Brief notes on my translation of 2 Peter Chapter 2. This is too long, but it is all one section about false teachers.
2 Peter Chapter 2
False Teachers Will Come But They Will Be Punished
1 But false prophets were among the people, even as there will be false teachers among youp, who will secretly and deceptively bring in destructive heresies, even disowning the Lord that redeemed them. They will bring on themselves swift destruction.
[False teachers are just as much a problem today as ever. There is truth, and there is everything else—lies. No matter how powerfully spoken or the results. A lie is always a lie. We recognize false teachers by their fruit (the results of their life and teaching). See Matthew 7:15-20. The most easily deceived are those who are immature and lack knowledge of God’s truth. All must read and study the Bible to prevent this. See Ephesians 4:13-15, 2 Peter 3:17-18, and 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Deception and propaganda are their tools. See 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, Acts 20:30, Romans 16:18, 1 Timothy 4:2. There goals are to acquire followers, control, abuse, money, fame, etc. as in 1 John 2:16. All humans have a tendency to be deceived (Jeremiah 17:9). We are deceived because of desires—what we want, and what we want to believe].
2 Many will follow their destructive ways. Because of them, others will curse the way of truth.
[Here are two outcomes and results of false teaching. It is destructive and affects others to curse the way of truth (Christian worldview, lifestyle, rules, and beliefs)].
3 Through selfish desires, they will use youp to get rich with [their] deceptive words. For a long time now their judgment is anticipated, and their destruction is not asleep.
4 For God did not spare the angels that sinned but threw [them] into Tartarus and delivered [them] to chains of darkness to be reserved for judgment.
[Tartarus (G5020) is thought to be the lowest place in Hades, which is the jail for unbelievers and rebellious spirits (demons) waiting for final judgment. Tartarus is thought to be the equivalent to γέεννα geenna (G1067 and related to Hebrew H1516 and H2011). The torment here in this waiting cell is the worst of the worst. The inhabitants will eventually be judged and thrown into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:14-15 and 21:8)].
5 He did not spare the original world, but saved Noah, the eighth [person], a preacher of righteousness, [and] brought the flood on that ungodly world.
[“Original world” is the world before the worldwide flood in Noah’s lifetime. This occurred approximately in 2472 B.C. (assuming Abram’s birth year as 2166 and the birth of Jesus 2 B.C. The eighth person is the eighth generation from Adam’s creation. The worldwide flood was the result of judgment, and God applying the sentence. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death…See Isaiah 13:11 and Proverbs 11:21].
6 [He] turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes. He condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who later would live ungodly,
7 But he delivered Lot, a just man, vexed by the filthy behavior of the wicked.
8 For that righteous man lived among them. What he heard and saw vexed his righteous soul daily by their wicked actions.
9 The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of trials and to reserve the unrighteous under punishment until the Day of Judgment,
[Two things that God knows how to do—deliver the godly out of trials and to reserve the ungodly for punishment. “Under punishment” refers to the time between death and the day of judgment].
10 Especially those who follow the flesh in the sensual desires of moral uncleanness and in despising authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed, and are not afraid to speak evil of majestic beings.
11 Whereas angels, who are greater in power and strength, do not bring insults against them before the Lord.
12 But these, like wild animals made to be captured and destroyed, hurl insults about things that they don’t understand. They will utterly perish in their own corruption.
[One trait of human nature is to bully, blame, and revile others. It is not only a sin but an arrogant action. Jesus addresses this sin in Matthew 5:22. These reviling words found in Matthew 5:22 are in anger but have no reason other than verbal abuse].
13 They will receive the wages of unrighteousness, since they consider it a pleasure to live a sensual life all day long. [They are] stains and blemishes taking delight in their delusion even while they feast with youp.
[Wages—the wages of sin are death… (Romans 6:23). It is the paycheck for sin. There is a Christian life and a non-Christian life (Romans 12:2, Colossians 3:5-10, and 2 Corinthians 5:17). Compare Galatians 5:17-26. Believers are called to holiness (Hebrews 12:14, 1 Thessalonians 4:7, and 1 Peter 1:15-16). The feast mentioned here is the Agape Feast (Jude 1:12 and 1 Corinthians 11:17-34), which is the fellowship meal usually associated with the time of remembering the Lord’s Last Supper].
14 [Their] eyes are full of adultery. They cannot sin enough. They seduce unstable souls. They train their heart for greed. They are cursed children.
[Peter is describing pastors and teachers, yet these are false teachers. Notice their actions: desiring adultery, just can’t sin enough, that is, enjoy sin so much they do not want to stop. They seduce unstable souls; unstable in the sense of trusting, perhaps naive, under stress, seeking counsel, etc. The false teachers groom them into sin. These false pastor/teachers train their own hearts in greed instead of righteousness. They are cursed by God. “Cursed children” refers to these false pastor/teachers as children of the devil. They are the devil’s agents. Let us all beware of them].
15 They have forsaken the true way and wandered, following the ways of Balaam, who loved the wages of unrighteousness
16 And was rebuked for his sin. The donkey, which doesn’t have human speech, speaking with a human voice kept the prophet from [his] irrational behavior.
[The history of Balaam is found in Numbers chapter 22-24. His death is recorded in Joshua 13:22. Was Balaam a true prophet? Truly God gave him these messages, but for the reasons of his love of money and honor, he chose to sin. A false prophet is known by false prophecies (Deuteronomy 18:21-22 and Jeremiah 28:8-9). They are also known by the idea of “leading away from God,” which would be anything other than God’s worldview, lifestyle, character, words, etc. (Deuteronomy 13:1-5). A false prophet is also recognized by the fruits of their ministry and life (Matthew 7:15-20, Isaiah 28:7 (addictions), Jeremiah 23:10-11, 14 (sexual sins), and Zephaniah 3:4 (arrogance, lying, financial greed, and no shame). It is not the charismatic personality and/or gifted speaker, it is their life. Does it match up to the rules of Jesus in the New Testament in public and private? The true prophet will also have correct Christology (doctrine of Jesus). We need to know what their final authority is. The final authority is to be Jesus and His Apostles, which is the New Testament only. See 1 John 4:1-6].
17 These [people] are like wells without water, clouds blown around with a storm, to which the darkest of darkness is reserved forever.
[They have no life, no goodness, no God-blessed results. There promises and pronouncements are empty. What they teach is lifeless. God has already pronounced judgment on those who are this. It is the darkest of darkness forever. They will spend eternity without light, truth, love, fellowship, or any kind of blessing. See Matthew 22:13, Matthew 8:12, Isaiah 8:20-22, and Galatians 1:8-9].
18 For they utter high-sounding nonsense [and] use sensual desires to seduce those who are truly escaped from filthy sins to live in error.
[“High sounding nonsense” has the idea of something that sounds good, has good delivery, comes from a gifted speaker, yet has no substance and little truth. Knox translates it as, “Using fine phrases that have no meaning, they bait their hook with the wanton appetites of sense, to catch those who have had but a short respite from false teaching]”.
19 Though they promise them liberty, they are servants of moral decay, for what a person is overcome with, he is enslaved to.
[They make many promises but no reality or fulfillment of these promises. The word “overcome” is ἡττάω hēttáō (G2274) which in this case has the idea of overcoming, defeated. Overcome has the idea of a conflict taking place and something/someone wins. In this case, sin, that is lust, wins. See James 1:14-15. Slavery is evil yet slavery to sin is even worse. Slavery to sin would have the idea of addiction to a sin. See Romans 6:16. A person can overcome sin with God’s help. See James 4:7, Ephesians 6:10-18, Romans 5:20-21, and Psalm 91].
20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through their knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and again get involved in it and overcome, their latter end is worse for them than before they started.
[The pollutions of the world are in one’s worldview, lifestyle, belief systems, thoughts, desires, words, and deeds. The word “knowledge” is ἐπίγνωσις epígnōsis (G1922) and is the highest type of knowledge. It reflects a thorough knowledge of Christianity as taught by the Lord Jesus and His apostles. It implies the difference between a false convert and a true convert (as here). This knowledge is of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The “latter end is worse” is also addressed in Hebrews 6:4-6, and Hebrews 10:26-31, and an example would be Demas in 2 Timothy 4:10].
21 For it would have been better for them to not have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn from the holy commandment [which] was delivered to them.
[The word “known” is not the accumulation of facts; it is both facts and personal knowledge. The “way of righteousness” was known and experienced by them. The Greek word is ἐπιγινώσκω epiginṓskō (G1921). The words of “it would have been better” implies that what they are now will have more severe judgment than before knowing. Compare Judas in Matthew 26:24. The “holy commandment” is the whole Christian worldview, doctrine, lifestyle, etc. and in particular, it is the Gospel].
22 What happened to them is according to the true proverb, “The dog returned to his own vomit [Proverbs 26:11],” and “The pig that was washed to rolling in the mud.”