The Letters of 2 Peter and Jude

By Peter H. Davids | Go to book overview

General Introduction

A person could think of a number of reasons for writing a commentary on 2 Peter and Jude. One reason might be, to put it crassly, that they are there. That is, they are in the canon of the NT, for better or worse, so one must write on them if one is to have a commentary series on the NT. Surely there are some who would embrace this reason for writing. It is simply a job that needs to be done. Some of these writers would consider it a mistake that these works were included in the canon (and, as we shall see, many people in the church of the first centuries would have agreed with them, especially when it comes to 2 Peter), but since the books are there, one must write on them.

A second reason might be to counterbalance Paul. The overwhelming focus in NT studies has clearly been on the four Gospels and Paul’s letters. For many since the Reformation Paul’s letters have been more central than the Gospels. They have been a canon within the canon. By focusing on 2 Peter and Jude (and along with them on James and perhaps 1 Peter) one shows that Paul was not the only voice in the earliest phases of the Jesus movement. There were other voices and other theologies, even if their output was not so prolific (or, perhaps, not so well preserved). Certainly there are scholars who embrace this view. Both of these views would get the job done, but neither of them does justice to these letters.

Thus a third reason for writing on these letters would be that they are so fascinating and make a significant contribution to the NT. In them we see communities of the Jesus movement coming to terms with GrecoRoman culture. The author of 2 Peter, does this in some daring ways as he appropriates the language and thought forms of that culture. This appropriation of culture can be instructive for us as we come to terms with our

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The Letters of 2 Peter and Jude
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Pillar New Testament Commentary i
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Series Preface viii
  • Author’s Preface x
  • Abbreviations xii
  • Select Bibliography xxi
  • General Introduction 1
  • The Letter of Jude 5
  • Introduction to Jude 7
  • Commentary on Jude 33
  • The Letter of 2 Peter 119
  • Introduction to 2 Peter 121
  • Commentary on 2 Peter 159
  • Index of Modern Authors 319
  • Index of Subjects 322
  • Index of Scripture References 327
  • Index of Extrabiblical Literature 341
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