2 Peter 3:16
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

King James Bible
As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Darby Bible Translation
as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; among which some things are hard to be understood, which the untaught and ill-established wrest, as also the other scriptures, to their own destruction.

World English Bible
as also in all of his letters, speaking in them of these things. In those, there are some things that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unsettled twist, as they also do to the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

Young's Literal Translation
as also in all the epistles, speaking in them concerning these things, among which things are certain hard to be understood, which the untaught and unstable do wrest, as also the other Writings, unto their own destruction.

2 Peter 3:16 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

As also in all his epistles - Not only in those which he addressed to the churches in Asia Minor, but in his epistles generally. It is to be presumed that they might have had an acquaintance with some of the other epistles of Paul, as well as those sent to the churches in their immediate vicinity.

Speaking in them of these things - The things which Peter had dwelt upon in his two epistles. The great doctrines of the cross; of the depravity of man; of the divine purposes; of the new birth; of the consummation of all things; of the return of the Saviour to judge the world, and to receive his people to himself; the duty of a serious, devout and prayerful life, and of being prepared for the heavenly world. These things are constantly dwelt upon by Paul, and to his authority in these respects Peter might appeal with the utmost confidence.

In which - The common reading in this passage is ἐν οἷς en hois, and according to this the reference is to the "subjects" treated of - "in which things" - referring to what he had just spoken of - "speaking of these things." This reading is found in the common editions of the New Testament, and is supported by far the greater number of mss., and by most commentators and critics. It is found in Griesbach, Tittman, and Hahn, and has every evidence of being the genuine reading. Another reading, however, (ἐν αἷς en hais,) is found in some valuable mss., and is supported by the Syriac and Arabic versions, and adopted by Mill (Prolegomena 1484), and by Beza. According to this, the reference is to the "epistles" themselves - as would seem to be implied in our common version. The true construction, so far as the evidence goes, is to refer it not directly to the "epistles," but to the "things" of which Peter says Paul wrote; that is, not to the style and language of Paul, but to the great truths and doctrines which he taught. Those doctrines were indeed contained in his epistles, but still, according to the fair construction of the passage before us, Peter should not be understood as accusing Paul of obscurity of style. He refers not to the difficulty of understanding what Paul meant, but to the difficulty of comprehending the great truths which he taught. This is, generally, the greatest difficulty in regard to the statements of Paul. The difficulty is not that the meaning of the writer is not plain, but it is either:

(a) that the mind is overpowered by the grandeur of the thought, and the incomprehensible nature of the theme, or

(b) that the truth is so unpalatable, and the mind is so prejudiced against it, that we are unwilling to receive it.

Many a man knows well enough what Paul means, and would receive his doctrines without hesitation if the heart was not opposed to it; and in this state of mind Paul is charged with obscurity, when the real difficulty lies only in the heart of him who makes the complaint. If this be the true interpretation of this passage, then it should not be adduced to prove that Paul is an obscure writer, whatever may be true on that point. There are, undoubtedly, obscure things in his writings, as there are in all other ancient compositions, but this passage should not be adduced to prove that he had not the faculty of making himself understood. An honest heart, a willingness to receive the truth, is one of the best qualifications for understanding the writings of Paul; and when this exists, no one will fail to find truth that may be comprehended, and that will be eminently adapted to sanctify and save the soul.

Are some things hard to be understood - Things pertaining to high and difficult subjects, and which are not easy to be comprehended. Peter does not call in question the truth of what Paul had written; he does not intimate that he himself would differ from him His language is rather that which a man would use who regarded the writings to which he referred as true, and what he says here is an honorable testimony to the authority of Paul. It may be added,

(1) that Peter does not say that all the doctrines of the Bible, or even all the doctrines of Paul, are hard to be understood, or that nothing is plain.

(2) he says nothing about withholding the Bible, or even the writings of Paul, from the mass of Christians, on the ground of the difficulty of understanding the Scriptures; nor does he intimate that that was the design of the Author of the Bible.

(3) it is perfectly manifest, from this very passage, that the writings of Paul were in fact in the hands of the people, else how could they wrest and pervert them?

(4) Peter says nothing about an infallible interpreter of any kind, nor does he intimate that either he or his "successors" were authorized to interpret them for the church.

(5) with what propriety can the pretended successor of Peter - the pope - undertake to expound those difficult doctrines in the writings of Paul, when even Peter himself did not undertake it, and when he did not profess to be able to comprehend them? Is the Pope more skilled in the knowledge of divine things than the apostle Peter? Is he better qualified to interpret the sacred writings than an inspired apostle was?

(6) those portions of the writings of Paul, for anything that appears to the contrary, are just as "hard to be understood" now, as they were before the "infallible" church undertook to explain them. The world is Little indebted to any claims of infallibility in explaining the meaning of the oracles of God. It remains yet to be seen that any portion of the Bible has been made clearer by "any" mere authoritative explanation. And,

(7) it should be added, that without any such exposition, the humble inquirer after truth may find enough in the Bible to guide his feet in the paths of salvation. No one ever approached the sacred Scriptures with a teachable heart, who did not find them "able to make him wise unto salvation." Compare the notes at 2 Timothy 3:15.


2 Peter 3:16 Parallel Commentaries

'But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ....'--2 Peter iii. 18. These are the last words of an old man, written down as his legacy to us. He was himself a striking example of his own precept. It would be an interesting study to examine these two letters of the Apostle Peter, in order to construct from them a picture of what he became, and to contrast it with his own earlier self when full of self-confidence, rashness, and instability. It took a lifetime for Simon,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

How Christ is to be Made Use Of, in Reference to Growing in Grace.
I come now to speak a little to the other part of sanctification, which concerneth the change of our nature and frame, and is called vivification, or quickening of the new man of grace; which is called the new man, as having all its several members and parts, as well as the old man; and called new, because posterior to the other; and after regeneration is upon the growing hand, this duty of growing in grace, as it is called, 2 Pet. iii. &c. is variously expressed and held forth to us in Scripture;
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

God Rejoicing in the New Creation
THIS PASSAGE, like the rest of Isaiah's closing chapters, will have completest fulfillment in the latter days when Christ shall come, when the whole company of his elect ones shall have been gathered out from the world, when the whole creation shall have been renewed, when new heavens and a new earth shall be the product of the Savior's power, when, for ever and for ever, perfected saints of God shall behold his face, and joy and rejoice in him. I hope and believe that the following verses will actually
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891

Fourth Sunday after Trinity Consolation in Suffering, and Patience.
Text: Romans 8, 18-22. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us-ward. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to vanity not of its own will, but by reason of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

Cross References
Psalm 56:5
All day long they distort my words; All their thoughts are against me for evil.

Jeremiah 23:36
"For you will no longer remember the oracle of the LORD, because every man's own word will become the oracle, and you have perverted the words of the living God, the LORD of hosts, our God.

Hebrews 5:11
Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.

2 Peter 2:14
having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children;

2 Peter 3:2
that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.

2 Peter 3:14
Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,

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