Lesson 3 of5
In Progress

Background of 2 Peter

No portion of the New Testament canon has had its legitimacy debated and challenged more than this book. The arguments against its having been written by the Apostle Peter are much more fully developed than those mounted in its favor. These contrary positions are complicated, but they appeal to vocabulary, modes of expression, the issues that seem at or below the surface, and the letter’s dependence on the Letter of Jude, which is usually judged to be more consistent and convincing as a document reflecting the time of the apostles. Skepticism about Peter as the book’s author is not new; some Christian leaders in the second and third centuries C.E. expressed similar concerns. Wherever the Second Letter of Peter came from, and whenever it was written, it can be read as a spirited summons delivered to the church during a transitional period, when the last of the apostles had passed away and Christians were having to adjust to new realities.