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Most scholars think that 2 Peter was not written by the same author as 1 Peter. There are similarities between “Jude” and 2 Peter 2, but there is debate about which letter was written first.

2 Peter is written as a last testament, and thus is designed to preserve the teaching of the apostle- particularly against false teaching. The letter also contains apologetic sections which defend the teaching/testament sections.  Often in Jewish writing a “testament” was a fictional genre.  Most scholars also believe that 2 Peter is pseudonymous. Remember the pseudonymous writing was not considered deceptive but was an accepted literary style. It was a way of honoring the “author” or reminding the audience of the “author’s” message.

2 Peter was probably written for a general audience, rather than a particular community. 2 Peter may have been written in the late first century or early second century. Being written at that time, 2 Peter reflects two problems of the early church; a transition from  primarily a Jewish culture to a Hellenistic culture and the transition from the apostolic times to the post apostolic age.

Outline   (Bauckham)

T- Testament, A- Apologetic passages, E- Exhortations

1:1-2 Address and greeting

T1 1:3-11 Theme: A summary of Peter’s message

T2 1:12-15 Occasion: Peter’s Testament

A1 1:16-19 First Apologetic section

A2 1:20-21 Second Apologetic section

T3 2:1-3a Peter’s prediction of false teachers

A3 2:3b-10a Third Apologetic section

E1 2:10-b-22 Denunciation of opponents

T4 3:1-4 Peter’s prediction of scoffers

A4 3:5-10 Fourth Apologetic section

E2 3:11-16 Exhortation

3:17-18 Conclusion

Read More About It

Bauckham, Richard J. “2 Peter” in HarperCollins Bible Commentary, rev. ed.James L Mays, ed. (New York: Society of Bible Literature) 2000.

Johnson, Luke Timothy, The Writings of the New Testament: An Interpretation, rev. ed. (Minneapolis:Fortress Press) 1999. Chapter 21, “2 Peter and Jude”.

Quanbeck, Warren, Pheme Perkins, “2 Peter”  in The New Oxford Annotated Bible, Bruce M. Metzger, Roland E. Murphy eds. (New York: Oxford University Press) 1994.

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