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& 6. 11, 13.
περιπατεῖ ζητῶν τίνα καταπίῃ· ᾧ ἀντίστητε στερεοὶ τῇ πίστει, εἰδότες τὰ 1 Eph.4, 27
He was now "rugiens ut leo," roaring as a lion; but he was afterwards about to change that shape, and appear in a more specious semblance, "insidians ut draco," lurking in ambush as a dragon. See below on Rev. vi. 3, 4.
Well might he now be compared to a Lion. Many of the first martyrs, e. g. St. Peter's successor at Antioch, S. Ignatius (cp. 2 Tim. iv. 17), were cast to the Lions; and the popular cry at Rome was now soon to be, "Christianos ad Leonem!" (Tertullian, Apol. 40.) The devil went about as a Lion roaring, in the days of the first persecutions of the Church, and he will go about again roaring as a Lion in the last age-at the eve of the end. See Rev. xii. 12; xx. 7-9.
TEρITATE] he walketh about, Job i. 7. Therefore, the Devil is not yet confined to Hell. See above on Matt. viii. 29.
After the date of these two Epistles to the Thessalonians, the name of Silas, or Silvanus, vanishes for a time from the pages of the New Testament.
It does not occur after that time in the Acts of the Apostles, or in any of St. Paul's other Epistles.
But it re-appears in this present passage (1 Pet. v. 12), at the close of the ministry of St. Peter (see 2 Pet. iii. 1), which coincided in time with the close of the ministry of St. Paul.
It here re-appears in company with the name of St. Mark. Cp. note above, Phil. i. 1. And the name of Silas is here characterized by St. Peter with the honourable appellation "the faithful brother, as I reckon."
Here then we have a happy intimation of the harmony which subsisted among the Apostles and first preachers of Christ.
They were not exempt from human infirmities. The Apostle St. Peter faltered for a time through fear at Antioch, and had then been boldly resisted by St. Paul (see on Gal. ii. 11-14). The Evangelist St. Mark, the son of St. Peter in the faith (v. 13), and the kinsman of St. Barnabas (Col. iv. 10), had also faltered once for a season through fear, and had once forsaken St. Paul. (Acts xiii. 13; xv. 38.) St. Paul and St. Barnabas had formerly striven so sharply at Antioch on St. Mark's account, that they departed asunder for a time (Acts xv. 39), and St. Paul had chosen Silas, or Silvanus, as his companion in the room of St. Mark.
9. eidóres] knowing that the same kinds of sufferings are
This assurance of divine support comes very appropriately
12. dià Ziλovavoû] By Silvanus, the faithful brother, as I reckon, or count him to be (Rom. viii. 18), I write to you in few words.
κ. 2 Cor. 4. 17.
Heb. 10. 37.
ch. 1. 6.
All these infirmities are recorded in the Holy Scriptures. The New Testament does not disguise the frailties of the first preachers of Christianity. Here is an evidence of its truth.
But this is not all. We are left to gather from incidental notices scattered in different parts of the New Testament, that by the grace of God all these frailties and infirmities were corrected and amended; and that they were graciously overruled by God's Providence to the victory of Christian virtue, and to the good of the Church, and to His glory.
As has been already shown in another place, the strife of St. Paul and St. Barnabas had now been healed, and Mark had been restored to the favour of St. Paul, and he afterwards was chosen to be the writer of a Gospel, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and with the aid of his spiritual father St. Peter, and he became the founder of the Church of Alexandria. See above, Acts xv. 39. Col. iv. 10, and Introduction to St. Mark's Gospel.
This is said to assure them, and the Churches at large, of the genuineness of the Epistle. It would be brought to them by Silvanus, the faithful brother, who would certify them from whom it came. This practice of the Apostles to send their Epistles to the Churches by the hands of tried and faithful friends, has been of signal use in establishing the Canonical authority of the New Testament. Cp. Eph. vi. 21.
There was something significant in this choice of Silvanus for the purpose here described, especially in connexion with the mention of St. Mark. Silvanus, or Silas, had been chosen by St. Paul at Antioch, about thirteen years before, in the place of St. Mark, who had left him in Pamphylia, and was a near kinsman of St. Barnabas (Col. iv. 10), who was led into an altercation with St. Paul, on account of his refusal to take Mark; and who also had before been led away by the influence of St. Peter at Antioch, in opposition to St. Paul, contending for the Evangelical liberty of the Gentile Christians. See on Acts xv. 37-40. Gal. ii. 12, 13.
A happy combination. Silas had been chosen by St. Paul in lieu of St. Mark, and had preached with him in Asia, and had been associated with him in writing his first Epistle. And St. Paul, in writing to the Galatians, who are addressed in this Epistle of St. Peter (see 1 Pet. i. 1), had recorded his own contention with St. Peter, on account of his conduct toward the Gentile Christians, and had related that his own friend St. Barnabas had been formerly drawn away from him by St. Peter. (Gal. ii. 13.)
But now all differences are at an end. St. Peter, the Apostle of the Circumcision, chooses Silas, St. Paul's friend and fellowlabourer in preaching and writing, to carry this Epistle to the Jewish Christians of Asia, where Silas had formerly preached in company with St. Paul. And by this choice, and by his reference to the Epistles of his "beloved brother Paul," as a part of divinely inspired Scripture (see 2 Pet. iii. 15), he proclaims to the Jewish Christians his own perfect union in Christian faith and in Christian love with the great Apostle of the Gentiles.
Here was a noble example of repentance, and of generous self-sacrifice, and of love for Christ and the Church.
St. Peter avouches to his readers that St. Paul's fellowlabourer among them, Silas, is "their faithful brother." He calls St. Mark his son, who had once faltered in the faith, but who had afterwards preached to them in Asia (see on Col. iv. 10. Philem. 24), and whom St. Paul, writing from Rome the Churches of Phrygia, mentions as being there among his own tried and trusted friends, and calls him "sister's son to Barnabas."
St. Paul, as well as St. Peter, now also at the close of his career, writes to Timothy about the same time as the date of this
Silas, being chosen by St. Paul in place of Mark, accompanied that Apostle in his missionary tour in Syria and Cilicia, and in divers other parts of Asia Minor, especially Phrygia, Lycaonia, and Galatia, to Troas, and into Greece. He would therefore be known, in connexion with the Apostle St. Paul, to those Asiatic Churches which are addressed by St. Peter in the present Epistle, i. 1.
Silas had also been associated with St. Paul in writing the two Epistles to the Thessalonians, which had been published about ten years before the date of the present Epistle, and had, probably, by this time been circulated in Asia.
ἔγραψα παρακαλῶν καὶ ἐπιμαρτυρῶν ταύτην εἶναι ἀληθῆ χάριν τοῦ Θεοῦ εἰς ἣν m Acts 12. 12, 25. ἑστήκατε.
n Rom. 16. 16.
1 Cor. 16. 20.
2 Cor. 13. 12.
1 Thess. 5. 26.
Epistle of St. Peter, and bears witness that Mark "is profitable to him for the ministry." (2 Tim. iv. 11.) And St. Peter here joins Mark with Silas, who had once been preferred in his room.
So may all wounds be healed, and all differences cease in the Church of Christ. So may all falterers be recovered, and Christian charity prevail, and God's glory be magnified in all persons and in all things, through Jesus Christ!
di oλlywv typaya] I write in few words; with di' oλlywv, cp. dià Bpaxéwr, Heb. xiii. 22. The Epistle is short, relatively to the importance of the subject; and the Apostle might perhaps design to prepare them by these words to receive a second Epistle from him, on the second or polemical portion of the subject which now occupied his thoughts. See Introduction to that Epistle, below, pp. 71-74, and 2 Pet. iii. 1.
ἔγραψα] I write: ἔγραψα is the epistolary aorist; graceful mode of expression, by which the writer puts himself in the place of the reader, and looks at the thing written from the reader's point of view. See Rom. xvi. 1. Eph. vi. 21. Col. iv. 7. · EσTÝKATE] ye stand. So Elz., Tisch. A, B have σTîτe, stand ye, and so Lach., Alf.
13. ἀσπάζεται ὑμᾶς ἡ ἐν Βαβυλῶνι συνεκλεκτή] the co-elect (feminine) which is in Babylon, saluteth you. At the beginning of this Epistle St. Peter had written thus, "To the elect strangers of the dispersion of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia." As we have already seen;
13 m’Ασπάζεται ὑμᾶς ἡ ἐν Βαβυλῶνι συνεκλεκτὴ, καὶ Μάρκος ὁ υἱός μου. 34 n’Ασπάσασθε ἀλλήλους ἐν φιλήματι ἀγάπης.
(1) They are there called elect;
(2) They are there called strangers of the dispersion, i. e. of the Jewish dispersion, scattered throughout Asia Minor.
(3) They are there enumerated in a particular geographical order, i. e. from East to West.
(4) They are greeted in the name of Christ, with the words, "Grace to you, and Peace be multiplied." (1 Pet. i. 1, 2.) Hence we may infer,
That the co-elect who is here mentioned at the close of the Epistle, in Babylon, is of the same character as those persons who had been designated as elect at the beginning of this Epistle. That is to say, this word (σuvekλEKTǹ) co-elect designates a Christian congregation gathered principally from Jews of the dispersion, and thus associated, as co-elect in Christ, with those whom St. Peter at the beginning of this Epistle had addressed as the elect strangers of the dispersion of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. The preposition aùv is a link which connects the elect at Babylon with the elect in Asia.
Accordingly we find, that in the Vulgate, Syriac, and Arabic Versions the word Church or Congregation is supplied here, to agree with σUVEKλEKTH; and so our English Authorized Version, "The Church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you." The word ouveкλEKTη is also understood in this sense by most Ancient Expositors.
The word seems to be left purposely elliptical, i. e. without a substantive adjoined. St. Peter would thus leave it to the reader to supply either ekkλnoía, Church, or diaσopà, Dispersion; each of those two words being admissible and suitable, and neither to be excluded.
which is remarkable for its quiet tone. In details of fact, the literal meaning seems to be the true one: and if the literal meaning will stand, it ought not to be abandoned for a metaphorical
(6) The fact, that Rome was sometimes called Babylon figuratively, and that St. Peter was martyred at Rome, may probably have induced some in ancient and modern times to suppose, that the Babylon here mentioned is Rome; and may serve to account for that opinion.
(7) The City of Rome is mentioned in other places of the New Testament, and always by the name of Rome (Acts xviii. 2; xix. 21; xxiii. 11; xxviii. 14. Rom. i. 7. 15. 2 Tim. i. 17), except only in a poetical and prophetical book, the Book of Revelation, where a figurative name is in its proper place; and there though the word is used six times, yet it is never placed singly as Babylon, but always with an epithet, Babylon the Great (Rev. xiv. 8; xvi. 19; xvii. 5; xviii. 2. 10. 21).
(8) It has been alleged, indeed, that Babylon was deserted when St. Peter wrote this Epistle, and that it is not probable that the Apostle should have gone thither, and have sojourned there.
This opinion has been supported by high authorities, e. g. by Bp. Pearson (de successione Rom. Episcop. i. c. viii. vol. ii. pp. 348-53, ed. Churton), who supposed that the Babylon here mentioned is a Babylon in Egypt. Cp. Professor Blunt, Early Church, p. 59, and Hengstenberg on Rev. xiv. 8.
But it may be proved, that there were at this time large numbers of Jews resident in the province of Babylon, and not a few in Babylon itself. See Josephus, Ant. xv. 2. 2; xv. 3. 1; xvii. 2. 1-3; xviii. 9. 1; and xviii. 9. 7-9. Philo, Legat. ad Caium, § 36, p. 587. Theodoret (on Isa. xiii.) says that in his age Babylon was inhabited by Jews. Scaliger (in Euseb. p. 205) observes that from "the days of Salathiel even to the seventieth year after Christ, a Chief of the captivity was elected from the stock of David and resided at Babylon." Cp. Basnage, Annal. Pol. Eccles. A.D. 46, pp. 561-3, and Dr. Lightfoot's Sermon on this text, Works, ii. pp. 1144-6, where he says, "Babylon was one of the greatest knots (i. e. centres) of the Jews in the world. Need I tell you that there were multitudes of Jews in Babylon that returned not with Ezra ? That there were in that country three Jewish Universities, and that there were ten tribes scattered in Assyria?" And it has been shown from Jewish usage, that the word Babylon need not be limited to the precise site of the ancient ruined city, but may be extended to its neighbourhood. See Wetstein, p. 698, and Vitringa in Rev. xviii. 2, “Judæi maximè Babylonem occupabant." Rennel, Geogr. of Herod. sect. xv., "So great a number of Jews was found in Babylonia, as is astonishing; they are spoken of by Josephus as possessing towns and districts in that country about forty years after Christ; they were in great numbers in Babylon itself." Biscoe on the Acts, i. p. 88. Wieseler, Chronol. p. 557. Mayerhoff, p. 128. Dr. Davidson's Introduction, iii. pp. 362-366. Cp. Huther, Einleitung, p. 23, and on this passage, p. 180, and Dean Alford, p. 387.
(9) There does not seem, therefore, to be any cause for discarding the literal meaning of the word Babylon here. On the contrary, there are strong reasons why, with many learned and able expositors, we should adhere to it.
If St. Peter had been writing from Rome or from any place to the west of Asia, he would not, in his enumeration of the Asiatic districts at the beginning of his Epistle, have mentione Pontus first, the most eastern region of Asia. He would not have begun his enumeration with the most distant eastern district, and have proceeded, as he does, in a westerly direction, till he ends with Bithynia; but he would have reversed the order; he would have begun with Bithynia at the west, and would have ended with Pontus in the east.
This is what St. John does in the Apocalypse in writing from Patmos on the west of Asia. He begins with Ephesus on the west, and proceeds in an easterly direction, and ends with Laodicea in the east. Rev. i. 11; ii. 1; iii. 14.
A similar order is observed by St. Paul, writing from Rome. See Col. iv. 13. 16.
There is no exception to this principle in the enumeration in the Acts of the Apostles, ii. 9-11. There the Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and dwellers in Mesopotamia are placed first, for special reasons; the writer is not addressing an epistle to them, but he is speaking of the region from which they came to Jerusalem, and he naturally begins with those at a distance
Εἰρήνη ὑμῖν πᾶσι τοῖς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ· ἀμήν.
from it, and with those who were first expatriated from it. See
The Geographical order adopted by St. Peter is precisely that which would naturally occur to a person writing from Mesopotamia, and sending forth an Epistle to be read in succession by Christian communities in different regions of Asia. He begins with Pontus, because (if we suppose him in Mesopotamia) that region was nearest to him, and his Epistle would reach Pontus first, and pass on from it to other regions in order,-Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.
Therefore the date of the Epistle being Babylon, we are led to conclude, that it was written in the literal or eastern Babylon, on the Euphrates; and not in the figurative or western Babylon, on the Tiber, Rome. (10) There also som special reasons for a mission of St. Peter to the east, especially to the Jewish Christians of those parts. He was the Apostle of the Circumcision (Gal. ii. 7). Assuredly it was fit that he, who had a special charge to feed Christ's flock (John xxi. 16), should go and seek the lost sheep of the house of Israel; that is, the remnant of the Two Tribes at Babylon, and the Ten Tribes in Assyria.
Besides, the Jews of those parts, who had come to Jerusalem for the great annual festivals, and had heard him preach at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost after the Ascension of Christ, and many of whom had been baptized by him on that day, and many doubtless had been led from those regions to Jerusalem on other great festivals in succeeding years, were well acquainted with the name and person of the Apostle of the Circumcision.
Among those devout Jews who are enumerated by St. Luke in the Acts as present at the day of Pentecost, the first mentioned are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, that is, those who dwelt in the neighbourhood of Babylon. For as is well said by one of the best historians and geographers among Poets, Milton, describing the condition of the East in our Lord's age:
"There Babylon, the wonder of all tongues, All these the Parthian holds." (Paradise Regained, iii. 280.)
preached the one Gospel in all tongues. He enabled the Apostle
Besides, Babylon had been the enemy and persecutor of Sion. It had carried Judah into captivity. But now it has become subject to Christ. It is His captive. It submits to His mild sway and easy yoke. He has His elect there. His Apostle preaches there. This is in perfect unison with all God's dispensations.
The Syrian Antioch was the city of Antiochus, the persecutor of God's people, the type of Antichrist. But in course of time, Antioch became the place where the faithful were first called Christians (see on Acts xi. 26). At Antioch Paul and Barnabas had been ordained to the Apostleship, and had been sent forth to evangelize the Gentile world (Acts xiii. 1, 2). And there St. Peter himself had presided as Bishop of the Church: see above, Introduction, p. 42.
Rahab or Egypt had also been the persecutor of God's people. But Christ was sheltered there in His Infancy, and in His own time God made a highway in Egypt for Christ (Isa. xix. 31), especially by the preaching there of St. Peter's son in the faith, St. Mark, at Alexandria. Euseb. ii. 16.
In like manner, Babylon is now visited by St. Peter, and has heard the Gospel of Christ, and is the place whence this Epistle goes forth to the Churches of Asia and the world. From the city of Nebuchadnezzar and Darius, who wrote to the provinces of the Assyrian Empire, "Peace be multiplied to you," now proceeds the word of the Apostle, "to the elect strangers of Asia; Grace and Peace be multiplied unto you." (See i. 2.)
Thus the prophecy is fulfilled; "The Egyptian shall serve God with the Assyrian, and Israel shall be the third with Egypt and Assyria (Isa. xix. 24); and I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon with them that know me (see Ps. lxxxvii. 4).
Finally, the Apostle of the Circumcision, St. Peter, is thus seen to have carried the Gospel to the eastern limits of the Roman Empire. Thence he goes westward in order to seal his preaching with his blood (see Tertullian c. Marcion. iv. 5. Euseb. ii. 25; above, Introduction to this Epistle, p. 44). He goes from the Eastern Babylon in Assyria, to the Western Babylon in Italy. He goes from Babylon to Rome. He thus gives evidence of God's love to His own people, and having followed Christ to the end, and having finished his course with joy, like the Sun from East to West, he is associated with the Apostle of the Gentiles, his beloved brother St. Paul, in dying a martyr's death in the capital of the Heathen world, and having there gone down in a glorious sunset he will rise to bliss in Christ. Μάρκος δ υἱός μου] Marcus, my son. See above on i. 1, and on Acts xv. 39. Col. iv. 10. Introduction to the Gospel of St. Mark, p. 11.
14. piλhμaтi àɣárns] with a kiss of love. See on 1 Thess. v. 26. Rom. xvi. 16. 1 Cor. xvi. 20. 2 Cor. xiii. 12.
See on Acts ii. 9-11. They had come from their own land to
There were also special reasons why such an Epistle as the
THE SECOND EPISTLE GENERAL OF ST. PETER.
On the Genuineness of the Epistle.
I. THE First Epistle of St. Peter was written at a time when a Persecution of the Church was imminent, as appears from internal evidence; and for this and other reasons already stated, the date to be assigned to that Epistle is probably the year A.d. 64 1.
The Second Epistle is addressed to persons dwelling in the same countries as the First, and seems to have been written soon after it ; and was composed at a time when St. Peter was anticipating his death. St. Peter died A.D. 68.
The date of this Epistle may therefore be placed in A.D. 66, or A.D. 67.
II. To this conclusion there have been made the following objections:
(1) It is not probable-it is alleged by some persons-that St. Peter would write two Epistles to the same inhabitants of the same regions at nearly the same time.
(2) Nor is it probable, it is said, that the same Author would write in so different a style as that of the Second Epistle, compared with the First, especially if he were writing to persons living in the same countries at nearly the same time.
The First Epistle, which was generally acknowledged in primitive times to be a genuine work of St. Peter, is composed in a quiet and subdued tone; but the second is characterized by impassioned vehemence, and poetic exuberance of language. This is more remarkable, because if this Epistle is genuine, it was written by him when he was old, and looking forward to the near approach
This Second Epistle is rarely quoted by primitive writers; even in the third and fourth centuries some doubts were expressed concerning its genuineness; and in later days many Critics have denied it to be a work of St. Peter'.
1 See above, Introduction to that Epistle, pp. 40, 41. 2 See below, on iii. 1.
3 See i. 14.
III. Let us consider these objections.
1. It cannot be doubted, that there is great diversity of feeling and style between this Epistle and that which was generally received as St. Peter's, namely, his First Epistle.
But there were good reasons for this difference.
4 See Introductions to the First Epistle, and to the Epistles of St. Paul to Timothy, pp. 423, 424.
5 See 2 Pet. i. 14.
It is reckoned among the avriλeyóuera, but yrápia tois Toλλois, by Eusebius, iii. 25; and in another place he says, Tv φερομένην αὐτοῦ (of Peter) δευτέραν οὐκ ἐνδιάθηκον μὲν εἶναι παρειλήφαμεν͵ ὅμως δὲ πολλοῖς χρήσιμος φανεῖσα μετὰ τῶν aλλv toπovddoon уpapwv. S. Jerome is more explicit as to his own belief (Scr. Eccl. c. 1): “Simon Petrus duas Epistolas, quæ catholicæ nominantur, quarum secunda à plerisque (by many persons) ejus esse negatur, propter styli cum priore dissonantiam." And Epist. 120, he says, "Dua Epistolæ, quæ feruntur Petri, stylo inter se discrepant, structurâque verborum; ex quo intelligimus pro necessitate rerum diversis eum usum Interpretibus." And Epist. 50, he says, "Jacobus, Petrus, Joannes,
Judas Apostoli septem Epistolas ediderunt, tam mysticas quàm
As to the statement of S. Jerome's master, Didymus (in
7 The genuineness of this Epistle is questioned by Eichhorn, De Wette, Schott, Neander, Credner, Mayerhoff, Richter, Reuss, and others; but its genuineness is maintained by Michaelis, Pott, Augusti, Storr, Hug, Flatt, Dahl, Windischmann, Heydenreich, Guerike, and others.
St. Peter had a twofold work to do; first, to declare the truth, next, to refute error.
He had executed the first of these two tasks in his former Epistle; he performs the second in the latter.
In the first Epistle he had proclaimed the great goodness and infinite love of God the Father to all mankind, in giving His own Son, to redeem the world by His death, and to open the gate of everlasting life to all; and on this basis of Christian doctrine, he had reared a superstructure of moral duty. He had stated the obligations, under which all men lie, by reason of Christ's Incarnation, and their inedification as living stones in Him Who is the Living Stone; and he had urged the motives which ought to constrain all to imitate Him Who died for all, in order that, being dead to sin, they may live to righteousness, and Who has left us "an example, that we should follow His Steps '."
St. Peter had applied these principles, in a practical and didactic manner, to the inculcation of
If the Church of Christ had not had any enemies, who assailed her doctrinal foundations,
But his position was like that of the valiant and wise leader of God's ancient people, Nehemiah, in building up the Holy City after the Babylonish captivity. He and his associates were encountered by Sanballats and Ammonites, who interrupted the work, and endeavoured to overthrow it.
They had therefore a double work to do: they must fight as well as build.
This was also the case with St. Peter; he had likewise a double work to do; first, to build up the Church; and next, to fight against the foes of the faith, who scoffed at the work, and were eager to destroy it.
False Teachers were stirred up by the Evil One to assail the Apostolic builders of the spiritual Sion, and to hinder the work, as Sanballat, Tobiah, and the Ammonites, had conspired to attack and harass Nehemiah and his comrades when building up the fortifications of Jerusalem. As then Nehemiah and his friends carried in one hand an instrument for building, and had in the other hand a weapon for defence, so it was with St. Peter. In his First Epistle he had raised up the fabric of Christian Faith and Duty. In his Second Epistle he represents that foundation as already laid, and he comes forward to contend against those who would destroy it. In the one Epistle he is a Christian Builder raising up the fabric of truth; in the other he is a Christian Soldier repelling its assailants.
Here is the solution of the supposed difficulties that have been just stated. Here is an answer to the objections, grounded on the alleged improbability, that two Epistles, of different styles, would be addressed by the same person to the same parties about the same time.
2. We have a striking parallel here in the Epistle of St. Peter's " beloved brother Paul," as he is called in this Epistle.
St. Paul had recently written two Epistles at about the same time from the same place, Rome, to the inhabitants of the same country; first, the Epistle to the Ephesians; and, secondly, that to the Colossians".
Those two Epistles of St. Paul correspond in a remarkable manner with the two Epistles of
The Epistle to the Ephesians is of a constructive and didactic character, and is similar to St.
The Epistle to the Colossians, with its polemical protests and denunciatory warnings against those heresies which impugned the doctrine of the Divinity of Christ, and His Incarnation and Atonement, and the immoral consequences of those heresies, resembles the Second Epistle of St. Peter.
There was great wisdom in this arrangement, adopted by both these Apostles, distributing their work into two parts, in two Epistles respectively; the one Epistle of each being designed for the statement of truth; the second, for the refutation of error.
Many there were then in the Christian Church, as there ever have been, and are now, who were
1 See the passages cited above in the Introduction to the First Epistle, p. 44.
2 Neh. iv. 7, 8.
Especially the Simonians, Ebionites, Cerinthians, and Nicolaitans. See them described more fully in the note below, on 2 Pet. ii. 1.
Neh. iv. 17.
5 2 Pet. iii. 13.
6 See above, Introduction to the Epistle to the Colossians, and
on Col. iv. 16.
7 See Col. ii. 8. 16–23.