Scripture Truth Banner
Bible Study

II Peter


Book 22 of 27 in the New Testament

II Peter

The apostle writes his final letter shortly before his death, encouraging his readers to remember and be steadfast in light of error.

Author & Date

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

See notes below for a fuller discussion.


Jesus : the sure Word

A. Those who have obtained Ch.1:1-15

  1. Their commencement Ch.1:1-4
  2. Their continuance Ch.1:5-9
  3. Their completion Ch.1:10-15

B. Testimony of the Word Ch.1:16-21

  1. Peter’s testimony Ch.1:16-18
  2. The prophetic word Ch.1:19-21

C. Men’s deceptive word Ch.2:1-22

1. Ways of the false teachers Ch.2:1-3a

  • Damnable heresies
  • Denial of the Lord
  • Deceptive words

2. Warnings of false teachers Ch.2:3b-9

  • Example 1: the angels that sinned
  • Example 2: the ancient world
  • Example 3: Sodom & Gomorrah

3. Walk of the false teachers Ch.2:10-22

  • The lust of uncleanness
  • The way of Balaam
  • Returning to their sin

D. Peter’s final word Ch.3:1-18

  1. Remember the words of Jesus Ch.3:1-7
  2. Be not ignorant, the Lord is not slack Ch.3:8-13
  3. Be diligent to be found in Him Ch.3:14-16
  4. Beware of falling into error Ch.3:17-18


a. Canonicity

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.

One of the main arguments against its inclusion as part of scripture is that: it was the last book of scripture to be accepted, 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 of all 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 to be accepted, and  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.

b. 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. 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 inspired 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 than 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.

c. Key word

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.


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


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.