POSTED 25 OCTOBER, 2017
Approximate date: 65 to 68 C.E.
Time period: spread of false teaching in the community of faith, and degrees of impatience about the Second Coming
Author: the Apostle Peter (possibly with a scribe’s assistance, and/or posthumously released)
Location of author: Rome
Target audience and their location: Jewish and non-Jewish Believers who are soon to face the absence of Peter, the same basic audience as 1 Peter
Theological Summary: The author of the Epistle of 2 Peter identifies himself in the text as the Apostle Peter (1:1), and states how this is his second letter: “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” (3:1). The author makes the claim to be an eyewitness of the Transfiguration of Yeshua (1:16-18), and indicates that he has a strong acquaintanceship with Paul (3:15). The author of 2 Peter indicates that his death is soon to occur (1:12-15), and 2 Peter is often classified within the farewell discourses of other known Biblical figures, including: Jacob (Genesis 49), Moses (Deuteronomy 31-33), Yeshua (Matthew 24-25; John 14-16), and Paul (Acts 20:17-38; 2 Timothy). According to early Christian tradition, the Apostle Peter was martyred in Rome at the hands of Nero (1 Clement 5:3; cf. Eusebius Ecclesiastical History 2.25.5). Following Peter’s death, this letter anticipates that a variety of severe problems are going to significantly face the community of Believers.
While the Epistle of 2 Peter has certainly been valued to various degrees by today’s Bible readers, few are often aware of how this letter has a number of difficult questions surrounding its purpose and composition. Many conservatives accept genuine Petrine authorship of 2 Peter, whereas all liberal theologians deny it. Moderates are somewhere in the middle of the liberal-conservative paradigm, often thinking that 2 Peter was written in the name of Peter, sometime immediately following his death, and/or possibly having been in the process of composition before Peter’s death.
As a Messianic Believer, do you have a problem reading the New Testament? When you read the Apostolic Scriptures, are you confused when you encounter the Gospels, Acts, or Epistles? Have you possibly been taught that the “New Testament” replaces the “Old Testament,” and that there are contradictions between the two, only to be reconciled by the coming of Yeshua? Do you have difficulty reconciling the words of the Torah to Yeshua, Peter, Paul, John, and the other Apostles?
If you have ever asked any of these questions, it is time that you receive a re-introduction to the Apostolic Scriptures. These texts record the ministry and teachings of Yeshua the Messiah, the history of the First Century Messianic community, and the challenges that the early Believers in Yeshua faced. These texts are not contrary to the Torah, but do continue God’s progressive story that begins in Genesis. They have valuable lessons that every Messianic Believer and Messianic congregation must learn in this hour, as the Messianic community grows and matures.
A Survey of the Apostolic Scriptures for the Practical Messianic takes you on a journey through the New Testament from a distinct Messianic point of view. The student, in company with his or her study Bible, is asked to read through each text of the Apostolic Scriptures, jotting down characters, place names, key ideas, and reflective questions. Each book of the New Testament is then summarized for its compositional data and asks you questions to get a good Messianic feel for the text. This workbook can be used for both personal and group study, and will be a valuable aid for any Messianic Believer wanting to study the whole Bible on a consistent basis.