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Strolling Through the Book of Second Peter July 15, 2014

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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I’ve recently started reading through the Second Epistle of Peter with the aid of a commentary by Griffith Thomas. I should note that I’ve previously read through 2 Peter. As in my recent stroll through the book of 1 Peter, I hope to comprehend 2 Peter as a whole. In particular, I would like to compare 2 Peter with 1 Peter and Jude.

I plan to blog about this experience as I read through both the epistle and Thomas’ commentary. Each post will correspond to a specific section in the NIV translation.

For starters, here are my thoughts on 2 Peter 1:1-2.

Summary: Peter begins by referencing his life before and after discipleship to Christ; he also references the general and special aspects of his relationship to Christ. He addresses his readers by highlighting their spiritual privilege and describing its foundation – Christ Himself.

Peter concludes by greeting his readers and wishing that they would receive God’s divine favor and its attendant blessings – which will flow from their mature knowledge of God.

Thoughts: In verse 2, Peter wishes that his readers would receive God’s blessings through their knowledge of Him. Thomas offers some insights on this point:

The reference to knowledge as the source of grace and peace at once brings into prominence the keyword of the letter. The Greek is epignosis, full or mature knowledge. It is found fifteen times in St. Paul, once in Hebrews, four times in 2 Peter, and nowhere else. All spiritual grace comes from our personal knowledge and experience of God (see verse 3). Those who “know their God” will be strong…

As I stroll through this letter, I will determine if it is based on epignosis. I am definitely curious as to how this apparent focus on the knowledge of God compares/contrasts with Peter’s focus in his previous letter:

  • God has called his readers from a life of futility to a life of eternal blessings
  • their lives should reflect this calling – even in the face of persecution.

Now perhaps the “experience of God” that Thomas notes above is a critical aspect of living a holy life – enabling a believer to maintain their standing in Him despite the attacks of unbelievers. Once a believer has come to know God on an intellectual level and an experiential level, they cannot depart from Him, as their understanding and emotions are inextricably tied to Him. I certainly hope to make progress in this regard, especially in terms of the experiential aspect of mature knowledge…

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