King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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2 Peter 1

Exhortations to add the exercise of various other graces to faith (1-11) The apostle looks forward to his approaching decease. (12-15) And confirms the truth of the gospel, relating to Christ’s appearing to judgment. (16-21)

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Exhortations to add the exercise of various other graces to faith

1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

The apostle looks forward to his approaching decease

12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.

13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;

14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.

15 Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.

And confirms the truth of the gospel, relating to Christ’s appearing to judgment

16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. In the justice (or by the justice) of our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. As justice and sanctification are equally attributed to God and to Jesus Christ, it shews that the Son was equally and the same God with the Father. Wi.

Ver. 3. Glory and virtue.[1] By the Greek text, virtue is not here the same as power, as commonly in other places, but signifies God’s goodness, mercy, and clemency. Wi.

Ver. 4. Partakers of the divine nature. Divine grace infused into our souls, is said to be a partaking in the divine nature by an union with the spirit of God, whereby men are made his adoptive children, heirs of heaven, &c. Wi.

Ver. 5. Join with your faith, virtue: think not that faith alone will save you without the practice of virtues and good works. By abstinence or temperance, is understood that virtue which helps to moderate the inordinate love of sensual pleasures, and to govern all disorderly passions and affections. Wi.

Ver. 9. Groping,[2] like one that is blind. The Greek may signify one who hath his eyes shut, or that is like a blind mole. Wi.

Ver. 10. By good works you may make sure, &c. without diving into the hidden mysteries of predestination, &c. — You shall not sin at any time. These words evidently suppose, that the graces and assistances of God will not be wanting; for it would be in vain to command, unless a man had both free will and capacity to perform. But, as it follows, these helps shall be abundantly ministered to you. Wi.

Ver. 12. I will begin.[3] That is, by the Greek, I will take care. Wi.

Ver. 13. As long as I am in this tabernacle: to wit, of the body, in this mortal life. Wi.

Ver. 14. The laying aside,[4] or dissolution; i.e. my death is at hand. Wi.

Ver. 15. That you frequently have after my decease,[5] &c. Some expounded these words to signify: I will have you frequently in my thoughts, and remember you, praying for you after my death. But this does not seem the true and literal sense, nor do we need such arguments to prove that the saints pray for us. Wi.

Ver. 16. We have not by following artificial fables. Lit. learned fables,[6] invented to promote our doctrine. We, I with others, were eye-witnesses of his glory on Mount Thabor. Wi.

Ver. 19. And we have the surer word of prophecy, or to make our testimonies and preaching of Christ more firm. The revelations of God made to the prophets, and contained in the holy Scriptures, give us of all others the greatest assurance. Though the mysteries in themselves remain obscure and incomprehensible, the motive of our belief is divine authority. Wi. — If our testimony be suspicious, we have what you will certainly allow, the testimony of the prophets: attend then to the prophets as to a lamp that illumines a dark place, till the bright day of a more lively faith begins to illumine you, and the day-star arises in your heart: till this faith, which is like the day-star, give you a perfect knowledge of Jesus Christ. It is by the divine oracles you will acquire this knowledge, provided you peruse them with proper dispositions.

Ver. 20. No prophecy of the scripture is made by private interpretation; or, as the Protestants translate it from the Greek, is of any private interpretation, i.e. is not to be expounded by any one’s private judgment or private spirit. Wi. — The Scriptures cannot be properly expounded by private spirit or fancy, but by the same spirit wherewith they were written, which is resident in the Church.

Ver. 21. For prophecy came not by the will of man at any time. This is to shew that they are not to be expounded by any one’s private judgment, because every part of the holy Scriptures is delivered to us by the divine spirit of God, wherewith the men were inspired who wrote them; therefore they are not to be interpreted but by the spirit of God, which he left, and promised to his Church to guide her in all truth to the end of the world. Our adversaries may perhaps tell us, that we also interpret prophecies and Scriptures; we do so; but we do it always with a submission to the judgment of the Church, they without it. Wi.

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[1] V. 3. Et virtute, kai aretes.

[2] V. 9. Manu tentans, muopazon.

[3] V. 12. Incipiam, ouk ameleso, non omittam, non negligam, &c.

[4] V. 14. Depositio, e apothesis.

[5] V. 15. Dabo operam et frequenter habere vos, post obitum meum, ut horum memoriam faciatis. umas . . . ten touton mnemen poieisthai.

[6] V. 16. Non doctas fabulas, ou sesopismenois muthois. Some copies had indoctas, on which account the Rhem. Testam. issued before the corrections of Sixtus V. and Clemens VIII. has unlearned.