 Jesus: The Sure Word

Section Ref. Subsection Notes
Those who have obtained 1:1-15
(a) Their commencement vv.1-4
(b) Their continuance vv.5-9
(c) Their completion vv.10-15
 
Testimony of the Word
1:16-21
(a) Peter's testimony of the Living Word vv. 16-18
(b) The testimony of the prophetic word vv.19-21
 
Men's deceptive word 2:1-22
Ways of the false teachers  
Damnable heresies  
  
2:1-3a

Denial of the Lord


Deceptive Words

Warnings to false teachers By examples from the past 2:3b-9
Walk of the false teachers In the lust of uncleanness 2:10-22
In the way of Balaam
In returning to their sin
Damnable = destructive

Deceptive = AV feigned
Peter's final word 3:1-18
Beloved.....

(a)  Remember the words of Jesus vv.1-7
(b) Be not ignorant
vv.8-13
(c) Be diligent that ye be found without spot....
vv.14-16
(d) Beware that ye be led away
vv.17-18