Re: [asa] The apostle warns of evolution

From: Janice Matchett <>
Date: Mon Sep 04 2006 - 15:12:15 EDT

At 11:02 AM 9/4/2006, George Murphy wrote:

>1) "Since the fathers fell asleep" probably refers to the
>generation of the apostles - just one indication that II Peter was
>probably not written by Peter himself (though it contains material
>coming from him). It may have been the last of the NT books to be
>written. ......"

@ Consider this: J. P.
Holding: [scroll down to] Skeptic Claim #9 = " 2Pet 3:4 states
that the apostles (and Elders, the 1st generation of christians)
('fathers') were all dead. If they are all dead (and tradition says
that John lived the longest), how can this be from Cephas?"

J.P.H: This is a similar case of eis-egesis (reading INTO the text)...

Here is the passage:
"Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with
their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, "Where
is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep,
all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation." (2 Peter 3.3f)
Your friend has decided that "the fathers" must mean all the apostles
and all the Elders and perhaps even all the 1st generation of
Christians, but this is not only arbitrary (and unsupported) but also
contrary to normal NT usage:
"The false teachers ask, "Where is this `coming' he promised?"
Mocking the faith of Christians, they support their own position by
claiming, "Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has
since the beginning of creation." Who are the persons Peter calls
"our fathers"? Kelly (p. 355) and Schelkle (p. 224) argue that they
were first-generation Christians. But Bigg (p. 291) and Green (Peter
and Jude, p. 128-29) consider this unlikely. "Fathers" are much more
likely to be OT fathers as in John 6:31, Acts 3:13, Romans 9:5, and
Hebrews 1:1. This is the normal NT usage, and the other view requires
a clumsy forger to have missed so obvious a blunder. "Our fathers
died" (lit., "fell asleep") is a lovely metaphor for the death of
believers (cf. Acts 7:60; 1Thess 4:13-14). [Blum, EBCOT]
The relevant NT passages include:
"Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, `HE

"The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has
glorified His servant Jesus, (Acts 3.13)

whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the
flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. (Rom 9.5)

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many
portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in
His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He
made the world. (Heb 1.1)

And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the
fathers, 33 that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in
that He raised up Jesus, (Acts 13.32)
Bauckham admits that the weight of the evidence is for this
interpretation (WBC:290):
"Those who wish to maintain that 'the fathers' are the OT patriarchs
or prophets have the weight of usage on their side. In early
Christian literature, continuing Jewish usage, hoi pateres ('the
fathers') means the OT 'fathers,' i.e. the patriarchs or, more
generally, the righteous men of OT times (John 7:22; Acts 13:32; Rom
9:5; Heb 1:1; Barn. 5:7; 14:1; Apoc. Pet. E 16; Ep. Apost. [Coptic]
28); apart from our passage, the only possible exception is 2 Clem
19:4, which could refer to dead Christians but most probably refers
to the OT saints..."
Accordingly, the data is against [that] interpretation... " ~ J.P. Holding

> As Bob noted, II Peter is probably dependent on Jude rather tyhan
> vice versa. ...." ~ Shalom George

@ Consider this: J. P.
Holding: [scroll down to] Skeptic Claim #10 = "2Pet 2:1-18;3:1-3
are almost EXACT quotes from vss. 4-13,16-18 of Jude. So much so that
denying dependence of 2Pet upon Jude ludicrous.(Which of course
brings into question the meaning of 'canon' and 'prophecy', as Jude
uses the UNcanonical book of 1Enoch as prophecy in Jude 14) "

J.P.H.: "This argument is somewhat oblique to the subject of Petrine
authorship, actually, because possible use of Jude as a source has no
bearing on who is using it as a source! Unless it were conclusively
demonstrated that Jude (or his material) did not arise until AFTER
the death of Peter, this alleged borrowing has no relevance for the
issue of authorship.

Indeed, Blum can point out [EBCOT, intro to 2 Peter]:
"The literary dependence of 2 Peter on Jude is not conclusively
settled.... But even if Peter quoted or utilized a substantial part
of Jude's letter, this would neither preclude Peter's authorship of
the second letter nor its inspiration. For scholars to accept Mark's
priority and Matthew's use of Mark is not incompatible with a high
view of biblical inspiration and authority.
And in his discussion of the various options and theories, points out
that almost all of the options are compatible with Petrine authorship
[EBCOT, intro to 2 Peter]:
"There are so many similarities between 2 Peter (mainly ch. 2) and
Jude that some kind of literary or oral dependence seems necessary.
Mayor writes at length about this problem.

"The common material almost entirely relates to the description and
denunciation of false teachers. The majority view is that 2 Peter is
dependent on Jude (so Mayor, Feine, Behm). Some scholars use this
apparent dependence on Jude to deny Petrine authorship.
But the use of Jude by the author of 2 Peter would pose a problem for
Petrine authorship of the letter only if (1) the dependence of 2
Peter on Jude were conclusively proved, (2) the composition of Jude
were definitely dated later than A.D. 64, or (3) it could be shown
that an apostle such as Peter would not have used so much material
from another writer.
"Some students of 1 Peter find a large amount of catechetical
material within it. If Peter in the composition of his first letter
used material common within the church, there is no reason why he
should not have done the same thing in writing his second letter.
However, the dependence of 2 Peter on Jude is not a certainty. Mayor
holds that 2 Peter uses Jude while Bigg finds that Jude borrows from
2 Peter. It is also quite possible that both letters used a common source.
"Since the date of Jude is not fixed by any firm internal or external
data, it might have been written by A.D. 60. In that case Peter could
have used Jude. But would an apostle of the stature of Peter make use
of material by one who was not an apostle? The utilization of
material by ancient authors cannot be judged by today's standards of
citation in writing. Tradition played a much larger role in the
thoughts of writers and speakers then than it does today. This is
evident (to go back to an OT example) from parallel accounts of Kings
and Chronicles and also from the synoptic gospels.

To sum up, the special problem of the relation between Jude and 2
Peter or their relation to some common source remains unsolved. The
adoption of a particular position--viz., Jude as prior, 2 Peter as
prior, or both Jude and 2 Peter used an earlier source--does not
necessarily affect the authenticity, authorship, or inspiration of
these letters. Any of the three views is compatible with an
evangelical theology, and - [the "c" word] scholars generally leave
the question open.
It is interesting that an older 19th-century commentator (E.H.
Plumptre) had a quite plausible scenario (out of dozens available today):
"[He] made the suggestion that Peter was sent Jude's letter, realized
the seriousness of the dangers mentioned and wrote a letter about it
to the recipients of I Peter, for whom his name would carry more
weight than Jude's" [NTI:830n4]
But your friend's "almost exact" (an oxymoron that I personally use
often myself) is a bit off:
"There are conspicuous similarities between 2 Peter and Jude (compare
2Pe 2 with Jude 4-18), but there are also conspicuous differences. It
has been suggested that one borrowed from the other or that they both
drew on a common source. If there is borrowing, it is not a slavish
borrowing but one that adapts to suit the writer's purpose. While
many have insisted that Jude used Peter, it is more reasonable to
assume that the longer letter (Peter) incorporated much of the
shorter (Jude). Such borrowing is fairly common in ancient writings.
For example, many believe that Paul used parts of early hymns in Php
2:6-11 and 1Ti 3:16. [NIV Study Bible, Intro to 2 Peter] "Precise
verbal correspondences between the two works is relatively sparse
(much more so than in the "Q" pericopes of Matthew and Luke,
e.g.)..." [Bauckham, Jude/2 Peter, WBC:140
[The issue of Jude's use of material from non-canonical books is
irrelevant to Petrine authorship, of course, so I cannot deal with it
here. But, just for the record, the use of extra-biblical material
that is true cannot compromise the truthfulness of a passage of scripture!]

In any event, this "Hey, Jude!" issue is too gelatinous to be used to
attack Petrine authorship, at any significant level." ~ J.P.Holding


~ Janice

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Received on Mon Sep 4 15:12:36 2006

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