Sender and addressees. The sender's name, Simeon Peter, is a rare Semitic variation of “Simon Peter” or simply “Peter.” As servant and apostle
he claims high status, for great Israelite figures were often called “servant of the Lord” (Moses: Ex 32.13
; David: 2 Sam 7.5
). No specific place is addressed; instead the recipients are identified as all those who share a most valuable thing, such
as faith in God and Jesus that is, correct faith.
Thanksgiving. Letters often include “thanksgivings,” which introduce themes to be developed.
Peter singles out two blessings for praise: everything needed for life and godliness and precious and very great promises.
Correct faith leads to purity, not corruption, and predicts a sharing in the divine nature in the afterlife. In support, Peter cites a chain of virtues that follow from correct faith (see Rom 5.1–5
), thus illustrating the principle that “good doctrine leads to good behavior” and vice versa. Besides faith, endurance (hope) and mutual affection, virtues such as knowledge, self-control, and godliness point to topics developed later: correct doctrine, moral rectitude, and justice toward God.
Farewell address. Typical of farewell addresses, Peter announces his death. Such biblical forms generally have (1) announcement of death (
); (2) predictions of future crises (
); (3) exhortation
to a specific virtue (
); and (4) legacy (
). This prediction echoes Jn 21.18–19
, even as it confirms the tradition that Peter regularly received special revelations (Mt 16.16–17; 17.25–27
Transfiguration. Claiming to have been present at Jesus' transfiguration (Mt 17.1–8
), Peter interprets that event as a prophecy of Jesus' return in glory.
As an eyewitness, he claims a role that confirms his authority to explain and defend other prophecies about Jesus, such as his return to judge
He defends the inspiration of both the prophet
who receives prophecy and its interpreter. Prophecy is fully confirmed, or established, because God is its author (This is my beloved Son, note a), and God's Spirit inspires both prophet and interpreter. The prophecy confirmed is about the final judgment of the world. Christ, the morning star (Rev 22.16
) brings light and hope, not fear.
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