Amplified: So, beloved, since you are expecting these things, be eager to be found by Him [at His coming] without spot or blemish and at peace [in serene confidence, free from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts]. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NET: Therefore, dear friends, since you are waiting for these things, strive to be found at peace, without spot or blemish, when you come into his presence. (NET Bible)
NLT: And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to live a pure and blameless life. And be at peace with God. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Because, my dear friends, you have a hope like this before you, I urge you to make certain that such a day would find you at peace with God and man, clean and blameless in his sight. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: On which account, divinely loved ones, since you are looking for these things, do your best to be found with reference to Him irreproachable and unblamable, in peace. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: wherefore, beloved, these things waiting for, be diligent, spotless and unblameable, by Him to be found in peace
THEREFORE BELOVED SINCE YOU LOOK FOR THESE THINGS: Dio agapetoi tauta prosdokontes (PAPMPN): (Php 3:20; Heb 9:28) (Hold pointer over following Scriptures to ponder this needful heart attitude of every saint - Ge 49:18 Isa 30:18, Ps 123:2, Mt 25:1 Mk 15:43 Lk 2:25, 38 Lk 12:36, Ac 24:15, Ro 8:23, 24-25; 1Co 1:7; Gal 5:5, Php 3:20,21, 1Th 1:10, 2Ti 4:8, Titus 2:13; Heb 9:28, Heb 10:36,37; 1Pe 1:13, 2Pet 3:12, 13, 14, Jas 5:7,8; Jude 1:21, CLICK discussion on "HOPE" and how it relates to "LOOKING". See Torrey's Topics "Watchfulness" and "Waiting on God")
Therefore (dio) is the the strongest inferential conjunction meaning consequently, for which cause, wherefore or for this reason (See discussion of terms of conclusion). The basis for his exhortations in this last section is what he has already written. This conjunction gives us another example of the way the apostles always link the truth about faith with conduct that should follow. Creed should always work itself out in one's conduct. Belief should determine behavior. What one is "looking" for should have a direct relationship to what one is "living" for. The false teachers had "severed" this link between belief and behavior. We see this same fatal error creeping into modern evangelicalism, where some would teach erroneously that one can pray a "prayer of salvation" to receive Jesus as Savior and subsequently NEVER demonstrate one iota of change in their life for the remainder of their life and still be assured that when they die they will wake up in the presence of Jesus. To be sure "Once saved, always saved" but one needs to be 100% certain that they were "Once saved"! And when there is a "disconnect" between what one says they believe and how they behave, they have cause to seriously doubt if they were genuinely once saved! (see 2Cor 13:5, Jas 2:14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26-note)
In this last section Peter's shepherd heart now prompts him to summarize his desires for his readers. Twice in this last section Peter shows his heartfelt love and concern for his readers addressing them as "Beloved" (agapetos) which means "divinely loved ones" explained further by Wuest:
Look for (4328) (prosdokao [word study] from prós = towards - adds the idea of “mental direction” to the already existing meaning of the verb + dokáo = look for denoting direction of one's mind toward something) means literally to look forward toward, to wait for, to look for, to anticipate. It means to give thought to something that is in the future and the context indicates whether one does this looking/waiting in a hopeful sense, with a longing, with fear (wait with anxiety, live in suspense), or in a neutral state of mind. It describes the attitude saints should have as anticipating, waiting with watchfulness, being in expectation.
Prosdokao is used here and in the preceding two verses emphasizing an earnest, patient, expectant looking and waiting, a quality of looking that motivates us to make the daily choices we must be diligent to make in order to maintain a separated lifestyle in the midst of a world gone wholly awry from the holy God's righteous standard. Here we see the connection between the hope which God's promises (2Pe 1:4-note) inspire and the power for godliness (2Pe 1:3-note) which this hope gives (cf the same spiritual principle in 1Jn 3:2, 3)
My anxious heart, be still!
Look for is a present tense participle depicts a continuing attitude of expectancy. An attitude of expectancy should make believers receptive and tender toward exhortations concerning this present life. Confident expectation of a new world of righteousness should in turn motivate and empower us (by grace) to live for peace and purity in this present evil age (Gal 1:4).
Prosdokao - 15v in NT - Matt. 11:3; 24:50; Lk. 1:21; 3:15; 7:19f; 8:40; 12:46; Acts 3:5; 10:24; 27:33; 28:6; 2 Pet. 3:12ff. NAS renders - expect(2), expecting(2), look for(4), looking for(2), state of expectation(1), waited(1),waiting for(2), watching(1).
These things (tauta) What are these things? The day of God, the new heavens and the new earth, the eternal state, the glorious Kingdom awaiting us in the presence of God forever and ever.
Rienecker says these things refers to "a freshly created heaven and earth where God's will is paramount" and righteousness is a permanent "citizen" not an occasional "visitor". What a motivation!
Literally Peter says "These things expecting" or "these things waiting eagerly for". With this great hope (a certainty not "I hope so") of the future before his readers, Peter now presses upon them urgent duties concerning their present lives (v14-15) and reminds them of the confirmatory testimony of the Apostle Paul (v15b-16).
The first exhortation is for personal purity. Having such a glorious hope, believers cannot live now live in idleness and indifference.
BE DILIGENT TO BE FOUND BY HIM IN PEACE: spoudasate (2PAAM) aut heurethenai (APN) en eirene :(2Peter 3:5, 6 7, 8, 9, 10; 1Jn 28, 3:1, 2, 3) (See Torrey's topic "Sanctification")
The aorist imperative (the 4 main verbs in this last section are all imperatives intended to challenge the attitude and conduct of the reader) presses upon the reader a sharp and urgent duty, a command to carry out this action expediently and effectively.
This command stresses our personal duty and responsibility as good soldiers of Christ Jesus (cp 2Ti 2:3, 4-note) to carry out His order without delay and without excuse!
Spoudazo is used only 11 times in the NT (Gal. 2:10; Eph. 4:3; 1Thess. 2:17; 2 Tim. 2:15; 4:9, 21; Tit. 3:12; Heb. 4:11; 2 Pet. 1:10, 15; 3:14) and three uses are in this short epistle:
In Paul's last written words before he died he like Peter uses spoudazo 3 times, the following use giving us a sense for the energy this word calls for one to exert: "Make every effort (spoudazo) to come to me soon."
Paul uses spoudazo word to spur Timothy to fulfill his ministry and
The writer of Hebrews uses the noun form to similarly urge his readers onward in their Christian walk
Exert zealous persistence to accomplish this objective. Make every effort you can muster so that you will be found by Him in peace, spotless & blameless. This Christian life necessitates some spiritual ''elbow grease'' and is not simply ''let go and let God''! We have a responsibility--that's what the active voice in the verb spoudazo conveys.
To be found (2147) (heurisko) means to find after searching and so to discover (Mt 7:7), to find accidentally or without seeking (Mt 12:44), to experience for oneself and to to obtain or procure (He 9:12). Figuratively, heurisko speaks of a spiritual or intellectual discovery gained through observation = reflection, perception, investigation (Ro 7:21). Because heurisko is such a common verb and has various meanings, always examine the context to help you discern the most appropriate definition.
BDAG (summarized) - 1. to come upon something either through purposeful search or accidentally, find a. after seeking, find, discover, come upon, Mt 7:7-8, Lk 11:9-10 b. accidentally, without seeking find, come upon Ge 4:14-15, Mt 18:28 2. to discover intellectually through reflection, observation, examination, or investigation, find, discover, Da 1:20, Ro 7:21 3. to attain a state or condition, find (for oneself), obtain.
Renn (Expository Dictionary) - Heurisko is a common verb found nearly 180 times meaning “find,” in a variety of contexts with a number of different nuances. The meaning “find” in the general sense of “discover” is indicated in Mt 2: 8 ff.; Mk 1:37; Lk 2:12; 11:9; Jn 1:41 ff.; Acts 4:21; Ro 7:21; 2Co. 2:13; 2Ti. 1:17; Rev. 2: 2; 9:6. The passive sense of “be found” is indicated in relation to Mary’s supernatural encounter with the Holy Spirit when it is recorded that she “was found” to be pregnant (cf. Mt 1:18). Other passive uses include 1Co. 15:15; 2Co. 5: 3; Gal. 2:17; Php. 2: 8; 1Pe. 2:22; Rev. 5: 4; 16:20; 20:11 ff. There is a significant metaphorical usage of “find” in Mt 10:39; 16:25, with the underlying sense of “take full possession of” in relation to people “finding” true life if they are prepared to deny themselves for the sake of the gospel. Heurisko means “find” in the sense of “receive” in Lk 1:30, which speaks of Mary “finding favor” with God. Other references to people “finding” such divine favor include those in Acts 7:46; 2Ti. 1:18; Heb. 4:16. See also Heb. 9:12; 11:5. The meaning “find” with the sense of “consider,” or “make an assessment” of someone, is indicated in Acts 24: 5 with reference to Paul’s enemies having “found” him to be a troublemaker. See also 1Co. 4: 2. Rev. 3: 2 mentions divine assessment of people. “Find” has the sense of “measure” in Acts 27:28, in relation to taking soundings in deep water.
Vine's Summary Find, Found - Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words -
TDNT - Heurisko means "to find": a. "to find after search," b. "to find accidentally" (passive "to be struck by"), c. "to fetch or get" (of goods), d. "to procure," e. (figuratively) "to gain perception or insight, to discover," and f. "to show or prove oneself," "to be found as." All these nuances but c. occur in the NT, sometimes with reference to ordinary facts, but mostly with reference to things relating to God's work and kingdom, e.g., surprising events (Mt. 1:18; Lk. 9:36; Acts 5:10), or miracles (Mt. 17:27; Mk. 7:30; Jn. 21:6), or supernatural gifts (Mt. 7:7-8), or the gift of God's kingdom (Mt. 13:44), or encounter with Jesus (Mk. 1:37), or experience of God (Lk. 4:17; Rom. 10:20), or gifts of salvation such as pasture in Jn. 10:9, grace in Acts 7:46, mercy in Rom. 4:1, and redemption in Heb. 9:12, or God's call and salvation (Mt. 18:13; 24:46; Lk. 15:5-6), but also with a suggestion of responsibility (Lk. 13:6-7; 17:18) and of the seriousness of divine judgment (Mt. 24:46; 2 Pet. 3:14; Rev. 12:8; 16:20; 18:14; 20:15). [H. PREISKER, II, 769-70]
NAS Usage: find(48), finding(9), finds(10), found(104), get(1), obtained(1), proved(1), regarded(1).
Heurisko - 176x in 166v in NT - Matt. 1:18; 2:8; 7:7f, 14; 8:10; 10:39; 11:29; 12:43f; 13:44, 46; 16:25; 17:27; 18:13, 28; 20:6; 21:2, 19; 22:9f; 24:46; 26:40, 43, 60; 27:32; Mk. 1:37; 7:30; 11:2, 4, 13; 13:36; 14:16, 37, 40, 55; Lk. 1:30; 2:12, 45f; 4:17; 5:19; 6:7; 7:9f; 8:35; 9:12, 36; 11:9f, 24f; 12:37f, 43; 13:6f; 15:4ff, 8f, 24, 32; 17:18; 18:8; 19:30, 32, 48; 22:13, 45; 23:2, 4, 14, 22; 24:2f, 23f, 33; Jn. 1:41, 43, 45; 2:14; 5:14; 6:25; 7:34ff; 9:35; 10:9; 11:17; 12:14; 18:38; 19:4, 6; 21:6; Acts 4:21; 5:10, 22f, 39; 7:11, 46; 8:40; 9:2, 33; 10:27; 11:26; 12:19; 13:6, 22, 28; 17:6, 23, 27; 18:2; 19:1, 19; 21:2; 23:9, 29; 24:5, 12, 18, 20; 27:6, 28; 28:14; Rom. 4:1; 7:10, 21; 10:20; 1 Co. 4:2; 15:15; 2 Co. 2:13; 5:3; 9:4; 11:12; 12:20; Gal. 2:17; Phil. 2:8; 3:9; 2 Tim. 1:17f; Heb. 4:16; 9:12; 11:5; 12:17; 1 Pet. 1:7; 2:22; 2 Pet. 3:14; 2 Jn. 1:4; Rev. 2:2; 3:2; 5:4; 9:6; 12:8; 14:5; 16:20; 18:14, 21f, 24; 20:11, 15
Heurisko - over 400x in Septuagint - Gen 2:20; 4:14f; 5:24; 6:8; 8:9; 11:2; 16:7; 18:3, 26, 28ff; 19:19; 26:12, 19, 32; 27:20; 30:14, 27; 31:32f, 35, 37; 32:5, 19; 33:8, 10, 15; 34:11; 36:24; 37:15, 17, 32; 38:20, 22f; 39:4; 41:38; 44:6, 8ff, 12, 16f, 34; 47:14, 25, 29; 50:4; Exod 5:11; 9:19; 12:19; 14:9; 15:22; 16:25, 27; 21:16; 22:2, 4, 6ff; 33:13, 16f; 34:9; 35:23f; Lev 5:11; 6:3f; 12:8; 14:21f, 30, 32; 25:26, 47; Num 6:21; 11:11, 15; 15:32f; 20:14; 31:50; 32:5; 35:27; Deut 4:29f; 17:2; 18:10; 20:11; 21:1, 17; 22:3, 14, 17, 20, 22f, 25, 27f; 24:1; 28:2; 31:17; Josh 2:22; 10:17; Judg 5:30; 6:13, 17; 9:33; 14:12; 15:15; 17:8f; 20:48; 21:12; Ruth 1:9; 2:2, 10, 13; 1 Sam 1:18; 9:4, 8, 11, 13, 20; 10:2f, 7, 16, 21; 12:5; 13:15f, 19, 22; 14:17, 30; 16:22; 20:3, 21, 29, 36; 21:3; 23:17; 24:19; 25:8, 28; 26:18; 27:5; 29:3, 6, 8; 30:11; 31:3, 8; 2 Sam 7:27; 14:22; 15:25; 16:4; 17:12, 20; 20:6; 1 Kgs 1:3, 52; 11:19, 29; 12:24; 13:14, 24, 28; 15:18; 18:5, 10; 19:19; 20:36f; 21:20; 2 Kgs 2:17; 4:29, 39; 7:9; 9:21, 35; 10:13, 15; 12:5, 9f, 18; 14:14; 16:8; 17:4; 18:15; 19:4, 8; 20:13; 22:8f, 13; 23:2, 24; 25:19; 1 Chr 4:40f; 10:3, 8; 17:25; 20:2; 24:4; 26:31; 28:9; 29:8, 17; 2 Chr 2:17; 5:11; 15:2, 4, 15; 19:3; 20:16, 25; 21:17; 22:8; 25:5, 24; 29:16, 29; 30:21, 25; 31:1; 32:4; 34:14f, 17, 21, 30, 32f; 35:7, 17ff; Ezra 2:62; 4:15, 19; 6:2; 7:16; 8:15, 25; 10:18; Neh 5:8; 7:5, 64; 8:14; 9:8, 32; 13:1; Esth 1:5; 2:9, 15, 17; 5:8; 6:2; 7:3; 8:5, 12; Job 11:7; 17:10; 19:28; 20:8; 23:3; 28:12f, 20; 32:13; 33:10; 34:11; 37:13, 23; 39:30; 42:15; Ps 10:15; 17:3; 21:8; 36:2; 37:10, 36; 46:1; 69:20; 73:10; 76:5; 84:3; 89:20; 107:4; 116:3; 119:143, 162; 132:5f; Prov 1:28; 2:5, 20; 3:3, 13; 4:22; 5:4; 7:15; 8:9, 17; 12:2; 14:6; 16:7, 31; 18:22; 19:7f; 20:6; 21:21; 24:14; 25:16; 31:10; Eccl 3:11; 7:14, 24, 26ff; 8:17; 9:10, 15; 11:1; 12:10; Song 3:1ff; 5:6ff; 8:1, 10; Isa 30:14; 34:14; 35:9; 37:36; 41:12; 48:17; 51:3; 53:9; 55:6; 58:3; 59:5; 65:1, 8, 18; Jer 2:5, 24, 34; 5:1, 26; 6:16; 10:18; 11:9; 14:3; 29:13; 31:2; 41:3, 8, 12; 42:16; 45:3; 48:27; 50:7, 20, 24; 52:25; Lam 1:3, 6, 19; 2:16; Ezek 22:30; 27:33; 28:15; Dan 1:19f; 2:25, 35; 5:11, 14, 27; 6:4f, 11, 13, 22f; 8:26; 9:3, 25; 11:19; 12:1; Hos 2:6f; 5:6; 6:3; 9:10; 12:4, 8; 14:8; Amos 2:16; 8:12; Jonah 1:3; Mic 1:13; Zeph 3:13; Zech 12:5; Mal 2:6
When the Lord Jesus comes, you will be found… personally by Him. We need to be reminded of this great sobering truth. There will be nothing hidden or overlooked in that day. Everything will be brought to light when the Lord Jesus comes. And in this verse Peter focuses on the pronoun "by Him".
The idea is, “Do your best to be found with respect to Him, in relation to Him,” thus, with respect to His coming and at that time by Him.
Hiebert adds that
Because we do not know the day or the hour of our Lord’s return, we must constantly be ready. The believer who starts to neglect the “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13-note) will gradually develop a cold heart, a worldly attitude, and an unfaithful life (Lk 12:36).
Jesus encouraged His disciples with a similar motivating exhortation
Paul likewise prayed for the saints at Thessalonica
And John expresses a similar desire in this exhortation
In sum, "to be found" is a call for us to be alert, abiding in the Vine, occupied with our Father's work, focused on the things above not on the things of the earth, all the while redeeming every opportunity He graciously gives us to perform Kingdom work. And if we keep in the forefront of our mind the glorious privilege we have of entering the Day of God, we will be stirred in our spirits by His Spirit to be "sincere and blameless until the day of Christ" (Php 1:10-note) (click for discussion of "Three Divine Days")
Peace implies health, well-being, and prosperity. Eirene means to be set at one again like Adam was related to God before the Fall in the garden of Eden.
Eirene - 85x in NT - Matt. 10:13, 34; Mk. 5:34; Lk. 1:79; 2:14, 29; 7:50; 8:48; 10:5f; 11:21; 12:51; 14:32; 19:38, 42; 24:36; Jn. 14:27; 16:33; 20:19, 21, 26; Acts 7:26; 9:31; 10:36; 12:20; 15:33; 16:36; 24:2; Rom. 1:7; 2:10; 3:17; 5:1; 8:6; 14:17, 19; 15:13, 33; 16:20; 1 Co. 1:3; 7:15; 14:33; 16:11; 2 Co. 1:2; 13:11; Gal. 1:3; 5:22; 6:16; Eph. 1:2; 2:14f, 17; 4:3; 6:15, 23; Phil. 1:2; 4:7, 9; Col. 1:2; 3:15; 1 Thess. 1:1; 5:3, 23; 2 Thess. 1:2; 3:16; 1 Tim. 1:2; 2 Tim. 1:2; 2:22; Tit. 1:4; Phlm. 1:3; Heb. 7:2; 11:31; 12:14; 13:20; Jas. 2:16; 3:18; 1 Pet. 1:2; 3:11; 5:14; 2 Pet. 1:2; 3:14; 2 Jn. 1:3; 3 Jn. 1:15; Jude 1:2; Rev. 1:4; 6:4
Peace is the opposite of war or disturbance, a term which accurate describes man's relationship with the Almighty prior to salvation
To faith in Christ brings a man peace WITH God and then daily walking in communion and fellowship with Him brings us the peace OF God. And so even after salvation if we choose to walk in darkness, we have our peace with Him ''disturbed''. Belief in Confession and Repentance brings restoration of fellowship (1Jn 1:6, 7, 8, 9). Peter is exhorting his readers to make every effort… do whatever you must to maintain your communion with God and the peace of God that is the fruit of this fellowship.
How is your "peace-ometer" today?
Peter wants us to be diligent in disciplining ourselves for godliness. He has already informed us we have all the accoutrements we need (2Pe 1:3-note) for this great journey of faith as we wait expectantly for the glorious Day of God.
True Peace is a gift of Christ (Jn 14:27) and results in an inner repose and quietness, even in the face of adverse circumstances. And because the peace that God gives is independent of our circumstances, it simply defies human understanding (Php 4:7-note). This Greek word is the word from which our English "serene" (clear and free of storms or unpleasant change, stresses an unclouded and lofty tranquility) "serenity" is derived.
Webster defines peace as a state of tranquility or quiet, freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions, harmony in personal relations, a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity, state of repose in contrast with or following strife or turmoil.
Peace in colloquial Greek had two uses, one as the word used to describe the serenity which a county enjoyed under the just government of a good emperor. Eirene was also used of the good order of villages which had officials called the superintendent of the village’s eirene. In other words they were keepers of the public peace.
Most of the NT uses of eirene are synonymous with the Hebrew word for peace, shalom, picturing not just freedom from trouble but everything that makes for one's highest good. It is interesting to note that Chara (Grace) and Eirene (Peace) both became very common Christian names in the early church. We still see individual called Grace although none (that I know of) called "Peace". However the name "Irene" is derived from eirene and is not an uncommon modern name ("Irene" was the Greek goddess of peace.)
Hiebert sums up this section:
Peter is saying "I want you to be at total peace living without fear.
Paul in a parallel passage wrote to Timothy explaining that
Those who love the appearing of Christ have no fear and no anxiety because they possess a strong sense of assurance of their salvation and of the reality of their Christian faith. And so they have no reason to be ashamed as John wrote…
And so they have no fear that they might be swept away in the judgment of the day of the Lord because they have an inner peace and know all is well between them and God. John explained this same principle in his first epistle writing…
An abiding, obeying believer is a peace filled believer who is completely comfortable even with the thought of the anticipation of the end of the world!
SPOTLESS AND BLAMELESS: aspilo kai amometoi:
As one writer has said "The consensus of the apostolic witness is that, without doubt, personal purity is a function of genuine expectant hope for the return of the Lord."
Spotless (784) (aspilos from a = without + spílos = spot) means without blemish or defect (outward condition) and figuratively in a moral sense, pure (inward character). Peter is calling for believers to manifest the flawless integrity and uncompromising holiness.
Thayer writes that metaphorically aspilos meant…
The reference is not to our position or standing in Christ as those justified by faith (cf Ro 8:1-note:1) but rather refers to our moral character (our progressive sanctification) in that coming day. The two words aspilos and amometos Peter used in this verse are also found in reverse order in (1Pe 1:19-note) where he described Jesus as a Lamb "unblemished and spotless". There we see Christ as our ideal of personal purity, a vision believers should ever hold before their gaze in anticipation of Christ's return, the "example for (us) to follow in His steps" (1Pe 2:21-note). Don't follow the example of the false teachers who are "spots and blemishes" (2Pe 2:13-note)
Aspilos is found 4 times in the NAS (see below) and not in the Septuagint (LXX).
Paul uses aspilos to exhort Timothy to
In both Paul's and Peter's instructions one can readily see how the New Testament writers desired to keep the Second Coming of Christ a "real & present thought" in the hearts and minds of the readers, knowing that this great hope would motivate them to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which they had been called.
James also uses aspilos to gives a "definition" of
Peter uses aspilos in his description of the Lamb of God writing that we were redeemed…
This "defensive strategy" (resisting the lure of the world) necessitates a good offense and calls for us to "be diligent", for the world is seductive and easily succumbed to by "sleepy" saints.
The Ermine - In the forests of northern Europe and Asia lives little animal called the ermine, known for his snow-white fur in winter. He instinctively protects his white coat against anything that would soil it. Fur hunters take advantage of this unusual trait of the ermine. They don’t set a snare to catch him, but instead they find his home, which is usually a cleft in a rock or a hollow in an old tree. They smear the entrance and interior with grime. Then the hunters set their dogs loose to find and chase the ermine. The frightened animal flees toward home but doesn't enter because of the filth. Rather than soil his white coat, he is trapped by the dogs and captured while preserving his purity. For the ermine, purity is more precious than life. - H G Bosch (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Blameless (298) (amometos from a = without + momáomai = to find fault with, censure or blame from momos = blemish as a moral blemish, reproach, disgrace) means literally without rebuke. Unblemished. Faultless. One who cannot be censured. The idea is one who is irreproachable and who cannot even be be blamed because he is amomos (without blemish and free of defect which was a requirement the OT sacrificial animal) and without blame (see note on amomos in Philippians 2:15).
Amometos in this context describes the state of blamelessness of believers at the Judgment Seat of Christ ("found by Him" by Christ the Judge)
Amometos is used only here in the NT (not used in LXX).
Spotless and blameless are the exact opposite of the character of the false teachers who were "stains (spilos) and blemishes (momos)" (see note on momos 2 Peter 2:13)!
If you have time to do an interesting study Click the 45 uses of blameless (the English word as used in both the OT and the NT). You may be surprised at what you discover.
Spotless and blameless speak respectively of character (what we are in reality, before God's eyes) and reputation (what people think we are). A spotless character is what we as believers are to manifest so that there is no "blotch" in our life. A blameless reputation is the other side of what a believer is to manifest. Believers are to be pure in their reputation. These two attributes that are to be ours when Christ returns mean that we need to deal with the sins in our lives, and live holy, set apart lives. We must know what sins we have committed, detest them as abominable before a holy God, confess them before Him, continually pursue holiness (He 12:14-note), continually abstain from situations we know will tempt us to commit sin (1Pe 2:11-note; 1Th 4:3-note; Ro 13:14-note), continually allow the Word of Christ to richly dwell in us (Col 3:16-note) which as we obey will assure we are filled with the Spirit (Ep 5:18-Ephesians 5:18 - you can test whether or not you are filled by comparing the lists of sins and fruit in Gal 5:19, 20, 21-note, Gal 5:22, 23-note), by Whom we are to continually walk, and thereby be empowered to not fulfill the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16-note). As we conduct ourselves in this way, we will be able to maintain a pure life, which ideally is the state the Lord will find us in when He returns.
Beloved, since we as believers are destined for eternal purity and eternal glory, we ought to discipline ourselves for godliness and strive to live in purity in our hearts and in our deeds even now. As we anticipate the coming of Christ, we ought to be, characterized by "anticipation, pacification, purification".
As Albert Barnes wrote
This concluding exhortation by Peter reminds us of John's description of Christ's Bride the Church who is being prepared for the imminent return of her Bridegroom…
“If I had three hundred men who feared nothing but God, hated nothing but sin, and were determined to know nothing among men but Jesus Christ and him crucified, I would set the world on fire.” (John Wesley)
“Send us men with hot hearts.” (Heathen convert)
John Wesley was denied the privilege of preaching from the pulpit in the church; but with true evangelistic fervor took his father’s tomb for a pulpit and preached to the people the great truths of full salvation. Whitefield loved field preaching. Returning from a tour he lighted a candle and went upstairs to retire, weary after the journey; but the people gathered in front of the house and filled the street; and there on the stairway with a lighted candle in his hand, he preached his last message, retired and was no more; for God took him.
John Wesley averaged three sermons a day for fifty-four years preaching all-told more than 44,000 times. In doing this he traveled by horseback and carriage more than 200,000 miles, or about 5,000 miles a year. His published words include a four-volume commentary on the whole Bible, a dictionary of the English language, a five-volume work on natural philosophy, a four-volume work on church history; histories of England and Rome; grammars on the Hebrew, Latin, Greek, French and English languages; three works on medicine, six volumes of church music; seven volumes of sermons and controversial papers. He also edited a library of fifty volumes known as “The Christian Library.” He was greatly devoted to pastoral work. Later, he had the care of “all the churches” upon him. He arose at 4:00 A.M., and worked solidly through to 10:00 P.M., allowing brief periods for meals. In the midst of all this work he declared: “I have more hours of private retirement than any man in England.” At age 83, he was piqued to discover that he could not write more than 15 hours a day without hurting his eyes; and at the age of 86 he was ashamed to admit that he could not preach more than twice a day. In his 86th year, he preached in almost every shire in England and Wales, and often rode thirty to fifty miles a day.
John Knox, who cried out in his earnestness, “Give me Scotland or I die,” carried with him this zeal to the close of his ministry. Often he would be supported by attendants in order to reach the pulpit; but when he arose to speak the divine passion so filled his soul that one of his friends said: “So mighty was he in his yearning that I thought he would break the pulpit into bits.“
Amplified: And consider that the long-suffering of our Lord [His slowness in avenging wrongs and judging the world] is salvation (that which is conducive to the soul's safety), even as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the spiritual insight given him, (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NET: And regard the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as also our dear brother Paul wrote to you, according to the wisdom given to him, (NET Bible)
NLT: And remember, the Lord is waiting so that people have time to be saved. This is just as our beloved brother Paul wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him-- (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Meanwhile, consider that God's patience is meant to be man's salvation, as our dear brother Paul pointed out in his letter to you, written out of the wisdom God gave him. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: And the long-suffering of our Lord, consider it as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul according to the wisdom given to him, wrote to you, (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: and the long-suffering of our Lord count ye salvation, according as also our beloved brother Paul -- according to the wisdom given to him -- did write to you,
AND REGARD THE PATIENCE OF OUR LORD TO BE SALVATION: kai ten tou kuriou hemon makrothumian soterian hegeisthe (PAM): (2Pe 3:9; Ro 2:4; 1Ti 1:16; 1Pe 3:20)
And (kai) closely links this exhortation with the preceding. A correct assessment of the Parousia will stimulate their quest for personal holiness. While eagerly looking for the return of the Lord Jesus, the readers (including us) must not become impatient and like those in (2Pe 3:9-note) wrongly interpret the delay, concluding that the failure of the Lord to return as expected is proof that such a hope is delusion (2Pe 3:3, 4). God had every reason long ago to judge the world and burn up its works, but in His mercy, He is long-suffering with us, “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
This is "the acceptable time, behold now is the day of salvation" (2Cor 6:2), not the "day of judgment". (6x in Scripture -Matt. 10:15; 11:22, 24; 12:36; 2 Pet. 2:9; 3:7; 1 Jn. 4:17).
Believers must have a different attitude and
Regard (2233) (hegeomai from ágo = to lead) primarily signifies to lead or go before -- to be a leader, one who commands, supervises; one in authority over (cp Mt 2:6, Acts 7:10, 15:22, Lk 22:26, He 13:7, 17, 24); to rule over, with the implication of providing direction and leadership.
Hegeomai comes to mean in a figurative sense to lead out before the mind - to consider (), regard (Acts 14:12), to think about and come to a conclusion, to consider in a particular way, to hold a view or have an opinion with regard to something. The sense of this meaning is to engage in an intellectual process (eg, 2Co 9:5, Php 2:25, 2Pe 1:13)
Hegeomai was a mathematical term conveying the idea "Think about it and come to a conclusion."
Friberg - (1) in the NT, as a present participle (leading, governing) (Acts 15.22); participle as a substantive = the leader (Acts 14.12); plural = the (community) leaders (Heb 13.7); (2) as making a decision after weighing the facts or circumstances consider, think, have an opinion (James 1.2); regard, esteem with a double accusative (Phil 2.3)
BDAG (Summarized) 1. to be in a supervisory capacity, lead, guide (Lk 22:26, Mt 2:6, Ezek 43:7); 2. to engage in an intellectual process, think, consider, regard (2Cor 9:5, Php 2:25, 2Pe 1:13, Job 19:11)
Wuest - Heurisko means “to find, to come upon, to find a thing sought, to discover.” In the middle voice it means “to find for one’s self, to acquire, obtain, procure.” The word thus speaks of the act, not merely of obtaining something, but of seeking for something, of finding it, and then of appropriating it.
James in one of better known uses of hegeomai encourages his readers to "think about their trials and come to the proper conclusion" regarding their value writing…
Then James explains why/how this is possible (ultimately it is God's grace and the fruit of the Spirit but it is based on true knowledge of God and what He is doing in our lives through the trials)…
Thayer in comparing several related Greek words writes that…
The NAS renders hegeomai as - chief(1), consider(3), considered(2), considering(1), count(4), counted(1), esteem(1),governor(1), leader(1), leaders(3), leading(1), led(1), regard(5), regarded(1), Ruler(1), thought(2).
Hegeomai - 27x in NT - Mt. 2:6; Lk. 22:26; Acts 7:10; 14:12; 15:22; 26:2; 2Co. 9:5; Phil 2:3-note, Phil 2:6-note, Phil 2:25-note; Phil 3:7-note, Phil 3:8-note; 1Th 5:13-note; 2Th 3:15; 1Ti 1:12; 6:1; Heb 10:29-note; Heb 11:11-note, Heb 11:26-note; Heb 13:7-note, Heb 13:17-note, He 13:24-note; Jas 1:2-note; 2Pe 1:13-note; 2Pe 2:13-note; 2Pe 3:9-note, 2Pe 3:15-note.
Hegeomai - 103 v in the non-apocryphal Septuagint - Gen 49:10 (ruler's staff), Ge 49:26; Ex 13:21; 23:23, 27; Deut 1:13, 15; 5:23; Josh 13:21; 1 Sam 15:17; 22:2; 25:30; 2 Sam 2:5; 3:38; 4:2; 5:2; 6:21; 7:8; 1 Kgs 1:35; 4:21; 9:5; 12:24; 14:27; 15:13; 16:2, 16; 2 Kgs 1:9, 13; 20:5; 1 Chr 5:2; 7:40; 9:11, 20; 11:2; 12:21, 27; 13:1; 16:5; 17:7; 26:24; 27:8, 16; 2 Chr 5:2; 6:5; 7:18; 9:26; 11:11, 22; 17:2, 7, 15; 18:16; 19:11; 20:27; 28:7; 31:13; Esth 1:16; 5:11; Job 13:24; 19:11; 30:1, 19; 33:10; 35:2; 41:27f, 31; 42:6; Ps 104:17; Pr 5:19; 16:18; 29:26; 30:31; Jer 4:22; 20:1; 51:28; Ezek 17:13; 19:11; 20:46; 23:6, 12; 43:7, 9; 44:3; 45:7; Dan 2:48; 3:2f, 30; 4:8; 6:2; 9:25f; 11:22; Mic 2:9, 13; 3:9, 11; 7:5; Nah 3:4; Hab 1:14; Mal 1:8
Representative uses of Hegeomai in the Lxx
Regard is in the present tense imperative mood here in 2Peter calls for believers to continually consider the reason for the delay, giving it careful thought and not making a quick decision.
To "regard" involves careful thought, not a quick decision. An excellent illustration of the meaning of hegeomai is found in the life of Moses, the author of Hebrews recording that…
Moses thought through his decision, weighing the pros and cons. He weighed what Egypt had to offer against what God offered. When he reached a conclusion it was well-founded and certain. God’s offer even though unseen was infinitely superior to Pharaoh's offer that could be seen. Moses believed that the worst he could endure for Christ would be far more valuable than the best the world had to offer.
Do you believe this is true beloved? If so, does your belief affect your choices? If it doesn't, then you really don't believe it's true and you are only deceiving and short changing yourself.
Patience (makrothumia from makrós = long + thumos = temper) (Click study of makrothumia) describes the ability to endure injuries inflicted by others or the willingness to accept irritating or painful situations.
Makrothumia - 14v in NT - Rom. 2:4; 9:22; 2 Co. 6:6; Gal. 5:22; Eph. 4:2; Col. 1:11; 3:12; 1 Tim. 1:16; 2 Tim. 3:10; 4:2; Heb. 6:12; Jas. 5:10; 1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 3:15. NAS always renders it - patience (14x).
In (2Peter 3:9) (see note) we see that the longsuffering (makrothumeo) of God gives opportunity for repentance and salvation those who place their trust in the Lord Jesus. God waits that He may be gracious. The history of the world between the first and second coming of Christ is, above all, an age of salvation. The Savior has come and opened the way to God.
Salvation (4991) (soteria) (Click discussion of soteria) describes rescue or deliverance from danger, destruction, peril and slavery to and consequences of sin and unto restoration to a former state of safety, health, well being and preservation from danger of destruction. The root verb sozo (see discussion) is dramatically illustrated by Peter's cry to Jesus in (Mt 14:30)
Soteria - 44x in NT - Mk. 16:8; Lk. 1:69, 71, 77; 19:9; Jn. 4:22; Acts 4:12; 7:25; 13:26, 47; 16:17; 27:34; Rom. 1:16; 10:1, 10; 11:11; 13:11; 2 Co. 1:6; 6:2; 7:10; Eph. 1:13; Phil. 1:19, 28; 2:12; 1 Thess. 5:8f; 2 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 2:10; 3:15; Heb. 1:14; 2:3, 10; 5:9; 6:9; 9:28; 11:7; 1 Pet. 1:5, 9f; 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:15; Jude 1:3; Rev. 7:10; 12:10; 19:1
Salvation carried tremendous meaning in Paul’s day. Its basic meaning is “deliverance,” and it was applied to personal and national deliverance. The emperor was looked on as a savior, as was the physician who healed you of illness.
Salvation in the present verse does not have the definite article and so can refer in a sense to all three "tenses" of salvation (see discussion of Three Tenses of Salvation). God is waiting and giving time for unbelievers to be saved, delivered, justified (declared righteous), delivered from the guilt and penalty of sin, a one time event summed up as PAST tense salvation (Justification).
Further God's waiting gives the believer time to be working out his salvation, progressively being set apart from the world and unto God and being delivered more and more from the habit and dominion of sin (PRESENT tense salvation = the process of sanctification).
Our past and present tense salvation is preparation for our FUTURE salvation when we will finally be fully delivered not only from the presence of sin but even from the pleasure of sin (Glorification also a one time event).
JUST AS ALSO OUR BELOVED BROTHER PAUL ACCORDING TO THE WISDOM GIVEN HIM WROTE TO YOU: kathos kai o agapetos hemon adelphos Paulos kata ten dotheisan (APP) autoi sophian egrapsen humin: (Ex 31:3,6; 35:31,35; 1Ki 3:12; 3:28, 4:29; Ezra 7:25; Pr 2:6,7; Eccl 2:26; Da 2:20; 21 Lk 21:15; Acts 7:10; 1Co 2:13; 12:8; Ja 1:5; 3:17)
Just as… Paul wrote - This could refer to Ro 2:4 (note) where Paul accused the reader's of thinking lightly of God's "kindness and forbearance and patience", this kindness being a reflection of the "patience of the Lord" which "… leads… to repentance" (compare Peter's teaching in 2Pe 3:9-note) that God does not wish "for any to perish but for all to come to repentance".) Both Peter and Paul teach that God's withholding judgment is an act of patience that should be regarded as giving added time for repentance and salvation. By calling in Paul's support, Peter shows that there is agreement among the apostles. The false teachers may reject the Second coming of Christ. But the apostles of Jesus are united: Christ is coming and the time while He delays is for our salvation.
Peter speaks of Paul as our beloved brother , and this in spite of the fact that Paul had publicly rebuked Peter in Antioch for acting insincerely (Gal 2:11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21). Obviously Peter had accepted the rebuke humbly. We should all be able to accept correction without harboring animosities. Peter gives not the least hint that he harbored any grudge against Paul.
Wisdom given to him - Tantamount to the inspired Scriptures, as Paul was moved by the Holy Spirit to write them down. Cp 2Pe 1:20, 21, 2Ti 3:16.
Given (didomi) refers to a decision of the will of the giver with no merit of recipient. Aorist tense refers to effective, past tense action and passive voice indicates the giving comes from an outside source, in this case God (cf 1Cor 2:11-12, 2Pe 1:20-21)
Paul's wisdom is not learned human wisdom but wisdom that is divinely imparted (given him). James described the wisdom "from above" as "first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy." (Jas 3:17) Paul often spoke of the grace given to him (cf Ro 15:15, 1Cor 3:10, Gal 2:9, Eph 3:7, Col 1:25).
Sophia - 49x in NT - Matt. 11:19; 12:42; 13:54; Mk. 6:2; Lk. 2:40, 52; 7:35; 11:31, 49; 21:15; Acts 6:3, 10; 7:10, 22; Rom. 11:33; 1 Co. 1:17, 19, 20, 21, 24, 30; 2:1, 4, 5, 6, 13; 3:19; 12:8; 2 Co. 1:12; Eph. 1:8, 17; 3:10; Col. 1:9, 28; 2:3, 23; 3:16; 4:5; Jas. 1:5; 3:13, 15, 17; 2 Pet. 3:15; Rev. 5:12; 7:12; 13:18; 17:9
Regarding "wisdom" Hiebert writes
2 Peter 3:16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. (NASB: Lockman)
Greek: os kai en pasais epistolais lalon (PAPMSN) en autais peri touton, en ais estin (3SPAI) dusnoeta tina, a oi amatheis kai asteriktoi streblousin (3PPAI) os kai tas loipas graphas pros thn idian auton apoleian.
Amplified: Speaking of this as he does in all of his letters. There are some things in those [epistles of Paul] that are difficult to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist and misconstrue to their own utter destruction, just as [they distort and misinterpret] the rest of the Scriptures. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NET: speaking of these things in all his letters. Some things in these letters are hard to understand, things the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they also do to the rest of the scriptures. (NET Bible)
NLT: speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters around to mean something quite different from what he meant, just as they do the other parts of Scripture--and the result is disaster for them. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: In that letter, as indeed in all his letters, he referred to these matters. There are, of course, some things which are difficult to understand, and which, unhappily, ill-informed and unbalanced people distort (as they do the other scriptures), and bring disaster on their own heads. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: as also in all his letters, speaking in them concerning these things, in which letters are certain things difficult of being understood which those who are unlearned and lacking stability distort [from their proper meaning] as also the rest of the scriptures to their own destruction. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: as also in all the epistles, speaking in them concerning these things, among which things are certain hard to be understood, which the untaught and unstable do wrest, as also the other Writings, unto their own destruction.
AS ALSO IN ALL HIS LETTERS SPEAKING IN THEM OF THESE THINGS IN WHICH ARE SOME THINGS HARD TO UNDERSTAND: Hos ka in pasais epistolais lalon (PAPMSN) en autais peri touton en hai estin (3SPAI) dusnoeta : (Heb 5:11)
As also (os kai) is used by Peter to add a unique confirmation from the writings of Paul. Thus what Paul has written is in full accord with and in complete harmony with Peter's teaching. From the following phrases it appears that some were appealing to their own twisted interpretations of Paul's letters to support their teaching in opposition to Peter.
Speaking (laleo) (click for study of laleo) is present tense indicating that after serving their original purpose, Paul's epistles continued to proclaim their message of "these things", those things probably in context referring to the whole picture of the Second Coming with which this chapter deals.
Some Bible truths are difficult to understand, such as the Trinity, God’s election and man’s free will, the mystery of suffering, etc. It should not disturb us if we find matters in the Bible which are above our understanding. The word of God is infinite and inexhaustible. In studying it we must always be willing to give God credit for knowing things which we can never fully fathom.
At lunch one day, W. Wilbert Welch, chancellor of the Grand Rapids Baptist College and Seminary, told a story about one of his professors, Dr. Brokenshire, a godly and gifted scholar with a thorough knowledge of Scripture. "I remember our first day in class," Welch recalled. "The professor didn't know us by name yet, so he referred to some cards in his hand. Looking up, he said, `Mr. Green?' The student identified himself. `Mr. Green, do you have any problems with the Bible?' `No, sir,' replied the confident new student. Brokenshire replied, `Then why don't you read it? You will."
A thoughtful reading of the Bible will raise questions. Peter said that Paul's writings contained "some things hard to understand" (2 Pet. 3:16). Sometimes we see only one side of a truth, or we come across what seems like a contradiction. Then there are the bigger problems—divine election and human freedom, the origin of evil, the reason for pain and suffering. But these perplexities need not undermine our confidence in the Bible.
God wants us to study the Bible, and a questioning mind is fertile soil for learning. Some things, however, will remain a mystery, and we must humbly accept God's right to withhold knowledge from us. No matter what problems we have in understanding the Bible, we can thank Him that He has revealed sufficient truth to win our hearts, guide our steps, and bring us to heaven. —D J De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Our difficulties in understanding the Bible are not due to divine error but to human ignorance.
WHICH THE UNTAUGHT AND UNSTABLE DISTORT: tina os hoi amatheis ka asteriktoi streblousin (3PPAI) : (2Peter 2:14; Ge 49:4; 2Ti 3:5, 6, 7; Jas 1:8 Ex 23:2,6; Dt 16:19; Ps 56:5; Hab 1:4)
Untaught (261) (amathes from a = without + mantháno = learn) means those who are unlearned, uninstructed, uneducated or ignorant. It is used in secular Greek writings to describe "incompetent" interpreters. This word is used only here in the NT.
Amathes points not so much to their lack of knowledge as to lack of training. It denotes a mind untrained and undisciplined in habits of thought, lacking in the moral qualities of a balanced judgment. They are untrained and unrestrained in their interpretation of the Scriptures. Being ignorant of the fundamental principles of hermeneutics (study of the methodological principles of Scripture interpretation), these individuals have little appreciation for the inductive approach to Bible study, especially disregarding the importance of context in accurate interpretation. Note that their interpretation is not due to Paul's faulty manner of writing but rather to their faulty manner of reading.
Peter has the only other NT use of asteriktos describing the influence of the false teachers who were skilled in "enticing unstable souls" (2Pe 2:14-note)
These individuals are vacillating in their spiritual character. They lack the spiritual stability and are thus unable to adhere to the moral demands of the Lordship of Christ, which conflict with their inner desires for self-indulgence.
Both "untaught" and "unstable" are united by one article which identifies a single group exhibiting both of these characteristics. These individuals take difficult passages and "wrest" them to their own ruin. Contrast Peter's description of the believers as those who had been "established" (see note 2Peter 1:12)
Herodotus used strebloo to convey the idea of to twist or wrench a dislocated limb, with a view to setting it.
This verb is used only here in the NT (and once in the Septuagint =LXX in 2Sa 22:27 and 5 times in the Apocrypha).
A stréble was a winch, an instrument that produced torture by twisting or pulling one's limbs out of joint. Thus one meaning of the verb strebloo was to put to the rack.
In one secular writing strebloo was used metaphorically to describe one who was "tortured by anxiety" and thus spoke of inward pain or torment.
BDAG writes that strebloo originally meant to…
Metaphorically, strebloo meant to pervert as one who wrests or tortures language to a false sense. Peter thus chose a singularly graphic word to picture the tortuous perversion of the Scriptures.
The untaught and unstable "twisted and tortured" the writings of Paul producing distortion and perversion of his intended meaning. It was the continual practice (strebloo is in the present tense = habitual action) of the "untaught and unstable" to take Paul's statements and twist them like victims on a rack to force them to say what they wanted them to say.
Some accused Paul of teaching that, since we are saved by grace, it makes no difference how we live! It was “slanderously reported” that Paul taught, “Let us do evil that good may come” (Ro 3:8; cf. Ro 6:1ff). Others accused Paul of being against the Law because he taught the equality of Jews and Gentiles in the church (Gal 3:28) and their liberty in Christ.
AS THEY DO ALSO THE REST OF THE SCRIPTURES: os ka tas loipas graphas:
The rest (3062) (loipoy) remaining or residue referring to the Scriptures other than Paul's thus identifying Paul's writing as Scripture. Note that Peter gives a very high place to Paul's writings, on a par with "the rest of the Scriptures", i.e. the Old Testament Scriptures and whatever portions of the NT were then available. Peter clearly acknowledges that the Pauline Epistles were part of the inspired sacred Scriptures. This in fact is the most clear cut statement on the pages of Scripture to affirm the writings of Paul are Scripture.
Loipoy - 55v in NT - Matt. 22:6; 25:11; 26:45; 27:49; Mk. 4:19; 14:41; 16:13; Lk. 8:10; 12:26; 18:9, 11; 24:9f; Acts 2:37; 5:13; 17:9; 27:20, 44; 28:9; Rom. 1:13; 11:7; 1 Co. 1:16; 4:2; 7:12, 29; 9:5; 11:34; 15:37; 2 Co. 12:13; 13:2, 11; Gal. 2:13; 6:17; Eph. 2:3; 6:10; Phil. 1:13; 3:1; 4:3, 8; 1 Thess. 4:1, 13; 5:6; 2 Thess. 3:1; 1 Tim. 5:20; 2 Tim. 4:8; Heb. 10:13; 2 Pet. 3:16; Rev. 2:24; 3:2; 8:13; 9:20; 11:13; 12:17; 19:21; 20:5
Scriptures (1124)(graphe [word study] from grapho = to write; English = graphite - the lead in a pencil!) means first a writing or thing written, a document. The majority of the NT uses refer to the Old Testament writings, in a general sense of the whole collection when the plural (= Scriptures - Matt. 21:42; 22:29; 26:54; Mk. 12:24; 14:49; Lk. 24:27, 32, 45; Jn. 5:39; Acts 17:2, 11; 18:24, 28; Ro 15:4; 2Pe 3:16) is used and other times of a particular passage when the singular is used (= the Scripture - Mk. 12:10; 15:28; Lk. 4:21; Jn. 13:18; 19:24, 36f; Acts 1:16; 8:35; Ro 11:2; Jas. 2:8, 23) and is used in such a way that quoting Scripture is understood to be the same as quoting God!
John Piper accentuates the importance of this section:
TO THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION: pros ten idian auton apoleian: (2Pe 2:1; Php 3:19; 1Pe 2:8; Jude 1:4)
To - This is the Greek preposition "pros" which means toward or before and so pictures such action as placing men face to face with their ruin.
Own (idios) intensifies the idea even more - their own personal ruin. And so in their futile attempts to distort and destroy the Bible, they end up destroying themselves. Note that their own ruin is not due to the nature of the Scriptures but rather to their own deceitful handling of the Scriptures for evil purposes. Evil men will always be prone to utilize passages that are difficult to understand to promote their own ungodly purposes.
To their own destruction - Perversion of the Scriptures insures perdition.
Destruction (684) (apoleia from apo = marker of separation, away from + olethros = ruin, death but not annihilation <> from ollumi = to destroy) (see study of related word apollumi) refers not to their "annihilation" as some so-called evangelicals are teaching but in fact specifies the eternal, utter, hopeless loss of well-being and all that gives worth to existence. In context, apoleia is the ultimate "destruction"! Some twist the law into a way of salvation rather than a revealer of sin while still others make water baptism the door to heaven. They do this not only with Paul’s writings but with other Scriptures as well. And those who blindly twist the Scriptures do so "to their own destruction.”
Apoleia in one sense means the destruction that one causes as the result of disregard for the value of that which is destroyed or "wasted" (see apoleia used this way by the disciples -- Mt 26:8, Mark 14:4).
The more common sense of apoleia is as a description of the destruction which one experiences, when man instead of becoming what he might have become by redemption through the blood of Christ (new creature/creation in Christ - 2Cor 5:17), is ruined ("spiritually bankrupt", in a state of "eternal disrepair") suffering loss of value or usefulness (ultimately usefulness to God - this is sad beyond words and even as I write this note tears well up in my eyes for the plight of these men and women, created in the image of God.) Think of the picture of a once beautiful edifice which has suffered the ravages of time and circumstances and all that one sees is the useless, collapsed, disintegrated remains.
In short, apoleia speaks of the loss of everything that makes human existence (in time and eternity) worthwhile. The idea is not loss of being, but loss of well-being!
Apoleia - 17v in NT - Mt 7:13; 26:8; Mk 14:4; Jn 17:12; Ac 8:20; Ro 9:22; Php 1:28; 3:19; 2Th 2:3; 1Ti 6:9; He 10:39; 2Pe 2:1, 3; 3:7, 16; Re 17:8, 11. NAS translates it as - destruction(13), destructive(1), perdition(1), perish(1), waste(1), wasted(1).
And so in this sense apoleia describes utter ruin, complete loss and is used especially of the eternal destruction (the second death - see chart below) visited on the ungodly. It is the wasteful end of earthly existence with no chance for a fulfilling future existence. Note however that there is a sense that the ungodly have "wasted" their one life on earth. What a tragic picture irregardless of how much wealth, pleasure or power they might have experienced while they were alive.
Notice that Peter was not writing about Christians who have a difficult time interpreting the Word of God, because nobody understands all of the Bible perfectly. He was describing the false teachers who “tortured” the Word of God in order to prove their false doctrines.
Another way to put this is that the interpretation of Scripture is a matter of life and death. (Jas 3:1)
Why? Because the eternal destiny of the people hangs on how they interpret the Scripture.
From Our Daily Bread: An art enthusiast displayed on the walls of his office a collection of etchings, including one of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Every morning he noticed it was crooked, so he straightened it. Finally one evening he asked the cleaning woman if she was responsible for moving the picture each night. "Why, yes," she said, "I have to hang it crooked to make the tower straight!" In a similar way, some people have the habit of twisting the Scriptures to make their imperfect lives look better or to justify their own opinions. The apostle Peter warned his readers about the kind of people who do not approach God's Word with honest motives and respect for its authority, and who distort its message. They will incur God's judgment (2Pe 3:16, 17). Unless we review the Bible prayerfully and humbly, we may get a wrong message and be drawn away from our steadfastness in Christ. God gave us His Word as a light to guide our steps. If we obey it each day, we will find it to be an unfailing source of strength and truth. Distorting the meaning of the Word of God to fit our preconceived ideas is a dangerous practice and a terrible sin. Let's be careful how we read and interpret the Bible. --H G Bosch (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)