PETER, SECOND EPISTLE OF.—The genuine ness of this second epistle has long been disputed, though its author calls himself Simon Peter,' Soaos Kat wroo-roNor, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ.' It is bard to say whether the alleged quotations from it by the Fathers are really quotations, or are only, on the one hand, allusions to the O. T., or, on the other, the employment of such phrases as had grown into familiar Christian commonplaces. Thus Clement of Rome, in his First Epistle to the Corinthians, chap. vii., says of Noah, itchpvEc nercipozar, and of those who obeyed him, lo-650nont, language not unlike 2 Pet. ii. 5 ; but the words can scarcely be called a quotation. The allusion in the same epistle to Lot (chap. xi.) is of a similar nature, and cannot warrant the allega tion of any proof from it. A third instance is usually taken from chap. xxiii., in which Clement says, miserable are the doubleminded,' a seeming re miniscence of James i. 5 ; but adds, we are grown old, and none of those things hare happened to us (^yeripcitcaAtev Kai obbiv kuv as if in allusion to 2 Pet. iii. 4. The appeal to Hernias is as doubtful, in Lib. i, Vis. iii. 7, the words reliquerunt vianz veranz have a slight re semblance to 2 Pet. ii. 15 ; in another place (I. iv. 3) the clause, qui efugistis saculum hoc, is not a citation of arocpv-y6pTEs Tet pcio-Actra Koo-uag, 2 Pet. ii. 20. Justin Martyr says, a day with the Lord is as a thousand years' (Dialog. cum Mph., cap. 8r ; Opera, ii. p. 278., ed. Otto, Jenae but the clause may as well be taken from Ps. xc. 4 as from 2 Pet. iii. 8. Similar statements occur twice in Tremens, and have probably a similar origin, as citations from the O. T. The epistle is not quoted by Tertullian, the. Alexandrian Clement, or Cyprian who speaks only of one epistle. A passage in Hippolytus (De Antichristo, ii.), in asserting of the prophets that they did not speak by their own power' (4, ISlas aumitaws), but uttered things which God had revealed, appears to be a paraphrase of 2 Pet. i. 21. Another state ! ment made by Theophilus, in which he describes the prophets as vpcmuarotp6po; rveo,uaros is not unlike 2 Pet. i. zo, fnrd rvebAcaros &Tem. q9co6l.tevca (Ad Autolycum, lib. ii. p. 87). Theo philus again describes the word shining as a lamp in a house --cbaivwv do repXbxPos ev olzojilart , but the figure is different from that in 2 Pet. i. 19, a's Atixvco Oalvoviz aitxpipc51-6/rtp—' as a light shining in a dark place.' Clement of Alexandria commented, we are told by Eusebius and Cassio dorus, on all the canonical Scriptures, Eusebius specifying among them ` Jude and the other catholic TeLS Xoor&S KaBoT/x.is 47rtarONar (Hist. Eccles. vi. 14). But a second statement of Cassio dorus mentions expressly the first epistle of Peter, as if the second had been excluded, and adds, and 2 John and James,' thereby also excluding Jude, which Eusebius, however, had distinctly named (De Institut., cap. viii.) The testimony of Origen is no less liable to doubt, for it seems to vary. In the translation of Rufinus, who certainly was not a literal versionist, we find the epistle at least three times referred to, one of them being the assertion, Petrus enim duabus epistolarum suarum personat tubis' (Fim. iv. on Joshua). In Homily iv. on Leviticus, 2 Pet. i. 4 is quoted, and in Homily xiii. on Numbers, ii. 16 is quoted. Somewhat in opposition to this, Origen, in his extant works in Greek, speaks of the first epistle as iv ri) KaBoXucil ; nay, as quoted by Eusebius (lust. Eccles. vi. 25), he adds that Peter left one acknowledged epistle,' adding-4cm° Si Kai Sevrgpay• dkupceciXXerat yap. This is not a formal denial of its genuineness,
but is tantamount to it. Nor can the words of Fir milian be trusted in their Latin version. Yet in his letter to Cyprian he seems to allude to 2 Peter, and the warnings in it against heretics (Cypriani Opera, p. t26, ed. Paris 1836). In a Latin translation of a commentary of Didymus on the epistle it is called falsata, non in canone. Now Falsare, according to Du Fresne in his Glossar. med. et iitfinz. Latinitat., does not mean to interpolate, hut to pronounce spurious. Eusehius has placed this epistle among the dvrtNcybpeva (Hist. Eccles. iii. 25), and more fully he declares ' that called his second epistle we have been told has not been received, gVaide€Tov ; but yet appearing to many to be useful it has been dili gently studied with the other Scriptures.' Jerome says explicitly, Scripsit dugs epistolas . . . quarum secunda a plerisque ejus esse negatur ; adding as the reason, propter styli cum priore dis sonantiam, and ascribing this difference to a change of amanuensis, diversis interpretihus (De Script. Eccles. cap. i., epist. cxx., ad Hedib. cap. xi.) Methodius of Tyre makes two distinct allusions to a peculiar portion of the epistle (iii. 6, 7, 12, 13), the conflagration and purification of the world (Epiran. Herres. lxiv. 3 t, tom. 1, pars post., p. 298, ed. Oehler 186o). Westcott (On the Canon, p. 57) points out a reference in the martyrdom of Ignatius, in which (cap. ii.) the father is compared to a divine lamp illuminating the hearts of the faithful by his exposition of the holy Scriptures' (2 Pet. i. 19). The epistle is not found in the Peshito, though the Philoxenian version has it, and Ephrem Syrus accepted it. The canon of Muratori has it not, and Theodore of Mopsuestia rejected it. But it was received by Athanasius, Philastrius, Cyril, Rufinus, and Augustine. Gregory of Nazianzum, in his Carmen 33, refers to the seven catholic epistles. It was adopted by the council of Laodicea 367, and by the council of Carthage 397. From that period till the Reformation it was acknowledged by the church. Not to refer to other quotations often given, it may suffice to say that though the epistle was doubted, it usually had a place in the canon ; that the objections against it were not historical, but critical in nature, and had their origin apparently among the Alexandrian scholars ; and that in one case at least, that of Cosmas Indicopleustes, doc trinal prepossessions led to its rejection. Gregory, at the end of the 6th century, seems to allude to others whose hostility to it had a similar origin, ad ding, —si ejusdem epistoler verba pensare voluissent, longe alter sentire potuerant. (See Olshausen, Opusczda, where the citations are given at length.) The old doubts about the epistle were revived at the time of the Reformation, and not a few modern critics question or deny its genuineness. In earlier times strong disbelief was expressed by Calvin, Erasmus, Grotius, and Salmasius. Scaliger, Semler, Credner, De Wette, Neander, and Mayerhoff, deny its Petrine origin. Pott, Windischmann, Dahl, Gaussen, and Bonnet, on the other hand, make light of many objections to it. But the proofs adduced on its behalf by Dietlein (des- 2 Ep. Petri, 1851) are many of them unsatisfactory, the result of a dexterous and unscrupulous ingenuity on be half of a foregone conclusion. Yet amidst early doubts and modern objections we are inclined to accept this epistle, and to agree with the verdict of the early churches, which were not without the means of ample investigation, and to whom satis factory credentials must have been presented.