Study of II Peter


In I Peter the danger to the churches was persecution from without. In II Peter it was false teachers and their teachings from within. False teachers had crept into and would continue to creep into the churches and some would gain positions of leadership. They apparently denied the redemption and Lordship of Christ (II Pet. 2:1). They also scoffed at the future Return of Christ. Peter, in order to combat the heresy and, possibly, in view of his approaching martyrdom, desired to show that the answer to false knowledge is true knowledge. The words know and knowledge appear sixteen times in the letter,

and six of these times have reference to the knowledge of Christ. The readers are commanded to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Peter wrote to stir up his readers to growth in Christian character (1:5-15; 3:18), to encourage them to a patient expectation of the Lord’s return (3:1-14), and to warn them against being carried away with the error of the wicked (3:17), i.e., with the heresies which he rebukes.

II Peter 3:18

The following outline is taken from Merrill C. Tenney’s New Testament



I.   Salutation 1:1

II.  The Nature of True Knowledge 1:2-21

A Gift from God 1: 2-4

A Growth in Experience 1:5-11

A Ground of Certainty 1:12-21

III. The Peril of Abandoning Knowledge 2:1-22

The Incursion of Error 2:1-3

The Examples of Error 2:4-10a

The Activities of Error 2:10b-19

The Danger of Error 2:2--22

IV. The Hope in True Knowledge 3:1-18

The Precedent of the Past 3:1-7

The Promise for the Future 3:8-13

The Persistence of Expectation 3:14-18