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Jude and 2 Peter

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Jude and 2 Peter both emphasize refuting false teachers.


General Letters

Part 4

IV. Jude and 2 Peter: The Forgotten Books at the Back of the Bible

A. The General Epistles and Revelation: Christian Communities' Response to Judaism

1. Observant Jewish-Christianity (James)

2. Spiritualized Jewish Christianity (Hebrews)

3. Gentile Christianity as spiritual Israel (1 Peter)

4. Gentile false teachers, Jewish backgrounds (2 Peter, Jude)

5. Anti-Gnosticism, Judaism no issue (1, 2, 3 John)

6. Anti-Roman persecution, anti-local Jewish hostility (Revelation)

B. Similar passages in Jude and 2 Peter

1. False teachers

a. Jude – "admission has been secretly gained…by ungodly persons who…deny our only master (v. 4)

b. 2 Peter – "false teachers…who will secretly bring in…heresies even denying the Master (v. 1)

2. Fallen angels

a. Jude – "the angels that did not keep their own position…have been kept by him…in the nether gloom until judgment" (v. 66)

b. 2 Peter – "God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but committed them to the pits of nether gloom…until the judgment" (v. 4)

3. Sodom and Gomorrah

a. Jude – "just as Sodom and Gomorrah…acted immorally…serve as an example" (v. 7)

b. 2 Peter – Sodom and Gomorrah…he made an example to those who were ungodly" (v. 6)

4. "Revile the glorious ones"

a. Jude – "these men defile the flesh, reject authority, and revile the glorious ones. But when the archangel Michael…disputed, he did not" (vv. 8-9)

b. 2 Peter – "those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority…are not afraid to revile the glorious ones, whereas angels do not" (vv. 10-11)

5. "Irrational animals"

a. Jude – "by those things that they know by instinct as irrational animals do, they are destroyed" (v. 10)

b. 2. 2 Peter – "these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, will be destroyed" (v. 12)

6. Balaam

a. Jude – "Balaam's error…blemishes…waterless clouds, carried alone by winds…for whom the nether gloom of darkness has been reserved forever" (vv. 11-13)

b. 2 Peter – "blemishes…the way of Balaam…waterless springs and mists driven by a storm; for them the nether gloom of darkness has been reserved (vv. 13-17)

C. Key Observations from Jude

1. 2 Peter probably depends on Jude

2. Ad hominem, ad hoc tirade against libertines

3. Key reminder of "limits of tolerance"

4. Interesting use of pseudepigrapha

D. Uniformitarianism vs. 2 Peter

1. Chapter 1 vs. no prophecy: no inspiration of Scripture

2. Chapter 2 vs. no judgment: no need for moral living

3. Chapter 3 vs. no parousia: no solution to the problem of evil

E. 2 Peter

1. 1:15 and issue of authorship, testamentary genre

2. Still conceivable in 60's if countering Epicureanism or Stoicism

3. One chapter per issue defending delay of parousia (see how 3:2, 3, 4 unite these concerns)

4. 2:20-22 important in "eternal security" debate

5. 3:8-10 most enduring legacy and key to a Christian theodicy