2 Peter 2 & 3 Who Copied Who?

” if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell,putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; ”

” Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings; yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord. ”

” They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness.”

I’ve picked out three quotations (above) from 2 Peter 2 that show that in this chapter he makes similar points and identical references as can be found in Jude’s letter. I’d say that this evidences that one of these writers has seen the others work… not in the sense of copying one’s neighbour in the maths lesson but that one has read what the other has said and wishes to urge his community to take stock of the same things.

One is the source of the other.

Jude is a much shorter work but is also much more specific in its referencing (remember the post I made about The Book of Enoch). This perhaps suggests that Jude is the first writer, here is the argument there: 2 Peter is a longer letter (perhaps) because he expands upon what Jude had said. He also doesn’t make his historical sourcing as clear because his source was Jude.

But there is a strong argument that Jude was the later letter (This isn’t my own observation by the way I looked it up). In his closing remarks Jude calls his readers to persevere and says this…

But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

Now when did the apostles say this thing that Jude quotes. Well they may have said it many times but we find it in the Bible written in 2 Peter 3:

you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.

This is a direct quotation (allowing for changes in copied letters and translation difference) and Peter is an apostle so surely thats compelling evidence that it is Jude who follows Peters letter and not the other way around.

We may never know the truth of which was first, but that two strong leaders urge the same point and that their similar letters are now both canon suggests to me that we really need to pay attention to what their point was, which is to wary of those who bring false testimony, and who are out to serve themselves instead of God. Don’t get caught up in the unrighteousness of others.

image credit: Jim LePage, please visit his design blog its super

About jim lockey

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One Response to 2 Peter 2 & 3 Who Copied Who?

  1. Paul says:

    Greetigns my brother… You go deep and porovide good insight. Inever thought of your question before, but I like what you said about Jude following Peter. We do know that Jesus gave him the keys, and he layed down the foundation of the gospel to Jews and gentiles.Anyway, thanks for provoking thought this mor ning

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