US, IN THE
CONFIRMED BY THE
PROPHETS, TO THE
1. Simon--the Greek form: in oldest manuscripts, "Symeon"
(Hebrew, that is, "hearing), as in
His mention of his original name accords with the design of this Second
Epistle, which is to warn against the coming false teachers, by setting
forth the true "knowledge" of Christ on the testimony of the
original apostolic eye-witnesses like himself. This was not
required in the First Epistle.
servant--"slave": so Paul,
to them, &c.--He addresses a wider range of readers (all
believers) than in the First Epistle,
but means to include especially those addressed in the First
obtained--by grace. Applied by Peter to the receiving of
the apostleship, literally, "by allotment": as the Greek is,
They did not acquire it for themselves; the divine election is as
independent of man's control, as the lot which is east forth.
like precious--"equally precious" to all: to those who believe,
though not having seen Christ, as well as to Peter and those who have
seen Him. For it lays hold of the same "exceeding great and
precious promises," and the same "righteousness of God our
Saviour." "The common salvation . . . the faith once
delivered unto the saints"
with us--apostles and eye-witnesses
Though putting forward his apostleship to enforce his
exhortation, he with true humility puts himself, as to "the faith," on
a level with all other believers. The degree of faith varies in
different believers; but in respect to its objects, present
justification, sanctification, and future glorification, it is common
alike to all. Christ is to all believers "made of God wisdom,
righteousness, sanctification, and redemption."
through--Greek, "in." Translate, as the one article to
both nouns requires, "the righteousness of Him who is (at once)
our God and (our) Saviour." Peter, confirming Pau;'s testimony
to the same churches, adopts Paul's inspired phraseology. The Gospel
plan sets forth God's righteousness, which is Christ's
righteousness, in the brightest light. Faith has its sphere IN it as its peculiar element: God is in redemption
"righteous," and at the same time a "Saviour"; compare
"a just God and a Saviour.
2. Grace . . . peace--
through--Greek, "in": the sphere
IN which alone grace and peace can
knowledge--Greek, "full knowledge."
of God, and of Jesus our Lord--The Father is here meant
by "God," but the Son in
marking how entirely one the Father and Son are
The Vulgate omits "of God and"; but oldest manuscripts support
the words. Still the prominent object of Peter's exhortation is "the
knowledge of Jesus our Lord" (a phrase only in
and, only secondarily, of the Father through Him
2Pe 2:20; 3:18).
3. According as, &c.--Seeing that [ALFORD].
"As He hath given us ALL things (needful)
for life and godliness, (so) do you give us ALL
diligence," &c. The oil and flame are given wholly of grace by God, and
"taken" by believers: their part henceforth is to "trim their lamps"
2Pe 1:3, 4
with 2Pe 1:5,
life and godliness--Spiritual life must exist first
before there can be true godliness. Knowledge of God
experimentally is the first step to life
The child must have vital breath. first, and then cry to, and walk in
the ways of, his father. It is not by godliness that we obtain
life, but by life, godliness. To life stands
opposed corruption; to godliness, lust
to glory and virtue--rather, "through (His) glory." Thus
English Version reads as one oldest manuscript. But other oldest
manuscripts and Vulgate read, "By His own (peculiar)
glory and virtue"; being the explanation of "His divine power";
glory and moral excellency (the same attribute is given
to God in
"praises," literally, "virtues") characterize God's "power." "Virtue,"
the standing word in heathen ethics, is found only once in Paul
and in Peter in a distinct sense from its classic usage; it (in the
heathen sense) is a term too low and earthly for expressing the gifts
of the Spirit [TRENCH, Greek Synonyms of the
4. Whereby, &c.--By His glory and virtue: His
glory making the "promises" to be exceeding great; His
virtue making them "precious" [BENGEL].
Precious promises are the object of precious faith.
given--The promises themselves are a gift: for
God's promises are as sure as if they were fulfilled.
by these--promises. They are the object of faith, and
even now have a sanctifying effect on the believer, assimilating him to
God. Still more so, when they shall be fulfilled.
might, &c.--Greek, "that ye MAY
become partakers of the divine nature," even now in part; hereafter
"We shall be like Him."
the divine nature--not God's essence, but His holiness,
including His "glory" and "virtue,"
the opposite to "corruption through lust." Sanctification is the
imparting to us of God Himself by the Holy Spirit in the soul.
We by faith partake also of the material nature of Jesus
The "divine power" enables us to be partakers of "the divine
escaped the corruption--which involves in, and with itself,
destruction at last of soul and body; on "escaped" as from a
condemned cell, compare
through--Greek, "in." "The corruption in the world" has
its seat, not so much in the surrounding elements, as in the "lust" or
concupiscence of men's hearts.
5. And beside this--rather, "And for this very reason," namely,
"seeing that His divine power hath given unto us all things that
pertain to life and godliness"
giving--literally, "introducing," side by side with God's
gift, on your part "diligence." Compare an instance,
add--literally, "minister additionally," or, abundantly (compare
said properly of the one who supplied all the equipments of a
chorus. So accordingly, "there will be ministered abundantly
unto you an entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Saviour"
to--Greek, "in"; "in the possession of your
faith, minister virtue. Their faith (answering to "knowledge
is presupposed as the gift of God
and is not required to be ministered by us; in its
exercise, virtue is to be, moreover, ministered. Each grace
being assumed, becomes the stepping stone to the succeeding grace: and
the latter in turn qualifies and completes the former. Faith
leads the band; love brings up the rear [BENGEL]. The fruits of faith specified are
seven, the perfect number.
virtue--moral excellency; manly, strenuous energy, answering to
the virtue (energetic excellency) of God.
and to--Greek, "in"; "and in (the exercise of) your
virtue knowledge," namely, practical discrimination of good and evil;
intelligent appreciation of what is the will of God in each detail of
6. Greek, "And in your knowledge self-control." In the
exercise of Christian knowledge or discernment of God's will,
let there be the practical fruit of self-control as to one's
lusts and passions. Incontinence weakens the mind; continence, or
self-control, moves weakness and imparts strength And in your
self-control patient endurance" amidst sufferings, so much dwelt on in
the First Epistle, second, third, and fourth chapters. "And in your
patient endurance godliness"; it is not to be mere stoical endurance,
but united to [and flowing from] God-trusting [ALFORD].
7. "And in your godliness brotherly kindness"; not suffering
your godliness to be moroseness, nor a sullen solitary habit of life,
but kind, generous, and courteous [ALFORD]. Your
natural affection and brotherly kindness are to be sanctified by
godliness. "And in your brotherly kindness love," namely, to
all men, even to enemies, in thought, word, and deed. From
brotherly kindness we are to go forward to love. Compare
"Love one toward another (brotherly kindness), and toward all men
(charity)." So charity completes the choir of graces in
In a retrograde order, he who has love will exercise
brotherly kindness; he who has brotherly kindness will
feel godliness needful; the godly will mix nothing
stoical with his patience; to the patient, temperance is
easy; the temperate weighs things well, and so has knowledge;
knowledge guards against sudden impulse carrying away its virtue
8. be--Greek, "subsist" that is, supposing these things
to have an actual subsistence in you; "be" would express the
mere matter-of-fact being
abound--more than in others; so the Greek.
make--"render," "constitute you," habitually, by the very fact
of possessing these graces.
barren--"inactive," and, as a field lying fallow and
unworked (Greek), so barren and useless.
unfruitful in--rather, . . . in respect to,
"The full knowledge (Greek) of Christ" is the goal
towards which all these graces tend. As their subsisting