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2 Peter 2 Expanded Bible (EXB)

False Teachers

There used to be false prophets among God’s people [Deut. 13:1–5; 18:14–22; Jer. 28] just as you will have some false teachers ·in your group [L among you; Jude 4]. They will secretly ·teach [bring in; introduce] ·things that are wrong—teachings that will cause people to be lost [L destructive heresies/opinions/factions]. They will even ·refuse to accept [L deny] the Master [C Jesus] who bought ·their freedom [L them; C as a master purchases a slave; 1 Cor. 6:20; 1 Pet. 1:18]. So they will bring quick ·ruin [destruction] on themselves. Many will follow their ·evil [depraved; debauched; licentious] ways and ·say evil things about [malign; slander] the way of truth. ·Those false teachers only want your money, so [L In their greed] they will ·use [exploit] you ·by telling you lies [with deceptive/false words]. Their judgment spoken against them long ago is ·still coming [not idle], and their ruin ·is certain [does not sleep].

[L For if] When angels sinned, God did not ·let them go free without punishment [spare them]. [L But] He sent them to ·hell [L Tartarus; C a Greek term for the underworld] and put them in caves[a] of darkness where they are being held for judgment [Gen. 6:1–4; Jude 6]. And God ·punished the world long ago [L did not spare the ancient world] when he brought a flood to the world that was full of ·people who were against him [the ungodly]. But God ·saved [protected; kept] Noah, ·who preached about being right with God [a preacher of righteousness; C Jewish tradition described Noah preaching repentance], and seven other people with him [C his wife plus his three sons and their wives; Gen. 6—9]. And God also ·destroyed [condemned] the evil cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them until they were ashes [Gen. 19; Jude 7]. He made those cities an example ·of what will happen to [or for future generations of] ·those who are against God [L the ungodly; Jude 7]. But he saved Lot from those cities. Lot, a ·good [righteous] man, was ·troubled [distressed; or oppressed] because of the ·filthy lives [depraved behavior] of ·evil [lawless] people. (Lot was a ·good [righteous] man, but because he lived with evil people ·every day [day after day], his ·good heart [righteous soul] was ·hurt [tormented] by the ·evil things [lawless deeds] he saw and heard.) So the Lord knows how to save ·those who serve him [the godly] ·when troubles come [from trial/testing/temptation]. He will hold ·evil people [the wicked/unrighteous] ·and punish them, while waiting for the judgment day [or while they wait for their punishment on judgment day]. 10 That punishment is especially for those who ·live by doing the evil things their sinful selves want [L go after the flesh with defiling passion/lust] and who ·hate [despise] authority [Jude 8].

These false teachers are bold and ·do anything they want [arrogant; self-willed]. They ·are not afraid [L do not tremble] to ·speak against [slander; blaspheme] ·the angels [L the glorious ones; C probably angelic beings; unclear whether referring to good or evil angels; Jude 8]. 11 But even the angels, who are much stronger and more powerful ·than false teachers [or than the evil angels; C unclear whether referring to false teachers or to “the glorious ones” (seen as evil angels) of v. 10], do not ·accuse them with insults [L bring a slanderous charge against them] before[b] the Lord [see Jude 9]. 12 But these people ·speak against [slander; blaspheme] things they do not understand. They are like ·animals that act without thinking [irrational animals], animals [of simple instinct] born to be caught and killed. And, ·like animals, these false teachers will be destroyed [or like the evil angels, these false teachers will be destroyed; L in their destruction they will be destroyed; Jude 10]. 13 ·They have caused many people to suffer, so they themselves will suffer. That is their pay for what they have done [L …suffering harm as the wage of unrighteousness; C a wordplay based on the similarity of the Greek words translated “suffering harm” and “unrighteousness”]. They take pleasure in ·openly doing evil [doing evil/carousing in the daylight], so they are like dirty spots and ·stains [blemishes] among you. They delight in deceiving you while ·eating meals [or feasting] with you [C perhaps an allusion to the fellowship meal, or “love feast,” celebrated with the Lord’s Supper; Jude 12]. 14 ·Every time they look at a woman they want her [L They have eyes full of adultery], and ·their desire for sin is never satisfied [or they never stop sinning]. They ·lead weak people into the trap of sin [ensnare/entice/lure unstable people/souls], and they have ·taught [exercised; trained] their hearts to be greedy. ·God will punish them [L Accursed children; C under God’s curse]! 15 These false teachers ·left [abandoned] the ·right [or straight] road and ·lost their way [wandered away; went astray], following the way Balaam went. Balaam, the son of ·Beor [or Bosor], loved ·being paid for doing wrong [L the wages of unrighteousness; Num. 25; 31:16; Rev. 2:14]. 16 But a donkey, which cannot talk, ·told Balaam he was sinning [L rebuked his wrongdoing]. It spoke with a ·man’s [human] voice and stopped the prophet’s ·crazy thinking [madness; Num. 22:21–35; Jude 11].

17 Those false teachers are like ·springs [or wells] without water and ·clouds [or mists] blown by a ·storm [whirlwind; squall; Jude 12]. A place in the ·blackest [deepest; L gloomy] darkness has been kept for them [Jude 12—13]. 18 They ·brag with [speak with bombastic, boastful] words that ·mean nothing [are empty]. By their ·evil [fleshly] desires they ·lead people into the trap of sin—[entice] people who ·are just beginning to escape [or have barely escaped] from others who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom [C perhaps from the law or from fear of judgment], but they themselves are not free. They are slaves of ·things that will be destroyed [corruption; depravity]. For people are slaves of anything that ·controls [masters; overpowers; defeats] them [C this last sentence may be a common proverb]. 20 They ·were made free [escaped] from the ·evil [depravity; defilement] in the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But if they ·return to [L get entangled again with] evil things and those things ·control [master; overpower; defeat] them, then ·it is worse for them than it was before [their last/final state is worse than the first; Matt. 12:45; Luke 11:26]. 21 ·Yes, [L For] it would be better for them to have never known the ·right way [or the way of righteousness] than to know it and to turn away from the holy ·teaching [L commandment; law] that was ·given [passed on; handed down] to them. 22 What they did is like this true ·saying [proverb; parable]: “A dog ·goes back to what it has thrown up [T returns to its vomit; Prov. 26:11],” and, “After a pig is washed, it goes back and rolls in the mud.”


  1. 2 Peter 2:4 caves Some Greek copies read “chains.”
  2. 2 Peter 2:11 before Some Greek copies read “from.”
Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.

2 Peter 2 New International Version (NIV)

False Teachers and Their Destruction

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell,[a] putting them in chains of darkness[b] to be held for judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. 10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh[c] and despise authority.

Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings; 11 yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from[d] the Lord. 12 But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.

13 They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.[e] 14 With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! 15 They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer,[f] who loved the wages of wickedness. 16 But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—an animal without speech—who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

17 These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,”[g] and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”


  1. 2 Peter 2:4 Greek Tartarus
  2. 2 Peter 2:4 Some manuscripts in gloomy dungeons
  3. 2 Peter 2:10 In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit; also in verse 18.
  4. 2 Peter 2:11 Many manuscripts beings in the presence of
  5. 2 Peter 2:13 Some manuscripts in their love feasts
  6. 2 Peter 2:15 Greek Bosor
  7. 2 Peter 2:22 Prov. 26:11
New International Version (NIV)

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