2 Peter 3:1
This second letter, beloved, I now write to you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
III.

(1, 2) Just as the two halves of the first main portion of the Epistle are linked together by some personal remarks respecting his reason for writing this Epistle (2Peter 1:12-15), so the two predictions which form the second main portion are connected by personal remarks respecting the purpose of both his Epistles.

(1) This second epistle, beloved, I now write.—Rather, This now second epistle I write, beloved; or, This epistle, already a second one—implying that no very long time has elapsed since his first letter, and that this one is addressed to pretty much the same circle of readers. There is no indication that the first two chapters are one letter, and that this is the beginning of another, as has been supposed. With this use of “now,” or “already,” comp. John 21:14.

Pure minds.—The word for “pure” means literally “separated”—according to one derivation, by being sifted; according to another, by being held up to the light. Hence it comes to mean “unsullied.” Here it probably means untainted by sensuality or, possibly, deceit. In Philippians 1:10, the only other place where it occurs in the New Testament, it is translated “sincere.” (Comp. 1Corinthians 5:8; 2Corinthians 1:12; 2Corinthians 2:17.) The word for “mind” means “the faculty of moral reflection and moral understanding,” which St. Peter, in his First Epistle (2Peter 1:13), tells his readers to brace up and keep ready for constant use. These very two words are found together in a beautiful passage in Plato’s Phaedo, 66A.

By way of remembrance.—We have the same expression in 2Peter 1:13, and the translation in both cases should be the same—stir up in putting you in remembrance.

2 Peter 3:1-2. The doctrines and precepts delivered by the prophets and apostles, being the most effectual means of preserving the Christian converts from being seduced by the false teachers spoken of in the preceding chapter, the apostle begins this with informing the brethren that his design in writing both his epistles was to bring these doctrines and precepts to their remembrance. And as one of the greatest of these men’s errors was their denying the coming of Christ to judge the world, and destroy this mundane system, he first exhorts the brethren to recollect what the holy prophets had anciently spoken on this subject, together with the commandments of the apostles of Christ to their disciples, to expect and prepare for these events. His saying, This second epistle I now write, &c., implies that he had written a former one to the same people, and he here affirms that in them both he had one great end in view, which was to stir up their minds (which he terms pure, or rather sincere, as ειλικρινη more properly signifies) to keep in remembrance and lay to heart what had been already taught them on these important subjects, so as to be properly influenced by it. The holy prophets intended, who had spoken of these things, were chiefly Enoch, mentioned Jdg 1:14-15; David, Psalm 50:1-6; Psalm 75:8; and Daniel 12:2.3:1-4 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.This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you - This expression proves that he had written a former epistle, and that it was addressed to the same persons as this. Compare Introduction, Section 3.

In both which I stir up your pure minds ... - That is, the main object of both epistles is the same - to call to your remembrance important truths which you have before heard, but which you are in danger of forgetting, or from which you are in danger of being turned away by prevailing errors. Compare the notes at 2 Peter 1:12-15. The word rendered "pure" (εἰλικρινής eilikrinēs) occurs only here and in Philippians 1:10, where it is rendered "sincere." The word properly refers to "that which may be judged of in sunshine;" then it means "clear, manifest;" and then "sincere, pure" - as that in which there is no obscurity. The idea here perhaps is, that their minds were open, frank, candid, sincere, rather than that they were "pure." The apostle regarded them as "disposed" to see the truth, and yet as liable to be led astray by the plausible errors of others. Such minds need to have truths often brought fresh to their remembrance, though they are truths with which they had before been familiar.

CHAPTER 3

2Pe 3:1-18. Sureness of Christ's Coming, and Its Accompaniments, Declared in Opposition to Scoffers about to Arise. God's Long Suffering a Motive to Repentance, as Paul's Epistles Set Forth; Concluding Exhortation to Growth in the Knowledge of Christ.

1. now—"This now a second Epistle I write." Therefore he had lately written the former Epistle. The seven Catholic Epistles were written by James, John, and Jude, shortly before their deaths; previously, while having the prospect of being still for some time alive, they felt it less necessary to write [Bengel].

unto you—The Second Epistle, though more general in its address, yet included especially the same persons as the First Epistle was particularly addressed to.

pure—literally, "pure when examined by sunlight"; "sincere." Adulterated with no error. Opposite to "having the understanding darkened." Alford explains, The mind, will, and affection, in relation to the outer world, being turned to God [the Sun of the soul], and not obscured by fleshly and selfish regards.

by way of—Greek, "in," "in putting you in remembrance" (2Pe 1:12, 13). Ye already know (2Pe 3:3); it is only needed that I remind you (Jude 5).2 Peter 3:1-7 The apostle declareth it to be the design of both his

Epistles to remind the brethren of Christ’s coming

to judgment, in opposition to scoffers.

2 Peter 3:8,9 No argument can be drawn against it from the delay,

which is designed to leave men room for repentance.

2 Peter 3:10-14 He describeth the day of the Lord, and exhorteth to

holiness of life in expectation of it.

2 Peter 3:15,16 He showeth that Paul had taught the like in his Epistles,

2 Peter 3:17,18 and concludeth with advice to beware of seduction,

and to grow in Christian grace and knowledge.

This second epistle: this confirms what has been said, that this Epistle was written by Peter, as well as the former.

I stir up your pure minds; or, sincere minds: the sense is either:

1. I stir up your minds, that they may be pure and sincere; and then he doth not so much commend them for what they were, as direct and exhort them to what they should be, that they might receive benefit by what he wrote, there being nothing that contributes more to the fruitful entertaining of the word, than sincerity and honesty of heart, when men lay aside those things which are contrary to it, and might hinder its efficacy, 1 Peter 2:1,2. Or:

2. I stir up your minds, though pure and sincere, to continuance and constancy in that pure doctrine ye have received.

By way of remembrance: see 2 Peter 1:13.

This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you,.... This is a transition to another part of the epistle; for the apostle having largely described false teachers, the secret enemies of the Christian religion under a profession of it, passes on to take notice of the more open adversaries and profane scoffers of it; and from their ridicule of the doctrine of Christ's second coming, he proceeds to treat of that, and of the destruction of the world, and the future happiness of the saints: he calls this epistle his "second epistle", because he had written another before to the same persons; and that the author of this epistle was an apostle, is evident from 2 Peter 3:2; and which, compared with 2 Peter 1:18 shows him to be the Apostle Peter, whose name it bears, and who was an eyewitness to the transfiguration of Christ on the mount, Matthew 17:1, he addresses these saints here, as also in 2 Peter 3:8, under the character of "beloved"; because they were the beloved of God, being chosen by him according to his foreknowledge, and regenerated by him, according to his abundant mercy; and were openly his people, and had obtained mercy from him, and like precious faith with the apostles; and were also the beloved of Christ, being redeemed by him, not with gold and silver, but with his precious blood; for whom he suffered, and who were partakers of his sufferings, and the benefits arising from them, and who had all things given them by him, pertaining to life and godliness, and exceeding great and precious promises; and were likewise beloved by the apostle, though strangers, and not merely as Jews, or because they were his countrymen, but because they were the elect of God, the redeemed of Christ, and who were sanctified by the Spirit, and had the same kind of faith he himself had. The Syriac and Arabic versions read, "my beloved"; and the Ethiopic version, "my brethren": his end in writing both this and the former epistle follows;

in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance; that this was his view both in this and the former epistle, appears from 1 Peter 1:13; he calls their minds pure; not that they were so naturally, for the minds and consciences of men are universally defiled with sin; nor are the minds of all men pure who seem to be so in their own eyes, or appear so to others; nor can any man, by his own power or works, make himself pure from sin; only the blood of Christ purges and cleanses from it; and a pure mind is a mind sprinkled with that blood, and which receives the truth as it is in Jesus, in the power and purity of it, and that holds the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. Some versions, as the Vulgate Latin and Arabic, render the word "sincere", as it is in Philippians 1:10; and may design the sincerity of their hearts in the worship of God, in the doctrines of Christ, and to one another, and of the grace of the Spirit of God in them; as that their faith was unfeigned, their hope without hypocrisy, and their love without dissimulation, and their repentance real and genuine; but yet they needed to be stirred up by way of remembrance, both of the truth of the Gospel, and the duties of religion; for saints are apt to be forgetful of the word, both of its doctrines and its exhortations; and it is the business of the ministers of the word to put them in mind of them, either by preaching or by writing; and which shows the necessity and usefulness of the standing ministry of the Gospel: the particulars he put them in mind of next follow.

This {1} second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:

(1) The remedy against those wicked enemies, both of true doctrine and holiness, is to be sought for by the continual meditation of the writings of the prophets and apostles.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Peter 3:1. Not the commencement of a new epistle (Grotius), but of a new section, directed against the deniers of the advent of Christ.

ταύτην ἤδηἐπιστολήν] “This epistle I write to you, as already the second.” Pott: αὕτη ἤδη δευτέρα ἐστὶν ἐπιστολὴ, ἣν γράφω ὑμῖν. Fronmüller incorrectly explains ἤδη by: “now being near my death.” The epistle first written is the so-called First Epistle of Peter.

ἐν αἷς] applies both to this and the First Epistle of Peter (Winer, p. 128 [E. T. 177]). The prepos. ἐν does not stand here in place of διά (Gerhard), but refers to the contents.

διεγείρωδιάνοιαν] for the phrase: διεγείρειν ἐν ὑπομνήσει, cf. chap. 2 Peter 1:13.

ὑμῶν belongs to διάνοιαν.

εἰλικρινῆ, cf. Php 1:10.2 Peter 3:1-4. Prophets and apostles have warned us that delay will lead to denial of the Second Advent.

“I am now writing my second letter to you. In both I seek to rouse you to honest reflection on the words formerly spoken by the holy prophets, and on the commandment of our Lord delivered by your missionaries. Especially realise the truth of their warning, that there will come in the last days scoffers, with scoffing questions, walking after their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His appearing? For,’ say they, ‘from the time the fathers fell asleep, everything remains as it has been from the beginning of creation’.”1. This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you] A new section of the Epistle opens. The “false teachers” recede from view, and the thoughts of the Apostle turn to the mockers who made merry at the delay of the coming of the Lord, to which Christians had so confidently looked forward as nigh at hand. In the stress laid on this being the “second Epistle” we have a fact which compels us to choose between identity of authorship for both Epistles, or a deliberate imposture as regards the second.

I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance] The word for “pure” is found in Php 1:10, the corresponding noun in 1 Corinthians 5:8; 2 Corinthians 1:12; 2 Corinthians 2:17. Its primary application is to that which will bear the full test of being examined by sunlight, and so it carries with it the sense of a transparent sincerity. Its exact opposite is described in Ephesians 4:18, “having the understanding” (the same Greek word as that here rendered “mind”) darkened. In the “stirring up by way of remembrance” we have a phrase that had been used before (chap. 2 Peter 1:13).2 Peter 3:1. Ἤδη, now) Therefore he had lately written the former Epistle. The seven Canonical Epistles were written by the apostles shortly before their death. While they still remained alive, they had judged that it was less needful for them to write.—αἷς, in which) (plural). Syllepsis.[13] The meaning is, in which (second Epistle), as in the former Epistle.—ἐν ὑπομνήσει, by reminding you) ch. 2 Peter 1:12. Ye already know, 2 Peter 3:3; it is only needful that I should remind you: Judges 1:5.—εἰλικρινῆ, sincere) adulterated with no error.

[13] See Append. on this figure.Verse 1. - This Second Epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; literally, this Epistle already a second one I write unto you. The ἤδη ("already") implies that the interval between the two Epistles was not long. The expression "beloved," four times repeated in this chapter, shows the apostle's affectionate interest in his readers; and the word "second" forces us to make our choice between the Petrine authorship of the Epistle or the hypothesis of a direct forgery. In both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance; literally, in which, i.e., "Epistles;" the word "second" implied an allusion to a First Epistle. St. Peter repeats the words which he had used in chapter 2 Peter 1:13, "I think it meet... to stir you up by putting you in remembrance." Mind (διάνοια) is the reflective faculty (see 1 Peter 1:13); that faculty should be exercised in holy things. The thoughts that pass through the Christian's mind should be holy thoughts; his mind should be pure. The word rendered "pure" (εἰλικρινής) occurs in Philippians 1:10 (where see note); the corresponding substantive is found in 1 Corinthians 5:8; 2 Corinthians 1:12; 2 Corinthians 2:17. It is said of things which can bear to be judged in the sunlight, and so means "pure, clear," or (according to another possible etymology) "unmixed," and so "genuine, sincere." Beloved

Occurring four times in this chapter.

Second - Iwrite

An incidental testimony to the authorship of the second epistle.

Pure minds (εἰλικρινῆ διάνοιαν)

The latter word is singular, not plural. Hence, as Rev., mind. The word rendered pure is often explained tested by the sunlight; but this is very doubtful, since εἵλη, to which this meaning is traced, means the heat, and not the light of the sun. Others derive it from the root of the verb εἱλίσσω, to roll, and explain it as that which is separated or sifted by rolling, as in a sieve. In favor of this etymology is its association in classical Greek with different words meaning unmixed. The word occurs only here and Philippians 1:10. The kindred noun εἰλικρίνεια, sincerity, is found 1 Corinthians 5:8; 2 Corinthians 1:12; 2 Corinthians 2:17. Rev., here, sincere.

Mind (διάνοιαν)

Compare 1 Peter 1:13; and see on Mark 12:30.

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