Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Internal Evidence for the Case that 2 Peter is a Pseudepigraphal Copy of Jude

I started working on this presentation back in the winter. Having already presented portions of this study elsewhere in person and online, I will instead post the whole thing here.

Of the texts that ended up in the official New Testament canon during the 4th-5th centuries, 2 Peter was one of the most debated and doubted ones. Some of the great leaders of old considered it to be inauthentic for a variety of reasons, and there have always been challenges to its authenticity, even down to this day.

I had long been aware of the similarities between 2 Peter and Jude, but it was always easy to just turn the page and move on without engaging those similarities deeply. But, curiosity got the best of me this winter, so I decided to carefully compare the texts for myself. It surprised me to see how much more alike the two texts were than I had first imagined: the "similarities" between the books spanned the entirety of both epistles, not just some sections of them. Someone was copying the other -- thought for thought and often word for word, even in the most peculiar places -- and the evidence overwhelmingly pointed to 2 Peter being a copy of Jude.

The question becomes, then:  Why would Peter, one of the twelve, even one of the innermost circle among them, even "the Rock," the fish-coin guy, the water-walking guy, the "You are the Christ" guy, the racer-to-the-tomb-guy, the Pentecost guy, the kill-and-eat guy, the silver-and-gold-have-I-none guy, why would HE of all people, who has such massive wisdom and experience to hand down for posterity, claim to diligently have written a final letter that was, in actuality, little more than a moderately expanded re-write of the epistle of Jude?

I don't think he would, and I think Origen and Eusebius and Didymus and the many others who did not embrace 2 Peter's authenticity were right.

Note: the bold texts typically show word-for-word parallels, while the underlines tend to show thought-for-thought parallels. My original document also used a few double underlines and a few dashed underlines to help visually identify the parallels, but pasting the original document into my Blogger editor changed all variations of underlining to single underline format. So I resorted to using blue or red lettering on those few occasions instead. 2 Peter makes some slight rearrangements of the Jude material, and I move them back into a Jude-ordering to show the parallels. Passages in 2 Peter that I move to Jude's ordering are bracketed off with double asterisks ( **passage** ).

Jude (NASB)
2 Peter (NASB)
Peter notes
Both introduce themselves by combining “bond-servant” with a relational qualification
1 Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James,   
1:1a Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
Both address their letters only “To those who…”
To those who are the called,
1b To those who

Both then refer to God and Jesus Christ
beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ:
1d …by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:
Both wish that graces, including peace, will “be multiplied to you”
2 May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you.
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;
“Be multiplied to you” is used only in these letters and also 1 Peter
Both make appeal to having common faith with the readers
3a Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation,
**1c …have received a faith of the same kind as ours…,**
3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you… 
First batch of material unique to 2 Peter, expounding upon godliness.
Includes the unusual and lengthy sentence connecting one particular attribute to another, like a chain of eight links, some of which are nearly synonymous.
13 …I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder, 14 knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind.
16 For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”— 18 and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.
Second batch of material unique to 2 Peter, separated from the first batch by vs. 12, which I examine a little later. The author here twice attempts to authenticate his Petrine identity (passages placed in red), first by appealing at length to the “death of Peter” prophecy, and second by appealing at length to having witnessed the Transfiguration.
He stresses the personal significance of what he is writing (underlined passages), because this letter is presented as likely being his last words to them. But surely, the real Peter, the rock, the eyewitness, one of Jesus’ innermost circle, would “be diligent” to leave behind far more experienced and apostolic words than a rewrite of the minor epistle of Jude, right?
Interestingly, about the Transfiguration, the  author quotes Matt 17:5, not Peter’s own version as tradition says is found in Mark 9:7.
Both then appeal to the ultimacy of the faith’s message, and maintaining one’s diligence towards it, because…
I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.
19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

Jude’s letter is much more cohesive and on point than 2 Peter.
…Both say sneaky enemies abound within, who were either fore-marked, or fore-exampled from Jewish history
4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation,
2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly
Both say these enemies spread licentiousness (i.e., unrestrained sensuality), deny the Master, and distort the truth
ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2 Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; 3 and in their greed they will exploit you with false words;
Both write to “remind” their readers of what they “already know.” Seems to be the only two occurrences of such a comment in the New Testament
5a Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all,
**1:12 Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you.**
This verse (1:12) was lodged between the first two sections of unique material, the one on godliness and the other one asserting Petrine authenticity.
Both warn of the enemies’ destruction, and then go on to utilize three examples to demonstrate it.
Jude gives his first example: those who fell in the Exodus
5b that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.
3b their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
Jude’s examples are the fallen generation of the Exodus, fallen angels, and Sodom and Gomorrah. 
2 Peter replaces the Exodus with the Flood, and then arranges his three examples in chronological order.
Both refer to sinful angels being an example of the judgment. Jude relies on the story taken from the apocryphal source of 1 Enoch 1-10
6 And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day,
4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment;
2 Peter scrubs the Enochic details of the angelic sin, keeping it vague.
5 and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;
Material unique to 2 Peter, except it is his second of three  examples of destruction. He replaces the Exodus with the Flood here because the Flood is a theme he returns to later.
Both refer to the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah
7a just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them,
6a and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah
Jude makes a direct reference to the interbreeding as described in 1 Enoch. As the angels once lusted after human flesh in 1 Enoch, now we see humans who “in the same way” lusted after angelic flesh in Sodom.
7b since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh,
2 Peter continues to scrub the Enochic details of the angelic sin, and thus the parallel activity by Sodom as well, keeping it vague. He seems reluctant to use this material, unlike Jude.
Both describe Sodom and Gomorrah’s fiery destruction as “an example” of the “punishment” of the enemies
7c are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.
6b to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter;… 
**9b and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment,**
2 Peter uses this fiery judgement theme in 6b and 9b as a bookend around vss. 7-9a shown below
7 and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men 8 (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation,
Material unique to 2 Peter, but it just expands upon his reference to the Sodom and Gomorrah story so as to include extra commentary about Lot
Both texts proceed straightway to accuse these enemies of defiling the flesh…
8 Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh,
10 and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires
…And of rejecting authority and reviling angelic majesties
and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties.
and despise authority. Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they revile angelic majesties,
The only two places “angelic majesties” is used in the bible
Both then claim that angels are reluctant to speak bold judgments.
Jude quotes additional apocryphal material, namely, the Testament of Moses (see also, The Vision of Amram)
9 But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”
11 whereas angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord.
2 Peter scrubs yet another apocryphal reference, in favor of a vague statement
Both proceed to explain that these enemies “revile” what they do not know, and are like “unreasoning animals” and will be “destroyed”
10 But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed.
12 But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed, 13a suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong…
Biblical stories of Cain, Balaam, and Korah are utilized as examples of the sneaky enemies. Both particularly highlight Balaam as greedy
11 Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.
14 having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children; 15 forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 but he received a rebuke for his own transgression, for a mute donkey, speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet.
2 Peter drops Cain and Korah to dwell at length on Balaam
Both writers employ a metaphor of disorder, then immediately proceed to blast the enemies’ self-pleasing defilement of the communal meal.
12 These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves;
**13b They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they feast with you,**
2 Peter places the defiling of the communal meal before the Balaam comparison, while Jude placed it after the Balaam comparison
Both utilize metaphors from nature to illustrate the enemies’ treachery, including the same meteorological metaphor of clouds or mists driven by winds. Both emphasize “without water”
clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars,
17 These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm,
2 Peter splits up his natural metaphors to form a bookend after vss. 18-21
The only imagery of water sources “without water” in the NT (the term elsewhere describes a desert in one gospel pericope).
Black darkness has been reserved for the enemies
for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.
for whom the black darkness has been reserved.
Jude returns to the apocryphal 1 Enoch story as the source of an authoritative prophecy
14 It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying,
2 Peter scrubs the apocryphal source reference yet again
Jude’s primary description of the day of the Lord is a direct quotation of 1 Enoch 1:9
“Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, 15 to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
2 Peter moves a much expanded but de-Enoched description of the day of the Lord to the end of his book
Both proceed to say the enemies are arrogant speakers of flattery and empty promises
16 These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.
18 For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, 19 promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.
20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them.
Material unique to 2 Peter, but it just expands further upon the judgment of the enemies.
22 It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.”
2 Peter places his remaining natural metaphors here as  a bookend to this section.
Both appeal to the “beloved” at the same transition point in their letters.
17 But you, beloved,
3:1 This is now, beloved,
the second letter I am writing to you, in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder,
Material unique to 2 Peter, making a third attempt to establish Petrine identity, this time by claiming authorship of the earlier 1 Peter.
Both exhort their readers to “remember the words” that were “spoken beforehand.”
ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ,
2 that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets, and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.
In 2 Peter, he clearly refers to the words of the deceased OT prophets; he then adds a mention of Jesus’ teaching as spoken by “your apostles,” as though still alive, Peter included. But the earlier epistle of Jude says the words “spoken beforehand” were those of the apostles, seemingly as if they have mostly passed away. Jude seems to be a second-generation text. If so, 2 Peter’s use of Jude would be another confirmation of its own late and pseudepigraphal nature.
Both in tandem then warn that “mockers” would come “in the last times,” “following after their own lusts”
18 that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.”
3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts,
The earlier Jude says mockers are those who spread partisanship and worldliness
19 These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.
4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.”
The later 2 Peter says the mockers are those who question the parousia-delay, letting it slip that the first Christian generation had passed away (“the fathers fell asleep”). This supports my previous comments that the “words spoken beforehand by the apostles” in Jude shows that they were deceased before 2 Peter was composed
5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
Material unique to 2 Peter, but it is just an expansion to answer the mockers, as well as to reiterate the fiery eschatological judgment of the enemies. Includes his second reference to the Flood, which he had earlier used instead of Jude’s Exodus reference
Both again appeal to “but…beloved” at the same point in their letters
20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,
8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved,
Jude: Wait anxiously for the Lord. Perhaps this is indicative that at the time of writing, parousia-delay had not yet grown into a big issue
21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.
that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9a The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,
2 Peter: Wait patiently for the Lord. Perhaps this is indicative that at the time of writing, parousia-delay had become a substantial issue. We saw already that the “mockers” were identified in
2 Peter as those who questioned that very matter.
Both suggest that waiting for the Lord is an opportunity for pursuing God’s salvific mission
22 And have mercy on some, who are doubting; 23 save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.
9b not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
**15a and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation;**
2 Peter’s theme of eschatological patience (vss. 9, 15a) bookends the
day of the Lord section of vss. 10-14
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.
    11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
Material unique to 2 Peter, but it is really his own expanded and de-Enoched
“day of the Lord” section that Jude briefly described earlier with his quotation of
1 Enoch 1:9
Both exhort their readers to diligently stand so that they will be “blameless” when they are finally in the Lord’s presence
24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy,
14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless
15b just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge
Material unique to 2 Peter, making a fourth attempt to establish Petrine identity by appealing to having a relationship with and understanding of Paul, whose letters are allegedly already available to “Peter” and his readers in a sort of collection by the 60s AD. Meanwhile, “the rock’s” own letter that remarkably assigns scripture-status to Paul’s letters will remain virtually unknown for decades to come?
Both utilize three nearly identical divine terms in closing.
25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord,
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Both letters close by ascribing “glory” to the Lord with a
“now and ever-after” phrase, and then an Amen.
be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
These are the only two places in the NT where a “now and ever-after” phrase is used.
In contrast to 2 Peter’s overemphasizing his claims of Petrine identity, 1 Peter makes only two brief statements that support Petrine identity, both in the final chapter; in 5:1 he says he was “a witness of Christ’s sufferings,” and in 5:13 he concludes the letter with greetings from others, including “my son Mark.” That’s all.
Jude does not close his letter with any greetings from others, and following him (in contrast with 1 Peter), neither does 2 Peter.