Tuesday, April 08, 2014

#40daybible Day 32 (2 Peter, Jude)

For Day 32, we read 2 Peter and Jude.

Thoughts on 2 Peter
  • Contrary to the NIV introduction, 2 Peter simply says that it is addressed to "those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours" (1:1). In other words, 2 Peter is for all Christians, not to the same audience as 1 Peter (I realize 3:1 says it is a second letter to someone). 
  • 1:10 urges Christians to make their calling and election sure, which implies that our election is conditional on our faithfulness, not unconditionally predestined or eternally secure.
  • 1:16-18 refers to the Transfiguration.
  • 1:20-21 is a classic text on prophecy, indicating that the prophecies of Scripture were inspired by the Holy Spirit. They were not just the prophet's own ideas. Experts disagree on whether OT prophecies or NT prophecies of Christ's return are primarily in view (in other words, whether this statement connects to doubt about Christ's return in chapter 3).
  • 2 Peter 2 seems to have largely been borrowed from Jude or a common source with Jude. The examples of false teaching are roughly in the same order but in a less specific and more generic form (e.g., 2 Peter 2's version doesn't engage apocalyptic literature so directly).
  • The primary purpose of 2 Peter would seem to be to encourage those who are distressed because Jesus has not yet returned. These verses have the well known reminder that "a day is like a thousand years" with God.
  • There are differing interpretations of the "fathers" (NIV, ancestors) in 3:4. The NIV has translated it to sound like it means the OT fathers. Others think it refers to the earliest Christian fathers. In other words, some will eventually say, "It's been years since Peter and the early Christian prophets have died, yet Jesus hasn't come back yet."
  • 3:10-13 speaks of the destruction of the world by fire and then the creation of a new heaven and new earth.
  • 3:15-16 speak of Paul's letters as Scriptures. I would argue that Paul's letters have even been loosed from their contexts. If 2 Peter is for all Christians, then Paul's letters now address "you," all Christians, and not just the Romans, Corinthians, Thessalonians, etc. This is a striking step in the development of the early canon.
  • We need to be found spotless and blameless as we face the judgment.
Thoughts on Jude
  • Written by another one of Jesus' earthly brothers
  • Written to all Christians
  • Warns against false teaching and largely consists of a list of false teachers from the past
  • 1:6 refers to the fallen angels of 1 Enoch just as 1 Peter 3 probably does.
  • This argument between the archangel Michael and the Devil seems to refer to a story in a lost Jewish work called the Assumption of Moses.
  • 1:12 probably refers to the way the early church did communion--as a love feast, like a modern pot luck or pitch in dinner.
  • Here Jude quotes 1 Enoch 1.9.
Personally meaningful:
  • What a great closing benediction Jude has! God is able to keep us from falling (which of course implies that we can fall). God wants to present us in the kingdom without fault.

1 comment:

Jon Ward said...

Love your concise summations. Reading them most every day after my daily reading. Thanks again.