I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist—Really? by Kyle Butt, M.Div.



I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist—Really?

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

As I travel around the country delivering seminars on God’s existence, I am frequently engaged in conversations with people who understand that atheism is founded on many disproven assumptions. In the course of the discussion, the person will often say, “Atheism is founded on so many unproven assumptions. It takes more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a Christian. I just don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.” This sentiment was explicitly expressed by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek in the title of their book I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist (2004). While I understand and appreciate the motivation behind such a statement, I would like to suggest that it is ill-advised, and would urge Christians to reconsider framing the discussion in such terms. Here is why.

It is unfortunate for Christianity that numerous people misunderstand the basic concept of faith. For many in Christendom, faith is a warm feeling in their hearts when they have failed to find adequate evidence to justify their beliefs. Dictionaries have done much to ingrain this false definition of faith into modern Christianity. For instance, Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary states that faith is “a firm belief in something for which there is no proof” (1988). The American Heritage Dictionary gives as a primary definition of faith: “belief that does not rest on logical or material evidence” (2000, p. 636). The idea that faith is a fuzzy, emotional feeling that is divorced from logical thinking and “material evidence” does not coincide with what the Bible actually says about faith (cf. Sztanyo, 1996). As Sztanyo correctly noted: “There is not a single item in Christianity, upon which our souls’ salvation depends, that is only ‘probably’ true. In each case, the evidence supplied is sufficient to establish conclusive proof regarding the truth of the Christian faith” (1996, p. 7).

The false view that faith is “a leap in the dark” without adequate evidence is the concept that Christians have in mind when they say that it takes more faith to be an atheist than to be a Christian. According to a proper definition of biblical faith, however, it is only because of the rational justification and logical evidence available that true Christians hold to their beliefs (see Miller, 2003). What it takes to be an atheist is not biblical faith. To be an atheist, a person must choose to completely deny the concept of biblical faith and adopt an irrational allegiance to that which has been repeatedly disproven.

When Richard Dawkins states, “Christianity, just as much as Islam, teaches children that unquestioned faith is a virtue. You don’t have to make the case for what you believe” (p. 306), he manifests his lack of knowledge of what biblical faith is. Biblical faith is based on truth and reason, as the apostle Paul succinctly stated in Acts 26:25. The prophet Isaiah underscored this fundamental fact about biblical faith when He recorded God’s invitation to the Israelites: “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord” (1:18). Luke, in his introduction to the book of Acts, pressed the point that Jesus’ resurrection was attested by “many infallible proofs.” For one to believe in God, Jesus Christ, and the resurrection requires faith—based on infallible proofs.

Throughout the Bible those who had great faith were commended (Luke 7:9), and those who had little or no faith were sharply rebuked (Matthew 8:26; Mark 16:14). In fact, the Hebrews writer clearly stated that “without faith it is impossible to please Him [God], for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (11:6). Faith is a desirable characteristic by which a person assesses the available evidence and comes to a valid conclusion based on that evidence. By allowing the greater religious world and the skeptical community to redefine faith as something negative, we have done a serious disservice to the biblical concept of faith.

If atheists truly have faith, they should be commended for it; but they do not have faith. Instead, atheism is a failure to assess the evidence correctly and come to the proper conclusion. It is the exact opposite of true faith. Romans 1:20 shows the contrast between biblical faith and atheism. That verse says: “For since the creation of the world His [God’s] invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” In this passage, faith means coming to the proper, rational conclusion that there is a God based on the evidence of His creation. Irrational belief in spite of the evidence leads one to conclude that there is no God. To arrive at this atheistic conclusion is to kick evidence, reason, and faith to the curb and adopt a baseless form of improper reasoning supported only by subjective human whim—an approach that, sadly, will leave atheists “without excuse” on the Day of Judgment.

 The philosophy of atheism is fraught with logical inconsistency and error. It cannot account for the beginning of the Universe (Miller, 2011); it cannot give an adequate explanation for the obvious design in our world (Fausz, 2007); atheism completely fails to offer a satisfactory explanation of human morality (Lyons, 2011); and human freewill defies an atheistic explanation (Butt, 2010). To cling to atheism in the face of such overwhelming evidence takes an irrational belief that is motivated by something other than a sincere quest for truth and knowledge—it certainly is not true faith. So, in order to help the greater religious world and the skeptical community to understand what true faith is, let’s not misuse the word or attribute to atheism something it cannot rightly claim to have.


American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (2000), (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin), fourth edition.

Butt, Kyle (2010), “Biologist Uses His Free Will To Reject Free Will,” /APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2855.

Dawkins, Richard (2006), The God Delusion (New York: Houghton Mifflin).

Fausz, Jerry (2007), “Design Rules,” /apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=591.

Geisler, Norman and Frank Turek (2004), I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books).

Lyons, Eric (2011), “The Moral Argument for God’s Existence,” /APContent.aspx?category=12&article=4101&topic=95.

Miller, Dave (2003), “Blind Faith,” http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=444.

Miller, Jeff (2011), “God and the Laws of Science: The Law of Causality,” /APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3716.

Sztanyo, Dick (1996), Faith and Reason (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), http://apologeticspress.org/pdfs/e-books_pdf/far.pdf.

Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (1988), (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster).

Human Suffering by Eric Lyons, M.Min.



Human Suffering

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

All one has to do is walk through the halls of the nearest hospital or mental institution to see people of all ages suffering from various diseases and illnesses. Suffering is everywhere, and thus such questions as the following inevitably arise. “If there is a God, why am I afflicted with this illness?” “If there is a God, why was my son not allowed to see his sixteenth birthday?” “If there is a God, why are my parents afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease?” These and hundreds of similar questions have echoed from the human heart for millennia. They are as old as the first tear and as recent as the latest newscast.

For many people, the existence of pain and suffering serves as a great obstacle to belief in God. Skeptics and infidels, both past and present, have held that the existence of evil is an embarrassment for those who believe in God. One philosopher, J.L. Mackie, in an article titled “Evil and Omnipotence,” set out to show “not that religious beliefs lack rational support, but that they are positively irrational,” and “that the several parts of the essential theological doctrine are inconsistent with one another.”

How do theists reconcile the presence of suffering with the existence of an omnipotent and all-loving God? Some have argued that illness and other kinds of suffering are illusionary and spring from a false belief. Others have maintained that no explanation is necessary, because mere mortals should not have to justify the ways of God to men. But most Christians acknowledge that suffering is real and that it is a problem that deserves careful attention. Even though man cannot explain in specific detail all of the reasons for human suffering, the Bible gives enough answers to allow man to come to grips with the problem in general. Contrary to what many in this world believe, there are a number of logical reasons why people experience mental and physical pain. One of the main reasons is rooted in the fact that God is love (1 John 4:8), and that love allows freedom of choice.

Adam and Eve were presented with a choice in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:16-17). Israel was given the choice of serving the Lord or foreign gods (Joshua 24:15). Even today, man is a free moral agent with the ability to make his own choices (Revelation 22:17). God did not create man as a scientist creates a robot that automatically follows his master’s instructions without the choice of doing otherwise. Would God be loving if He created intelligent beings and then programmed them to slavishly serve Him? God granted mankind free will as an expression of His love. Sadly, man frequently brings suffering upon himself because of the wrong decisions he makes. The apostle Peter wrote: “But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters” (1 Peter 4:15, emp. added). When people suffer the consequences of their own wrong choices, they have no one to blame but themselves.

Man also suffers because of the personal wrong choices of others. If God allows one person freedom of choice, He must allow everyone that freedom to be consistent in His love for the world (God is no respecter of persons—Acts 10:34). Uriah the Hittite suffered because of David’s sins (2 Samuel 11), and ultimately was killed because of David’s attempt to hide the wrong decisions he had made. All of Egypt suffered because Pharaoh decided to keep the Israelites in Egypt when Moses told him to let them go (Exodus 7-12). Today, families may suffer because a father is thrown in jail for drunk driving. In such a case, he is the cause of the family’s suffering. If a man smokes all of his life and then eventually dies at an early age because of lung cancer, both he and his family suffer because of his decision to smoke. God is not to blame for man’s personal wrong choices, nor is He to blame for the wrong decisions that others have made.

We today also suffer on occasion because of the personal wrong choices of former generations. If man is able to reap benefits from the work of former generations (medical discoveries, technological advances, etc.), then it is only logical that he be able to suffer the consequences of the sins of former generations. [Although man does not inherit the sin of Adam, he does suffer because of the choice Adam made to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.] Who is partly to blame for millions starving in third-world countries today? Answer: Some of their ancestors. Years ago, because people accepted the false doctrine of reincarnation, they began teaching that it was wrong to eat cows because they might be eating a long-dead-but-now-reincarnated relative. The doctrine of reincarnation has deprived millions of people throughout the world of good health. Is God to blame when people will not eat the meat that could give them nourishment?

When one experiences suffering in his life, it often is because he has chosen to sin. He might be suffering the consequences of his own wrong decisions, the wrong decisions of others, or the wrong decisions of former generations. But regardless of the reason for the suffering he endures, God is not to blame.

Human Knowledge of Ice, Still Frozen by Kyle Butt, M.Div.



Human Knowledge of Ice, Still Frozen

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Many modern scientists who have jettisoned belief in a divine Creator like to pretend that “science” has it all figured out. We are told that modern scientific methods are able to tell us how the Universe spontaneously popped out of nothing and what happened 10-43 seconds after the initial Big Bang. Furthermore, we are informed that modern science adequately and eloquently has documented the transition of a single-celled life form into the complex organism known as man. In addition, we are told that there is no need for a belief in God, because humans have figured out everything important or are on their way to solving the last of the Universe’s unsolved mysteries.

Anyone familiar with true science knows, however, that such grandiose claims ring as hollow as a drum. Not only have atheistic, evolutionary scientists failed to offer reasonable ideas concerning the origin of the Universe and biological life, but human knowledge of some of the most basic structures remains extremely limited, to say the least.

Take ice formation, for instance. Humans have been interacting with ice and snow for thousands of years. Yet, for all the time humans have been studying the stuff, we know precious little about its formation. Science writer Margaret Wertheim admitted: “In an age when we have discovered the origin of the universe and observed the warping of space and time, it is shocking to hear that scientists do not understand something as seemingly paltry as the format of ice crystals. But that is indeed the case” (2006, p. 177). While Weytheim is wrong about science discovering the origin of the Universe (people for millennia have known the true origin of the Cosmos to be God), she is right that human ignorance glares at us through the simple structure of an ice crystal.

How can humans claim to know so much, and claim to be at the pinnacle of all knowledge, intellect, and wisdom, and yet not be able to explain how something as seemingly simple as ice forms? As God told the prophet Jeremiah, “If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses?” (12:5).

When Job questioned God’s care, God condescended to speak with the suffering patriarch. Yet God’s answers were nothing Job expected to hear. God did not begin by offering a reasoned defense of why He was allowing Satan to torment Job. Instead, God asked Job questions that exhibited Job’s ignorance and pathetic frailty. He asked Job where Job was when God “laid the foundations of the earth” (38:4). God further queried if Job could bind the constellations together, or control rain and weather (38: 31-35). In the middle of God’s inquisition, He asked Job: “From whose womb comes the ice? And the frost of heaven, who gives it birth? The waters harden like stone, and the surface of the deep is frozen” (38:29-30). God was asking Job if he understood ice and its formation. Job’s answer to God’s interrogation shows his honest heart. He said to God: “Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know” (42:3).

Would to God that our modern, “enlightened” generation of thinkers would recognize that, just as Job, we still cannot explain even some of the most “paltry” physical reactions as the formation of ice crystals. That being the case, the only correct inference from such is to conclude that the Intelligence that created ice and initiated the laws of its formation is vastly superior in every way to human intelligence. Margaret Wertheim is an evolutionist, but she was forced to concede: “Though they melt on your tongue, each tiny crystal of ice encapsulates a universe whose basic rules we have barely begun to discern.” All rules and laws demand the presence of a lawgiver, and the humble snowflake manifests the fact that our Universe’s Lawgiver has thoughts that are supremely higher than human thoughts, and ways that are higher than man’s ways (Isaiah 55:9).


Wertheim, Margaret (2006), What We Believe But Cannot Prove: Today’s Leading Thinkers on Science in the Age of Certainty, ed. John Brockman (New York: Harper).

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" Jesus Blesses Little Children (10:13-16) by Mark Copeland



Jesus Blesses Little Children (10:13-16)


1. Jesus had just finished His teachings on the sanctity of marriage...
   a. As an institution ordained of God
   b. As a bond that should not be broken

2. When parents brought their little children...
   a. To be touched by Him - Mk 10:13
   b. To lay His hands on them and pray - cf. Mt 19:13

[It begins with frustration and indignation, but ends with valuable
teaching regarding discipleship and a touching scene of the Lord holding
and blessing the little children.  Let's begin by considering...]


      1. The verb tense suggest the parents' persistence ("kept on bringing") - Mk 10:13
      2. Mark uses a word (paidia) that can mean children up to twelve,
         while Luke uses a word (brephos) that indicates infants - Lk 18:15
      3. Mark later says Jesus "took them up in His arms", suggestive of infants - Mk 10:15
      -- The parents desperately wanted Jesus to touch and pray for their babies

      1. The disciples rebuke those who were bringing the children - Mk 10:13
      2. Perhaps they believed Jesus too important to be disturbed, the
         infants too insignificant
      -- The disciples again show mistaken zeal, as we are all wont to do

      1. When Jesus saw what His disciples were doing, He was indignant - Mk 10:14
      2. The infants were to be allowed, "for of such is the kingdom of God" - ibid.
      3. In fact, one must receive the kingdom "as a little child" to enter it - Mk 10:15
      -- Jesus was angry with His disciples, but He used the opportunity to teach them

      1. He first took them up into His arms, laid His hands on them - Mk 10:16
      2. He then blessed them, likely in the form of praying for them - cf. Mt 19:13
      -- While busy in His ministry, Jesus took time to pray for these babies

[The scene of Jesus blessing the little children is a touching one.
What applications might we draw from this episode in the ministry of Jesus...?]


      1. Some use this passage to support infant baptism
         a. Though the earliest mention of infant baptism is around 200 A.D.
         b. It began only after the doctrine of original sin developed,
            that infants are born in sin
         c. The practice increased as baptism became viewed as a sign or
            seal of the covenant God has with His people, akin to circumcision - cf. Gen 17:10-12
         d. This connection is further assumed from Paul's mention of
            baptism as a spiritual circumcision - cf. Col 2:11-12
         e. Yet both here and in Colossians, it is reading into the text (eisegesis) what is not there
      2. Contrary to Biblical evidence regarding baptism and the new covenant
         a. There is no real evidence of infant baptism in the scriptures
         b. The guilt of sin is not inherited - Eze 18:20
         c. Baptism requires faith and repentance, of which infants are
            incapable - Mk 16:16; Ac 8:37; 2:38
         d. In the new covenant, no one has to be taught to know the
            Lord; unlike the old covenant where infants had to be taught
            to know the Lord (infant baptism would make that distinction
            of the new covenant meaningless) - cf. He 8:6-13
         e. Paul's comparison of baptism to circumcision pertains to the
            act of cutting away, not of being a seal or sign of the covenant - Col 2:11-12
      -- Reading cherished views into the Scriptures is tempting, but is
         it rightly handling the Word of God? - cf. 2Ti 2:15

      1. Receiving the kingdom
         a. Jesus used the children to teach qualities necessary to enter the kingdom of God
         b. Childlike virtues like trustful simplicity, unassuming humility - cf. Psa 131:1-2
         c. To receive the kingdom, we must be poor in spirit, meek - cf. Mt 5:3,5; Mt 18:3-4
      2. Receiving the children
         a. Jesus demonstrates His love for children, willingness to take time for them
         b. His disciples should show similar concern for little children
         c. Are we willing to make time for children?  Be good role models? - cf. Mt 18:6,10
      3. Praying for the children
         a. All children need our prayers, just as the parents requested for their infants
         b. Even though infants may not be in a state of sin, their time will come soon enough
         c. Especially in this day and age, where children are bombarded with so much evil
      -- Others may read into the scriptures, let's to read out of them what the Lord intended


1. Have we taken to heart the lessons Jesus intended for His disciples...?
   a. To receive the kingdom of God with a childlike trust and humility?
   b. To show an appreciation and love for little children?
   c. To pray for them and their parents?

2. May we as disciples of Christ never be too busy...
   a. To take time for the littlest of children
   b. To learn from them as to how we should be in the kingdom of God
   c. To pray for them, to encourage them in both word and deed

         "...for of such is the kingdom of God." - Mk 10:14     

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Is it Wrong for Churches to Cancel Services? by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman



Is it Wrong for Churches to Cancel Services?

This question raised today reminds me of the old joke about the politician who was asked by a reporter his position on a particular issue.

“Well, there are two ways to look at it,” he responded. Then launched into a lengthy explanation of both views, giving both the pros and cons of the respective positions. He concluded by saying he had friends on both sides of the question.

“But what’s your position?” the reporter pressed.

“I agree with my friends,” the politician replied.

I’ve heard a good bit about the wisdom of cancelling church services in the past two weeks. There have been different approaches because of the global pandemic caused by COVID-19. Some have completely cancelled. Others cut back to one service. Some larger churches have divided the congregation into two separate groups. Several are using live streaming for their members to worship at home.

All of this has evoked some criticism. I’ve heard and read that the faithfulness of those cancelling services has been questioned. Shepherds have had their wisdom challenged, and even condemned. Others are calling this a form of government oppression. And faith in God has been impugned.

These are unwarranted and unfounded accusations. I’m persuaded of better motives of pastors, preachers and churches who cancel services. In the beginning, I personally questioned cancelling services, but kept my opinion to myself. However, as this unfolds and the virus spreads, it seems that it is prudent to take these precautions.

Several thoughts come to mind.

(1) I don’t recall hearing wide-spread criticism of cancelling services when a hurricane was bearing down on the Florida coast. Or when a snow storm hit the Midwest. Out of concern for the health, well-being and safety of the members, closing the doors until the danger passed was a wise decision. This is a different kind of danger. But a danger nonetheless that needs to be taken seriously.

(2) Local churches are just that. Local. They are self-governing. And autonomous. It’s ironic that we’ve pled for elders shepherd the church among them in response to para-church and institutional organizations, but now some criticize elders for the decision of their local church. Shepherds have not made this decision lightly or flippantly. It’s been difficult and done with prayerful consideration.

(3) The government is not forbidding us to worship God. Acts 5:29 doesn’t apply here. They are serving the needs of its citizens. Seeking to protect our health and welfare. Once this virus is under control and/or eradicated the meeting house doors will open again.

(4) Furthermore, this is not a Hebrews 10:25 issue. Brethren are not willingly forsaking the assembly. We never accuse someone of neglect when they’re sick, or home caring for a sick family member.

(5) While there are some who are fearful to be sure, the preachers and pastors I know are not operating out of fear instead of faith. And I think that’s true of most brethren. They’re making decisions based on wisdom, common sense and prudence. I trust in God, but I don’t play with fire. Or ignore warnings in the event of a hurricane.

(6) It’s also good to be reminded there are two great commandments. (1) Love God with all your being; (2) And love your neighbor as yourself. With the spread of this highly contagious virus, we’re showing love for our friends, relatives, neighbors, non-Christians as well as our brethren, by limiting our contact. By doing so, we may let our light shine and other see our good works.

(7) Historically, there have been other occasions where churches have closed their doors in response to health concerns.  The 1918 influenza epidemic is one case. While it’s rare, it’s not unprecedented.

(8) We all need to be careful of self-righteously judging other brethren, elders and churches just because they may make a different decision. I know some smaller, rural churches where they believe the threat is low and are still meeting. Larger ones in metropolitan areas are closed. Let’s respect the right each to decide. And also respect the liberty of individual Christians who may choose to attend or not.

Lord willing, this will pass, we can resume congregational assemblies and return to some normalcy in our lives. In the meantime, as you protect your physical health, don’t neglect your spiritual health. Pray. Read the Bible. Worship God. Do good. Be a Christian.

Finally, the words of my friend and preaching colleague Doy Moyer ought to be heard and heeded.

“Be careful about divisive attitudes, especially during a distressing time that involves the whole world. We need one another, and we need each other to think clearly and love deeply.”

“I plead with you, my brothers and sisters, to focus on building each other up. Be patient with one another. Be patient in the present distress. Pray for others. Pray for the world. Pray that doors of opportunity may be opened for a renewed spread of Gospel. Who knows what God may do through us if we will be humble and submissive, loving God first and others.”

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman





The Calvinist answer to the question, "WHAT MUST I DO DO BE SAVED," is, absolutely nothing, God does it all. Calvinists' assert obedience has nothing to do with the salvation of mankind. What do the Scriptures say?


Hebrews 5:8-9 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. 9 And having  been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation.

Jesus became the source of salvation for those who obey Him.

Calvinists' proclaim that God elects  a few to be saved; therefore man's obedience is not required.


A. BELIEVE: John 6:28-29 Therefore they said to Him, "What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?" 29 Jesus answered and  said to them, "This is the work of God , that you believe in Him whom He sent."

Obedience is required, the work of believing that God sent His only Son so that men might be saved.

B. BE BAPTIZED: Mark 16:16 ....and has been baptized shall be saved....

Jesus said immersion in water was a prerequisite to salvation. Obedience is required.

C. CONFESSION: Romans 10:9-10 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10  for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

Salvation follows the obedience of confession. Yes, men have to do something in order to be saved.

D. REPENTANCE: Act 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Repentance is essential to have sins forgiven.(Repentance means to make the commitment to turn from sin and turn toward God) Obedience is imperative. God does not force anyone to repent. God does not select a few men for salvation and then compel them to have a change of heart.

It takes a highly trained professional and a willing student for  anyone to believe that FAITH, REPENTANCE, CONFESSION, AND WATER BAPTISM are not acts of obedience that are required for salvation.

You cannot reject faith, repentance, confession or water baptism as being essential for salvation and honestly claim you learned that from prayerfully searching the Scriptures. YOU NEED EXTRA-BIBLICAL TEACHERS AND OR EXTRA-BIBLICAL SOURCES TO REACH THOSE CONCLUSIONS. 


Acts 5:32 And we are witness of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him."

The Holy Spirit was given to those who obeyed. 
They obeyed by believing.
They obeyed by confessing.
They obeyed by repenting.
They obeyed by being baptized in water.


2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,


Peter's Second Letter Chapter Two by Charles Hess



Peter's Second Letter
Chapter Two
Copyright ©2003, Charles Hess, Ridgefield, Washington
[ 01 ] [ 02 ] [ 03 ] [ 04 ] [ 05 ] [ 06 ] [ 07 ]
[ 08 ] [ 09 ] [ 10 ] [ 11 ] [ 12 ] [ 13 ] [ 14 ]
[ 15 ] [ 16 ] [ 17 ] [ 18 ] [ 19 ] [ 20 ] [ 21 ] [ 22 ]

In chapter two,[ 1 ] Peter warns about sensuous, greedy, Christ-denying false prophets and false teachers together with the punishment they deserve. As support for their doom, he cites the retribution assigned to sinful angels and pre-flood sinners. He further discusses Sodom and Gomorrah and the error of Balaam. He employs metaphors to describe the apostates: clouds driven by a storm, springs without water, mists, a dog eating its own vomit and a washed sow again rolling in the mire (see chart 2 PETER 2 OUTLINE).


  1. False teachers deny the Master; their sensuality, greed (2Pe 2:1-3).
  2. Examples of punishment: sinful angels, pre- flood sinners, Sodom and Gomorrah, Balaam (2Pe 2:4-16).
  3. Apostates pictured as: waterless springs, mists, a dog and sow (2Pe 2:17-22).


2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.

[But.][ 2 ] Peter has just discussed true prophets who were moved by the Holy Spirit (2Pe 1:21). With the connective "but" he now contrasts them with those not inspired, that is, false prophets teaching error.

(2Pe 2:1)

  1. You shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams (De 13:3).
  2. The prophet who teaches lies, he is the tail (Isa 9:15).
  3. The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart (Jer 14:14).

(2Pe 2:1)

  1. Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! (Eze 13:3).
  2. Every prophet will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies; they will not wear a robe of coarse hair to deceive (Zec 13:4).

There were also [but there were, there arose also].[ 3 ] In every age of the world there have been men and women who fraudulently claimed to be prophets of God.

False prophets.[ 4 ] Anyone who prophesies falsely is a false prophet. So-called prophets not inspired by the Holy Spirit are strongly condemned by the apostle as well as by several other biblical writers (see chart OT FALSE PROPHETS A and B).

Among the people [also among the people].[ 5 ] In this verse, although the word "Israel" does not appear in the Greek, it is correctly understood that the "people" were Jews.

(2Pe 2:1)

  1. For many will come in My name, saying, "I am the Christ," and will deceive many (Mt 24:5).
  2. For false christs and false prophets will rise (Mt 24:24).
  3. Savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock (Ac 20:29).

(2Pe 2:1)

  1. In latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons (1Ti 4:1).
  2. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers (2Ti 4:3).

(2Pe 2:1)

  1. Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world (1Jo 4:1).
  2. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ (Jude 4).

Even as there will be [as there will be, there shall be, be also, shall also be, also there shall be].[ 6 ] Wherever there is something genuine and valuable there is usually a cheap counterfeit. Christians should be on the alert for false teachers and false churches.

False teachers.[ 7 ] It is difficult to see how a false prophet could deceive himself into thinking he was speaking by the Holy Spirit. However, some of them probably thought they were righteous and teaching God's will (consider Mt 7:22).

Difficult times lay ahead for the early Christians. In the "last days" men would be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, and the list goes on (2Ti 3:1-5). John said, "even now many antichrists have come" (1Jo 2:18; see charts NT FALSE PROPHETS A, B and C).

Among you.[ 8 ] According to church history, there has never been an age without false religious teachers in and around the Lord's congregations.

Who [they].[ 9 ] Peter refers back to the sly and shifty false teachers who were masquerading as faithful Christians.

Will secretly bring in [shall privily, bring in, bring in by the bye].[ 10 ] False teachers, like spies or traitors imported into the churches, have been known to use devious and underhanded methods. For example, when writing about a problem at Jerusalem, Paul said false brethren "came in by stealth" (Ga 2:4). They sneaked in. Jude, writing later, presumably refers to the same ones Peter predicted, when he said, "For certain men have crept in unnoticed" (Jude 4).

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron (1Ti 4:1, 2).

Destructive heresies [damnable, disastrous, heresies].[ 11 ] Heresies are dangerous, damnable and destructive. Teachers who have compromised with false doctrines need to consider this. Modern heresies that are very deceptive are that that "one church is as good as another" and "it does not matter what one believes" (compare Joh 8:31, 32).

(2Pe 2:1)

  1. HAIRESIS sect of the Sadducees (Ac 5:17).
  2. The HAIRESEOS sect of the Pharisees (Ac 15:5).
  3. A ringleader of the HAIRESEOS sect of the Nazarenes (Ac 24:5).
  4. The strictest HAIRESIN sect of our religion (Ac 26:5).
  5. This HAIRESEOS sect, . . . spoken against everywhere (Ac 28:22).
  6. HAIRESEIS factions among you (1Co 11:19).
  7. Selfish ambitions, dissensions, HAIRESEIS factions (Ga 5:20).

(2Pe 2:1)

  1. Whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven (Mt 10:33; Lu 12:9).
  2. The rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times (Joh 13:38).
  3. If we deny Him, He also will deny us (2Ti 2:12).
  4. Ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ (Jude 4).

(2Pe 2:1)

  1. The church of God which He purchased with His own blood (Ac 20:28).
  2. Bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's (1Co 6:20).
  3. Bought at a price; do not become slaves of men (1Co 7:23).
  4. Redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation (Re 5:9).
  5. 144,000 redeemed from earth (Re 14:3).

Even denying [and deny, denying even].[ 12 ] It is a very serious offense to disown or deny Christ (see Mt 10:33; Lu 12:9; 2Ti 2:12; Mt 26:70, 72; Mk 14:68, 70; Lu 22:57; Joh 13:38; 18:25, 27). Jews disowned Him in the presence of Pilate and asked for Barabbas to be released (Mt 27:20-22; Ac 3:13, 14). False teachers were denying that He was Master and Lord (compare Ac 2:36; Eph 1:20-23; Col 1:18, 19; Heb 1:3). Some denied Him by works (Tit 1:16). Some early gnostics said matter was evil, and thus denied that He was human (see 1Jo 2:22, 23). Others denied His deity (see 1Jo 4:15).

The Lord [the Master].[ 13 ] Our Lord Jesus Christ came in the flesh (1Jo 4:3). He is the Master of every Christian. This unusual Greek word [DESPOTEEN] indicates that He is also the absolute owner of each one. We rejoice in that.

Who bought them [that redeemed them].[ 14 ] Christians belong to Christ by adoption, birth and by right of purchase (1Pe 1:18, 19; see chart DENYING THE MASTER).

(2Pe 2:1)

  1. And not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition (Php 1:28).
  2. Whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame (Php 3:19).
  3. Many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition (1Ti 6:9).
  4. But we are not of those who draw back to perdition (Heb 10:39).

(2Pe 2:1)

  1. Day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men (2Pe 3:7).
  2. The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition (Re 17:8).
  3. Also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition (Re 17:11).

And bring on themselves swift destruction [and bring upon themselves swift destruction].[ 15 ] "Swift destruction" is a term used only by Peter. It indicates that punishment was to soon come upon the false teachers (see verse 3). "Destruction" as used in the NT may mean loss of well-being as well as complete loss of being (see footnote; charts PERDITION/DESTRUCTION A and B). Ever since the devil realized that a lie told to Eve could easily deceive a human being, he has had his false teachers and false prophets on the scene trying passionately to entice and delude Christians with all kinds of fabricated messages.


2:2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.

And many will follow [many shall follow].[ 16 ] Peter foresaw that sensual teachers would be popular and gain many adherents. "You shall not follow a crowd to do evil" (Ex 23:2). It is never a mark of wisdom to follow a multitude unless, of course, the crowd is following Christ. Some of the false teachers were greedily following the way of Balaam (see 2Pe 2:15). Christians, take warning! Never be "led away by the error of the wicked" (2Pe 3:17).

Their destructive ways [their pernicious, dissolute, licentiousness, immoral, lascivious, doings].[ 17 ] A textual variation is responsible for the different renderings such as "destruction" and "immoral." In his first letter, Peter admonished his readers to cease the sensual practices of the Gentiles (1Pe 4:3). In spite of that warning, false teachers continued to turn the grace of God into lasciviousness (Jude 4). Their immoral practices were bringing shame upon the Lord's church. Their heresies were also "destructive" (see verse 1).

Because of whom [through, by reason of, and because of, them].[ 18 ] Modern lecherous and unprincipled church leaders have given Christianity a bad name. Ancient false teachers did the same.

The way of truth [the Way of the truth].[ 19 ] The way of the false teachers is a "false way" (see Ps 119:104, 128; note on The right way at verse 15). The way of Christ is the way of truth (see Joh 8:31, 32). It is the way of salvation (Ac 16:17; Eph 1:13; charts THE WAY A and B).

(2Pe 2:2)

  1. The way of the LORD (Ge 18:19).
  2. The way of wisdom (Pr 4:11).
  3. The path of life (Pr 10:17).
  4. The way of the righteous (Isa 26:7).
  5. The way in which we should walk (Jer 42:3).
  6. The way is narrow that leads to life (Mt 7:14).
  7. The way [path] of peace (Lu 1:79; Ro 3:17).

(2Pe 2:2)

  1. The straight ways of the Lord (Ac 13:10).
  2. The way of salvation (Ac 16:17).
  3. The way of God (Ac 18:26).
  4. Persecuted this Way to the death (Ac 22:4).
  5. The Way which they call a sect (Ac 24:14).
  6. The way of truth (2Pe 2:2).
  7. The right way (2Pe 2:15).

Will be blasphemed [shall be evil spoken of, reviled, maligned, slandered].[ 20 ] The lusts of the false teachers were shamelessly unbridled. Non-christians were familiar with the sins they were committing. They saw through the hypocrisy of the "would-be" Christians. Even pagans disapproved their sensuality (see verses 10, 14; compare 1Co 5:1). In addition to fleshly sins, the false teachers despised authority. Their evil ways cast a bad light on the religion of Christ. Because of them the precious church of Jesus Christ was maligned and brought into disrepute. The way of truth was evil spoken of.

(2Pe 2:3)

  1. Your generous gift . . . may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a grudging obligation (2Co 9:5).
  2. Have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness (Eph 4:19).
  3. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints (Eph 5:3).
  4. For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness-- God is witness (1Th 2:5).

(2Pe 2:3)

  1. Men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain (1Ti 6:5).
  2. Teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain (Tit 1:11).
  3. A heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children (2Pe 2:14).


2:3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

By covetousness [and in, and through, their greed].[ 21 ] The false teachers were money-hungry. Their hearts were "trained in covetous practices" (verse 14; see charts GREED A and B). Paul wrote of similar men:

If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, 4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, 5 useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself (1Ti 6:3-5).

Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain (Tit 1:11).

They will exploit you [shall they make merchandise of you].[ 22 ] False teachers should be watched closely lest they bleed honest souls of their hard-earned money for their own personal gain.

With deceptive words [with false, feigned, well-turned, fabricated, messages].[ 23 ] Dishonest teachers not only will concoct false messages but they have been known to lie for money. They have made up references and fabricated stories in order to make themselves look good.


For a long time their judgment [whose, for whom, judgment, sentence, condemnation, from, now of old, long ago].[ 24 ] "Judgment" here means judgment to be pronounced or a sentence of judgment to be passed. God passed judgment against false teachers in the long ago (see charts NT FALSE PROPHETS A, B and C at verse 1).

Has not been idle [is not asleep, lingereth not].[ 25 ] The judgment of God has not remained idle throughout the centuries. It was active long ago in assigning punishment to sinful angels, antediluvians, the residents of Sodom and others. It continues to be active in sentencing false teachers throughout the ages. The condemnation of false teachers hangs forever over their heads. The passing of time does not annul past sinful actions but God is faithful to forgive the penitent (see Ac 8:22; 1Jo 1:9). There is no statute of limitations on God's judgment.

And their destruction [and their damnation].[ 26 ] Paul spoke of people very much like the false teachers described by Peter when he said:

Whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame-- who set their mind on earthly things (Php 3:19).

Does not slumber [slumbers, slumbereth, not, does not sleep].[ 27 ] The sentence against false teachers is very real. Time does not erase it. Condemnation does not disappear because of a drunken stupor or unconsciousness. It is not to be ignored or forgotten. One version says it "waits for them with unsleeping eyes." Will the deliberate sin of false teachers ever be forgiven?

Guy N. Woods, well aware of the meaning of the Greek text, wrote:

That these deceivers and all those whom they deceived were hastening toward a judgment and a destiny that did not loiter on the way nor nod off to sleep in forgetfulness![ 28 ]


2:4-11 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; 6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; 7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)-- 9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, 11 whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.

(2Pe 2:4)

  1. Capernaum brought down to Hades (Mt 11:24).
  2. Natural branches [Jews] (Ro 11:21).
  3. Persistent sinners at Corinth (2Co 13:2).
  4. Sinning angels cast into Tartarus (2Pe 2:4).
  5. Sinners perished in the flood (2Pe 2:5).
  6. Sodom and Gomorrah (2Pe 2:6).


For if God did not spare [for if God spared not].[ 29 ] Peter begins a delineation of three examples of sinners whom God did not spare. These sinners were particular angels, the antediluvians and the cities of the plain (see chart INEVITABLE JUDGMENT AGAINST SIN).

The angels [angels, the angels].[ 30 ] Angels "did not keep their own OIKEETEERION domain" (Jude 6). Just exactly what they did in leaving their own domain is not clear. Jews handed down fanciful tales about angels cohabiting with beautiful women.[ 31 ] This seems like untenable fabrication but it has been taken up by several denominational commentators.

Who sinned [that, when they, who had, sinned].[ 32 ] We can be sure that angels are not mere robots or machines that cannot sin. Details of the angels' sins are not revealed except that they did not keep their proper domain.


But cast them down to hell [but having cast, but committed, them into hell, down to the deepest pit of gloom, in Tartarus].[ 33 ] The Greek word for "hell" seems unusual. One might expect Hades or Gehenna. Instead, Peter used a pagan Greek term TARTARUS to describe confinement in the dark prison of departed spirits. Further description pictures "chains" or "pits" of darkness. Some equate it to Hades; others to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels (see Mt 25:41).

And delivered them [and committed, has delivered them].[ 34 ] The Greek word for "delivered" or "committed" is sometimes used of imprisonment (see footnote). The sinful angels were consigned and confined to Tartarus.

(2Pe 2:4)

  1. Chains of darkness (2Pe 2:4).
  2. For whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever (2Pe 2:17).
  3. Wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever (Jude 13).

Into chains [to pits].[ 35 ] The angels who sinned were chained in dungeons. The parallel verse in Jude has DESMOIS bonds (Jude 6).

Of darkness [of nether gloom].[ 36 ] According to Vine, the thick, gloomy darkness of TARTARUS can be "felt."[ 37 ]

To be reserved [to be kept].[ 38 ] The wicked are to be held in a bad place. "The Lord knows how" to keep them there for the day of judgment (verse 9; see chart DIVINE RESERVATIONS). On the other hand, the righteous have an imperishable inheritance "reserved in heaven" (1Pe 1:4).

(2Pe 2:4)

  1. Blackness of darkness reserved (2Pe 2:17).
  2. Present heavens and earth reserved for fire (2Pe 3:7).
  3. Kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day (Jude 6).

For judgment [unto, until, the judgment].[ 39 ] The sinful angels are reserved for judgment. They will be kept in the dark prison of Tartarus until the final judgment day.


[2:5] And did not spare the ancient world [and, and he, if he, spared not the old world].[ 40 ] In the past, God overlooked man's ignorance (Ac 17:30), but He was not so merciful that He canceled all of the punishment deserved by ancient sinners. Peter cites this so that false teachers may come to dread the punishment due to them.

But saved Noah [but preserved Noe].[ 41 ] By contrast with the doom of sinners, before, during and after the flood, God showed His concern for Noah. It was the Lord who recognized and rewarded his righteousness.

Then the LORD said to Noah, "Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation" (Ge 7:1).

And Noah did according to all that the LORD commanded him (Ge 7:5).

It was the Lord who closed the door of the ark behind Noah and his family (Ge 7:16). It was God who remembered Noah and all that were with him in the ark.

Then God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided (Ge 8:1).

After Noah sent forth the raven and the dove, it was God who spoke to him:

Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons' wives with you (Ge 8:16).

One of eight people [with seven others, other persons, the eighth, the eighth person].[ 42 ] In the ark, eight people were brought safely through the water (1Pe 3:20). They were Noah and his three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth and Noah's wife plus three wives of his sons (see Ge 7:13).

A preacher [a herald].[ 43 ] As a preacher, a herald, Noah announced and proclaimed the righteous commands of God (compare Ps 119:172).

This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God (Ge 6:9).

Of righteousness.[ 44 ] Not only did Noah live a righteous life, he preached that others should obey of God's commandments.[ 45 ] By responding positively to his messate, they could have become righteous been saved from the flood (compare 1Jo 3:7).

Bringing in the flood [but brought, when he brought, having brought in, a, the, deluge].[ 46 ] Many heathen nations have passed down to us legends of a world-wide flood.[ 47 ] The entire inspired account of it may be read in Genesis 6:13-8:19. The Noachian flood was both punitive and salvific.[ 48 ] It destroyed the wicked but saved the righteous by lifting the ark and moving it to its new, cleansed destination on the mountains of Ararat (Ge 8:4).

Now the flood was on the earth forty days. The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth (Ge 7:17).

On the world of the ungodly [upon the world of the ungodly].[ 49 ] A major design of the flood was to destroy a wicked populace. Those who perished in it were profane, irreverent and worldly.


[2:6] And turning [if by turning, and he brought, and having reduced, reducing them]. I do not think the NASB translators and others who supplied "if" intended to make the sentence conditional (see quotation below). "If" is often used as "since." There is no doubt whatever that God condemned the cities of the plain because of their sins (see footnote below on To ashes).

And if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly thereafter (2Pe 2:6 NASB).

The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.[ 50 ] The name "Sodom" appears in the English "sodomy" which is a vile sexual practice (see Ge 19:5; 1Ki 15:12; 22:46; 2Ki 23:7; Ro 1:27). Those who practice(d) it were (and are) condemned by God.

There shall be no ritual harlot of the daughters of Israel or a perverted one[ 51 ] of the sons of Israel" (De 23:17).

In spite of that warning, perversion was practiced by some of the Jews.

And there were also perverted persons in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations which the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel" (1Ki 14:24; see charts SODOM, CITY OF VICE A, B, C and D).

(2Pe 2:6)

  1. That we may know them carnally (Ge 19:5).
  2. The look on their countenance witnesses against them, and they declare their sin as Sodom; they do not hide it (Isa 3:9).
  3. Also I have seen a horrible thing in the prophets of Jerusalem: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they also strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns back from his wickedness. All of them are like Sodom to Me, and her inhabitants like Gomorrah (Jer 23:14).

(2Pe 2:6)

  1. The punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom (Lam 4:6).
  2. Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy (Eze 16:49).

Into ashes [to ashes].[ 52 ] The sinful blight of Sodom and Gomorrah was terminal. Both cities were completely reduced to ashes. That is one reason their whereabouts is so difficult to establish. Some conjectures of possible locations are the northern end or the southern shallow end of the Dead Sea.

(2Pe 2:6; Ge 19:1-29)

  1. The smoke of the land which went up like the smoke of a furnace (Ge 19:28).
  2. I overthrew some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah (Am 4:11).
  3. Surely Moab shall be like Sodom, and the people of Ammon like Gomorrah-- Overrun with weeds and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation (Zep 2:9).
  4. More tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah (Mt 10:15).
  5. Rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all (Lu 17:28-32).

(2Pe 2:6)

  1. Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we would have become like Sodom (Ro 9:29; compare Isa 1:9).
  2. Having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire (Jude 7).
  3. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified (Re 11:8).

Condemned them [he condemned them][ 53 ] (see charts JUDGMENT OF SODOM A and B).

To destruction [to extinction, with an overthrow].[ 54 ]

Then the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens. 25 So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground (Ge 19:24, 25).


Making them an example [and made, having made, them, setting them as, an ensample].[ 55 ] The wickedness and destruction of the cities of the plain were known far and wide. Sodom became an object-lesson for the wicked of all time. Prior to the destruction of Pompeii in AD 79, someone, perhaps as an accusation against their own city, had written on one of its walls: "Sodoma Gommorra."[ 56 ]

To those who afterward would live ungodly [unto those who were to be, that should afterwards live, that after should live, an ungodly life, thereafter].[ 57 ] The destruction of Sodom is cited as an example to warn ungodly people. Sinners need to contemplate the fate of Sodom and turn from their evil ways. Christians who may be thinking about going down a worldly path to pleasure need to take heed to the divine warning. They need also to look to the positive example of Christ (1Pe 2:21).


[2:7] And delivered [and he, and if he, rescued, saved].[ 58 ] It was God who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. It was God who rescued Lot and two of his daughters.

(2Pe 2:7)

  1. Selfishly chose fertile Jordan valley (Ge 13:10, 11).
  2. Moved tents as far as Sodom (Ge 13:12).
  3. Lived near wicked people (Ge 13:13; 19:1).
  4. Escaped without possessions (Ge 19:17).
  5. Wife became a pillar of salt (Ge 19:26).

(2Pe 2:7)

  1. Mistreatment of own daughters (Ge 19:8, 31-36).
  2. Defiled by his own daughters (Ge 19:30-38).
  3. Righteous (2Pe 2:7, 8).
  4. God's fair judgment (2Pe 2:7, 8).

Righteous Lot [just Lot].[ 59 ] Lot is known for the strife of his herdsmen with Abraham's. Then he made a selfish choice but Abraham was willing to accept inferior pasture. Lot's faith pales beside that of his faithful uncle but in spite of all of that the Holy Spirit calls him a righteous man.


Who was oppressed [who was vexed, distressed, sore, greatly, distressed].[ 60 ] Terrible stress is caused by loved ones who seem to have closed their minds to the truth. Christian parents suffer untold anguish when their children refuse to listen to Scripture and to reason. Poor Lot was dismayed by the sinful practices of the Sodomites. No matter how hard he tried, he was unsuccessful in convincing his sons-in-law to leave that sinful environment.

So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, "Get up, get out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city!" But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking (Ge 19:14).

By the filthy conduct of the wicked [with the sensual, unprincipled, licentiousness, lascivious, immoral, abandoned, life, conversation, of lawless, people, men, the godless].[ 61 ] Prior to its destruction, Lot decided to move his tents and family to the evil city of Sodom.

[2:8] For that righteous man [for by what, for the, righteous man].[ 62 ] Once again the Holy Spirit gives a glimpse of heaven's kind judgment of Lot. In God's sight, he was a righteous man (see note on verse 7).

(2Pe 2:8)

  1. Selfish choice of land (Ge 13:11).
  2. Moved into Sodom (Ge 13:12; 19:1, 2).
  3. Raised family in sinful environment (Ge 13:13).
  4. Returned to Sodom after his rescue from the kings (Ge 14:16).

(2Pe 2:8)

  1. Offered his daughters to be compromised by men of Sodom (Ge 19:8).
  2. Hesitated when angels warned him to leave (Ge 19:16).
  3. Argued about where to flee (Ge 19:17-21).
  4. Alcoholic beverages in residence (Ge 19:32).
  5. Got drunk (Ge 19:32, 35).

Dwelling among them [lived, as he lived, among them].[ 63 ] The neighborhood Lot chose for his home presented a perennial problem because he wanted to live a righteous life. The KJV says that Lot pitched his tent "toward" Sodom. Afterward he actually moved his little family inside that wicked town where he resided in a substantial home with a strong door (implied by Ge 19:2-4, 6, 10, 11). He lived to regret it.

Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. 13 But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD (Ge 13:12, 13).

Tormented his righteous soul [vexed, he was vexed in, his soul; his soul was tormented].[ 64 ] Lot disapproved of and refused to adopt the evil lifestyles of the Sodomites. The Greek imperfect tense[ 65 ] implies that Lot had continued to be tormented by the wickedness of Sodom. He did not follow the usual pattern: first to condemn the evil, then pity, then tolerate and finally embrace it.

(2Pe 2:8)

  1. Not corrupted by the sin in Sodom.
  2. Did not become indifferent to it.
  3. Concerned about it daily. (Woods 169)

From day to day [day after day,].[ 66 ] Not a day went by in Sodom when Lot had peace of mind. He never became accustomed to the evil of the city. It always bothered him.

By seeing and hearing [in, for in, through, what he saw, and heard].[ 67 ] Sight and sound are the principal avenues of conversation and discussion. Communication provides marvelous teaching, edification and encouragement. It also supplies temptation, false teaching and, sometimes, irritation. In the case of Lot, evil sights and sounds effected immeasurable stress. The words and actions of the people of Sodom reminded him daily of the evil environment in which he had moved his family.

Their lawless deeds [with their unlawful works].[ 68 ] In that ancient time, a sufficient portion of God's will had been revealed to man. Lot and others were conscious of its violation. Truly, the deeds of the Sodomites were "lawless." The people of Sodom flagrantly defied the "known will of God."[ 69 ]


2:9-11 Then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, 11 whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.

(2Pe 2:9)

  1. The men took hold of his hand, his wife's hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city (Ge 19:16).
  2. David said, "The LORD, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine" (1Sa 17:31).
  3. Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence (Ps 91:3).

Then the Lord knows how [the Lord knoweth how].[ 70 ] Those who deny the consciousness of the dead have a problem here. Men may not understand how, but the Lord "knows how" to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment. He is well able to do it. The unrighteous dead who are under punishment are very conscious of it.


To deliver [to rescue].[ 71 ] The Lord knows how to deliver or rescue the godly. He delivered the righteous angels, Noah, Lot and others from punishment or from death (compare Ac 26:17; Ro 7:24; 2Ti 4:18).

(2Pe 2:9)

  1. They saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them (Da 3:27).
  2. My God sent His angel and shut the lions' mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him (Da 6:22).
  3. But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out (Ac 5:19).

The godly.[ 72 ] The godly are true and sincere worshippers of God who translate their reverence for Him to their daily lives.

Out of temptations [from temptation, trial, trials].[ 73 ] In his first letter, Peter told his readers:

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various PEIRASMOIS trials (1Pe 1:6).

In the quotation above, Peter was writing about the persecution his readers faced. He probably alludes to the same thing in the present verse. The Greek word may mean either trials by persecution or temptations to sin (see Lu 4:13). Actually, some painful persecution turns out to be a temptation to lie or to deny the Lord. Jesus taught His disciples to pray:

And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen (Mt 6:13).

God allows His people to be tempted within their ability to resist it.

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it (1Co 10:13).

(2Pe 2:9)

  1. Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, "Arise quickly!" And his chains fell off his hands (Ac 12:7).
  2. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were loosed (Ac 16:26).

(2Pe 2:9)

  1. Who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us (2Co 1:10).
  2. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom (2Ti 4:18).
  3. And release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage (Heb 2:15).


And to reserve the unjust [and how to reserve, keep, the unrighteous, ungodly].[ 74 ] An eternal inheritance is reserved for the righteous (1Pe 1:4). The righteous are also reserved for the inheritance. The wicked are reserved for punishment in a place prepared for the devil and his angels (Mt 25:41).

Under punishment [to be punished, for punishment].[ 75 ] The Greek present participle suggests that punishment of the unjust is to be going on and on. Wicked souls may be penalized in this life. In that sense, punishment begins in the here and now. It will be endured after death prior to the judgment day (see Lu 16:19-31; 2Pe 2:4). Additionally, it will be borne subsequent to that (see Re 21:8).

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Ro 1:18).

For the day of judgment [until, to, unto, the day of judgment].[ 76 ] The day of judgment is the final day when eternal sentence is to be meted out (see charts DAY OF JUDGMENT A, B and C).

(2Pe 2:9)

  1. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats (Mt 25:32).
  2. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad (2Co 5:10).

(2Pe 2:9)

  1. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment (Heb 9:27).
  2. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men (2Pe 3:7).
  3. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment (1Jo 4:17).

(2Pe 2:9)

  1. Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him (Jude 14, 15).
  2. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books (Re 20:12).

[2:10] And especially those who walk according to the flesh [but chiefly, and specially, them that walk after, follow after, indulge, the flesh].[ 77 ] Translators of the NIV add a private opinion to their rendition of this passage. Instead of "the flesh" as in the Greek, they have supplied "their sinful natures." "Sinful natures" suggest a contamination of man's nature because of the sin of Adam. If that is the case, then salvation could only come about by a direct action of God as taught by John Calvin, Billy Graham and others. Normal fleshly desires may be satisfied lawfully within the will of God. For example, sexual urges may be fulfilled within marriage. Sexual acts outside of marriage are sinful. Homosexual lusts are not normal and may not be lawfully gratified.

As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire (Jude 1:7).

Sinners cannot escape being kept under punishment. Especially indicated here are people who indulge the flesh and despise authority.

(2Pe 2:10)

  1. And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken Your commandments (Ezr 9:10).
  2. Every one of them has turned aside; they have together become corrupt; there is none who does good, no, not one (Ps 53:3).
  3. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness (Mt 23:27).

(2Pe 2:10)

  1. Those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority (2Pe 2:10).
  2. Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries (Jude 1:8).

In the lust of uncleanness [in the lust of defilement, of defiling passion, the corrupting lusts].[ 78 ] Here are some inspired NT comments about the lust of uncleanness. They all say to stop it.

For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness (Ro 6:19).

But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks (Eph 5:3, 4).

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls (Jas 1:21; see charts TURNING ASIDE; DESIRING TO DO WRONG).

And despise authority [and who despise authorities, dominion, government, lordship].[ 79 ] Jude follows "despise authority" with "and speak evil of dignitaries." A few versions have "angelic majesties" or the equivalent in Jude 8. Some scholars have understood both Jude and Peter to refer to "angelic authorities." In the present verse, however, it is entirely possible that "authority" is general enough to include any authority--God, the state, parents or elders.

(2Pe 2:10)

  1. But the person who does anything presumptuously, whether he is native-born or a stranger, that one brings reproach on the LORD, and he shall be cut off from among his people (Nu 15:30).
  2. So I spoke to you; yet you would not listen, but rebelled against the command of the LORD, and presumptuously went up into the mountain (De 1:43; compare Nu 14:44).
  3. Woe to him who strives with his Maker! (Isa 45:9).
  4. Nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents (1Co 10:9).

(2Pe 2:10)

  1. When he [Uzziah] was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed against the LORD his God by entering the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense (2Ch 26:16).
  2. I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry" (Lu 12:19).
  3. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that" (Jas 4:15).

(2Pe 2:10)

  1. And they say, "How does God know? And is there knowledge in the Most High?" (Ps 73:11).
  2. They would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke (Pr 1:30).
  3. Indeed they say to me, "Where is the word of the LORD? Let it come now!" (Jer 17:15).
  4. Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, "What does this babbler want to say?" (Ac 17:18).

(2Pe 2:10)

  1. Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? (Ro 2:4).
  2. Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses (Heb 10:28).
  3. In the last days mockers will come following after their own lusts (2Pe 3:3).

They are presumptuous [ bold, daring, presumptuous, are they].[ 80 ] Before language differences at Babel divided the nations, the people sought a one-world government in order to keep from being scattered over the earth. God intended otherwise. The ancient people said:

Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth (Ge 11:4).

Not only was the "general" will of God not to be challenged but not even one word of His revelation was to be tampered with (see note on 1Pe 1:20; compare De 18:20; Jer 14:15). Yet, down through the ages, man has done just that (see charts DARING ACTIONS; PRESUMPTION; MAKING LIGHT OF AUTHORITY A and B).

Self-willed [and wilful].[ 81 ] In the first century, false teachers were arrogant and head-strong. For the most part, modern false teachers are the same.

They are not afraid [they do not fear, tremble not].[ 82 ] The Holy Spirit is teaching reverence to God and respect for authority. At the time of the giving of the ten commandments on Mount Sinai, Moses himself trembled (De 9:19; Heb 12:21). Later, however, he was not afraid to lift up his hand and strike the rock twice even though God had told him to speak to it (Nu 20:11).

To speak evil of [to revile, slander, rail at, speaking injuriously of].[ 83 ] It is a sin to speak against or converse in a vain or irreverent manner about things sacred. It is wrong to speak insultingly about dignitaries.

Dignitaries [dignities, honorable people, the glorious ones].[ 84 ] The Greek word for "dignitaries" is DOXAS glories. The idea of celestial or angelic beings or majesties is probably due to a comparison with certain renderings of Jude 8, as well as the following phrase "Whereas angels."


[2:11] Whereas angels [when angels][ 85 ] (see note on verse 4).

Who are greater in power and might [which are, though, greater in strength, might].[ 86 ] Angels are mightier than men (see chart MIGHT [A WORD STUDY]).

(2Pe 2:11)

  1. Enter a ISCHUROU strong man's house (Mt 12:29).
  2. With all your ISCHUOS strength (Mk 12:30).
  3. A ISCHURA severe famine (Lu 15:14).
  4. Weighty and ISCHURAI strong (2Co 10:10).
  5. The working of His mighty ISCHUOS power (Eph 1:19).
  6. ISCHURAN a strong consolation (Heb 6:18).
  7. Then ISCHUROS a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone (Re 18:21).

Do not bring a reviling accusation against them [bring not, do not pronounce, railing, a slanderous, an injurious charge, judgment, upon them].[ 87 ] There is something to be said for calm and cautious speech, especially when condemning others. The Lord by means of an angel, was gentle when rebuking Satan.

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. And the LORD[ 88 ] said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?" (Zec 3:1, 2).

Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" (Jude 9).

Before the Lord.[ 89 ] Let everyone be aware that any judgment he utters is manifest before the Lord. In fact, all words and actions are before Him.


2:12-14 But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, 13 and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, 14 having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, beguiling unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children.

But these.[ 90 ] Peter is contrasting "these" (the less powerful false teachers) with the more powerful, but modest, angels.

(2Pe 2:12)

  1. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding (Ps 32:9).
  2. As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God (Ps 42:1).
  3. A man who is in honor, yet does not understand, is like the beasts that perish
  4. (Ps 49:20).
  5. The righteous are bold as a lion (Pr 28:1).
  6. Hear this word, you cows of Bashan (Am 4:1).

(2Pe 2:12)

  1. Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (Mt 3:7).
  2. Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves (Mt 10:16).
  3. Go, tell that fox [Herod] (Lu 13:32).
  4. Savage wolves will come (Ac 20:29).
  5. Beware of dogs (Php 3:2).
  6. You were like sheep going astray (1Pe 2:25).
  7. A sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire (2Pe 2:22).

(2Pe 2:12)

  1. Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand all (Pr 28:5).
  2. A ruler who lacks understanding is a great oppressor, but he who hates covetousness will prolong his days (Pr 28:16).
  3. For My people are foolish, they have not known Me. They are silly children, and they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge (Jer 4:22).
  4. Hear this now, O foolish people, without understanding, who have eyes and see not, and who have ears and hear not (Jer 5:21; compare Mt 13:14, 15, 19).

Like natural brute beasts [as mere, irrational, animals, creatures, of instinct, without reason, born mere animals, in the course of nature].[ 91 ] This metaphor describes the character and disposition of false teachers. It does not imply that they were born less than human. How were the false teachers like slaughter-animals? They were unbelieving, unreasoning and unconcerned about the coming punishment.

Made to be caught and destroyed [born, born as, to be taken and killed].[ 92 ] This metaphor describes the character and disposition of the false teachers. It does not imply that they born less than human.

Before the flood, man's diet seems to have been restricted to vegetables. Certainly plants were authorized for food (see Ge 1:29, 30). After the deluge, God said,

Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs (Ge 9:3).

Later, there are numerous approved biblical examples of using flesh for food (see Ge 18:7, 8; Nu 11:32; Jg 6:19; 1Ki 4:22, 23; Mt 3:4; Mt 7:10; Lu 24:42, 43; Joh 21:9-13; 1Co 10:25). Cattle, hogs,[ 93 ] chickens, turkeys and other animals are raised for meat. Certain fish and wildlife are useful as table food.

Speak evil of the things [reviling, railing, speaking injuriously, in matters, things].[ 94 ]

(2Pe 2:12)

  1. Come now, and let us reason together (Isa 1:18).
  2. Finding out what is acceptable to the Lord (Eph 5:10).
  3. Test all things; hold fast what is good (1Th 5:21).
  4. Test the spirits, whether they are of God (1Jo 4:1).

He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, but he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding (Pr 12:11).

They do not understand [whereof, of which, they are ignorant, ignorant of, that they understand not].[ 95 ] Apparently the false teachers' thoughts were "vainly puffed up" by a fleshly mind (see Col 2:18). The same is true today. Some "scholars" seem to "know" exactly how documents were composed and conclude that the original meanings of Scripture must undergo "deconstruction" to update the meaning for modern times. They do this upon the slimmest of excuses. The "hermeneutic of suspicion" is a product of this kind of thought.[ 96 ]

(2Pe 2:13)

  1. Balaam was killed with the sword (Nu 31:8).
  2. That the crime done to the seventy sons of might be settled and their blood be laid on Abimelech their brother, who killed them, and on the men of Shechem, who aided him in the killing of his brothers (Jg 9:24).
  3. So the LORD will return his [Joab's] blood on his head, because he struck down two men more righteous and better than he (1Ki 2:32).

And will utterly perish in their own corruption [will be destroyed, shall, and also, surely perish, in the same destruction with them, in their, destroying, be destroyed][ 97 ] (see chart DESTRUCTION and note at verse 2).

[2:13] And will receive the wages of unrighteousness [suffering, receiving, shall receive, bringing on themselves, wrong, hurt, the reward, as the hire, for their of wrong-doing].[ 98 ] Sooner or later the unrighteous will be reimbursed for that which they have inflicted on others. They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done (see charts WAGES OF WRONG-DOING
A and B).

(2Pe 2:13)

  1. "Surely I saw yesterday the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons," says the LORD, "and I will repay you [Joram] in this plot" (2Ki 9:26).
  2. [Judas] purchased a field with the wages of iniquity (Ac 1:18).
  3. For the wages of sin is death (Ro 6:23).
  4. Every transgression and received a just reward (Heb 2:2).

As those who count it pleasure to carouse [men, they, as they, think, count, that count, accounting, it, their daily luxurious living, is real pleasure, to revel, riot, ephemeral indulgence].[ 99 ] The people under consideration had an idea that genuine pleasure consisted of carousing and indulging in revelry.

In the daytime [in broad daylight].[ 100 ] It was no secret. These carousing sinners did not just think about or desire to do wrong, they carried out their sinful actions as they reveled before others in the light of day.

(2Pe 2:13)

  1. Get drunk are drunk at night (1Th 5:7).
  2. But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives (1Ti 5:6).
  3. Lovers of pleasure (2Ti 3:4).
  4. Deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures (Tit 3:3).
  5. Lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury (Jas 5:5).

They are spots [spots, spots they are, they are blots].[ 101 ] Lascivious and lustful false teachers brought disgrace and shame upon early churches of Christ. Wherever they went, their words and actions left ugly stains. Today when Christians practice homosexuality, marital unfaithfulness, living together in an unmarried state and continue to commit other sins, the Lord's church is disgraced.

And blemishes.[ 102 ] Jesus is a lamb without blemish and without spot" (1Pe 1:19). He will present the church to Himself the same way--"having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing" (Eph 5:27).

(2Pe 2:13)

  1. To David: Because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme (2Sa 12:14).
  2. About usury: Should you not walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the nations, our enemies? (Ne 5:9).
  3. Wherever they went, they profaned My holy name (Eze 36:20).
  4. You who say, "Do not commit adultery," do you commit adultery? (Ro 2:22).

Carousing [reveling, rioting, sporting themselves].[ 103 ] The false teachers under consideration by Peter enjoyed sporting their sins and living in the pleasure of gratification.

In their own deceptions [deceitfully, in their, with their own, deceits, deceivings, dissipation].[ 104 ] The false teachers were hypocritical.

He who hates, disguises it with his lips, and lays up deceit within himself; When he speaks kindly, do not believe him, for there are seven abominations in his heart; Though his hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness will be revealed before the assembly (Pr 26:24-26).

(2Pe 2:13)

  1. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness (Mt 23:28).
  2. Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy (Lu 12:1).
  3. Deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons (1Ti 4:1, 2).
  4. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him (Tit 1:16).

While they feast with you [carousing, feasting, with you].[ 105 ] Picture Christians feasting with false teachers. In one instance when a false teacher sat down with food at a pot luck dinner, I left the room hungry.

These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots (Jude 1:12).


[2:14] Having eyes full of adultery [they have eyes full of adultery]. [ 106 ] The Greek is, literally, "having eyes full of an adulteress." "You shall not commit adultery" was one of the Ten Commandments (Ex 20:14; De 5:18). Under the OT, both the adulterer and the adulteress were to be put to death (Le 20:10). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus words were:

But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Mt 5:28).

The lust of the eye was a major avenue of sin for the false teachers (compare 1Jo 2:16). They enjoyed looking at attractive women. They looked upon them as a sex-objects.

The sexual act of adultery is grounds for divorce and remarriage (Mt 5:32; 19:9; compare Ro 7:3). Unrepentant adulterers are lost. They shall not inherit the kingdom of God (1Co 6:9; Ga 5:19-21). Some Christians have stopped watching television entirely because of the portrayal of scantily clad actresses together with allusions to sex.

And that cannot cease from sin [that cease not, insatiable, and insatiable, by, for, sin].[ 107 ] As long as the sensual false teachers continued on the wrong path with minds totally involved in deception there was little hope for them. They were so unlikely to change their ways and cease from sin that the Holy Spirit said they cannoit do so.

Enticing unstable souls [beguiling, alluring, they entice, unsteady, unestablished, unsteadfast, souls]. [ 108 ] Christians do not belittle mentally unstable brothers or sisters (see 1Th 5:14). Their condition may be caused by various factors and may be unavoidable. Another aspect of instability is the babe in Christ who may be easily influenced. Like fishermen, the false teachers dangled before weak Christians not the freedom in Christ but the bait of liberty to participate in carnal indulgence (compare Ga 5:19-21; 2Pe 2:18, 19; 1Jo 2:15, 16).

They have a heart trained in covetous practices [they have hearts, having an heart, exercised, practiced, they have trained their hearts, with greed, covetousness].[ 109 ] The heart (mind) may be trained.[ 110 ] It may be exercised in good and wholesome thoughts or by dwelling upon evil. The heart may be taught generosity or trained in greed.

David described the heart of a covetous person.

For the wicked boasts of his heart's desire; he blesses the greedy and renounces the LORD (Ps 10:3).

From the viewpoint of a ruler, King Solomon wrote against covetousness.

A ruler who lacks understanding is a great oppressor, but he who hates covetousness will prolong his days (Pr 28:16).

Greed is detrimental to the heart.

So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain (Eze 33:31).

What about property acquired by greed?

Woe to him who covets evil gain for his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of disaster! You give shameful counsel to your house, cutting off many peoples, and sin against your soul. For the stone will cry out from the wall, and the beam from the timbers will answer it (Hab 2:9-11).

Jesus said:

Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses (Lu 12:15).

Greed is a monster of a sin and is almost universal (see Jer 6:13). Its clutches reach out in all directions.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (1Ti 6:10).

Let greed not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints (Eph 5:3).

(2Pe 2:14)

  1. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do (Joh 8:44).
  2. The son of perdition (Joh 17:12; compare 2Th 2:3).
  3. You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness (Ac 13:10).
  4. Sons of disobedience (Eph 2:2; 5:6).
  5. By nature children of wrath (Eph 2:3).

And are accursed children [cursed children, children of curse, of cursing!]. [ 111 ] Once in a great while, a child begins his early life with actions that are, to say the least, difficult to modify. A mother recently insisted that her young teenage son be tried and convicted as an adult. As bad as prison is, she thought it would be better for him than to be free to harm other people. She said, when he was two years old he would urinate on other people's feet. She expected him always to get into trouble. He fulfilled her early "prophecy" and turned out the way she described him. The term "accursed children" or "children of cursing" is a Hebrew Idiom meaning "those worthy of a curse" (see chart ACCURSED CHILDREN [HEBREW IDIOM]; compare the curses on Mount Ebal, De 27, 28).


2:15, 16 They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man's voice restrained the madness of the prophet.

[2:15]They have forsaken the right way [forsaking, which have forsaken, having left, the straight way].[ 112 ] Peter's words run contrary to the doctrine of "once in grace always in grace." He pictures someone walking in a path called "the right way" and then purposely digressing. From the right path the person turned from it to walk in a way of sin.

The lustful religious deceivers went all the way into lasciviousness. They forsook the right way. Were they ever saved in the first place? Undoubtedly they were or else they could not have forsaken the right way. In another passage we read about those who left because they "were not of us" (see 1Jo 2:19). Scripture does not say those particular teachers left the right way. They only went out "from us." They may never have been true Christians. However, the ones Peter describes in the previous verse were Christians at one time but strayed from the strait and narrow path that leads to life. Is it so difficult to perceive that one who forsakes (Greek abandons) the right path was once on it?

And gone astray [going, they went, have gone, and are gone, astray].[ 113 ] The false teachers Peter writes about had actually departed from the faith. They forsook the right way. They apostatized.

Following the way of Balaam the son of Beor [having followed, they have followed, in the path of Balaam the son of Bosor].[ 114 ] The Greek verb for "following" implies "following out to the end" (see usage in 2Pe 1:16; 2:2).

Balaam was from the city of Pethor in Mesopotamia on the Euphrates River (De 23:4; see also Nu 22:1-24:25; 31:8; Jos 13:22; 24:9; Ne 13:2; Mic 6:5; Jude 11). Some scholars say he was not called a NAVI prophet but a HAKKISM soothsayer (Jos 13:22; compare 1Sa 9:9).[ 115 ] His greedy way was long and tedious. He traveled some 500 miles to curse Israel!

Who loved the wages of unrighteousness [who loved gain, the hire, the reward, from wrong-doing].[ 116 ] Moabite and Midianite elders brought "the diviner's fee" to Balaam the soothsayer (Nu 22:7). King Balak promised to honor him richly (Nu 22:17; compare 24:11). Balaam taught Balak to cause the children of Israel to sin. His idea was: corrupt the people and God will punish them.

But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality (Re 2:14).

[2:16] But he was rebuked for his iniquity [but he received a rebuke, had reproof, of his own transgression, wickedness].[ 117 ] Just what was the sin of Balaam? He failed to prophesy against Israel but eventually figured out that the young nation would be cursed if they could be induced to commit idolatrous sins (see Nu 31:16). He indirectly encouraged them to worship Baal of Peor. Because of his influence, at least 24,000 Israelites died (see Nu 25:9).

They joined themselves also to Baal of Peor, and ate sacrifices made to the dead (Ps 106:28).

So Israel was joined to Baal of Peor, and the anger of the LORD was aroused against Israel (Nu 25:3).

Your eyes have seen what the LORD did at Baal Peor; for the LORD your God has destroyed from among you all the men who followed Baal of Peor (De 4:3).

I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season. But they went to Baal Peor, and separated themselves to that shame; they became an abomination like the thing they loved (Ho 9:10).

A dumb donkey speaking with a man's voice [the, speechless ass spoke, spake, in human voice, the voice of a man].[ 118 ] Literally, Balaam "had rebuke" from the Lord who used a female donkey through which to speak. The prophet Moses recorded the original account of Balaam's speaking donkey. Much later, the Holy Spirit inspired Peter to refer to it. There is no doubt that it was an actual occurrence.

Then the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?" (Nu 22:28; also verse 30).

Restrained the madness of the prophet [and forbad, stayed, hindered, the prophet's madness, the folly of the prophet].[ 119 ] Balaam was so fascinated and excited by the possibility of a sizeable reward that he was mad. He was beside himself, not in his right mind. Wise Solomon wrote:

This is an evil in all that is done under the sun: that one thing happens to all. Truly the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead (Ec 9:3).

Passionate greed drives men to distraction.[ 120 ] The prodigal son is an example of one who allowed money to delude his heart. After a wild spending spree he "came to himself" (Lu 15:17).

Prophets and prophetesses were inspired men and women. Except for false prophets and possibly Aaron acting as Moses' prophet (Ex 7:1), is there any prophet in Scripture who was not inspired (see notes on 1Co 14:1, 3)?

The words and actions of Balaam's donkey had a dampening effect upon his intent to do wrong. The seer tried to overcome the animal's persistence by beating her. He was perplexed. He wanted Balaak's money. He surely realized that what he was doing was wrong. He nevertheless eventually said that God would bless Israel. He said:

Who can count the dust of Jacob, or number one-fourth of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my end be like his! (Nu 23:10).[ 121 ]


2:17 These are wells without water, clouds[ 122 ] carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.[ 123 ]

These are wells without water [these are waterless springs, springs without water].[ 124 ] Much of Palestine is limestone country with many refreshing springs that gush out of the sides of canyons or from the bottoms of mountains. Picture a thirsty shepherd leading his sheep for several miles only to find a spring dried up. Those who follow false teachers hoping for an eternal reward will likewise be disappointed.

Clouds carried by a tempest [and mists driven, that are carried, with, by, storm, a storm].[ 125 ] Cumulus, nimbus or cumulo-nimbus clouds may offer hope for rain. They appear to contain refreshing water but a stormy wind can carry them away without blessing the parched farms or pasture-lands with even a drop of rain. False teachers may be popular. They may seem to offer hope but, like such clouds, they bring no real or permanent blessing whatsoever.

(2Pe 2:17)

  1. The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble (Pr 4:19).
  2. Therefore their way shall be to them like slippery ways; in the darkness they shall be driven on and fall in them (Jer 23:12).
  3. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Mt 8:12).

(2Pe 2:17)

  1. Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness (Mt 22:13).
  2. Raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever (Jude 1:13; compare 2Pe 2:17).
  3. And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day (Jude 6).

For whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever [for them, to whom, the mist, the gloom, the nether gloom, of the thick darkness, has been, hath been, reserved for ever].[ 126 ] The reveling, deceitful false teachers were doomed to eternity in dense and utter darkness.


2:18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped[ 127 ] from those who live in error.

For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness [speaking out, uttering, while speaking, loud boasts of folly, of vanity, great high-flown words, arrogantly in their vanity].[ 128 ] The speeches of the false teachers were impressive but with only an imagined blessing to the hearers (compare Jude 13). David saw through the hypocrisy of deceivers when he wrote:

Do not take me away with the wicked and with the workers of iniquity, who speak peace to their neighbors, but evil is in their hearts (Ps 28:3).

Solomon also was aware of deceit that disguised hate.

He who hates, disguises it with his lips, and lays up deceit within himself; 25 When he speaks kindly, do not believe him, for there are seven abominations in his heart; 26 Though his hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness will be revealed before the assembly (Pr 26:24-26; compare 1Sa 17:44; 1Ki 20:10, 11; 2Ki 18:31-35; Da 4:30; Ac 8:9).

False teachers spoke vain and empty words because of the "futility of their mind" (compare Eph 4:17).


They allure through the lusts of the flesh [they entice in, by, with, with the, passions of the flesh, fleshly lusts].[ 129 ] The NIV with "to the lustful desires of sinful nature" adds five words not in the Greek text and omits "lewdness" or "fleshly" entirely. In my text, there are no corresponding words for to, the, sinful, human or nature! Is this not interpretation rather than translation? Brethren, beware of putting unreliable versions in the pew racks.

(2Pe 2:18)

  1. Secretly bring in heresies (2Pe 2:1).
  2. Deny the Lord who bought them (2Pe 2:1).
  3. Many will follow their destructive ways (2Pe 2:2, 18).
  4. Exploit with deceptive words (2Pe 2:3).
  5. Lust of the uncleanness, despise authority (2Pe 2:10).

(2Pe 2:18)

  1. Speak evil of the things they do not understand (2Pe 2:12).
  2. Count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime (2Pe 2:13).
  3. Speak great swelling words of emptiness (2Pe 2:18)
  4. Promise liberty (2Pe 2:19).

Through lewdness [ licentious, by lasciviousness, much wantonness, dissoluteness, intemperate].[ 130 ]

The ones who have actually escaped [men who, those who, those that, have just, have really, barely fled, were clean escaped, are just escaping].[ 131 ] The false teachers were wielding an influence upon honest people who had "actually escaped" or were "just escaping" from those living in error. They were attempting to entice new Christians by fleshly temptations. Let not mature saints think they are so strong that they are immune to similar temptations.

(2Pe 2:18)

  1. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due (Ro 1:17).
  2. They allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error (2Pe 2:18).

(2Pe 2:18)

  1. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error (1Jo 4:6).
  2. Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah (Jude 11).

From those who live in error [those, from them, who walk, that live, in error].[ 132 ] People may live in error, embracing it and living according to it. Paul asked:

How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" (Ro 6:2).

Immorality is a form of error and may be "lived in" the same as other sins. Christians ought to be rescuing people from error.

Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins (James 5:19, 20).


2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.

While they promise them liberty [promising, they promise, them freedom].[ 133 ] True freedom in Christ was never intended to give license to sin.

For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another (Ga 5:13; comare Ro 6:1, 2).

They themselves are slaves of corruption [but they, while they, themselves are servants, the servants, bondservants, of corruption].[ 134 ] The false teachers themselves were not free. They were slaves to fleshly depravity. They were encouraging new Christians and others to turn to worldly practices. They used one individual to enslave another in sensuality. Those who were led astray were corrupted. They ended up in a worse condition than at the first.

For by whom a person is overcome [for whatever overcomes a man, for of whom, by what, a man is subdued].[ 135 ]

By him also he is brought into bondage [to that, to this, of the same, he is enslaved, is he brought, also brought, in slavery].[ 136 ]

Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (Ro 6:16).


2:20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.

For if, after they have escaped [for if after having escaped].[ 137 ] Escape from the corruption in the world is only possible for those who obtain "like precious faith" (see 2Pe 1:1). Obedient faith (knowledge of God's word acted upon) makes one a partaker of the "precious promises" (see 2Pe 1:4).

The pollutions of the world [the defilements of the world].[ 138 ] "Pollutions" or "defilements" of the world consist of error, including sins of the flesh (compare Ga 5:19-21; 1Jo 2:15, 16).

We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one (1Jo 5:19).

(2Pe 2:20, 21)

  1. Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man (Eph 4:13).
  2. Attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ (Col 2:2).
  3. And have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him (Col 3:10).

(2Pe 2:20, 21)

  1. Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1Ti 2:4).
  2. Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord (2Pe 1:2).
  3. As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue (2Pe 1:3).
  4. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ
  5. (2Pe 1:8).

Through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ [in a full knowledge, of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ].[ 139 ] Knowledge leads to faith, and faith to obedience to the gospel. The Greek word for "knowledge" in the present verse denotes full or complete knowledge (see charts FULL KNOWLEDGE A and B [each Scripture in these charts is from a form of EPIGNOOSIS, full knowledge]. Jesus said:

And this is eternal life, that they may know[ 140 ] You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent (Joh 17:3).


They are again entangled in them [they are again entangled, again entangled therein].[ 141 ] A person in the world can come out of sin to live in Christ. Afterwards, a careless individual may so live as to become once again entangled in the world.

And overcome [and overpowered, they are subdued by these].[ 142 ] When Christians leave the "right way" (see verse 15) they become subdued by evil and once again become enslaved in the world. In other words, they fall away and are lost. If this were not possible, I do not suppose that Peter would have been concerned about it.

(2Pe 2:20)

  1. They may have indulged in more heinous sins than before.
  2. If they have understood the truth, punishment will be greater (Lu 12:47).
  3. Teachers who fall away tend to influence many others.

The latter end is worse for them than the beginning [their last condition, state, has become, worse with them than the first].[ 143 ] The "beginning" or "first" refers to the time before becoming a Christian. The "latter end" or last state" is the ultimate condition of a Christian who have fallen away. He has once again become enslaved to worldly practices. Why is the "latter end" of one who left the faith worse than the beginning? One observation is that after obeying the gospel, he has more influence on others (see chart WORSE THAN BEFORE). Another thought is that he may be ashamed to come back. Perhaps he rationalizes that he has already learned and obeyed the gospel and now thinks he has found a superior way of living.

When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44 Then he says, "I will return to my house from which I came." And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation (Mt 12:43-45).


2:21 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.

For it would have been better for them [for it were, had been, better for them].[ 144 ] Peter further discusses those who have not known the way of righteousness. The false teachers who had once been Christians had turned away, turned back or abandoned the good way of life in order to return to a life of sin. Why would it have been better if they had not known the true way? First, because of greater jeapordy to their own souls. It is more difficult to restore a brother who has deliberately turned away from Christ. Then one must consider that the punishment will be worse than that meted out to someone not ever converted to Christ (see Lu 12:48).

Not to have known the way of righteousness [never to have known the way of righteousness].[ 145 ] The wonderful way of salvation has been made possible by the righteousness of God (see Ro 1:17). The way of righteousness is for those who have been redeemed and who have been made righteous by the blood of Christ. Knowing the way of righteousness is another way of saying they were saved. Righteousness is the characteristic of those who walk in the way of righteousness.

A highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for others. Whoever walks the road, although a fool, shall not go astray (Isa 35:8).

Than having known it [than after knowing after they have known it].[ 146 ] The apostates of whom Peter writes had once known the way of righteousness and had turned from to teaching false doctrine. The Holy Spirit implies that they once were saved and now are lost.

To turn from the holy commandment [to turn back, to turn away, from the holy commandment].[ 147 ] The "holy commandment" is thought by many to be all of the teaching of the Lord but in the present context there is an allusion to 1 Peter 1:13-16. The OT "holy commandment" was to consecrate oneself:

For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth (Le 11:44).

Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: "You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy" (Le 19:2; compare 20:7).

Christians were made holy when their sins were first forgiven. They remain holy because of their connection with the holy God. They are set apart to Him and are exclusively His. In a moral sense, holiness implies purity, sinlessness and righteousness (see Ro 6:19, 22; 2Co 7:1; 1Th 4:7). Things, actions and people may be holy. Even a kiss is to be holy, the sign of innocent and virtuous affection. There is majesty, beauty and splendor in holiness (see 1Ch 16:29; 2Ch 20:21; Ps 29:2; 96:9; 110:3). God's name is holy. It is also awesome or reverend (Ps 111:9).

(2Pe 2:21)

  1. Temple of God (1Co 3:17).
  2. Holy children (1Co 7:14).
  3. Holy hands (1Ti 2:8).
  4. A holy calling (2Ti 1:9).
  5. Holy brethren (Heb 3:1).
  6. Holy prophets (2Pe 3:2).
  7. Most holy faith (Jude 20).

Delivered to them [delivered unto them].[ 148 ] When the gospel is preached, the holy commandment is passed on to the hearers. In other words, sinners are commanded to repent and live in a holy manner both in doctrine and morals, although the Bible does not make much distinction between the two. They are commanded to live in a way that they do not bring shame and reproach upon the precious name of Jesus Christ or His church.


2:22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: "A dog returns to his own vomit," and, "a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire."

But it has happened to them according to the true proverb [but that word of the true proverb has happened to them].[ 149 ] The parables of the dog and sow are given in order to help Christians understand what has happened to "them," that is, to others who once were Christians but have gone back into the world of sin.

A dog returns to his own vomit [the dog turning, is turned, turns, turns back, has turned back, to its own vomit again].[ 150 ] The proverbs of the dog and sow are true to life. A dog may eat grass in order to throw up and then eat its own vomit.

And, a sow, having washed [and the sow, a hog, is, that is, and that is, was, washed, the washed sow].[ 151 ] The Greek seems to indicate that the sow washed herself. However, in my experience, except for showing at the county fair, it is a waste of time for anyone to wash a sow. Given a mud hole, she will surely get dirty again and that almost immediately by eagerly returning to the mud hole for a pleasant wallow.

To her wallowing in the mire [to, to its, rolling, only to wallow, in mud].[ 152 ] Peter ends the description of the sow as being "in the mire." Worldly Christians end up in the filthy mire of sin.


[ 1 ]The basic text in this chapter is the NKJV. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Alternate phrases in brackets are from ASV, Darby, ESB, KJV and RSV and occasionally another version. Greek transliteration approximates the BibleSoft method.
[ 2 ]DE, but (Marshall 925); introducing a contrast with those who spake by the Holy Ghost [2Pe 2:21] (Vincent 1.688); now (Williams).
[ 3 ]EGENONTO KAI, there were also (Marshall 925); EGENONTO is third person plural, second aorist middle indicative of GINOMAI (Han 424); there arose (Vincent 1.688); there were (Williams); there occurred also (Lenski 301).
[ 4 ]PSEUDOPROPHEETAI, false prophets (Marshall 925; Williams); false prophets, those who falsely claim to be prophets of God or who prophesy falsely (Arndt 892); pseudo-prophets (Lenski 301).
[ 5 ]EN TOO LAOO, among the people (Marshall 925; Williams; Lenski 925); both uses of "among" in this verse are from EN in. When its object is plural (as here): with, among, in the midst (Littrell).
[ 6 ]HOOS KAI ESONTAI, as indeed there will be (Marshall 925); ESONTAI is third person plural, future middle indicatige of EIMI (Han 424); note that Peter speaks of them as future, and Jude (verse 4) as present (Vincent 1.688); as also there will be (Lenski 301); just as there will be too (Williams).
[ 7 ]PSEUDODIDASKALOI, false teachers (Marshall 925); false teachers, plural (Vine 1125); false teachers, probably those who teach falsehoods (Arndt 891).
[ 8 ]HOS KAI EN HUMIN, as indeed among you (Marshall 925); just as among you too (Williams); as also among you (Lenski 301); among (both uses of it in this verse) [from EN in]; when its object is plural (as here): with, among, in the midst (Littrell).
[ 9 ]HOITINES, who (Marshall 925; Williams); of that kind or class which, etc. (Vincent 1.689); such as (Lenski 301).
[ 10 ]PAREISAXOUSIN, will secretly bring in (Marshall 925); third person plural, future active indicative of PAREISAGOO (Han 424); to bring in privily [literally, to bring in beside], to introduce secretly (Vine 144); of false teachers . . . who will bring in destructive opinions (Arndt 624); the metaphor is of spies or traitors introducing themselves into an enemy's camp. The verb means, literally, to bring [AGEIN] into [EIS] by the side of [PARA] (Vincent 1.689); bring in privily [literally, bring in beside], introduce secretly (Vine 144); who will bring in destructive opinions (Arndt 624); as will bring in covertly (Lenski 301); who will insidiously introduce (Williams).
[ 11 ]HAIRSEIS APOOLEIAS, opinions of destruction, genitive of quality: "destructive opinions" (Marshall 925); literally, heresies of destruction. Heresy is a transcript of HAIRESIS, the primary meaning of which is choice; so that a heresy is, strictly, the choice of an opinion contrary to that usually received; thence transferred to the body of those who profess such opinions, and therefore a sect. . . . The rendering heretical doctrines seems to agree better with the context (Vincent 1.689); [from HAIREOMAI to choose]; then, that which is chosen, and hence, an opinion, especially a self-willed opinion, which is substituted for submission to the power of truth, and leads to division and the formation of sects; "destructive" signifies leading to ruin (Vine 547); destructive opinions; heresies that lead to destruction (Arndt 24, 103); by metonymy a destructive thing or opinion: in plural [Received Text]; but the correct reading ASELGEIAIS [licentiousness] was long ago adopted here; destructive opinions (Thayer 71, 78); destructive heresies (Williams); heresies of perdition (Lenski 301).
[ 12 ]ARNOUMENOI, denying (Marshall 925; Lenski 301); the present middle particfiple, nominatige plural masculine of ARNEOMAI (Han 424); a significant word from Peter (Vincent 1.689); to deny the Father and the Son by apostatizing and by disseminating pernicious teachings, to deny Jesus Christ as Master and Lord by immorality under a cloak of religion (Vine 284); deny, repudiate, disown (Arndt 107); and deny (Williams).
[ 13 ]DESPOTEEN, Master (Marshall 925); in most cases in the NT the word is rendered master . . . In five out of the ten occurrences of the word in the NT it means master of the household. Originally, it indicates absolute, unrestricted authority, so that the Greeks refused the title to any but the gods. In the NT DESPOTEES and KURIOS are used interchangeably of God, and of masters of servants (Vincent 1.689); one who has "absolute ownership" and uncontrolled power (Vine 718); lord, master, owner of a vessel . . . of Christ (Arndt 176); even the absolute Master (Lenski 301); the Master (Williams).
[ 14 ]AGORASANTA AUTOUS, having bought them (Marshall 925); AGORASANTA is the first aorist active participle, accusative singular masculine of AGORAZOO (Han 424); [the verb means] primarily to frequent the market-place, the AGORA, hence to do business there, to buy or sell, used literally, for example, in Matthew 14:15. Figuratively, Christ is spoken of as having bought His redeemed, making them His property at the price of His blood, that is, His death through the shedding of His blood in expiation for their sins; AGORAZOO does not mean to redeem (Vine 153); who bought them (Lenski 301); who has bought them (Williams).
[ 15 ]EPAGONTES HEAUTOIS TACHINEEN APOOLEIAN, bringing on themselves swift destruction (Marshall 925); EPAGONTES is the present active participle, nominative plural masculine of EMAGOO (Han 424); "swift [destruction]"; akin to APOLLUMI, and likewise indicating loss of well-being, not of being, is used of persons, signifying their spiritual and eternal perdition . . . metaphorically of men persistent in evil . . . of false teachers (Vine 295, 296, 1112); coming soon, eminent, swift (Arndt 807); swift, quick: of events soon to come or just impending Thayer 616); APOOLEIAN [is] intransitive, the destruction that one experiences, annihilation both complete and in process, ruin. It will come quickly 2 Peter 2:1, is not sleeping, verse 3 (Arndt 103); upon their own selves swift perdition (Lenski 301); thus bringing on themselves swift destruction (Williams).
[ 16 ]KAI POLLOI EXAKOLOUTHEESOUSIN, and many will follow (Marshall 925, 926); EXAKOLOUTHEESOUSIN is third person plural, future active indicative of EXAKOLOUTHEOO (Han 424); [will] follow up, or out to the end [EK out, used intensively, AKOLOUTHEOO to be a follower], used metaphorically, and only by the Apostle Peter in his Second Epistle (Vine 441); many people will follow (Williams); and many shall follow (Lenski 306).
[ 17 ]AUTOON TAIS ASELGEIAIS, of them the licentiousness (Marshall 926); some texts have APOLEIAIS; the true reading is ASELGEIAIS, lascivious doings (Vincent 1.690); denotes excess, licentiousness, absence of restraint, indecency, wantonness . . . in 2 Peter 2:2, according to the best manuscripts, "lascivious [doings] (Vine 640); their excesses (Lenski 306); their immoral ways (Williams).
[ 18 ]DI HOUS, because of whom (Marshall 926); and because of them (Williams); through whom (Lenski 306).
[ 19 ]HEE HODOS TEES ALEETHEIAS, the way of the truth (Marshall 926; Lenski 306); metaphorically, of a course of conduct, or way of thinking . . . of truth (Vine 1215); the true Way (Williams).
[ 20 ]BLASPHEMEETHEESETAI, will be blasphemed (Marshall 926; Lenski 306); BLASPHEMEETHEESETAI is third person singular, future passive indicative of BLASPHEEMEOO (Han 424); [will be] blasphemed, railed at or reviled . . . "be evil spoken of" (Vine 123); will be abused (Williams).
[ 21 ]KAI EN PLEONEXIA, and by covetousness (Marshall 926); literally, in covetousness; denoting the element or sphere in which the evil is wrought (Vincent 1.690); covetousness, literally, a desire to have more [PLEON more, ECHOO to have], always in a bad sense, is used of material possessions (Vine 245); in their greed (Williams); and in covetousness (Lenski 307).
[ 22 ]HUMAS EMPOREUSONTAI, they will make merchandise of you (Marshall 926); EMPOREUSONTAI is third person plural, future middle indicative of EMPOREUOMAI (Han 424); only here and James 4:13); their glory being in having a multitude of followers (Vincent 1.690); primarily signifies travel, especially for business; then, to traffic, trade, James 4:13; then, to make a gain of, make merchandise of (Vine 732); they will exploit you (Arndt 256); they will trade you in (Lenski 307); they will exploit you (Williams).
[ 23 ]PLASTOIS LOGOIS, with fabricated words (Marshall 926); [from PLASSOO to mould, as in clay or wax]. The idea is, therefore, of words molded at will to suit their vain imaginations (Vincent 1.690); primarily denotes formed, molded [from PLASSOO to mold; English plastic]; then, metaphorically, made up, fabricated, feigned (Vine 419); tropically, feigned (Thayer 515); with made-up words (Lenski 307); with messages manufactured by themselves [last phrase implied] (Williams).
[ 24 ]HOIS TO KRIMA EKPALAI, for whom the judgment of old (Marshall 926); sentence. So, commonly in NT; the process or act of judging being expressed by KRISIS; EKPALAI, from of old, bringing out thus more sharply the force of EK. Construe with lingereth (Vincent 1.690); a judgment, a decision passed on the faults of others, is used especially of God's judgment upon men, and translated "sentence" in 2 Peter 2:3; from of old, for a long time [EK from, PALAI long ago, of old] (Vine 807, 1017); from of old their condemnation (Williams); they for whom the sentence this long while (Lenski 307).
[ 25 ]OUK ARGEI, lingers not (Marshall 926); ARGEI is third person singular, present active indicative of ARGEOO (Han 424); the judgment is not idle. It is "represented as a living thing, awake and expectant. Long ago that judgment started on its destroying path, and the fate of sinning angels, and the deluge, and the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah were but incidental illustrations of its power; nor has it ever since lingered. . . . It advances still, strong and vigilant as when first it sprang from the bosom of God, and will not fail to reach the mark to which it was pointed from of old" (Salmond and Lillie; Vincent 1.690); [not] idle, lingers [akin to ARGOS idle], is used negatively regarding the judgment of the persons mentioned (Vine 676); has not been idle (Williams); is not idle (Lenski 307).
[ 26 ]KAI HE APOOLEIA, and the destruction (Marshall 926); more literally, destruction (Vincent 1.690); [akin to APOLLUMI to destroy utterly, to perish], and likewise indicating loss of well-being, not of being, is used . . . of false teachers (Vine 295, 296); and their destruction (Williams); and their perdition (Lenski 307).
[ 27 ]OU NUSTAZEI, slumbers not (Marshall 926); NUSTAZEI is third person singular, present active indicative of NUSTAZOO (Han 424); denotes to nod in sleep [akin to NEUOO to nod], fall asleep, and is used metaphorically in 2 Peter 2:3, negatively, of the destruction awaiting false teachers (Vine 1054); is not nodding in sleep! (Lenski 307); has not been slumbering (Williams).
[ 28 ]Woods 165.
[ 29 ]EI GAR HO THEOS OUK EPHEISATO, for if God spared not (Marshall 926); EPHEISATO is third person singular, present active indicative of NUSTAZOO (Han 424); spare, that is, forego the infliction of that evil or retribution which was designed, used with a negative (Vine 1070); for if God did not spare (Williams); for if God did not spare (Lenski 309).
[ 30 ]ANGELOON, angels (Marshall 926); no article, angels (Vincent 1.691); messengers [from ANGELLOO to deliver a message], sent whether by God or by man or by Satan, "is also used of a guardian or representative in Revelation 1:20; compare Matthew 18:10; Acts 12:15 [where it is better understood as=`ghost'], but most frequently of an order of created beings, superior to man, Hebrews 2:7; Psalm 8:5, belonging to Heaven, Matthew 24:36; Mark 12:25; and to God, Luke 12:8, and engaged in His service, Psalm 103:20. Angels are spirits, Hebrews 1:14, that is, they have not material bodies as men have; they are either human in form, or can assume the human form when necessary, compare Luke 24:4, with verse 23, Acts 10:3 with verse 30 (Vine 47); angels (Williams; Lenski 309).
[ 31 ]"For many angels of God accompanied with women, and begat sons that proved unjust, and despisers of all that was good, on account of the confidence they had in their own strength; for the tradition is, that these men did what resembled the acts of those whom the Grecians call giants" (Josephus, Antiquities 1.3.1).
[ 32 ]HAMARTEESANTOON, sinning (Marshall 926); the first aorist active participle, genitive plural masculine of HAMARTANOO (Han 424); literally, missing the mark, is used in the NT of sinning against God by angels (Vine 1046); when they sinned (Williams); when sinning (Lenski 309).
[ 33 ]ALLA TARTAROOSAS, but consigning to Tartarus (Marshall 926); TARTAROOSAS is the first aorist active participle, nominative singular masculine of TARTAROOO (Han 424); [from TARTAROOO, Tartarus. It is strange to find Peter using this Pagan term, which represents the Greek hell, though treated here not as equivalent of Gehenna, but as the place of detention until the judgment (Vincent 1.691); the verb TARTAROO, translated "cast down to hell" in 2 Peter 1:4, signifies to consign to Tartarus, which is neither Sheol nor Hades nor Hell, but the place where those angels whose special sin is referred to in that passage are confined "to be reserved unto judgment;" the region is described as "pits of darkness" (Vine 543); the name of a place where the fallen angels are held until the judgment day. It may be the same area as Hades, where the "rich man" of Luke 16 found himself after death (Littrell); but hurled them down to Tartarus [that is, hell, prepared for the devil and his angels [Mt 25:41] (Williams); but casting them into Tartarus (Lenski 309).
[ 34 ]PAREDOOKEN, delivered [them] (Marshall 926); PAREDOOKEN is third person singular, first aorist active indicative of PARADIDOOMI (Han 424); given over, often rendered by the verb to commit, for example, to prison, Acts 8:3; to the grace of God, Acts 14:26; to God 1 Peter 2:23; by God to pits of darkness, 2 Peter 2:4 (Vine 203); and committed them (Williams); delivered them (Lenski 309).
[ 35 ]SIROIS, in pits (Marshall 926); SEIRAIS. SEIRA is a cord, or band, sometimes of metal. The best texts, however, substitute SIROIS or SEIROIS pits or caverns. SIROS originally is a place for storing corn (Vincent 1.691); some ancient authorities have SEIRA a cord, rope, band, chain, in 2 Peter 2:4, instead of SEIROS a cavern (Vine 171); is the correct reading SEIROIS [SIROIS], "pits" [such as were used for storing grain or fruits], or SEIRAIS, "chains"? While textual evidence is in favor of the former, everything else speaks in favor of the latter (Lenski 310); dungeons (Williams).
[ 36 ]ZOPHOU, of gloom (Marshall 926); peculiar to Peter and Jude. Originally of the gloom of the nether world (Vincent 1.691); denotes the gloom of the nether world; hence, thick darkness, darkness that may be felt; rendered "darkness" (Vine 260); dark (Williams); of blackness (Lenski 311).
[ 37 ]Vine 260.
[ 38 ]TEEROUMENOUS, being kept (Marshall 926); the present passive participle, accusative plural masculine of TEEREOO (Han 424); literally, being reserved (Vincent 1.692); kept guard, kept, preserved, given heed to . . . with a retributive issue (Vine 958); who are kept (Thayer 481); to await (Williams); as being kept (Lenski 309).
[ 39 ]EIS KRISIN, to judgment (Marshall 926); primarily denotes a separating, then, a decision, judgment, most frequently in a forensic sense, and especially of Divine judgment . . . justice (Vine 214, 611); God's righteous judgment (Arndt 452); unto judgment; this is the final public judgment KRISIS [not KRIMA, "sentence," verse 3] (Lenski 309, 311); their doom (Williams).
[ 40 ]KAI ARCHAIOU KOSMOU OUK EPHEISATO, and [the] ancient world spared not (Marshall 926); EPHEISATO is third person singular, first aorist active indicative of PHEIDOMAI (Han 424); [did not] spare, forego the infliction of that evil or retribution which was designed, used with a negative (Vine 1070); and if He did not spare the ancient world (Williams); and spared not an ancient world (Lenski 311).
[ 41 ]ALLA NOOE EPHULAXEN, but Noe guarded (Marshall 926); EPHULAXEN is third person singular, first aorist active indicative of PHULASSOO (Han 424); guarded, kept, preserved (Vine 993); preserved (Vincent 1.692); but preserved Noah (Williams); but guarded Noah (Lenski 311).
[ 42 ]OGDOON, [the] eighth man (Marshall 926); eighth (Vine 350); and seven others (Williams).
[ 43 ]KEERUKA, a herald (Marshall 926); literally, a herald (Vincent 1.692); of Noah, as a preacher of righteousness (Vine 874); a preacher (Williams); a herald (Lenski 311).
[ 44 ]DIKAIOSUNEES, of righteousness (Marshall 926; Williams; Lenski 311); whatever is right and just in itself, whatever conforms to the revealed will of God . . . whatever has been appointed by God to be acknowledged and obeyed by man . . . the sum total of the requirements of God . . . religious duties (Vine 970).
[ 45 ]Compare Josephus, Antiquities 1.3.1.
[ 46 ]KATAKLUSMON EPAXAS, a flood bringing on (Marshall 926); EPAXAS is the first aorist active infinitive of EPAGOO (Han 424); [the] deluge [English cataclysm], akin to KATAKLUZOO to inundate, is used of the flood in Noah's time; brought upon (Vine 144, 439); when He brought the flood (Williams); when he brought a deluge (Lenski 311).
[ 47 ]About 45 years ago, the writer was privileged to read in Folklore of the Old Testament various accounts of a great flood in the library of Eastern New Mexico University at Portales.
[ 48 ]"Salvific" means redemptive or saving.
[ 49 ]KOSMOO ASEBOON, a world of impious men (Marshall 926); impious, ungodly [akin to ASEBEIA impiety, ungodliness], without reverence for God, not merely irreligious, but acting in contravention of God's demands (Vine 1182); godless, impious (Arndt 114); a world of ungodly ones (Lenski 311); the world of godless people (Williams).
[ 50 ]KAI POLEIS SODOMOON KAI GOMORRAS, and [the] cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Marshall 926); and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Lenski 312; Williams).
[ 51 ]A perverted one was one who practiced sodomy and prostitution in religious rituals (NKJV footnote).
[ 52 ]TEPHROOSAS, covering [them] with ashes (Marshall 926); turning to ashes, with reference to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Vine 70); by burning them to ashes (Williams); by turning them to ashes (Lenski 312).
[ 53 ]KATEKRINEN, condemned (Marshall 926); third person singular, first aorist active indicative of KATAKRINOO (Han 424); strengthened form of KRINOO to distinguish, choose, give an opinion upon, judge, sometimes denotes to condemn], signifies given judgment against, passed sentence upon; hence, condemned, implying the fact of a crime (Vine 214); and if He condemned (Williams); he condemned (Lenski 312).
[ 54 ]KATASTROPHEE, by an overthrow (Marshall 926); literally, a turning down [KATA down, STROPHEE a turning; English catastrophe], used literally (Vine 825); ruin, destruction, generally . . . condemn to destruction (Arndt 419); with a catastrophe (Lenski 312).
[ 55 ]HUPODEIGMA TETHEIKOOS, an example having set [made] (Marshall 926); TETHEIKOOS is the perfect active participle, nominative singular masculine of TITHEEMI (Han 424); literally, that which is shown [from HUPO under, DEIKNUMI to show], hence an example . . . for warning (Vine 364); setting an example (Lenski 312); making them an example (Williams).
[ 56 ]Zondervan 800.
[ 57 ]MELLONTOON ASEBEIN of men intending to live impiously (Marshall 926); MELLONTOON is the present active participle, genitive plural masculine or neuter of MELLOO; ASEBEIN is the present active infinitive of ASEBEOO (Han 424); to godless people (Williams); for any in the future living ungodly (Lenski 312).
[ 58 ]KAI ERRUSATO, and delivered (Marshall 926); ERRUSATO is third person singular, first aorist middle indicative of RHUOO (Han 424); aorist tense, middle voice, third person singular of RHUOMAI, drew to Himself, rescued, delivered (Thayer 564, 716); and rescued (Lenski 312); and saved (Williams).
[ 59 ]DIKAION LOOT, righteous Lot (Marshall 926; Lenski 312); signifies "just," without prejudice or partiality (Vine 969); the upright Lot (Williams).
[ 60 ]KATAPONOUMENON, being oppressed (Marshall 926); the present passive participle, accusative singular masculine of KATAPONEOO (Han 424); KATA gives the force of worn down (Vincent 1.693); worn down with toil (Vine 1198); present passive participle, worn down, tired out, harassed beyond endurance (compare Woods 168); sore wearied (Lenski 312); who was constantly distressed (Williams).
[ 61 ]HUPO TEES TOON ATHESMOON EN ASELGEIA ANASTROPHEES, by the of the lawless in licentiousness conduct (Marshall 926); literally, by the behavior of the lawless in wantonness; wicked ATHESMOON, literally, lawless; ASELGEIA wantonness (Vincent 1.693); denotes excess, licentiousness, absence of restraint, indecency, wantonness (Vine 640); by the immoral conduct of lawless men (Williams); by the conduct of the nefarious ones in excess (Lenski 312).
[ 62 ]HO DIKAIOS, the [that] righteous man (Marshall 926); the righteous one (Lenski 314); that upright man (Williams).
[ 63 ]ENKATOIKOON EN AUTOIS, dwelling among them (Marshall 926; Lenski 314); ENKATOIKOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of ENKATOIKEOO (Han 424); dwelling, and therefore suffering continually, from day to day (Vincent 1.694); [EN in, KATA down, OIKEOO to dwell, from OIKOS a house], dwelling among (Vine 337); was living among them (Williams).
[ 64 ]PSUCHEEN DIKAIAN EBASANIZEN, [his] soul righteous tormented (Marshall 926); EBASANIZEN is third person singular, imperfect active indicative of BASANIZOO (Han 424); imperfect active of BASANIZOO kept on tormenting (Woods 168); the original sense is to test by touchstone or by torture (Vincent 1.694); primarily, rubbed on the touchstone, put to the test, then, examined by torture [BASAMOS touchstone, torment], hence denotes tortured, tormented, distressed (Vine 1153); kept torturing a righteous soul (Lenski 314); his upright soul was always being tortured (Williams).
[ 65 ]The imperfect tense denotes continued action in past time (Machen 122).
[ 66 ]HEEMERAN EX HEEMERAS, day after day (Marshall 926); from day to day (Lenski 314); day and night (Williams).
[ 67 ]BLEMMATI GAR KAI AKOEE, in seeing for and in hearing the [that] (Marshall 926); usually of the look of a man from without, through which the vexation comes to the soul (Vincent 1.694); primarily a look, a glance [akin to BLEPOO to have sight, used of bodily vision], denotes sight, 2 Peter 2:8, rendered "seeing;" some interpret it as meaning "look;" Moulton and Milligan illustrate it thus from the papyri; it seems difficult however to take the next word "hearing" [in the similar construction] in this way (Vine 1011); for by sight and hearing (Lenski 314); by what he saw and heard (Williams).
[ 68 ]ANOMOIS ERGOIS, with [their] lawless works (Marshall 926); lawless; only here in NT with things. In all other cases it is applied to persons (Vincent 1.694); the thought is not simply that of doing what is unlawful, but of flagrant defiance of the known will of God (Vine 647); with lawless works (Lenski 314); in their lawless actions (Williams).
[ 69 ]Vine 647.
[ 70 ]OIDEN KURIOS, knows [the] Lord [that is, "the Lord can deliver"] (Marshall 926); OIDEN is third person singular, perfect active indicative of OIDA (Han 424); from the same root as EIDON to see is a perfect tense with a present meaning, signifying, primarily, to have seen or perceived; hence, to know, to have knowledge of, whether absolutely, as in Divine knowledge [2Pe 2:9] or in the case of human knowledge, to know from observation (Vine 628); surely, then, the Lord knows how (Williams); the Lord knows how (Lenski 315).
[ 71 ]RHUESTHAI, to deliver (Marshall 927); the present middle infinitive of RHUOMAI (Han 424); to rescue from, to preserve from, and so, to deliver . . . largely synonymous with SOOZOO to save, though the idea of rescue is predominant in RHUOMAI . . . that of preservation from, in SOOZOO. . . . from temptation (Vine 281, 282); to rescue (Lenski 315; Williams).
[ 72 ]EUSEBEIS, pious men (Marshall 926); used by Peter only; compare Acts 10:2, 7 (Vincent 1.694); denotes pious, devout, godly, indicating reverence manifested in actions (Vine 492); godly people (Williams); godly ones (Lenski 315).
[ 73 ]EK PEIRASMOU, out of trial (Marshall 926); akin to PEIRAZOO to try, attempt, assay; to test, try, prove], used of trials or temptations, Divinely permitted or sent (Vine 1129); temptation, from without or from within, that can be an occasion of sin to a person (Arndt 640); specifically the trial of man's fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy . . . adversity, affliction, trouble, [compare our trial], sent by God and serving to test or prove one's faith, holiness, character (Thayer 498); from trial (Williams); out of temptation (Lenski 315).
[ 74 ]ADIKOUS TEEREIN, unjust men to keep (Marshall 927); TEEREIN is the present active infinitive of TEEREOO (Han 424); to guard, keep, preserve, give heed to, translated to reserve . . . with a retributive issue (Vine 957, 958); and to keep wrongdoers (Williams); but to keep unrighteous ones (Lenski 315).
[ 75 ]KOLAZOMENOUS, being punished (Marshall 927); present passive participle, accusative plural masculine of KOLAZOO (Han 424); present participle of KOLAZOO to punish, and reveals that the punishment of the wicked precedes as well as follows the final judgment (Woods 169); being punished (Marshall 927); the participle here is, literally, being punished (Vincent 1.694); primarily denotes to curtail, prune, dock [from KOLOS docked]; then, to check, restrain, punish . . . passive voice in 2 Peter 2:9, to be punished, a futurative present tense (Vine 902); under punishment (Williams); while being punished (Lenski 315).
[ 76 ]DE EIS HEMERAN KRISEOS, but for a day of judgment (Marshall 927); Day of judgment . . . of the activity of God or the Messiah as judge, especially on the Last Day (Arndt 452); for the day of judgment (Williams); for judgment day (Lenski 315).
[ 77 ]MALISTA DE TOUS OPISOO SARKOS POREUOMENOUS, and most of all the after the flesh [ones] going (Marshall 927); POREUOMENOUS is the present middle participle, accusative plural masculine of POREUOMAI (Han 424); of the general activities of life (Vine 1207); especially those trailing along behind flesh (Lenski 315); especially those who satisfy their lower nature (Williams).
[ 78 ]EN EPITHUMIA MIASMOU, in lust of defilement, genitive of quality: "defiling lust" (Marshall 927); [akin to MIAINOO to stain, pollute, defile]; primarily denotes the act of defiling, the process, in contrast to the defiling thing (Vine 278); pollution, corruption . . . follow after the flesh in corrupting desire (Arndt 521); by indulging in its evil passions (Williams); in lust for defilement (Lenski 315).
[ 79 ]KAI KURIOTEETOS KATAPHRONOUNTAS, and dominion despising (Marshall 927); KATAPHRONOUNTAS is the present active participle, accusative plural masculine of KATAPHRONEOO (Han 424); [KATA down, PHREEN the mind], hence signifies to think slightly of, to despise; think down upon or against [lordship, power, dominion] (Vine 293, 325); and despising lordship (Lenski 315); and who despise authority (Williams).
[ 80 ]TOLMEETAI, darers (Marshall 927; Lenski 317); literally, darers (Vincent 1.695); daring . . . shameless and irreverent daring (Vine 259); daring (Williams).
[ 81 ]AUTHADEIS, self-satisfied (Marshall 927); [from AUTOS self, HEEDOMAI to delight in]. Therefore a self-loving spirit (Vincent 1.695); self-pleasing [AUTOS self, HEEDOMAI to please], denotes one who, dominated by self-interest, and inconsiderate of others, arrogantly asserts his own will, "self-willed" (Vine 1014); self-pleasing (Lenski 317); headstrong men! (Williams).
[ 82 ]OU TREMOUSIN, they do not tremble [at] (Marshall 927); TREMOUSIN is third person plural, present active indicative of TREMOO (Han 424); [do not] tremble, especially with fear . . . tremble [not], they are [not] afraid (Vine 1165); they do not tremble (Lenski 317; Williams).
[ 83 ]BLASPHEEMOUNTES, blaspheming (Marshall 927; Lenski 317); present active participle, nominative plural masculine of BLASPHEEMEOO (Han 424); blaspheme, rail at or revile, is used of those who speak contemptuously of God or of sacred things (Vine 123); when they abuse (Williams).
[ 84 ]DOXAS, glories (Marshall 927); literally, glories. Probably angelic powers: note the reference to the angels immediately following, as in Jude 9 to Michael (Vincent 1.695); primarily denotes an opinion, estimation, repute; in the NT, always good opinion, praise, honor, glory, an appearance commanding respect, magnificence, excellence, manifestation of glory; hence, of angelic powers, in respect of their state as commanding recognition, "dignities," (Vine 303); glories (Lenski 317); persons of majesty [literally, glories, glorious persons, persons of majesty] (Williams).
[ 85 ]HOPOU ANGELOI, where angels (Marshall 927; Lenski 317); [from ANGELLOO, to deliver a message] (Vine 47); whereas angels (Williams).
[ 86 ]ISCHUI KAI DUNAMEI MEIZONES ONTES, in strength and in power greater being (Marshall 927); ONTES is the present active participle, nominative plural mnasculine of EIMI (Han 424); the radical idea of ISCHUS might is that of indwelling strength, especially as embodied: might which inheres in physical powers organized and working under individual direction, as an army: which appears in the resistance; [and power] ability, faculty: not necessarily manifest, as ISCHUS: power residing in one by nature . . . it is, however, mostly power in action, as in the frequent use of DUNAMEIS for miracles, mighty works, they being exhibitions of divine virtue (Vincent 1.695, 696); comparative degree of MEGAS great, used of degree and intensity; of might, strength, power as an endowment of angels [here the order is ISCHUI and DUNAMEI "might and power" which better expresses the distinction than the KJV "power and might"]; power, used absolutely, denotes power in action (Vine 503, 738); being greater in strength and power (Lenski 317); who are far superior in strength and power (Williams).
[ 87 ]OU PHEROUSIN KAT' AUTOON BLASPHEEMON KRISIN, do not bring against them railing judgment (Marshall 927); PHEROUSIN is third person plural, present active indicative of PHEROO (Han 424); KRISIN, which has been translated "accusation," in the KJV of 2 Peter 2:11 and Jude 9 [ASV "judgment"], signifies a judgment, a decision given concerning anything; speaking evil, blaspheming, railing, reviling (Vine 18, 124, 916); do not bring against them blasphemous judging (Lenski 317); bring no abusive accusation against them (Williams).
[ 88 ]The preceding verse suggests that "the Lord" was "the angel of the Lord" (see Zec 3:1).
[ 89 ]PARA KURIOO, before [the] Lord (Marshall 927; Williams; Lenski 317).
[ 90 ]HOUTOI DE, but these men (Marshall 927); these men (Williams); but these (Lenski 320).
[ 91 ]HOOS ALOGA ZOOA GEGENNEEMENA PHUSIKA, as without reason animals having been born natural (Marshall 927); GEGENNEEMENA is the perfect passive participle, nominative plural neuter of GENNAOO (Han 424); this massing of epithets is characteristic of Peter. Brute [ALOGA], literally, unreasoning or irrational. . . Beasts [ZOOA], literally, living creatures [from ZAOO to live]. More general and inclusive than beasts, since it denotes strictly all creatures that live, including man; natural [PHUSIKA], mere animals, should be construed with made or born [GEGENNEEMENA] (Vincent 1.696); ZOOA primarily denotes a living being [ZOOEE life], the English "animal," is the equivalent, stressing the fact of life as the characteristic feature; in 2 Peter 2:12 and Jude 10 ALGOA signifies without reason, though , as J. Hastings points out, "brute beasts" is not at all unsuitable, as "brute" is from Latin BRUTUS, which means dull, irrational, governed by mere animal instincts (Vine 94, 147, 774); born [only] as physical, as irrational animals (Lenski 320); like irrational animals; mere creatures of instinct [literally, created mere physical beings] (Williams).
[ 92 ]EIS HALOOSIN KAI PHTHORAN, for capture and corruption (Marshall 927); literally, for capture and destruction (Vincent 1.696); "to be taken" translates the phrase EIS HALOOSIN, literally, "for capture" [HALOOSIS a taking], of the death and decay of beasts; governed by mere animal instincts (Vine 235, 774); to be caught and killed (Williams); for capture and perishing (Lenski 320); born [only] as physical (Lenski 320); mere creatures of instinct [literally, created mere physical beings] (Williams).
[ 93 ]Pork and certain other foods were prohibited in the OT (see Ge 9:4; Le 11:1-47; 22:8; De 14:3, 7, 8, 10, 12-19; 21; Jg 13:4, 14; compare Ac 10:14).
[ 94 ]BLASPHEEMOUNTES, railing (Marshall 927); the present active participle, nominative plural masculine of BLASPHEEMEOO (Han 424); participle, railing (Vincent 1.697); [BLAX sluggish, stupid or, probably, BLAPTOO to injure and PHEEMEE speech] speaking profanely; of those who speak contemptuously of sacred things (Vine 123, 966); abuse (Williams); blaspheming (Lenski 320).
[ 95 ]EN HOIS AGNOOUSIN, in things which they are ignorant [of] (Marshall 927); AGNOOUSIN is third person plural, present active indicative of AGNOEOO (Han 424); signifies [are] ignorant, not to know, transitively, "understand not," "are ignorant [of]" (Vine 576); in connection with things they are ignorant of (Lenski 320); the things that they do not understand (Williams).
[ 96 ]Tom Burch of Escondido, CA wrote, "A `hermeneutic of suspicion' is what Randall Harris (David Lipscomb University) said we should proceed under. Assuming the relativism of Post-Modernism, he made an interesting case for the fact that we never see clearly in this world. So we must do the best we can." The leading scholar who expresses best the hermeneutic of suspicion as it applies to the women's liberation theology was Elizabeth Schussler Fiorenza, the author of In Memory of Tier and Bread Not Stone (J. E. Choate, "The Best Kept Secret of Our Liberal Brethren: the `Hermeneutic of Suspicion,'" Firm Foundation 110.5, Houston, May 1995, pages 1, 6).
[ 97 ]EN TEE PHTHORA AUTOON KAI PHTHAREESONTAI, in the corruption of them indeed they will be corrupted (Marshall 927); PHTHAREESONTAI is third person plural, future passive indicative of PHTHEIROO (Han 424); of the effects of the work of false and abominable teachers upon themselves, 2 Peter 2:12 [some texts have KATAPHTHEIROO, compare 2Ti 3:8)] (Vine 234); in this their perishing shall even perish (Lenski 320); and so by their corruption they will be destroyed (Williams).
[ 98 ]ADIKOUMENOI MISTHON ADIKIAS, suffering wrong [as] wages of wrong (Marshall 927); ADIKOUMENOI is the present passive participle, nominative plural masculine of ADIKEOO (Han 424); primarily wages, hire, and then, generally, reward; [A negative, DIKEE right, justice], passive voice "suffering wrong" [some texts have KOMIZOO to receive]; there is a play upon words here which may be brought out thus, "being defrauded [of the wages of fraud]," a use of the verb illustrated in the papyri (Vine 531, 570, 966, 1104, 1205); intending to bring away wages of unrighteousness (Lenski 322); suffering wrong as punishment for their wrongdoing (Williams).
[ 99 ]HEEDONEEN HEEGOUMENOI TRUPHEEN, [to be] pleasure deeming luxury (Marshall 927); HEEGOUMENOI is the present middle participle, nominative plural masculine of HEEGEOMAI (Han 424); primarily lead the way; hence, lead before the mind, account [it a] pleasure, used of the gratification of the natural desire or sinful desires [akin to HEEDOMAI to be glad, and HEEDEOS gladly]; TRUPHEEN, luxuriousness, daintiness, revelling (Vine 238, 965); pleasure (Thayer 276); luxurious living real pleasure (Williams); counting the revel a pleasure (Lenski 322).
[ 100 ]TEEN EN HEEMERA, in [the] day (Marshall 927); literally, "counting revelling in the daytime a pleasure" (Vine 965); daily (Williams); in the daytime (Lenski 322).
[ 101 ]SPILOI, spots (Marshall 927; Lenski 322); spots or stains, used metaphorically of lascivious and riotous persons (Vine 1080); spots, stains (Arndt 762); they are spots (Williams).
[ 102 ]KAI MOOMOI, and blemishes (Marshall 927; Lenski 322); a shame, a moral disgrace, metaphorical of the licentious (Vine 124); defects, blemishes bodily . . . and also moral . . . of teachers of error (Arndt 531); and blots (Williams).
[ 103 ]ENTRUPOHOONTES, revelling (Marshall 927; Lenski 322); the present active participle, nominative plural masculine of ENTRUPHAOO (Han 424); sporting (Vine 1080); living in luxury, living delicately or luxuriously, revelling in (Thayer 219); living in luxurious pleasure (Williams).
[ 104 ]EN TAIS APATAIS AUTOON, in the deceits of them (Marshall 927); the most authentic texts have "revelling in their love-feasts [AGAPAIS]" fir AV, "deceivings" [APATAIS] (Vine 271); deceitfully (Williams); in their deceit (Lenski 322).
[ 105 ]SUNEUOOCHOUMENOI HUMIN, feasting along with you (Marshall 927); SUNEUOOCHOUMENOI is the present middle participle, nominative plural masculine of SUNEUCHEOMAI (Han 424); entertain sumptuously with, used in the passive voice, denoting feast sumptuously with [SUN together, EUOOCHIA good cheer], revel with (Vine 417); while feasting together with you (Lenski 322); while they continue their religious feasting with you (Williams).
[ 106 ]OPHTHALMOUS ECHONTES MESTOUS MOICHALIDOS, eyes having full of an adulteress (Marshall 927); ECHONTES is the present active participle, nominative plural masculine of ECHOO (Han 424); metaphorically, of ethical qualities . . . as the instrument of evil desire, "the principal avenue of temptation;" the literal translation is "full of an adulteress" (Vine 25, 394); they have eyes full of adultery (Williams); having eyes full of an adulteress (Lenski 324).
[ 107 ]KAI AKATAPAUSTOUS HAMARTIAS, and not ceasing from sin (Marshall 927); incessant, not to be set at rest [from A negative, KATA down, PAUOO to cease], of those who "cannot cease" from sin, that is, who cannot be restrained from sinning (Vine 169); and unable to cease from sin (Lenski 324); and insatiable by sin (Williams).
[ 108 ]DELEAZONTES, alluring (Marshall 927); the present active participle, nominative plural masculine of DELEAZOO (Han 424); originally meant to catch by a bait [from DELEAR a bait], hence to beguile, entice by blandishments [coaxing, flattering] (Vine 104); enticing [baiting] (Lenski 324); they practice enticing (Williams).
[ 109 ]KARDIAN GEGUMNASMENEEN PLEONEXIAS ECHONTES, a heart having been exercised of [in] covetousness having (Marshall 927); GEGUMNASMENEEN is the perfect passive participle, accusative singular feminine of GUMNAZOO; ECHONTES is the present active participle, nominative plural masculine of ECHOO (Han 424); primarily signifies to exercise naked [from GUMNOS naked], then, generally, to exercise, to train the body or mind [English gymnastic], of certain evil teachers with hearts "exercised in covetousness"; covetousness, desire for advantage, literally, a desire to have more [PLEON more, ECHOO to have], always in a bad sense (Vine 245, 389, 394); greedy desire to have more, covetousness, avarice (Thayer 516); they have trained their hearts (Williams); having a heart exercised [like a gymnast; the perfect to indicate the continuing condition] in covetousness (Lenski 324).
[ 110 ]For an explanation of part of the heart as the mind, see Vine 537; charts NT HEART A and B at 1 Thessalonians 2:4.
[ 111 ]KATARAS TEKNA, of curse children (Marshall 927); [KATA down, intensive, ARA a malediction, cursing], denotes an execration, imprecation, curse, uttered out of malevolence (Vine 254); men worthy of execration (Thayer 335); children of curse! (Lenski 324); they are doomed to a curse! [literally, children of a curse] (Williams).
[ 112 ]KATALEIPONTES EUTHEIAN HODON, forsaking a straight way (Marshall 927); KATALEIPONTES is the present active participle, nominative plural masculine of KATALEIPOO (Han 424); forsaking, in the sense of abandoning (Vine 456); just, righteous, that which is in accordance with DIKEE rule, right, justice; metaphorically, of a course of conduct, or way of thinking . . . the right way (Vine 969, 1215); having abandoned a right way (Lenski 325); they have left the straight road (Williams).
[ 113 ]EPLANEETHEESAN, they erred (Marshall 927); third person plural, first aorist passive indicative of PLANAOO (Han 424); aorist passive, third person singular of PLANAOO, wandered or fallen away from the true faith (Thayer 514, 716); and gone astray (Williams); they went astray (Lenski 325). The Greek aorist tense suggests there was a certain time in the past when the false teachers actually went astray.
[ 114 ]EXAKOLOUTHEESANTES TEE HODOO TOU BALAAM TOU BEOR, following the way of Balaam the [son] of Beor (Marshall 927); EXAKOLOUTHEESANTES is the first aorist active participle, nominative plural masculine of EXANOLOUTHEOO (Han 424); following up, or out to the end [EK out, used intensively, AKOLOUTHEOO to be a follower or companion], used metaphorically, of lascivious doings; the way [of Balaam] (Vine 441, 1215); [BEOR means] a torch, a lamp (Thayer 104); they have followed the road that Balaam, the son of Beor, trod (Williams); following out the way of Balaam, the [son] of Bosor (Lenski 325); little is known about Beor or Bosor except that he was the father of Balaam. His name means torch or lamp (see Nu 22:5; De 23:4). The writer has not located any mention of him in the writings of Josephus.
[ 115 ]Zondervan 1.463).
[ 116 ]HOS MISTHON ADIKIAS EEGAPEESEN, [the] wages of wrong-doing loved (Marshall 927, 928); EEGAPEESEN is third person singular, first aorist active indicative of AGAPAOO (Han 424); hire, rendered "wages" (Vine 1204); who fell in love with the profits of wrongdoing (Williams); who loved wages of unrighteousness (Lenski 325).
[ 117 ]ELENXIN DE ESCHEN IDIAS PARANOMIAS, and reproof had of [his] own transgression (Marshall 928); ESCHEN is third person singular, second aorist active indicative of ECHOO (Han 425); rebuke, used with ECHOO to have and translated "he was rebuked," literally, he had rebuke; [PARA contrary to, NOMOS law] (Vine 926, 1161); BUT WAS REPROVED FOR HIS OFFENSE (Williams); but had rebuke for his own deviation from law (Lenski 325).
[ 118 ]HUPOZUGION APHOONON EN ANTHROOPOU PHOONEE PHTHENXAMENON, ass a dumb with of a man voice speaking (Marshall 928); PHTHENXAMENON is the first aorist middle participle, nominative singular neuter of PHTHENGOMAI (Han 426); voiceless, or soundless [A negative, PHOONEE a sound], has reference to voice . . . while ALALOS has reference to words; HUPOZUGION is, literally, under a yoke [HUPO under, ZUGOS a yoke], used of Balaam's ass (Vine 74, 335); voiceless, dumb; without the faculty of speech (Thayer 90); incapable of speech, of human speech (Arndt 128); a dumb beast of burden by speaking in human voice (Lenski 325); a dumb animal spoke with a human voice (Williams).
[ 119 ]EKOOLUSEN TEEN TOU PROPHEETOU PARAPHRONIAN, restrained the of the prophet madness (Marshall 928); EKOOLUSEN is third person singular, first aorist aactive indicative of KOOLUOO (Han 425; hindered [the] madness [from PARA contrary to, PHREEN the mind]; one who speaks forth or openly, a proclaimer of a divine message (Vine 699, 894, 1085); hindered the prophet's deviation of mind (Lenski 325); and stopped the prophet's madness (Williams).
[ 120 ]See the words of Agur in Proverbs 30:8, 9.
[ 121 ]Balaam died by the sword of the children of Israel (see Jos 13:22).
[ 122 ]NU-Text reads and mists.
[ 123 ]NU-Text omits forever.
[ 124 ]HOUTOI EISIN PEEGAI ANUDROI, these men are springs waterless (Marshall 928); EISIN is third person singular, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 425); springs, metaphorically; waterless [A negative, HUDOOR water] (Vine 334, 458, 1082); these are waterless springs (Lenski 327); such men are dried-up springs (Williams).
[ 125 ]KAI HOMICHLAI HUPO LAILAPOS ELAUNOMENAI, and mists by storm being driven (Marshall 928); ELAUNOMENAI is the present passive participle, nominative plural feminine of ELAUNOO (Han 425); mists [not so thick as NEPHOS and NEPHELEE, [both of which mean] a cloud]; some manuscripts have NEPHELAI "clouds"; driven, impelled, urged on, used of storms upon mists (Vine 332, 749); mists driven by whirlwind (Lenski 327); clouds driven by the storm (Williams).
[ 126 ]HOIS HO ZOPHOS TOU SKOTOUS TETEEREETAI, for whom the gloom of the darkness has been kept (Marshall 928); TETEEREETAI is third person singular, perfect passive indicative of TEEREOO (Han 425); denotes the gloom of the nether world; hence, thick darkness, darkness that may be felt; blackness, especially the gloom of the regions of the lost; darkness, a neuter noun, by metonymy, of the place of punishment; guarded, kept, preserved, given heed to, with a retributive issue (Vine 122, 260, 957, 958); for whom the blackness of the darkness has been kept (Lenski 327); and they are doomed to densest darkness (Williams).
[ 127 ]NU-Text reads are barely escaping.
[ 128 ]HUPERONKA GAR MATAIOTEETOS PHTHENGOMENOI, for immoderate [words] of vanity speaking (Marshall 928); PHTHENGOMENOI is the present middle participle, nominative plural masculine of PHTHENGOMAI (Han 425); [HUPERONKA is] an adjective denoting of excessive weight or size, used metaphorically in the sense of immoderate, especially of arrogant speech, in the neuter plural, virtually as a noun, 2 Peter 2:18; Jude 16, "great swelling words," doubtless with reference to Gnostic phraseology; [PHTHENGOMENOI means] uttering a sound or voice; [MATAIOTEETOS denotes] emptiness as to results, [akin to MATAIOS void of result, empty, vain], of the "great swelling words" of false teachers (Vine 1112, 1191), 1195); for by uttering arrogant nonsense (Williams); for speaking grandiose things of vainness (Lenski 328).
[ 129 ]DELEAZOUSIN EN EPITHUMIAIS SARKOS, they allure by [the] lusts of [the] flesh (Marshall 928); DELEAZOUSIN is third person plural, present active indicative of DELEAZOO (Han 425); primarily, lure by a bait [from DELEAR a bait], is used metaphorically . . . in 2 Peter 2:14, of seducers; "entice [in]" for KJV "allure [through]" (Vine 366); through base desires of the lower nature, they entice (Williams); they entice in connection with lusts . . . of flesh (Lenski 328).
[ 130 ]ASELGEIAIS, in excesses (Marshall 928); dative of instrument, by lasciviousness [plural] (Woods 175); excess, licentiousness, absence of restraint, indecency, wantonness . . . practiced by the same persons mentioned in Jude. The prominent idea is shameless conduct [some have derived the word from A negative and SELGEE a city in Pisidia; others with similar improbability, trace it to A negative and SELGOO, or THELGOO to charm] (Vine 640); by excesses [of flesh] (Lenski 328); into immorality (Williams).
[ 131 ]TOUS OLIGOOS APOPHEUGONTAS, the [ones] almost escaping (Marshall 928); APOPHEUGONTAS is the present active participle, accusative plural masculine of APOPHEUGOO (Han 425); fleeing away from [APO from, PHEUGOO to flee], escaping (Vine 370); NU-Text reads are barely escaping (NKJV footnote); those just escaping (Lenski 328); men who are just escaping (Williams).
[ 132 ]TOUS EN PLANEE ANASTREPHOMEINOUS, the [ones] in error living (Marshall 929); ANASTREPHOMEINOUS is the present middle participle, accusdative plural masculine of ANASTREPHOO (Han 425); ANASTREPHOMEINOUS [ANA again, STREPHOO to turn], live in a certain manner of life; [is] used metaphorically, in the middle voice, to conduct oneself, behave, live, is translated to live ["in error"]; a wandering, a forsaking of the right path, see James 5:20, whether in doctrine, 2 Peter 3:17; 1 John 4:6, or in morals, Romans 1:27; 2 Peter 2:18; Jude 11, though, in Scripture, doctrine and morals are never divided by any sharp line. "Errors in doctrine are not infrequently the effect of relaxed morality, and vice versa" (Vine 3, 105, 369, 679); those conducting themselves in error (Lenski 328); from those who live in error (Williams).
[ 133 ]ELEUTHERIAN AUTOIS EPANGELLOMENOI, freedom to them promising (Marshall 928); EPANGELLOMENOI is the present middle participle, nominative plural masculine of EPANGELLOO (Han 425); announcing, proclaiming, has in the NT two meanings professing and promising, each used in the middle voice; made by men (Vine 892); promising them liberty (Lenski 328); promising them freedom (Williams).
[ 134 ]AUTOI DOULOI HUPARCHONTES TEES PHTHARAS, [them]selves being slaves of corruption (Marshall 928); HUPARCHONTES is the present active participle, nominative plural masculine of HUPARCHOO (Han 425); [DOULOI], an adjective, signifying "in bondage" . . . used as a noun, and as the most common and general word for "servant," frequently indicating subjection without the idea of bondage; it is used metaphorically of spiritual, moral and ethical conditions; servants of corruption; PHTHARAS signifies a bringing or being brought into an inferior or worse condition, a destruction or corruption . . . of the effect upon themselves of the work of false and immoral teachers, "corruption" (Vine 235, 1019); themselves being slaves of corruption (Lenski 328); though they are slaves of destruction themselves (Williams).
[ 135 ]HOO GAR TIS HEETTEETAI, for by whom anyone has been defeated (Marshall 928); HEETTEETAI is third person singular, perfect passive indicative of HEETTAOMAI (Han 425); made inferior, enslaved (Vine 823); for by what one has been worsted (Lenski 329, 330); for anything that conquers him (Williams).
[ 136 ]TOUTOO DEDOULOOTAI, to this man he has been enslaved (Marshall 928); DEDOULOOTAI is third person singular, perfect passive indicative of DOULOOO (Han 425); in the passive voice, brought under bondage (Vine 131); by that he has also been made a slave (Lenski 330); a man is the slave (Williams).
[ 137 ]EI GAR APOPHUGONTES, for if having escaped (Marshall 928); APOPHUGONTES is the second active participle, nominative plural masculine of APOPHEUGOO (Han 425); fled away from [APO from, PHEUGOO to flee], escaped (Vine 370); for if such as escaped (Lenski 330); for if, after men have escaped (Williams).
[ 138 ]TA MIASMATA TOU KOSMOU, the defilements of the world (Marshall 928; Lenski 330); MIASMATA, whence the English word, denotes defilement [akin to MIAINOO to stain, pollute, defile], the vices of the ungodly which contaminate a person in his intercourse with the world (Vine 278); the corrupting ways of the world (Williams).
[ 139 ]EN EPIGNOOSEI TOU KURIOU KAI SOOTEEROS 'IEESOU CHRISTOU, by a full knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Marshall 928); denotes exact or full knowledge, discernment, recognition, [a strengthened form of GNOOSIS a seeking to know, an enquiry, investigation, denotes, in the NT, knowledge, especially of spiritual truth], expressing a fuller or a full knowledge, a greater participation by the knower in the object known, thus more powerfully influencing him; used with reference to God and Christ (Vine 631); in connection with knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Lenski 330); through a full knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Williams).
[ 140 ]GINOOSKOOSIN they may know.
[ 141 ]TOUTOIS DE PALIN EMPLAKENTES yet by these again having been entangled (Marshall 928); EMPLAKENTES is the second aorist passive participle, nominative plural masculine of EMPLEKOO (Han 425); are woven in [EN in, PLEKOO to weave], hence, metaphorically, be involved, entangled in, used in the passive voice "are entangled" (Vine 364); with dative of the thing, entangled, involved in (Thayer 208); of the defilements of the world, be involved in (Arndt 256); an getting entangled again (Lenski 330); they again become entangled in them (Williams).
[ 142 ]HEETTOONTAI, have been defeated (Marshall 928); third person plural, present middle indicative of HEETTAOMAI (Han 425); be made inferior, enslaved, is rendered "is [are] overcome" in 2 Peter 2:19, 20 (Vine 823); be conquered by one, forced to yield to one (Thayer 281); worsted (Lenski 330); and are conquered by them (Williams).
[ 143 ]TA ESCHATA CHEIRONA TOON PROOTOON, the last things worse [than] the first (Marshall 928); them their last condition is worse than their former one (Williams); the last things have become worse for them than the first, that is, their last state has become and remains [perfect tense] worse than their first state was before their escape from paganism (Lenski 330).
[ 144 ]KREITTON GAR HEEN AUTOIS, for better it was for them (Marshall 928); advantageous or useful (Vine 114); for it were better for them (Lenski 332); for it would have been better for them (Williams).
[ 145 ]MEE EPEGNOOKENAI TEEN HODON TEES DIKAIOSUNEES, not to have fully known the way of righteousness (Marshall 928); EPEGNOOKENAI is the perfect active infinitive of EPIGINOOSKOO (Han 425); exact or full knowledge, discernment, recognition, [a strengthened form of GNOOSIS a seeking to know, an enquiry, investigation, denotes, in the NT, knowledge, especially of spiritual truth], expressing a fuller or a full knowledge, a) 2 Peter 3:2 greater participation by the knower in the object known, thus more powerfully influencing him; used with reference to God and Christ; TEEN HODON TEES DIKAIOSUNEES, just, righteous, that which is in accordance with DIKEE rule, right, justice; metaphorically, of a course of conduct, or way of thinking, for example, of righteousness (Vine 631, 969, 1215); not to have known the way of the righteousness (Lenski 332); never to have known the way of uprightness (Williams).
[ 146 ]EE EPIGNOUSIN, than fully knowing (Marshall 928); EPIGNOUSIN is the second aorist active participle, dative plural masculine of EPIGINOOSKOO (Han 425); a fuller or a full knowledge (Vine 631); than for them, having gotten to know it (Lenski 332); than to have known it (Williams).
[ 147 ]HUPOSTREPSAI EK TEES PARADOTHEISEES AUTOIS HAGIAS ENTOLEES, to turn from the delivered to them holy commandment (Marshall 928); HUPOSTREPSAI is the first aorist active infinitive of HUPOSTREPHOO (Han 425); of turning back, behind [HUPO under, back] (Vine 1174); HAGIAS ENTOLEES, collectively, of the whole body of moral precepts of Christianity which came from God and is therefore to be heeded most sacredly (Thayer 7, 218); [holy] is an adjective . . . since the Christians are called "holy ones" [Isa 4:3; Ps 33:10; Da 7:18, 21; Ac 9:13, 32; Ro 8:27; 12:13; 15:25; 1Co 6:1; 2Co 1:1; Eph 2:19; 3:8; Php 4:22; Col 1:4; 1Ti 5:10; Heb 6:10], their KLEESIS [calling] is also HAGIOS [2Ti 1:9]; so also of the ENTOLEE [a new law] 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Peter 2:21 (Arndt 9, 269); to turn away from the holy commandment (Lenski 332); and then to turn their backs on the sacred command (Williams).
[ 148 ]PARADOTHEISEES AUTOIS, delivered to them (Marshall 928; Lenski 332); committed to their trust (Williams).
[ 149 ]SUMBEBEEKEN AUTOIS TO TEES ALEETHOUS PAROIMIAS, has happened to them The thing of the true proverb (Marshall 928); SUMBEBEEKEN is third person singular, perfect active indicative of SUMBAINOO (Han 425); literally, went or came together [SUN with, BAINOO to go], signifies happened together, of things or events; PAROIMIAS denotes a wayside saying [from PAROIMOS by the way], a byword, maxim or problem; of things true, conforming to reality (Vine 524, 830, 1170); there has come to them [perfect] of the true proverb (Lenski 333); in them is verified the truth of the proverb (Williams).
[ 150 ]KUOON EPISTREPSAS EPI TO IDION EXERAMA, [The] dog turning upon the [its] own vomit (Marshall 929); EPISTREPSAS is the first aorist active participle, nominative singular masculine of EPISTREPHOO (Han 425); dog, in natural sense; turn oneself round; vomit [from EXERAOO to disgorge] (Vine 1174, 1203); a dog turns back to what he has vomited (Williams); dog turned to his own vomit! (Lenski 333).
[ 151 ]KAI HUS LOUSAMENEE, and [The] sow washed (Marshall 929); LOUSAMENEE is the first aorist middle participle, nominative singular feminine of LOUOO (Han 425); swine, sow, feminine (Vine 1069); and: Sow washed herself (Lenski 333); a sow that has washed herself (Williams).
[ 152 ] EIS KULISMON BORBOROU, to wallowing of mud (Marshall 829); bathed or washed the body, middle voice; a rolling, wallowing, akin to KULIOO to roll, roll along], some texts have KULISMA [the thing rolled or wallowed], of the proverbial sow that had been washed; mud, filth (Vine 748, 1208, 1211; compare Thayer 364); for a wallow of mire! (Lenski 333); goes back to wallow in the mire [probably a heathen proverb, but true to the life of the hog] (Williams).

Copyright ©2001, Charles Hess, Ridgefield, Washington, U.S.A.
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The basic text, and all quotations not designated otherwise, are from the New King James Version, copyrighted ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Bracketed alternatives are drawn from various sources such as the ASV, Darby, KJV and RSV. Greek transliteration follows the BibleSoft method.

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