Did Peter Write 2 Peter? Consider this…

Skeptics reject certain books of the Bible for one reason or another. Anytime someone questions the name of the authorship of a writing without any reason, this can only be done with prejudice. The common reason for rejecting a book of the Bible has always been a presumptuous position. There is not one scholar who rejects 2 Peter with any proof. This is not said to disregard their evidence with their opinion, but rather disregarding their opinion that is without proof. Someone cannot pick up a book, look at the name of the author, and accuse the author of forgery without slandering. Such skeptics bear false witness by bringing charges without any witnesses.

Such skeptics are disregarding that the Apostles oversaw the collection of the New Testament in the 1st century rather than the 4th century. The 1st century Apostolic oversight is presented by the Apostle Paul, who spoke of “Scripture” in 1 Timothy 5:18 quoting two passages one from Deuteronomy 25:4 in the Old Testament and the other from the Gospel of Luke 10:7 in the New Testament. Luke also mentioned previous written narratives by the Apostles in Luke 1:1-3 by which Luke explained that he was writing also. Therefore, the Apostolic Gospels were collected and overseen by the Apostles. In addition to this, the scriptures mentioned by the Apostle John, which were written by John and his fellow witnessing Apostles in 1 John 1:1-4. Such writings were read in the Assembly according to Colossians 4:16. These New Testament scriptures were a part of the “reading” that Timothy was told to give attention to in 1 Timothy 4:12-13. These new scriptures included what Timothy was reading from his “infancy” forward (2 Tim. 3:15). Paul wrote of these New Testament scriptures saying in 2 Timothy 3:16-17,

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (ESV).

Clearly, the Apostles’ collection was foreseen to contain completion every good work. No honest scholar can disregard the collection that has been passed down.

The apostolic collection certainly did not consist of the 2nd c. writings of the falsely titled Gospel of Peter and the Apocalypse of Peter, which were rejected being written long after Peter’s death. On the other hand, 2 Peter was never rejected. Many accepted 2 Peter and some doubted the book like Origen in the 3rd c. and such too as noted by the 4th century historian Eusebius. Yet, this doubt is settled by the fact that an overseeing elder of the Church in Rome named Clement referred to 2 Peter 3:4 as “the scripture” in his letter to the Corinthians (23:3). Clement wrote His letter before the destruction of the temple in 70 AD (Clement 41:2). Clearly, Clement bears witness to the existence and character of the letter of 2 Peter showing that 2 Peter is authentic.

Second Peter is a very influential writing in its 3 chapters, and if the writer were a forger, then he would have had an agenda to forge a book before others who would try to do the same. Yet, 2 Peter offers exhortation to Christians who had been enduring persecution of the nations of Asia, Galatia, Pontus, Cappadocia, and Bithynia (2 Pet. 3:1 , 1 Pet. 1:1, 3:13-17, 4:12-19). Second Peter does not have any marks of bias teaching as a forgery would. The book’s purpose is not to alter doctrine or to redirect power and authority to someone or something else. In Chapter 1, the writer teaches a list of virtues to diligently add to one’s faith of which Peter desired to remind these Christians before his death. There is no hint of a personal agenda. Peter reminded them of the transfiguration of Jesus that he witnessed with John for which Peter noted that John and he are true witnesses and disciples of Christ, so that their prophetic word, which is in the scriptures, was guided by the Holy Spirit (cf. John 16:12-13). No bias there either.

Chapter 2 presents false teachers who reject the Lord, and describes the immoral behavior of such men saying, “For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them” (2:21). This holy commandment and way of righteousness is again directed to the Apostles and prophets in the next chapter. No altering of authority here.

Chapter 3 encourages these Christians to have a pure mind being “mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts” (2 Pet. 3:2-3). Chapter 3 also echoed Isaiah 51, 65, and 66 regarding a new heaven and a new earth, and then noted the wisdom of the Apostle Paul’s letters being “scripture” written to all. No agenda comes from the writer anywhere in 2 Peter for changing any vital doctrines or altering any authority. All of these teachings are in accordance with Jesus’ teachings in the Gospels. Jesus taught His Apostles that He would give His Spirit to them to teach and to guide them into all truth (John 16:12-13).

The agenda belongs to the skeptic who bears false witness against Peter. It is the skeptic, who does not like Peter’s reference to Paul’s writings as “scripture”, which shows the apostolic oversight of the New Testament canon. Such opponents desire to disregard Peter’s final epistle before his death and spread some doubt under the title of scholarship for their own purposes. The truth stands. Second Peter was written by Peter and only bias would charge anything different against the writer of this great epistle.

Peter wrote 2 Peter

About Scott J. Shifferd

Minister, church of Christ in Jacksonville, FL. Husband and father of four. Email: ScottJon82[at]yahoo.com
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12 Responses to Did Peter Write 2 Peter? Consider this…

  1. Hi Scott,
    Sorry to see such a heated exchange. You say Peter is the author of Second Peter, and I wish it were so.

    In the modern era, defenders of Paul think the ‘scripture’ reference in 2d Peter supports Paul. Calvin thought otherwise, and regarded Second Peter as written by someone other than Peter.

    Regardless, you can see that Paul defenders and Paul critics have equal reasons to hold onto Second Peter. So truly the issue must be analyzed objectively.

    I don’t think one can argue Peter wrote Second Peter by referring to 1 Clement 23:3. Clement does not say who wrote those words. And the introduction is so different from 2d Peter that it proves it does not come from 2d Peter. Clement says this: “1Clem 23:3 Let this scripture be far from us where He saith ‘Wretched are the double-minded, Which doubt in their soul and say, “These things we did hear in the days of our fathers also, and behold we have grown old, and none of these things hath befallen us.'” The taunt portion is similar to 2d Peter 3:5 which reads mockers will say ” saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” But Clement clearly includes in this “scripture” quote that it begins totally different “He says ‘Wretched are the double-minded, which doubt in their soul and say “….” But 2d Peter clearly omits the full quotation that Clement is taking from his source, and hence 2d Peter is likely using the same source for which Clement is referencing.

    As Leander Keck in The New Testament Experience of Faith (Bethany Press 1976) says at 153, “we do not know what scripture Clement is quoting” even though it has similarities to Second Peter.

    Thus, regardless of whether one wishes to cite 2d Peter for their view of Paul, I can see clearly that Clement is not quoting 2d Peter for 2 Peter is missing the key introductory part of the quote about double-mindedness which was part of the passage that Clement was quoting.

    Just trying to keep it real!
    Blessings,
    Doug

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    • Hi Doug,

      As you know, many of the citations in the scriptures of scripture are paraphrases. With Greek sentences constructed in phrases, Clement is rightly summarizing 2 Peter 2 by referring to the double-minded and then followed by 2 Peter 3:4. Claiming that 2 Peter quoted from the same source of scripture that we no longer have could be asserted without proof about all the Scriptures from Moses to John. You that this is the baseless claim that the synoptic Gospels also had similar sources, but were not from eyewitnesses. That is prejudice. As your witness testified, the similarity is of 2 Peter. How can anyone question the name anciently assigned to 2 Peter without either evidence or prejudice? This is the epistle of the end of Peter’s life written with all of his sincerity. God’s Law is fulfilled by Christ. Instead of calling into question, you have gone too far to retract without losing validity and respect. Reconsider where you have gone.

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    • Looking over your site again. I agree with you about Dispensational theology under the section “Competing Love For Paul / Pauline Doctrine”. Although I fall under covenant theology, my brethren and I in the churches of Christ strongly disagree that Christ’s words before His resurrection would not apply to the New Covenant as some do believe, and add to that the numerous prophetic predictions throughout the Old Testament especially from Isaiah to Malachi include the everlasting covenant to come by God’s Messiah. Lastly, we do disagree that Christ’s words are contrary to Paul’s.

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  4. BRIMS7ON3 says:

    Wow…a most blind and narrow argument with complete disregard for the facts. Why do you attempt to dig so deep when you cannot rectify the most obvious, surface evidence of Paul’s lies and distortions? 2 Peter does not even come into play before the blatant “loosening” of the very Word of the Father – the nullifying of the Law. This article is based on a perceptive that is unequivocally flawed, in that the house is built on sand; therefore the article itself is null and void of truth. Yahweh set His Torah in place. Yahushua fulfilled the Torah in a verbal and living example of all that the Father attempted to tell us for thousands of years…and Paul, in the name of “Christ”, removed the necessity for the Torah. That is clearly stated as a cursed action by both the Father and the Son – and it could not be more clear. Friend, you are not qualified to determine the validity of 2 Peter, because your precepts and perceptions are based on lies and severe twists of truth. I stand with the Father and Son, upholding the Torah as we are commanded to do. My Father is yesterday, today, and FOREVER. You stand with Paul and his “Jesus”…and the anomía…lawlessness that is the fruit bore of this.

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    • BRIMS7ON3 says:

      For the record, I do not hold a particular stance on whether Peter actually wrote 2 Peter. As for 2 Peter 3:15, you are reading a translation that is severely erred…

      Here is a translation that is based solely on the words from their original language that paints a more accurate picture:

      “Within them, that is to say, there are some things difficult to understand, hard to comprehend, and detrimental to understanding, which the uneducated and ignorant, as well as those who are malleable misinterpret and distort, also like the remaining inferior writings, to the consequence of their own individual destruction and annihilation. You, therefore, beloved, knowing this in advance, be on your guard, keep away from this and be especially observant, in order that you are not led astray, associating with the deception and delusion of Torah-lessness, forsaking and falling away from one’s individual guarantee of salvation and perseverance.” (2 Peter 3:15-17)

      Read it carefully.

      This is what GOD said:

      Isaiah 40
      8The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. -Isaiah..a prophet we know we can trust, based on the observance of the Messiah.

      Luke 16
      17And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. -Jesus..the one that Christians claim to follow.

      ..and this is one small example of the way Paul spoke of the Torah:

      Galatians 3
      13Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

      So both the Torah and Yahushua are a curse?

      So lets assume Peter wrote 2 Peter. Paul is still a liar.

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      • That’s a horrible translation. You should be ashamed.

        You say that sacrifices and the temple are no longer necessary because Christ fulfilled this, and yet you don’t even recognize the Law of Christ (https://godsbreath.wordpress.com/2010/02/03/law-of-christ/).

        Deuteronomy says that one is cursed for not keeping the law (Deut. 28-29).

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        • BRIMS7ON3 says:

          Did you actually go and do the best job of researching this translation as possible, or are you only comparing it to the translations of translations of translations that you have handy? You call it horrible, but it’s accurate.

          Law of Christ? As dictated by whom? Paul? I acknowledge what Yahushua said regarding Love fulfilling the commandments…but you vastly misunderstand that statement. Like observing the Torah, it is about understanding…it is about the place of the heart and the personal time you spend studying and feeding that relationship. He wasn’t saying that if you ambiguously walk around claiming to love one another, that you somehow supernaturally fulfill the commandments. If that were the case, John Lennon would be sipping wine in Heaven right now. He was making a statement that the entire Torah is based on Love…and that if you are TRULY walking in Love then you are TRULY observing the Torah. They go hand in hand. What Christians view as this “love” that Yahushua speaks of is a blurry mirror concept at best. The concept of Yahushua and the Apostles going against the Torah is an idea based on the fact that you are clueless as to how to observe the Torah. The Torah never contradicts love, and when Jesus “transgressed” the Torah, Love was His justification. Not that He needs any.

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    • Yet, Peter accepted Paul’s writings as scripture, and this is what you are offended by.

      Should you not give some premises for the supposed errors that you have found here?

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      • BRIMS7ON3 says:

        No he didn’t…I’m not offended by anything but the lies that have eaten away at truth. Even IF Peter had accepted Paul, which he didn’t, I still choose Yahushua and truth over Peter….or any other Man. Paul clearly teaches the opposite of what the Messiah taught…and that is all I need to know. See you think there is some underlying political or personal reasons for what I am telling you….but there isn’t. There is only love for the Father. All else is irrelevant.

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