|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:1-4 The purified minds of Christians are to be stirred up, that they may be active and lively in the work of holiness. There will be scoffers in the last days, under the gospel, men who make light of sin, and mock at salvation by Jesus Christ. One very principal article of our faith refers to what only has a promise to rest upon, and scoffers will attack it till our Lord is come. They will not believe that he will come. Because they see no changes, therefore they fear not God, Ps 55:19. What he never has done, they fancy he never can do, or never will do.
Verse 2. - That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets. "That ye may be mindful" is represented by one word in the Greek (μνησθῆναι); compare the exact parallel in Luke 1:72. Great stress is laid on the word of prophecy in both Epistles (see 1 Peter 1:10-12 and 2 Peter 1:19). And of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour; rather, as in the Revised Version, and the commandment of the Lord and Saviour through your apostles. All the best manuscripts read ὑμῶν here. It is a remarkable expression; but Christ's apostles can be rightly called the apostles of those to whom they are sent, as being their teachers, sent to them for their benefit; just as the angels of God are called also the angels of Christ's little ones (Matthew 18:10). Compare also "the angels of the seven Churches" in the Revelation. St. Peter shows an intimate knowledge of several of St. Paul's Epistles, and of that of St. James; he is writing to the Churches addressed in his First Epistle, most of which were founded by St. Paul or his companions. We must therefore understand this passage, as well as verse 15 of this chapter, as a distinct recognition of the apostleship of St. Paul. The translation of the Authorized Version, "the apostles of the Lord and Saviour," involves a violent disturbance of the order; it seems best to make both genitives depend on "commandment:" "your apostles' commandment of the Lord;" the first genitive being that of announcement, the second of origin. The commandment was announced by the apostles, but it was the Lord's commandment. (For the double genitive, comp. James 2:1 and Acts 5:32. For the whole verse, see the parallel passage in Jude 1:17.)
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
That ye may be mindful,.... This is an explanation of the above mentioned end of his writing this and the other epistle; which was, that those saints might be mindful of two things more especially:
of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets; that is, the prophets of the Old Testament, who were holy men of God, and therefore their words are to be regarded, and retained in memory; the Gospel itself was spoken by them, and so was Christ, and the things relating to his person and offices, and to his incarnation, sufferings, and death, and the glory that should follow; and indeed the apostles said no other than what they did, only more clearly and expressly; and particularly many things, were said by them concerning the second coming of Christ to judge the world, and destroy it, and to prepare new heavens and a new earth for his people, which is what the apostle has chiefly in view; see Jde 1:14;
and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour; that is, Jesus Christ, as Jde 1:17 expresses it, and the Ethiopic version adds here; and which likewise, and also the Syriac version, and some ancient copies, read, "our Lord and Saviour", and omit the us before the apostles; by whom are meant the twelve apostles of Christ, of which Peter was one, and therefore says, "us the apostles"; though the Vulgate Latin and Arabic versions, and the Complutensian edition, read "your apostles", and so the Alexandrian copy; but the former is the received reading: now "the commandment" of these intends either the Gospel in general, so called because it was the commandment of our Lord to his apostles to preach it; and therefore the word "commandment", in the original, stands between "us the apostles", and "the Lord and Saviour", as being the commandment of the one to the other; unless it can be thought any regard is had to the new commandment of love, or that of faith, inculcated both by Christ and his apostles; John 13:34; or rather, particularly the instructions, directions, and predictions of the apostles concerning the second coming of Christ, and what should go before it, as appears from the following words, and the parallel place in Jde 1:17, the words of the prophets and apostles being here put together, show the agreement there is between them, and what regard is to be had to each of them, and to anything and every thing in which they agree.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. prophets—of the Old Testament.
of us—The oldest manuscripts and Vulgate read, "And of the commandment of the Lord and Saviour (declared) by YOUR apostles" (so "apostle of the Gentiles," Ro 11:13)—the apostles who live among you in the present time, in contrast to the Old Testament "prophets."
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