THE SECOND EPISTLE
I. SIMON PETER, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them who have obtained a.like precious belief with us, in the
2 saving goodness of our God and saviour Jesus Christ, favour be to you, and may peace be multiplied by an acknowledgment of God, and of Jesus our Lord.
3 As his divine power hath freely granted those things conducive to life and godliness, and all arc ours by our acknow-
4 ledging him who hath called us by glory and virtue, through which he hath freely made us very great and precious promises, that by them you may become partakers of a divine na-
5 ture when you have fled from the corruption which is in the world by lust; therefore, having on your part used all diligence for the very same purpose, add to your faith fortitude ;
6 and to fortitude, knowledge ; and to knowledge, temperance;
7 and to temperance, perseverance; and to perseverance, piety; and to piety, brotherly affection; and to brotherly affection,
8 universal love ; for these being in you, and abounding, dispose you to be neither idle nor unfruitful for the acknowledg-
9 ing of our Lord Jesus Christ: for he who is without these is blind, having closed his eyes, having contracted a forgetful-
10 ness of the purification of his past sins. Therefore, brethren, use the more diligence to make your call and election sure ; for if you practise these you will never fall; for thus there
11 will further be administered to you, bounteously, the entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and saviour Jesus
12 Christ. For this purpose I will not neglect to put you always in mind of these things, though you already know them, and 13 are established in the present truth. Indeed I think it right,
14 as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by admonition ; as I know that I must soon lay aside this tabernacle of
15 mine, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath plainly shewed me; and I will use all diligence that you may be able, every one
16 of you, to recollect these things after my departure. For we indeed did not follow artfully contrived fables when we made known to you the power and the coming of our Lord Jesus
17 Christ; but were ourselves eye witnesses of his majesty. For he was receiving honour and glory from God the Father, when a voice was uttered to him, from the transcendent glory, " This is my Son, the Beloved, in whom I am well pleased."
18 This voice we ourselves actually heard uttered from heaven,
19 when we were with him on the holy mountain. Therefore we have a more complete confirmation of the prophetic word, to which you do well in giving attention, as to a lamp shining in a dark place until the day dawn, and the bringer of light
20 rise in your hearts—knowing this first,,that no prophecy of the scripture explaineth itself,* for prophecy was not uttered in former days at the will of man ; but the holy men of God
. spoke by an impulse of the holy spirit.
II, Now there were also false prophets among the people, as there will be also among you false teachers, who will introduce destructive sects, denying even the Lord who bought them,
2 bringing on themselves speedy destruction. And many will follow their pernicious courses, on the account of whom the
3 way of the truth will be ill spoken of. Indeed, with insatiable covetousness, they will, with smooth words, make merchandize of you. But the judgment prepared of old for them is
4 not idle, nor is their destruction slumbering. For if God spared not angels who sinned, but confining them in Tartarus, f in
* Literally for every prophecy &c. is not of its own solution.
f Tartarus among the ancient Grecians, was considered as the place for the wicked after death. Their philosophers described it as a condensed, solid and immoveable darkness surrounding the material universe. But as the earth was commonly supposed to be a plain of immeasurable depth, the poets, accommodating their language to the common opinion, describe it as a vast pit or gulph,
5 chains of darkness, delivered them up to be kept for judgment—and if he spared not the old world, but preserved eight persons, including Noah, the proclaimer of righteousness, when he brought a deluge on the world of ungodly men—
6 and when he condemned to destruction the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, reducing them to ashes, and makuig them a
7 publick example to future impious men, delivered just Lot, who was troubled at the lascivious conduct of those licentious
8 men, (for at the sight and report, that righteous man who dwelt among them was daily tormented in soul by their un-
9 lawful deeds) the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly from, temptation, and to reserve the wicked to the day of. judg-
10 ment, to be punished; and more especially them who go after flesh, in the lust of uncleanness, and despise authority. Being audacious, and self sufficient they tremble not when they re-
11 vile glories; whereas angels who are greater in might and power, do not bring against them a railing accusation before
12 the Lord. But these, like irrational brute beasts, made for capture and destruction, railing at what they are ignorant of,
13 shall perish with their own destruction. Receiving wages of iniquity, esteeming riot by day a pleasure ; being spots and
14 blemishes ; rioting by their deceits ; banquetting with you ; having eyes full of adultery and unceasing sin; ensnaring un-
15 stable souls; having a heart practised in greediness; an execrable race ; having forsaken the right road they have gone quite astray, following the way of Balaam son of Bosor, who loved the wages of iniquity, and was convicted of his trans-
16 gression. (A dumb beast, speaking with a human voice, re-
17 strained the madness of the prophet.) They are wells without water; clouds impelled by a whirlwind, for whom is reserved
in the bowels of the earth. Here then the apostle, rectifying the common mistake of Tartarus being in the bowels of the earth ; and recurring to the true sense of the word, namely, the darkness, which bounds the created system, and which when applied to spirits must be interpreted spiritually, intimates by the word ratf-rmfi/tmr that G od cast the apostate angels out of his presence into that blackness of darkness (Jude, ver. 13) where they are excluded from the glorir ous light of his countenance.
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18 the gloom of everlasting darkness. For uttering, with a solemn tone, swelling words of vanity, they by the lusts of the flesh. by acts of lasciviousness, ensnare them who arc indeed flying
19 from those conversant in error ; promising them liberty while they themselves are slaves to corruption ; for by whatever
20 one is subdued, by that he is enslaved. For if alter fleeing from the pollutions of the world by an acknowledgment of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, any are again entangled and overcome by them, the last state of such persons is worse
21 than the first. For it had been better for them not to hava known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to
22 turn away from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it hath happened to them according to the true proverb, " The dog is returned to his vomit, and the washed hog to its wallowing slough."
III. This, my beloved, is now the second letter which I am
2 writing, with which I stir up your sincere mind by way of remembrance, that you may remember the predictions* of the holy prophets, and the injunction of us the apostles of the
3 Lord and Saviour; knowing this first, that in the last day*
4 scoffers will come, walking after their own desires, and sa; - ing, " JfHiere is the promise of his coming? for since thejathen
fell asleep, all things continue as they -were from the beginning of
5 the creation." For this they wilfully forget, that by the word of God there were heavens of old, and an earth consisting of
6 water and in water, by which the world that then existed, bc-
7 ing deluged, was destroyed; but the heavens and the earth which now exist are, by the same word, treasured up for fire, being kept for the day of judgment, and destruction of these
8 impious men. Now let not this one thing, my beloved, cape you, That with the Lord one day is as a thousand yearx
9 and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack with regard to his promise, as some reckon slackness. But he is long suffering towards us, not willing that any should perish,
10 but that all should come to a reformation. Now the day of the Lord will come, as a thief at night, when the heavens with L
* Literally, the things predicted by.
Crashing roar shall pass away, and the elements shall be dissolved by fire, and the earth, and all the works thereon, shall be burned up. Therefore as all these things are to be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conversation and godliness, expecting, and eagerly desiring, the coming of the day of God, in which the heavens, all on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with intense heat, and we, according to his promise, expect new heavens, and a new earth in which dwclleth righteousness!
As you therefore, beloved, expect these things, use all diligence to be found at peace with him, without spot and without blemish; and reckon the long suffering of our Lord to be salvation; as our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, hath also written to you; as he hath also in all
i his letters, when speaking of these things; in which there are some things hard to be understood; which the unlearned and unstable torture, as they do the other scriptures, to their own destruction. As you therefore, beloved, know these things beforehand, be on your guard, that you may not be hurried away by the error of these lawless men, and fall from your sted-
5 fastness; but increase in the favour and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both uow and forever. Amen.