6. There are two parts: I. An Exhortation to constancy and progress in faith and in the study of piety (2 Peter 1). II. A Prophecy concerning false teachers, impious men, and men scoffing at the coming of the Lord (2 Peter 2; 3). Interpreters of the Epistle, Ancient, Reformed, Lutheran, Roman Catholic; and also a Synoptic Table.
The Epistle has two Parts. For, first, he exhorts to constancy and progress in faith and in the study of piety (2 Peter 1). Second, he publishes a Prophecy concerning false teachers and mockers of the coming of the Lord, and their judgment (2 Peter 2;3).
I. An Exhortation to constancy and progress in faith and the study of piety, Chapter 1.
With an inscription and prayer, that grace and peace in the knowledge of Christ might abound, because His Divine power has granted to us all things pertaining to life and piety, set down before (verses 1-4), he exhorts to supply the fruits of faith with all diligence (verses 5-7), because without these the knowledge of Christ is unfruitful, and we are blind; but through them election is made firm, and the certain hope of entrance into the Kingdom (verse 8-11); he shows that he bestows not a little zeal on the perpetual preservation of the whole truth (verses 12-15); by which word heard from Heaven concerning Christ (verses 16-18), and the Prophetic word, altogether sure and able to illuminate hearts (verse 19), and that not of private interpretation, but inspired by the Holy Spirit (verses 20, 21), he is to be confirmed in his office: chapter 1.
II. A Prophecy concerning false teachers, impious men, and mockers of the coming of the Lord, and their judgment, Chapters 2;3. See:
1. His Prophecy concerning false Teachers, and impious men. That is, that are getting ready to appear both false teachers, denying the Lord, seducing many, and through coventousness making merchandise of the Church (verses 1-3), upon whom he denounces judgment, after the example of the Angels, of the old world, of Sodom and Gomorrha (verses 4-8), with deliverance promised to the pious (verse 9); and unrighteous men, despisers of dominion, as it were, after the likeness of Balaam (verses 10-16), and others, who by errors speak great swelling words of vanity, and return to the filth of the world (verses 17-22): chapter 2.
2. His Prophecy concerning mockers of the coming of the Lord. With attention procured (verses 1, 2), he warns that are going to appear also mockers of the coming of the Lord (verses 3, 4), whom he refutes, with an argument brought from the judgment enforced in the flood (verses 5, 6), showing that Heaven and earth are reserved for fire (verse 7), seeking a reason for the prolongation of the time from the longsuffering of God (verses 8-10), and commending holy conversation and piety to hasten the coming, since a new Heaven and earth is expected (verses 11-14), in accordance with similar teaching of Saint Paul, whose δυσνόητα, things hard to be understood, are able to be wrested by some (verses 15, 16), warning them to beware of deception, and to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ (verses 17, 18): chapter 3.