Month: September 2017

September 17, 2017

Journal and Pray

Journal & Pray 

Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals:

September 16, 2017

2 Peter 2

  • Journal & Pray  
  • Read • Remember • Reflect

    Read the passages slowly. Write out the verses you want to remember. Write how God spoke to you through the passages. Jot down your observation and reflection in the verses.

Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals: 

 

 

 

September 15, 2017

2 Peter 1

A Study Through the Book of 2 Peter

Within 2 Peter itself there is strong evidence for authorship by the apostle Peter. In 1:1 the author claims to be “Simeon Peter … apostle of Jesus Christ.” Moreover, he claims to have been an eyewitness of the transfiguration (1:16–18; cf. Matt. 17:1–8), an event where Peter is featured prominently in the Gospel accounts. If someone other than Peter wrote the letter under his name, as some scholars have claimed, it would be a case of deliberate deception, especially given the author’s claims to have witnessed the transfiguration. But there is no historical evidence in support of such a theory. Furthermore, writing in another person’s name was condemned among early Christians (cf. 2 Thess. 2:2; 3:17; see Introduction to 1 Timothy: Author and Title).

Some have suggested that the literary style of 2 Peter, which differs from that of 1 Peter, indicates an author other than Peter. But Peter may have used a secretary to help write this second letter, which would not affect the genuineness of his authorship if he ultimately approved what was written.

Scholars have also questioned Petrine authorship of 2 Peter because of the similarities between chapter 2 of this letter and the book of Jude. But this is not a problem for apostolic authorship, since Peter may have included in his letter elements from Jude that he thought would be helpful for his readers. It also could have worked the other way, with Jude using Peter’s letter as his source. The parallels are close but almost never exact, so it is difficult to sort out the relationship between 2 Peter and Jude with any degree of certainty.

It is reasonable in light of all the evidence, and clearly supported by the claims of the letter itself, to conclude that the apostle Peter wrote 2 Peter.[1]

The letter is in four parts that focus on godly living in light of the certainty of the Lord’s coming, against the backdrop of those who deny the latter, with its concomitant judgments, and who thus live like pagans. Part 1 (1:3-11) is an exhortation to growth in godliness, thus confirming their “calling and election” (v. 10) so as to “receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom” (v. 11).

Part 2 (1:12-21) is Peter’s testament about the “coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 16), an event that both the transfiguration (vv. 16-18), which Peter witnessed, and the reliable word of prophecy (vv. 19-21) argue for.

All of this is set (in part 3) in the context of the greed and licentiousness of the false teachers, whose condemnation is certain (2:1-22). The main thrust of this section is to reaffirm the certainty of divine judgment on those who reject God by rejecting holy living; thus several Old Testament examples are brought forward by way of illustration. You may want to read Jude 4-18 alongside this passage, since it reflects similar conceptions and uses some of the same examples from the Old Testament and Jewish apocalyptic. These teachers “promise freedom” but are themselves “slaves of depravity” (2 Pet 2:19), who would finally have been better off never having followed Christ than to have followed and then rejected him (vv. 20-22).

The false teaching itself is exposed and argued against in 3:1-18 (part 4). Against those who deny the second coming (vv. 3-4) is the certainty of God’s word, and thus the certainty of coming judgment, and a biblical view both of “time” and of God’s patience (vv. 5-10); the conclusion urges readiness, in obvious contrast to the recklessness of the false teachers (vv. 11-18). [2]

[1] ESV: Study Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles, 2008. 2415.

[2] Fee, Gordon D, and Douglas K. Stuart. How to Read the Bible Book by Book: A Guided Tour. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2002. 407-408.

September 14, 2017

1 Peter 5

  • Journal & Pray  
  • Read • Remember • Reflect

    Read the passages slowly. Write out the verses you want to remember. Write how God spoke to you through the passages. Jot down your observation and reflection in the verses.

Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals: 

 

 

 

September 13, 2017

1 Peter 4

  • Journal & Pray  
  • Read • Remember • Reflect

    Read the passages slowly. Write out the verses you want to remember. Write how God spoke to you through the passages. Jot down your observation and reflection in the verses.

Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals: 

 

 

 

September 12, 2017

1 Peter 3

  • Journal & Pray  
  • Read • Remember • Reflect

    Read the passages slowly. Write out the verses you want to remember. Write how God spoke to you through the passages. Jot down your observation and reflection in the verses.

Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals: 

 

 

 

September 11, 2017

1 Peter 2

  • Journal & Pray  
  • Read • Remember • Reflect

    Read the passages slowly. Write out the verses you want to remember. Write how God spoke to you through the passages. Jot down your observation and reflection in the verses.

Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals: 

 

 

 

September 10, 2017

Journal and Pray

Journal & Pray 

Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals:

September 9, 2017

1 Peter 1

A Study Through the Book of 1 Peter

That this letter was written by the apostle Peter is explicitly affirmed by 1:1 and by the author’s claim to be an “eyewitness of the sufferings of Christ” (5:1). The title of the letter, The First Letter of Peter, functions as early external evidence for the view that the letter was written by Peter. Indeed, in the early church there was no dispute over the authenticity of the letter, for it was regularly ascribed to Peter by the early church fathers.

Some recent scholars maintain that the letter is pseudonymous (falsely ascribed to Peter). Thus some have argued that: (1) the cultivated Greek of the letter could not have been written by a Galilean fisherman like Peter; (2) the theology is too much like Paul’s to be ascribed to Peter; (3) the OT citations come from the Greek OT (Septuagint), but the genuine Peter would have cited the Hebrew OT; (4) the background of the letter reflects the reign of the Roman emperors Domitian (A.D. 81–96) or Trajan (98–117), both of whom reigned after Peter’s death; and (5) the genuine Peter would have referred more to the historical Jesus.

None of these objections are compelling, and there are persuasive reasons for continuing to support Petrine authorship: (1) Peter was a middle-class fisherman who very likely knew Greek from his youth. There is significant evidence that Greek was spoken quite commonly in Galilee. Furthermore, Peter may have used a secretary, namely Silvanus (cf. note on 1 Pet. 5:12), to assist him in composing the letter. (2) Although the common elements in the theology of Peter and Paul should not be exaggerated (for there are distinctive themes in Peter; e.g., the particular emphasis on suffering), it should not be surprising that Peter and Paul shared the same theology. (3) It is hardly unexpected that Peter would cite the Greek OT in writing to Greek readers. (4) There is no clear evidence that the letter was written under the reign of Domitian or Trajan (see Purpose, Occasion, and Background). (5) The reader must be careful of saying what an author “must do”; i.e., although one cannot demand that Peter refer to the historical Jesus in a short letter written for a specific purpose, there is significant evidence that Peter alludes to some of the sayings of Jesus (e.g., Luke 12:35 in 1 Pet. 1:13; Matt. 5:16 in 1 Pet. 2:12; Matt. 5:10 in 1 Pet. 3:14). (6) Finally, there is no historical evidence in early church history that pseudonymous books, especially letters, were accepted as authoritative and inspired. Indeed, writing in someone else’s name was considered deceptive (cf. 2 Thess. 2:2; 3:17). On balance, there are compelling reasons to conclude that the apostle Peter is in fact the author of 1 Peter. [1]

Peter’s primary concern is for truly Christian living in the context of hostility and suffering. The letter moves forward in a kind of elliptical way, embracing first one and then the other of these concerns, returning to them over and over again along the way. At the same time these concerns are placed within the context of Christ’s suffering and resurrection, his suffering offering a pattern for believers as well as saving them, his resurrection giving them hope in the midst of present suffering.

The opening thanksgiving (1:3-12) sets forth the themes: salvation, hope for the future, suffering, genuine faith (= faithful living). The rest of the letter falls into three parts (1:13-2:10; 2:11-4:11; 4:2-5:11), signaled by the address “dear friends” in 2:11 and 4:12 (and the doxology in 4:11). Part I is a call to holy living, with emphasis on their life together as the people of God. Using all kinds of images from the Old Testament, Peter reassures them that they are God’s people by election, whose lives together are to give evidence that they are God’s children and thus declare God’s praises.

Part 2 focuses primarily on their being God’s people for the sake of the pagan world (2:12)—those responsible for their suffering. He begins (2:11-3:7) by urging Christlike submission in specific institutional settings (pagan government [2:13-17]; pagan masters [2:18-25]; pagan husbands [3:1-6]) in which believers may expect to suffer. He then generalizes this appeal to all believers (3:8-4:6), specifically when facing suffering for doing good; again, Christ’s death and resurrection serve as the basis for holiness and hope. He concludes by speaking once more to their life together as God’s people (4:7-11).

In part 3 he puts their suffering into a theological context, while urging the elders to lead the others in properly Christian responses to undeserved suffering, as well as in their relationships to one another. [2]

[1] ESV: Study Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles, 2008. 2401.

[2] Fee, Gordon D, and Douglas K. Stuart. How to Read the Bible Book by Book: A Guided Tour. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2002. 402-403.

September 8, 2017

James 5

  • Journal & Pray  
  • Read • Remember • Reflect

    Read the passages slowly. Write out the verses you want to remember. Write how God spoke to you through the passages. Jot down your observation and reflection in the verses.

Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals: 

 

 

 

Scroll to top