THE SECOND EPISTLE GENERAL of PETER.
warned the Christians of Asia Minor against dangers which were
from without, the Apostle Peter, not very long after, found it
address a second letter to the same people. He not only expressly
name as the author, but he also says that he was a witness of the
transfiguration of Christ, chap. 1, 1. 16. 18, and states that he has
written a letter, chap. 3, 1. 2.
the first epistle had been sent, the situation in the congregations of
Minor had changed to some extent. The pressure from without was no
chief item causing apprehension, but the spiritual condition of the
congregations themselves. The dangers arose partly from false teachers,
from scoffers or mockers in their own midst. Men were branding the
as insufficient for the needs of the Christians, they were blaspheming
the Christian truths, they were denying the return of Christ to
earnest fears were entertained that the future would see the gravity of
situation increased. The letter, therefore, is a testimony and a
the apostle concerning the last days. It was probably written in Rome,
since Peter is looking forward to an early death, being about 66 or 67.
contents of the letter may be briefly summarized as follows. After the
salutation the apostle, in a cordial admonition, shows that the divine
and promises obligate the Christians to a conduct of holiness. He
urges them, as a witness of the transfiguration of Christ, to cling to
Word of Prophecy, as being a firm foundation for the believer’s faith
times. To the true prophecy there was indeed opposed a false
proclamation in the
person of false teachers, whose end, however, will be a just
punishment. Let the
Christians, then, not be seduced by false promises of an unscriptural
for to believe such messages would result in everlasting destruction.
believers should not be led astray by the denial of Christ’s coming to
Judgment, for this would certainly come to pass, just as the
catastrophe of the
great Flood finally brought destruction to the world; it was only the
of God that still delayed the doom. The Christians, in prayerful
should prepare themselves for the coming of the Lord with godly
holy conduct, even as also the Apostle Paul had admonished his readers.
letter closes with a short warning and admonition and a doxology. 1)