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16 speaking of these things in all his letters.[a] Some things in these letters[b] are hard to understand, things[c] the ignorant and unstable twist[d] to their own destruction, as they also do to the rest of the scriptures.[e] 17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned,[f] be on your guard that you do not get led astray by the error of these unprincipled men[g] and fall from your firm grasp on the truth.[h] 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge[i] of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the honor both now and on[j] that eternal day.[k]

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  1. 2 Peter 3:16 tn Grk “as also in all his letters speaking in them of these things.”
  2. 2 Peter 3:16 tn Grk “in which are some things hard to understand.”
  3. 2 Peter 3:16 tn Grk “which.” The antecedent is the “things hard to understand,” not the entirety of Paul’s letters. A significant principle is seen here: The primary proof texts used for faith and practice ought to be the clear passages that are undisputed in their meaning. Heresy today is still largely built on obscure texts.
  4. 2 Peter 3:16 tn Or “distort,” “wrench,” “torture” (all are apt descriptions of what heretics do to scripture).
  5. 2 Peter 3:16 sn This one incidental line, the rest of the scriptures, links Paul’s writings with scripture. This is thus one of the earliest affirmations of any part of the NT as scripture. Peter’s words were prophetic and were intended as a preemptive strike against the heretics to come.
  6. 2 Peter 3:17 tn Grk “knowing beforehand.”
  7. 2 Peter 3:17 tn Or “lawless ones.” sn These unprincipled men. The same word is used in 2:7, suggesting further that the heretics in view in chapter 3 are the false teachers of chapter 2.
  8. 2 Peter 3:17 tn Grk “fall from your firmness.”
  9. 2 Peter 3:18 tn The term “knowledge” (γνῶσις, gnōsis) used here is not the same as is found in 2 Pet 1:2, 3, 8; 2:20. This term is found in 1:5 and 1:6.
  10. 2 Peter 3:18 tn Or “until.”
  11. 2 Peter 3:18 tc The vast bulk of mss adds ἀμήν (amēn, “amen”) at the end of this letter, as they do almost all the rest of the NT books (only Acts, James, and 3 John lack a majority of witnesses supporting a concluding ἀμήν). The omission in B 1241 1243 1739* 1881 2298 appears to be original, although the fact that some of the best and earliest Alexandrian witnesses (P72 א A C P Ψ 5 33 81 436 442 1611 1735 1739c 1852 2344 2492 co), along with several other mss, the Byzantine text, and early versions (vg sy), add the particle renders such a judgment less than iron-clad. NA27 places the word in brackets, indicating doubts as to its authenticity, while NA28 omits the Grk “day of eternity.”