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II Peter

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The Second Epistle of Peter (or II Peter or 2 Peter for short) is a letter written by the apostle Peter to all early Christians. It is included in the Bible, grouped alongside the other letters in the New Testament.

Peter's second letter is much more dramatic than his first. Whereas the first letter offers general advice for conducting a Christian life in a predominantly non-Christian society, the second offers urgent warnings against false teachers and prophets and dire predictions of punishment for the unrighteous (eg 2 Peter 2:4). It also looks forward to the Last Judgement, warning not to pay heed to the false prophets who dismiss the idea (2 Peter 3:4-5) and urging believers to prepare for its approach.

It appears that when the letter was written, certain among the Christians may have been losing faith that the Last Judgement would ever come, so in 2 Peter 3:8-9 Peter explains that God's time does not always work as humans expect, and that just because it has not happened as soon as some believed does not mean that it never will. Over the last two millennia, many subsequent sects have predicted the Last Judgement and been disappointed, so these verses have often been called upon to provide much-needed reassurance.

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