2 Peter 3
Purpose of This Letter
3 Beloved, I am now writing you this second letter. In this [as in the first one], I am stirring up your untainted mind to remind you, 2 that you should remember the words spoken in the past [about the future] by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior given by your apostles [His personally chosen representatives].
The Coming Day of the Lord
3 First of all, know [without any doubt] that mockers will come in the last days with their mocking, following after their own human desires 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming [what has become of it]? For ever since the fathers fell asleep [in death], all things have continued [exactly] as they did from the beginning of creation.” 5 For they willingly forget [the fact] that the heavens existed long ago by the word of God, and the earth was formed [a]out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed by being flooded with water.(A) 7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly people.
8 Nevertheless, do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like one day.(B) 9 The Lord does not delay [as though He were unable to act] and is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is [extraordinarily] patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
A New Heaven and Earth
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will vanish with a [mighty and thunderous] roar, and the [material] elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and the works that are on it will be [b]burned up.
11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be [in the meantime] in holy behavior [that is, in a pattern of daily life that sets you apart as a believer] and in godliness [displaying profound reverence toward our awesome God], 12 [while you earnestly] look for and await the coming of the day of God. For on this day the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the [material] elements will melt with intense heat!(C) 13 But in accordance with His promise we expectantly await new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.(D)
14 So, beloved, since you are looking forward to these things, be diligent and make every effort to be found by Him [at His return] spotless and blameless, in peace [that is, inwardly calm with a sense of spiritual well-being and confidence, having lived a life of obedience to Him]. 15 And consider the patience of our Lord [His delay in judging and avenging wrongs] as salvation [that is, allowing time for more to be saved]; just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given to him [by God], 16 speaking about these things as he does in all of his letters. In which there are some things that are difficult to understand, which the untaught and unstable [who have fallen into error] twist and misinterpret, just as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 Therefore, [let me warn you] beloved, knowing these things beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of [c]unprincipled men [who distort doctrine] and fall from your own steadfastness [of mind, knowledge, truth, and faith], 18 but grow [spiritually mature] in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory (honor, majesty, splendor), both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
- 2 Peter 3:5 Peter is not referring to the creation of earth from water, but to the appearance of land masses from the water that had covered the earth in the early stages of creation. His point is that the mockers who will claim that things continue to be just as they always have been will be overlooking the fact that the status quo, as they see it, took an act of God to create in the first place, and God has already intervened in the history of the world once to wipe out mankind by a cataclysmic flood (v 6; cf Gen 6; 7).
- 2 Peter 3:10 Two early mss have “discovered” instead of “burned up.” It is possible that Peter means something like “discovered for what they really are—temporary creations.”
- 2 Peter 3:17 I.e. the people who teach a distorted doctrine.
2 Peter 3
New International Version
The Day of the Lord
3 Dear friends,(A) this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders(B) to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets(C) and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.(D)
3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days(E) scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.(F) 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised?(G) Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”(H) 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word(I) the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water.(J) 6 By these waters also the world of that time(K) was deluged and destroyed.(L) 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire,(M) being kept for the day of judgment(N) and destruction of the ungodly.
8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.(O) 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise,(P) as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient(Q) with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.(R)
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.(S) The heavens will disappear with a roar;(T) the elements will be destroyed by fire,(U) and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.[a](V)
11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward(W) to the day of God and speed its coming.[b](X) That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.(Y) 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth,(Z) where righteousness dwells.
14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless(AA) and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience(AB) means salvation,(AC) just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.(AD) 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable(AE) people distort,(AF) as they do the other Scriptures,(AG) to their own destruction.
17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard(AH) so that you may not be carried away by the error(AI) of the lawless(AJ) and fall from your secure position.(AK) 18 But grow in the grace(AL) and knowledge(AM) of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.(AN) To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.(AO)
2 Peter 3
King James Version
3 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.