Selected Studies from 2 Peter Part 3: A Portrayal of False Teachers: An Exposition of 2 Peter 2:1-3 -- By: D. Edmond Hiebert
BSac 141:563 (Jul 84) p. 255
Selected Studies from 2 Peter
A Portrayal of False Teachers:
An Exposition of 2 Peter 2:1-3
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep (2 Peter 2:1–3, NASB).
In 2 Peter 1, the Apostle Peter set forth the nature of the new life which God imparts to the believer. Peter stressed that by its very nature it calls for spiritual growth and maturity. A vital Christian life is characterized by stability because it is based on the sure foundation of God’s revelation. Such a life of maturity and stability provides safety against the allurements and deceptions of the false teachers dealt with in 2 Peter 2.
Chapter two of this epistle is a logical unit; it is a vigorous arraignment of the false teachers and their Christ-rejecting heresy. Only Christ’s withering woes on hypocritical leaders in Matthew 23 and the parallel picture in the Epistle of Jude convey the same severe denunciation of false teachers contained in this chapter .
The transition to this new subject is natural. “When the fortifications have been built, and the armor has been put on, and the weapons have been provided, then it is time to meet the enemy.”1 In chapter 1, Peter obviously sought to equip his readers to resist the dangerous enemies they will confront. Those
BSac 141:563 (Jul 84) p. 256
enemies are now graphically portrayed. The opening three verses of chapter 2 give a summary picture of them. Peter gives a concise portrayal of these false teachers (v. 1), indicates their widespread success (v. 2), exposes their deceptive activity (v. 3a), and asserts their sure doom (v. 3b).
Many English Bible versions begin the chapter with “But” (δὲ), which readily suggests a contrast between the true prophets of God (
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