Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


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

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. 2 Peter 1:1. OHC 60.1

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

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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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