Authenticity of Second Peter

___________________

A Paper

Presented to

Dr. Joseph Fantin

Dallas Theological Seminary

___________________

In Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Course

NT5110 NT Introduction

___________________

by

Ken Suanjong Yeo

May 2021

File #1414

Authenticity of Second Peter

What are the problems?

Most modern scholars do not think the apostle Peter was the author of 2 Peter[1]. They believe it is pseudonymous writing that was well accepted in the early church as Scripture[2]. Many critical commentaries are written with the presupposition that Peter was not the author and did not even justify it[3]. This paper aims to defend the position that the apostle Peter was the author for 2 Peter. This is a critical problem to defend because the author claimed to be the apostle Peter (2 Pet 1:1). If the author were not Peter, 2 Peter would be pseudonymous, and pseudonymous writing has no place in the canon, a point I will also address in this paper.  I categorized the critics’ arguments into five categories[4], namely 1) historical problems, 2) stylistic and doctrinal problems with 1 Peter, 3) similarity with Jude, 4) contents that do not belong to first-century, and 5) pseudepigrapha. I will first lay out the critics’ arguments and offer responses to them in each category.

Historical problems

Arguments

       The critics argued that 2 Peter was pseudonymous because the external evidence is wholly insufficient.[5] First, it is missing in the Muratorian canon (AD180- 200). Second, it is not quoted before Origen of Alexandria (184-253AD), and he disputed it[6]. Third, many church fathers, including Eusebius (265-339AD), had doubts and rejected it as canonical.[7] Fourth, besides Jerome (347-420AD),[8] no church fathers positively identify it as written by Peter[9]. Fifth, it was accepted as canon in the 4th century because it served the purposes of opposing false teachers, not because it is an authenticate letter from Peter[10]. Finally, during the Reformation, Erasmus, Luther, and Calvin all looked down on it to some degree[11].

Responses

2 Peter is missing on the Muratorian Canon is an argument from silence, which should be used with the greatest reserve. The Muratorian Canon rejected other writings as heretics, but it did not mention 2 Peter, as well as Hebrews, James, and 1 Peter.  There are potential citations before Origen. According to Bigg, the earliest church fathers that possibly have read 2 Peter and alluded to it is Clement of Rome (c. 95)[12]. There is also potential evidence that Justin Martyr (c. 115-165) alluded to 2 Peter 2:1 in his Dialogue with Trypho[13]. We have good evidence that Irenaeus (c. 130-200) had read it.[14] It is possible that Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-215) has written a commentary of  2 Peter[15].

Origen had some doubts, but he did not dispute it as the critics like to claim. In fact, he quoted 2 Peter at least six times. His expression of some doubt was only found in the Latin translation, not in the Greek. Petrine authorship was only found in Rufinus’ Latin translation of his work, which is not always certain his translation is reliable.[16] In Origen’s homily of Joshua, he wrote: “Even Peter cries out with trumpets in two of his epistles; also James and Jude.” It is an attestation that Origen viewed both letters of Peter as the same status.[17]

Eusebius was doubtful but did not altogether reject its authenticity[18]. In fact, he had a high view of it.[19] It is important to look at his reasons. His first reason was other writers that he respected did not consider this letter as canonical. His second reason was the letter was not quoted by the ancient presbyters. However, he did not place 2 Peter in the spurious category as he has placed the Apocalypse of Peter and Gospel of Peter[20]. Guthrie concluded that the majority of church fathers contemporary to Eusebius regarded 2 Peter as canonical, but Eusebius and certain others have doubt on it[21].

Jerome wrote in the preface of Vulgate that he accepted all seven Catholic Epistles without reserve. He noted that doubts existed based on styles and suggested that this difference might be accounted for by using two different amanuenses[22]. Jerome’s great authority had removed the doubts from most church fathers in the eastern and western churches.[23]  The only major group that still doubted the Petrine authorship was the Syriac church, which only accepted three Catholic Epistles, namely James, 1 Peter, and 1 John.[24]

The oldest manuscript we have for 2 Peter is Bodmer P72 (c. 200) in Egypt[25] is an attestation of its acceptance of the church, at least in Egypt in the late third century.[26] The burden is on the critics to provide evidence to dismiss the conclusions of Augustine[27], Basil, Gregory, Palladius, Hilary, Ambrose[28] , and the church councils of Laodicea, Hippo, and Carthage[29]. It is generally accepted in the middle ages as canonical[30]. Its position was unquestioned until the reformation.[31]

The reason some of the church fathers hesitated in accepting its authenticity could be the existence of a few pseudepigrapha of Peter. Although cautious, no significant church fathers placed 2 Peter as spurious. The fact that 2 Peter ultimately gained acceptance as part of the canon in the 4th century attests that the church fathers have finally recognized that it is an authentic letter from Peter[32].

Stylistic and doctrinal problems with 1 Peter

Arguments

The critics argued that the vocabulary and styles[33] of 2 Peter are very different from 1 Peter as to preclude both letters were written by the same author[34]. They claimed that many words in 1 Peter are not found in 2 Peter and vice versa[35]. For example, 2 Peter used a different word for Christ return, ἀποκάλυφις in 1 Peter and παρουσία in 2 Peter. The critics claimed that the major themes like the cross, resurrection, ascension, baptism, and prayer that are in 1 Peter do not occur at all in 2 Peter.

Responses

While there is a distinction of style between 1 Peter and 2 Peter, the difference was exaggerated by the critics[36]. First, the critics missed a crucial point: the writing style of a person could change over time, especially if the person traveled frequently and lived in different cultures between his writings[37]. Second, Peter could have given literary freedom to his amanuenses. Third, While it is true that 1 Peter and 2 Peter differ in style, it is also true that no document in the NT has a closer style to 2 Peter than 1 Peter[38]. Kruger listed nine parallels use of languages and ideas between 1 and 2 Peter.[39] Bigg wrote that: “that the style differs from that of 1 Peter in some respects, but in others, notably in verbal iteration and in the discreet use of Apocrypha, resembles it.”[40] Fourth, there is a similar subtle use of words of 2 Peter to Peter’s speeches in Acts[41]. This favors Petrine authorship because we expect an imitator to include more from Peter’s sermons in Acts or ignore it altogether. Fifth, we have too little of the writing of Peter to have good data to determine his writing style, consider there are only 543 different vocabulary words in 1 Peter. Sixth, on Peter’s use of the different word for Christ return, Paul used both ἀποκάλυψιςand παρουσία in 1 Corinthians and 2 Thessalonians, there is no reason why Peter could not use both words.

The doctrinal difference between 1 and 2 Peter is a result of the over-analytical approach to NT criticism. It is nothing unusual for the same author to write different themes or approach a theme from a different angle. No explicit mention of the death and resurrection of Christ did not mean the author of 1 and 2 Peter is not the same person. The fact that the author of 2 Peter called Jesus his Lord and Savior (1:2, 8; 2:20; 3:18) implies Christ’s death and resurrection, and he ascribed eternal glory to Jesus (3:18). Though there are omissions, there is no doctrinal contradiction of 2 Peter with the rest of the NT.[42] Although scholars on both sides agree there is a different emphasis of doctrines on both letters, Weiss concludes that from a biblical and theological perspective, there are no other books in NT that have a closer theology than 1 Peter with 2 Peter[43].

Similarity with Jude

Arguments

The critics think 2 Peter used Jude as a source[44]. This precludes Peter as the author for 2 Peter because 1) Jude was written long after the lifetime of Peter, 2) it was not logical and unworthy for the apostle Peter to use non-apostle writing as his source.

Responses

There are three possible solutions to this problem. First, similar to the solution to the synoptic problem, both Jude and 2 Peter used a lost common source. Second, Jude used 2 Peter as its source[45]. Third, 2 Peter used Jude as its source. All three solutions, including the third solution, do not preclude Petrine authorship of 2 Peter because the date of Jude is uncertain, and there are other cases where more influential NT writers draw from less influential and even extra-biblical writings. For example, Matthew borrowed from Mark, and Paul included church hymns and even heathen poetry in his canonical writings[46].

Most critics against Petrine authorship hold the Jude priority view and used it against Petrine authorship of 2 Peter. They failed to account for why an imitator of Peter would align his writing to Jude instead of to 1 Peter. In conclusion, the literate relation between 2 Peter and Jude does not affect the authenticity of either letter. One can hold any of the three views or remain undecided and still affirm Petrine authorship of 2 Peter[47].

Contents do not belong to first-century

Arguments

The critics made many claims that the content of 2 Peter does not belong to the first century, therefore reject Petrine authorship. First, they claimed that myths in 1:16[48] and the false teachings in chapter 2 are second-century Gnosticism[49]. Second, they think the author promoted mountain veneration (1:18), a 2nd-century concept. Third, they claimed that 2 Peter stressed that scriptures interpretation is not one’s own interpretation (1:20) but had to be interpreted by authoritative teachers like Peter, therefore paved the road to Romans Catholicism[50]. Fourth, they claimed the reference to “your apostles” (3:2) excludes the author as one of them. Fifth, the reference to prophets and apostles is a characteristic of 2nds-century writers when referring to Scriptures[51]. Sixth, the author wrote that the fathers (3:4) fell asleep, which the critics view as referring to the first generation Christians; therefore, the author could not be Peter. Seventh, the author equated Paul’s epistles as scriptures (3:16), but the critics think the church had not recognized all Paul’s epistles as scriptures in the 60AD[52].

Responses

First, 2 Peter does not have sufficient content on the heresy to identify it with any 2nd-century Gnostic movement. The lack of detail supports the 1st-century date since Gnosticism has not fully developed at this time. A 2nd-century imitator would likely add more specific evidence to the heresy he was combating. Second, Peter did not mean the mountain of transfiguration should be revered (1:18). The concept of a sacred mountain was from the OT (Ps 2:6). The mountain was sacred because Christ was there. There are no hints of veneration of the mountain[53]. Third, on the claimed on 1:20 as the promotion of early Roman’s Catholicism, the letter does not emphasize the church as an institution or the tradition of the church is the sole interpretation of Scripture as all.[54] Fourth, the reference to “your apostles” (3:2) was to contrast the scoffers. There is no difficulty in including the author as one of the apostles[55]. The reference to prophets and apostles is found in Ephesians 2:20. Fifth, the father fell asleep (3:4) was a reference to the Jewish patriarchs[56]. Nowhere in the NT or in the apostolic fathers is πατἐρες refer to Christians patriarchs[57]. Furthermore, Jews patriarchs would be a more convincing argument for the scoffers since they were arguing that the world has been the same since a long time ago. The end of the world was not going to happen. Finally, Peter’s claimed of Paul’s writing as Scripture is compatible with Paul’s view on his writings as paramount to Scriptures (2 Thess 2:15; 3:14; Cor 7:17; 14:37-39).

Pseudepigrapha

Arguments

The critics claim that pseudepigraphy was a widespread practice in the ancient world and the church naturally adopted the practice. Bauckham wrote: “The pseudepigraphal device is therefore not a fraudulent means of claiming apostolic authority, but embodies a claim to be a faithful mediator of the apostolic message.” They claimed 2 Peter is a “testamentary” letter known to have come from the Petrine circle in Rome, and the readers would not have thought Peter actually wrote it[58]. They also think 2 Peter should be considered as in the same category as Gospel of Peter and Apocalypse of Peter. For example, Ehrman pointed that just as the Apocalypse of Peter, both claimed the author was with Jesus in his transfiguration. [59] They reasoned that the author’s eagerness to identify himself as Peter is suspicious. He identified himself as Simeon Peter (1:1) instead of just Peter as in 1 Peter. He identified he would die soon (1:14), borrowed from John 21:18, a gospel written after the death of Peter. They think of 2 Pet 1:15 as the author’s self-conscious attempt to identify himself as the source for the gospel of Mark[60]. He witnessed Christ’s transfiguration (1:16-18). He identified he wrote the first letter (3:1); this was a technique used by pseudepigraphists[61]. The critics also argued that the author inadvertently put himself outside of the group of apostles, “…καὶ τῆς τῶν ἀποστόλων ὑμῶν…”.

Responses

While it is true that there were many forged epistles in the Greek secular world, the evidence of early church accepted pseudepigraphic documents as authoritative Scripture was completely lacking.[62] The evidence is the contrary. All evidence shows that the church rejected such practices[63]. First, the apostle Paul himself rejected such practice (2 Thess 2:2). Second, the church fathers rejected it. Tertullian removed the author of The Acts of Paul and Thecla from office[64], not accepted as normal. Serapion, the bishop of Antioch (c.180), rejected The Gospel of Peter because it was determined that Peter did not write it.[65] The Muratorian Fragment listed spurious epistles that self-identified as from Paul to the Laodiceans and the Alexandrines as among the rejected works.[66]

This means the church fathers must have affirmed the author’s self-claim of Peter’s authorship. That left us with only two options why 2 Peter is in the canon, and it is either 1) an authenticate writing of Peter, or 2) the writer was an imitator of Peter who successfully deceived the church.

The critics are very keen on promoting pseudepigraphy as an accepted form of writing in the early church. Because they have to explain if the evidence of Peter was not the author was so strong, why did the church fathers from the 4th century onwards almost unanimously view it as part of the canon? Even if pseudepigrapha was an accepted form of writing for the most important documents of the Christian faith, why did some of the church fathers hesitated in accepted it as part of the canon in the 3rd century? The fact that there was hesitation is evidence that pseudepigrapha was not accepted as canonical writings.

The use of Simeon supports Petrine authorship instead of against it. An imitator would more likely follow Peter’s self-identification in 1 Peter. A real author would have more freedom to write his name. As for Peter’s mentioned of his imminent death, he did not need to use John 21:18 as a source since he heard it directly from the Lord Jesus. Peter’s reference to his witness of the Lord’s transfiguration (1:16-18) does not add any weight to the critics’ argument. An imitator would more likely refer to Christ’s death and resurrection, the most critical event of Christianity. Peter had no issue mentioning his witness of Christ’s life (1 Pet 5:1). Furthermore, there are no close parallels of pseudepigrapha like 2 Peter[67]. Lastly, 2 Peter is superior in its spiritual content compare to other pseudepigrapha of Peter[68].

In most Christian pseudepigrapha, the imitator had a motive to spread an idea that would not be accepted otherwise in the church. There is nothing in 2 Peter that would warrant such motive[69]. Guthrie concluded: “there is little tangible evidence for non-authenticity from the personal allusions. There is, in fact, nothing here which requires us to treat the epistle as pseudepigraphic.”[70]

Conclusion

In conclusion, while the early church was slow in recognizing 2 Peter’s canonical status, they finally did in the 4th century. There is also evidence that points to second or even late first-century citation. The arguments of non-Petrine authorship are not conclusive.[71] And its relationship with Jude does not at all preclude Petrine authorship. Furthermore, the analysis of stylistic and doctrinal differences is often very subjective. There is no reason to limit Peter’s doctrines and vocabulary to only 543 works in 1 Peter. The 2nd-century doctrines are anachronistic reading on the text as explained. There is ample evidence that the early church rejected pseudepigrapha instead of accepting it as Scripture. We have two options: either we view Peter as the author for 2 Peter or view it as pseudepigrapha, which means its status as part of the NT canon is in jeopardy. We conclude that the apostle Peter is the author of 2 Peter.

Bibliography

Alexander, Archibald. The Canon of the Old and New Testaments Ascertained, or the Bible Complete without the Apocrypha and Unwritten Traditions. Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1851.

Barrett, Charles Kingsley. The New Testament Background: Writings from Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire That Illuminate Christian Origins. Rev. ed. S.l: HarperSanFrancisco, 1995.

Bauckham, Richard. Jude, 2 Peter. Word Biblical Commentary. Waco, Tex: Word Books, 1983.

Berkhof, Louis. New Testament Introduction. Eerdmans-Sevensma Co., 1915.

Bigg, Charles. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistles of St. Peter and St. Jude. International Critical Commentary. T&T Clark International, 1901.

Brown, Raymond E., and Marion L. Soards. An Introduction to the New Testament. Abridged edition. The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016.

Carson, D. A., and Douglas J. Moo. An Introduction to the New Testament. Second edition. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2005.

Davids, Peter H. The Letters of 2 Peter and Jude. The Pillar New Testament Commentary. William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2006.

Ehrman, Bart D. The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Readings. Seventh edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020.

———. The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Eusebius. The Ecclesiastical History. Edited by T. E. Page, E. Capps, W. H. D. Rouse, L. A. Post, Kirsopp Warmington E. H.Editors, Lake, and J. E. L.Translators Oulton. Vol. 1. The Loeb Classical Library. William Heinemann; G. P. Putnam’s Sons; Harvard University Press, 1926.

Evans, Craig A., and Stanley E. Porter, eds. Dictionary of New Testament Background. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 2000.

Farrar, F.W. “Dr. Abbott on the Second Epistle of St. Peter.” The Expositor, 2, 3, no. 6 (1882).

Gilmour, Michael. “Reflections on the Authorship of 2 Peter.” Evangelical Quarterly 73 (2001).

Green, Michael. 2 Peter and Jude: An Introduction and Commentary. Vol. 18. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. InterVarsity Press, 1987.

———. 2 Peter Reconsidered. Cambridge: Tyndale Fellowship for Biblical Research, 1960.

Guthrie, Donald. New Testament Introduction. 4th rev. ed. The Master Reference Collection. Inter-Varsity Press, 1996.

Hastings, James, John A. Selbie, A.B. Davidson, S.R. Driver, and H.B. Swete, eds. A Dictionary of the Bible: Dealing with Its Language, Literature, and Contents Including the Biblical Theology, Volumes I–V. New York; Edinburgh: Charles Scribner’s Sons; T. & T. Clark, 1911.

Jared, Compton. “Is the New Testament God’s Word?” Bible and Spade 24, no. 3 (2011).

Jerome, and Gennadius. A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church. Lives of Illustrious Men. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. Translated by Ernest Cushing Richardson. Vol. 3. 2. New York: The Christian Literature Company, 1892.

King, Marchant A. “Notes on the Bodmer Manuscript.” Bibliotheca Sacra 121 (1964).

Lyons, S. Irenaeus Bishop of. Five Books of S. Irenaeus against Heresies. Edited by JohnTranslator Keble. A Library of Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church. James Parker and Co.; Rivingtons, 1872.

Menzies, Allan, ed. The Ante-Nicen Fathers, The Writings of the Fathers down to AD 325. 5th ed. Vol. 9. The Ante-Nicene Fathers. New York: Christian Literature Company, 1897.

Metzger, Bruce M., and Bart D. Ehrman. The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration. 4th ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Neyrey, Jerome H. 2 Peter, Jude: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. Vol. 37C. Anchor Yale Bible. Yale University Press, 2008.

Origen, Cynthia White, and Barbara J Bruce. Homilies on Joshua. Washinton, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2002.

Porter, Stanley E. “Pauline Authorship and the Pastoral Epistles: Implications for Canon.” Edited by Evans Craig. Bulletin for Biblical Research 5 (1995).

Schreiner, Thomas R. 1, 2 Peter, Jude. Vol. 37. The New American Commentary. Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2003.

Tertullian. On Baptism, The Ante-Nicen Fathers, The Writings of the Fathers down to AD 325. Edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Translated by S. Thelwall. 5th ed. Vol. 9. The Ante-Nicene Fathers. New York: Christian Literature Company, 1897.

Weiss, Bernhard. A Manual of Introduction of the New Testament. Edited by Robertson Nicoll. Translated by AJK. Davidson. Vol. 2. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1889.


[1] Bart D. Ehrman, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, 2nd ed (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 421. Examples of the scholars who reject Petrine authorship are Mayerhoff, Credner, Hilgenfeld, Von Soden, Hausrath, Mangold, Davidson, Volkmar, Holtzmann, Julicher, Harnack, Chase, and Strachan. Scholars who support Petrine authorship are in the minority, they include Luthardt, Wiesinger, Guericke, Windischmann, Bruckner, Hofmann, Salmon, Alford, Zahn, Spitta, and Warfield. some scholars could not reach a conclusion, they include Huther, Weiss, and Kuhl. See Louis Berkhof, New Testament Introduction (Eerdmans-Sevensma Co., 1915), 310.

[2] Bauckham was one of the leading scholars that promote this idea, see Richard Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter, Word Biblical Commentary (Waco, Tex: Word Books, 1983), 134.

[3] For example, Jerome simply stated It is a commonplace of contemporary NT criticism that 2 Peter is pseudonymous. See Jerome H. Neyrey, 2 Peter, Jude: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, vol. 37C, Anchor Yale Bible (Yale University Press, 2008), 128.

[4] Green categorized the critics’ arguments into five categories, they are i) the external attestation, ii) the relationship between 2 Peter and Jude, iii) the contrast between its diction and that of 1 Peter, iv) the contrast between its doctrine and that of 1 Peter, and v) various anachronism and contradictions. Category i) and iii) were used in antiquity, the reminders were originated in modern time. See Michael Green, 2 Peter and Jude: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 18, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (InterVarsity Press, 1987), 5. Kruger further reduced it to three main categories: 1) external attestation of early church, 2) stylistic and literary problems, and 3) historical and doctrinal problems that points to inconsistence or late date. See Michael Kruger, “The Authenticity of 2 Peter,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 42 (1999): 646.

[5] James Hastings, et al., eds., A Dictionary of the Bible: Dealing with Its Language, Literature, and Contents Including the Biblical Theology, Volumes IV (New York; Edinburgh: Charles Scribner’s Sons; T. & T. Clark, 1911) V3, p816.

[6] Raymond E. Brown and Marion L. Soards, An Introduction to the New Testament, Abridged edition, The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016), 174.

[7] Ehrman, The New Testament, 421.

[8] Jerome accepted its canonical, but recorded others had doubts based on its styles: “He wrote two epistles which are called Catholic, the second of which, on account of its difference from the first in style, is considered by many not to be by him.” See Jerome and Gennadius, Lives of Illustrious Men, 1.

[9] Berkhof, New Testament Introduction, 308.

[10] Ehrman, The New Testament, 421.

[11] Berkhof, New Testament Introduction, 309.

[12] Bigg has an extension list of church fathers who alluded or cited 2 Peter. See Charles Bigg, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistles of St. Peter and St. Jude, International Critical Commentary (T&T Clark International, 1901), 210.

[13] Kruger, “The Authenticity of 2 Peter,” 654.

[14] He wrote “ἣ γὰρ ἡμέρὰ κυρίουͅ ὡς χίλια ἔτη”[14], it is virtually the same as 2 Pet 3:8 “ὅτι μία ἡμέρα παρὰ κυρίῳ ὡς χίλια ἔτη”. Irenaeus did not likely copy from Ps 90:4 because it is significantly different in LXX In LXX it is Ps 89:4. It reads: “ὅτι χίλια ἔτη ἐν ὀφθαλμοῖς σου ὡς ἡ ἡμέρα ἡ ἐχθές, ἥτις διῆλθε”.

[15] Eusebius The Ecclesiastical History 7.14.

[16] Scholars are not always certain Rufinus’ Latin can be replied upon, see Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, 4th rev. ed., The Master Reference Collection (Inter-Varsity Press, 1996), 806.

[17] Warfield argued rightly: “Then, it must have been already in it in the second century. But when in that century did it acquire this position? Can we believe that critics like Irenaeus, or Melito, or Dionysius would have allowed it to be foisted before their eyes into a collection they held all-holy?” See Benjamin B. Warfield, The Works of Benjamin B. Warfield: Revelation and Inspiration, vol. 1 (Logos Bible Software, 2008), 411.

[18] Same as his views on James, Jude, 2 and 3 John Eusebius 3.25.

[19] He wrote: “Of Peter, one epistle, that which is called his first, is admitted, and the ancient presbyters used this in their own writings as unquestioned, but the so-called second Epistle we have not received as canonical, but nevertheless it has appeared useful to many, and has been studied with other Scriptures.” See Eusebius The Ecclesiastical History 3.3.

[20] Eusebius 3.25.

[21] Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, 808.

[22] Jerome made this suggestion in the Epistle to Hedibia, 120, Quaest, xi, cited by Bigg, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistles of St. Peter and St. Jude, 199.

[23] Brown and Soards, An Introduction to the New Testament, 174.

[24] Bigg, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistles of St. Peter and St. Jude, 200.

[25] Dated to third century. See Bruce M. Metzger and Bart D. Ehrman, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, 4th ed (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 58.

[26] King wrote: “2 Peter is here accorded care and respect equal to, if not greater than, that given 1 Peter.” See Marchant A. King, “Notes on the Bodmer Manuscript,” Bibliotheca Sacra 121 (1964): 54.

[27] Augustine often cites 1 and 2 Peter. See Archibald Alexander, The Canon of the Old and New Testaments Ascertained, or the Bible Complete without the Apocrypha and Unwritten Traditions (Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1851), 232.

[28] Berkhof, New Testament Introduction, 309.

[29] Warfield asked the right question to the critics: “The question, then, is not: do we possess independently of this, sufficient evidence of the Petrine authorship of the book to place it in the canon? But: do we possess sufficient evidence against its Petrine authorship, to reject it from the canon of the fourth quarter of the second century authenticated as that canon as a while is?” See Warfield, The Works of Benjamin B. Warfield: Revelation and Inspiration, 1:412.

[30] Berkhof, 309.

[31] Michael Green, 2 Peter Reconsidered (Cambridge: Tyndale Fellowship for Biblical Research, 1960), 6.

[32] For the argument of the importance of authorship to canonicity, see Stanley E. Porter, “Pauline Authorship and the Pastoral Epistles: Implications for Canon,” ed. Evans Craig, Bulletin for Biblical Research 5 (1995).

[33] They also claimed that conjunctions (ἵνα, ὅτι, οὖν, μέν) that are found frequently in 1 Peter are rare in 2 Peter. Instead, 2 Peter uses τοῦτο or ταῦτα (1:8,10;3:11,14). While in 1 Peter there is a free interchange of preposition, 2 Peter uses repetition of the same preposition. That is, διἀ is found three times in 1:3-5 and ἐν seven times in 1:5-7. Different words are used to express the same idea. That is, ἀποκάλυψις, 1 Pt. 1:7, 13; 4:13 with παρουσία, 2 Pt. 1:16; 3:4;—ῥαντισμός, 1 Pt. 1:2 with καθαρισμός, 2 Pt. 1:9;—κληρονομία, 1 Pt. 1:4 with ἁιώνος βασιλεία, 2 Pt. 1:11. See Berkhof, New Testament Introduction, 308.

[34] Ehrman, The New Testament, 421.

[35] 361 words in 1 Peter was not found in 2 Peter, and 231 words in 2 Peter are not found in 1 Peter. See  Berkhof, New Testament Introduction, 308.

[36] D. A. Carson and Douglas J. Moo, An Introduction to the New Testament, Second edition (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2005), 661.

[37] Jerome wrote that Peter preached to the Dispersion and lived in Rome for 25 years, see Jerome and Gennadius Lives of Illustrious Men 3.1.

[38] Bigg, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistles of St. Peter and St. Jude, 232.

[39] Kruger, “The Authenticity of 2 Peter,” 659.

[40] Bigg, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistles of St. Peter and St. Jude, 242.

[41] Berkhof, New Testament Introduction, 310. Guthrie listed “received” (1:1; Acts 1:17), “godliness” (1:6; Acts 3:12), “day of the Lord” (3:10; Acts 2:20), “punishment” (2:9; Acts 4:21). See Donald Guthrie, Hebrews: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 15, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (InterVarsity Press, 1983), 838.

[42] Guthrie, 837.

[43] Bernhard Weiss, A Manual of Introduction of the New Testament, ed. Robertson Nicoll, trans. A.J.K. Davidson, vol. 2 (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1889), 165.

[44] The main parallels are between Jude 4-18 and 2 Pet 2:1-18 and 3:1-3. Guthrie listed nine arguments for this hypothesis, he wrote that this is the most conclusive argument is the use of apocryphal books and the absence of any direct citation in 2 Peter. See Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, 919.

[45] Green initially favored 2 Peter priority, see Green, 2 Peter Reconsidered, 11. He later changed his view to that this issue should be left unresolved, but seems to lightly prefer both letters used the same source that is now lost, see Green, 2 Peter and Jude: An Introduction and Commentary, 18:71.

[46] Therefore the relationship before 2 Peter and Jude did not concern Farrar, see F.W. Farrar, “Dr. Abbott on the Second Epistle of St. Peter,” The Expositor, 2, 3, no. 6 (1882): 11. Weiss came to the same conclusion: “In any case the literary relation of Epistle to that of Jude has nothing whatever to do with the question of its genuineness, and does not prejudice it in any way.” See Weiss, A Manual of Introduction of the New Testament, 2:160.

[47] That is the conclusion of Guthrie, which is in agreement with Farrar and Weiss, see Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, 923–24.

[48] Ehrman, The New Testament, 422.

[49] Carson and Moo, An Introduction to the New Testament, 659.

[50] Brown and Soards, An Introduction to the New Testament, 174.

[51] Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, 815.

[52] Ehrman, The New Testament, 422.

[53] Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, 823–24.

[54] Carson and Moo, An Introduction to the New Testament, 661.

[55] Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, 830.

[56] Carson and Moo, An Introduction to the New Testament, 662.

[57] Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, 829.

[58] Carson and Moo, An Introduction to the New Testament, 660.

[59] Ehrman, The New Testament, 421. See Allan Menzies, ed., The Ante-Nicen Fathers, The Writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325, 5th ed., vol. 9, The Ante-Nicene Fathers (New York: Christian Literature Company, 1897), bk. The Apocalypse of Peter.

[60] Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, 813.

[61] Guthrie, 815.

[62] Thomas R. Schreiner, 1, 2 Peter, Jude, vol. 37, The New American Commentary (Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2003), 270.

[63] D. G. Meade, Pseudonymity and Canon (1986), p. 205 as cited by Guthrie, see Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, 1019.

[64] Tertullian On Baptism 17.

[65] Eusebius The Ecclesiastical History 6.12.3.

[66] Kruger, “The Authenticity of 2 Peter,” 648.

[67] Ibid., 820.

[68] Guthrie, 938.

[69] Bigg wrote 2 Peter contains no idea or fact or word which does not belong to the apostolic age. See Bigg, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistles of St. Peter and St. Jude, 242.

[70] See Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, 824.

[71] This is the conclusion of Michael Gilmour, “Reflections on the Authorship of 2 Peter,” Evangelical Quarterly 73 (2001): 291–309. Green came to the same conclusion. He concluded his paper with this: “The case against the Epistle does not, in fact, appear by any means compelling. It cannot be shown conclusively that Peter was the author; but it has yet to be shown convincingly that he was not. See Green, 2 Peter Reconsidered, 37.

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