2 Peter 2:21
New International Version
It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.

New Living Translation
It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life.

English Standard Version
For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.

Berean Study Bible
It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than to have known it and then to turn away from the holy commandment passed on to them.

Berean Literal Bible
For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to have turned from the holy commandment having been delivered to them.

King James Bible
For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

New King James Version
For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.

New American Standard Bible
For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them.

NASB 1995
For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them.

NASB 1977
For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment delivered to them.

Amplified Bible
For it would have been better for them not to have [personally] known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to have turned back from the holy commandment [verbally] handed on to them.

Christian Standard Bible
For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy command delivered to them.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy command delivered to them.

American Standard Version
For it were better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

Contemporary English Version
They would have been better off if they had never known about the right way. Even after they knew what was right, they turned their backs on the holy commandments they were given.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For it had been better for them not to have known the way of justice, than after they have known it, to turn back from that holy commandment which was delivered to them.

English Revised Version
For it were better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

Good News Translation
It would have been much better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than to know it and then turn away from the sacred command that was given them.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
It would have been better for them never to have known the way of life that God approves of than to know it and turn their backs on the holy life God told them to live.

International Standard Version
It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than to know it and turn their backs on the holy commandment that was committed to them.

Literal Standard Version
for it were better to them not to have acknowledged the way of righteousness, than having acknowledged [it], to turn back from the holy command delivered to them,

NET Bible
For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than, having known it, to turn back from the holy commandment that had been delivered to them.

New Heart English Bible
For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.

Weymouth New Testament
For it would have been better for them not to have fully known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandments in which they were instructed.

World English Bible
For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.

Young's Literal Translation
for it were better to them not to have acknowledged the way of the righteousness, than having acknowledged it, to turn back from the holy command delivered to them,

Additional Translations ...
Study Bible
Deliverance from False Prophets
20If indeed they have escaped the corruption of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, only to be entangled and overcome by it again, their final condition is worse than it was at first. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than to have known it and then to turn away from the holy commandment passed on to them. 22Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.”…

Cross References
Psalm 85:8
I will listen to what God the LORD will say; for He will surely speak peace to His people and His saints; He will not let them return to folly.

Ezekiel 18:24
But if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and practices iniquity, committing the same abominations as the wicked, will he live? None of the righteous acts he did will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness and sin he has committed, he will die.

Ezekiel 33:13
If I tell the righteous man that he will surely live, but he then trusts in his righteousness and commits iniquity, then none of his righteous works will be remembered; he will die because of the iniquity he has committed.

Galatians 6:2
Carry one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

1 Timothy 6:14
Keep this commandment without stain or reproach until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Hebrews 6:4
It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit,

Hebrews 6:6
and then have fallen away--to be restored to repentance, because they themselves are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to open shame.

Hebrews 10:26
If we deliberately go on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no further sacrifice for sins remains,

James 4:17
Anyone, then, who knows the right thing to do, yet fails to do it, is guilty of sin.

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

Jude 1:3
Beloved, although I made every effort to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt it necessary to write and urge you to contend earnestly for the faith entrusted once for all to the saints.


Treasury of Scripture

For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.

it had.

Matthew 11:23,24
And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day…

Luke 12:47
And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

John 9:41
Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

the way.

Proverbs 12:28
In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.

Proverbs 16:31
The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.

Matthew 21:32
For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.

to turn.

Psalm 36:3,4
The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good…

Psalm 125:5
As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, the LORD shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity: but peace shall be upon Israel.

Ezekiel 3:20
Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

holy.

Romans 7:12
Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

1 Thessalonians 4:2
For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.









(21) It had been better for them not to have known.--There are many things of which the well-known lines.

"'Tis better to have loved and lost,

Than never to have loved at all,"

do not hold good. To have loved a great truth, to have loved a high principle, and after all to lose them, is what often causes the shipwreck of a life. To have loved Jesus Christ and lost Him is to make shipwreck of eternal life.

The way of righteousness.--The life of the Christian. That which from a doctrinal point of view is "the way of truth" (2Peter 2:2), from a moral point of view is "the way of righteousness." So also "the faith delivered to the saints" of Jude 1:3, is the doctrinal equivalent of "the holy commandment delivered unto them" of this verse.

Verse 21. - For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness; better, as in the Revised Version, for it were better. (For this use of the imperfect indicative, see Winer, 3:41, 2, a.) The verb ἐπεγνωκέκαι, "to have known," here, and the participle ἐπιγνοῦσιν, "after they have known," in the next clause, correspond with the noun ἐπίγνωσις of the preceding, and, like that, imply that these unhappy men once had the full knowledge of Christ. (For "the way, of righteousness," compare "the way of truth" in verse 2, and note there.) Than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. The manuscripts exhibit some slight variations here: the Sinaitic and Alexandrine give "to turn back." By "the holy commandment" St. Peter means the whole moral Law, which the Lord enforced and widened in his sermon on the mount; from this the false teachers turned away. For the word "delivered" (παραδοθείσης), comp. Jude 1:3. Like the corresponding word παράδοσις, tradition (2 Thessalonians 3:6), it implies the oral transmission of Christian teaching in the first ages (comp. also 1 Peter 1:18).

Parallel Commentaries ...


Lexicon
It would have been
ἦν (ēn)
Verb - Imperfect Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

better
κρεῖττον (kreitton)
Adjective - Nominative Neuter Singular - Comparative
Strong's Greek 2909: Stronger, more excellent. Comparative of a derivative of kratos; stronger, i.e. better, i.e. Nobler.

for them
αὐτοῖς (autois)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Dative Masculine 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 846: He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.

not
μὴ (mē)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3361: Not, lest. A primary particle of qualified negation; not, lest; also (whereas ou expects an affirmative one) whether.

to have known
ἐπεγνωκέναι (epegnōkenai)
Verb - Perfect Infinitive Active
Strong's Greek 1921: From epi and ginosko; to know upon some mark, i.e. Recognize; by implication, to become fully acquainted with, to acknowledge.

the
τὴν (tēn)
Article - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

way
ὁδὸν (hodon)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3598: A way, road, journey, path. Apparently a primary word; a road; by implication, a progress; figuratively, a mode or means.

of righteousness
δικαιοσύνης (dikaiosynēs)
Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1343: From dikaios; equity; specially justification.

than
(ē)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2228: Or, than. A primary particle of distinction between two connected terms; disjunctive, or; comparative, than.

to have known [it]
ἐπιγνοῦσιν (epignousin)
Verb - Aorist Participle Active - Dative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 1921: From epi and ginosko; to know upon some mark, i.e. Recognize; by implication, to become fully acquainted with, to acknowledge.

and turned away
ὑποστρέψαι (hypostrepsai)
Verb - Aorist Infinitive Active
Strong's Greek 5290: To turn back, return. From hupo and strepho; to turn under, i.e. To return.

from
ἐκ (ek)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1537: From out, out from among, from, suggesting from the interior outwards. A primary preposition denoting origin, from, out.

the
τῆς (tēs)
Article - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

holy
ἁγίας (hagias)
Adjective - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 40: Set apart by (or for) God, holy, sacred. From hagos; sacred.

commandment
ἐντολῆς (entolēs)
Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1785: An ordinance, injunction, command, law. From entellomai; injunction, i.e. An authoritative prescription.

passed on
παραδοθείσης (paradotheisēs)
Verb - Aorist Participle Passive - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3860: From para and didomi; to surrender, i.e yield up, intrust, transmit.

to them.
αὐτοῖς (autois)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Dative Masculine 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 846: He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.


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NT Letters: 2 Peter 2:21 For it would be better for them (2 Pet. 2P iiP ii Pet)
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