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Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who have received a faith as precious as ours through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

2 May grace and peace be yours in abundance in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

The Christian’s Call and Election

3 His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature. 5For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, 6and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, 7and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. 8For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9For anyone who lacks these things is short-sighted and blind, and is forgetful of the cleansing of past sins. 10Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more eager to confirm your call and election, for if you do this, you will never stumble. 11For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you.

12 Therefore I intend to keep on reminding you of these things, though you know them already and are established in the truth that has come to you. 13I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to refresh your memory, 14since I know that my death will come soon, as indeed our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.

Eyewitnesses of Christ’s Glory

16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” 18We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.

19 So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

1. Simon Peter. Prayer takes the first place at the beginning of this Epistle, and then follows thanksgiving, by which he excites the Jews to gratitude, lest they should forget what great benefits they had already received from God's hand. Why he called himself the servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, we have elsewhere stated, even because no one is to be heard in the Church, except he speaks as from the mouth of Christ. But the word servant has a more general meaning, because it includes all the ministers of Christ, who sustain any public office in the Church. There was in the apostleship a higher rank of honor. He then intimates, that he was not one from the rank of ministers, but was made by the Lord an apostle, and therefore superior to them. 144144     Simeon, and not Simon, is the name as here given, though a few copies and the Vulg. have Simon. His name is given both ways elsewhere; see Luke 5:8, and Acts 15:14. Why he called himself Peter in the first Epistle, and Simeon Peter here, does not appear. — Ed.

Like precious faith. This is a commendation of the grace which God had indiscriminately shewed to all his elect people; for it was no common gift, that they had all been called to one and the same faith, since faith is the special and chief good of man. But he calls it like or equally precious, not that it is equal in all, but because all possess by faith the same Christ with his righteousness, and the same salvation. Though then the measure is different, that does not prevent the knowledge of God from being common to all, and the fruit which proceeds from it. Thus we have a real fellowship of faith with Peter and the Apostles.

He adds, through the righteousness of God, in order that they might know that they did not obtain faith through their own efforts or strength, but through God's favor alone. For these things stand opposed the one to the other, the righteousness of God (in the sense in which it is taken here) and the merit of man. For the efficient cause of faith is called God's righteousness for this reason, because no one is capable of conferring it on himself. So the righteousness that is to be understood, is not that which remains in God, but that which he imparts to men, as in Romans 3:22. Besides, he ascribes this righteousness in common to God and to Christ, because it flows from God, and through Christ it flows down to us. 145145     It has been maintained by many, that the rendering of these words ought to be, “of our God and Savior Jesus Christ,” In this case the ἐν before “righteousness” would be rendered “in;” for it is more suitable to say that faith is in than through the righteousness of Christ. Christ is thus called here God as well as Savior; and so he is called “our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” in chapter 3:18, the article being used in the same manner. — Ed.

2. Grace and peace. By grace is designated God’s paternal favor towards us. We have indeed been once for all reconciled to God by the death of Christ, and by faith we come to the possession of this so great a benefit; but as we perceive the grace of God according to the measure of our faith, it is said to increase according to our perception when it becomes more fully known to us.

Peace is added; for as the beginning of our happiness is when God receives us into favor; so the more he confirms his love in our hearts, the richer blessing he confers on us, so that we become happy and prosperous in all things,

Through the knowledge, literally, in the knowledge; but the preposition ἐν often means “through” or “with:” yet both senses may suit the context. I am, however, more disposed to adopt the former. For the more any one advances in the knowledge of God, every kind of blessing increases also equally with the sense of divine love. Whosoever then aspires to the full fruition of the blessed life which is mentioned by Peter, must remember to observe the right way. He connects together at the same time the knowledge of God and of Christ; because God cannot be rightly known except in Christ, according to that saying,

“No one knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whom
the Son will reveal him.” (Matthew 11:27)

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