PETER'S ENCORE & LATER PAUL 

COMMENTARY

SAMPLE PASSAGES AND VERSES

A Sample Passage from the Comments on Second Peter:

Following the critical analysis of John. A.T. Robinson, this epistle was written circa A.D. 61-62 (Redating the New Testament, The Westminster Press, 1976 p169-199, 352).  As other scholars concur, Robinson maintains that, “2 Peter cannot be considered except in conjunction with the epistle of Jude” (ibid p 169), posits from internal evidence that it, “clearly implies that Paul is still alive” (ibid p 183), and quotes F.H. Chase: “The general tone of the Epistle harmonizes best with a date somewhat late in the apostolic age…. Within a year or two of the Pastoral Epistles… the Apocalypse… the First epistle of St. Peter, and the Epistle to the Hebrews” (ibid p 173). He later observes that this dating, “is precisely the period to which 2 Peter was assigned by independent reasoning by Zahn (INT II, p 210; Robinson, ibid p 198).  David H. Wheaton concludes, “… if we are prepared to accept Petrine authorship, then a date shortly before the apostle’s death (1:14), somewhere in the sixties, would seem most likely” (The New Bible Commentary, Revised, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1979 p 1250).

 

Claude Holmes Thompson observes that, “No less than 19 of the 25 vss. of Jude are incorporated into or used in some manner by 2 Pet (2 Pet. 2:1-3:3)” (The Interpreter’s One-Volume Commentary on the Bible, Abingdon Press, 1971, p 931).  Thomas W. Leahy notes: “In spite of the ‘catholic’ character of its address (1:1), the emphasis on concrete dangers indicate a restricted group of communities.  Since 3:1 probably refers to 1 Pet., the recipient churches may be the same communities of Asia Minor (1 Pet. 1:1)” (The Jerome Biblical Commentary, Vol. II, Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1968 p 494).  Donald W. Burdick and John H. Skilton instruct us: “In his first letter Peter feeds Christ’s sheep by instructing them how to deal with persecution from outside the churches (see, e.g., 1 Pet. 4:12); in this second letter he teaches them how to deal with false teachers and evildoers who have come into the church (see 2:1; 3:3-4)” (The NIV Study Bible, Zondervan, 1995 p 1897).  Barclay concludes, “Second Peter was written to combat the beliefs and activities of certain men who were a threat to the Church” (ibid p 283).

 

The first chapter reminds the recipients of their calling in the Lord, and gives encouragement for growth in their life in Christ.  The second chapter addresses false teaching, and the third calls them to awareness of Christ’s presence, ending with ethical admonitions and a call to stand firm and continue toward maturity.  E.W. Bullinger summarizes: “The apostle continues the practical teaching of the earlier letter, exhorts and warns, illustrating again from the OT history…” (The Companion Bible, The Lamp Press, Ltd., p 1863).

 

So let us begin our search for the gems of this message.

 

Chapter 1

 

1.  Simon (other MSS: Symeon) Peter, a slave and sent-off representative (or: emissary) of Jesus Christ, to (or: for) the folks obtaining by lot an equally valuable (precious; honorable) faith, conviction, trust and loyalty, along with us, within the midst of an eschatological deliverance, in union with fair and equitable treatment in rightwised relationships in the Way pointed out, and centered in covenant inclusion-and-membership, which come from and characterize our God and Savior (Deliverer; Rescuer; Source of health and wholeness), Jesus Christ (or: Jesus, [the] Anointed One; = Jesus, [the] Messiah):

 

Jacob (James) refers to Peter as Symeon in Acts. 15:14.  If this is the correct reading here, it is the only other place in the NT where this occurs.  (Cf the spelling “Simon” together with Peter in Mat. 16:16; Lu. 5:8; Jn. 21:15)  Peter, following Paul (Rom. 1:1) terms himself a slave of Jesus Christ, as well as being His “sent-off representative,” or, “emissary.”  Peter had complied with his Master’s instructions, given in Mat. 28:19-20.  This letter was a part of what Jesus instructed Peter to do in Jn. 21:15, “As a herdsman, be habitually feeding (or: grazing) and tending My young lambs!

 

Barclay (ibid p 293) points out that the LXX uses the same word “slave” (doulos) to describe the relationship of Moses to Yahweh in Ps. 105:26, “He sent forth Moses, His slave…”  Mal. 4:4 reads, “Moses, My slave.”  Joshua was called “a slave of [the] LORD” in Josh. 24:29.  David, the king of Israel, was referred to by God as, “My slave,” in 2 Sam. 3:18, and as “His slave,” in Ps. 78:70.  We also read in Acts 2:18, “I will continue pouring from out of the midst of My Breath-effect (or: diffusing from My Spirit and Attitude) even upon My slaves – both men and women…”  Then in 1 Cor. 7:22 Paul expresses the freedom which paradoxically comes with being a slave belonging to God,

In fact, the person within the Lord [= Christ or Yahweh] being one that was called [when being] a slave – is [the] Lord's freed-person (or: exists being [Christ's or Yahweh's] emancipated slave).  Likewise, the person being one that was called [when being] free, or a freedman, is Christ's slave.”

Barclay observes,

“To call the Christian the doulos of God means that he is inalienably possessed by God…. he is unqualifiedly at the disposal of God….  The Christian has no rights of his own, for all his rights are surrendered to God…. he owes an unquestioning obedience to God.  The master’s command was a slave’s only law…. The command of God is his only law…. He must be constantly in the service of God…. All [a slave’s] time belonged to his master.  The Christian cannot… compartmentalize life into the time and activities which belong to God, and the time and activities in which he does what he likes” (ibid; brackets mine).

 

Peter uses a participle of a verb that means “to obtain by lot.”  We find this same verb used in Lu. 1:9 of Zechariah where we are told, “he obtained by lot the [duty] to burn incense, after entering into the [holy place] of the inner sanctuary of the Temple.”  Again in Acts 1:17 we read of Judah (Judas), “obtained by lot the allotted portion (or: share) of this attending service.”  The only other place in the NT where this this verb is used is of the soldiers casting lots for Jesus’ cloak (Jn.19:24).  Two things emerge from Peter using this word here:

            1) the divine choosing for a specific purpose

            2) our appointment by God unto a place of service in the body (which is His temple).

This lot of faith that we receive is equally valuable for everyone.  The loyalty is honorable.  The conviction and trust that these covenant communities share along with Christ’s sent-off representatives are precious and are mutually valuable to the entire group.  Wheaton points out that, “’obtaining by lot’… implies grace and not merit as the source of this gift” (ibid p 1251).  This calls to mind Eph. 2:8-9,

For you see, by (or: to; in; for; with) the grace and joyous favor you are (you continuously exist being) folks having been delivered (rescued; kept safe; saved; made whole; restored to your original state and condition) so as to now be enjoying salvation through [some MSS add: the] faithfulness (or: loyalty; trust; faith; confidence), and even this not forth from out of you folks, [it is] the gift of and from God (or: the gift which is God; or: the gift pertains to God), not out of works (or: not forth from the midst of actions or deeds done; = not self-produced; = not from the Law or the old covenant), to the end that no one could boast.”

In his first letter, Peter applied Hos. 2:25 to them,

[You folks] who [were] once (or: formerly) "not a people," but now [are] "God's people;" [formerly] being the ones having "not been given mercy," yet now [are] "folks being mercied (being given mercy)” (1 Pet. 2:10).

In Eph. 2:11-13 (see below) Paul makes the same point, emphasizing their inclusion into the category of being “God’s people.”

 

This allotted trust-confidence-faith-loyalty is given to mankind within the midst of an eschatological deliverance that was accomplished by God (on dikaiosunē, cf Douglas A. Campbell, The Deliverance of God, An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul, Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2009).  This happens to us in union with fair and equitable treatment in rightwised relationships in the Way pointed out (another meaning of dikaiosunē).  It created, and is centered in, covenant inclusion-and-membership.”

 

The next phrases are ablatives/genitives, and on offer is the conflation of these two functions: which come from and characterize our God and Savior (Deliverer; Rescuer; Source of health and wholeness), Jesus Christ (or: Jesus, [the] Anointed One; = Jesus, [the] Messiah).  The two nouns, God and Savior are in the same case following a single definite article (also in the same case), so the two nouns are to be taken as together, or as a unit, God and Savior.  So this construction is identifying Jesus Christ as our God and Savior.  Leahy points out that, “The theologically significant application of the title ‘God’ (theos) to Christ, although unusual in the NT, is not unparalleled (Jn. 1:1; 20:28; Heb. 1:8; probably also Ti. 2:13; 2 Thes. 1:12; Rom. 9:5; 1 Jn. 5:20…)” (ibid p 495).  The title Savior/Deliverer occurs five times in this letter (1:1, 11; 2:20; 3:2, 18).

 

2.  May grace and peace (or: favor and harmony from a joining; [= shalom]) be multiplied (or: caused to increase) to you folks (or: by you; in you; for you) within full (or: accurate; complete; added) intimate and experiential knowledge and insight of God, even Jesus, our Lord (or: from God as well as from Jesus, Who is our Master; or: of God, and of our Owner, Jesus),

 

Too often we tend to read over the words grace and peace without considering their significance.  At the beginning of a letter that can be taken as simply a “greeting” that the author extends to his or her recipients.  Then we move on to the real message of the letter.  But “grace” is a core element of the good news that came in Jesus Christ.  Paul rhetorically asked in Rom. 7:24b-25a,

What will be progressively rescuing me from out of the body of this death (or: from out of this body of the death; out of this body which pertains to death and which has its origin, character and qualities in death)?  Grace!  The Grace of, and the joyous favor from, God! – through Jesus Christ our Owner (Lord; Master)!

In Rom. 5:2a, we read,

through Whom, also, we have had and now hold the conducted approach and access (or: the act of bringing toward to gain entrée), by [His] faithfulness (or: in this trust; with that confidence; for loyalty), into this grace and joyous favor within which we have stood and in union with which we now stand.”

And in Rom. 5:21 we are instructed,

to the end that JUST AS the Sin (the failure; the erroneous act; the deviation and digression which issued in missing the goal) at one point reigned (or: ruled as king; exercised sovereign sway) within, and in union with, the Death, THUS SO (or: in THIS way) also the Grace and joyous favor would reign (should rule as king; can exercise sovereign sway) through an eschatological deliverance that created rightwisedness (or: by means of being rightly-turned  into an existence with equity in [covenantal] solidarity of right relationships which accord to the Way; through a liberating Justice-[expression]) [which leads] into Life which belongs to, pertains to and has the characteristics of the Age (or: eonian life; Life of the Age [of Messiah]; a life for the ages) through Jesus Christ, our Owner (Lord; Master).”

So, in effect, Peter is asking God (notice the “divine passive” voice in be multiplied, i.e., by God) to increasingly bring His kingdom reign of grace to, in and among these folks – for since “grace reigns” (Rom. 5:21, above), the reign of grace will be multiplied.

 

Kenneth Wuest, points out that eirēnē, "peace," comes from the Greek verb eirō "which means 'to join.'  That is, when things are disjointed, there is lack of harmony and well-being.  When they are joined together, there is both" (Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament, Vol. I, Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1973, Eph. and Col. p 24).  Liddell and Scott (Gr-Eng. Lex, Oxford, 1968, p 491) defines eirō: "fasten together in rows (as a necklace); string together (especially in speech)."  It is Christ that joins us and harmony comes from His having joined us together (cf Eph. 2:14-18).  Peter desires the folks in Asia to be a “joined” community – all of them abiding in the Vine (Jn.15:1ff).  This peace and joining is to be seen as extending beyond the covenant community to the culture surrounding them, for that passage in Eph. 2, noted above, informs us that God has made Jew and Gentile into One New Humanity.

 

We find the same blessing of the first clause of this verse in 1 Pet. 1:2b, but here (in his second letter to them) he adds the sphere or realm within which he desire the grace and joining peace to be “caused to increase” to, for and in them: within full (or: accurate; complete; added) intimate and experiential knowledge and insight of God.  Growth in the Lord should increase our intimate knowledge of God and should “add insights” for us to be able to better enjoy Him.  Jesus prayed in Jn. 17:3,

Now THIS is (or: exists being) eonian life (living existence of and for the ages; life pertaining to the Age [of Messiah]): namely, that they may progressively come to intimately and experientially know You, the only true and real (genuine) God – and Jesus Christ, Whom You send forth as an Emissary (or: as well as Jesus [as the] Anointed One, whom You sent off as a Representative).”

 

Paul’s words in Phil. 3:10 beautifully express this desire,

to intimately and experientially know Him, and the ability – even the power – of His  fellowship) of the results and from the effects of His experiences [note: these include good times/feelings and passions, as well as sufferings] – being a person that is being continuously conformed by (being progressively brought together with the form of; being habitually configured to) His death.”

 

There is one more function (the instrumental) of the dative case of the pronoun you folks that should be considered: “by you folks.”  The communities are to be Christ’s instrument for increasing grace and peace, in the full and ACCURATE knowledge of God and of Jesus among the folks where they live.

 

The final expression of this verse has the following potential renderings:

1) even Jesus, our Lord – which equates Jesus to God, and tells us that He expresses the full and accurate knowledge of God

2) from God as well as from Jesus, Who is our Master – this renders the “God” and “Jesus” as ablatives, telling us from Whom all the above comes.  It also renders the conjunction: “as well as”

3) of God, and of our Owner, Jesus – this rendering of the conjunction joins God and Jesus as objects of the desired insight, but it also puts them in separate categories of our understanding.

 

MS p72 omits “even/as well as/and” following “God,” so it could read, “accurate insight from God: Jesus our Lord.”

 

3.  just as all those things [leading] toward life and reverence (standing in awe of goodness, with adoration; the well-being of devotion and virtuous conduct from ease, in true relation to God) [are] being now available for us from having been freely given to us (or: presented as a gift in us) from His divine power and ability through the full (accurate; complete; added) intimate and experiential knowledge of the One calling us to His own (or: by His own; for His own; in His own; [p72 B & other MSS instead read: through; by means of]) glory and excellence in nobleness

            (i.e., virtues of: braveness, courage, good character, quality, self-restraint, magnificence, 

            benevolence, reliability, moral valor).

 

This verse is a continuation of the thoughts in vs. 2.  Just as the grace and peace/joining are multiplied in the sphere and realm of full, accurate, intimate knowledge of God, so too all those things [leading] toward life and reverence are now available for us because they have been freely given to us from His divine power and ability.  Pause and consider this; it is amazing.  Everything that we need to live the life of His kingdom, the Life of the Truth, the life of grace and peace – the joining of all humanity into one new Person (the corporate Christ, the Second Humanity – 1 Cor. 15:47), the life of the new creation, all comes from His power and from His ability.  This is GRACE.  But Peter’s thought is not finished; this, too, is given and is now available through the full, accurate, complete intimate and experiential knowledge of God, or Christ.  No wonder Paul joined these thoughts together in Eph. 4:13,

[to go on] until we – the whole of mankind (all people) – can (or: would) come down to the goal (or: attain; arrive at; meet accordingly; meet down face-to-face): into the state of oneness from, and which is, The Faithfulness (or: the unity of, that belongs to and which characterizes that which is faith; or: the lack of division which has its source in trust, confidence and reliability, has the character of and is in reference to the loyalty and fidelity), even which is the full, experiential and intimate knowledge (or: and from recognition; and of discovery; as well as pertaining to insight) which is (or: of; from; in reference to) the Son of God, [growing] into [the] purposed and destined adult man (complete, finished, full-grown, perfect, goal-attained, mature manhood) – into (or: unto) [the] measure of [the] stature (full age; prime of life) of the entire content which comprises the Anointed One.”

 

Exact insight into the One calling us to His own glory and excellence in nobleness is what Paul was describing here in Eph. 4:13.  This is what he called the “purposed, destined, finished and complete” human – the eschatos Adam of 1 Cor. 15:45.  Peter calls this His own glory, which includes the meaning of His reputation, His opinion, His imagination, and from OT usage of “glory,” His manifest presence.  Being called to His presence calls to mind Heb. 10:22 where we are informed that “we can be continuously and progressively approaching with a true heart in fullness of faith, [our] hearts having been sprinkled…”  That context described our entry into God’s presence in the holy of holies, in the temple.  But now we are the temple, and so our entrance is by the knowledge of God, the intimate experience of Him living within us.

 

But now let us consider other terms that Peter uses here.  First, observe the parenthetical expansion of the word reverence: standing in awe of goodness, with adoration; the well-being of devotion and virtuous conduct from ease, in true relation to God.  This is the condition and the sphere into which He has brought us.  This describes the beauty of His holiness (quality that sets one apart from the profane).  The next term has been conflated to offer two central concepts of this word: excellence in nobleness.  The other options include the following virtues: braveness, courage, good character, quality, self-restraint, magnificence, benevolence, reliability and moral valor.  The kingdom of God is composed of folks who manifest God’s virtues; they are a community of excellence and nobleness because of the God who indwells them.  They manifest His presence.

 

From the MS reading His own, which is in the dative case, we have the functions that can be rendered:

            1) to His own glory and excellence in nobleness – signifying that this is the place and 

            condition to which He is calling us

            2) by His own… – this means that His glory and excellence is that which attracts and invites

            us

            3) for His own… – means that His work of creating us in His image is for His glory and 

            reputation, and it will display His excellence and nobleness

            4) in His own… – focuses on the location of to where we are called, and suggests being in

            Him.

The other MS tradition does not have the words “His own,” but in their place has a preposition that differs from “His own” by only one letter.  It is dia, which means “through; by means of,” and is followed by nouns in the genitive instead of the dative.  This reading would simply say that He is calling us through, or by means of, glory, excellence and nobleness.  It would be like what we read in Rom. 2:4,

God’s kind and gentle usefulness (sweetly-disposed benevolence) is continuously leading you into a change of mind and purpose (a paradigm shift; or: a change of heart and thinking, accompanied by a turn, or a return, to God).”

 

4.  [It is] through means of which things – the precious (valuable; honorable) and greatest effects of the promises – [that] He has freely given (or: [which] He Himself has presented as a gift) to us, to the end that through these [gifts], you folks would come to be (or: could come into existence being; should be born) people of common-being from a divine essence and nature (or: folks having a partnered share that is based upon a common existence from a divine born-instinct and native condition; or: fellow participants of a germination which is divine), while fleeing from the corruption (ruin; decay) within the dominant System (or: that is united with the secular realm; or: centered in the ordered world of society, religion, culture, economy and government; or: in the center of the aggregate of mankind), [which is] in the midst of passionate cravings (rushing emotions; lusts; violent over-desires; [or, with p72 & Aleph: fleeing the strong desire of corruption within the world]).

 

These opening verses display Asiatic rhetoric, which in Peter’s day was quite popular in Asia Minor, especially.  The repetition of certain thoughts and the piling of one idea upon another – as we observe here – were characteristic of this style.  It grabs the attention of the listeners while at the same time reminding them of important truths or introducing new topics to them.  So we see this verse reaching back to the previous three (through means of which things) and then affirming again that these are “the precious (valuable; honorable) and greatest effects of the promises” that “He has been freely given (or: has presented Himself as a gift) to us.”  He is driving home the point that all that we have in this new creation has come from God – freely, as a gift, which means that there are no requirements.  The parenthetical alternate, “has presented Himself as a gift,” lets us see clearly that what we have been given is simply “Him.”

 

Next he moves on to the purpose of all of these blessings: to the end that through these [gifts], you folks would come to be (or: could come into existence being; should be born) people of common-being from a divine essence and nature.  The word that I have rendered “common-being” is the present participle of the word “to be; to exist” joined to the adjective “common.”  In the parenthetical expansion I have on offer other meanings of this word that are based upon common usage.  The next words, “from a divine essence and nature,” are also expanded and on offer are the alternate results of this complex prepositional phrase:

             1) folks having a partnered share that is based upon a common existence from a divine 

             born-instinct and native condition

2) fellow participants of a germination which is divine.

The word “divine” is common to each of these renderings.  The idea of common-being is mirrored in the rendering “common existence.”  Corporate and cultural nuances are seen it its renderings, “partnered share” and “fellow participants.”  These simply give other viewpoints from which to observe this apocalyptic description of our relationship to God and His kingdom.  A “partner” has a “common existence” in an endeavor.  Sharing usually involves participating with another.  But the root idea of having a common-being with God speaks of an organic, relational and existential state into which He has birthed us, and which we have now “come to be.”  The words essence and nature can also speak of one’s “instinct and native condition.”  These thoughts are paralleled in 1 Jn. 3:2,

Beloved ones, now (at the present time) we continuously exist being God's children (born-ones; bairns from the standpoint of origin), and it has not yet been made visible (or: it is not yet apparent or manifested) what we will proceed in being.  We have perceived, and thus know (or: are aware) that if it (or: He) should be (or: whenever it {or: He} may be) made visible, apparent and manifested, [then] folks like to Him (like-ones to Him; ones like Him; people resembling Him) we will be existing, because we will continue seeing and will be progressively perceiving Him just as (according and exactly as; in the manner that) He constantly exists (or: He is).” 

In an agricultural metaphor it can speak of a “germination which is divine.”  This calls to mind the metaphor used by Jesus, when speaking of Himself, of Israel, of the Law, and of humanity:

unless the grain of wheat (or: kernel of corn; = seed of an agricultural crop), upon falling into the earth (the ground; the field), should die, it by itself continues remaining alone.  Yet if it should die, it proceeds to bear much fruit (= it produces a harvest of many grains, or, seeds)” (Jn. 12:24).

Paul lists this fruit in Gal. 5:22, 23.  He admonished in 1 Tim. 6:11,

However you, O human from God (or: O person whose source and origin is God), be constantly fleeing (taking flight from) these things.  But continuously pursue (or: rapidly follow, press forward and chase) fair and equitable dealings in right relationships in the Way pointed out (rightwisedness; justice; = loyal covenantal living), faith (trust; trustworthiness; loyalty), love, persistent remaining under in patient yet relentless endurance to give support, meek and gentle sensitivity (mildness of temper).”

 

This has happened here and now, and it was a reality while those folks were “fleeing from the corruption (ruin; decay) within the dominant System.”  That system might have been the Roman Empire with its pressures to conform to its requirements.  For those coming out of Judaism, it would have been the pressure to continue with the purity codes or sabbath-keeping.  I have parenthetically listed the meanings which the word kosmos might suggest in this context: that which is united with the secular realm (which could involve kinship systems, family involvements, cultural norms), religion (whether Judaic or Hellenistic or Roman), or the ordered world of society, economy or government.  Living as a participant of a covenant community would means that these folks should get away from the corruption in any area of their world.  Peter identifies the known source of such corruption: passionate cravings, rushing emotions, lusts, violent over-desires.  All these things are common to estranged and alienated humanity which has not yet been resurrected into the Christ-life.  The alternate MS readings say basically the same thing, just wording it in a reverse order so that he speaks of their “fleeing the strong desire” that comes from corruption (the disconnection of the human nature) that is within the world (= systems).”

 

It is worth noting that the word corruption simply means “ruin” or “decay.”  It is the perversion of something that is inherently good, or the loosing/loss of life from an organism that originally had life.

 

5.  Yet, also, this same (or: And yet for this very cause): while bringing into and alongside (i.e., making full use of) all diligent haste, you folks at once fully lead the chorus of (or: completely choreograph) the excellence and nobleness (virtues of braveness, courage, good character, quality, self-restraint, magnificence, benevolence, reliability, moral valor) [being inherent] within your faith and trust; along with the intimate, experiential knowledge and insight [being] within the excellence and nobleness (virtues of braveness, courage, good character, quality, self-restraint, magnificence, benevolence, reliability, moral valor);

 

Peter now reaches back (this same; or, for this very cause) to vs. 3 – picking up, again, God’s excellence and nobleness to which, by which, in which and for which Christ has called us – in order to present a tapestry of these virtues, demonstrating how the community should weave these same into its corporate life in order to reflect to the dominant System the image of our God.

 

He enhances the importance of the following admonition by employing a picture of action: bringing into and alongside (i.e., making full use of).  The urgency of this action is indicated by the phrase which he urges them to bring to these life endeavors: all diligent haste.  Barclay paraphrases this dependent participle as, “bend all your energy” (ibid p 296), but the clause modifies the verb, at once fully lead the chorus.  This rhetorical ploy will alert his listeners to the importance of what he is about to say.  And now he describes just how they are to build (cf 1 Cor. 3:10-15).  It is to be “completely choreographed,” and done with joy as they at once fully lead the chorus of the excellence and nobleness, which God has supplied and in which they reside and which is [being inherent] within [their] faith and trust – which came with the entrance of the Word (Rom. 10:17) and the giving of the Spirit.  This “excellence and nobleness” was first in the faithfulness of Christ, and now has been brought into them by His presence within His temple.  Take note of the repeated preposition within (en) that leads this chorus of virtues on through vs. 7.  These virtues are actually realms of God’s character.  Within each one we find yet another.  And these are His qualities which transform us into being, “people of common-being from a divine essence and nature” (vs. 4, above).

 

Barclay instructs us that the verb that is used in the main clause, “comes from the noun chorēgos, which literally means the leader of a chorus” (ibid p 298).  The word also came to refer to “public-spirited citizens who voluntarily took on the duty, at their own expense, of collecting, maintaining, training and equipping such choruses” that were needed for the performance of Greek plays.  The verb came to mean “lavishly to pour out everything that is necessary for a noble performance,” and was later applied to those who would “equip an army with all necessary provisions; it can mean to equip the soul with all the necessary virtues for life…. The very word is an incitement to be content with nothing less than the loveliest and most splendid life” (ibid pp 298-9).  This historical background helps us to color in the picture, but we must not be misled to think that what follows is what WE supply, but rather what we do with what Christ has supplied to us.  The KJV rendering of the verb as, “add,” and then the RV and NASB renderings, “supply” (and then inserting the personal, possessive pronoun “your” before each of the remaining prepositional phrases), and the NRSV reading, “support your faith with,” all distort what Peter is saying by putting the burden upon the members of the communities to be the source of supply for these virtues.  Beginning with faith and trust, all of the entire list of virtues are, “the precious (valuable; honorable) and greatest effects of the promises [that] He has freely given” (vs. 4, above) and which are expressions of “His own glory and excellence in nobleness” (vs. 3, above).  These virtues are “all those things [leading] toward life and reverence (standing in awe of goodness, with adoration; the well-being of devotion and virtuous conduct from ease, in true relation to God) [that are] being now available for us from having been freely given to us” (vs. 3, above).  Christ is the “public-spirited citizen” of the New Jerusalem, who supplies all of these virtues to humanity, and by being “in Him,” we can “lead the chorus,” and “choreograph” the dance of our lives as we are being “led by the Spirit” (Rom. 8:14).  

 

This is all to be choreographed along with the intimate, experiential knowledge and insight [being] within the excellence and nobleness.  All that is need to build His temple is within His excellence and nobleness in which and by which He has called us.  He called us to this work and now “we are God's fellow-workers (or: we are co-workers of and from God; we exist being co-workers who belong to God)” (1 Cor. 3:9).  In abiding within the Vine (Jn. 15:1ff) we dwell within His excellence, and it is there that we gain “intimate, experiential knowledge and insight” of God.

 

6.  also the inner strength and self-restraint [which is inherent] within the intimate, experiential knowledge, as well as the persistent remaining under in humble support (or: steadfast, patient endurance) [being inherently] within the inner strength and self-restraint; and then the reverence (standing in awe of goodness, with adoration; the well-being of devotion and virtuous conduct from ease, in true relation to God) [inherent] within the persistent remaining under in humble support (or: steadfast, patient endurance);

 

Then, within the intimate, experiential knowledge we find the inner strength and self-restraint which is inherent WITHIN this knowledge and insight.  Next, within His inner strength and self-restraint we also find persistent remaining under in humble support (or: steadfast, patient endurance).  Going deeper into this latter we find His reverence (standing in awe of goodness, with adoration; the well-being of devotion and virtuous conduct from ease, in true relation to God).  As we go further through these virtues of God we realize that, with the Spirit, we are “constantly and progressively searchingthe depths of God” (1 Cor. 2:10).

 

Wheaton (ibid p 1253) points us to another writing where persistent remaining under in humble support (or: steadfast, patient endurance) is repeatedly used.  In Heb. 12:1-3 we read:

1.  Consequently and for this very reason, then, we also, continuously having such a big cloud of witnesses (spectators; folks bearing testimony; people with evidence) environing us (lying around for us and [they] themselves surrounding and encompassing us), after at once putting off from ourselves all bulk and encumbrance (every weight; all that is prominent; or: getting rid of every arrow point within us) and the easily-environing (skillfully-surrounding; well-placed encircling) failure (sin; error; mistake; shooting off-target; missing of the point), we can and should through persistent remaining-under (or: relentless patient endurance and giving of support) keep on running the racecourse continuously lying before us (or: lying in the forefront within us; or: lying ahead, among us),

2.  turning [our] eyes away from other things and fixing them (or: looking away) into Jesus, the Inaugurator (First Leader; Prime Author) and Perfecter (Finisher; the Bringer-to-maturity and fruition; He who purposes and accomplishes the destiny) of the faith, trust, confidence and loyal allegiance, Who, instead of and in place of the joy (or: in the position on the opposite side from the happiness) continuously lying before Him (or: lying in the forefront within Him; lying ahead for Him), remained under a cross (an execution pole for suspending a body) – despising shame (or: thinking nothing of [the] disgrace) and has sat down and now continues seated, remaining in the right [hand] of (or: = in union with the place of receiving at; = at the place of power and honor, which is) God's throne.

3.  For consider attentively again (or: logically reckon back for yourselves; gather it up in yourselves concerning) the One having remained under while undergoing (or: having patiently endured while giving support in) such contradiction (the anti-word; the message which is contrary to reason; speaking in opposition, against, or instead of) – [which was directed] into Himself [other MSS: {permeating} into the midst of themselves] by those missing the mark (the sinners; those making a mistake, committing error, missing the point) – to the end that you may not tire with exertion (or: labor to weariness), being continuously dissolved (be enfeebled and exhausted; caused to fall apart) in your inner selves (or: by your souls; = in your lives).

 

7.  and further, the brotherly affection (fondness for and among the fellow believers) [resident] within the reverence (awe with goodness; well-being of devout, virtuous conduct in the ease of true relation to God); and then finally, the love (uniting acceptance) within the brotherly affection.

 

Within the heart of God there is brotherly affection.  From where else can we experience this?  But brotherly affection is a two-way street (known as the Way): the reverence also comes from God toward us.  Relationship is a mutual experience.  God so loves us (Jn. 3:16) that He lives in “virtuous conduct in the ease of this true relationship” with us.  Not only that, He relates to Himself in us (Mat. 25:40; Acts 9:5), and thus should we reverence all others and all of His creation.  This calls to mind 1 Pet. 2:17a,

Value everyone (Honor all)!  Habitually love (Practice loving) the brotherhood (= the organism of fellow-believers)!

Fondness for and among the fellow believers (brotherly love) is the home, the location of agapē (love).  It resides within the covenant community, which is His temple (Love’s home).  All other virtues lead to this (Love, dwelling on the mercy seat within the holy of holies), and at the same time, all other virtues come from this (are dispensed from the heart of God).

 

It is also worth remembering 1 Pet. 1:22 here,

Having purified your souls (= inner selves) within the hearing obedience (the humble, attentive listening and submissive hearing) of the Truth and from Reality [which directs and leads] into unhypocritical (non-hypercritical; non-hyper-separating so as to over-evaluate; not determined from below; non-nit-picky; or: unpretended; unfeigned; thus: genuine) brotherly affection (= fondness for the fellow believers), love one another with acceptance in a stretched-out and extended way, from out of a clean [other MSS: true; genuine] heart.”

And further,

Now [this is] the goal (the final situation; the end of the process): all [are to be] like-minded (of the same frame of mind and disposition), folks sharing and expressing the same feelings (being sympathetic), ones being fond of and expressing affection for the brothers (= fellow believers; = communal members), people tenderhearted and compassionate, folks of a humble disposition and way of thinking” (1 Pet. 3:8).

 

On this section of vss. 5-7, Leahy comments, “Beginning with faith, one virtue provides the basis of the next, until the summit is reached with Christian love (agapē)” (ibid p 495).  This “summit” is God Himself, for, 1 Jn. 4:16 instructs us, “God exists continually being Love (God is Love).”  Paul gave us insights to God’s love in 1 Cor. 13, were we read,

The Love (or: This unrestricted acceptance) is habitually even-tempered, taking a long time to be in a heat of passion (is constantly long-enduring, long-suffering and patient; it keeps on putting anger far away; it continues slow to progress toward feelings which cause violent breathing or rushing emotions) it continues being usefully kind.  The Love (or: This urge toward unambiguous, accepting reunion) is not constantly boiling with jealousy and envy.  The Love is not continuously bragging or “showing off” – it is not habitually being puffed up; it is not conceited or arrogant.  It is not repeatedly indecent in manner or behavior (it does not continually display lack of [good] form, rudeness or improper demeanor); it is not habitually self-seeking (or: not constantly pursuing its own interests or rights); it is not continually caused to be sharp [in response] nor aroused to irritation or upset emotions; it is not habitually keeping account of the worthless thing, nor logically considering something of bad quality, nor counting the injury.  It does not continue to rejoice upon [seeing or hearing of] the injustice, nor is it happy about dishonesty, inequity, or lack of the qualities of the Way pointed out, yet it repeatedly rejoices with the Truth (or: takes delight together in Reality).  [Love] continuously covers all mankind; it is habitually loyal to all humanity; it constantly has an expectation for all mankind; it is continuously remaining under and giving support to all people.

(or, since “all” can also be neuter: It [i.e., unambiguous acceptance] progressively puts a protecting roof over all things; it is habitually trusting in, and believing for, all things; it is continually hoping in or for all things; it keeps on patiently enduring all things.)

The Love (or, again: This unrestricted drive toward reunion) never – not even once – fails (falls out or lapses; = becomes fruitless or ineffectual; [other MSS: falls down; collapses])” (vss. 4-8).

 

8.  You see, these things are constantly subsisting (or: supportively sub-governing; humbly ruling; beginning from below) as a possession in you folks [or, with A and others: are continually existing alongside being present for you] and are repeatedly being more than enough (abounding) neither [being] inactive (or: ineffective) nor unfruitful (or: unproductive).  He is continually setting [these] down and causing [them] to stand in accord [in and among you] unto the accurate, additional (or: full), experiential and intimate knowledge of our Lord (or: Owner; Master), Jesus Christ.

 

The first clause almost deserves being underlined or put in all CAPS for emphasis!  The virtues listed in vss. 5-7 are not something to be attained or developed, nor are they a product of our own efforts.  These things (i.e., vss. 5-7) are constantly subsisting, supportively sub-governing, humbly ruling and beginning from BELOW as a POSSESSION IN us; they “are continually existing alongside being present for [us].”  They are manifestations of Christ IN [us]!  They (collectively) are the fruit of the Spirit!  And they are all the building material that we need to construct God’s building (1 Cor. 3:10ff) and Christ’s body (Eph. 4:12, 15-16).  They are “gold, silver and precious stones.”

 

These are “raw materials” that are God Himself.  With vss. 5-7, above, in mind let us look at how the last virtue mentioned here (love) both begins and ends Eph. 4:15-16,

But continuously being real and true (living in accord with reality and the facts; holding to, speaking, pursuing and walking in Truth; truthing it) within, and in union with, LOVE (or: centered in unambiguous acceptance [of others]), we can grow up (enlarge; increase) into Him – the ALL which is the Head: Christ (or: [and] we would in love make all things grow up into Him Who is the head and source: [the] Anointed One)! – from out of Whom (or: out from the midst of Which) all the Body (or: the entire body) being continuously fitted and framed together (made a common joint by a word; laid out and closely joined together) and constantly being knit together and caused to mount up united through every fastening (or: joint) of the supply of rich furnishings (or: through every assimilation of the full supply of funds; through every touch {kindling; setting on fire} of the completely supplied requirements) in accord with (or: down from; commensurate to; in the sphere and to the degree of) the operation (operative, effectual energy) within [the] measure of each one part [other MSS: member], is itself continually making (or: is for itself progressively producing and forming) the growth and increase of the Body, [focused on and leading] into house-construction (or: unto building [up] and edification) of itself within the midst of, and in union with, LOVE.”

 

The first participle, constantly subsisting (or: supportively sub-governing; humbly ruling; beginning from below) as a possession, is a conflation of the meaning of the verb huparchō which is archō (to begin, rule, hold a leading position) with the prefix hupo (under; below).  The extended meaning of “possessing” has been derived from contextual use elsewhere in the NT (e.g., Lu. 8:3, 41; 12:33; 14:33; Acts 4:32; etc.), as well as here.  MSS A,  and others interpreted this verb as meaning “continually existing alongside” (paronta: from para-, alongside + eimi, to be, to exist), i.e., they are present and available.  It is interesting that from this verb comes the noun parousia (presence), which has eschatological connotations.  But returning to the stronger MS witnesses, the idea of subsistence suggests both a means of living a life, and living in a low position (e.g., Mat. 23:11; Lu. 14:9-10; Lu. 22:27b; Jn. 13:4-15).  In the kingdom of God it is the way of “sub-governing, humbly ruling and beginning from below (a low position).”  Furthermore, these things are something that we possess, since we have Christ within us.  It is from out of Him that we operate – also, like branches of the Vine.

 

The next clause, “and are repeatedly being more than enough (abounding),” is a present participle referring to “these things” – meaning that possessing the Spirit’s virtues listed in vss. 5-7 is all that we need: they are abounding in our presence and are more than enough for us to subsist as His servants.  What is more, they are “neither [being] inactive (or: ineffective) nor unfruitful (or: unproductive)” – which is to say that these manifestations of God are active, effective and fruitfully productive in the life of the community.  They will accomplish His purposes and disseminate His Love into all mankind.

 

In the last statement of the verse we are instructed that God is continually setting His virtues, i.e., the fruit of His Spirit, down and causing [them] to stand in accord in and among us, to the end that the called-out communities will observe their presence and manifestations, and thus be brought unto the accurate, additional (or: full), experiential and intimate knowledge of our Lord (or: Owner; Master), Jesus Christ.  Note the correlation between these positive virtues and our experiential understanding of our Lord.  This is what He is like, and so as the Spirit manifests them within us individually and corporately, the world will learn what God is really like.  Paul related “accurate and full experiential and intimate knowledge of Christ” to,

the ability – even the power – of His resurrection and also the [other MSS: a] common existence (participation; partnership, sharing and fellowship) of the results and from the effects of His experiences [note: these include good times/feelings and passions, as well as sufferings] – being a person that is being continuously conformed by (being progressively brought together with the form of; being habitually configured to) His death” (Phil. 3:10).

It is the cruciform life that reflects the image of God.

 

9.  You see, the person in whom these things are not continuously present exists being (or: is) blind, constantly blinking and closing his or her eyes (or: progressively becoming short-sighted and nearsighted) taking hold of forgetfulness of (or: receiving oblivion in regard to) the cleansing from his/her old sins (mistakes of the past; former failure; [other MSS: from the results and effects of his/her former sins and errors]).

 

He is still reaching back to vss. 5-7, calling to their awareness that if they have stopped “observing” Christ (2 Cor. 3:18), or if their consciousness has ceased to dwell in Him (Jn. 15:6), then they “are taking hold of forgetfulness” and they are instead “receiving oblivion” concerning their actual state of being.  He is not saying that their cleansing as ceased to exist or that they lost their place in Christ.  Rather, he is just pointing out that if these virtues are not continuously present in their lives then this is because they are constantly blinking and closing [their] eyes and are not observing Him in others (Mat. 25:44).  The life of the called-out community is to be vital and spreading, so as to progressively include others in its sphere of influence.  This first (bold) rendering can also indicate falling asleep, and it calls to mind Paul’s admonition in Rom. 13:11,

This also – being folks having seen and thus knowing the season (the fit of the situation; the appointed fertile moment) that [it is] by this time (or: already) an hour to be aroused (or: awakened) out of sleep, for now our rescue (our deliverance; our wholeness, health and salvation) [is] closer than when we came to trust (or: we believed with faith and conviction).”

And in Eph. 5:14b Paul quotes the Lord as saying,

Let the sleeper (the person continuously down and being fast asleep) be waking up, continue rousing, and then stand up (arise) from out of the midst of the dead ones, and the Christ will continue shining upon you (progressively enlightening you)!

But this verb developed a second meaning, which is on offer as a progressive present tense: “progressively becoming short-sighted and nearsighted.”  I conflated the two nuances in this meaning.  Barclay explains the first as “unable to take the long view of things” (ibid p 306).  Many cannot perceive God’s “plan of the ages” (Eph. 3:11) with salvation/deliverance/re-birth continuing through the coming ages.  The second signifies being able to see clearly at a short distance only, and such folks often squint in trying to see better.  These people can usually only see their own circumstances and personal needs or welfare.  They are unable to focus on the wider culture, or humanity as a whole.  Their interest remain centered in their own little group (which they usually see as being a small, special group).

 

All these virtues are still present within the community, but if anyone is simply closing his or her eyes to the situations around them (the stranger, the hungry, the naked, the sick – Mat. 25:43), there will not be an outflowing of love, excellence of nobleness, trust, faith, loyalty, insight, inner strength or self-restraint, humble support in brotherly affection, or reverence for others or for their environments.  The characteristics of a covenant community is a union of folks who have available these Spirit-influences continuously present and available for the world, and for each other.  They have a “long view” of creation and humanity.

 

10.  Wherefore (or: Because of this), brothers (= [my] family), hasten to exert yourselves to a greater extent to constantly make firm (sure-footed and steadfast) your calling (or: invitation) and election (selection; act of choosing out); for you see, in repeatedly doing these things, you can by no means (would under no circumstances) stumble once (or: at any time).

 

Peter now affirms his solidarity with them, rhetorically drawing them into a receptive attitude.  They are his brothers, his family.  He is not writing with sternness, but with inclusive love.  He then repeats the same verb that he used in vs. 5, hasten to exert yourselves to a greater extent, as he builds his exhortation.

 

But how are we to understand the next infinitive clause: to constantly make firm (sure-footed and steadfast) your calling (or: invitation) and election (selection; act of choosing out)?  This is not suggesting that their “salvation” is dependent upon some kind of self-works.  Their calling is to be what was described by Jesus in Mat. 5:

13.  "You people, yourselves, exist being (are) the salt of the Land (or: earth).  Now if the salt should ever be made dull or tasteless, in what way will it continue being salted (or: made salty)?  It still continues giving strength into nothing (= it still can not provide seasoning) if not being thrown outside, to be repeatedly (or: continuously) trampled down by people (or: tread down under mankind).

14.  "You folks, yourselves, exist being (are) the light of the ordered System (the world of culture, religion, politics, government and secular society; = the human sociological realm).  A city located up on a mountain (or: situated on top of a mountain range) continues unable to be hidden or concealed.

15.  "Likewise, people are not normally lighting a lamp and then placing it under the measuring bowl (or: a one-peck grain-measuring basket), but rather upon the lampstand – and it continues shining and giving light for all those within the house.

16.  "In this way, let the Light, which you folks possess (or: which has a source in you folks; or: which you people are), shine in front of mankind (before humans), so that people can see your fine works (or: the beautiful works that you are; the ideal acts which come from you folks) and they can give glory to (or: and [these deeds; or: these works of beauty] will bring a good reputation for) your Father – the One in union with the atmospheres [that surround you folks] (or: within the midst of the heavens)!

This is just one example of their “calling.”  It is to function as Christ’s body and God’s temple within the earth.  Peter is calling them to make their position within the surrounding culture “firm, sure-footed and steadfast.”  This is like Paul admonishing these same folks in Eph. 4:1,

I myself – the prisoner (or: bound one; captive) within, in union with, and centered in [the] Lord [= Christ or Yahweh] – am therefore repeatedly calling you folks, as it were, alongside: exhorting, admonishing, imploring and entreating you to walk [your path] (= behave; = live your life) worthily pertaining to (or: in a manner suitable to the value of) the calling and invitation in regard to which you folks are called (or: from which you were summoned).”

 

Peter then goes on to explain what he meant, in the second half of the verse: in repeatedly doing these things, you can by no means (would under no circumstances) stumble once (or: at any time).  The “these things” are the same “these things” of vs. 8, above, which in turn are the producing by God’s Spirit within them the same virtues “continuously subsisting (i.e., available)” within them that he described in vss. 5-7.  He is speaking of how not to stumble as they walk the Path, which is Christ (Jn. 14:6).

 

Leahy suggests that, “This verse sums up the purpose of the epistle: to exhort the readers to firmness in their Christian vocation” (ibid p495).  Here Wheaton (ibid p 1253) points to Phil. 2:12-13,

Consequently, my loved ones, according as at all times (or: as always) you folks submissively listened, paid attention and humbly obeyed, not as only in my presence, but further, now (at this moment) much more in my absence – in company with fear and trembling (or: = earnestness and concern) – be habitually working commensurately with the deliverance (or: be constantly producing on the level and sphere of the wholeness and well-being which are the outcome of the rescue and salvation) of, or pertaining to, yourselves, for you see, God is the One habitually operating with inward activity, repeatedly working within, constantly causing function and progressively producing effects within, among and in union with you folks – both the [condition] to be habitually willing (intending; purposing; resolving) and the [situation] to be continuously effecting the action, repeatedly operating to cause function and habitually setting at work so as to produce – for the sake of and over the pleasing good form and the thinking of goodness in delightful imagination,”

and then directs us to Judah (Jude) 24,

Now in and by (or: with; to) Him being powerful and able to keep and guard you folks from stumbling (or: tripping) and from harm, and then to stand you flawless and blameless (or: unblemished; without defect or stain) in the presence of His glory (or: down in sight of the manifestation of Him which calls forth praise and yields a good opinion and reputation; or: down in the center of a view of the glory which is Him) in extreme joy (in the center of a much-jumping exultation; in union with body-moving celebration).”

 

11.  For thus (in this way) the Path of entrance into (or: the place and act of the Way unto) the center or midst of the eonian reign (or: the Kingdom pertaining to and having the character and qualities of the Age; the for-the-ages sovereign influence and actions) of our Lord and Savior (or: Owner and Deliverer), Jesus Christ [= [the] Messiah], will continue being richly furnished and fully supplied for you (in you; to you; by you folks).

 

The “Path of entrance into (or: the place and act of the Way unto)” is from the word hodos (path, way) prefixed by eis (into; unto; into the midst of).  This is a subtle reference to Jesus, as seen in Jn. 14:6 and as perceived in the work of the cross and His resurrection.  But then he carries on, “… into the center of the eonian reign.”  This is “the Kingdom pertaining to and having the character and qualities of the Age” of the Messiah.  It is “the for-the-ages sovereign influence and actions of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”  But now what does he say about this?

 

He is telling them (and us) that thus, “in the way” described from vs. 5, on, “the place and act of the way unto” His kingdom “will continue being richly furnished and fully supplied for you.”  This Path of entrance will continue being richly furnished IN US.  It will progressively be fully supplied TO us.  He supplies and furnished the Way (Himself) into the relationship and realm to which He has called humanity.  Now I have included the instrumental function of the dative “you,” so that it can read that He “will continue” richly furnishing and fully supplying this (place and act of the Way unto Himself) “BY you folks.”  They (and we) are the means by which He continues furnishing the Path of entrance to the rest of the world.  They continue fully supplying the place and act of the Way, so that they can say to the world, “Come unto us, all you folks that are weary and heavily burdened, and we shall supply you with the true Rest (which is Christ within them, the expectation of the glory).  This verse does not speak of some future event for our personal glory.  It speaks to a then, and now, present reality for them in their daily lives, and of their call to extend the Way of deliverance to those yet dead in their deviations from the Path.

 

Jesus told Nicodemus that in regard to God’s kingdom and reign, something was needed:

unless anyone (or: someone) may be born back up again to a higher place (or: can be brought to birth again; or: would be given birth from above), he continues having no power (or: he is continuously unable) to see or perceive God’s reign, sovereign influence/activity, or kingdom” (Jn. 3:3).

Paul alluded to this birth in Gal. 4:26 by saying, “the Jerusalem above is (continues being) free, who is (or: which particular one continues being) our mother.”  This figurative reference to Jerusalem is an eschatological code word for the called-out, covenant communities who have been,

jointly roused and raised (or: suddenly awakens and raises) [us] up, and caused [us] to sit (or: seats [us]; = enthroned [us]) together within the things situated upon [thus, above] the heavens” (Eph. 2:6).

In the symbolic picture of “sitting,” Paul is pointing to reigning in Christ’s kingdom.  John saw a vision of this present situation in Rev. 5:9, where the folks that were “bought” by the death of the Lamb were “from out of the midst of every tribe and tongue (or: language) and people and ethnic multitude (or: nation).”  Then, in the next verse (5:10), it is said of them, “and they continue reigning [reading with Westcott & Hort (following A); other MSS: they will continue reigning] upon the Land (or: the earth).”  This was an echo of Rev. 1:5b-6a,

the One continuously loving us by loosing [other MSS: washing] us from [other MSS: out of] our failures and deviations (or: sins; errors; situations and results of where we missed the target or fell short of the goal) within His blood (or: in union with the blood which is Him), and made (formed; created; produces) us [other MSS: in, for, with us; of us] [to be] a kingdom (or: sovereign reign; [other MSS: constructed of us a kingdom which brings sovereign influence]): priests in (or: by; for; with) His God and Father.”

So with this added information from John’s experience, we see that “the Kingdom pertaining to and having the character and qualities of the Age [of the Messiah]” is actually His people, here on earth.

 

Jesus, in the parable of the sheep and the kids (immature goats) said to His followers,

Come here, you folks having received words of ease and wellness from (or: spoken well of by; or: having received the blessing of; or: bearing thoughts, ideas, expressions and the Word of goodness from) My Father!  At once come into possession of the inheritance of, and enjoy the allotment of, [the period of, place of, or realm of] the reign (or: kingdom; influence and activity of sovereignty) having been prepared and made ready from a founding (a casting down [as of a foundation; or: of seed]) of a system (or: of [the] adorned arrangement; of an arranged order; of [the] world)” (Mat. 25:34).

He explained this reign in vs.46 of that same chapter,

the fair, just and rightwised folks who are in right relationship with people and are in accord with the Way pointed out [continue going off or coming away] into eonian life (life which has its source and character in the Age [of the Messiah]; life pertaining to the Age; or: the life of and for the ages).”

Christ’s eonian reign (etc.) here in Peter’s letter equates to eonian life in the age of the Messiah, in Mat. 25:26.  In the OT type as seen if the tabernacle/temple, God’s throne was the “ark of the covenant” which resided in the holy of holies.  In the reality which is the new covenant and new creation, we are God’s temple (2 Cor. 6:16).  He reigns from within us, where we are seated with Him who is the Overcomer. 

In Rev. 3:21, the called out communities were told that the folks that were continually victorious (by abiding in Christ, the Vine) would “sit (or: be seated) with Me within My throne, as I also conquer (or: conquered; overcome; overcame and was victorious) and sit (or: sat down) with My Father within His throne.”  This is all because of our union with, and our existence within, the Christ.

 

12.  Wherefore (or: For this cause) it will always continue being my intent to be constantly reminding you concerning these things – even though [you are] being folks having seen and thus knowing, and ones being set and firmly established within the truth and reality [that is] being continuously present (existing alongside) [with and in you].

 

The “wherefore” means, “because of all of the above” and “for this cause.”  He knows that everyone constantly needs reminding – especially concerning these things, as we face the daily tests and social encounters.  He speaks again of this “reminder” below in vs. 13, and then uses a cognate of this noun in vs. 15.  It seems that humans easily forget, or become distracted.  Cf 3:1-2, below.  Take note that he is addressing them corporately as he recognizes that they are folks that have seen, and so now know these things.

 

Now observe that he affirms their condition and sphere of existence: they are “ones being set and firmly established within the truth and reality [that is] being continuously present (existing alongside) [with and in you].”  Next, observe that this truth (Christ), and this reality (i.e., the new creation; God’s kingdom; the new covenant) is continuously present in them, and is “existing alongside” them.  This last term is a present participle form of our word “parousia.”  See the comments, above, on the MS reading of A, etc., where the verb form of this word is used.

 

Their being “set and firmly established” indicates that in this letter he is not addressing some future salvation or ultimate destiny.  The reminding is necessary because of the many distractions in our lives.  From the preposition within we can see that Truth/Reality is their realm of existence, the place to where they were transferred – as we read in Col. 1:13,

He who drags us out of danger (or: rescued us) forth from out of the midst of the authority of the Darkness (from Darkness's jurisdiction and right; from existing out of gloomy shadows and obscure dimness; = the privilege of ignorance), and changes [our] position (or: transported [us], thus, giving [us] a change of standing, and transferred [us]) into the midst of the kingdom and reign of the Son of His love.”

 

A glance back at his first letter to these folks sheds further light on the second half of vs. 12, here:

Now the God of all grace and favor (or: the God whose character and quality is all grace and favor; the God Who is every grace and joyous favor), the One calling (or: inviting) you folks – ones experiencing a little and briefly suffering – into His eonian glory (His glory and reputation which has the quality and characteristics pertaining to the realm of the Age and which continues on into an unseen and indefinite time) within Christ Jesus [with other MSS: in union with the Anointed One (= the Messiah)], the Same One (or: He) will continue getting [things, or, you] down and prepare [them, or, you] (or: repair [them; you]; fit, knit or adjust [them; you] thoroughly), will continue setting [things; you] fast and establish [them; you], will continue imparting strength (will make [things; you] strong), [and] will progressively set a base upon which to ground and found [things and you]: the strength (or: might) [to do these things is] in Him and by Him, on into the ages” (1 Pet. 5:10-11).

 

13.  But I am continuously considering it right, and in accord with the Way pointed out – as long as I continue existing within this tent-effect (or: tabernacle) to keep on arousing and to progress in fully in awakening you folks with a reminder,

 

His reminders are meant “to keep on arousing and to progress in fully awakening” them, as groups (note the plural) – and individually, of course.  This calls to my Paul’s words to those at Rome, that “[it is] by this time (or: already) an hour to be aroused (or: awakened) out of sleep” (Rom. 13:11), and later, to these folks in Asia Minor, where he gives them the Lord’s word,

Let the sleeper (the person continuously down and being fast asleep) be waking up, continue rousing, and then stand up (arise) from out of the midst of the dead ones, and the Christ will continue shining upon you (progressively enlightening you)!” (Eph. 5:14b).

Paul also gave a similar admonition to those in Thessalonica,

Consequently, then, we may not continuously fall asleep even as the rest (= as other folks), but rather, we can and should continuously be aroused and stirred up from sleep [comment: thus, awake to be alertly watchful; also a figure for being alive] and sober (or: clear-headed).  You see, the folks continuously falling asleep (or: drowsing) are sleeping at (or: from [the]) night…. We, on the other hand, being of Day (belonging to and having characteristics of [the] Day; having [the] Day as our source), can and should continuously be sober (clear-headed), putting on (or: clothing ourselves with; enveloping ourselves in; entering within) a breastplate (or: thorax) of faith and love…” (1 Thes. 5:6-8a).

 

Peter sees his actions as right, and in accord with the Way pointed out – the Way that is Christ.  The sent-forth representatives of Christ felt a responsibility for their “sheep” (Jn. 21:15-17).

 

Let us consider the present infinitive in the last clause: to keep on arousing and to progress in fully in awakening.  This describes a process.  People who are born into the kingdom of God begin as babies in the spiritual life.  Recall Paul’s words in 1 Cor. 3:1,

I myself, brothers, was not able to speak to you folks as to spiritual ones (people having the effect of the Breath; folks controlled by the Attitude), but to the contrary as to fleshly folks (= ones who focus on that which affects the flesh; = natural people who live as alienated and estranged from God) as to infants in Christ (or: non-speaking babies in [the] Anointing).”

Life in the new creation still follows the pattern of the natural life.  We must GROW into maturity,

until we – the whole of mankind (all people) – can (or: would) come down to the goal (or: attain; arrive at; meet accordingly; meet down face-to-face): into the state of oneness from, and which is, The Faithfulness (or: the unity of, that belongs to and which characterizes that which is faith; or: the lack of division which has its source in trust, confidence and reliability, has the character of and is in reference to the loyalty and fidelity), even which is the full, experiential and intimate knowledge (or: and from recognition; and of discovery; as well as pertaining to insight) which is (or: of; from; in reference to) the Son of God, [growing] into [the] purposed and destined adult man (complete, finished, full-grown, perfect, goal-attained, mature manhood) – into (or: unto) [the] measure of [the] stature (full age; prime of life) of the entire content which comprises the Anointed One to the end that no longer (or: no more) would or should we exist being infants (immature folks; not-yet-speaking ones), continuously being tossed by (= being caused to fluctuate from) [successive] waves and repeatedly being carried hither and thither (or: around in circles) by every wind of the teaching (or: from what is taught) within the caprice (the throw of the dice; versatile artifice; games of chance; the trickery) of mankind, in readiness to do anything (amoral craftiness; working everything; or: = while stopping at nothing) with a view toward and leading to the methodical treatment (or: the systematizing or technical procedure) of The Wandering (the straying; the deception; [A adds: of the trusting-through; or: from the person who casts {divisiveness or harm} through the midst of folks]).  But continuously being real and true (living in accord with reality and the facts; holding to, speaking, pursuing and walking in Truth; truthing it) within, and in union with, love (or: centered in unambiguous acceptance [of others]), we can grow up (enlarge; increase) into Him – the ALL which is the Head: Christ (or: [and] we would in love make all things grow up into Him Who is the head and source: [the] Anointed One)!” (Eph. 4:13-15).

 

14.  having seen and now knowing that swift [in approach] is the laying aside (or: the putting off or away) of my tent-effect (or: tabernacle; = body), according as also our Lord, Jesus Christ, made clearly visible to me (or: makes [it] evident for and in me).

 

Peter is speaking metaphorically about his eminent death, but this thought continues what he was just saying about his call to shepherd his sheep by constantly reminding and arousing them to full alertness to the presence of Christ among them, and to the times in which they are living.  This idea reaches back to vs. 10, above, about making their calling “sure-footed and steadfast,” rather than slipping into progressively “closing one’s eyes” and “taking hold of forgetfulness” (vs. 9) concerning the Good News of the ease and well-being in Christ.

 

Paul spoke with the same metaphor of “tent/tabernacle” in 2 Cor. 5: 1,

For we have seen, and thus know, that if our house, of the tabernacle which is pitched on the land, would at some point be dismantled (or: that whenever our house, which is this tent upon the earth, should be loosed down), we constantly have (continuously hold; presently possess) a structure (a building) forth from out of the midst of God: an eonian house (a house having the qualities and character which pertain to the Age; a house for the ages) – not made by hands – resident within the heavens (or: in union with the atmospheres).”

All humanity has been aware that our physical existence here is a temporary existence, and our “tent” is designed for us to always be prepared to “pull up the stakes,” and move on.  The Lord prepared His disciples for His departure from them (Jn. 13:33ff).  Jesus spoke of Peter’s death in Jn. 21:18-19, but the expression in the last clause, here, may have referred to a more recent and specific (clearly visible and evident) disclosure from Jesus to Peter.  As Wheaton points out, “The metaphor is that of doffing clothes, and is developed further in 2 Cor. 5:1-8” (ibid p 1253).

 

15.  But I will also continue earnestly hastening (or: quickly endeavoring) to always have you, after my departure (exodus; a road or path out; = death), to continually make mention (or: make the recollection) of these things.

 

Now Peter uses the verb of urgency (earnestly hastening) concerning himself that he used to admonish them in vs. 10, above, having used its noun cognate in vs. 5.  He is rhetorically highlighting to them the urgent need for haste and quick endeavor to respond to the Spirit’s lead (Rom. 8:14) in this new life in Christ.  Now he wants them to pick up the same baton that he is presently carrying for the kingdom – once he has passed from his current life among them, which he calls his exodus.  This same word was used concerning the upcoming death of Jesus, in Lu. 9:31.  Peter wants the next generation to carry on with the message concerning Christ and the life described in vss. 5-7, above.

 

The image created by his use of the word exodus reaches back to Israel’s deliverance from slavery in Egypt, and their journey to “the Promised Land.”  It speaks of entering into God’s rest (Heb. 3:18; 4:1).  Barclay comments, “Peter sees death not as the end but as the going out into the Promised Land of God” (ibid p 308).

 

16.  For we did (or: You see, we do) not experientially or intimately make known to you the power and presence (or: ability and [the] being alongside; parousia) of our Lord, Jesus Christ, by following forth in (or: by) wisely-made myths (or: in being made wise by myths or fables; or: with fables modified by wisdom; or: to cleverly crafted stories), but rather, [from] becoming (or: being made to be; being birthed) eyewitnesses (onlookers; spectators) of that One's magnificence (or: of that greatness):

 

Now he specifically reminds them of the core message that they, too, are to make mention of: the power and presence (or: ability and [the] being alongside; parousia) of our Lord, Jesus Christ.”  Note that the two words are used together: power and presence.  The power comes from His being present with us.

 

They had been eyewitnesses (onlookers; spectators) of that One's magnificence.  Peter, Jacob and John had been with Jesus on the mount of the transfiguration (Mat. 17:1-8; Mk. 9:2-10; Lu. 9:28-35), and he is here affirming to his listeners the historic factuality of what he and others had experientially or intimately [made] known to them.  Leahy observes that for Peter’s listeners, “Acquaintance with the Synoptic account of the transfiguration is presumed” (ibid p 496).  A.E. Knoch states that, including God, “There were seven persons present” on that occasion (Concordant Commentary on the New Testament, Concordant Publishing Concern, 1968 o 363).  By referencing this incident, he is also reminding them of what the Voice from the cloud said,

This Man continues existing being My Son!  The Beloved One (or: The One exemplifying and expressing My love) within Whom I think good thoughts (or: in Whom I imagine thoughts of wellness and ease; in Whom I appear well; in Whom I approve and of Whom I have a good opinion).  Make it a habit to listen, to continue paying attention, and then to [really] hear Him (implies: obey Him)!” (Mat. 17:5b)

The implication was also that they were no longer to be listening to Moses or Elijah (figures of the Law and the Prophets) who had appeared in the cloud; God’s Son had arrived and He now had God’s message for humanity.  The old was passing away; the new had come (2 Cor. 5:17b).

 

The reference to “wisely-made myths (or: in being made wise by myths or fables; or: with fables modified by wisdom; or: to cleverly crafted stories)” could have been to those of Greek, Persian, Egyptian origins, or even to Jewish stories that turned out to be counterfeits, because they lacked the power for deliverance and transformation.  In Titus 1:14, Paul advised,

not habitually holding to (having [a propensity] toward; heeding and clinging in the direction toward) Jewish myths (or: fictions; or, possibly: oral traditions) and to implanted goals (impartations of a finished product within; inward directives; commands) whose source and origin is people (or: human commandments) [thus] continually being twisted and turned away from the Truth (or: reality).”

And in 1 Tim. 1:3b-4 Paul instructed,

not to continue teaching different things, nor yet to constantly hold toward myths (or: stories; fictions) and unbounded (= endless) genealogies, which things habitually hold investigations and inquiries alongside which involve speculations and disputes, rather than God's house-administration (management; stewardship).”

In 4:7 of that same letter, Paul also exhorted Timothy,

Now you must constantly refuse and avoid (excuse yourself from) profane and old-womanish myths, yet habitually be training and exercising yourself, as in gymnastic discipline, toward reverence (standing in awe of wellness, with adoration; healthful devotion and virtuous conduct of ease, in true relation to God).” (Cf 2 Tim. 4:4)

 

17.  for you see, from the side of (or: [standing] beside) Father God, [He was] receiving honor (value; preciousness) and glory (or: a reputation) from a Voice being carried to Him by the fitting greatness and majesty of glory and which came from the manifestation which called forth praise (or: = of a Sound or Shout being swept along under the magnificent grandeur of the Sh'khinah Presence) such as  follows:

            "My Son, My Beloved One, is This One [other MSS: This One is existing being My Son, My Beloved One] into the midst of Whom I Myself placed delight [other MSS: within Whom I was well pleased, and find approval; in union with Whom I have good thoughts]." [Mat. 17:5]

 

Why did Peter use this reference to validate what they had spoken concerning the Message of Goodness that came with Jesus Christ?  Why not the Day of Pentecost, or the cross and the resurrection?  Why not present a list other witnesses to the Christ event?  Why not John the baptizer’s testimony (Jn. 1:32) about the Holy Spirit descending as a Dove upon Jesus at His Jordan River baptism?  Why a visionary, apocalyptic occurrence that only three of the disciples of Jesus had witnessed?

 

I offer here my own version of a midrash (described by Harvey Cox as an, “imaginary exposition,” an “effort to read between the lines of the Bible” – When Jesus Came to Harvard; Making Moral Choices Today, Houghton Mifflin Co, 2004 p 87):  Could the answer lie in the fact that what would have been meaningful to the folks in Asia Minor would be the message that spoke of the new reality (Jesus had said, “I am the Path, the Reality and the Life,” in Jn. 14:6) that had broken into history which was that the realm of Spirit was now joined to the realm of creation within the new humanity (Eph. 2:15), and which Paul called a “new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17)?  This news to them was not about fulfillment of Jewish prophecies (which, in fact, Christ had done) or about the coming of the Jewish Messiah (which, in fact, He was), or about the end of the age of the Law (which, in fact, it was), but that all other voices (including the Law and the Prophets which the Jews possessed) were to be ignored (as far as following their precepts) as His sheep paid attention to only His voice – which now came to people through His Spirit which was embedded within the Words that were spoken to them by His emissaries (the news concerning Jesus and His teachings).  Folks were no longer to practice religion in “mountains” or physical temples in physical cities (Jn. 4:21), but now all relationship to, and service for, God was to be done in the new realm of the new arrangement of the new covenant, because:

God [is] spirit (or: [is the] Spirit; [gives] Breath; [becomes] Wind; [is] a Breath-effect and Attitude), and it is binding (or: necessary) for the ones continuously worshiping Him to be constantly worshiping in union with spirit and Truth (in Breath-effect and Reality; within the midst of [the] Spirit and [the] Fact; centered in [life]-attitude and genuineness/actuality)” (Jn. 4:24).

 

The Voice coming to Jesus and His witnesses (the three disciples) called to mind the incident when God called out to Moses from the midst of the burning bush (Ex. 3:4), and the time when Elijah was told to “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before Yahweh,” and after the strong wind, the earthquake and the fire, “a still small (or: whispering) Voice that was Yahweh, speaking to him (1 Ki. 19:11-18).  This same Voice had also spoken from the atmosphere when John immersed Jesus (Mat. 3:17).  I want to call your attention to the parenthetical paraphrase that is a potential description of the incident: “… glory of a Sound or Shout… of the Sh'khinah Presence” which echoes the manifestation of God entering His tent when it was finished in its being constructed (Ex. 40:34-38).

 

This quote of Mat. 17:5, above, informs us (in the bold MS reading) that God “placed delight into the midst of” His Son.  Christ was filled with God’s delight.  We find God’s “delight” within Jesus.  Other MS traditions use a different preposition, so we see that:

            1) within Christ God was well pleased and found approval

            2) God was within Christ, and was well-please to be there

            3) God found approval (from humanity) by being within Christ

            4) God has good thoughts (eu-dokeō) “in union with” Christ.

 

18.  And we ourselves, being together with Him within the set-apart (or: holy; sacred) mountain, heard this Voice being carried out of heaven (or: swept along from the midst of [the] atmosphere and sky).

 

Peter is speaking of the incident and the hearing of God’s Voice (recall Saul hearing the Voice on the road to Damascus) when he and the other two were with Jesus on the mountain.  It is interesting that Peter refers to the spot as set-apart (or: holy; sacred).  It was the presence of God there, as well as the union of “heaven and earth” that set that place apart.  God had “come in a cloud” to them; both a physical cloud of the atmosphere, and in a “cloud of witnesses.”  We read of this reality in Heb. 12:1-2a,

Consequently and for this very reason, then, we also, continuously having such a big cloud of witnesses (spectators; folks bearing testimony; people with evidence) environing us (lying around for us and [they] themselves surrounding and encompassing us), after at once putting off from ourselves all bulk and encumbrance (every weight; all that is prominent; or: getting rid of every arrow point within us) and the easily-environing (skillfully-surrounding; well-placed encircling) failure (sin; error; mistake; shooting off-target; missing of the point), we can and should through persistent remaining-under (or: relentless patient endurance and giving of support) keep on running the racecourse continuously lying before us (or: lying in the forefront within us; or: lying ahead, among us), turning [our] eyes away from other things and fixing them (or: looking away) into Jesus, the Inaugurator (First Leader; Prime Author) and Perfecter (Finisher; the Bringer-to-maturity and fruition; He who purposes and accomplishes the destiny) of the faith, trust, confidence and loyal allegiance…”

 

First it happened on a natural mountain in Palestine, but now it is Mt. Zion, as we read in Heb. 12:22ff.  We find an apocalyptic picture of this present reality in Rev. 14:1.

 

Another reason for Peter referencing this incident is to remind his listeners of the place of Jesus in salvation history.  As the giving of the Law at Sinai was a creation story for Israel as a nation, the new hearing of the words of Jesus (Mat. 17:5b) was signaling the new commandments from Jesus which were inaugurating a new creation and the resurrected Israel.  This latter was foretold in Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones (Ezk. 37:1ff) where in vss. 13-14a Yahweh tells him,

“And you folks shall know that I am Yahweh, when I have opened your graves, O my People, and brought you up out of your graves, and shall l put My Spirit in you, and you folks shall live…”

Paul confirmed this in Rom. 6:4b-5,

just as (or: in the same manner as) Christ was roused and raised forth from out of the midst of dead folks THROUGH (through means of) THE GLORY (the glorious manifestation of splendor which calls forth praise; the notion; the renown; the reputation; the imagination) of The Father (or: which is the Father), thus also we can walk around (or: we also should likewise conduct ourselves and order our behavior) within newness of life (in union with life characterized by being new in kind and quality, and different from that which was former).  For since (or: You see, if) we have been birthed (have become; have come to be) folks engrafted and produced together (or: planted and made to grow together; brought forth together; congenital) in, by, to and with the result of the likeness of (or: the effect of the similar manner from) His death, then certainly we shall also continue existing [in and with the effects of the likeness] of The Resurrection 

            (or: which is the resurrection; or: from, and with qualities of, the resurrection).”

Paul adds a further witness to the effect of the Christ-event and the scope of its inclusion in 2 Cor. 5:14,

            “[We are] deciding (discerning; judging) this: that [some MSS add: since] One Person (or:

            Man) died over [the situation of] all mankind (or: for the sake of all); consequently all

            people died (or: accordingly, then, all humanity died).”

 

In discussing the story of the Transfiguration, Cox observes,

“Jesus here is being depicted as the new Moses.  The allusions begin with the first line [Mat. 17:1], ‘after six days’ [Moses went in Mount Sinai; the cloud covered the mount six days – Ex. 24:16]…. Moses also took his three favorite helpers – Aaron, Nada, and Abihu – along with him, at least for the first part of his ascent.  Jesus took Peter, James and John.  When Moses reached the summit, a cloud descended on him and a bright light shone (Ex. 24:9-18) as it does here on Jesus.  In the genealogies, prophets and charismatic leaders are frequently identified with their distinguished predecessors.  Here Jesus is seen with Elijah the prophet and Moses the lawgiver.... The story of the Transfiguration is like another genealogy.  It positions Jesus in the succession of Moses” (ibid pp 204-5; brackets added).

 

Picking up again God’s words to Peter, Jacob and John in Mat. 17:5b, “Make it a habit to listen, to continue paying attention, and then to [really] hear and obey Him,” we find another witness to this succession in Heb. 1:1-2,

Long ago (or: In the old days), in many parts (or: fragments; divided portions; = bit by bit) and in much-traveled ways consisting of many turns and directions, God, having spoken to (or: by; in; with) the fathers – in (= through; in [the words of]) the prophets –upon [the] last of these days spoke to us in a Son whom He placed (or: sets) [as; to be] Heir of all (or: One who receives all humanity as an allotment; or: heir of all things; or: One who received everything as his allotted inheritance) through Whom He also made the ages

                        (or: formed and constructed the various designated periods of time [which compose existence, as well as God's influence and activities]).”

Part of the “all” of which Jesus became the Heir, was the entire history of, and prophecies concerning, Israel – as well as all of the rest of humanity all the way back to Adam (which of course will include all of humanity within the oncoming ages, as Paul points out in 1 Cor. 15).

 

19.  And so, we continue having (or: constantly hold) the Idea which was spoken ahead of time in and as Light (or: the prior-enlightened Thought and Reason; or: the Prophetic Word) more confirmed (validated; established; certain), by which (or: in which) you folks continue doing beautifully (performing ideally; producing finely), while continuously holding toward (= playing close attention to) [it] as to a lamp continually shining within a parched place – until which [time or occasion] the Day may shine through and a light bearer [= a morning star] may rise within your hearts (or: constantly heeding, as to a lamp progressively making things appear in a dark, dingy or dirty place, until that the Day can dawn, and a light-bringer can arise in union with your core and innermost being),

 

The Idea which was spoken ahead of time in and as Light was indeed the Prophetic Word given in the Torah, the Writings and the Prophets (i.e., the OT), and all those things were fulfilled in Christ.  We read in Lu. 24:27 where Jesus,

beginning from Moses, and then from all the prophets, He continued to fully interpret and explain to (or: for) them the things pertaining to (or: the references about) Himself within all the Scriptures.”

Prior to this, He had foretold to His disciples the coming destruction of Jerusalem, in Lu. 21:20-21.  Then in vs. 22 He informed them,

because these are days of executing justice – of bringing about what is fair and right and of establishing what accords with the Way pointed out – with a view to have fulfilled ALL the things having been written (or: for all that is written to be fulfilled)!

 

But the direct Word of the Lord which Peter, Jacob and John had heard on the mount of transfiguration was the “prior-enlightened Thought and Reason” which was more confirmed (validated; established; certain) by that personal experience.

 

It was Peter’s testimony of both the promise and the fulfillment of these things that was the instrument “by which (or: in which) you folks continue doing beautifully (performing ideally; producing finely).”  It was and is the Good News that is “as to a lamp continually shining within a parched place” which was the source of their ability to “perform ideally and produce finely.”  The “Idea” which had in prior times been proclaimed by the OT was now manifested in the Messiah and proclaimed by His Words; for,

Long ago (or: In the old days), in many parts (or: fragments; divided portions; = bit by bit) and in much-traveled ways consisting of many turns and directions, God, having spoken to (or: by; in; with) the fathers – in (= through; in [the words of]) the prophets – upon [the] last of these days spoke to us in a Son” (Heb. 1:1-2a).

In “continuously holding toward (= playing close attention to)” these things – just like “abiding in the Vine” (Jn. 15:1ff) – they were empowered to “continue do beautifully.”

 

Notice the imagery that he uses as to where the lamp would continue shining: a parched place; a dark, dingy or dirty place.  No reference to purity codes here.  This is like Jesus saying,

Those being habitually strong (= people in good health) normally have no need of a physician (healer; doctor), but rather, those continuing to have it badly (= those who are ill and in a poor condition).  I did not (or: am not) come to call just ones (righteous ones; those living in accord with the Way pointed out; or: = those who are part of the establishment and do all the right things; may = people who "think" they have no faults), but to the contrary, outcasts

                        (failures; sinners; those who fail to hit the target and make mistakes; riff-raff and ceremonially unclean folks – even criminals; also = those who did not observe the Law as defined by the scribes).”

 

The final clause is conditional, beginning with the qualifying particle, “until.”  That this was not referring to some far-distant time in the future, but rather until they reached the maturity where “the Day may shine through and a light bearer [= a morning star] may rise” WITHIN them.  This was going to happen within [their] hearts and in union with the core [of their] innermost being.”  In this way they would be “the light of the world” (Mat. 5:14) and would manifest to others the image of God (Gen. 1:26), or as Paul put it in 2 Cor. 3:18 where,

we all, ourselves – having a face that has been uncovered and remains unveiled [note: as with Moses, before the Lord, Ex. 34:34] – being folks who by a mirror are continuously observing, as ourselves, the Lord's [= Yahweh's or Christ's] glory (or: being those who progressively reflect – from ourselves as by a mirror – the glory of [our] Owner), are presently being continuously and progressively transformed into the very same image, from glory into glory – in accord with and exactly as – from [the] Lord's Breath-effect (or: from [the] Spirit and Attitude of [the] Lord [= Christ or Yahweh]).”

Peter’s phrase put in apocalyptic imagery a description of the new creation that is within us (2 Cor. 5:17).

 

20.  constantly knowing this first, that every (or: all) previously enlightened information of Scripture [p72: prophecy and Scripture] is not coming to be unbound upon its own (or: is not being born of its own unloosing; or: is not becoming its own explaining; or: is not coming into existence upon one's own releasing),

 

My first, bold rendering indicates that the OT Scriptures must be understood by the unveiling of the Holy Spirit.  This is similar to what Paul said of the Jews reading these same Scriptures without seeing Jesus Christ in them:

the results of their mental conceptions, intellectual workings and thought processes were petrified (made to be a stony concretion; were hardened and made callous [note: the word became a medical term for being covered with thick skin]), for until this very day the same head-covering (veil) continues remaining (dwelling; abiding) upon the reading of the old covenant (arrangement; thorough placement) – it [i.e., the reading of the old, or the old covenant itself] continues not being uncovered or unveiled…. Still furthermore, until today, whenever Moses should be repeatedly read [e.g., in the synagogue], a head-covering (veil) continues lying upon their heart (= the innermost being of the group).  Yet whenever the time should be reached when it [= the heart] can (or: would; may; should; or: shall at some point) twist and turn upon, so as to face toward, [the] Lord [= Christ], ‘the head-covering (veil) is progressively taken from around [it]’” (2 Cor. 3:14-16).

The “time should be reached” here in 2 Cor. May well be what Peter means in vs. 19, above, concerning the statement, “until the Day may shine through.”

 

The alternate, parenthetical renderings should also be considered:

1) “is not being born of its own unloosing” speaks of the birthing of the Word within the community, as well as within the individual’s own heart.  The overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, the Breath-effect upon our inner primordial waters, brings Christ to birth out of the Seed of the Word that has been planted in our hearts

2) “is not becoming its own explaining” means that we must have the “keys of the kingdom” to unlock the spiritual meaning (which is Christ) from the old covenant writings

3) “is not coming into existence upon one’s own releasing” is similar to 1), above, both of which can be seen in the imagery of the Lamb being needed to open the seals of the scroll in Rev. 5:1-5, for as vs. 3 there instructs us, “no one (or: not one person) within the atmosphere (or: heaven), neither upon the land (or: earth) nor down under the land (earth), had power or was able to open the little book (or: scroll) nor to see or observe it.”

Leahy concludes, “Just as the guidance of the Holy Spirit was needed by the prophets, so it is needed in reading their writings” (ibid p 496).  Paul lays this out well in 1 Cor. 2:11-15,

no one (or: not one) experientially or intimately knows (or: came to know or have insight and exercise "gnosis" regarding) the things of God (God's matters), except the Spirit of God (or: God's spirit; the Breath-effect which is God).  Now we did not receive (or: do not accept or take to ourselves; do not take control of or grasp hold of) the spirit of the System (the world's spirit and atmosphere; the attitude of the secular or religious realm), but to the contrary, that spirit (or: Spirit; Breath-effect; attitude) [which is] from out of the midst of God – to the end that we can see and know the things being freely and joyously given to and for us in grace (or: being graciously bestowed, and favorably given in us) by God, which things we are also habitually speaking – not in words taught by human wisdom (or: not centered in learned thoughts, ideas or messages from human wisdom; or: not among those taught in, by or with words and reasons from human wisdom), but rather in those [words] taught by spirit (or: in union with and among those folks taught from [the] Spirit – from the effect of a Breath and an Attitude), habitually evaluating, deciding, combining or contrasting spiritual [matters] together by spiritual [means] and with qualities inherent in the Breath-effect

(or: constantly matching or comparing/contrasting things pertaining to attitude with things in spirit, or of [the] Spirit; or: progressively making collective assessments of pneumatic [concepts] to and for pneumatic people).  But a soulish person (a human which is dominated by, or living focused on, his breath [= the present transient life], or by those things which characterize the soul [emotions; will; intellect; physical life; internal welfare; the self; the ego]) does not normally accept (or: habitually get or welcomingly receive the offer of) the things of God's Breath-effect (or: which have the character and quality of the Spirit of God; pertaining to God's spirit and attitude), for they are stupidity to him (foolishness for him; nonsense in him), and he continues unable and habitually has no power to intimately and experientially know [them] or get insight, because they continue being sifted and held up for close spiritual examination

(are normally evaluated spiritually above; are constantly brought back for spiritual separation and attitudinal discernment; are progressively re-evaluated through means of the Breath-effect and comparison to the Attitude; or: are pneumatically discerned).  Yet the spiritual person (one dominated by and focused on spirit or the realm of the Spirit, and characterized by the qualities of spirit: the Wind which continuously moves across the land; or: the pneumatic person) is, on the one hand, continuously sifting and re-evaluating (habitually separating and deciding from above on; progressively holding things up for close examination of) all things and all humanity.”

Barclay comments that Scripture, “is to be interpreted by the help of the Holy Spirit by whom it was first given” (ibid p 313).

 

21.  for you see, previously enlightened information (or: prophecy) was (or: is) not at any time brought by (or: in; for; with) [the] will (intent; resolve; purpose) of a human, but rather being continuously carried by (or: swept along under [the influence of]) [the] set-apart Breath-effect (or: Holy Spirit), people spoke from God [with other MSS: God’s set-apart (holy) folks speak].

 

The prophecies of the OT were being continuously carried by (or: swept along under [the influence of]) [the] set-apart Breath-effect (or: Holy Spirit).  It was by God’s means and ability that people spoke from God.  The enlightened information (or: prophecy) was not brought by [the] will of a human, it was brought by God’s will.  It did not come for a human intent, in a human resolve or with a human purpose, but rather it was swept along under the influence from God.  Barclay simply says, “the Spirit gave the prophet his message” (ibid p 313).

 

There are good MS witnesses for both readings of the last clause.  Some MSS omit “set-apart” before people/folks; some omit the preposition from before God, thus having just “God” in the genitive – which I rendered as a possessive, in the bracketed reading.  The verb spoke/speak is in the aorist, and thus I offer both a simple past and a simple present.  So there are different ideas expressed here:

            1) people spoke from God

            2) God’s people spoke/speak.

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