Well, as I said, the fact that it appears to use Jude (which I view as being genuine and thus Jewish Christian) and purports to be Peter (who of course was a Jewish Christian, and one who rejected Paul at that) and alludes to his letter (which I view as being genuine) in 3:1, makes me think that this was someone who was at least influenced by Jewish Christians.robert j wrote: ↑Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:48 pmThe author of 2 Peter did rail against sins of sexual immorality, but so did Paul.John2 wrote: ↑Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:00 pmI suppose it was written by a post-70 CE Christian who was cool with Paul and Jewish Christianity ... to me it sounds like the author could have been a post-70 CE Nazarene Jewish Christian (or someone who was influenced by them) ...To what doctrinal camp of Christianity would you place the author of 2 Peter?
What doctrines in the text of 2 Peter do you find that would point to a Jewish Christian author?
And then there's 3:17, which I cited above.
And 1:10-11 seems similar to James.Therefore, beloved, since you already know these things, be on your guard so that you will not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure standing.
The reference to "stumbling" is the same word that James uses (three times) regarding Torah observance (and 2 Peter and James account for four of the five occurrences of this word in the NT):Therefore, brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you practice these things you will never stumble, and you will receive a lavish reception into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
James 3:1-2:For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
And as I said above, the Damascus Document also uses "stumbling" language in the context of Torah observance and likewise equates it with sexual immorality (or "eyes of lust"):Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to control his whole body.
This following after "eyes of lust" in the context of Torah observance is why James 4:4 and 2 Peter 2:14 use similar "sexual" language in the context of Torah observance.Hear now, my sons, and I will uncover your eyes that you may see and understand the works of God, that you choose that which pleases Him and reject that which He hates, that you may walk perfectly in all His ways and not follow after thoughts of the guilty inclination and after eyes of lust. For through them, great men have gone astray and mighty heroes have stumbled from former times till now.
You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
Their eyes are full of adultery; their desire for sin is never satisfied; they seduce the unstable.
This "sexual" language is fairly typical in the OT in the context of Torah observance, such as in Ex. 34:16:
What I think is happening in the big picture is that James is trying to keep Paul in line (i.e., I view him as the "foolish man" who preaches "faith without works"), in the spirit of James 5:19-20 ("My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, consider this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and cover over a multitude of sins"), and 2 Peter is trying (after 70 CE) to rescue Paul from the kind of people Paul himself had had trouble keeping in line in response to his Torah-free gospel.... and you take of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters whore after their gods and make your sons whore after their gods.
2 Peter 3:16:
Gal. 5:13-21:Some parts of his letters are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort ...
Clearly there is more than just sexual immorality going on here. Paul's cherry picking of the Torah could have given some Jewish Christians the idea that he was okay with observing at least parts of the Torah (like post 70 CE Ebionites, who rejected the laws that pertain to sacrifices), as would (if there is anything to it, and I think that there could be) Acts 21:20-26:For you, brothers, were called to freedom; but do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh ... The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and sorcery; hatred, discord, jealousy, and rage; rivalries, divisions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Then they said to Paul, “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the Law. But they are under the impression that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or observe our customs. What then should we do? They will certainly hear that you have come.
Therefore do what we advise you. There are four men with us who have taken a vow. Take these men, purify yourself along with them, and pay their expenses so they can have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know that there is no truth to these rumors about you, but that you also live in obedience to the Law" ...
So the next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he entered the temple to give notice of the date their purification would be complete and the offering would be made for each of them.
The problem is that Paul was disingenuous about his Torah observance.
1 Cor. 9:20-23:
To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the Law I became like one under the Law (though I myself am not under the Law), to win those under the Law. To those without the Law I became like one without the Law (though I am not outside the law of God but am under the law of Christ), to win those without the Law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men, so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.
Paul's gospel was simply not the same as the Jewish Christian gospel, even according to him. He doesn't really believe in Torah observance (excepting certain parts of it). This is why he rails against Torah observant Jewish Christians in 2 Cor. 11:4-23:
For if someone comes and proclaims a Jesus other than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit than the one you received, or a different gospel than the one you accepted, you put up with it way too easily.
I consider myself in no way inferior to those “super-apostles” ... Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? I am speaking like I am out of my mind, but I am so much more.
I see 2 Peter as being like modern Messianic Jews, at least the ones I've talked with and read about. They observe the Torah and defend Paul. Or like the Jewish Christians who glorified God because of Paul after his conversion in Gal. 1:22-24:
In my view though, I think modern Messianic Jews (and ancient Nazarene Jewish Christians) are the ones who "distort" Paul when they defend him regarding Torah observance. Perhaps the Nazarenes did not have the benefit of 1 Cor. 9:20-23 or they and modern Messianic Jews for whatever reasons were/are willing to put the best spin on Paul. One thing seems sure though, that Peter (Gal. 2:11-13) and James (James 2:14-24) did not approve of his Torah-free gospel, and I think Jesus would not have approved of it either, e.g., Mt. 5:19:I was personally unknown, however, to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. They only heard the account: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God because of me.
So then, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do likewise will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever practices and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.