2 Peter


1. Introductory comments, 1:1-15

iii] The letter's threefold purpose


Peter is aware that his martyrdom is immanent, and so he indicates that this letter is designed as a farewell address with the purpose of reminding believers of their eschatological hope and the means by which this may be confirmed.


i] Context: See 1:3-11


ii] Background: See 1:1-2


iii] Structure: The stated purpose of Peter's letter:

Purpose, v12:

Peter's own motivating purpose, v13-15.


v] Interpretation:

Peter now explains the purpose of his letter, namely, to "remind" the readers of "these things",v12a, ie., the apostolic testimony summarised in the opening verses and developed in 1:16-3:13. In v12b Peter provides an affirming sub-note - a recognition that those who read this apostolic testimony already agree with it, v12b. Peter then goes on to explain his own motivating purpose, namely, to refresh the readers' understanding of this apostolic testimony, given his impending martyrdom, v13-15.


Form: The passage before us helps to identify the letter as a valedictory address / message penned by the apostle prior to his death as a martyr. This literary form was widely understood in the first century and so is used by Peter to set down a believer's eschatological hope in an authoritative form that can be referenced by the faithful in the years to come.

It is a matter of dispute as to whether the valedictory literary form employed in second Peter implies that a great one actually wrote the message, or that it was a teaching method applied in the name of / ascribed to a great one, eg., the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs was obviously not written by the Patriarchs. If it is a fictitious testament, where lies its authority as a Word of God? The same question applies to the early chapters of Genesis. A safe path, chosen by many, is that of a literal acceptance of the text, but it is also safe to carefully analyse the literary form of the text and interpret it in light of that form. So for example, in the Psalms, which employ poetic form, we understand that God is not actually a chariot crossing the sky, ie., we understand that the description is metaphorical.

Whether or not second Peter is a fictitious testament, it is rightly accepted by Biblical commentators, whether fundamental, conservative, or liberal, that the testament is God's word to us. The apostolic testimony of a believer's eschatological hope is to be recounted, remembered and acted upon.

Text - 1:12

Peter's farewell testament, v12-15. Given Peter's imminent death, he provides a necessary reminder of the apostolic testimony. His readers do understand the fundamentals of gospel truth, so Peter describes his words as a reminder, although they are certainly more than that, v12.

dio "so" - therefore. Inferential; drawing a logical conclusion; "I therefore propose to keep on constantly reminding you", Barclay.

mellhsw (mellw) fut. "I will" - i will intend. The use of a future tense to remind his readers is somewhat strange. A future act of reminding may be in mind, but probably Peter understands that this letter will serve the purpose of a future reminder, even after his death; "a constant reminder as it is repeatedly read in the community", Moo.

aei "always" - Temporal adverb; "my purpose will ever be to remind you of these things", Cassirer.

uJpomimnhskein (uJpomimnhskw) pres. part. "remind [you]" - to remind [you]. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of perception expressing what Peter intends. There is a degree of politeness in the use of the word "to remind", as also the statement that "you know them", ie., know the doctrinal truths raised in v3-11. With a believer, a knowledge of gospel truth is something more than a Socratic innate knowledge waiting to be unearthed. Believers have taken onboard the fundamentals of Christian belief, but this belief still needs to be organised and developed.

peri + gen. "of" - about [these things]. Expressing reference / respect; "concerning, about." The close demonstrative pronoun"these" is backward referencing = the matters raised in the previous verses.

kaiper "even though" - although. Concessive conjunction, although for clarity, "nevertheless you already know them ....", Davids.

eidontaV (oida) perf. part. "you know them" - knowing them [and having been established]. The participle, as with "having been established", supported / intensified by kaiper, is adverbial, concessive.

en + dat. "in" - in. Here most likely adverbial, reference / respect; "with regard to the truth."

paroush/ (pareimi) pres. part. "you now have" - [the] present [truth]. The verb para + eimi, takes the sense "to be present, arrive, come." Here as an adjectival participle, attributive, limiting "truth"; "the truth which is now available."


"This is the post to which I've been assigned - keeping you alert with frequent reminders - and I'm sticking to it as long as I live", Peterson. The need for an apostolic reminder is particularly pressing in a society which is highly dependent on oral transmission, rather than written texts. It is very easy for believers, in these circumstances, to be swayed by heretical teaching.

de "-" - but/and. Transitional connective, here indicating a development in the argument put in v12 by providing the grounds of / purpose for the reminder, v13-14; a reminder of the apostolic testimony within the present limited window of Peter's existence.

dikaion adj. "right" - [i consider it] just, right. "Right" in the sense of "a just cause", Davids. Accusative complement of the assumed direct object "it", standing in a double accusative construction.

diegeirein (diegeirw) pres. inf. "to refresh" - to awaken, arouse [you]. The infinitive introduces an object clause / dependent statement of perception expressing what Peter considers right / a just cause.

en + dat. "memory" - with [a reminder]. Instrumental, expressing means; an awakening by means of a reminder.

ef (epi) + acc. "as long as" - over [as much as]. Temporal use of the preposition with the pronoun oJson, "as much as", giving the sense "as long as".

en + dat. "[live] in" - [i am] in [this tent]. Local, expressing space. "Tent" is used figuratively for the body; "as long as I live in the temporary dwelling of this body", Phillips.


The language of "putting off" is used in first Peter of a putting off of sin from the body, but here it is the putting off of the body itself. This "putting off", here a figure of death, is imminent, and revealed so by Jesus. Peter knows that his time is up, not necessarily because of some pressing intervention from without, but possibly just because of age. Direct revelation may be intended, but Jesus' words in John 21:18-20 may well be the source.

eidwV (oida) perf. part. "because I know" - knowing. The participle is adverbial, probably causal, as NIV.

oJti "that" - that. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of perception expressing what Peter knows.

tacinh adj. "soon" - quick, swift, soon. Temporal; "without delay", BDAG, and not "all of a sudden."

tou skhnwmatoV (a atoV) gen. "[put] it [aside]" - [is the putting off] of the tent [of me]. The genitive is usually taken as verbal, objective, in that it receives the action of the verbal noun "the removal."

kaqwV "as" - [and = even] as [the lord of us]. Comparative, introducing a comparative clause; "just as our Lord .... indicated I would."

IhsouV CristouV gen. "Jesus Christ" - Genitive standing in apposition to "Lord".

moi dat. pro. "to me" - [made clear] to me. Dative of indirect object.


The language of this verse is a little unclear, but it is unlikely that the Peter / the author has subsequent writings in mind to further the apostolic testimony available to believers after his death. It is more likely that he is expressing his concern to complete the present letter and see it distributed to his churches. "I am especially eager that you have all this down in black and white so that after I die, you'll have it for ready reference", Peterson.

de "-" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the argument, here possibly to draw conclusion, "so, therefore", or emphatic, "indeed". Possibly temporal, de kai ekastote, "in the meantime", Junkins.

kai "-" - and = also. Probably adjunctive here; "also". Not only does Peter apply effort to see that believers receive his apostolic testimony during his life, v13, but "I will also see to it that my teaching is available to you after my death", Bauckham.

spoudasw (spoudazw) fut. "I will make every effort" - i will do my best [always]. Variant present tense. To do something with intense effort and motivation*; "I will do my [very] best to finish this letter"

poieisqai (poiew) pres. inf. "to see that" - to cause [you]. The infinitive introduces an object clause / dependent statement of cause. This type of construction is often classified as complementary, so Davids.

ecein (ecw) pres. inf. "-" - to have [the memory of these things]. The infinitive is adverbial, expressing purpose, "in order that"; "So that, when I am gone from this life, you will have all this", Junkins.

meta acc. "after [my departure]" - after [my exodus]. Temporal use of the preposition; "after my death", Barclay.

toutwn gen. pro. "these things" - The pronoun serves as a substantive, the genitive may be adjectival, possessive, so BDF, although better treated as verbal, objective, so Davids.


2 Peter Introduction

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