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2 Peter 1:1

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Simon Peter - Symeon, Συμεων, is the reading of almost all the versions, and of all the most important MSS. And this is the more remarkable, as the surname of Peter occurs upwards of seventy times in the New Testament, and is invariably read Σιμων, Simon, except here, and in Acts 15:14, where James gives him the name of Symeon. Of all the versions, only the Armenian and Vulgate have Simon. But the edit. princ., and several of my own MSS. of the Vulgate, write Symon; and Wiclif has Symont.

A servant - Employed in his Master's work.

And an apostle - Commissioned immediately by Jesus Christ himself to preach to the Gentiles, and to write these epistles for the edification of the Church. As the writer was an apostle, the epistle is therefore necessarily canonical. All the MSS. agree in the title apostle; and of the versions, only the Syriac omits it.

Precious faith - Ισοτιμον πιστιν· Valuable faith; faith worth a great price, and faith which cost a great price. The word precious is used in the low religious phraseology for dear, comfortable, delightful, etc.; but how much is the dignity of the subject let down by expressions and meanings more proper for the nursery than for the noble science of salvation! It is necessary however to state, that the word precious literally signifies valuable, of great price, costly; and was not used in that low sense in which it is now employed when our translation was made. That faith must be of infinite value, the grace of which Christ purchased by his blood; and it must be of infinite value also when it is the very instrument by which the soul is saved unto eternal life.

With us - God having given to you - believing Gentiles, the same faith and salvation which he had given to us - believing Jews.

Through the righteousness of God - Through his method of bringing a lost world, both Jews and Gentiles, to salvation by Jesus Christ; through his gracious impartiality, providing for Gentiles as well as Jews. See the notes on Romans 3:21-26; (note).

Of God and our Savior Jesus Christ - This is not a proper translation of the original του Θεου ἡμων και σωτηρος Ιησου Χριστου, which is literally, Of our God and Savior Jesus Christ; and this reading, which is indicated in the margin, should have been received into the text; and it is an absolute proof that St. Peter calls Jesus Christ God, even in the properest sense of the word, with the article prefixed. It is no evidence against this doctrine that one MS. of little authority, and the Syriac and two Arabic versions have Κυριου, Lord, instead of Θεου, God, as all other MSS. and versions agree in the other reading, as well as the fathers. See in Griesbach.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Simon Peter - Margin, “Symeon.” The name is written either “Simon” or “Simeon” - Σίμων Simōnor Συμεών SumeōnEither word properly means “hearing;” and perhaps, like other names, was at first significant. The first epistle 1 Peter 1:1 begins simply, “Peter, an apostle,” etc. The name Simon, however, was, his proper name - “Peter,” or “Cephas,” having been added to it by the Saviour, John 1:42. Compare Matthew 16:18.

A servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ - In the first epistle the word “apostle” only is used. Paul, however, uses the word “servant” as applicable to himself in Romans 1:1, and to himself and Timothy in the commencement of the epistle to the Philippians, Philemon 1:1. See the notes at Romans 1:1.

To them that have obtained like precious faith with us - With us who are of Jewish origin. This epistle was evidently written to the same persons as the former (Introduction, Section 3), and that was intended to embrace many who were of Gentile origin. Notes, 1 Peter 1:1. The apostle addresses them all now, whatever was their origin, as heirs of the common faith, and as in all respects brethren.

Through the righteousness of God - Through the method of justification which God has adopted. See this fully explained in the notes at Romans 1:17.

(The original is ἐν δικαιοσυνη en dikaiosunēin the righteousness, etc., which makes the righteousness the object of faith. We cannot but regard the author‘s rendering of the famous phrase here used by Peter, and by Paul, Romans 1:17; Romans 3:21, as singularly unhappy. That Newcome used it and the Socinian version adopted it, would not make us reject it; but when the apostles state specially the ground of justification, why should they be made to speak indefinitely of its general “plan,” or method. The rendering of Stuart, namely, “justification of God,” is not more successful; it confounds the “thing itself” with the “ground” of it. Why not prefer the apostle‘s own words to any change or periphrasis? See the supplementary note at Romans 1:17).

God and our Saviour Jesus Christ - Margin, “our God and Saviour.” The Greek will undoubtedly bear the construction given in the margin; and if this be the true rendering, it furnishes an argument for the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Middleton, Slade, Valpy, Bloomfield, and others, contend that this is the true and proper rendering. It is doubted, however, by Wetstein, Grotius, and others. Erasmus supposes that it may be taken in either sense. The construction, though certainly not a violation of the laws of the Greek language, is not so free from all doubt as to make it proper to use the passage as a proof-text in an argument for the divinity of the Saviour. It is easier to prove the doctrine from other texts that are plain, than to show that this must be the meaning here.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Faith unites the weak believer to Christ, as really as it does the strong one, and purifies the heart of one as truly as of another; and every sincere believer is by his faith justified in the sight of God. Faith worketh godliness, and produces effects which no other grace in the soul can do. In Christ all fulness dwells, and pardon, peace, grace, and knowledge, and new principles, are thus given through the Holy Spirit. The promises to those who are partakers of a Divine nature, will cause us to inquire whether we are really renewed in the spirit of our minds; let us turn all these promises into prayers for the transforming and purifying grace of the Holy Spirit. The believer must add knowledge to his virtue, increasing acquaintance with the whole truth and will of God. We must add temperance to knowledge; moderation about worldly things; and add to temperance, patience, or cheerful submission to the will of God. Tribulation worketh patience, whereby we bear all calamities and crosses with silence and submission. To patience we must add godliness: this includes the holy affections and dispositions found in the true worshipper of God; with tender affection to all fellow Christians, who are children of the same Father, servants of the same Master, members of the same family, travellers to the same country, heirs of the same inheritance. Wherefore let Christians labour to attain assurance of their calling, and of their election, by believing and well-doing; and thus carefully to endeavour, is a firm argument of the grace and mercy of God, upholding them so that they shall not utterly fall. Those who are diligent in the work of religion, shall have a triumphant entrance into that everlasting kingdom where Christ reigns, and they shall reign with him for ever and ever; and it is in the practice of every good work that we are to expect entrance to heaven.
Ellen G. White
Our High Calling, 60

What a grand theme this is for contemplation—the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ! Contemplating Christ and His righteousness leaves no room for self-righteousness, for the glorifying of self. In this chapter there is no standstill. There is continual advancement in every stage in the knowledge of Christ.... OHC 60.2

In God we are to glory. The prophet says, “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth.” Jeremiah 9:23, 24.... OHC 60.3

We have been called to the knowledge of Christ, and that is to the knowledge of glory and virtue. It is a knowledge of the perfection of the divine character, manifested to us in Jesus Christ, that opens up to us communion with God.... Scarcely can the human mind comprehend what is the breadth and depth and height of the spiritual attainments that can be reached by becoming partakers of the divine nature. OHC 60.4

I long to address the young men and women who are so willing to reach only cheap standards. O that the Lord might influence their minds to see what perfection of character is! O that they might know the faith that works by love, and purifies the soul! We are living in days of peril. Christ alone can help us and give us the victory. Christ must be all in all to us; He must dwell in the heart; His life must circulate through us, as the blood circulates through the veins. His Spirit must be a vitalizing power that will cause us to influence others to become Christlike and holy. OHC 60.5

If our youth would take heed to the rules laid down in this chapter, and practice them, what an influence they would exert on the side of right! OHC 60.6

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Ellen G. White
The Retirement Years, 124

Let us do our best to bring about unity. I am in a position where I cannot change the past experience if I would; for the Lord has led me and has given me such evidence of His power in every advance movement of our work, that I have assurance, made doubly sure, as [to] every position we now hold as truth. We cannot distrust such manifestations of the Lord's power in defining what is truth. I am charged that we are to hold the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end. We now need clearly to define what is truth, and let not the enemy steal a march on us. RY 124.1

We know, and Elder Haskell and Elder Loughborough know also, of the earlier history of this work. There are few now alive who passed through the experience of 1843 and 1844. Let us be careful of our life power. Do not work too hard.—Letter 88, 1906. RY 124.2

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 93.2

Brethren, we must sink the shaft deep in the mine of truth. You may question matters with yourselves and with one another, if you only do it in the right spirit; but too often self is large, and as soon as investigation begins, an unchristian spirit is manifested. This is just what Satan delights in, but we should come with a humble heart to know for ourselves what is truth. The time is coming when we shall be separated and scattered, and each one of us will have to stand without the privilege of communion with those of like precious faith; and how can you stand unless God is by your side, and you know that He is leading and guiding you? Whenever we come to investigate Bible truth, the Master of assemblies is with us. The Lord does not leave the ship one moment to be steered by ignorant pilots. We may receive our orders from the Captain of our salvation.... TDG 93.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 258

It is especially true that new and startling themes should not be presented to the people at too great length. In every address given, let there be an application of truth to the heart that whosoever may hear shall understand, and that men, women, and youth may become alive unto God. Try to lead all, from the least to the greatest, to search the word; for the knowledge of His glory is to fill the whole earth as the waters cover the sea. TM 258.1

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 159.1

To them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. 2 Peter 1:1, 2. TMK 159.1

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Ellen G. White
Our High Calling, 67

“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ: ... Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:1-4. OHC 67.2

“Like precious faith” ... is a genuine faith. It is not a fruitless faith. True, saving faith is a precious treasure of inestimable value. It is not superficial. The just lives by faith a truly spiritual, Christlike life. It is through faith that the steps are taken one at a time up the ladder of progress. Faith must be cultivated. It unites the human with the divine nature. OHC 67.3

The life of obedience to all of God's commandments is a life of progression, a life of constant advancement. As the elect, precious, have increased understanding of the mediatorial work of Jesus Christ, they see and grasp the rich promises that come through the righteousness of Christ. The more they receive of the divine grace the more they work on the plan of addition. OHC 67.4

“Grace and peace” will be multiplied “through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” Here is the Source of all spiritual power, and faith must be in constant exercise, for all spiritual life is from Christ. Knowledge of God inspires faith in Him as the only channel to convey heaven's blessing to the soul, elevating, ennobling, refining the soul, as—through the knowledge of God—it is brought up to the high attainment of glory and virtue. “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” OHC 67.5

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 159

What a grand theme this is for contemplation—the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ! Contemplating Christ and His righteousness leaves no room for self-righteousness, for the glorifying of self. In this chapter there is no standstill. There is continual advancement in every stage in the knowledge of Christ. Through the knowledge of Christ is life eternal. In His prayer Jesus says, “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). In God we are to glory.... “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written. He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:30, 31).... TMK 159.2

We have been called to the knowledge of Christ, and that is to the knowledge of glory and virtue. It is a knowledge of the perfection of the divine character, manifested to us in Jesus Christ, that opens up to us communion with God. It is by the great and precious promises that we are to become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. TMK 159.3

What possibilities are opened up to the youth who lay hold of the divine assurances of God's Word! Scarcely can the human mind comprehend what is the breadth and depth and height of the spiritual attainments that can be reached by becoming partakers of the divine nature. The human agent who yields obedience to God, Who becomes a partaker of the divine nature, finds pleasure in keeping the commandments of God, for he is one with God; he holds as vital a relation with God as does the Son to the Father.2 TMK 159.4

What privileges and blessings are granted to those who have obtained like precious faith with the disciples of Christ! Nothing is withheld from them.3 TMK 159.5

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Ellen G. White
Our High Calling, 68

Add to your faith virtue.” There is no promise given to the one who is retrograding. The apostle, in his testimony, is aiming to excite the believers to advancement in grace and holiness. They already profess to be living the truth, they have a knowledge of the precious faith, they have been made partakers of the divine nature. But if they stop here they will lose the grace they have received.... OHC 68.2

Without giving “all diligence” to make step after step upward to God above the ladder, there is no gaining ground in peace and grace and the work of holiness. “Strive,” said Jesus, “to enter in at the strait gate.” Luke 13:24. The way of the believer is marked out by God above the ladder. All his endeavors will be in vain if he has not virtue of character, a practical knowledge of Christ through obedience to all His requirements. Those who have faith must be careful to show their faith by their works.... OHC 68.3

“Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge”—knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, knowledge of the great plan of salvation. To be ignorant of God's commandments and laws will not excuse a soul. He will not dare to plead around the throne of God, “I did not know the truth. I was ignorant.” The Lord has given His Word to be our guide, our instructor, and with this heavenly enlightening there is no excuse for ignorance.... OHC 68.4

Truth is an active, working principle, molding heart and life so that there is a constant upward movement.... In every step of climbing, the will is obtaining a new spring of action. The moral tone is becoming more like the mind and character of Christ. The progressive Christian has grace and love which passes knowledge, for divine insight into the character of Christ takes a deep hold upon his affections. The glory of God revealed above the ladder can only be appreciated by the progressive climber, who is ever attracted higher, to nobler aims which Christ reveals. All the faculties of mind and body must be enlisted. OHC 68.5

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Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 531-3

“This is life eternal,” Christ said, “that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” John 17:3. And the prophet Jeremiah declared: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23, 24. Scarcely can the human mind comprehend the breadth and depth and height of the spiritual attainments of him who gains this knowledge. AA 531.1

None need fail of attaining, in his sphere, to perfection of Christian character. By the sacrifice of Christ, provision has been made for the believer to receive all things that pertain to life and godliness. God calls upon us to reach the standard of perfection and places before us the example of Christ's character. In His humanity, perfected by a life of constant resistance of evil, the Saviour showed that through co-operation with Divinity, human beings may in this life attain to perfection of character. This is God's assurance to us that we, too, may obtain complete victory. AA 531.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 471-2

I have sought to arouse parents to their duty, yet they sleep on. Your children are practicing secret vice, and they deceive you. You have such implicit confidence in them that you think them too good and innocent to be capable of secretly practicing iniquity. Parents fondle and pet their children, and indulge them in pride, but do not restrain them with firmness and decision. They are so much afraid of their willful, stubborn spirits that they fear to come in contact with them; the sin of negligence, which was marked against Eli, will be their sin. The exhortation of Peter is of the highest value to all who are striving for immortality. He addresses those of like precious faith: 2T 471.1

“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2T 471.2

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