Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Jerome H. Neyrey on 2 Peter 1:1

After providing reasons why other scholars believe that 2 Peter 1:1 refers to Christ as God, Jerome Neyrey provides reasons which evidently support the view that 2 Peter 1:1 does not refer to Christ as God (2 Peter, Jude, p. 147-148). The reasons he gives are outlined below:

1) 2 Peter 1:2 evidently makes a distinction between God and Christ. In fact, Neyrey insists that "there appears to be an intended parallelism between 1:1 and 1:2." That is, 2 Peter 1:1 reads: EN DIKAIOSUNH TOU QEOU hHMWN KAI SWTHROS IHSOU XRISTOU; 2 Peter 1:2 states: EN EPIGNWSEI TOU QEOU KAI IHSOU TOU KURIOU hHMWN.

2) It is rare for the NT to call Jesus "God." Neyrey refers to John 1:1-3; 20:28 and he appeals to late first or second century occurrences of addressing Christ as QEOS in Ignatius of Antioch (Eph. 18:2; Smyrn. 1:1).

3) All references to DIKAIOSUNH (with the possible exception of Phil 1:11) refer to the righteousness of God, not to Christ's righteousness. It would not be clear from the context of 2 Peter 1:1 what is meant by the righteousness of Christ.

Neyrey thus indicates that the apostle has God's justice in mind when he writes what is now the opening verse of the Second Epistle of Peter. See 2 Peter 2:5.

Neyrey's observations are found in his Anchor Bible Commentary.

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