The Question of Scriptural Authority in Peter’s Second Epistle

Like the first epistle of Apostle Peter, the authorship of the second letter is dubious at best. Doubt about the authenticity of the letter date back to Origen. One point of consideration, and perhaps an argument against the authorship of the Apostle Peter, is that he notes that his death is imminent, as Jesus apparently told him (1:13-14). However one of the chief concerns with the letter is concerning the authority of scripture, which is based on eyewitness testimony,

The letter is not addressed to any particular group or church, but rather to ‘those who have received faith as precious as ours,’ echoes the image of a “calling” from God.

Peter mentions the authority of scripture, which he defines as prophetic messages that are “completely reliable” based upon his and others’s eyewitness testimony, such as Jesus receiving a voice from the heavens while on the holy mountain. And no scripture has originated from “human will” or “interpretation” but only from prophets as agents of the “Holy Spirit.” The tension between divine revelation and human profit is rife throughout this letter.

In Chapter 2, Peter prophecies the destruction of “false teachers” in the same way that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by God in the ‘Old Testament.’

At the end of the second epistle, Peter declares his objective for writing both letters: to bring “wholesome” thinking to the people. Peter references Paul’s letters as difficult to decipher with many important esoteric teachings. He reminds the people to keep watch for the ‘day of the Lord’ -for to God one day is akin to a thousand human years.

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