Saturday, June 18, 2011

Good Evidence for Historical Reliability for 2 Peter as written by Peter Himself

2 Peter is constantly being attacked by Muslims and liberals and skeptics as not an authentic book of the NT and not written by Peter, the disciple of Jesus Christ. Shabir Ally makes this one of his main points in debates. We believe that 2 Peter was inspired by God, God-breathed ( 2 Timothy 3:16-17) and written by the apostle Peter around 64-66 AD, before his martyrdom by Nero, and we have good and reasonable evidence to back up that faith.

Dr. James White has a little article with an excellent graphic of an ancient manuscript of P-72
which has both I and 2 Peter (and Jude) in it.
One of the pages of this manuscript shows the end of 1 Peter and the beginning of 2nd Peter and this manuscript called P-72 is dated at around 200 AD. That is very good early dating for a copy of one of the most attacked books of the NT by skeptics, atheists, and Muslims and others, sometimes by good scholars. (the Muslims like to use Bruce Metzger as authoritative evidence that 2 Peter was not written by the apostle Peter. But many other conservative scholars and all Christians who believe in inerrancy believe that 2 Peter is "God-breathed" and was written by Peter. ( 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21)

Dan Wallace makes an excellent case for Peter himself being the author of 2 Peter, before his death at the hands of Nero sometime around 64-65 AD. Dan Wallace on 2 Peter.
-->I Peter was authored by Peter, but Silvanus actually wrote it for Peter, because Silvanus' Greek was excellent. ( I Peter 5:12) This also explains why the Greek of I Peter is so excellent and the Greek of 2 Peter is not as polished. It is reasonable, based on the evidence that Peter, a Hebrew Galilean, wrote 2 Peter, and used Silvanus as his secretary or amanuensis for I Peter.

Dr. White did us a great service by blowing up the lines of this manuscript so we can see the Granville-Sharp rule and the use of scribes in those days to save space by using a short-hand for God's name, called using the "nomina-sacra" (Sacred Name). God, (Theos) θεος is shortened. ιησου χριστου (Jesus Christ) is also shortened here.

Here is a clearer typed out Greek text line of the part that Dr. White has blown up for us:

--> λαχουσιν πειστιν εν δικεοσυνη του θυ̅ ημων και σωτηρος ιη̅υ χρ̅υ
It says, "to those who have received a faith by/in the righteousness of the God of ours and savior Jesus Christ." It is saying that Jesus Christ is both "God and Savior".
_ _ _ _
You can see the θυ and ιηυ and χρυ more clearly now. (with the lines over them indicating they are abbreviations for the "sacred name" (nomina sacra). θυ is the "nomina-sacra" short for "Theos" θεου (Theou is the genitive form of Theos) and ιηυ is short for Ιησου (easou = Jesus) and χρυ is the short form for Christ ( χριστου). (with the lines over the last letters indicate these are nomina-sacra.) [as I preview this, the lines are not coming out over the letters I want them to; so I needed to point that out. Blogger moved the lines to the far left.]

Dr. White explains the Granville-Sharp rule.
This a clear teaching of the Deity of Christ, "the God of ours and Savior, namely Jesus Christ". when only the first noun has the definite article ( του = tou = "the") it points to the definite article functioning for both "God and Savior". Titus 2:13 also has this Granville Sharp construction, more evidence of the Deity of Christ - "our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ".
By the way, did you know that Granville Sharp, the man whom this Greek syntax structure was named after, not only was an excellent scholar, and studied the Greek text, but also helped William Wilberforce get the slave trade abolished in England? A true Christian, both in mind and heart and life and action. Certainly, these are fruits of the Holy Spirit!

From the Wikipedia article about Granville Sharp:
"One of Granville's letters written in 1778 (published in 1798), propounded what has come to be known as The Granville Sharp Rule (in actuality only the first of six principles involving the article that Sharp articulated):
“When the copulative kai connects two nouns of the same case, if the article ho, or any of its cases, precedes the first of the said nouns or participles, and is not repeated before the second noun or participle, the latter always relates to the same person that is expressed or described by the first noun or participle ...”[4]
This rule, if true, has a profound bearing on Unitarian doctrine, which led to a ‘celebrated controversy’, in which many leading divines took part, including Christopher Woodsworth.
Daniel B. Wallace says about Sharp:
“His strong belief in Christ’s deity led him to study the Scriptures in the original in order to defend more ably that precious truth ... As he studied the Scriptures in the original, he noticed a certain pattern, namely, when the construction article-noun-και-noun involved personal nouns which were singular and not proper names, they always referred to the same person. He noticed further that this rule applied in several texts to the deity of Jesus Christ.”[5] "

Turretinfan also has an excellent article on 2 Peter showing that some ancient Christians had Bibles and how the α on the page stands for 1st Peter and the β (beta or letter B, used for 2nd) shows where 2nd Peter starts.

Here is an interesting web-site [August 8, 2013 - Addendum:  I just noticed, that, unfortunately, all of those excellent clear photos of many Greek manuscripts is no longer there. ]  that shows very clear photos of many of the ancient Greek manuscripts that give us more and more evidence for the reliability of the NT. It has the same photos of 1 and 2 Peter that Dr. White showed and even more extensive.

And here is an excellent lecture on the reliability of the NT from scholar Peter Williams.

And here is another lecture by Dr. White on the general reliability of the NT.

The Bible has not been hopelessly corrupted. Puny man cannot change the word of God. For Muslims: "No one can change the word of Allah"! The Injeel is reliable! The Bible is reliable. And we are honest and open about the few textual variants. And 2nd Peter was written by Peter, a disciple of Jesus the Messiah, and eye-witness of His life, miracles, teachings, death, resurrection, and ascension.


Marcus McElhaney said...


Ken said...

I am glad that is helpful to you. It certainly was and encouragement for me, in putting all of it together. There is a lot there, especially at all the links provided. Both Dr. White's lecture and Peter Williams lectures are over an hour each, and they are helpful on the over-all reliability of the NT. The graphic web-site of lots of ancient manuscripts is an amazing web-site. And Turretinfan's article is also helpful.

I briefly scanned your interaction with Ryan Anderson. I did not know Ben Witherington held that position. Sad.

Keep abiding in HIm and pressing on brother Marcus!
Philippians 3:7-14
John 15:1-16

Rhology said...

But, but, but...Bart Ehrman told me he knew for sure that 2 Peter was a forgery!