Peter J. Leithart, The Promise of His Appearing: An Exposition of Second Peter © 2004 by Peter J. Leithart Published by Canon Press, P.O. Box 8741, Moscow, ID 83843 800–488–2034 / www.canonpress.org 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Cover design by Paige Atwood.
To read more about the following titles by Peter J. Leithart, visit www.canonpress.org A Son to Me An Exposition of 1 & 2 Samuel From Silence to Song The Davidic Liturgical Revolution Against Christianity A House For My Name A Survey of the Old Testament Blessed Are the Hungry Meditations on the Lord’s Supper Heroes of the City of Man A Christian Guide to Select Ancient Literature Ascent to Love A Guide to Dante’s Divine Comedy Brightest Heaven of Invention A Christian Guide to Six Shakespeare Plays Wise Words Family Stories that Bring the Proverbs to Life.
CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ix 1. THE FIRST-CENTURY CONTEXT . . . . . . . . . 1 2. A LETTER OF REMINDER . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 3. FALSE TEACHERS AMONG YOU . . . . . . . . 47 4. THREE WORLDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 SCRIPTURE INDEX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS In the course of preparing this brief commentary, I realized that I have spent more time with 2 Peter than with any other New Tes- tament book. Though I have not devoted exclusive attention to it for over fifteen years, I have returned to it again and again. Some- time in the murky Urzeit of the late 1980s, I first taught through the book in a Sunday School class at Cherokee Presbyterian Church in Woodstock, Georgia. It was the first book I preached through when I took a pastoral call in 1989 at the Reformed Heri- tage Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, Alabama, and I taught it again in a Sunday School class at the Cambridge Presbyterian Church, Cambridge, U.K. More recently, I delivered several lec- tures on the epistle at the 1999 Biblical Horizons Summer Con- ference, and finally taught the book to a group of friends in Mos- cow who have gathered for dinner and Bible study for the past sev- eral years. Peter’s second epistle, in short, is an old friend, and I hope that these various opportunities to teach through the book have given me some measure of familiarity with and insight into its con- tents. But judicet lector.
x ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Press, who continues to be far more generous and gentle with me and my books than either of us deserves. Jared Miller too has been an invaluable assistance, noticing incoherencies in my writing and forcing me to clarify, and Lucy Jones has also assisted in moving messy manuscripts to finished books.
1 THE FIRST-CENTURY CONTEXT This book is not a technical commentary on the Greek text of 2 Peter (though the Greek will be appealed to as necessary or when I want to show off), and it does not give a detailed exposition of every verse of the letter. Instead, it lays out a broad interpretation of the letter, and, more importantly, it lays out a broad interpre- tive framework for it. To do this I will focus on a set of specific issues within the letter, all of which are related in some way to the es- chatological teaching of the book, which I argue is central to Peter’s intentions. No doubt I have made some errors of interpre- tation on small and perhaps even larger issues, but I hope that this reading is plausible enough to make some contribution to the scholarship on the epistle and to shift the context for discussion of its contents.