The Second Epistle General of Peter

“The Second Epistle General of Peter,” New Testament Teacher Resource Manual (2002), 238–40

Author and Audience:The book of 2 Peter was addressed by Peter to the faithful Saints in Asia Minor (see 2 Peter 1:1; 3:1; see also 1 Peter 1:1).

Historical Background:Peter probably wrote his second Epistle from Rome sometime between A.D. 64 and 67. Unlike his first letter, which helped the Saints deal with external persecution, his second letter addressed the internal apostasy that threatened the future of the Church. False prophets and teachers were spreading “damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them” (2 Peter 2:1; see also “Background Information” in The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, p. 422).

Theme:The dominant theme in this letter is how one comes to a knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. The letter may be divided into three main sections. The first section teaches that we come to a knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ by becoming “partakers of the divine nature” and having our “calling and election made sure” (see 2 Peter 1). The second section contrasts this true knowledge of Jesus Christ with the false knowledge and heresies perpetrated by apostates (see 2 Peter 2). The third section describes the hope that comes to those who acquire a true knowledge of the glorious return of the Lord to the earth, where the righteous will dwell (see 2 Peter 3). Peter wrote the letter to encourage the Saints to make their calling and election sure by faithfully living the gospel and growing in their knowledge of the Lord.