2 Peter 1:4
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

King James Bible
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Darby Bible Translation
through which he has given to us the greatest and precious promises, that through these ye may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

World English Bible
by which he has granted to us his precious and exceedingly great promises; that through these you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world by lust.

Young's Literal Translation
through which to us the most great and precious promises have been given, that through these ye may become partakers of a divine nature, having escaped from the corruption in the world in desires.

2 Peter 1:4 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Whereby - Δἰ ὧν Di' hōn. "Through which" - in the plural number, referring either to the "glory" and "virtue" in the previous verse, and meaning that it was by that glorious divine efficiency that these promises were given; or, to all the things mentioned in the previous verse, meaning that it was through those arrangements, and in order to their completion, that these great and glorious promises were made. The promises given are in connection with the plan of securing "life and godliness," and are a part of the gracious arrangements for that object.

Exceeding great and precious promises - A "promise" is an assurance on the part of another of some good for which we are dependent on him. It implies:

(1) that the thing is in his power;

(2) that he may bestow it or not, as he pleases;

(3) that we cannot infer from any process of reasoning that it is his purpose to bestow it on us;

(4) that it is a favor which we can obtain only from him, and not by any independent effort of our own.

The promises here referred to are those which pertain to salvation. Peter had in his eye probably all that then had been revealed which contemplated the salvation of the people of God. They are called "exceeding great and precious," because of their value in supporting and comforting the soul, and of the honor and felicity which they unfold to us. The promises referred to are doubtless those which are made in connection with the plan of salvation revealed in the gospel, for there are no other promises made to man. They refer to the pardon of sin; strength, comfort, and support in trial; a glorious resurrection; and a happy immortality. If we look at the greatness and glory of the objects, we shall see that the promises are in fact exceedingly precious; or if we look at their influence in supporting and elevating the soul, we shall have as distinct a view of their value. The promise goes beyond our reasoning powers; enters a field which we could not otherwise penetrate - the distant future; and relates to what we could not otherwise obtain.

All that we need in trial, is the simple promise of God that he will sustain us; all that we need in the hour of death, is the assurance of our God that we I shall be happy forever. What would this world be without a "promise?" How impossible to penetrate the future! How dark that which is to come would be! How bereft we should be of consolation! The past has gone, and its departed joys and hopes can never be recalled to cheer us again; the present may be an hour of pain, and sadness, and disappointment, and gloom, with perhaps not a ray of comfort; the future only opens fields of happiness to our vision, and everything there depends on the will of God, and all that we can know of it is from his promises. Cut off from these we have no way either of obtaining the blessings which we desire, or of ascertaining that they can be ours. For the promises of God, therefore, we should be in the highest degree grateful, and in the trials of life we should cling to them with unwavering confidence as the only things which can be an anchor to the soul.

That by these - Greek, "through these." That is, these constitute the basis of your hopes of becoming partakers of the divine nature. Compare the notes at 2 Corinthians 7:1.

Partakers of the divine nature - This is a very important and a difficult phrase. An expression somewhat similar occurs in Hebrews 12:10; "That we might be partakers of his holiness." See the notes at that verse. In regard to the language here used, it may be observed:

(1) That it is directly contrary to all the notions of "Pantheism" - or the belief that all things are now God, or a part of God - for it is said that the object of the promise is, that we "may become partakers of the divine nature," not that we are now.

(2) it cannot be taken in so literal a sense as to mean that we can ever partake of the divine "essence," or that we shall be "absorbed" into the divine nature so as to lose our individuality. This idea is held by the Budhists; and the perfection of being is supposed by them to consist in such absorption, or in losing their own individuality, and their ideas of happiness are graduated by the approximation which may be made to that state. But this cannot be the meaning here, because:

(a) It is in the nature of the case" impossible. There must be forever an essential difference between a created and an uncreated mind.

(b) This would argue that the Divine Mind is not perfect. If this absorption was necessary to the completeness of the character and happiness of the Divine Being, then he was imperfect before; if before perfect, he would not be after the absorption of an infinite number of finite and imperfect minds.

continued...

2 Peter 1:4 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Partakers of the Divine Nature
'He hath given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the Divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.'--2 Peter i. 4. 'Partakers of the Divine nature.' These are bold words, and may be so understood as to excite the wildest and most presumptuous dreams. But bold as they are, and startling as they may sound to some of us, they are only putting into other language the teaching of which the whole New Testament is full,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

Faith and Life
Now, it will be clear to all, that in the four verses before us, our apostle has most excellently set forth the necessity of these two things--twice over he insists upon the faith, and twice over upon holiness of life. We will take the first occasion first. I. Observe, in the first place, what he says concerning the character and the origin of faith, and then concerning the character and origin of spiritual life. "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 10: 1864

The Beatific vision.
Reason, revelation, and the experience of six thousand years unite their voices in proclaiming that perfect happiness cannot be found in this world. It certainly cannot be found in creatures; for they were not clothed with the power to give it. It cannot be found even in the practice of virtue; for God has, in His wisdom, decreed that virtue should merit, but never enjoy perfect happiness in this world. He has solemnly pledged himself to give "eternal life" to all who love and serve him here on earth.
F. J. Boudreaux—The Happiness of Heaven

The Authority and Utility of the Scriptures
2 Tim. iii. 16.--"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." We told you that there was nothing more necessary to know than what our end is, and what the way is that leads to that end. We see the most part of men walking at random,--running an uncertain race,--because they do not propose unto themselves a certain scope to aim at, and whither to direct their whole course. According to men's particular
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Cross References
Ephesians 4:13
until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

Ephesians 4:24
and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

Hebrews 12:10
For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.

James 1:27
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

2 Peter 2:18
For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error,

2 Peter 2:19
promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.

2 Peter 2:20
For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.

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