An Overview Of The Book Of 2 Peter

Writer Of The Second Letter Of Peter

Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, (cf. 2 Peter 1:1), who was with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, saw Jesus glorified, and heard the Father declare from heaven that Jesus was his beloved Son with whom he was well pleased (cf. 2 Peter 1:16-18).

See the information provided about Peter in the Overview Of The Book Of 1 Peter.

Recipients Of The Second Letter Of Peter

To those who have received the same kind of faith as ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ (cf. 2 Peter 1:1).

The Second Letter of Peter gives no details about whom the recipients of the letter were or where they were located. 2 Peter 3:1, which states, “This now, my beloved friends, is the second letter I am writing to you…,” appears to indicate the Second Letter of Peter was sent to the same recipients of the First Letter of Peter. This being true, the recipients were the Gentile Christians who were scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia (Minor), and Bithynia. For more information about these recipients, see the Overview Of The Book Of 1 Peter and its section entitled “Recipients Of The First Letter Of Peter.”

Date Of The Second Letter Of Peter

The time when the Second Letter of Peter was written appears to have been not long before Peter's death and martyrdom. He wrote that he knew the time of his death was imminent, because the Lord Jesus Christ had made it clear to him that he would soon die and depart from this earth (cf. 2 Peter 1:13-15).

Historical accounts indicate Peter died a martyr's death in Rome under the persecution of Emperor Nero around the same time of Paul's second imprisonment in Rome. Nero initiated the persecution of the Christians in Rome in A.D. 64 after the burning of Rome. It is thought that Paul suffered martyrdom in Rome about A.D. 67-68. Just where and when Paul was arrested is unknown. Nor is the length of his second imprisonment in Rome known. If Paul was arrested in A.D. 67 and suffered martyrdom in A.D. 68, and if indeed Peter was put to death around the time of Paul's second imprisonment, the Second Letter of Peter was perhaps written around A.D. 66 to A.D. 67.

Place Where The Second Letter Of Peter Was Written

Since it appears that Peter wrote his second letter shortly before his martyrdom in Rome, Rome was the likely city in which he wrote it.

Occasion For The Writing Of The Second Letter Of Peter

No definitive information is given about any particular circumstance or event that prompted Peter to write his second letter. Peter's knowledge that his martyrdom was imminent (cf. 2 Peter 1:13,14) would seem to suggest he wanted to write his second letter before his death.

Purpose Of The Second Letter Of Peter

The internal evidence within the second letter indicates its purpose was to strengthen his fellow Christians in their faith born hope, so they would be on their guard and not carried away by the errors of false teachers (cf. 2 Peter 3:17,18).

Theme Of The Second Letter Of Peter

A Reminder To Remember The Word Of Hope You Have Learned (cf. 2 Peter 1:12,13,15; 3:1,2).

Outline Of The Second Letter Of Peter

Part 1: Greeting, 2 Peter 1:1,2

A. From Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, 2 Peter 1:1

B. To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, 2 Peter 1:1

C. Through the knowledge of God, as revealed in his Word of hope, grace and peace is multiplied to you, 2 Peter 1:2

Part 2: Remember You Were Called To Faith In The Hope Of God's Precious Promises To Be His Godly People, 2 Peter 1:3-11

A. Through our knowledge of God, which is given to us in his Word of hope, his divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness, 2 Peter 1:3

1. Through these he has given us his precious promises that give us our hope, 2 Peter 1:4

2. God's divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness for the purpose that we may partake of his divine nature as ones who have escaped the corruption in the world that is caused by evil desires, 2 Peter 1:4

B. Since we are partakers in God's divine nature, grow to a maturity in the divine virtues that will make you fruitful in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus, 2 Peter 1:5-11

1. Make every effort to add to your faith these divine virtues: 2 Peter 1:5-7

a. Goodness, 2 Peter 1:5

b. Knowledge, 2 Peter 1:5

c. Self-control, 2 Peter 1:6

d. Perseverance, 2 Peter 1:6

e. Godliness, 2 Peter 1:6

f. Brotherly kindness, 2 Peter 1:7

g. Love, 2 Peter 1:7

2. If you possess these divine virtues and grow in them, you will be effective and fruitful in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus, 2 Peter 1:8

3. If anyone does not possess these divine virtues, he is blind, short sighted, a person who has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins, 2 Peter 1:9

4. Therefore, make your calling to faith and hope, as well as your election, sure by practicing these divine virtues. Then you will not fall into destruction but be welcomed into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, 2 Peter 1:10,11

Part 3: I, Peter, Remind You To Remember The Testimony Of Us Apostles To The Glory Of Our Lord Jesus, Which Validates The Word Of The Prophets, 2 Peter 1:12-21

A. I, Peter, will always remind you of your calling to faith, hope in God's promises, and godliness, so you may be refreshed in your knowledge and the truth of these things before my forthcoming death, that you may remember them, 2 Peter 1:12-15

B. Remember that we apostles did not tell you cleverly invented stories about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 Peter 1:16-18

1. On the Mount of Transfiguration we were eyewitnesses of Jesus' divine majesty, 2 Peter 1:16

2. We ourselves heard the honor and glory that the voice of God the Father bestowed on Jesus, when he said Jesus was his beloved Son with whom he was well pleased, 2 Peter 1:17,18

C. Be advised and remember that, regarding the power and coming of the Lord Jesus, we now have the Word of the prophets who foretold his power and coming validated, 2 Peter 1:19

1. Pay attention to the Word of the prophets, as to a light that shines in the darkness to enlighten your hearts, 2 Peter 1:19

2. Also understand and remember that no prophecy of the Scriptures was the result of the prophet's own thinking and personal interpretation. Rather, the prophets were spokesmen of God, whom the Holy Spirit inspired to write the prophetic Word that they wrote, 2 Peter 1:20,21

Part 4: Be Warned And Remember That False Prophets Will Come Among You To Destroy Your Faith, Hope, And Godliness, To Which You Were Called, 2 Peter 2:1-22

A. As false prophets arose in the days of the prophets, so false teachers will arise among you, 2 Peter 2:1

B. The false teachers will secretly introduce their destructive heresies, and bring God's swift destruction on themselves, 2 Peter 2:1-3

1. Many of them will follow their shameful sensual ways, 2 Peter 2:2

2. Being greedy, they will exploit you with false words, 2 Peter 2:3

C. Be assured and remember that God will not spare them from destruction anymore than God spared the fallen angels, the ancient world from the flood, or Sodom and Gomorrah from being reduced to ashes, 2 Peter 2:4-6,9,10

D. Be assured and remember that God will rescue his godly believers from the temptations incited by the false teachers, just as he surely rescued righteous Lot from the sensual, filthy conduct of unprincipled, lawless men, 2 Peter 2:7-9

E. Know and remember what worthless individuals the false teachers are, who will come among you, 2 Peter 2:10-22

1. The false teachers indulge their flesh in its corrupt desires, 2 Peter 2:10

2. The false teachers despise authority. Being daring and self-willed, they even slander the angels, who, though being far greater in strength and power, do not slanderously accuse them before the Lord, 2 Peter 2:10,11

3. The false teachers blaspheme and accuse in matters they do not understand, such as they do to the angels, because they are unreasoning brute beasts, who were born to be captured and destroyed, 2 Peter 2:12

4. The false teachers will be made to suffer for the wrong and harm they do, 2 Peter 2:13-16

a. The false teachers carouse in the day time, being stains and blemishes who revel in their love feasts with you, 2 Peter 2:13

b. Having eyes full of adultery and unfaithfulness, the false teachers never stop sinning but seduce unstable souls with their heresies and have hearts trained in greed. What an accursed brood they are! 2 Peter 2:14

c. The false teachers have forsaken the right way of God's Word to wander off in the evil way of the prophet Balaam, who loved the wages of wickedness and was rebuked by a jack ass to restrain him, 2 Peter 2:15,16.

5. The false teachers are as worthless as waterless springs and mists blown away by a storm, for whom the darkest parts of hell are reserved, 2 Peter 2:17-22

a. Because they mouth empty, boastful words, 2 Peter 2:17

b. Because by appealing to the lustful desires of the sinful nature, they entice the very people who are just escaping from those like the false teachers who live in error. The false teachers promise the people freedom, which is nothing more than their own slavery to moral corruption, 2 Peter 2:18,19

c. If the false teachers escaped the corruption of this world through the knowledge of the Lord Jesus, but then become entangled in that corruption all over again, they are worse off in the end than they were in the beginning before knowing the Lord Jesus. They are dogs who returned to lick up their own vomit, 2 Peter 2:20-22

Part 5: Remember The End Is At Hand, So Make Every Effort To Be Blameless, 2 Peter 3:1-16

A. I, Peter, write this second letter to you to remind you to remember the Word of hope first spoken by the prophets and then by your apostles, 2 Peter 3:1,2

B. Understand and remember, first of all, that scoffers in the last days will scoff at the coming of the Lord on the last day, 2 Peter 3:3-7

1. The scoffers will scoff because they see the world continuing on as usual, as it always has in the past, 2 Peter 3:4

2. The scoffers will scoff because they forget that the world, which was created by the Word of the Lord and was destroyed in the flood, is the same heavens and earth that are being reserved by the Word of the Lord for the destroying fire of judgment day, 2 Peter 3:5-7

C. Do not forget, but remember this, though the scoffers scoff at the Lord's coming in judgment, and some think his coming is slow, the Lord's coming is not slow because a thousand years are but a day to the Lord, 2 Peter 3:8,9

1. The Lord is only delaying the destruction and judgment that is coming, because he is being patient with you. He does not want anyone to perish but to come to faith for their salvation, 2 Peter 3:9

2. Be assured and remember that the Lord will come suddenly like a thief, at which time the heavens will disappear with a roar and the earth and everything in it will be burned up, 2 Peter 3:10

D. Since everything will be so suddenly destroyed with a roar in the flames, remember what kind of people you ought to be at the time of the Lord's coming, 2 Peter 3:11

1. You ought to be God's people who live holy and godly lives as you look for the fiery day of destruction and judgment, and speed its coming through the testimony of your lives and witnessing, 2 Peter 3:12

2. Thus in keeping with this promise about the coming of the end, by faith and in hope we are looking forward to a new heaven and earth where only righteousness will prevail and wicked corruption will never exist, 2 Peter 3:13

E. Since you look forward to this end, remember to make every effort to be found on that day spotless, blameless, and at peace with God, whose patient delay of the end is for your salvation, 2 Peter 3:14,15

1. Bear in mind and remember, also, that our dear brother, the apostle Paul, wrote you of this salvation as well, 2 Peter 3:15

2. Paul wrote in the same way about this in all of his letters, which are inspired Scriptures that contain teachings hard to understand, and which ignorant and unstable people like the false teachers distort to their own destruction, 2 Peter 3:16

Part 6: Conclusion

A. Having written the preceding things in this letter to refresh your memory so you remember them, be on your guard against being carried away by the errors and destructive heresies of the false teachers, lest you fall from your secure position of having the hope of salvation, 2 Peter 3:17

B. Having reminded you of the things in this letter, grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus, to whom be the glory forever, 2 Peter 3:18