Book Background: 2 Peter

Written by Heather Zempel | June 25, 2010 | 2 Peter 1 - 3

While some scholars claim that the different literary style of 2 Peter points to a different author, it is widely accepted that loud-mouthed disciple Peter also wrote this book. In Peter’s first book, he encouraged the Church to be strong through the difficulties of persecution. In this letter, he addresses a potentially more damaging threat—the internal danger of false teachers.

“We did not follow cleverly devised tales when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we were witnesses to his majesty.” (2 Peter 1:16)

In other words, Peter didn’t make this stuff up. He saw it himself with his won two eyes. And the majesty he claims to have seen was his experience with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. Far from a fleeting mountain top experience for Peter, those few moments of supernatural wonder inspired Peter for the rest of his life,

Peter wrote this letter while in Rome just before his death in 67 or 68 BC. The two basic themes include an encouragement for believers to live productive lives and a warning against false teachers. The book can be outlined as follows:

Introduction and Greetings- 2 Peter 1:1-13
Confirmation of Calling- 2 Peter 1:3-21
Danger of False Teachers- 2 Peter 2:1-22
The End of Time- 2 Peter 3:1-18

Personally, my favorite part of the book are these little verses: “...just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some thing in them that are hard to understand...” (2 Peter 3:15-16). Amen to that, Peter!

As you read 2 Peter, keep in mind the following questions: 1) am I more susceptible to persecution or false teaching? 2) what false teaching might I be absorbing in my life right now?