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2 Peter Chapters 1 through 3 - Christogenea on Talkshoe 03-23-2012
Here are the comments of Eusebius on 2 Peter, from his Ecclesiastical History, Book 3: Chapter III. The Epistles of the Apostles.
“1 One epistle of Peter, that called the first, is acknowledged as genuine. And this the ancient elders used freely in their own writings as an undisputed work. But we have learned that his extant second Epistle does not belong to the canon; yet, as it has appeared profitable to many, it has been used with the other Scriptures. 2 The so-called Acts of Peter, however, and the Gospel which bears his name, and the Preaching and the Apocalypse, as they are called, we know have not been universally accepted, because no ecclesiastical writer, ancient or modern, has made use of testimonies drawn from them. 3 But in the course of my history I shall be careful to show, in addition to the official succession, what ecclesiastical writers have from time to time made use of any of the disputed works, and what they have said in regard to the canonical and accepted writings, as well as in regard to those which are not of this class.” From a footnote (20): “Although disputed by many, as already remarked, and consequently not looked upon as certainly canonical until the end of the fourth century, the epistle was yet used, as Eusebius says, quite widely from the time of Origen on, e.g. by Origen, Firmilian, Cyprian, Hippolytus, Methodius, etc. The same is true, however, of other writings, which the Church afterward placed among the Apocrypha.”
Translated by Arthur Cushman McGiffert. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 1. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1890.)
So Eusebius doubted the legitimacy of the Second Epistle of Peter, but Cyprian and Hippolytus and other later Christian writers quoted from it. Eusebius was not, in my perception, a bad man. He wrote a lot of good things which we can certainly find to be agreeable. This is even in spite of the fact that his attitudes in many instances were very Roman Catholic, before there were any Roman Catholics as we know them, and therefore to me he was a proto-Catholic, in the later and perverted sense of the word. I would not necessarily expect all of the earliest Christian writers to even know of an epistle which Peter had written to only a few of the assemblies of Anatolia, and imagine that it may well have taken some time to get around. Especially since Eusebius claimed only that “we have learned that his extant second Epistle does not belong to the canon”, yet Eusebius does not ever state how such a thing had actually been learned, and therefore his statement amounts to hearsay against those writers earlier than he was, namely Cyprian and Hippolytus, who did accept the epistle as genuine. There are further allusions to the epistle, or so it seems, in the writings of Clement and Justin.
As it was explained when I discussed the first epistle of Peter here some weeks ago, the language of that first letter is considered to be the highly polished work of an educated man. The language of the second epistle is often quite rough and not eloquent at all. The differences are easily accounted if it is understood that 1 Peter, which is more or less a formal treatise, was probably related by Peter and written by Silvanos, which is evident in 1 Peter 5:12 where it says “By Silvanos the faithful brother, as I reckon, I have written to you”, and 2 Peter was more of an informal letter that Peter may have written himself since no one else is mentioned. Both epistles are written to the same audience, as it is mentioned in 2 Peter 3:1 where it says that “this is now, beloved, the second letter I write to you”. Therefore that Silvanos was not mentioned in this epistle is further evidence that Peter wrote it himself, Silvanos not being present. There is also a mention in the writings of Clement, that someone named Glaucias (a name which can mean bright-eyed, gray-eyed or blue-eyed) was the “interpreter of Peter”, however there is no evidence that could apply here, so I will dismiss it for what remains to be discussed.
The greetings at the beginning of each of the two epistles are very similar, where it says in each “favor to you and peace be multiplied”. The vocabulary of the two epistles also supports the argument for a single author, but different writers. In the first epistle, Peter is only Petros (1 Peter 1:1), seemingly consistent with an address that was probably by the Greek Silvanos. In the second epistle he is Sumeon Petros, reflecting his own Hebrew background by the use of the name Sumeon, the common Hebrew form of Simon, and with his use of his own birth name along with the name Petros, which he was given by Christ, he betrays himself as the author. In the Book of Acts and Gospels he is Simon, Petros, or Simon Petros, and the Greek form of the name is used - according to the Moulton-Geden Concordance to the Greek Testament. The Hebrew name Sumeon appears several times in Luke and Acts to refer to other men, and once in the Revelation to refer to the patriarchal tribe, but it never appears of Simon Peter except here. I can say that with confidence, because using the Moulton-Geden Concordance, I examined the text of the NA27, the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece, and among all the variations of all of the major ancient manuscripts which it includes, there is not a single instance of the name Simon being written in the Hebrew form Sumeon anywhere that it applies to Peter, except here. This, I believe, is strong evidence for accepting this epistle as having been written by Peter, since it is highly unlikely that any forger would change the form of his name to a form which the Gospels themselves never used, and which Peter - or rather Silvanus - did not use in the first epistle.
There are, by some counts, 100 common words between the two epistles, but nearly 600 words which are found in only one of them. That is not an abnormal ratio for two different letters. While there are many synonyms found in one epistle and not the other, such as athemitos and athesmos (lawless), logizomai and hêgeomai (to think or consider), martus and epoptês (a witness), hupogrammos and hupodeigma (an example or model), and poios and potapos (of what kind or sort), these are easily accounted for by understanding that a different writer penned the first epistle for Peter, and must have preferred different words to represent these ideas. While Koine, or common, Greek was the universal language of the period, it is clear in a study of the period's literature that there were dialects even of that, that the Koine Greek of the east speakers preferred different words and styles than those of the west. Even Westcott and Hort attempted to classify Biblical manuscripts according to differences in regional dialects, Syrian, Alexandrian, Western, and Neutral being the categories they assigned according to the many minor differences among ancient manuscripts.
The authorship of 2 Peter is also disputed because there are different but nearly synonymous phrases used from one epistle to the other. These are notably the phrases “from the foundation of the society”, πρὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου, (1Peter 1:20) instead of “from the beginning of creation”, ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς κτίσεως, (2 Peter 3:4), yet the Revelation itself also used both of these exact terms (3:14; 13:8 and 17:8). Also pointed out is the difference in the use of the phrase “the previous desires”, ταῖς πρότερον ... ἐπιθυμίαις, (1 Peter 1:14) and then in the second epistle “the former sins”, τῶν πάλαι ... ἁμαρτιῶν (2 Peter 1:9). Yet Paul also makes similar phrases, saying that “we also had all at one time conducted ourselves, in the desires of our flesh” at Ephesians 2:3, and also where he says “that which concerns the former mode of life, the old man which is perishing in accordance with the desires of deceit” at Ephesians 4:22, using terms very similar to Peter's “previous desires” as allegorical synonyms for sin, and therefore this argument is absolutely invalid. The term is not even understood by universalists, because Biblically it only applies to the children of Israel who turned from Yahweh their God to idolatry.
Some writers claim that in these epistles “a significant divergence in theological vocabulary occurs with respect to the coming of Christ”, because in 1 Peter the word used is apokalupsis, or revelation, at 1:7, 13 and 4:13, but in 2 Peter, the term used is parousia, or presence, at 1:16 and 3:4 and 12. It is foolishly argued in reference to Peter that an author would demonstrate consistency of theological terminology from one letter to the next to represent this idea. Overlooked is the fact that Paul used parousia at least a half dozen times to refer to the second coming of Christ, and James used it twice, and John once, to refer to that same thing. Yet Paul also used apokalupsis at least four times to describe that same thing, and John wrote the book which bears that very name, so this argument is also absolutely invalid, lest we be led to believe that there were also different authors of the works of John and Paul.
As it has been noted, 1 & 2 Peter have 100 words in common and, more significant than the differences between the letters, there are several words and phrases which are used in 1 & 2 Peter that either occur only in these two letters or are relatively rare elsewhere in the New Testament. Among these are aretê, virtue, (2 Peter 1:3, 5; 1 Peter 2:9, only Paul used the word elsewhere in the NT, on just one occasion); anastrophê, conduct, (1 Peter 1:15, 18; 2:12; 3:1, 2, 16 ; 2 Peter 2:7; 3:11, Paul and James both used the term, but Peter used it often and in both epistles); anastrephomai, toconduct as a verb, (1 Peter 1:17 ; 2 Peter 2:18, Paul also used the term in this sense); aspilos kai amômos [or amômêtos],blameless and spotless, (1 Peter 1:19; 2 Peter 3:14, in the Bible the phrase is peculiar to Peter); apothesis, a putting off, (1 Peter 3:21; 2 Peter 1:14, in the NT the word is peculiar to Peter); epoptês or epopteuô, an eyewitness or to be an eyewitness, (1 Peter 2:12; 3:2; 2 Peter 1:16, in the NT the words are peculiar to Peter); astêriktos, unstable, (1 Peter 2:14; 3:16) and its opposite stêrigmos, support, (2 Peter 3:17), both words are peculiar to Peter in the NT; pepautai hamartias, he has ceased from sin, (1 Peter 4:1) and the opposite akatapaustos hamartias, never ceasing from sin (2 Peter 2:14), again these usages are peculiar to Peter; aselgeia, indecency, (1 Peter 4:3; 2 Peter 2:2, 7, 18, used four times by Paul and once in Mark, which also may well belong to Peter); and auxanein, the use of the word for growth as a metaphor to describe spiritual progress, (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18, which Paul also used in like manner). So here we see that there are terms which only appear in Peter's two epistles, and other terms which appear only a few times outside of these two epistles in the same way that they are used by Peter in both of his epistles. This too is a strong case for accepting the author of this second epistle of Peter as being Peter.
I 1 Sumeon Petros servant and ambassador of Yahshua Christ, to those who have obtained by fate with us an equally valued faith in the righteousness of our God and Savior Yahshua Christ,
The Hebrew form of the name is used here, rather than the Greek. In 1 Peter he was simply Petros, while in the Acts and Gospels he is Simon, Petros, or Simon Petros. This is the only place that he is Sumeon, and shows not only that a Hebrew wrote this epistle, but it most likely had to be Peter himself since this form of the name was never used of Peter anywhere else. Silvanos wrote his first epistle for him, and so he was Simon. Peter himself wrote this epistle, and thus he was Sumeon.
Peter writes his epistle “to those who have obtained by fate...an equally valued faith”. Strong’s # 2975, λαγχάνω, is according to Liddell & Scottto obtain by lot, by fate, or by the will of the gods. There are many ways in Greek to say “obtain”, but here Peter uses a specific word which indicates that this obtaining was by the will of God. Since the decrees of Yahweh are spelled out in the Old Testament prophets and nowhere else, and since the Old Testament prophets tell us that this obtaining is only for the children of Israel, both the dispersed and the still-circumcised, we certainly cannot assume that Peter was including anyone else in his message here. While back in Acts Chapter 10 Peter evidently did not understand this, he surely shows an understanding here about 30 years later. The words are reminiscent of Peter's statement as recorded in Acts 11:17, where he says of those of the household of Cornelius: “Therefore if Yahweh gave to them the same gift as also to us, believing upon the Prince Yahshua Christ, am I anyone who was able to prevent Yahweh?” This first verse shows once again, as it was evidenced in Peter's first epistle, that the intended audience is not those of the circumcision, but those of the nations, those of the earlier dispersions of Israel, who had long been the so-called uncircumcision.
2 favor to you and peace be multiplied in the knowledge of our God and Prince Yahshua,
The phrase rendered here “our God and Prince Yahshua” is a hendiadys in Greek, a construction of the language that indicates the two nouns, in this case “god” and “prince”, or “lord”, mean to refer to a single entity. Peter is declaring in his grammar that Yahshua Christ is his God. The phrase may have been rendered “of our God, even Yahshua our Prince”. The codices Sinaiticus and Alexandrinus both have the word Christ accompanying the name Yahshua here, but do not disturb the grammar.
3 as His divine power has given to us all things which are for life and piety through the knowledge of He who has called us into His own honor and virtue, 4 by which He has given to us precious and very great promises, in order that through these you would be partakers of the divine nature, fleeing from the corruption in Society in lust.
This does not of course assert that these promises are new with Christ. Rather, these promises have always been offered to our race. Paul wrote at Romans 15: “8 Therefore I say, Yahshua Christ came to be a minister of circumcision in behalf of the truth of Yahweh; for the confirmation of the promises of the fathers; 9 and the Nations for the sake of mercy honor Yahweh; just as it is written, 'For this reason I will profess you among the Nations, and I will sing of Your name.' 10 And again it says, 'Rejoice, Nations with His people.' 11 And again, 'Praise Yahweh, all the Nations, and commend Him, all the people.' 12 And again, Isaiah says, 'There shall be the root of Iessai, and He is arising to be ruler of nations: upon Him the Nations have expectation.'” Only the nations of the children of Israel ever had that expectation, as Paul defines the faith of Abraham in Romans chapter 4.
Here Peter mentions honor and virtue in connection with the calling of God. Paul used that word for virtue once, in Philippians 4:18. The only other place this Greek word for virtue, aretê, appears in the New Testament is in verse 5 below, and in 1 Peter 2:9, where Peter said “But you are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, so that you should proclaim the virtues for which from out of darkness you have been called into the wonder of His light”.
To be “partakers of the divine nature”: this passage supports, and is supported by, my understanding of John 1:12, as I have translated it, where it says of Christ: “But as many who received Him, He gave to them the authority which the children of Yahweh are to attain...”, which is our Christian expectation.
5 And for this same thing also besides applying all earnestness you provide virtue in addition to your faith, and with the virtue knowledge, 6 and with the knowledge self-control, and with the self-control endurance, and with the endurance piety, 7 and with the piety brotherly love, and with the brotherly love charity.
These are all things which Paul also taught, for instance at Hebrews 10:23-24 where he wrote that “we should hold fast the profession of the expectation without wavering; for He making the promise is trustworthy. And we should consider one another, in regard to stimulation of love and of good deeds”. Brotherly love, as Peter says here, should come with charity. Paul placed love with good deeds, which would describe those things which we do for our brethren. James said in chapter 2 of his epistle “14 What is the benefit, my brethren, if one should claim to have faith, but does not have works? Is faith able to save him? 15 If a brother or sister becomes naked and lacking daily food, 16 and one from among you should say to them: “Go in peace, be warm and fed”, but you would not give to them the provisions for the body, what is the benefit? 17 Thusly also faith, if it should not have works, is by itself dead.” So we see in Peter, with brotherly love we must have charity towards our brethren.
8 For these things belonging to you and abounding are set down for the knowledge of our Prince Yahshua Christ neither to be idle nor fruitless.
If we do not have these things, then any claim we may make to know Christ is a false one.
9 Indeed in he whom these things are not present, he is blind, being short-sighted, possessing a forgetfulness of the cleansing of his old errors.
One of the consequences of disobedience, Deuteronomy 28:28: “The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart.”
10 On which account still more, brethren, you be earnest to make your calling and election firm. For doing these things you shall by no means fail at any time.
Isaiah 45:4 “For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.” These things are never promised or spoken of for anyone but the literal children of Israel. At 1 Peter 2:9-10 Peter quotes Hosea in reference to the dispersed ancient Israelites, which shows that his intended audience in these letters are indeed those very people.
This message in 2 Peter is in several ways very much like Paul's epistle to the Hebrews, at chapter 10: “14 With one offering He has perfected for perpetuity those being sanctified. 15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us, thereafter having said: 16 'This is the covenant which I will devise for them after those days, says Yahweh, giving my laws upon their hearts, I will also inscribe them upon their minds, 17 and their errors and lawlessness I will not at all remember hereafter.' 18 Now where there is a discharge of these, no longer is there an offering for wrongdoing. 19 Therefore brethren, having liberty into the entrance of the holy places in the blood of Yahshua 20 by a new and living way through the veil which He has consecrated for us, that is, of His flesh, 21 and a great priest over the household of Yahweh, 22 we should approach with a true heart, in certainty of faith having purified the hearts from a wicked conscience, and having washed the body in pure water 23 we should hold fast the profession of the expectation without wavering; for He making the promise is trustworthy. 24 And we should consider one another, in regard to stimulation of love and of good deeds, 25 not forsaking the gathering of ourselves together, as is a habit with some, but encouraging, and by so much more as you see the day approaching.”
11 For thusly shall there be richly provided to you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Prince and Savior Yahshua Christ.
The only way that the Kingdom of God can be established on earth is that the people of God on earth choose obedience over sin. "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." - 2 Chronicles 7:14
Those of us who choose obedience now, send our sins ahead to the judgement, as Paul explains in his epistles to Timothy. Upon doing that we pray that we do not suffer trial in the flesh. Those of us who do not cease from sin can expect to suffer trial in the flesh. All Israel shall be saved, however many of us shall be tried again and again because of our sin. Yahweh chastises those whom He loves. Therefore we should expect trials to befall us, since all men sin.
12 On which account I am always going to remind you concerning these things even though you know and are established in the present truth.
Peter is not telling these people anything that they have not already learned. Therefore Peter is writing with the purpose of fortifying what these people have already learned from others. This supports the assertion that Peter wrote both of these epistles to those very assemblies in Anatolia which Paul had founded earlier in his ministry.
13 Now I deem it righteous, for as long as I am in this tabernacle, to arouse you by reminder, 14 knowing that soon is the putting aside of my tabernacle, just as also our Prince Yahshua Christ has shown me, 15 and I shall also be diligent that on every occasion you have a mention to do these things after my departure.
This tabernacle is this fleshly body, which is the true temple of the Spirit of God, as both Yahshua Christ and Paul also often taught. Here we see that Peter believed his own death to be imminent at the time of his writing. There is a strong tradition in the early Christian writings, that Peter was in Rome and died there. Some of those writings go so far as to say that Peter together with Paul founded the “church”, or assembly, in the singular, which was at Rome. Yet in the epistle of Paul to the Romans, it is quite clear that there was not one “church”, but “churches”, or assemblies, in the plural, at Rome long before Paul ever visited the city, that those assemblies contained people both of the circumcision and the uncircumcision, and there is no mention of Peter's being there or having ever been there at all. Whether Peter was in Rome later and whether he was actually in Rome when he was martyred is immaterial. In Peter's first epistle, in the closing remarks, he indicates that he was at Babylon - which is consistent with his mission to the circumcision. And in fact, when Paul arrived at Rome, many of the circumcision, the prominent Judaeans of the city, came out to see him, as if they had not yet heard the gospel from an apostle but had only heard the many negative things which were being spread concerning Christianity. This is readily evident in Acts chapter 28:
“17 And it came to pass that after three days there were summoned to him those who were leaders of the Judaeans. And upon their gathering he said to them: 'I, brother men, doing nothing against the people or the customs of the fathers, have been delivered a captive from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans, 18 who examining me wished to release me because of there not being any guilt of death in me. 19 But upon the Judaeans’ speaking in opposition I was compelled to appeal to Caesar, not as if having anything to accuse my nation of. 20 Therefore for this reason I have summoned you, to see and to speak with you: for because of the hope of Israel I am wrapped in this chain!' 21 But they said to him 'We have not received letters from the Judaeans concerning you, nor have any of the brethren arriving reported or spoken anything bad about you. 22 But we think it worthy to hear from you the things which you think, since concerning this sect it is known to us that it is spoken against everywhere.' 23 And arranging a day with him many came into the lodging to him, to whom he affirming exhibited the Kingdom of Yahweh, and persuading them concerning Yahshua both from the law of Moses and the prophets, from early until evening. 24 And indeed some were persuaded by the things being spoken, but some did not believe. 25 And not being in agreement with each other they were released upon Paul’s speaking one word, that 'Well did the Holy Spirit speak through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers, 26 saying ‘You must go to this people and say: Hearing you shall hear and should by no means understand, and looking you shall look and should by no means see! 27 For the hearts of this people are grown fat, and with the ears they hear with difficulty, and their eyes have closed, that at no time should they see with the eyes, and hear with the ears, and understand in their hearts, that they should repent, and I shall heal them.’ 28 Therefore it must be known by you, that to the Nations is this salvation of Yahweh sent, and they shall listen!' 30 And he abode for two whole years in his own hired house and received all those coming in to him, 31 proclaiming the Kingdom of Yahweh and teaching the things concerning the Prince Yahshua Christ with all freespokenness unhindered.”
The fact that there is no mention of Peter here, and that Paul wrote to assemblies, and not to a single great assembly, leads me to distrust the testimonies of the early Christian writers as we have them today, as being too supportive of some of the misgivings of the later Roman Catholic Church. Many of those early Christian writings did not come into existence for several centuries after Peter's death, and the tradition that Peter and Paul founded the Roman “church” was obviously an early one, already extant in the time of Eusebius, but that does not mean that it was true. The editors of the volumes of The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Translations of the writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325 state that “the Roman imprisonment and martyrdom of St. Peter seem historical”, and that is possible, but still does not prove that Peter founded the Roman Church – something for which there is no authentic evidence at all, and which the Book of Acts and Epistle of Paul to the Romans seem to refute. It makes more sense that Peter was in Rome later (if at all) since the Gospel of Mark contains some Latin words and therefore may have been written for a Greek-speaking Roman audience, and we know from many early Christian writers that it was Peter's testimonies which Mark recorded. The earlier Clement - if indeed the citations are accepted as being original - has Peter preaching and martyred in Rome, the later Irenaeus has Peter, and Paul, “laying the foundations of the church” there, and as early as Eusebius the claim is made that Peter and Paul founded the “church”, in the singular, in Rome. Therefore the Catholic tradition developed over the centuries, but it was not at all original. The editors of The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Translations of the writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325 also demonstrate that there were indeed some Roman Catholic interpolations of the works of Cyprian, where his writing seems to support later Romish Church doctrines, found to be fraudulent through a comparison of older manuscripts.
Those who protest these assessments claim that Peter could not have been in Babylon, since Babylon was desolate at the time of the apostles. They then claim that in Peter's epistles Babylon is a code-word for Rome. Many of these voices, supporters of Catholicism, would then deny that the mention of Mystery Babylon in the Revelation has anything at all to do with the Catholic Church. In truth, the city Babylon was indeed in a state of decay from the second century BC, and much of the formerly great city lay desolate. However it was not completely uninhabited, and the name may refer to the district and towns around the city as well as to the ancient city itself. Later in history Mani, who was born circa 210 AD and who was the founder of that heresy known as Manichaeism, was a resident of Babylon. Later, both the Mishnah and the Gemara, the primary components of the Babylonian Talmud, were completed in writing at Babylon, between 200 and 500 AD. The jewish communities of northern Africa and the Mediterranean were sending to Babylon for their rabbis well into the sixth century AD.
Also seeming to work against the idea that Peter was in Rome founding Christian assemblies is the chronology. Paul says in Galatians that he was in Damascus for 3 years after his conversion, and then went to Jerusalem to see Peter. Again, 14 years after his conversion (or perhaps after the first visit, the text is ambiguous) Paul went to Jerusalem again and Peter was still there. The corresponding events are recorded in Acts chapter 15. The crucifixion was in 32 AD. Therefore Peter was still in Jerusalem in 35 AD and in 46 AD, and perhaps as late as 49 AD. The famous edict of Claudius expelling all Christians and Judaeans from Rome was in effect from 49 AD to 54 AD at the death of Claudius. Paul was sent to Rome in bonds around 60 AD, and James is slain in Jerusalem a year or two later. Peter is never mentioned as being in Rome, Peter says he was in Babylon, and the assemblies of Rome are well founded by this time, proof of that being that Paul wrote them from Corinth [correction: from the Troad (WRF 11/8/2013)] shortly after the death of Claudius, between 56 and 58 AD, and Peter is not mentioned in the long list of people which Paul greets. It is highly unlikely that Peter was ever in Rome before this time.
Acts 18:1-3: “1 After these things departing from Athens he went into Korinth. 2 And finding a certain Judaean named Akulas, of Pontus by birth, recently having come from Italy, and Priskilla his wife, on account of Klaudios ordering all of the Judaeans to depart from Rome, he went with them 3 and because being in the same trade he abode with them and they worked, for they were tentmakers by trade.”
16 For not following after cleverly devised myths have we made known to you the power and presence of our Prince Yahshua Christ, but having been spectators of His majesty.
Peter claims not to be passing along myths, but to be passing along what he has witnessed personally. Likewise John opens his first epistle in this manner: “1 That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we have observed, and our hands have touched concerning the Word of Life: 2 that the life was made manifest, and we have seen and we bear witness and we announce to you the eternal life which was with the Father and has been made manifest to us. 3 That which we have seen and we have heard, we announce also to you, that you also would have fellowship with us. Yet now our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Yahshua Christ. 4 And we write these things in order that our joy would be fulfilled.”
17 For receiving from Father Yahweh the dignity and honor of so great a voice having been produced for Him by the Magnificent Effulgence: “This is My beloved Son in whom I am pleased”, 18 and this voice we had heard having been produced from out of heaven, with Him being on the holy mountain.
Compared to the Gospels, there is an imperfection in the language here, which I am further inclined to believe shows that Peter indeed wrote this epistle. If one is merely a copyist, it may be supposed that one would strive to make an exact quotation of something. However if one is simply giving an informal testimony, one may more likely be susceptible to giving minor differences in the way one tells a story.
In Mark 9:7, where the account of the Transfiguration on the Mount which Peter refers to is given, all of the oldest and better copies of the manuscripts read “And there was a cloud overshadowing them, and there was a voice from out of the cloud: 'This is My beloved Son, you hear Him!'” Only in one manuscript, the Codex Sinaiticus, a later emendation of the text contains the words “in whom I am well pleased” rather than “you hear Him”. In Luke 9:35 where this event is recorded, except for a couple of differences that do not affect the point of the issue here, all of the oldest and best manuscripts have “And a voice came from the cloud saying 'This is My chosen Son, of Him you listen!'” However in Matthew we have an interesting version, where both clauses are present, and at 17:5 it says: “Yet upon His speaking, behold! A bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold! A voice from the cloud saying 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am pleased. You hear Him!'” Except for a minor difference, in the order of the last two words, the Greek of Matthew 17:5 is the same in all of the manuscripts.
Now a similar event happened, a voice from a cloud and the utterance from heaven that “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”, when Christ was baptized in the Jordan. This is recorded at Matthew 3:17, Mark 1:11 and Luke 3:22, and the testimonies of what was said in that instance are rather consistent. However here in the account of the Transfiguration, it is evident that Matthew gives the fullest version, while that given by Luke and Mark is not wrong, but simply for one reason or another not as complete as that given by Matthew. Years later, writing his epistle, it is apparent that a different yet incomplete, but not necessarily inaccurate, version of what was heard had stood out in Peter's mind. This seems to be consistent with fallible human recall, and not with the actions of a copyist.
From verse 9, Peter here talks about the cleansing of old sins, which refers to Israel, and then in verse 10 about the calling and election, promised only to Israel, and then about the promises of an entrance into the eternal kingdom in verse 11, and then about the putting off of the tabernacle in verse 13, and then he refers to the Transfiguration on the Mount in reference to those same promises. In the Transfiguration we saw that Moses and Elijah had appeared before the apostles, and were said to have spoken to Christ, even though they had both long departed from this world. Paul also referred to the body which we have in this world as a tabernacle, a temporary dwelling for that Spirit which is our true body.
From 2 Corinthians, chapter 5: “1 Therefore we know that if perhaps our earthly house of the tabernacle would be destroyed, we have a building from Yahweh, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 And we bemoan in this, yearning to be clothed with our dwelling which is from of heaven. 3 If indeed even being stripped, we shall not be found naked. 4 And indeed we who are being burdened in the tabernacle bemoan, since we wish not to be stripped, but to be clothed in order that the mortal would be consumed by life. 5 Now He who has been cultivating us for this same thing is Yahweh, who has been giving to us the deposits of the Spirit. 6 Therefore always having courage, and knowing that residing in the body, we sojourn away from the Prince; 7 indeed we walk by faith, not by that which is seen; 8 now we have courage, and we are still more pleased to travel out of the body and to reside with the Prince. 9 On which account we also strive eagerly, either residing at home or sojourning, to be pleasing to Him. 10 For we all must appear in front of the judgment seat of the Christ, in order that each should be provided for the things after the body, from that which he has practiced, whether good or bad. 11 Then knowing the awe of the Prince, we persuade men. Now to Yahweh we have been made known, but I also hope to have been made known in your consciences.”
So we see that the same belief in a conscious life after death which Peter displayed in the third chapter of his first epistle, is also evident here, and in the writings of Paul. That same belief was also expressed by the Greeks. For while last week in the context of the spirits in prison mentioned in 1 Peter chapter 3 we discussed Hades, the underworld abode of the dead. Yet here in this context we can discuss Olympus, and the Isles of the Blest said to be afar off in the western sea. The Greeks had the belief, as it was often expressed in the epic poetry and in later writings, that not every departed soul went to Tartaros, but that some of the fortunate among the departed went to Olympus to dwell with the gods, or to dwell in the Isles of the Blessed, as they are called in English. There was a similar myth among the Kelts, and of the Kelts (or Galatae, a Greek term which includes all Germans) writers such as Diodorus Siculus and Strabo said that they were fearless in battle, because they believed that even if they were killed, their spirits would never die. Thus in the early Germanic literature, we have Valhalla as well as Niflheim, a heaven as well as a hell. Again, our race has carried these stories since the dawn of time, and their realization in our Bibles should be a unifying factor among all Whites, as they were among the ancient Germanic warriors, since only our race has had such promises, and indeed we alone have them from God.
19 And we have a more certain word of prophecy, which you do well holding to as a light shining in a squalid place, until which day it should dawn and the Light-bearer should arise in your hearts,
The true light-bearer is Christ Himself. From John chapter 1: “1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Yahweh, and the Word was Yahweh. 2 He was in the beginning with Yahweh. 3 All things were through Him, and without Him was not even one thing. That which was done 4 in Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness; yet the darkness comprehends it not....9 The light was the truth, which coming into the Society enlightens every man. 10 He was in the Society, and the Society came to be through Him, yet the Society knew Him not....14 And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us, and we beheld His splendor, splendor as the most-beloved by the Father, full of favor and truth.” And from Revelation 22:16: “I Yahshua have sent My messenger to attest these things to you for the assemblies. I am the root and the offspring of David; the bright morning star!”
Ephesians 5:14: “For everything being made manifest is light. Therefore He says: 'Awaken, you who are sleeping, and rise up from among the dead, and Christ shall shine upon you.'”
20 knowing this first, that any prophecy of Scripture must not be of peculiar explanation, 21 for not at any time has prophecy been produced by the will of man, but being produced by the Holy Spirit men had spoken from Yahweh.
Prophecy must not be of peculiar explanation, in other words, there are no esoteric, so-called “spiritual” explanations of Scripture, which defy the plain meanings of the words themselves. 1 Peter 1:25, in part: “that which is spoken by Yahweh abides for eternity.” If “seed” means children, offspring, in the Old Testament, then “seed” means children, offspring, in the New Testament. Abraham's seed came from his loins. Israel is a nation which came from Rebecca's womb. At 2 Corinthians 14:18-19 Paul stated: “18 I give thanks to Yahweh speaking in more languages than all of you, 19 but in the assembly I wish to speak five words with my mind, in order that I may instruct others also, than a myriad of words in a language.” Instructing the assembly, Paul must have been using everyday language that his Greek listeners clearly understood. Therefore, when he said “seed”, he did not refer to any esoteric spiritual hocus-pocus. Rather, he meant the word just as the Greeks used it, and of people that only means to refer to one's own children, or offspring. That is why Paul referred to “Israel according to the flesh”, real Israel, and not the impostor Edomite jews, where he referred to the pagan nations of Europe in 1 Corinthians chapter 10: Paul knew that they were the descendants of the so-called “lost tribes”, and the Bible and the ancient history books and the archaeology all prove it! Likewise when Yahweh said in Isaiah chapter 45: “17But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end”, who could possibly imagine that some other Israel was meant, other than the literal, physical children of Jacob whom Isaiah was addressing? Any other interpretation is peculiar, because it evades the plain meaning of the Word. As it has been said here before, the apostles did not quote the Old Testament prophecies concerning Israel just because they sounded good, or because they provided nice things to write. Rather, the apostles quoted those scriptures because the people they were writing to were fulfilling those very oracles in their return to Yahweh their God through Christ! There is no other legitimate interpretation of Scripture, because any other interpretation is contrary to the plain meaning of Scripture, and therefore it is peculiar. As Paul says at 2 Timothy chapter 3: “16 All writing inspired of God is also beneficial for teaching, for evidence, for correction, for education which is in righteousness, 17 that the man of Yahweh would be perfect, having prepared himself for all good works.” But it is only helpful if we know what the words mean, and we do not need priests and popes for that purpose. We believe the plain word of Scripture, and therefore Christian Identity is the only true Christianity.