2 Peter 3:1-4, 8-9

2 Peter 3:1-4, 8-9
A Women’s Lectionary – Proper 21


This is now, beloved,A the secondB letterC I am writingD to you;

Notes on verse 1a

A “beloved” = agapetos. From agape (love, goodwill, benevolence; God’s divine love); from agapao (to love, take pleasure in, esteem; to prefer). This is Beloved or very dear one. It is a title for the Messiah, but also for Christians. Properly, this is one who personally experiences God’s love.
B “second” = deuteros. From duo (two, both). This is second, twice, again. It is part of where “Deuteronomy” comes from, which means “second law” or “a repetition of the law.” See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Deuteronomy
C “letter” = epistole. From epistello (to write, communicate through letter); {from epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + stello (to send, set, arrange, prepare, gather up)}. This is an epistle, letter, or other written message. This is where the word “epistle” comes from.
D “writing” = grapho. This is to write or describe. It is where the word “graphic” comes from.

in them I am trying to arouseE your sincereF intentionG by remindingH you 

Notes on verse 1b

E “arouse” = diegeiro. 6x in NT. From dia (through, because of, across, thoroughly) + egeiro (to awake, raise up or lift up; to get up from sitting or lying down, to get up from sleeping, to rise from a disease or from death; figuratively, rising from inactivity or from ruins). This is to wake totally, arise, or raise in a literal or figurative sense.
F “sincere” = eilikrines. 2x in NT. Perhaps from heile (ray of the sun) + krino (to judge, decide, think good, condemn, determine, pass judgment, stand trial, sue; judging whether in court or in a private setting; properly, mentally separating or distinguishing an issue – to come to a choice or decision, to judge positively or negatively in seeking what is right or wrong, who is innocent or guilty; can imply trying, condemning, punishing, or avenging). This is unmixed or pure. It is something that is seen in the sunlight or full light and judged positively. It can also be a full light that brings insight or discernment.
G “intention” = dianoia. 12x in NT. From dia (through, because of, across, thoroughly) + noieo (to perceive, think, understand); {from nous (mind, understanding, reasoning faculty, intellect, capacity to reflect); from noos (mind); probably from the base as ginosko (to know, recognize, realize, perceive, learn; gaining knowledge through personal experience)}. This is thought, intellect, or insight. It is thorough, critical thinking to reason through issues to reach a conclusion that is both logically sound and personal.
H “reminding” = hupomnesis. 3x in NT. From hupomimnesko (to remind, call attention to); {from hupo (by, under, about, subordinate to) + mimnesko (to remind or remember; memory through an active, intentional process or being mindful; not incidentally or accidentally remembering); {from mnaomai (to remember; by implication give reward or consequence); perhaps from meno (to stay, abide, wait, endure)}. This is a remembrance, reminder.

that you should rememberI the wordsJ spoken in the pastK by the holyL prophetsM

Notes on verse 2a

I “remember” = mimnesko. Related to “reminding” in v1. See note H above.
J “words” = rhema. From rheo (to speak, command, make, say, speak of); from ereo (to all, say, speak of, tell; denotes ongoing speech). This is word, which implies a matter or thing spoken, a command, report, promise, thing, or business. Often used for narration, commands, or disputes.
K “spoken in the past” = prolego. 14x in NT. From pro (before, earlier than, ahead, prior) + lego (to speak, tell, mention). This is to forewarn, state clearly, predict. It is saying ahead of time.
L “holy” = hagios. From hagnos (holy, sacred, pure ethically, ritually, or ceremonially; prepared for worship, chaste, unadulterated, pure to the core; undefiled by sin; figurative for innocent, modest, perfect). God is totally different from humanity and thus set apart. That which is consecrated to worship God (elements of worship) or to serve God (as the saints) are holy because they are now set apart for God’s purposes. Holy because important to God. This is sacred physically, pure. It can be morally blameless or ceremonially consecrated.
M “prophets” = prophetes. From pro (before, in front of, earlier than) + phemi (to declare, say, use contrasts in speaking to shed light on one point of view); {from phao (to shine) or phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear)}. This is a prophet or poet – one who speaks with inspiration from God.

and the commandmentN of the LordO and SaviorP spoken through your apostles.Q 

Notes on verse 2b

N “commandment” = entole. From entellomai (to charge, command, give orders or instructions) {from en (in, on, at, by, with) + tellomai (to accomplish); {from telos (an end, aim, purpose, completion, end goal, consummation, tax; going through the steps to complete a stage or phase and then moving on to the next one)}}. This is an order, command, ordinance, or law. It focuses on the purpose of the command and its end result.
O “Lord” = Kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.
P “Savior” = Soter. From sozo (to save, heal, preserve, or rescue. Properly, this is taking someone from danger to safety. It can be delivering or protecting literally or figuratively); from sos (safe, rescued, well). This is savior, deliverer, preserver.
Q “apostles” = apostolos. Related to “letter” in v1. From apostello (to send, send away, send forth as a messenger, to commission); {from apo (from, away from) + stello (see note C above)}. This is a messenger – someone sent out on a mission as an envoy or delegate. It can also refer to someone set at liberty. Generally, this is a messenger who is meant to be a representative of the one who sent them. They are thus, set apart on a mission literally or figuratively.

FirstR of all you must understandS this, that in the lastT daysU scoffersV will come,W

Notes on verse 3a

R “first” = proton. From protos (what is first, which could be the most important, the first in order, the main one, the chief); from pro (before, first, in front of, earlier). This is firstly, before, in the beginning, formerly.
S “understand” = ginosko. Related to “intention” in v1. See note G above.
T “last” = eschatos. Related to eschaton (end, last); perhaps from echo (to have, possess, hold). This is last, end, extreme, final. It is often used to discuss the end times, prophecies of the future, and the afterlife. The branch of theology focusing on all these topics is called “eschatology.”
U “days” = hemera. Perhaps from hemai (to sit). This is day, time, or daybreak.
V “scoffers” = empaiktes. Related to “scoffing” in v3. From empaizo (see note X below). This is a mocker or scoffer. It is someone who teaches what isn’t true.
W “come” = erchomai. This is to come or go.

scoffingX and indulgingY their ownZ lustsAA 

Notes on verse 3b

X “scoffing” = empaigmos. 2x in NT. From empaizo (to mock, ridicule, jeer); {from en (in, on, at, by, with, among) + paizo (to play like a child does – can include singing and dancing); {from pais (child, youth, servant, slave); perhaps from paio (to strike or sting)}}. This is mockery, scoffing, or scorn.
Y “indulging” = poreuomai. From poros (ford, passageway). This is to go, travel, journey, or die. It refers to transporting things from one place to another and focuses on the personal significance of the destination.
Z “own” = idios. This is something that belongs to you or that is personal, private, apart. It indicates a stronger sense of possession than a simple possessive pronoun. This is where “idiot” comes from (denoting someone who hasn’t had formal training or education and so they rely on their own understanding).
AA “lusts” = epithumia. From epithmueo (long for, set one’s heart on, yearn, desire); {from epi (on, upon, at, what is fitting) + thumos (passion, wrath; actions emerging from passion or impulse) {from thuo (to rush along, breathe violently, offer sacrifice)}}. This is desire, a longing built on passionate emotion or urges. This can be a positive or a negative passion (lust or eagerness).

and saying,BB “Where isCC the promiseDD of his coming?EE For ever since our ancestorsFF died,GG 

Notes on verse 4a

BB “saying” = lego. Related to “spoken in the past” in v2. See note K above.
CC “is” = eimi. This is to be, exist.
DD “promise” = epaggelia. From epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + aggello (to announce, report); {from aggelos (angel, messenger); probably from ago (to lead, bring, carry, guide, drive)}. This is a summons, promise, or message. It is a formal promise that is officially sanctioned. In the New Testament, this usually refers to a promise made in the Old Testament.
EE “coming” = parousia. Related to “is” in v4. From pareimi (to be present, have come) {from para (from beside, by, in the presence of) + eimi (see note CC above)}. This is presence, coming, arrival, advent. Properly, it was the term for an official visit of a king or someone else with formal authority. It is used specifically in the New Testament to refer to Jesus’s second coming.
FF “ancestors” = pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.
GG “died” = koimao. 18x in NT. From keimai (to lie, recline, set, be appointed, be destined). This is to sleep or put to sleep. Figuratively, it can mean to die. In the New Testament, it is used 15x for death and 3x for sleep.

all thingsHH continueII as they were from the beginningJJ of creation!”KK

Notes on verse 4b

HH “all things” = pas. This is all or every.
II “continue” = diameno. Related to “reminding” in v1 & “remember” in v2. 5x in NT. From dia (through, because of, across to the other side) + meno (see note H above). This is to remain fully, to abide thoroughly – to continue on all the way, constancy.
JJ “beginning” = arche. From archomai (to begin or rule); from archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power). Properly, this is what is first. In a temporal sense, that is beginning or origin. It can also refer to the one who ranks first, i.e. king or ruler. So, it can also be magistrate, power, or principality. It can be used more generally for what is preeminent.
KK “creation” = ktisis. 19x in NT. From ktizo (to build, create, form, shape; God’s acts of creation); probably akin to ktaomai (to get, purchase, possess). This is creation, creature, or ordinance. It is also used for when a city is founded and creation as origin.

But do not ignoreLL this oneMM fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousandNN years,OO and a thousand years are like one day. 

Notes on verse 8

LL “ignore” = lanthano. 6x in NT– same as “entertained angels unawares” in Hebrew 13:2. This is concealed, hidden, unnoticed. It is to shut one’s eyes to, unwittingly, unawares.
MM “one” = heis. This is one, a person, only, some.
NN “thousand” = chilioi. 11x in NT– 2 in 2 Peter & 9 in Revelation. This is a thousand literal and figurative. Figuratively, it can mean total inclusion.
OO “years” = etos. This is a year or an age.

The Lord is not slowPP about his promise, as some thinkQQ of slowness,RR but is patientSS with you, 

Notes on verse 9a

PP “is…slow” = braduno. 2x in NT. From bradus (slow, dull, unhurried). This is to slow, delay, or loiter. It can imply excess slowness or lateness.
QQ “think” = hegeomai. Related to “promise” in v4. From ago (see note DD above). This is to think, suppose, have an opinion. It is to lead the way, what comes in front or first, initial thought, high esteem or authority. It can refer to one who commands in an official capacity. This word shares a root with the word “hegemony.”
RR “slowness” = bradutes. Related to “is…slow” in v9. 1x in NT. Related to bradus (see note PP above). This is slowness, delay, or slackness.
SS “is patient” = makrothumeo. Related to “lusts” in v3. 10x in NT. From makros (long, long lasting) {from mekos (length); probably related to megas (great or large)} + thumos (see note AA above). This is properly long tempered. It refers to one who delays anger, perseveres, or is patient. One could also say longsuffering or forbearing.

not wantingTT any to perishUU but all to comeVV to repentance.WW

Notes on verse 9b

TT “wanting” = boulomai. This is to wish, desire, intend. Also, to plan with great determination.
UU “perish” = apollumi. From apo (from, away from) + ollumi (to destroy or ruin; the loss that comes from a major ruination). This is to destroy, cut off, to perish – perhaps violently. It can also mean to cancel or remove.
VV “come” = choreo. 10x in NT. From choros (a particular space or place); from chora (space, land, region, fields, open area); from chasma (gap, gulf, chasm, open space); from chasko (to gape, yawn). This is to leave in order to make room or space. It can also be to advance, receive, accept, or make progress. Figuratively, it can also refer to being open-hearted.
WW “repentance” = metanoia. Related to “intention” in v1 & “understand” in v3. From meta (with, among, after, beyond) + noieo (see note G above). This is literally to change one’s mind – to choose to think differently and so to act differently because of a moral compunction. It is an intentional change to the inner self. This word shares a root with the English “paranoia.”

Image credit: “Luaty Beirão – Prophets of Change” by Daniel Arrhakis, 2015.

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