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2 Peter 2:10-19

Context
2:10 especially those who indulge their fleshly desires 1  and who despise authority.

Brazen and insolent, 2  they are not afraid to insult 3  the glorious ones, 4  2:11 yet even 5  angels, who are much more powerful, 6  do not bring a slanderous 7  judgment against them before the Lord. 8  2:12 But 9  these men, 10  like irrational animals – creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed 11  – do not understand whom 12  they are insulting, and consequently 13  in their destruction they will be destroyed, 14  2:13 suffering harm as the wages for their harmful ways. 15  By considering it a pleasure to carouse in broad daylight, 16  they are stains and blemishes, indulging 17  in their deceitful pleasures when they feast together with you. 2:14 Their eyes, 18  full of adultery, 19  never stop sinning; 20  they entice 21  unstable people. 22  They have trained their hearts for greed, these cursed children! 23  2:15 By forsaking the right path they have gone astray, because they followed the way of Balaam son of Bosor, 24  who loved the wages of unrighteousness, 25  2:16 yet was rebuked 26  for his own transgression (a dumb donkey, 27  speaking with a human voice, 28  restrained the prophet’s madness). 29 

2:17 These men 30  are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm, for whom the utter depths of darkness 31  have been reserved. 2:18 For by speaking high-sounding but empty words 32  they are able to entice, 33  with fleshly desires and with debauchery, 34  people 35  who have just escaped 36  from those who reside in error. 37  2:19 Although these false teachers promise 38  such people 39  freedom, they themselves are enslaved to 40  immorality. 41  For whatever a person succumbs to, to that he is enslaved. 42 

1 tn Grk “those who go after the flesh in [its] lust.”

2 tn There is no “and” in Greek; it is supplied for the sake of English convention.

3 tn The translation takes βλασφημοῦντες (blasfhmounte") as an adverbial participle of purpose, as most translations do. However, it is also possible to see this temporally (thus, “they do not tremble when they blaspheme”).

4 tn Δόξας (doxas) almost certainly refers to angelic beings rather than mere human authorities, though it is difficult to tell whether good or bad angels are in view. Verse 11 seems to suggest that wicked angels is what the author intends.

5 tn Grk “whereas.”

6 tn Grk “who are greater in strength and power.” What is being compared, however, could either be the false teachers or “the glorious ones,” in which case “angels” would refer to good angels and “the glorious ones” to evil angels.

7 tn Or “insulting.” The word comes from the same root as the term found in v. 10 (“insult”), v. 12 (“insulting”), and v. 2 (“will be slandered”). The author is fond of building his case by the repetition of a word in a slightly different context so that the readers make the necessary connection. English usage cannot always convey this connection because a given word in one language cannot always be translated the same way in another.

8 tc ‡ Some witnesses lack παρὰ κυρίῳ (para kuriw; so A Ψ 33 81 1505 1881 2464 al vg co), while others have the genitive παρὰ κυρίου (para kuriou; so Ì72 1241 al syph,h**). The majority of witnesses (including א B C P 1739 Ï) read the dative παρὰ κυρίῳ. The genitive expression suggests that angels would not pronounce a judgment on “the glorious ones” from the Lord, while the dative indicates that angels would not pronounce a judgment on “the glorious ones” in the presence of the Lord. The parallel in Jude 9 speaks of a reviling judgment against the devil in which the prepositional phrase is entirely absent. At the same time, in that parallel Michael does say, “The Lord rebuke you.” (Hence, he is offering something of a judgment from the Lord.) The best options externally are the dative or the omission of the phrase, but a decision is difficult. Internally, the omission may possibly be a motivated reading in that it finds a parallel in Jude 9 (where no prepositional phrase is used). All things considered, the dative is to be preferred, though with much reservation.

9 tn 2 Pet 2:12 through 16 constitute one cumbersome sentence in Greek. It is difficult to tell whether a hard break belongs in the middle of v. 13, as the translation has it, or whether the compounding of participles is meant in a loosely descriptive sort of way, without strong grammatical connection. Either way, the sentence rambles in a way that often betrays a great “vehemence of spirit” (A. T. Robertson, Grammar, 435). The author is obviously agitated at these false teachers who are to come.

10 tn The false teachers could conceivably be men or women, but in v. 14 they are said to have eyes “full of an adulteress.” This can only refer to men. Hence, both here and in v. 17 the false teachers are described as “men.”

11 tn Grk “born for capture and destruction.”

12 tn Grk “with [reference to] whom.”

13 tn There is no conjunction joining this last clause of v. 12 to the preceding (i.e., no “and consequently”). The argument builds asyndetically (a powerful rhetorical device in Greek), but cannot be naturally expressed in English as such.

14 tn This cryptic expression has been variously interpreted. (1) It could involve a simple cognate dative in which case the idea is “they will be utterly destroyed.” But the presence of αὐτῶν (autwn; their, of them) is problematic for this view. Other, more plausible views are: (2) the false teachers will be destroyed at the same time as the irrational beasts, or (3) in the same manner as these creatures (i.e., by being caught); or (4) the false teachers will be destroyed together with the evil angels whom they insult. Because of the difficulties of the text, it was thought best to leave it ambiguous, as the Greek has it.

15 tn There is a play on words in Greek, but this is difficult to express adequately in English. The verb ἀδικέω (adikew) as a passive means “to suffer harm,” or “to suffer an injustice.” The noun ἀδικία (adikia) means “unrighteousness.” Since the Greek verb has a wider field of meaning than the English, to translate it as suffer an injustice is unwarranted, for it implicitly attributes evil to God. As R. Bauckham notes, “in English it is impossible to translate ἀδικούμενοι as a morally neutral term and ἀδικίας with a morally pejorative term, while retaining the play on words” (Jude, 2 Peter [WBC], 265).

16 tn Grk “considering carousing in the daytime a pleasure.”

17 tn Or “carousing,” “reveling.” The participle ἐντρυφῶντες (entrufwnte") is a cognate to the noun τρυφή (trufh, “carousing”) used earlier in the verse.

18 tn Grk “having eyes.” See note on “men” at the beginning of v. 12.

19 tn Grk “full of an adulteress.”

20 tn Grk “and unceasing from sin.” Some translate this “insatiable for sin,” but such a translation is based on a textual variant with inadequate support.

21 tn Grk “enticing.” See note on “men” at the beginning of v. 12.

22 tn “People” is literally “souls.” The term ψυχή (yuch) can refer to one’s soul, one’s life, or oneself.

23 tn Grk “having hearts trained in greediness, children of cursing.” The participles continue the general description of the false teachers, without strong grammatical connection. The genitive κατάρας (kataras, “of cursing”) is taken attributively here.

24 tn Although many modern translations (e.g., NASB, TEV, NIV, CEV, NLT) read “Beor” here, this is due to harmonization with the OT rather than following a variant textual reading. The Greek text of NA27 reads “Bosor,” an otherwise unattested form of the name of Balaam’s father.

25 tn “Wages of unrighteousness” in Greek is the same expression found in v. 13, “wages for harmful ways.” The repetition makes the link between the false teachers and Balaam more concrete.

26 tn Grk “but he had a rebuke.”

27 tn The Greek word ἄφωνος (afwno") means “mute, silent” or “incapable of speech.” For reasons of English style the word “dumb” was used in the translation. Despite the potential for misunderstanding (since “dumb” can refer to a lack of intellectual capability) more dynamic glosses were judged to be inelegant.

28 tn Grk “a voice of a (man/person).”

29 sn Balaam’s activities are detailed in Num 22—24 (see also Num 31:8, 16).

30 tn Although some translations have simply “these” or “these people,” since in v. 14 they are described as having eyes “full of an adulteress,” men are in view.

31 tn Grk “utter darkness of darkness.” Verse 4 speaks of wicked angels presently in “chains of utter darkness,” while the final fate of the false teachers is a darker place still.

32 tn Grk “high-sounding words of futility.”

33 tn Grk “they entice.”

34 tn Grk “with the lusts of the flesh, with debauchery.”

35 tn Grk “those.”

36 tn Or “those who are barely escaping.”

37 tn Or “deceit.”

38 tn Verse 19 is a subordinate clause in Greek. The masculine nominative participle “promising” (ἐπαγγελλόμενοι, epangellomenoi) refers back to the subject of vv. 17-18. At the same time, it functions subordinately to the following participle, ὑπάρχοντες (Juparconte", “while being”).

39 tn Grk “them.”

40 tn Grk “slaves of.” See the note on the word “slave” in 1:1.

41 tn Or “corruption,” “depravity.” Verse 19 constitutes a subordinate clause to v. 18 in Greek. The main verbal components of these two verses are: “uttering…they entice…promising…being (enslaved).” The main verb is (they) entice. The three participles are adverbial and seem to indicate an instrumental relation (by uttering), a concessive relation (although promising), and a temporal relation (while being [enslaved]). For the sake of English usage, in the translation of the text this is broken down into two sentences.

42 tn Grk “for by what someone is overcome, to this he is enslaved.”



TIP #08: Use the Strong Number links to learn about the original Hebrew and Greek text. [ALL]
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