Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

2 Peter 1:1


From Simeon 1  Peter, 2  a slave 3  and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who through the righteousness of our God 4  and Savior, 5  Jesus Christ, have been granted 6  a faith just as precious 7  as ours.


Isa 12:2; Jer 33:16; Mt 4:18; Mt 10:2; Lu 1:47; Lu 11:49; Lu 22:31-34; Joh 1:42; Joh 12:26; Joh 20:21; Joh 21:15-17; Ac 15:8,9; Ac 15:14; Ro 1:1; Ro 1:12; Ro 1:17; Ro 3:21-26; 1Co 1:30; 1Co 9:1; 1Co 15:9; 2Co 4:13; 2Co 5:21; Ga 2:8; Eph 3:5; Eph 4:5; Eph 4:11; Php 1:29; Php 3:9; 2Ti 1:5; Tit 1:1,4; Tit 2:13; 1Pe 1:1; 1Pe 1:7; 1Pe 2:7; 1Pe 5:1; 2Pe 1:4

NET © Notes

tc Several witnesses, a few of them very important (Ì72 B Ψ 69 81 614 623 630 1241 1243 2464 al vg co), read Σίμων (Simwn, “Simon”) for Συμεών (Sumewn, “Simeon”). However, this appears to be a motivated reading as it is the more common spelling. Συμεών occurs only here and in Acts 15:14 as a spelling for the apostle’s name. The reading Συμεών enjoys ample and widespread support among the mss, strongly suggesting its authenticity. Further, this Hebraic spelling is a subtle argument for the authenticity of this letter, since a forger would almost surely follow the normal spelling of the name (1 Peter begins only with “Peter” giving no help either way).

tn Grk “Simeon Peter.” The word “from” is not in the Greek text, but has been supplied to indicate the sender of the letter.

tn Though δοῦλος (doulos) is normally translated “servant,” the word does not bear the connotation of a free individual serving another. BDAG notes that “‘servant’ for ‘slave’ is largely confined to Biblical transl. and early American times…in normal usage at the present time the two words are carefully distinguished” (BDAG 260 s.v.). At the same time, perhaps “servant” is apt in that the δοῦλος of Jesus Christ took on that role voluntarily, unlike a slave. The most accurate translation is “bondservant” (sometimes found in the ASV for δοῦλος), in that it often indicates one who sells himself into slavery to another. But as this is archaic, few today understand its force.

sn Undoubtedly the background for the concept of being the Lord’s slave or servant is to be found in the Old Testament scriptures. For a Jew this concept did not connote drudgery, but honor and privilege. It was used of national Israel at times (Isa 43:10), but was especially associated with famous OT personalities, including such great men as Moses (Josh 14:7), David (Ps 89:3; cf. 2 Sam 7:5, 8) and Elijah (2 Kgs 10:10); all these men were “servants (or slaves) of the Lord.”

tc A few mss (א Ψ pc vgmss syph sa) read κυρίου (kuriou, “Lord”) for θεοῦ (qeou, “God”) in v. 1, perhaps due to confusion of letters (since both words were nomina sacra), or perhaps because “our God and Savior, Jesus Christ” is an unusual expression (though hardly because of theological objections to θεοῦ).

tn The terms “God and Savior” both refer to the same person, Jesus Christ. This is one of the clearest statements in the NT concerning the deity of Christ. The construction in Greek is known as the Granville Sharp rule, named after the English philanthropist-linguist who first clearly articulated the rule in 1798. Sharp pointed out that in the construction article-noun-καί-noun (where καί [kai] = “and”), when two nouns are singular, personal, and common (i.e., not proper names), they always had the same referent. Illustrations such as “the friend and brother,” “the God and Father,” etc. abound in the NT to prove Sharp’s point. In fact, the construction occurs elsewhere in 2 Peter, strongly suggesting that the author’s idiom was the same as the rest of the NT authors’ (cf., e.g., 1:11 [“the Lord and Savior”], 2:20 [“the Lord and Savior”]). The only issue is whether terms such as “God” and “Savior” could be considered common nouns as opposed to proper names. Sharp and others who followed (such as T. F. Middleton in his masterful The Doctrine of the Greek Article) demonstrated that a proper name in Greek was one that could not be pluralized. Since both “God” (θεός, qeos) and “savior” (σωτήρ, swthr) were occasionally found in the plural, they did not constitute proper names, and hence, do fit Sharp’s rule. Although there have been 200 years of attempts to dislodge Sharp’s rule, all attempts have been futile. Sharp’s rule stands vindicated after all the dust has settled. For more information on the application of Sharp’s rule to 2 Pet 1:1, see ExSyn 272, 276-77, 290. See also Titus 2:13 and Jude 4.

tn The verb λαγχάνω (lancanw) means “obtain by lot,” “receive.” A literal translation would put it in the active, but some of the richness of the term would thereby be lost. It is used in collocation with κλῆρος (klhros, “lot”) frequently enough in the LXX to suggest the connotation of reception of a gift, or in the least reception of something that one does not deserve. H. Hanse’s statement (TDNT 4:1) that “Even where there is no casting of lots, the attainment is not by one’s own effort or as a result of one’s own exertions, but is like ripe fruit falling into one’s lap” is apt for this passage. The author’s opening line is a reminder that our position in Christ is not due to merit, but grace.

tn Grk “equal in value/honor.”

sn A faith just as precious. The author’s point is that the Gentile audience has been blessed with a salvation that is in no way inferior to that of the Jews.

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