2 Peter


2. Remedies for doubt, 1:16-3:13

iii] Charges against the false teachers


Peter sets out to denounce the false teachers by listing their many sins. First he identifies their willingness to revile, "majesty / authority",("celestial beings", NIV, is unlikely), "the glorious ones", ESV, v10a-12. Even the angels don't revile authority, but the false teachers' "conduct is characterised by contempt for all authority", Barclay.. The next sin Peter identified is their licentious practices, variously described as "revelling / gluttony ", "carousing", "adultery", "greed", v13-14. Peter goes on to provide a prototype for the evil of the false teachers in Balaam, a man who led the people of Israel astray, v15-16. Balaam was an agent of darkness whose sin was revealed by a mere donkey, Numbers 22. The final sin, v17-22, is that they seduce new believers, those "who are barely escaping from those who live in error." They are deceptive propagandists who enjoy gathering disciples to their heretical teachings.


i] Context: See 1:16-21


ii] Background: See 1:1-2


iii] Structure: Three denunciations of the false teachers:

Denunciation 1, v10b-12;

Denunciation 2, v13-14:

Illustration, v15-16.

Denunciation 3, v17-22.


iv] Interpretation:

In the first denunciation, Peter states that the false teachers revile doxaV, "glory". The NIV "celestial beings" is drawn from Jude 9 where the word is used of good angels, an order of angels possibly referred to in the now extant apocryphal work The Assumption of Moses,. So, heavenly authorities may well be in Peter's mindReicke suggests that this word, meaning in its own right "majesties, glories", refers to secular authorities. He argues that the false teachers defame secular authorities against the teaching of the New Testament; the NT which urges obedience and respect - they break "the boundaries of their status ...... they fail to show the proper respect to those higher in rank than they are", Davids*. Of course, Peter may well have in mind church authorities, and the context would certainly imply this. However we interpret v10b-12, the point Peter is making is clear enough, "they extend themselves beyond what God assigned, thus infringing on God's honour and that of his agents", Neyrey - they show disrespect toward their superiors.

In the second denunciation, we are told that the false teachers are people who are dominated by the passions of their lower nature; they are self indulgent. Evil people do worm their way into the Christian church, but as with people like pedophiles, they keep a low profile, masking their evil. Peter's description of the false teachers is so overtly evil that he may be drawing on the prophetic denunciations of Israel's syncretism, of their going after pagan cults, an idolatry often described in sexual terms. So, the false teachers' sin may well be that of secularisation, their assimilation of the world-view of the dominant pagan cults of their day. At the practical level Peter makes three charges: gluttony, adultery and avarice. If we accept that Peter's language is a bit over the top, then he is charging the false teachers with being too focused on the food at the church's love feast (later to become the Holy Communion) than fellowship, sexually dangerous / seductive due to their position of power, and financially exploitive / optimising their position for financial gain. Those of us employed as ministers of the gospel are only too aware of these temptations.

In the third denunciation, we are told that the false teachers prey on new believers with their froth and bubble propaganda, entrapping them with the promise of freedom, but inevitably making them slaves of corruption.


Who are the false teachers? Earlier commentators often identified the false teachers as proponents of an early form of Gnosticism, while more recent commentators see them as believers influenced by Epicurean thinking. In broad terms, leading lights in predominantly Gentile congregations under the authority of Peter, probably in Asia Minor and Greece, have adapted Christian theology to the Greek Platonic worldview of their neighbours. As is often the case in the Christian church, a new "knowledge" (spiritual insight) can easily develop into a particular way of thinking, and spread like a virus from congregation to congregation. So, the problem Peter faces is the adaption of Christian doctrine to secular doctrine / societal shibboleths, ie., the problem of syncretism .

Both Neyrey and Davids* think Epicurean thinking is the prime problem, the idea that "(1) God does not intervene in the world, and (2) therefore there is no reward for good or punishment for evil, (3) including no resurrection of the dead, and (4) no final judgment." This thinking stems from the Platonic separation of body and spirit; the body destined for dust and the spirit destined for liberation. The body, incapable of salvation, can indulge in "licentious passions of the flesh" quite apart from the soul / spirit which is destined for salvation. Traditional moral boundaries are therefore of little interest to the leading lights of this new "knowledge" and this simply because the parousia of Jesus Christ is nothing more than a myth, and the final judgement little more than a scare tactic.


Source: Again there is evidence that the author of this letter / Peter has drawn on / adapted / improved Jude. Compare v10b-18 with Jude 8-13. The matter is long debated and contentious.

Text - 2:10b

Charges against the false teachers, v10b-22: i] The false teachers are contemptuous of all authority, v10b-12. They show arrogant disrespect toward those who are their superiors.

auqadeiV adj. "[bold and] arrogant" - [bold, audacious, reckless] self-willed, arrogant, stubborn. Usually taken as a substantive, nominative in apposition to "bold", but it can be taken as an attributive adjective limiting / modifying "bold"; "impudent egotists", Reicke.

blasqhmounteV (blasqhmew) pres. part. "to heap abuse on" - [they do not tremble] reviling, demeaning, blaspheming, abusing. The participle is adverbial, best treated as temporal; "they do not tremble when demeaning those in authority." "They have no qualms / no compunction in libelling / reviling ...."

doxaV (a) "celestial beings" - majesties, glories. Accusative direct object of the verb "to blaspheme." See above for this illusive use of the word. Ecclesiastical authorities, so Bigg, Green; Secular authorities, so Calvin, Reicke; Angelic powers, either evil, so Bauckham, ++, or good, ie., following the sense of Jude 1:8. "They have nothing but contempt for all authority", Phillips, but as noted above, possibly they "are not afraid cursing the glorious beings in heaven", CEV.


Most commentators note the reference in Jude 9 which speaks of the archangel Michael not pronouncing reviling judgment on the devil. Peter notes that the angels (Michael and his angelic associates) don't malign when bringing a charge against autwn, "them" = "majesty, glory" = "the glorious ones / those in authority", but (v12) the false teachers ignorantly show disrespect toward those who are actually their superiors.

o{pou "yet even" - where = whereas [angels]. Comparative; in comparison / contrast to the fact that the false teachers revile authority, the angels ..... Unlikely to be causal here, as suggested by BDF.

onteV (eimi) pres. part. "although they are" - being. The participle is adverbial, best treated as concessive, as NIV.

iscui (uV uoV) dat. "stronger" - [greater] in strength [and in power]. The dative is adverbial, probably reference / respect; "with respect to strength and power."

blasfhmon adj. "[do not] heap [abuse]" - [do not bring a] blasphemous [judgment]. This attributive adjective limits the noun "judgment" which serves as the accusative object of the verb "to bring." "Judgment" in the sense of "critique, charge", and "blasphemous" in the sense of "reproachful, denigrating, demeaning"; "a defaming charge", Berkeley.

kat (kata) + gen. "on" - against [them]. Here expressing opposition, "against".

para + gen. "from" - from beside [the lord]. Source / origin, or agent, although often treated as spatial (usually + dat.), "before the Lord."


"These people are nothing but brute beasts, born in the wild, predators on the prowl. In the very act of bringing down others with their ignorant blasphemies, they themselves will be brought down, losers in the end. Their evil will boomerang on them", Peterson.

de "but" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the argument, here to a contrasting point.

blasfhmounteV (blasfhmew) pres. part. "blaspheme" - [these men, like irrational animals having been natural born for capture and destruction,] blaspheming [in what they are ignorant, will also be corrupted = destroyed in the destruction of them]. The participle is adverbial, probably best treated as causal; "because they malign what they do not understand, they will be destroyed ......"

en + dat. "in [matters]" - in [what]. Here adverbial, reference / respect; "with respect to things which they are ignorant." If the doxaV, "the majesties, glories", are human authorities (ecclesiastical or secular), then the maligning of these authorities demonstrates an ignorance of the divine will, in that such are instruments of God's providential care, the maintenance of good order.

wJV "they are like" - as, like. Comparative.

gegennhmena (gennaw) perf. mid./pas. part. "born" - [irrational animals] having been [natural] born. The participle, although anarthrous, is adjectival, attributive, limiting "animals"; "like irrational creatures which are born instinctively for capture and destruction."

eiV + acc. "only to be [caught]" - toward [capture and destruction]. Here expressing purpose / end-view; "for the purpose of capture and destruction."

en + dat. "like [animals]" - in [the destruction of them they will also be destroyed]. Adverbial, probably expressing manner; "in the manner of their destruction they will also be destroyed" - "they will meet the same destruction as the animals", Zerwick. The intended meaning of this clause is somewhat illusive such that Bauckham lists six possible interpretations, p.263-4. Taking the objective genitive autwn, "them", to refer to the animals, and fqora to mean "destruction", rather than "corruption", Peter is most likely stating that the false teachers share the inevitable end facing animals in the wild, namely, to be hunted and destroyed. For the false teachers, it will be destruction on the day of judgment. This is the most widely accepted interpretation and followed by most translations, as NIV, so Sidebottom, Kelly, Bigg, Mayor, ....


ii] The false teachers are self-indulgent, v13-14. The false teachers are so addicted to self-indulgent pleasure that they spoil the occasions when believers gather for a fellowship meal.

adikoumenoi (adikew) pres. mid./pas. part. "they will be paid back with harm" - receiving what is unrighteous, unjust = suffering harm [as a reward for unrighteousness = harm done]. Translators are divided on whether v12 continues, or whether we have the commencement of a new sentence (even a new paragraph) in v13; note NIV as compared to ESV. As the commencement of a new sentence, the participle would be adjectival, predicative (nominative in agreement with the assumed subject "they", with the verb to be supplied, asserting a fact about the subject), "they are those who are being hurt", as NIV. The participle is modified by the adverbial accusative of reference / respect, misqon, "with respect to a reward. "These false teachers are those who receive the proper reward for their unrighteousness."

hJgoumenoi (hJgeomai) pres. mid. part. "their idea of" - considering, thinking, regarding [the act of indulgence, dissipation, carousing, revelling, ..... in the daytime]. Again the participle is likely to be adjectival, predicative; "they are those who regard ...."

hdonhn (h) acc. "pleasure" - a pleasure, delight. Complement of the direct object "the act of revelling in the daytime" of the participle "considering" standing in a double accusative construction.

thn ... trufhn (h) "to carouse" - "To live a life of luxury, usually associated with intemperate feasting and drinking"* Possibly an allusion to the Assumption of Moses 7:4, "lovers of banquets at every hour of the day." "The teachers of heresy are said to distinguish themselves through revelry and gluttony at the meals that they celebrate with the Christians", Reicke.

entrufwnteV (entrufaw) pres. part. "revelling" - [they are blots and blemishes] revelling. The two nouns "spots and blemishes" serve as predicate nominatives of an assumed verb to-be, as NIV, with the participle "revelling" being adjectival, attributive, limiting "spots and blemishes", "which revel, carouse in the daytime", so Davids. "Their notion of pleasure is that they should take part in revels in broad daylight", Cassirer.

en + dat. "in [their pleasures]" - in [the deceits of them]. Local, sphere; "in the sphere of .." The word apataiV, "pleasures", originally meant "deceptions, misdirections, guiles", "they are luxuriating in the deceptions which they practise", Barclay, but later took on the sense "self-indulgent pleasures, lusts", which is probably the sense here, as NIV. "The meals they share with you are spoilt by the selfish and shameful way they carry on", CEV.

suneuwcoumenoi (suneuwcecomai) pres. mid./pas. part. "while they feast with" - feasting with. The participle is adverbial, best taken as temporal, as NIV.

uJmin dat. pro. "you" - Dative of direct object after the sun prefix verb "to feast with."


The false teachers "strip with their eyes every woman they look at", Barclay. "In their hearts they look at everything they see with selfish covetousness", Junkins.

econteV (ecw) pres. part. "with [eyes]" - having [eyes]. Again the participle is adjectival, best treated as predicative; "they are those who have eyes full of ..."

moicalidoV (iV idoV) gen. "[full of] adultery" - [full of a desire for] an adulteress. The genitive is adjectival, idiomatic / content. A noun like moicaliaV, "adultery", would be expected, rather than "an adulteress". Possibly elliptical, "eyes full of a desire for an adulteress", so Davids, "with eyes for nothing but ....", Zerwick, ie., "always looking for a woman with whom to commit adultery", Bauckham. "They are obsessed with sex."

aJmartiaV (a) gen. "sinning" - [and eyes not ceasing, unceasing] of sin. The genitive may be verbal, objective, "for sin", or adverbial, reference / respect, "with respect to sin." "There is no end to their wicked deeds", CEV.

deleazonteV (deleazw) pres. part. "they seduce" - seducing, enticing [unstable, souls]. Again the participle is adjectival, best treated as predicative; "they are those who seduce those whose moral defences are weak."

econteV (ecw) pres. part. "they are" - having [a heart]. Again the participle serves as a substantive, predicate nominative; "they are the ones who have a heart."

gegumnasmenhn (gumnazw) perf. mid./pas. part. "experts in" - having been trained in. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "heart"; "a heart which has been trained in greediness."

pleonexiaV (a) gen. "greed" - greed, lust. Genitive of direct object after the participle "being trained in", although it should properly take a dative. This is the "greed" "which is idolatry", Col.3:5, a greed which takes advantage of others, exploits them for self-interest.

kataraV (a) gen. "[an] accursed [brood]" - [they are children] of a curse. The genitive is adjectival, attributive, limiting "children", "cursed children", as NIV. An OT phrase often used by the prophets, eg., "children of destruction", Isa.57:4.


iii] The illustration of Balaam son of Bezer, v15-16. The story of Balaam is found in numbers Numbers 22. A straight reading of the text leaves us with the impression that Balaam is being defamed by Peter here. Balaam refuses to speak other than what is revealed to him by God, irrespective of payment. Yet, by the first century, Balaam had become an archetype of evil in Jewish circles. Note Revelation 2:14 where it is said that Balaam "taught Balak to put temptation in the way of the Israelites." So, although somewhat unfair, Balaam is an arch-villain in the imagination of contemporary Judaism, such that to follow his example is to follow evil.

kataleiponteV (kataleipw) pres. part. "they have left" - [they went astray] forsaking [a straight way]. The NIV takes this participle as attendant on the main verb "to go astray, wander about / mislead, deceive." Davids suggests it is adverbial, causal, "they have gone astray because they forsook the right way ", possibly also means, "by forsaking the right way"

exakolouqhsanteV (exakolouqew) aor. part. "to follow" - having followed. The NIV takes this participle as adverbial, final, expressing purpose, "in order to follow", Moffat opts for means, "by following", but possibly attendant circumstance if taken with the main verb "to wander off", "they left and followed", even possibly serving as another predicative adjective, so "They are those who have followed Balaam" = "They have followed the way of Balaam", ESV.

th/ oJdw/ (oV) dat. "the way" - the way. Dative of direct object after the ek prefix participle "having followed."

tou Balaam gen. "of Balaam" - of balaam. The genitive is adjectival, idiomatic, something like, "followed the path which was laid out by Balaam."

tou Bosop gen. "son of Bezer" - of the bezer. The genitive is ablative, source / origin, "from Bezer" = "the son of Bezer."

adikiaV (a) gen. "[wages] of wickedness" - [who loved the wages] of unrighteousness, wickedness, wrongdoing. The genitive is adjectival, attributive, limiting "wages", "wicked wages"; "loved ill-gotten gain", Barclay. "Who turned a profiteer", Peterson.


de "but" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the argument, here to a contrasting point; "but ...."

paranomiaV (a) gen. "for [his] wrongdoing" - [he had reproof] of [his own] transgression. The genitive is usually treated as verbal, objective, but Davies suggests it could also be taken as adverbial, reference / respect, "he was rebuked regarding his transgression."

fqegxamenon (fqeggomai) aor. mid. part. "who spoke" - [a speechless donkey] having spoken, proclaimed. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to hinder, prevent"; "a dumb ass spoke with a human voice and checked the prophet's infatuation", Moffatt.

en + dat. "with" - in. The preposition here is instrumental, expressing means, "by means of ..."

anqrwpou (oV) gen. "a human [voice]" - [a voice] of a man. The genitive is adjectival, attributive, limiting the noun "voice", as NIV.

tou profhtou (oV) gen. "the prophet's [madness]" - [hindered, prevented the insanity, madness] of the prophet. The genitive is usually treated as verbal, subjective, but adjectival, possessive, expressing the possession of a characteristic quality, is possible - the madness which the prophet Balaam possessed / characterised him. "It spoke to him in a human voice and made him stop his foolishness", CEV.


iv] The false teachers are into marketing; they sell a persuasive hedonistic heresy, v17-22.

elaunomenai (elaunw) pres. mid./pas. part. "[mists] driven" - [these men are dry fountains and mists] being driven. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "mists"; "mists which are driven." "These men are like a well without a drop of water in it", Phillips.

uJpo + gen. "by" - by [storms]. Instrumental, expressing means / agency. "Misty clouds chased away by a storm", Cassirer; cf., Jude 12, "clouds carried away by the wind without giving rain."

tou skotouV gen. "[blackest] darkness" - [to = for whom gloom, dark] of darkness, outer darkness of hell [has been kept]. The genitive is best taken as adjectival, attributive, limiting "gloom"; "dark gloom." "The depths of darkness are reserved for them", Barclay, ie., "the pit of destruction" / hell, Jude 13.

oi|V dat. pro. "for them" - to = for whom. Dative of interest, disadvantage.


New believers are particularly susceptible to the hedonistic teaching of these false teachers. Again, Peter may be a little over the top in his description of the lifestyle of the false teachers. These libertarians presumably preach freedom without responsibility and it is that heresy which has focused Peter's attention.

gar "for" - Introducing a causal clause explaining why hell is reserved for the false teachers; "because ...."

fqeggomenoi (fqeggomai) pres. mid. part. "they mouth" - speaking. The participle is adverbial, best taken as instrumental, expressing means, "by talking", Moffatt, but possibly temporal, "when / as they utter ..."

mataiothtoV (hV htoV) gen. "boastful" - [boasts, puffed up, inflated words] of vanity, futility, uselessness, emptiness. The genitive is adjectival, limiting the substantive adjective, "boasts", usually treated as attributed: "arrogant futilities", Moffatt; "arrogant nonsense", Berkeley; "high-sounding nonsense", Phillips; "stupid nonsense", CEV.

en + dat. "by appealing to" - [they entice] in/by [lusts of flesh]. The preposition here is instrumental, expressing means; "by means of the lusts of the flesh" = "fleshly lust" (taking the genitive sarkoV, "of flesh", as attributive) = "the totally depraved nature", Wuest.

aselgeiaiV (a) dat. "-" - in/by sensuality, licentiousness. Instrumental dative, expressing means, standing in apposition to "by lusts of the flesh"; "with lusts of the flesh and with dissolute practices", Bauckham. "They use the seductions of physical passion and blatant immorality", Barclay.

touV ... apofeugontaV (apofeugw) pres. part. "people who are [just] escaping from" - the ones [barely] escaping from. The participle serves as a substantive, accusative direct object of the verb "to entice.

touV ... anastrefomenouV (anastrefw) pres. mid./pas. part. "those who live" - the ones conducting themselves, living. The participle serves as a substantive, accusative direct object of the verb "to escape from."

en + dat. "in" - in [error]. The prepositional phrase is adverbial, expressing manner; "people who have barely escaped the wrong kind of life", CEV.


Freedom / liberty in Christ is not a freedom to sin; it is not an enslaving license. Freedom in Christ is freedom from the curse of the law - set free from condemnation, and set free to walk by the Spirit, to live by Christ's indwelling compelling love. The false teachers version of Christian freedom has served only to enslave them to sin.

epaggellomenoi (epaggellomai) pres. mid. part. "they promise" - promising [freedom]. The participle is adverbial, possibly temporal, "they entice (v18) ........ while they promise them freedom / liberty ...", or probably better, instrumental, expressing means, "by promising them liberty ...", or possibly even attendant on the verb "to entice", v18; "they begile ..... those ..... and promise them freedom ..."

autoiV dat. pro. "them" - to them. Dative of indirect object.

uJparconteV (uJparcw) pres. part. "while they [themselves] are [slaves" - being [themselves slaves]. The participle is adverbial, best taken as concessive; "although they themselves are slaves."

thV fqoraV (a) gen. "of depravity" - of corruption, decay. The genitive may be taken as adjectival, possessive / relational, "slaves of their master depravity", although Davids also suggests verbal, objective, "they serve corruption."

gar "for" - because. Introducing a causal clause explaining why the false teachers are enslaved to depravity; "because ....." This parenthetical statement / saying was probably widely used at this time. It is also echoed in scripture: Jn.8:34, Rom.6:16, Gal.5:13.

w|/ dat. mid./pas. pro. "to whatever" - in/by whatever [a certain one = person has been defeated, to this one he has become enslaved]. The dative is probably instrumental, expressing means, so BDF#191.4, taking the verb htthtai as passive, "defeated, conquered by." Davids notes that if we take the verb htthtai as middle voice, "succumb to", then the dative would be classified as a dative of direct object. "A person is enslaved by whatever defeats them."


Peter follows scripture (Matt.12:45, Heb.6:4ff) when he argues that a person who returns to their former life, after having found Christ, is in a worse condition spiritually than before. This truth is usually taken to mean that although repentance is still possible the second time around, it is more difficult - the heart hardens over time; "their last position is far worse than their first", Phillips.

gar "-" - for. Here more reason than cause; introducing an explanation.

ei + ind. "if" - if [as is the case, having escaped the defilements, corruption of the world in = by a knowledge of the lord and saviour of us, jesus christ, but again they are defeated, having been entangled with/in these things, then the last condition has become for them worse of = than the first]. Introducing a 1st. class conditional clause where the condition stated in the protasis is assumed to be true.

apofugonteV (apofeugw) aor. part. "they have escaped" - having escaped. The participle is adverbial, best treated as temporal; "after they have escaped", ESV.

tou kosmou (oV) gen. "of the world" - [defilements] of the world. The genitive is adjectival, attributive, limiting "corruptions, defilements", "worldly defilements", "contaminations", Phillips, but possibly ablative, source / origin, "defilements from the world."

en + dat. "by [knowing]" - in [a knowledge]. Here the preposition is instrumental, expressing means, as NIV. The idea of knowing Christ is used in the same sense as of man knowing his wife = an intimate association with, a becoming one flesh with. We might normally say that "if, after they have escaped worldly defilements by becoming a believer / becoming a Christian / through salvation, but are ..."

tou kuriou (oV) gen. "[our] Lord" - of the lord [and saviour of us]. Genitive complement of the noun "a knowledge" which can take a genitive of persons, or adjectival, verbal, objective, so Davids.

Ihsou Cristou gen. "Jesus Christ" - Genitive in apposition to "Lord and Saviour."

de "and" - but/and [again]. Transitional, indicating a step in the argument to a contrast; "if, after they have escaped worldly defilements through a knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, but are again defeated ....."

emplakenteV (emplekw) aor. pas. part. "are [again] entangled" - [they are defeated] having been entangled. The participle is adverbial, best treated as causal; "are again defeated because they have been entangled by them."

toutoiV dat. pro. "in it" - in these things. The dative is instrumental, expressing mens, "by means of them", ie., "worldly defilements, contaminations", although note that the en prefix verb "to be entangled in / involved with" takes a dative of direct object.

autoiV dat. pro. "they [are]" - [then the last state has become] to them. Dative of interest, advantage; "for them."

twn prwtwn (oV) gen. "[worse off at the end] than at the beginning" - [worse] of the first. The genitive is ablative, of comparison; "worse than the first."


It would have been to the advantage of the false teachers had they stayed with Christ's way of life, as delivered to them, but they didn't, and instead opted for self-indulgent freedom.

gar "-" - for. More reason than cause; introducing a clarification.

h\n "it would have" - it was [better]. Zerwick, also BDF #358.1 and MHT III, p90, argue that the use of the imperfect verb to-be, h\n, although without an, indicates the apodosis of a 2nd. class unfulfilled conditional clause, although we are best to side with Davies who argues that the construction is "contrary to fact", but not conditional. It would have been better for the false teachers had they held to the Christian way of life, but they didn't, abandoning the truth delivered to them.

autoiV dat. pro. "for them" - to them. Dative of interest, advantage, "for them".

mh epegnwkenai (epiginwskw) perf. inf. "not to have known" - not to have known. The infinitive forms a nominal clause, subject of the verb to-be; "not to have known the way of righteousness was better for them."

thn dikaiosunhV (h hV) gen. "of righteousness" - [the way] of righteousness. The genitive is adjectival, attributive, limiting "way", the righteous way"; "the right way", NEB. The sense is probably in line with 1 Peter 2:24, 3:14, "the straight path", 2:15, where "righteousness" entails the whole package of Christian living, the way of life, with the stress on doing, virtue. The phrase "the way of righteousness" is found in the OT, particularly in apocryphal writings, and always in an ethical context. The way of righteousness "is the pattern of well-ordered righteous behaviour which issues from the Christian's knowledge of Christ", Kelly.

h] "than" - Here comparative, as NIV.

epignousin (epiginwskw) dat. aor. part. "to have known it" - having known it. The participle is adverbial, best treated as temporal; "after knowing it", ESV. Dative in agreement with the repetition of an assumed dative autoiV, "for them", dative of interest.

uJpostreyai (uJpostrefw) aor. inf. "and then to turn their backs" - to return = to turn. The infinitive forms a nominal clause, subject of the participle "having known"; "than for them to turn from the holy commandment having been passed on to them having known (after knowing) the way of righteousness"; "than after knowing it, to turn their backs on the sacred commandments given to them", Phillips.

ek + gen. "on [the sacred command]" - from [the holy, sacred commandment]. Expressing separation; "away from." "The sacred command" possibly aligns with both Peter and Jude's use of the word "faith", it is "the faith" as delivered. Bauckham argues that the phrase is used with the same sense as "the way of righteousness" as a reference to "Christian ethical teaching". Used in the OT for the Mosaic law, while in the NT it entails "the whole way of life which Christ has laid down", Kelly, so also Sidebottom, Leaney, Neyrey ("the holy rule" = discipleship requirements), Davies ("how Jesus, as their Lord, called them to live")

paradoqeishV (paradidwmi) aor. pas. part. "that was passed on to" - having been passed on. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "the holy commandment"; "which was delivered to."

autoiV dat. pro. "them" - to them. Dative of direct object after the para prefix verb "to pass on, deliver over to."


The two proverbs together serve to make the point clearly stated in Proverbs 26:11, "Like a dog that returns to its vomit is a fool that repeats his folly", RSV.

to "-" - the truth, point, word [of the true proverb]. The article serves as a nominalizer, turning the genitive construction "of the true proverb" into a substantive, subject of the verb "has fallen, happened [to them]", ie. the truth of the following proverbs is verified in the actions of the false teachers.

autoiV dat. pro. "of them" - [has befallen] them. Dative of direct object after the sun prefix verb "to fall on."

paroimiaV (a) gen. "proverbs" - of the [true] proverb. With the assumed subject "the truth, word, etc.", the genitive would be adjectival, idiomatic / content; "the truth which is found in the [true] proverb [is verified in them]." The genitive alhqouV, "truth", is also adjectival, attributive, limiting "proverb"; it is a proverb which is true, it gets right to the heart of the matter. The singular indicates that Peter sees the proverb as one proverb, although as Bauckham notes, there were probably two standing side by side in a Hellenistic Jewish writing of the time.

epistreyaV (epistrefw) aor. part. "[a dog] returns" - [a dog] having returned [to its own vomit]. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "dog"; "a dog which returns to its own vomit."

lousamenh (louw) aor. mid. part. "[a sow] that is washed" - [a sow] having been washed. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting the noun "sow"; "a sow which has washed herself clean."

borborou (oV) gen. "in the mud" - [returns to wallowing, rolling in] of the mud. The genitive is adjectival, attributive, limiting "wallowing"; "muddy rolling", Davies. "returns to mud-rolling" = "then returns to wallow in the mud.


2 Peter Introduction

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