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Who wrote the book of 2 Peter? Who was the author of 2 Peter?

author of 2 Peter

Similar to many of the New Testament Epistles, the book of 2 Peter begins with the author’s name: “Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:1). Some manuscripts contain the Hebrew form of Simon’s name, Simeon, but, either way, the author identifies himself as the person we know as the apostle Peter. James calls him “Simeon” in Acts 15:14 (ESV).

Initially, the recipients of the letter are broadly described as “those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus have received a faith as precious as ours.” However, 2 Peter 3:1 clarifies that the intended audience is the same as that of 1 Peter: “Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.”

Peter likely wrote the second letter in Rome, close to his martyrdom at the hands of Emperor Nero. Apparently, unbelieving scoffers had emerged within the churches, denying Christ’s second coming and living immoral lives (2 Peter 3:3–6). In response, Peter addresses the apparent delay of the second coming, attributing it to God’s timing and mercy (verses 8–9).

Peter references Paul’s letters, indicating that, when Peter wrote 2 Peter, at least some Pauline Epistles were already in circulation (2 Peter 3:15–16). Peter’s martyrdom occurred around AD 68, placing the letter’s composition between AD 65 and 68. While some critics date the letter after Peter’s death and argue for pseudonymity, the evidence leans toward the traditional view that the letter is indeed Peter’s composition. Besides identifying himself in the salutation, Peter also recounts the transfiguration (2 Peter 1:16–18; cf. Matthew 17:1–8) and alludes to his death (verses 14–15). Early church fathers such as Origen also affirmed the epistle’s authenticity, and “there are allusions and quotations from 2 Peter by some of the early church writers, including Aristides, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Ignatius, and Clement of Rome” (McGee, J. Vernon. Thru the Bible Commentary, Vol. 55: 2 Peter, Thomas Nelson Pub., 1991)..

The book of 2 Peter is thematically related to the book of Jude. One author obviously had access to the other’s work, or they drew from a similar source. Some scholars surmise that Peter and Jude were partners in the ministry and they collaborated in the writing of both epistles. That theory is plausible. Both epistles confront false teaching, sometimes with similar wording, and both mention fallen angels, Balaam, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the final judgment.

In the New Testament canon, the book of 2 Peter has faced its share of skepticism. Some Christian figures like Eusebius expressed doubt at the authenticity of the book, but it eventually gained widespread acceptance.

Second Peter is a short book, containing only three chapters. However, its teachings reverberate beyond its initial recipients, reminding all believers of every age of the end times and the godly lives we’re called to live as we await the fulfillment of God’s plan. Modern Christianity also struggles with scoffers who deny core aspects of the faith, even within the church. Peter’s remedy is simple: hold on to God’s Word.

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Who wrote the book of 2 Peter? Who was the author of 2 Peter?
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This page last updated: May 2, 2024