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  1. Second Epistle of Peter
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AD 65— The letter refers to the Pauline epistles and so must post-date at least some of them, regardless of authorship, thus a date before 60 is improbable. Further, it goes as far to name the Pauline epistles as "scripture"—the only time a New Testament work refers to another New Testament work in this way—implying that it postdates them by some time. AD — [8] and so contend that it is pseudepigraphical. Acceptance of the letter into the canon did not occur without some difficulty; however, "nowhere did doubts about the letter's authorship take the form of definitive rejection.

Donald Guthrie suggests that "It is fair to assume, therefore, that he saw no reason to treat these doubts as serious, and this would mean to imply that in his time the epistle was widely regarded as canonical. Origen, in another passage, has been interpreted as considering the letter to be Petrine in authorship.

Eusebius c. The Peshitta , the standard version of the Bible for churches in the Syriac tradition , does not contain the Second Epistle of Peter and thus rejects its canonical status. In both content and style this letter is very different from 1 Peter. The epistle presciently declares that it is written shortly before the apostle's death Arguments have been made both for and against this being part of the original text, but this debate largely is centered on the acceptance or rejection of supernatural intervention in the life of the writer.

The epistle contains eleven references to the Old Testament.


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In , 16 a reference is made to one of Paul 's epistles, which some have identified as 1 Thessalonians — The book also shares a number of passages with the Epistle of Jude , with Jude 3; with Jude 5; with Jude 4; with Jude 6; with Jude 5; with Jude 7; —11 with Jude 8—9; with Jude 10; —17 with Jude 11—13; with Jude 16; f with Jude 17f; with Jude 18; with Jude 24; and with Jude Tartarus is mentioned in 2 Peter as devoted to the holding of certain fallen angels. It is elaborated on in Jude 6.

Jude 6 however, is a clear reference to the Book of Enoch. Bauckham suggests that 2 Peter is partially dependent on Jude 6 but is independently drawing on paraenetic tradition that also lies behind Jude 5—7.

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Second Epistle of Peter

The paraenetic traditions are in Sirach —10, Damascus Document —, 3 Maccabees —7, Testament of Naphtali —5 and Mishna Sanhedrin The letter is usually outlined as follows: [ citation needed ]. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Book of the Bible. Matthew Mark Luke John. See also: Authorship of the Petrine epistles.

See also: Development of the New Testament canon. Harper Collins. Evidence comes in the final book of the New Testament to be written, 2 Peter, a book that most critical scholars believe was not actually written by Peter but by one of his followers, pseudonymously. Apocalyptic and Accommodation" on YouTube. Yale University. Accessed July 22, Leicester: Apollos, , p. Peter and the General Epistle of St. Jude", in, Cambridge Greek Testament , p. Origen, Homily in Josh. Wand, The General Epistles of St. Peter and St.

Jude , p. A widely held view is that the prohibition in 2 John 10 is not in line with generally accepted Christian ethics, since it militates against the attitude of love, care, and hospitality. This view is dominant in commentaries. This article aims at countering this view by proposing that the issue is not hospitality but endangering the identity and tradition of the group. This should be regarded as a positive Christian value.

The results of the research show that hospitality is not the communicative centre of the text, but protection of the group, which was a common feature, not only in Christianity, but also in the ancient world in general. The future discourse should now move from focusing on moral issues related to hospitality to issues related to preserving tradition within a religion.

One of the most controversial prohibitions in the New Testament is found in 2 John which contains a direct imperative against receiving into one's house a visitor probably a travelling preacher 1 who does not bring the teaching about Christ v. The relevant text reads:. It, for instance, creates tension with other Christian commandments like love and care Jn ; 1 Jn ; ; it militates against the convention of ancient hospitality Ac ; Rm ; Heb and seems to stand in opposition to the recommendation in 3 John Lenski ; Smalley This resulted in a wide variety of responses stretching from a literal application to outright rejection of the prohibition Akin , speaking of the 'un-Christian nature of such a teaching' Painter An interesting feature, that illustrates the partial influence of societal opinion on evaluating biblical content is that in the latter part of the 19th and earlier part of the 20th century the inclination though not absolute was more to accept a literal interpretation and application, while the opinion shifted in the middle of the 20th century to a more critical stance and even outright rejection of the prohibition also not absolute.

Kelly , for instance, takes a strong position, favouring the literal application of the prohibition for today:. To those who do not value Christ's name and word it must seem outrageous, especially in these liberal days, where man is all and Christ is little or nothing, and even professing Christians are so ready to say nothing about it. More recently Hodges has argued that the 'modern inclination to be highly tolerant of religious differences' creates a problem, since by doing so 'this modern age False teachers who actively partake in disseminating error should not be encouraged or helped at all.

Evaluating this position, Brown notes that 2 John 10 was used 'for slamming doors in the face of' door-to-door missionaries like the Jehovah's Witnesses, going back to the view that such biblical injunctions cannot be ignored. Brown , for instance, quotes Alford saying that we are 'not at liberty to set aside direct ethical injunctions of the Lord's Apostles'. A major figure like C. Dodd rejects the literal application of this prohibition on situations today by saying: 'We may similarly decline to accept the Presbyter's ruling here as a sufficient guide to Christian conduct', since, according to him, it is not in line with what the rest of the New Testament teaches.

Brown sides with Dodd opining that this injunction cannot be applied directly to today's situation: 'Fierce exclusiveness, even in the name of truth, usually backfires on its practitioners'. According to Smith s. Brown further opines that the problem is that in almost every dispute in the church such claims are made and that drastic actions are usually justified by claiming that it is done for the sake of the truth.

Between these poles there are other voices, trying to solve the problem by pointing to the unique situation. Because of the nature of this injunction the unique nature of the situation is emphasised.

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Spence-Jones remarked at the beginning of the previous century that 'the apostle is giving directions to a particular Christian household during a particular crisis in the history of the Christian faith' cf. Lenski Although he does not want to negate the command, he emphasises that the differences with current situations should be considered before applying the injunction today. Akin recently also opined that these verses are 'open to abuse and misunderstanding if removed from its immediate context', leading some to deem 'it unloving and worthy of rejection'. Because of these obvious tensions between the imperative in 2 John and some core Christian values like hospitality, love or co-operation, modern commentators seriously reflect on the implications of 2 John 10 for present-day contacts with people of other mind than yourself, as is evident from the above discussion.

Does 2 John 10 suggest a 'closed' situation where people who differ are not to be welcomed or conversed with, or should 2 John 10 for different reasons be interpreted as not applicable to present-day situations? Or is there perhaps a bigger principle behind the command that should be taken seriously? Several questions beckon: 1 Although the remark is widely interpreted within the framework of ancient hospitality customs, it is a question whether hospitality is the main issue here; whatever the scenario, the implications should be considered.

What if the visitors asked for hospitality? A contentious question is whether the prohibition in 2 John 10 is against showing hospitality or not. The majority of commentators assume this, although the view that this verse does not deal with hospitality is also defended.


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Both scenarios should be considered. Let us start with the assumption that hospitality customs form the background of the events narrated in 2 John Painter , like many others cf. Bultmann ; Kruse ; Watson ; Brown , opines that the instruction given here 'is to be understood against the background of hospitality given to strangers and travellers in the ancient world'. For this reason, in virtually every respectable commentary or article dealing with these verses or with 3 Jn , information is provided of what ancient hospitality entails. For our purposes a brief overview is also necessary, aimed at facilitating answers to our specific questions.

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There is consensus that early Christians gathered in houses that were also ordinary family dwellings, that is, house churches Rm ; 1 Cor 1, 11; Col ; cf. Malherbe ; Smith s. Persons sufficiently well off would serve as donors, making their dwellings available to the Christian gathering cf. Diotrepehes and Gaius in 3 Jn, or the 'elect Lady' in 2 Jn; cf. Christian house groups were thus formed, where 1 the ancient group-orientated practice of 'friends of friends' functioned, according to which related groups were encouraged to welcome one another's members, 3 and 2 the hospitality customs of those days offered bases for boarding, lodging and further support for travellers, especially those who were part of the 'friends of friends' circle Keener ad loc.

In this regard letters of recommendation played a central role, 4 as we see in 3 John Brown Malina describes the implications of letters of recommendation by saying:. The person writing a recommendation attests to the stranger bearing it on the basis of the world of honor of the attester. To reject the recommended stranger is, of course, a challenge to the honor of the recommender. It spurns his honor, and requires an attempt at satisfaction on his part, under pain of being shamed. This meant that in such house churches the social boundaries were relatively porous cf.

Ac , although protected through the letters of recommendation. Hospitality also had the function of creatively presupposing a potential network of possible related and associated groups. This nevertheless emphasises that hospitality as such was a deeply social and relational act that had implications for future social interaction between those involved. Considering the nature and impact of ancient hospitality conventions, Malina makes an important point: 'Hospitality might be defined as the process by means of which an outsider's status is changed from stranger to guest.

Malina wants to restrict the practice of hospitality to outsiders who may be 'friends of friends', that is, those who carry a letter of recommendation, which presumes some form of prior relationship, direct or indirect cf also Ebrard He therefore distinguishes hospitality from other social practices like welcoming your own family or close friends into your house.

Malina argues that once a person is allowed into the house different 'stages' of the process of hospitality should be distinguished:. The process would have three stages to it: 1 evaluating the stranger usually with some test about whether guest status is possible ; 2 the stranger as guest - the liminal phase; 3 from guest to transformed stranger at times with another test.

At the basis of these stages lay certain social expectations, both of the host and the guest. Another important point Malina makes is that '[w] hile hospitality does not entail mutual reciprocity between individuals, it can nevertheless be viewed as a reciprocal relationship between communities.

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Such hospitality to travelling Christians is both urged see Rm ; 1 Pt and much practiced e. Ac ; ; ; Rm ' cf. This means that foreign visitors, being part of their own communities therefore represent these communities wherever they go. The visitors to the 'elect Lady' 2 Jn therefore represented a group that is somehow related to the Lady's group, or else they would not have approached her, at least not for reasons of hospitality.

Brown argues that these visitors could not have been 'haphazard' or even 'general missionaries' cf. They are part of a recent Christological development to which the Johannine groups are somehow 'related' and should now be warned against. Previously the 'Lady' perhaps offered hospitality without restriction since there was no such threat. Now the situation has changed and care should be taken as to whom she allows into her house.

According to the information about hospitality above, some sort of reciprocal relation between the visitors and the group of the 'elect Lady' should be assumed. If Malina's view is valid that hospitality should be restricted to strangers who carry letters of recommendation, the case for hospitality is weakened. If it is accepted that hospitality is at stake here, mainly two possibilities should be distinguished: 1 that it was a private house and that 'private hospitality' is prohibited or 2 that the people approach a house church 8 for congregational participation and that that form of 'group hospitality' is refused Elwell ad loc.

It is doubtful whether these two options are exclusive of one another, since it seems logical that the 'travelling visitor' would need the hospitality of the house even after the meeting is finished. If not, the group most probably would have accommodated him or her in other ways. Malina indicates that visitors appealing for hospitality normally represented a group and not just an individual.

In any case, the meetings were in a house where a host the house owner was in an authoritative position to make the final decision as is the case with Diotrephes or even Gaius in 3 Jn. If these were travelling missionaries, they would normally have stayed longer than just the meeting and would have expected aid for their forward journey, which would involve the house owner either in his capacity of private house owner or host to the gathering of Christians.

Since the context also has religious undertones these were false teachers the idea of a purely private visit is not favoured. Offering hospitality to someone in ancient times therefore involved a complex of conventions based on various expectations. The guest would receive protection, special status in the house, and could count on current and future support. In addition, acceptance would also indicate existing relations 'friends of friends' which would socially typify the host. It was therefore not a matter of a neutral 'hallo' and then goodbye'.

What if hospitality conventions were not called upon? The above are broadly the situation in mind if hospitality conventions were called upon. As was mentioned earlier, the possibility exists that hospitality conventions should not be seen as the background to this situation. It is notable that in many cases it is simply assumed that hospitality should be regarded as the framework of this prohibition, without proper motivation. Let us consider some arguments that might suggest that hospitality conventions should not be the focus of the argument here.

Treatment of deviating people in ancient gatherings: An example. The second century document Inscriptiones Graecae II dated around CE contains a minutes of a meeting of the Society of Iobacchi in Attica with a copy of the revised statutes Ferguson Although the suggestion is by no means that there is a parallel or some link between 2 John and these statutes, there are some interesting points made in the statutes about the way in which the organisation and treatment of members were arranged.

A few points will be highlighted: 1 membership was a community concern -they voted on possible candidature. And further, 'If anyone start to fight or be found acting disorderly or occupying the seat of any other member or using insulting or abusive language', he will be fined.

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If anyone 'comes to blows' he will be excluded for a period. Even the officer who fails to eject the fighters will be punished. Making a speech without permission was a punishable offence. In the meetings an orderly officer also carried a thyrsus. He could place the thyrus beside a person who acts in a disorderly manner or who creates disturbance, indicating that such a person should leave the room. If the person disobeys or refuses he is 'put outside the front door' and punished.

Several things should be noticed for our purposes.


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If a person did not fit his role, he was put outside and even punished. In these statutes a major theme is the protection of the group and its activities against disorder or disruption. Not hospitality conventions, but the power of the group's view s was dominant. The interests of the group were placed above any 'individual rights'. If this was commonly accepted as practice, which Kloppenborg and Ascough seem to suggest, 10 it has a lot so say about the situation of 2 John Again it should be noted that the suggestion is not that the Bacchic situation and that of 2 John are in any way related.

There are however interesting parallels, for instance, the way in which they protect their respective groups, inter alia by disallowing a deviating person contact with the group, or the acceptance of commonly shared rules or traditions may serve as pointers in understanding 2 John. This attitude of discouraging and breaking contact with deviating members is also confirmed in Christian documents.

In Matthew church discipline would involve exclusion of a person who did not align himself with the group's wishes. Paul makes the same suggestion in 1 Corinthians where he recommends that a deviating person should be delivered to Satan. Titus also calls for the exclusion of a divisive man. In Didache or Ignatius' To the Smyrnaeans ; or similar situations are envisaged. The reaction to such features that endangered the group in the Bacchic statutes was expulsion i.

According to these statutes the order within the group is of higher value than the presence of such a disrupting person. This is also the case in 2 John, as Smalley remarks: 'John is not therefore forbidding private hospitality, but rather an official welcome into the congregation, with the widespread opportunities which would then be available for the heretics to promote their cause. As such it is not a matter of hospitality, but of accepted social mechanisms protecting group identity and activity.

This puts the command in 2 John 10 in another perspective. If it was the case that such people appealed to a Christian house church for hospitality then their right to hospitality is overruled 14 by the fact that the group is of the opinion that their presence will endanger the group.

If they were to be allowed they would have to be excluded in the end if they persisted in their destructive teachings. This allows for a legitimate refusal even for offering hospitality. These visitors were indeed representatives of a related but opposing group. The refusal to receive or even greet them 2 Jn 11 amounts to more than expulsion. It boils down to making a doctrinal statement thereby confirming one's own position.

By turning them away, their teachings are not only rejected, but any assistance for continuation of such teaching is refused Schnackenburg ; Brown ; Kruse ; compare 2 Jn 11 with 3 Jn 8. No form of co-operation koinania 16 or association is offered. This implies that the prohibition in 2 John need not be seen as unchristian, unloving or harsh. It was an accepted way in which groups treated people who no longer operated within the confines of a particular group.

This does not seem to and ought not be the problem for commentators. When it does become a problem, so it seems, is when the expectations of hospitality come into play. It is felt that it is rude or unloving not to offer this basic courtesy. Is this really a hospitality text? From the above arguments it is clear that the exclusion of the idea that this is a hospitality text clarifies a lot of problems. Are there other indications in this short text that hospitality is not the main focus or even a focus?

I have argued this in more detail elsewhere and need not repeat the detail arguments Van der Watt I will just briefly touch on one or two of the major arguments to indicate the line of thinking.