Monday, March 14, 2011

Defense of Petrine authorship of 2 Peter.

This is a small section of a paper I wrote on the history of the Canon. In my paper, I cover the internal evidence within the Text(Bible) itself for the authenticity of the canonical books. Canon, meaning standard, topics such as authorship, how the canon came to be discovered, and who was involved will be called into question by Bart Erhman, professor of NT of Chapal Hill in NC, in his new book "Forged." He says that 20 of the 27 books are just outright forgeries. 2 Peter is one of them. So here is my sober apologetic, mainly within the footnotes, on Peter the apostle being the major contributor behind 2 Peter.

Internal Evidence for the validity of the Canon.

The internal evidence within the books is sparse, but there are some clues that even the NT writers themselves viewed not only the OT text as “Scripture,” but NT as well. In 2 Peter 3:16 we have Peter referring to Paul’s writings as “Scripture” or γρᾰφή (graphi) in the greek means “scripture in its entirety[i]or “representation by means of lines.[ii] So the letters by Paul that Peter was referring too were in his estimation very authoritative. The Greek word γραφή is also used in 2 Clement, 2,3(written between 120-140) [iii] meaning saying of the Lord .[iv] There is little doubt that what was written in 2 Peter 3:16 about Paul’s writings when referring to them as “Scripture” strongly asserts that at least Paul’s writings were not to be scraped maybe even divinely inspired.[v]



[i] William Arndt, Frederick W. Danker and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 206.

[ii] Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, Henry Stuart Jones and Roderick McKenzie, A Greek-English Lexicon, Rev. and augm. throughout (Oxford; New York: Clarendon Press; Oxford University Press, 1996), 359.

[iii] Porter, Stanley E. and Craig A. Evans. Dictionary of New Testament Background : A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship. electronic ed. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000.

[iv] , vol. 1, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley and Gerhard Friedrich, electronic ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964-), 757.

[v] Some doubt that Peter wrote 2 Peter at all because of reasons like 1 Peter is to different from 2 Peter grammatically, the early church doubted its authenticity, the dating of the epistle is after Peters death, and how could have Peter known about Paul’s writings when they had not all been gathered together yet. There references are the doubters. J. N. D. Kelly, Black’s New Testament Commentary: The Epistles of Peter and of Jude (London: Continuum, 1969), 235 ; Ehrman, Bart D. and Michael W. Holmes. The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research : Essays on the Status Quaestionis. (Grand Rapids, MI.: Eerdmans, 1995), 229, Ehrman and Holmes mention that “Peshitta’s NT canon, which excluded 2 Peter, 2–3 John, Jude.” They themselves do not explicitly say they take the stance of Petrein authorship being impossible; Wood, D. R. W. and I. Howard Marshall. New Bible Dictionary. 3rd ed. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill.: (InterVarsity Press, 1996)912, Wood and Marshall say, “There is nothing that forbids us to entertain the possibility of Petrine authorship, though many regard it as unlikely in view of the cumulative effect of the difficulties outlined above. However, no alternative solution is free from difficulty;”;

Others though say this evidence is far stretched and is not within the bounds of good sober historical investigation. The following references affirm Petrein authorship; Ted Cabal, Chad Owen Brand, E. Ray Clendenen et al., The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2007), 1847; Walvoord, John F., Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures.( Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-), Volume 2, Page 863; Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible : Complete and Unabridged in One Volume. (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1996-)2 Peter Introduction. Craig S. Keener and InterVarsity Press, The IVP Bible Background Commentary : New Testament (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 2 Pe 3:15.

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