2 Peter 3:15
And account that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given to him has written to you;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) The longsuffering of our Lord.—Again, as in 2Peter 3:9, we are in doubt as to whether God the Father or the Lord Jesus is meant. In neither case is absolute certainty obtainable; but here the balance seems decidedly in favour of the latter meaning. In 2Peter 3:8 “the Lord” certainly means God, and not the Lord Jesus (comp. 2Peter 2:9; 2Peter 2:11). In 2Peter 3:18 “our Lord” is expressly stated to be Jesus Christ. The two intermediate 2Peter 3:9; 2Peter 3:15, are open to dispute. The fact that “our” appears in this verse before “Lord,” as in 2Peter 3:18, inclines the balance here towards the meaning in 2Peter 3:18. Moreover, had God been meant, it would have sufficed to say, “and account that His long-suffering is salvation.” If this is correct, and “our Lord” means Jesus Christ, “then throughout this weighty passage the Lord Jesus is invested with the full attributes of Deity.” Here, possibly, as also in 2Peter 1:1 (see Note), the expression points to the writer’s entire belief in the unity of the two Persons. Account the longsuffering of our Lord salvation instead of accounting it to be “slackness” (2Peter 3:9); make use of it for working out your own salvation in fear and trembling, instead of criticising it.

As our beloved brother Paul.—This may possibly mean something more than that St. Paul was a fellow-Christian and a personal friend—viz., that he was a fellow-worker and brother-evangelist. More than this it cannot well mean, though some interpret it “brother-Apostle.” Tychicus is twice called “beloved brother” by St. Paul (Ephesians 6:21; Colossians 4:7), and the addition of “our” here can make no such change of meaning. It is doubtful whether there is any allusion to the dispute between St. Peter and St. Paul (Galatians 2:11), although an expression of marked affection would be quite in place as evidence that all such differences were now forgotten. In any case the familiarity and equality which the expression “our beloved brother Paul” implies should be noticed. It is in marked contrast to the way in which Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp, and Clement of Alexandria speak of St. Paul, and in this way is a decided note of genuineness. A writer of the sub-Apostolic age would not easily be able to free himself from the feeling of the age in this respect. Clement of Rome (Corinthians, xlvii. 1), says, “Take up the Epistle of the blessed Paul the Apostle.” Ignatius (Ephesians, 12:2) calls him “Paul the sanctified, the martyred, worthily called blessed.” Polycarp (see next Note) calls him “the blessed and glorious Paul,” or “the blessed Paul.” Clement of Alexandria commonly says simply “the Apostle,” but sometimes “the divine Apostle” or “the noble Apostle.” An imitator in the second century would scarcely have attained to the freedom of “our beloved brother Paul.”

According to the wisdom given unto him.—Comp. 1Corinthians 3:10; Galatians 2:9. Polycarp, in his Epistle to the Philippians (2peter iii. 2), says, “Neither I nor any one else like me can equal the wisdom of the blessed and glorious Paul, who . . . wrote letters to you, into which if ye look diligently, &c. &c.” This seems to show that St. Paul’s letters had already become the common property of the churches.

Hath written unto you.—More literally, wrote to you. What Epistle, or Epistles, are here meant? Few points in this Epistle have been more debated. The following are some of the many answers that have been given to the question: (1) a lost Epistle; (2) Hebrews, because of Hebrews 9:26-28; Hebrews 10:23-25; Hebrews 10:37; (3) Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, because our Epistle is supposed to be addressed to the Christians of Asia Minor; (4) Ephesians only, for the reason just stated, and because Colossians and Galatians contain little or no mention of the day of judgment; also because of Ephesians 4:30, and the encyclical character of the Epistle; (5) 1 Corinthians, because of 1Corinthians 1:7-9; (6) Romans, because of Romans 2:4 and Romans 9:22-23; (7) 1 and 2 Thessalonians, because of 1Thessalonians 4:14-18; 1Thessalonians 5:1-11; 1Thessalonians 5:23, because 2Peter 3:10 recalls 1Thessalonians 5:2, also because “things hard to be understood” admirably describes much of 2 Thessalonians 2, which treats of the time of Christ’s coming, the very subject here under discussion.

Of these seven theories, (1) can neither be proved nor disproved; (3) and (4) lose much of their weight when we consider that the persons addressed in 2 Peter are nowhere defined, excepting that to some extent they are identical with those addressed in 1 Peter. Of the remaining four, (7) seems to be very probable, both on account of the large amount of coincidence, and also because of the early date of those Epistles, allowing an interval of fifteen years, in which the two Epistles might easily have become well known in other churches. Still it is difficult to find a passage in them about the longsuffering of God, such as Romans 2:4; Romans 9:22-23. And when we consider that Romans also Appears to have been an Encyclical Letter, and was written not so very long after the Epistles to the Thessalonians; that in Romans 3:8. St. Paul himself tells us that he had been grossly misunderstood; that Romans 9:3 might easily cause serious misunderstanding, and that Romans 6:16 seems to be recalled in 2Peter 2:19—it will perhaps be thought that on the whole Romans best answers to the requirements of the context.

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.And account - that "the long-suffering of our Lord" is "salvation." Regard his delay in coming to judge the world, not as an evidence that he never will come, but as a proof of his desire that we should be saved. Many had drawn a different inference from the fact that the Saviour did not return, and had supposed that it was a proof that he would never come, and that his promises had failed. Peter says that that conclusion was not authorized, but that we should rather regard it as an evidence of his mercy, and of his desire that we should be saved. This conclusion is as proper now as it was then. Wicked men should not infer, because God does not cut them down, that therefore they never will be punished, or that God is not faithful to his threatenings. They should rather regard it as a proof that he is willing to save them; because:

(1) He might justly cut them off for their sins;

(2) the only reason of which we have knowledge why he spares the wicked is to give them space for repentance; and,

(3) as long as life is prolonged a sinner has the opportunity to repent, and may turn to God. We may therefore, in our own case, look on all the delays of God to punish - on all his patience and forbearance toward us, notwithstanding our sins and provocations - on the numberless tokens of his kindness scattered along our way, as evidence that he is not willing that we should perish.

What an accumulated argument in any case would this afford of the willingness of God to save! Let any man look on his own sins, his pride, and selfishness, and sensuality; let him contemplate the fact that he has sinned through many years, and against many mercies; let him endeavor to estimate the number and magnitude of his offences, and upon God's patience in bearing with him while these have been committed, and who can overrate the force of such an argument in proof that God is slow to anger, and is willing to save? Compare the notes at Romans 2:4.

Even as our beloved brother Paul also - From this reference to Paul the following things are clear:

(1) that Peter was acquainted with his writings;

(2) that Peter presumed that those to whom he wrote were also acquainted with them;

(3) that Peter regarded Paul as a "beloved brother," notwithstanding the solemn rebuke which Paul had had occasion to administer to him, Galatians 2:2 ff.

(4) that Peter regarded Paul as an authority in inculcating the doctrines and duties of religion; and,

(5) that Peter regarded Paul as an inspired man, and his writings as a part of divine truth. See the notes at 2 Peter 3:16.

That Peter has shown in his Epistles that he was acquainted with the writings of Paul, has been abundantly proved by Eichhorn (Einleitung in das N. Tes. viii. 606ff), and will be apparent by a comparison of the following passages: Ephesians 1:3, with 1 Peter 3:1; Colossians 3:8, with 1 Peter 2:1; Ephesians 5:22, with 1 Peter 3:1; Ephesians 5:21, with 1 Peter 5:5; 1 Thessalonians 5:6, with 1 Peter 5:8; 1 Corinthians 16:20, with 1 Peter 5:14; Romans 8:18, with 1 Peter 5:1; Romans 4:24, with 1 Peter 1:21; Romans 13:1, Romans 13:3-4, with 1 Peter 2:13-14; 1 Timothy 2:9, with 1 Peter 3:3; 1 Timothy 5:5, with 1 Peter 3:5. The writings of the apostles were doubtless extensively circulated; and one apostle, though himself inspired, could not but feel a deep interest in the writings of another. There would be cases also, as in the instance before us, in which one would wish to confirm his own sentiments by the acknowledged wisdom, experience, and authority of another.

According to the wisdom given unto him - Peter evidently did not mean to disparage that wisdom, or to express a doubt that Paul was endowed with wisdom; he meant undoubtedly that, in regard to Paul, the same thing was true which he would have affirmed of himself or of any other man, that whatever wisdom he had was to be traced to a higher than human origin. This would at the same time tend to secure more respect for the opinion of Paul than if he had said it was his own, and would keep up in the minds of those to whom he wrote a sense of the truth that all wisdom is from above. In reference to ourselves, to our friends, to our teachers, and to all men, it is proper to bear in remembrance the fact that all true wisdom is from the "Father of lights." Compare the notes at James 1:5, James 1:17.

Hath written unto you - It is not necessary to suppose that Paul had written any epistles addressed specifically, and by name, to the persons to whom Peter wrote. It is rather to be supposed that the persons to whom Peter wrote 1 Peter 1:1 lived in the regions to which some of Paul's epistles were addressed, and that they might be regarded as addressed to them. The epistles to the Galatians, Ephesians, and Colossians were of this description, all addressed to churches in Asia Minor, and all, therefore, having reference to the same people to whom Peter addressed his epistles.

15. account … the long-suffering … is salvation—is designed for the salvation of those yet to be gathered into the Church: whereas those scoffers "count it (to be the result of) slackness" on the Lord's part (2Pe 3:9).

our beloved brother Paul—a beautiful instance of love and humility. Peter praises the very Epistles which contain his condemnation.

according to the wisdom given unto him—adopting Paul's own language, 1Co 3:10, "According to the grace of God which is given unto me as a wise master-builder." Supernatural and inspired wisdom "GIVEN" him, not acquired in human schools of learning.

hath written—Greek aorist, "wrote," as a thing wholly past: Paul was by this time either dead, or had ceased to minister to them.

to you—Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, the same region as Peter addresses. Compare "in peace," 2Pe 3:14, a practical exhibition of which Peter now gives in showing how perfectly agreeing Paul (who wrote the Epistle to the Galatians) and he are, notwithstanding the event recorded (Ga 2:11-14). Col 3:4 refers to Christ's second coming. The Epistle to the Hebrews, too (addressed not only to the Palestinian, but also secondarily to the Hebrew Christians everywhere), may be referred to, as Peter primarily (though not exclusively) addresses in both Epistles the Hebrew Christians of the dispersion (see on [2635]1Pe 1:1). Heb 9:27, 28; 10:25, 37, "speak of these things" (2Pe 3:16) which Peter has been handling, namely, the coming of the day of the Lord, delayed through His "long-suffering," yet near and sudden.

And account; reckon with yourselves, and be confidently persuaded; or take for granted.

The longsuffering of our Lord; viz. in his not yet coming to judgment, and bearing with so much sin in the world without presently punishing it.

Is salvation; i.e. tends or conduceth to salvation, in that hereby he gives space for repentance to the elect unconverted, and alloweth time for the building up and perfecting those that are converted, 2 Peter 3:9.

Even as our beloved brother Paul; not only brother in Christ, as a saint, but in office, as an apostle.

According to the wisdom given unto him; that eminent and profound knowledge in the mysteries of the gospel in which Paul did excel, 1 Corinthians 2:6,7 Eph 3:3,4. Peter makes such honourable mention of Paul:

1. That he might commend to the Jewish Christians the doctrine Paul had preached, though a minister of the uncircumcision;

2. To show that he had nothing the worse thoughts of him for being so sharply reproved by him, Galatians 2:1-21; and:

3. That he might arm the saints against those heretics that abused Paul’s writings, and wrested them to their own meaning, probably, to patronize their errors.

Hath written unto you; unto you Jewish believers, viz. either:

1. In his Epistle to the Romans, Romans 2:4, where is a passage very like this: or:

2. In his Epistle to the Hebrews, which, though it were not entitled to the Jews of the dispersion, yet was written to their nation; and in that Epistle several places there are of the same purport with this here; {see Hebrews 9:28 10:23,25,36,37} and other Epistle of Paul to the Jews we have none: and in this he shows much of that wisdom God gave him in the mystery of the gospel; and in this likewise are many things hard to be understood. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord,.... Not his longsuffering towards the wicked, and his forbearance with them, for that is not the means of, nor the way to, nor does it issue in, their salvation, but in their sorer punishment and greater damnation, see Romans 2:4; but towards the elect, as in 2 Peter 3:9; whom he bears much and long with before conversion, while in their sins, and in a state of unregeneracy, and waits to be gracious to them, as he is in their calling, and to make known and apply his great salvation to them; and as with particular persons, so with the whole body of them, till they are all gathered in, and even with the world for their sakes; and particularly the Lord's longsuffering here intends the deferring of his coming, or his seeming slackness in the performance of his promise: the reason of which is,

salvation: the salvation of all his chosen ones, and in that it issues; he waits, he stays, that none of them might perish, but that they might be all brought to faith and repentance, and so be saved: wherefore the apostle would have the saints consider it in this light, and not imagine and conclude, with the scoffing infidels, that he is slack and dilatory, and will not come, but that his view in it is the salvation of all his people, which by this means is brought about: in confirmation of which, and other things he had delivered, he produces the testimony of the Apostle Paul;

even as our beloved brother Paul also; he calls him a "brother", both on account of his being a believer in Christ, one that belonged to the same family with him, and was of the household of faith, born of the same Father, and related to the same Redeemer, the firstborn among many brethren, and likewise on account of his being a fellow apostle; for though he was not one of the twelve apostles, but his call and mission were later than theirs, yet Peter does not disdain to put him among them, and upon an equal foot with them, nor was he a whit behind the chief of them: he styles him a "beloved" brother; expressing his affection for him, which the relation between them called for, and which he bore to him, notwithstanding his public opposition to him, and sharp reproof of him, Galatians 2:11, and perhaps loved him the more for it; see Psalm 141:5; and he makes mention of him, and that under these characters, partly to show their agreement and consent in doctrine; and partly to recommend him to the Jews, to whom he writes, who had, upon report of his doctrine and ministry, entertained an ill, at least a mean opinion, of him; as also to set us an example to speak well of one another, both as ministers and private believers:

according to the wisdom given unto him, hath written unto you; meaning not all his epistles, as being written for the general good of all the saints, as well as for those particular churches or men to whom they were sent; for what Peter speaks of is what was particularly written to them, and is distinguished in 2 Peter 3:16 from the rest of Paul's epistles; nor does he intend the epistle of Paul to the Romans, for the longsuffering of God spoken of in that, as in Romans 2:4, is his longsuffering to the wicked, which issues in their destruction, and not his longsuffering to his elect, which is salvation, as here; but he seems manifestly to have in view the epistle to the Hebrews, for Peter wrote both his first and second epistles to Jews; wherefore, since none of Paul's epistles but that were written particularly to them, it should seem that that is designed, and serves to confirm his being the author of it; in which he writes to the Hebrews concerning the coming of Christ, and of the deferring of it a little while, and of the need they had of patience to wait for it, Hebrews 10:36; and in it also are some things difficult to be understood concerning Melchizedek, the old and new covenant, the removing of the Aaronic priesthood, and the abrogation of the whole ceremonial law, &c. things not easily received by that nation; and the whole is written with great wisdom, respecting the person and office of Christ, the nature of his priesthood, and the glory of the Gospel dispensation; and in a most admirable manner is the whole Mosaic economy laid open and explained: he was indeed a wise master builder, and whatever he wrote was "according to wisdom"; not fleshly wisdom, the wisdom of this world, nor with enticing words of men's wisdom, but according to the divine wisdom, under the influence of the spirit of wisdom and revelation; for he had not this of himself naturally, nor did he learn it at Gamaliel's feet, but it was what was "given to him"; it came from above, from God, who gives it liberally; and as he himself always owned it to be a free grace gift of God bestowed on him, and that all his light and knowledge were by the revelation of Christ, so Peter ascribes it to the same, that God might have all the glory, and all boasting in man be stopped.

And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; {12} even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

(12) Paul's epistles are allowed by the express testimony of Peter.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Peter 3:15-16. καὶ τὴν τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν μακροθυμίαν] See 2 Peter 3:9 : “the long-suffering of our Lord, which consists in this, that He still keeps back the last judgment.” It is open to question whether ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν means God (de Wette, Dietlein, Fronmüller) or Christ (Wiesinger, Schott, Steinfass); what goes before favours the former (2 Peter 3:14; 2 Peter 3:12; 2 Peter 3:10; 2 Peter 3:9; 2 Peter 3:8), the N. T. usage the latter; in both cases the sense is substantially the same.

σωτηρίαν ἡγεῖσθε] antithesis to: βραδυτῆτα ἡγοῦνται, 2 Peter 3:9: “the μακροθυμία of the Lord account for salvation,” i.e. as something which has your salvation as its aim, that is, by your making such use of the time of grace, that the fruit of it is the σωτηρία.

καθὼς καὶ ὁ ἀγαπητὸς ἡμῶν ἀδελφὸς Παῦλος κ.τ.λ.] The reference here to Paul is evidently meant to emphasize the exhortation given; it is, however, more particularly occasioned by the circumstance, that many persons had been guilty of wresting the apostle’s words, and against this the apostle wishes to warn his readers.

ὁ ἀγαπητὸς κ.τ.λ.] designates Paul not only as a friend, or a fellow-Christian, but as one with whom Peter feels himself most intimately connected in official relationship. Hofmann, on the other hand, presses the plural ἡμῶν, and thinks that by it the apostle, with a view to his Gentile readers, would unite the Jewish-Christians with himself, so as to show that the apostle of the Gentiles was a beloved brother to them as well as to him. The adjunct: κατὰ τὴν δοθεῖσαν αὐτῷ σοφίαν, acknowledges the wisdom which has been granted to him, of which also the utterances which the apostle especially has in his eye are the outcome.

ἔγραψεν ὑμῖν] Which epistle or epistles are meant? According to Oecumenius, Lorinus, Grotius, etc., as also Dietlein and Besser: it is the Epistle to the Romans, on account of Romans 9:22 (ἤνεγκεν ἐν πολλῇ μακροθυμίᾳ) and Romans 2:4; according to Jachmann: the Epistle to the Corinthians (chiefly on account of 1 Corinthians 1:7-9), in consideration of the words: κατὰσοφίαν; according to Estius, Bengel, Hornejus, Gerhard, etc.: the Epistle to the Hebrews, on account of Hebrews 9:26 ff., Hebrews 10:25; Hebrews 10:37. These different opinions assume that καθώς applies only to the last thought expressed in this verse. But there is no reason for any such limitation, since this exhortation is joined in the closest manner possible to that which precedes it in 2 Peter 3:14. Wiesinger rightly rejects the supposition that καθὼς ἔγραψε refers still farther back, namely, to the whole section relating to the Parousia (de Wette, with whom Brückner agrees, and Schott).

Since the document to which the author alludes is, by ἔγραψεν ὑμῖν, indicated as one addressed to the same circle of readers as Second Peter, the reference here cannot be to the above-named epistles, nor yet to the Epistle to the Thessalonians (de Wette), but only to the Epistle to the Ephesians (Wiesinger, Schott, Hofmann: to this Steinfass adds the First Epistle to Timothy and the Epistle to the Colossians; Fronmüller, the last-named epistle and that to the Romans). In support of this may be urged the character of this epistle as a circular letter, and the echoes of it to be found in First Peter. It must also be observed, that although the precise thought expressed in the beginning of this verse is not to be found in that epistle, yet the epistle itself is certainly rich in ethical exhortations with reference to the Christian’s hope of salvation.[104] It is plainly entirely arbitrary to assume, with Pott and Morus, that the apostle here refers to an epistle which we do not now possess.

[104] Schott must be considered mistaken in appealing to this, that “it is precisely the Epistle to the Ephesians, Ephesians 2:11 to Ephesians 3:12, which contains the most exact development of the idea expressed here in Eph 2:9 and Eph 2:15, that the divine direction of history, with a view to the completion of salvation, has given the peculiar significance to the present time, to lead into the church the heathen world, which will be the subject of the future completion of salvation;” of all this absolutely nothing is here said.2 Peter 3:15. καὶ τὴν τοῦ κυρίουἡγεῖσθε. Cf. 2 Peter 3:9. The Divine long-suffering is capable of interpretation as “slackness,” or as opportunity for license instead of as σωτηρίαν, an opportunity for repentance. καθὼς καὶ ὁ ἀγαπητὸςἔγραψεν ὑμῖν. The interpretation here largely depends on (1) whether the reference of καθὼς is confined to the idea in the first clause of the verse, or (2) is to be extended to include ἄσπιλοι καὶ ἀμώμητοιεἰρήνῃ in 2 Peter 3:14, or (3) is still further extended to include the whole treatment of moral disorder arising from delayed Parousia. In the case of (1) Romans would be the most appropriate among the known canonical epistles. In that epistle the idea of God’s long-suffering is most prominent (cf. Romans 2:4, Romans 3:25-26, Romans 9:22-23, Romans 11:22-23). (2) Almost any of St. Paul’s epistles might be meant. (3) If the question of moral disorder arising from difficulties about the παρουσία is placed in the foreground, “none of the existing Pauline Epistles can be in question except 1 Corinthians (in this Church there were very similar extravagances, and the Resurrection was by some denied) and Thessalonians” (Bigg). A decision on this point involves the discussion on the destination of the epistle, for which see Introduction, pp. 205 f. (cf. Zahn., Introd. ii., pp. 211–2). ὁ ἀγαπητὸςΠαῦλος need not imply that Paul was alive. κατὰ τὴν δοθεῖσαν αὐτῷ σοφίαν. Cf. 1 Corinthians 3:10, Galatians 2:9, 1 Cor. 3:66, Colossians 1:28.15. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation] The words have a pointed reference to 2 Peter 3:9. Men were impatient, and counted the “long-suffering of God” as tardiness in the fulfilment of His promises. The true way of looking at it was to see in it the working out of His plan of salvation for all who should be willing to receive it. In the “long-suffering of our Lord” (obviously from 2 Peter 3:18), the “Lord Jesus,” we see a testimony, indirect but not the less explicit, to the full participation of the Son in the counsels and purposes of the Father.

even as our beloved brother Paul …] The words imply a full recognition of St Paul’s work as a brother in the Apostleship, and are in harmony, as has been noticed, with 1 Peter 5:12; 2 Peter 1:12; 2 Peter 3:2.

according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you] As far as the subject-matter is concerned, 1 Thessalonians 4:5. and 2 Thessalonians 2 seem to correspond most closely with St Peter’s reference, and as these were written when Silvanus was with St Paul (see note on 1 Peter 5:12), there is strong ground for believing that St Peter would be acquainted with their contents. If, on the other hand, we restrict the words “hath written to you” to the Asiatic Churches to whom 1 Peter was addressed, we may think of Ephesians 1:14; Ephesians 2:7; Ephesians 3:9-11; Colossians 1:20, as referred to here, while the statements are included in the allusion in the next verse.2 Peter 3:15. Σωτηρίαν ἡγεῖσθε, account as salvation) although those mockers account it slackness, slowness, 2 Peter 3:9.—καθὼς, even as) This has reference to the whole subject treated of up to this time. Comp. περὶ τούτων, respecting these things, 2 Peter 3:16.—ὁ ἀγαπητὸς ἡμῶν ἀδελφὸς, our beloved brother) Paul has not praised Peter; but yet Peter praises Paul, showing that he was not offended with him, although he was sometimes reproved by him, and was far surpassed by him in the work of the Lord: respecting the love of Paul towards Peter there could be no doubt.—ὑμῖν, to you) Hebrews. He intimates that there was the less need for him to write to them at length, and expresses his approval of the epistle of Paul. But Paul had written to this purport respecting the completion of the age, which was then nigh at hand, Hebrews 1:1; Hebrews 9:26; Hebrews 10:25; Hebrews 10:37, and to the same effect in his other epistles.Verse 15. - And account that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation. The apostle is referring to verse 9. Scoffers count the delay of the judgment slackness; the Christian should count it salvation; it is for the salvation of the elect that the judgment tarrieth. It is almost certain that by "our Lord" here St. Peter means the Lord Jesus, whom he describes by the same title in verse 18. Even as our beloved brother Paul also. The plural pronoun may be intended to imply that St. Paul was known to the Churches to which St. Peter was writing, and was beloved there. St. Peter addresses his readers as "beloved" four times in this Epistle; he here uses the same epithet of St. Paul. It comes naturally from his lips; but a writer of the second century would probably have used much stronger words of praise in speaking of one so much reverenced. According to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; rather, wrote to you (comp. Polycarp, 'Ad Philipp.,' 1:3, "One like me cannot equal the wisdom of the blessed Paul"). That wisdom was given mite him, as he himself says (1 Corinthians 3:10). If we ask to what Epistles of St. Paul is St. Peter referring, the passage which at once occurs to us is 1 Thessalonians 4 and 5. This Epistle was probably known to St. Peter; there may be a reference to 1 Thessalonians 5:2 in verse 10 of this chapter; and Silvanus, whose name St. Paul associates with his own in both Epistles to the Thessalonians, was with St. Peter when he wrote his First Epistle (1 Peter 5:12). But St. Peter's Second Epistle is addressed (primarily at least) to the same Churches to which the first was written (chapter 3:1). We must therefore either say, with Dean Alford, that "our Epistle belongs to a date when the Pauline Epistles were no longer the property only of the Churches to which they were written, but were dispersed through, and considered to belong to, the whole Christian Church;" or we must suppose that the passages in St. Peter's thoughts were not in the Epistle to the Thessalonians, but in some of the Epistles addressed to the Churches of Asia Minor; as, for instance, Ephesians 1:4; Ephesians 2:8; Ephesians 3:9-11; Colossians 1:22; Colossians 3:4, 24; or, possibly Romans 2:4 and Romans 9:22, as there seem to be some reasons for believing that this last Epistle was addressed to the Church at Ephesus among others.
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