2 Peter 3:16
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
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 people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

New Living Translation
speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction.

English Standard Version
as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

Berean Study Bible
He writes this way in all his letters, speaking in them about such matters. Some parts of his letters are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

Berean Literal Bible
as also in all the letters, speaking in them concerning these things, among which some things are difficult to be understood, which the ignorant and unestablished distort to their own destruction, as also the other Scriptures.

New American Standard Bible
as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
He speaks about these things in all his letters in which there are some matters that are hard to understand. The untaught and unstable twist them to their own destruction, as they also do with the rest of the Scriptures.

International Standard Version
He speaks about this subject in all his letters. Some things in them are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, leading to their own destruction, as they do the rest of the Scriptures.

NET Bible
speaking of these things in all his letters. Some things in these letters are hard to understand, things the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they also do to the rest of the scriptures.

New Heart English Bible
as also in all of his letters, speaking in them of these things. In those, there are some things that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unsettled twist, as they also do to the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Just as in all of his letters he spoke about these things, in which are things difficult for the intellect, which those who are without teaching and unstable, pervert, as also the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
He talks about this subject in all his letters. Some things in his letters are hard to understand. Ignorant people and people who aren't sure of what they believe distort what Paul says in his letters the same way they distort the rest of the Scriptures. These people will be destroyed.

New American Standard 1977
as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

Jubilee Bible 2000
in almost all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, among which are some things that are hard to understand, which those that are ignorant and unstable twist, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

King James 2000 Bible
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 twist, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

American King James Version
As also in all his letters, 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, to their own destruction.

American Standard Version
as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; wherein are some things hard to be understood, which the ignorant and unstedfast wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Douay-Rheims Bible
As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction.

Darby Bible Translation
as also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; among which some things are hard to be understood, which the untaught and ill-established wrest, as also the other scriptures, to their own destruction.

English Revised Version
as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; wherein are some things hard to be understood, which the ignorant and unstedfast wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Webster's Bible Translation
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, to their own destruction.

Weymouth New Testament
That is what he says in all his letters, when speaking in them of these things. In those letters there are some statements hard to understand, which ill-taught and unprincipled people pervert, just as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own ruin.

World English Bible
as also in all of his letters, speaking in them of these things. In those, there are some things that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unsettled twist, as they also do to the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

Young's Literal Translation
as also in all the epistles, speaking in them concerning these things, among which things are certain hard to be understood, which the untaught and unstable do wrest, as also the other Writings, unto their own destruction.
Study Bible
Final Exhortations
15Consider also that our Lord’s patience brings salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom God gave him. 16He writes this way in all his letters, speaking in them about such matters. Some parts of his letters are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17Therefore, beloved, since you already know these things, be on your guard not to be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure standing.…
Cross References
Psalm 56:5
All day long they distort my words; All their thoughts are against me for evil.

Jeremiah 23:36
"For you will no longer remember the oracle of the LORD, because every man's own word will become the oracle, and you have perverted the words of the living God, the LORD of hosts, our God.

Hebrews 5:11
We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain, because you are dull of hearing.

2 Peter 2:14
Their eyes are full of adultery; their desire for sin is never satisfied; they seduce the unstable. They are accursed children with hearts trained in greed.

2 Peter 3:2
by recalling what was foretold by the holy prophets and commanded by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

2 Peter 3:14
Therefore, beloved, as you anticipate these things, make every effort to be found at peace with Him, without spot or blemish.
Treasury of Scripture

As also in all his letters, 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, to their own destruction.

in all. See on

1 Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout …

speaking.

Romans 8:1-39 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ …

1 Corinthians 15:1-58 Moreover, brothers, I declare to you the gospel which I preached …

1 Thessalonians 4:1-5:28 Furthermore then we beseech you, brothers, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus…

2 Kings 1:1-18 Then Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab…

hard.

1 Kings 10:1 And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning …

Hebrews 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing …

unstable.

2 Peter 2:14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling …

Genesis 49:4 Unstable as water, you shall not excel; because you went up to your …

2 Timothy 3:5-7 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such …

James 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

wrest.

Exodus 23:2,6 You shall not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shall you speak …

Deuteronomy 16:19 You shall not wrest judgment; you shall not respect persons, neither …

Psalm 56:5 Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil.

Habakkuk 1:4 Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment does never go forth: for …

the other.

Jeremiah 23:36 And the burden of the LORD shall you mention no more: for every man's …

Matthew 15:3,6 But he answered and said to them, Why do you also transgress the …

Matthew 22:29 Jesus answered and said to them, You do err, not knowing the scriptures, …

unto their own.

2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there …

Philippians 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory …

1 Peter 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which …

Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old …

(16) As also in all his epistles.--All those known to the writer. The expression does not necessarily Imply that St. Paul was dead, and that his Epistles had been collected into one volume. That each church made a collection of them as they became known to it, and that in the great centres they became known soon after they were written, are conjectures of great probability.

Speaking in them of these things--viz., of the return of Christ and of the destruction of the world. Some, however, understand the words as meaning the exhortations to holiness here given.

Some things hard to be understood.--Certainly the difficulties with which 2 Thessalonians 2 bristles are well described by this expression, and they relate to the very point in question--the time of Christ's coming. Moreover, scoffers could easily turn them to account by arguing that "the man of sin" had not yet appeared, and that therefore there was no likelihood of the end of the world coming just yet. But in admitting that 2 Thessalonians 2 is among the passages alluded to here, we are not committed to the theory that 1 and 2 Thess. are alluded to in 2Peter 3:15. Many refer these words to St. Paul's doctrine of justification by faith as wrested to mean "faith without works." So, again, Ephesians 2:5-6, and Colossians 2:12 might be wrested to mean that "the resurrection is past already" (2Timothy 2:18). (See Note on Romans 3:8 respecting perversion of his teaching.)

Unlearned and unstable.--The word for "unlearned" here is not the same as that translated "unlearned" in Acts 4:13. (See Note there.) That signifies "without special study;" this means "without ordinary instruction." Ignorance naturally produces instability; those who have no clear principles of Christian doctrine easily fall victims to seductions of all kinds. (Comp. 2Peter 2:14.)

Wrest.--Literally, torture by means of the rack; and hence "strain," "distort." That St. Paul's doctrine of Christian liberty, as opposed to the bondage of the Law, was seen by himself to be liable to great abuse, and had already begun to be abused, we learn from his own writings (1Corinthians 6:12-20; Galatians 5:13-26; where see Notes. Comp. Revelation 2:20.)

The other scriptures.--The Old Testament cannot well be meant. St. Peter would scarcely have placed the writings of a contemporary side by side with the Scriptures of the Old Testament (the canon of which had long since been closed) without some intimation of a grouping which at that time must have been novel, and probably was quite unknown. It is much more probable that Christian writings of some kind are intended, but we can only conjecture which, any of the canonical writings of the New Testament then in existence, and perhaps some that are not canonical. That an Apostle should speak of the writings of a brother-Apostle in the same terms as the books of the Old Testament--viz., as Scripture--need not surprise us, especially when we remember the large claims made by St. Paul for his own words (1Thessalonians 2:13; 2Thessalonians 2:15; Ephesians 3:3-5. Comp. Acts 15:28; Revelation 22:18-19). In 1Peter 1:12, Evangelists are almost made superior to the Old Testament Prophets--a statement indicating a view which harmonises well both with 2Peter 1:15-19 and with the view set forth here; for in 2Peter 1:15 he assigns to this Epistle much the same purpose as in 2Peter 1:19 he assigns to the Old Testament Prophets. Moreover, we have seen how Clement of Rome uses the term "Scripture" of a passage which comes from some uncanonical book (see above on 2Peter 3:4). See Introduction, I. c. . 4.

Unto their own destruction.--The Greek is very emphatic as to its being "their own." (Comp. "Bring upon themselves swift destruction," 2Peter 2:1.) It is their own doing--St. Paul and other writers of Scripture are not to blame; and it befits them--they will find the end they deserve. This passage gives no countenance to the Roman doctrine that all Scripture is hard to understand, and therefore not to be read by the people. All that is here said is that some Scripture is hard to understand, and that bad men make a bad use of the fact. The inference drawn from this by St. Peter is not, "Do not read Scripture," nor even "Pass over what seems to be hard," but "Be on your guard against being led astray by interpretations contrary to the spirit of the gospel."

Verse 16. - As also in all his Epistles. The true reading is probably ἐν πάσαις ἐπιστολαῖς without the article. The words, therefore, do not imply the existence of a complete collection of St. Paul's Epistles, but mean only "in all Epistles which he writes." Speaking in them of these things; that is, of the day of God, the end of the world, etc. St. Peter was acquainted with other Epistles of St. Paul besides those addressed to the Asiatic Churches. There are evident indications of his knowledge of the Epistles to the Thessalonians and Corinthians, as well as of that to the Romans. In which are some things hard to be understood. The manuscripts vary between ἐν οῖς and ἐν αῖς. The first reading would refer to the words immediately preceding - "these things;" "among the subjects on which St. Paul wrote there are some things," etc. The second would refer to "all his Epistles," and would mean that there are certain difficulties in St. Paul's Epistles generally. St. Peter does not tell us what difficulties were in his thoughts - whether St. Paul's teaching about "the man of sin," and "the day of the Lord," or his doctrine of justification by faith, and his assertion of Christian liberty, which might be perverted into anti-nomianism by such men as the false teachers censured in chapter 2. The word δυσνόητος, "hard to be understood," occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. Which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest; rather, the ignorant and unsteadfast. Both words are peculiar to this Epistle; the last occurs also in 2 Peter 2:14, the first here only in the New Testament. The verb also translated "wrest" (στρεβλοῦσιν) is found only here; it means "to twist with a windlass," and so "to strain, to torture, to distort." As they do also the other Scriptures. This passage is of the greatest interest, as showing that some of St. Paul's Epistles had by this time taken their place in the estimate of Christians by the side of the sacred books of the Old Testament, and were regarded as Holy Scripture. By "the other Scriptures" St. Peter means the Old Testament, and also, perhaps, some of the earlier writings of the New, as the first three Gospels and the Epistle of St. James. St. Paul, in 1 Timothy 5:18, quotes a passage which seems to come from Luke 10:7 as Scripture (comp. 1 Peter 1:12). Unto their own destruction; literally, their own destruction of themselves. The use of both adjective and pronoun intensifies the meaning (comp. chapter 2 Peter 2:1, 12). As also in all his epistles,.... From whence it appears, that the Apostle Paul had, by this time, wrote several of his epistles, if not all of them; and they were all written according to the same wisdom, and under the influence of the same spirit, as his epistle to the Hebrews:

speaking in them of those things; of the same things, Peter had been speaking of, of the coming of Christ, as that he should appear a second time to them that look for him, and would come as a thief in the night, and that the fashion, scheme, and form of this world should pass away, and that saints should look and wait for his coming, and love it: something of this kind is said in all his epistles; see Hebrews 9:28; and also of mockers, scoffers, seducers, and wicked men that would arise in the last days; see 1 Timothy 4:1,

in which are some things hard to be understood. The phrase, "in which", refers either to the epistles, or the things spoken in them. The Alexandrian manuscript, and three of Robert Stephens's copies, read , "in which" epistles, but the generality of copies read , "in", or "among which things", spoken of in them, concerning the subject here treated of, the coming of Christ; as the time of Christ's coming, which is sometimes represented by the apostle, as if it would be while he was living; and the manner of his coming in person with all his saints, and his mighty angels, with a shout, the voice of the archangel, and trump of God, things not easily understood; and the destruction of antichrist at his coming, which will be with the breath of his mouth, and the brightness of his coming; as also the resurrection of the dead, of the saints that will rise first, and that with spiritual bodies; and likewise the change of the living saints, and the rapture both of living and raised saints together, in the, clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and the standing of them before the judgment seat of Christ, and the account that everyone must give to him, 1 Thessalonians 4:15 1 Corinthians 15:44;

which they that are unlearned; untaught of God, who have never learned of the Father, nor have learned Christ, nor have that anointing which teacheth all things; who, though they may have been in the schools of men, were never in the school of Christ; and though they have been ever learning, yet will never come to the knowledge of the truth; for men may have a large share of human literature, and yet be unlearned men in the sense of the apostle; and very often it is, that such wrest and pervert the Scriptures to the ruin of themselves, and others:

and unstable; unsettled in their principles, who are like children tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine; the root of the matter is not in them; nor are they rooted and built up in Christ, and so are not established in the faith; they are not upon the foundation Christ, nor do they build upon, and abide by the sure word of God, or form their notions according to it, but according to their own carnal reasonings, and fleshly lusts; and so

wrest the word of God, distort it from its true sense and meaning, and make it speak that which it never designed; dealing with it as innocent persons are sometimes used, put upon a rack, and tortured, and so forced to speak what is contrary to their knowledge and consciences; and so were the words of the Apostle Paul wrested by ill designing men, as about the doctrines of grace and works, so concerning the coming of Christ; see Romans 3:8;

as they do also the other Scriptures; the writings of Moses, and the prophets of the Old Testament, the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and the other epistles of the apostles of the New Testament: and which is eventually

unto their own destruction; for by so doing they either add unto, or detract from the Scriptures, and so bring the curse of God upon them; and they give into doctrines of devils, and into heresies, which are damnable, and bring upon themselves swift destruction, which lingers not, and slumbers not. Now from hence it does not follow, that the Scriptures are not to be read by the common people; for not all the parts of Scripture, and all things in it, are hard to be understood, there are many things very plain and easy, even everything respecting eternal salvation; there is milk for babes, as well as meat for strong men: besides, not the Scriptures in general, but Paul's epistles only, are here spoken of, and not all of them, or anyone whole epistle among them, only some things in them, and these not impossible, only difficult to be understood; and which is no reason why they should be laid aside, but rather why they should be read with greater application and diligence, and be followed with fervent prayer, and frequent meditation; and though unlearned and unstable men may wrest them to their perdition, those that are taught of God, though otherwise illiterate, may read them to great profit and advantage. 16. also in all his epistles—Ro 2:4 is very similar to 2Pe 3:15, beginning. The Pauline Epistles were by this time become the common property of all the churches. The "all" seems to imply they were now completed. The subject of the Lord's coming is handled in 1Th 4:13; 5:11; compare 2Pe 3:10 with 1Th 5:2. Still Peter distinguishes Paul's Epistle, or Epistles, "TO YOU," from "all his (other) Epistles," showing that certain definite churches, or particular classes of believers, are meant by "you."

in which—Epistles. The oldest manuscripts read the feminine relative (hais); not as Received Text (hois), "in which things."

some things hard to be understood—namely, in reference to Christ's coming, for example, the statements as to the man of sin and the apostasy, before Christ's coming. "Paul seemed thereby to delay Christ's coming to a longer period than the other apostles, whence some doubted altogether His coming" [Bengel]. Though there be some things hard to be understood, there are enough besides, plain, easy, and sufficient for perfecting the man of God. "There is scarce anything drawn from the obscure places, but the same in other places may be found most plain" [Augustine]. It is our own prejudice, foolish expectations, and carnal fancies, that make Scripture difficult [Jeremy Taylor].

unlearned—Not those wanting human learning are meant, but those lacking the learning imparted by the Spirit. The humanly learned have been often most deficient in spiritual learning, and have originated many heresies. Compare 2Ti 2:23, a different Greek word, "unlearned," literally, "untutored." When religion is studied as a science, nothing is more abstruse; when studied in order to know our duty and practice it, nothing is easier.

unstable—not yet established in what they have learned; shaken by every seeming difficulty; who, in perplexing texts, instead of waiting until God by His Spirit makes them plain in comparing them with other Scriptures, hastily adopt distorted views.

wrest—strain and twist (properly with a hand screw) what is straight in itself (for example, 2Ti 2:18).

other scriptures—Paul's Epistles were, therefore, by this time, recognized in the Church, as "Scripture": a term never applied in any of the fifty places where it occurs, save to the Old and New Testament sacred writings. Men in each Church having miraculous discernment of spirits would have prevented any uninspired writing from being put on a par with the Old Testament word of God; the apostles' lives also were providentially prolonged, Paul's and Peter's at least to thirty-four years after Christ's resurrection, John's to thirty years later, so that fraud in the canon is out of question. The three first Gospels and Acts are included in "the other Scriptures," and perhaps all the New Testament books, save John and Revelation, written later.

unto their own destruction—not through Paul's fault (2Pe 2:1).3:11-18 From the doctrine of Christ's second coming, we are exhorted to purity and godliness. This is the effect of real knowledge. Very exact and universal holiness is enjoined, not resting in any low measure or degree. True Christians look for new heavens and a new earth; freed from the vanity to which things present are subject, and the sin they are polluted with. Those only who are clothed with the righteousness of Christ, and sanctified by the Holy Ghost, shall be admitted to dwell in this holy place. He is faithful, who has promised. Those, whose sins are pardoned, and their peace made with God, are the only safe and happy people; therefore follow after peace, and that with all men; follow after holiness as well as peace. Never expect to be found at that day of God in peace, if you are lazy and idle in this your day, in which we must finish the work given us to do. Only the diligent Christian will be the happy Christian in the day of the Lord. Our Lord will suddenly come to us, or shortly call us to him; and shall he find us idle? Learn to make a right use of the patience of our Lord, who as yet delays his coming. Proud, carnal, and corrupt men, seek to wrest some things into a seeming agreement with their wicked doctrines. But this is no reason why St. Paul's epistles, or any other part of the Scriptures, should be laid aside; for men, left to themselves, pervert every gift of God. Then let us seek to have our minds prepared for receiving things hard to be understood, by putting in practice things which are more easy to be understood. But there must be self-denial and suspicion of ourselves, and submission to the authority of Christ Jesus, before we can heartily receive all the truths of the gospel, therefore we are in great danger of rejecting the truth. And whatever opinions and thoughts of men are not according to the law of God, and warranted by it, the believer disclaims and abhors. Those who are led away by error, fall from their own stedfastness. And that we may avoid being led away, we must seek to grow in all grace, in faith, and virtue, and knowledge. Labour to know Christ more clearly, and more fully; to know him so as to be more like him, and to love him better. This is the knowledge of Christ, which the apostle Paul reached after, and desired to attain; and those who taste this effect of the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, will, upon receiving such grace from him, give thanks and praise him, and join in ascribing glory to him now, in the full assurance of doing the same hereafter, for ever.
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NT Letters: 2 Peter 3:16 As also in all of his letters (2 Pet. 2P iiP ii Pet) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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