2 Peter 1:2-3Context
1:2 May grace and peace be lavished on you 1 as you grow 2 in the rich knowledge 3 of God and of Jesus our Lord! 4
1:3 I can pray this because his divine power 5 has bestowed on us everything necessary 6 for life and godliness through the rich knowledge 7 of the one who called 8 us by 9 his own glory and excellence.
2 Peter 1:8Context
1:8 For if 10 these things are really yours 11 and are continually increasing, 12 they will keep you from becoming 13 ineffective and unproductive in your pursuit of 14 knowing our Lord Jesus Christ more intimately. 15
2 Peter 2:20Context
2:20 For if after they have escaped the filthy things 16 of the world through the rich knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, 17 they 18 again get entangled in them and succumb to them, 19 their last state has become worse for them than their first.
1 tn Grk “May grace and peace be multiplied to you.”
2 tn The words “as you grow” are not in the Greek text, but seem to be implied.
3 tn The word ἐπίγνωσις (epignwsis) could simply mean knowledge, but J. B. Mayor (Jude and Second Peter, 171-74) has suggested that it is often a fuller knowledge, especially in reference to things pertaining to spiritual truth. R. Bauckham (Jude, 2 Peter [WBC], 169-70) argues that it refers to the knowledge of God that is borne of conversion, but this is probably saying too much and is asking questions of the author that are foreign to his way of thinking. The term is used in 1:2, 3, 8; 2:20 (the verb form occurs twice, both in 2:21). In every instance it evidently involves being in the inner circle of those who connect to God, though it does not necessarily imply such a direct and relational knowledge of God for each individual within that circle. An analogy would be Judas Iscariot: Even though he was a disciple of the Lord, he was not converted.
4 tn A comma properly belongs at the end of v. 2 instead of a period, since v. 3 is a continuation of the same sentence. With the optative in v. 2, the author has departed from Paul’s normal greeting (in which no verb is used), rendering the greeting a full-blown sentence. Nevertheless, this translation divides the verses up along thematic lines in spite of breaking up the sentence structure. For more explanation, see note on “power” in v. 3.
5 tn The verse in Greek starts out with ὡς (Jws) followed by a genitive absolute construction, dependent on the main verb in v. 2. Together, they form a subordinate causal clause. A more literal rendering would be “because his divine power…” The idea is that the basis or authority for the author’s prayer in v. 2 (that grace and peace would abound to the readers) was that God’s power was manifested in their midst. The author’s sentence structure is cumbersome even in Greek; hence, the translation has broken this up into two sentences.
6 tn The word “necessary” is not in the Greek, but is implied by the preposition πρός (pros).
7 tn See the note on “rich knowledge” in v. 2.
8 sn Called. The term καλέω (kalew), used here in its participial form, in soteriological contexts when God is the subject, always carries the nuance of effectual calling. That is, the one who is called is not just invited to be saved – he is also and always saved (cf. Rom 8:30). Calling takes place at the moment of conversion, while election takes place in eternity past (cf. Eph 1:4).
9 tn The datives ἰδίᾳ δόξῃ καὶ ἀρετῇ (idia doxh kai areth) could be taken either instrumentally (“by [means of] his own glory and excellence”) or advantage (“for [the benefit of] his own glory and excellence”). Both the connection with divine power and the textual variant found in several early and important witnesses (διὰ δόξης καὶ ἀρετῆς in Ì72 B 0209vid) argues for an instrumental meaning. The instrumental notion is also affirmed by the meaning of ἀρετῇ (“excellence”) in contexts that speak of God’s attributes (BDAG 130 s.v. ἀρετή 2 in fact defines it as “manifestation of divine power” in this verse).
10 tn The participles are evidently conditional, as most translations render them.
11 tn The participle ὑπάρχοντα (Juparconta) is stronger than the verb εἰμί (eimi), usually implying a permanent state. Hence, the addition of “really” is implied.
12 sn Continually increasing. There are evidently degrees of ownership of these qualities, implying degrees of productivity in one’s intimacy with Christ. An idiomatic rendering of the first part of v. 8 would be “For if you can claim ownership of these virtues in progressively increasing amounts…”
13 tn Grk “cause [you] not to become.”
14 tn Grk “unto,” “toward”; although it is possible to translate the preposition εἰς (eis) as simply “in.”
15 tn Grk “the [rich] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Verse 8 in Greek does not make a full stop (period), for v. 9 begins with a subordinate relative pronoun. Contemporary English convention requires a full stop in translation, however.
16 tn Grk “defilements”; “contaminations”; “pollutions.”
17 sn Through the rich knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The implication is not that these people necessarily knew the Lord (in the sense of being saved), but that they were in the circle of those who had embraced Christ as Lord and Savior.
18 tn Grk “(and/but) they.”
19 tn Grk “they again, after becoming entangled in them, are overcome by them.”