THE NEW TESTAMENT: AN UNDERSTANDABLE VERSION Table of Contents
1) [This letter is being written by] Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith just as precious as ours, through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. 2) [May God=s] unearned favor and peace be yours in abundance, through the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.
3) God=s divine power has given us everything [necessary] for [abundant] life and godly living, through the knowledge of Him [i.e., God], who called us by His own splendor and goodness. 4) By these [blessings] He has given to us the precious and tremendous promises, so that you people may share in His divine nature, [after] having escaped the world=s corruption, caused by evil desires.
5) And for this very reason, you people should make every effort to develop goodness along with your faith, and knowledge along with your goodness, 6) and self-control along with your knowledge, and endurance along with your self-control, and godliness along with your endurance, 7) and brotherly kindness along with your godliness, and with your brotherly kindness, develop love. 8) For if you people have a lot of these [qualities] they will keep you from being unproductive and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9) But, anyone who lacks these qualities is [spiritually] blind and shortsighted, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed [i.e., forgiven] of his past sins. 10) So, brothers, be diligent to make sure of your calling and election [i.e., of your status as being selected by God], for when you do, you will never stumble [and fall away from God]. 11) For in this way, you will be provided with a rich welcome into the never ending kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ [i.e., in heaven].
12) Therefore, I intend to constantly remind you people about these things [i.e., those mentioned in verses 5-11], even though you [already] know them, and have been established in the truth you now possess. 13) But I consider it the right thing to do, as long as I am in this Atent@ [Note: This is an allusion to his still being alive], to stir up your memory [of these things], 14) knowing that [I will] soon put off my Atent@ [i.e., I will soon die], even as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. 15) And I will make every effort to see that, after I leave [i.e., die], you will always be able to recall the things [I said to you]. 16) For we did not use cleverly conceived stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, because we were eyewitnesses of His Majesty [i.e., the apostles had personally seen the miraculous power of Jesus]. 17) For Jesus had received honor and glory from God, the Father, when [God=s] voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory saying, AThis is my dearly loved Son, and I am very pleased with Him.@ 18) And we heard this voice coming from heaven when we were with Him in the holy mountain.
19) And we have the message of the prophets [confirmed to us] as more certain [than ever]. So, you will do well to pay careful attention to it, as [you would] to a lamp in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts [Note: This probably refers to the beginning of the Gospel age, when people would become enlightened to its message]. 20) Above all, [you should realize] that no prophecy of Scripture originates from a person=s own initiative [Note: This passage is discussing the source of Scripture, not the understanding of it]. 21) For prophecy was never produced by the will of man, but people spoke from God, as they were carried along [i.e., inspired] by the Holy Spirit.
1) But just as there were false prophets among the people before, there will also be false teachers among you [Christians]. They will privately teach harmful doctrines that destroy people [spiritually], by even denying [that Jesus is] the Master, [and thereby] destroying themselves quickly. 2) And many people will follow their unrestrained, indecent conduct, which will result in the true way [of God] being spoken against. 3) And through greedy desires and deceptive words they will exploit you [for evil purposes]. But the judgment that they have had coming for a long time will not delay, but will eventually awaken [i.e., arrive] to bring destruction upon them.
4) For if God did not spare sinning angels, but cast them in chains into deep, dark dungeons to await judgment; 5) and if He did not spare the ancient world of Noah=s day, when He brought a flood on those ungodly people (though Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven other people, were saved from it); 6) and if God also condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by reducing them to ashes, thereby condemning them to catastrophic destruction, and making them an example to other ungodly people in the future; 7) and if He rescued the righteous man Lot, who had become very disturbed by unrestrained wickedness [of the people there in Sodom]. 8) (For, being a righteous man living among them, Lot=s righteous spirit was very disturbed every day by the wickedness he heard and saw), 9) then the Lord [surely] knows how to rescue godly people from trying situations, and to keep unrighteous people under [a sentence of] punishment [to be received] on the Judgment Day. 10) [This fate will come upon] those people especially who corrupt themselves with physical desires and despise being ruled by others. They are daring, self-willed, and are not afraid to speak against glorious beings [i.e., angels], 11) while [those] angels, who are greater in strength and power than they, refuse to speak against such authorities in condemnation before the Lord. 12) However, these people are like unreasonable, ignorant creatures of instinct, born as animals which are [to be] caught and destroyed. They speak out against things about which they are ignorant. In [the process of] destroying others, they will certainly be destroyed themselves. 13) They suffer wrong themselves for doing wrong to other people. They consider it [especially] pleasurable to carry on their drunken reveling, [even] during the daytime. They become blots and blemishes [i.e., like spoiled food] in your fellowship meal, as they revel in their deceitful behavior. 14) Their eyes are filled with sexual lust, and they are never satisfied when it comes to sinning. They entice unstable people and have hearts trained to be greedy [i.e., they continually desire the possessions of others]. [In this condition] they are under God=s curse. 15) They strayed away [from God] by taking the wrong road like Balaam, the son of Bosor did, who loved the reward for doing wrong. 16) But Balaam was rebuked for his own wrongdoing by a speechless donkey, which spoke out in a man=s voice and prevented the prophet from continuing his foolishness. 17) Such people are like springs that give no water and clouds driven by the winds. [Only] the blackest darkness awaits them. 18) [Although] their talk is big, what they say is worthless, and by [offering people] fleshly desires [i.e., sexual gratification], they lead people astray, who are barely escaping from the error of the world. 19) [Although] these people promise Aliberty,@ they themselves are slaves to corrupting influences, for people are slaves to whatever controls them. 20) For if people who have escaped from the defiling practices of the world by coming to know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, become tangled up in them again, and are overcome by them, these people are worse off than before they were converted. 21) It would have been better for them if they had not known the right way [to God] than, after knowing it, to turn back from the sacred message that had been presented to them. 22) It has happened to them like the true proverb [says], AThe dog [throws up, and then] goes back and eats its own vomit,@ and AThe hog that was all cleaned up [goes back] to wallowing in the mud.@
1) This is now, my dearly loved ones, the second letter I am writing to you; in both of them, as a reminder, I want to stir up your sincere thoughts 2) to remember the words spoken to you in the past by the holy prophets, and what the Lord and Savior commanded you through your apostles.
3) First of all, you should understand that, in the final days, mockers with evil desires will come [to you] saying, mockingly, 4) AWhy has the promise of a coming Messiah [not been fulfilled yet]? After all, since the time our ancestors died, everything has continued the same, even since the beginning of creation!@ 5) But, these people intentionally forget that the heavens, which existed long ago, and the earth, which was formed out of water and by water, [were created] by the word of God. 6) [And] it was by water that the world, which existed at that time, perished in a great flood [of Noah=s day]! 7) But, by means of the same word [of God], the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, awaiting the judgment and destruction [by God], along with [its] ungodly people.
8) But do not forget this one thing, my dearly loved ones, that as the Lord [counts time], one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. 9) The Lord is not slow about keeping His promise, like some people are, but is [simply] being patient with you, since He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but He wants everyone to repent [i.e., change their hearts and lives].
10) But the day of the Lord will come as a thief [i.e., unexpectedly]. At that time the heavens will pass away with a loud noise and the elements [Note: This refers either to the heavenly bodies or to the material components of the universe], will be dissolved with intense heat. And the earth and its works [i.e., its activities] will be burned up. [Note: Some translations render this phrase as it is in some ancient manuscripts, Awill be disclosed,@ or Awill be laid bare@]. 11) Since all these things are [certain] to be destroyed, what kind of persons should you be, [if not like those] living holy lives, and in a godly manner, 12) [while] looking forward to, and earnestly desiring the day of God to come, when the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved by fire and the elements [See verse 10] will melt with intense heat. 13) But, since God has promised it, we look forward to new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will prevail.
14) So, my dearly loved ones, while you are waiting for these things [to happen], do your best to be found at peace with God, pure and blameless in His sight. 15) And consider [that] the patience of the Lord means [further opportunities for] salvation, [just] as our dearly loved brother Paul also wrote to you, using the wisdom given to him by God. 16) He spoke about these things in all of his letters, which contain some parts that are difficult to understand, and [because of this], ignorant and unstable people twist [his writings], just as they also do to the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
17) Therefore, dearly loved ones, since you know about these things ahead of time, be on your guard so that you are not led astray by the error of lawless people, and [thus] fall from your own stability [i.e., your safe or secure position in Christ]. 18) But grow in the unearned favor and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May He be honored both now and forever. May it be so.
Table of Contents
Copyright © 1994 by William E. Paul.
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