The Appearance of False Prophets

But (A)false prophets also appeared among the people, just as there will also be (B)false teachers (C)among you, who will (D)secretly introduce (E)destructive heresies, even (F)denying the (G)Master who (H)bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their (I)indecent behavior, and because of them (J)the way of the truth will be (K)maligned; and in their (L)greed they will (M)exploit you with (N)false words; (O)their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

For (P)if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into [a]hell and (Q)committed them to [b]pits of darkness, held for judgment; and did not spare (R)the ancient world, but protected (S)Noah, a [c]preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a (T)flood upon the world of the ungodly; and if He (U)condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an (V)example [d]of what is coming for the (W)ungodly; and if He (X)rescued righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the (Y)perverted conduct of [e](Z)unscrupulous people (for by what he saw and heard that (AA)righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), (AB)then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from [f]a trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the (AC)day of judgment, 10 and especially those who [g](AD)indulge the flesh in its corrupt passion, and (AE)despise [h]authority.

[i]Reckless, (AF)self-centered, they (AG)speak abusively of angelic [j]majesties without trembling, 11 (AH)whereas angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a demeaning judgment against them before the Lord. 12 But (AI)these, like unreasoning animals, (AJ)born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, using abusive speech where they have no knowledge, will in [k]the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed, 13 suffering wrong as (AK)the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to (AL)revel in the (AM)daytime. They are stains and blemishes, (AN)reveling in their [l]deceptions as they (AO)feast with you, 14 having eyes full of adultery [m]that never cease from sin, (AP)enticing (AQ)unstable souls, having hearts trained in (AR)greed, (AS)accursed children; 15 abandoning (AT)the right way, they have gone astray, having followed (AU)the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved (AV)the [n]reward of unrighteousness; 16 but he received a rebuke for his own offense, (AW)for a mute donkey, speaking with a human voice, restrained the insanity of the prophet.

17 These are (AX)springs without water and mists driven by a storm, (AY)for whom the [o]black darkness has been reserved. 18 For, while speaking out (AZ)arrogant words of no (BA)value they (BB)entice by fleshly desires, by (BC)indecent behavior, those who barely (BD)escape from the ones who live in error, 19 promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for (BE)by what anyone is overcome, by this he is enslaved. 20 For if, after they have (BF)escaped the defilements of the world by (BG)the knowledge of the (BH)Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again (BI)entangled in them and are overcome, (BJ)the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 (BK)For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from (BL)the holy commandment (BM)handed on to them. 22 [p]It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “(BN)A dog returns to its own vomit,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.”


  1. 2 Peter 2:4 Gr Tartarus, a name used as a reference to the netherworld (hell)
  2. 2 Peter 2:4 One early ms chains of darkness
  3. 2 Peter 2:5 Or herald
  4. 2 Peter 2:6 One early ms to those who were going to live ungodly lives
  5. 2 Peter 2:7 Or disgraceful
  6. 2 Peter 2:9 Or temptation; one early ms trials (temptations)
  7. 2 Peter 2:10 Lit go after
  8. 2 Peter 2:10 Lit lordship
  9. 2 Peter 2:10 Or Audacious
  10. 2 Peter 2:10 Lit glories
  11. 2 Peter 2:12 Lit their destruction also
  12. 2 Peter 2:13 One early ms love feasts
  13. 2 Peter 2:14 Lit and unceasing from sin
  14. 2 Peter 2:15 Or wages
  15. 2 Peter 2:17 Lit blackness of darkness
  16. 2 Peter 2:22 Lit The thing of the true proverb has happened to them

False Teachers and Their Destruction

But there were also false prophets(A) among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.(B) They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord(C) who bought them(D)—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct(E) and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed(F) these teachers will exploit you(G) 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,(H) but sent them to hell,[a] putting them in chains of darkness[b] to be held for judgment;(I) if he did not spare the ancient world(J) when he brought the flood on its ungodly people,(K) but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;(L) if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes,(M) and made them an example(N) of what is going to happen to the ungodly;(O) and if he rescued Lot,(P) a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless(Q) (for that righteous man,(R) 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(S) and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.(T) 10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire(U) of the flesh[c] and despise authority.

Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings;(V) 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.(W) 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.(X)

13 They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight.(Y) They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.[e](Z) 14 With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce(AA) the unstable;(AB) they are experts in greed(AC)—an accursed brood!(AD) 15 They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam(AE) 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.(AF)

17 These people are springs without water(AG) and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.(AH) 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words(AI) and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping(AJ) 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.”(AK) 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing(AL) our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ(AM) and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.(AN) 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.(AO) 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,”[g](AP) 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