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This Series is Straight Bussin No Cap [2-18-24]




February 18, 2024

2 Peter

“This Series is Straight Bussin No Cap”


An overall principle under which we begin our new series on 2 Peter is this joyous thought from Charles Spurgeon:

“I AM A POOR SINNER STILL. I HAVE TO LOOK TO CHRIST EVERY DAY AS I DID AT THE VERY FIRST.”

No matter what we face or go through in life, the beginning and ending points rest in Jesus. It is all about how Jesus Christ is Lord of our lives.


2 Peter is an interesting book with a complicated pedigree that needs to be unpacked before we get into the heart of its meaning. To paraphrase author and pastor John Piper, today’s message is for “eggheads.” Or “Biblical nerds” if that fits better. I’m comfortable with either.


As we saw in our series on James and Jude, they were brothers of Jesus. 

As Mark 6:3 reports:

“Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.”

Likewise, in Matthew 13:55:

“Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?”

Clear evidence that Mary was not a “perpetual virgin.” Jesus had siblings.


When we read, in Jude verse one, that he was “the brother of James,” we know who he was. We know Jesus had siblings. We know he had a brother named James. So Jude established himself as Jesus’ brother.


Now you might be wondering why we transitioned from the Book of Jude to 2 Peter. What about 1 Peter? Why are Jude and 2 Peter seen together? Primarily because Jude and 2 Peter 2 have familiar parallels.


Here are a few points of contact between 2 Peter 2:1-22 and 

Jude 3-18:


(A)

  • {2 Peter 2:1-2} “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.”

  • {Jude 4} “For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”


(B)

  • {2 Peter 2:4} “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment.”

  • {Jude 6} “And the angels who did not stay within their own 

position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day.”


(C)

  • {2 Peter 2:6} “If by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly.”

  • {Jude 7} “Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.”


(D)

  • {2 Peter 2:10} “And especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones.”

  • {Jude 8} “Yet in like manner these people also, relying on 

their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious one.”


(E)

  • {2 Peter 2:17} “These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved.”

  • {Jude 12-13} “These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.”


It’s interesting how Jude and 2 Peter used similar language expressing similar points. You see it, right? It’s good that we’re eggheads together on this. Adding to the deeper mystery is that the vocabulary and style from 2 Peter is demonstrably different from 1 Peter while at the same time more 

similar to Jude. It’s the Biblical nerd in us that makes note of that.


Here’s one hypothesis for considering the similarities between 2 Peter and Jude:

Jude begins to write 2 Peter at Peter’s request and as his agent. But he breaks off and sends a shorter, hurried letter in his own name {Jude}. In it, in verse 3, he says, “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith.” When Jude says he was making every effort to write you, that could mean writing as an agent of Peter. And then, when he continues, I felt the necessity to write you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith, that could mean he transitioned to his own letter, and now, in 2 Peter, he continued as Peter’s scribe. It made sense that Jude would simply incorporate what he wrote in his letter in 2 Peter 2, following the same train of thought, since both were addressing similar issues.

  • J.A.T. Robinson {“Redating the New Testament”}


Make no mistake. Jude was not impersonating Peter. That would never have been tolerated in the early church. Here’s how Paul put it in 2 Thessalonians 3:17:

“I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the sign of genuineness in every letter of mine; it is the way I write.”

It makes sense that Jude’s words, in both his letter and as Peter’s agent, would carry great weight. Some call it cache. Some say gravitas. There’s a heftiness to his standing. First, as a brother of Jesus, and second, as having received Peter’s permission to reflect the apostle’s heart and mind.


So, when 2 Peter 3:1 says, “This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved,” the letter very well may be Jude rather than 1 Peter, especially as we’ve seen the similarities between the two.


Here’s another clue as to the genesis of 2 Peter. 2 Peter 1:1 is correctly translated, in the ESV, as “Simeon Peter.” Other times, he is referred to as “Simon Peter.” But not here. The only other person known to use the Hebraic name of “Simeon Peter” is James, Jude’s brother. In Acts 15:14, 

speaking to a large group, James refers to him as “Simeon.” As Robinson 

inferred, “It was in the family.” Jesus’ family were the only ones to use “Simeon.”


So, where are we as far as establishing the authorship of 2 Peter? As we have already seen, there’s a style and language used by both Jude and 2 Peter connecting the two. That point of language and style is really important when determining authorship, which guides meaning.


Here’s what I mean. There is a principle of textual analysis where you look at a word or an expression that is only used by that author or in that specific text. That was common with Paul. The parables of Jesus had elements that were unique to his storytelling style.


To put an exaggerated point on it, imagine your cousin, Goober, from West Podunk, Iowa, sends out an annual Christmas letter. You love the guy, but face it, his letters would wear out the red pencil of your local High School English teacher. Then, one year, you get his annual Christmas letter, and it reads like it could have come from the hand of Bill Shakespeare himself. You know Goober did not write that letter.


That’s how we work with Biblical texts. Among the clues to validate Luke as the author of the Gospel of Luke, we look at his attention to health and medical details, as he was a physician. His target audience was primarily Gentile, as he presented Jesus as Savior of both Jews and Gentiles. He also dealt in Greek phrasing and ideas.


Matthew, on the other hand, wrote for a primarily Jewish audience. He used a lot of what are for us, Old Testament references. He rarely explained any of these, as his Jewish audience would know what he was talking about. Also, his genealogy begins with Abraham, clearly emphasizing Jesus’ Jewish roots.


I find it a beautiful thing how God reveals His sovereign purpose in saving us through Jesus Christ in a variety of ways, through a variety of vessels. We are blessed to be able to study His Word. Amen?

Finally, you might have wondered about today’s sermon title. Has Pastor Richard lost his mind? Has he gone off the deep end in trying to be hip and relevant? Has the vernacular of Gen Z wormed its way into his wee-little brain?


Sadly, it’s none of those things. It speaks to the last point of today’s nerd-a-thon. The final method for placing a text with a particular author within a particular time period is to look at words and phrases and how and when they were used in non-Biblical resources.


Hence today’s sermon title as a brilliant example of that point. If today’s sermon were uncovered by archeologists 2,000 years from now, minus the date, they could confidently date it by the Gen Z slang used. I’m told it has already fallen out of style, so the 2020s, give-or-take. We will see that in 2 Peter, to give us a rough date for when it was written. For illustration, we know it wasn’t written in the second or third centuries because it details issues the first generation church was dealing with. The meaning and application of any given passage are driven by era and audience. Those are 

important variables to consider.


Whether 2 Peter was written by the Apostle Peter or by Jude under the direct authority of Peter, it’s truth is timeless. Here’s something you might want to write down:

2 PETER REFLECTS THE FULL WEIGHT OF APOSTOLIC AUTHORITY.

In other words, whether it was written by Peter or Jude, it doesn’t change the power of its message. When seen as part of the whole collection of New Testament letters, it maintains the integrity of Biblical truth. There is coherence and consistency with other apostolic teaching.


What it all means is that the hearts and minds of those who wrote the books of the New Testament were inspired by God. God guided them to write to the church that which was true. And now, 2,000 years later, we enjoy the direct benefit of that inspiration.


Until next week:

SOLI DEO GLORIA…

To the Glory of God Alone





  




 






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