Deathisdefeated

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

2 Peter 3:7 - The Present Heavens and Earth

There is a bit of a mess that I want to untangle regarding verse 7 of 2 Peter 3. Here is how it is translated in the NAS:

 

7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

 

Some have argued that when Peter states "the present heavens and earth" that this means that what was destroyed in the flood was the first heavens and earth, and that when Peter was writing, a different heavens and earth existed. This is the only verse in the Bible that would remotely hint at such an idea, but this is not what Peter is saying. Peter maintains only one heavens and earth from Genesis 1 until the new heavens and earth arrives.

 

First, he doesn't say the heavens and earth were destroyed in the flood. He says the cosmos at that time was destroyed in the flood.

 

Second, the literal translation of the beginning of the verse is as follows:

 

7 But by the same word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

 

Which word? The same word that brought the heavens and earth into existence to begin with.

 

Third, the Greek word "νυν" in this text is translated as "present." It can also mean, "now." This word functions as an adverb or an adjective, depending on the sentence structure.

 

Here is the way the Greek sentence structure reads:

 

οι δε νυν ουρανοι – The but now heavens

 

It is clear that the Greek word for "the" goes with heavens because the case endings match. In Greek, the word, δε, which means but, is always the second word in the sentence, and when translated into English, it becomes the first word.

 

The question is whether "νυν" is being used as an adverb or an adjective. When "νυν" follows "δε", it can be translated as an adverb, and actually is translated as an adverb in every other case in the New Testament where it immediately follows "δε". For example, consider 2 Timothy 1:10:

 

8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, 10 but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,

 

The exact same sentence structure that Peter uses is also found in Galatians 2:20:

 

"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; but now [ο δε νυν ζω] the life in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."

 

Does Paul have a different life in the flesh now? No. What's different is that now he lives his life in the flesh by faith. But he's the same person. This is the exact same construction found in 2 Peter 3:7.

 

This construction is also found in Romans 16:26 and John 9:21.

 

It is my contention that Peter is using this same structure as Paul and John so that verse 7 of 2 Peter 3 reads like this in English:

 

"But now the heavens and the earth by the same word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men."

 

And this would make the most sense because of the contrast that Peter is drawing between the flood and the destruction of the heavens and the earth:

 

5 For when they maintain this, they deliberately overlook the fact that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 7 But now the heavens and the earth by the same word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

 

Peter's contrast is that these scoffers deliberately overlook the fact that it was by the word of God that the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water through which the cosmos at the time of Noah was destroyed. BUT NOW the heavens and the earth by the same word are being reserved for fire.

 

The heavens and earth were not destroyed in the flood. The cosmos was. But now, the heavens and the earth would be destroyed by the same word of God. And this lines up with Hebrews 1:10-12:

 

10 And, "YOU, LORD, IN THE BEGINNING LAID THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH, AND THE HEAVENS ARE THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS; 11 THEY WILL PERISH, BUT YOU REMAIN; AND THEY ALL WILL BECOME OLD LIKE A GARMENT, 12 AND LIKE A MANTLE YOU WILL ROLL THEM UP; LIKE A GARMENT THEY WILL ALSO BE CHANGED. BUT YOU ARE THE SAME, AND YOUR YEARS WILL NOT COME TO AN END."

 

You see, the same heavens and earth that was created in the beginning is being destroyed. If you want to listen to my sermon on 2 Peter 3, go to newcovenanteyes.com.

Views: 366

Comment by JL Vaughn on October 3, 2011 at 9:16pm

Thanks Alan,

 

It's great to have someone who actually knows Greek put this issue to bed.

Comment by Micah Martin on October 3, 2011 at 10:58pm
Can't wait to listen to the sermon. Thank Alan.
Comment by davo on October 3, 2011 at 11:19pm

First, he doesn't say the heavens and earth were destroyed in the flood. He says the cosmos at that time was destroyed in the flood.

Alan, I pretty much agree with the gist of your article... I'd only make the observation that "IMO" the cosmos refers to the selfsame heaven & earth in question; but that again IMO doesn't affect the main point you're making.

 

I wonder where those who now see a future renewed earth will be camping while God's ‘scorched earth’ policy is taking place - I guess they'll be "saved" somewhere "as of through fire" [1Cor 3:15].-- makes one wonder why they even bother to claim any prêteristic badge. 

Comment by Tim Martin on October 3, 2011 at 11:59pm

Alan,

 

Yep.

 

Thanks,

 

Tim Martin

 

P.S. Jerel Kratt came to virtually the same conclusion here.

Comment by jjkratt on October 4, 2011 at 12:15am

Tim,

 

That I did, thanks for the reminder!

 

Alan, you did an excellent job summarizing in 1 page what took me 30!

 

You know, I really enjoyed that exchange with Sam.  ;-)

 

Jerel

Comment by Alan Bondar on October 4, 2011 at 7:12am

Tim, Jerel,

I read Jerel's article awhile ago, and read it again recently. It's some excellent work.

 

Davo,

How can the cosmos refer to the selfsame heavens and earth in question if Peter states that the cosmos at the time of Noah was destroyed but the selfsame heavens and earth was not?

 

Because of His grace,

Alan

Comment by davo on October 4, 2011 at 10:16am

Hi Alan,

 

They are just differing expressions of the same thing. God was aggrieved that he made man… now, as I understand the covenantal approach, God was displeased with His disobedient ones out of which only Noah was found faithful – thus that world / cosmos / heaven & earth of disobedient ones suffered the same fate as did the latter generation, all be it by a different means, but the end result was in kind comprehensive, i.e., all bar the faithful one and those benefitting the purview of grace perished.

 

Of course I could be wrong, but that’s how I’m presently viewing this covenantal approach, that is, it was a covenantal world / cosmos / heaven & earth that was destroyed – perhaps you can clarify further or explain how that logic doesn’t work?

Comment by Doug on October 4, 2011 at 10:54am

It seems logical that if one believes that the "world" that was destroyed in Noah's day was a local event, not encompassing the ENTIRE heavens and earth, then the judgements that came upon Noah's world ALSO came upon another generation in the latter days (namely the OC system that had been perverted by the Jews) That event was also local, as was the flood.

I think that the symbolic heavens and earth, meaning the perverse world system then in place in Noah's day, and ALSO in place in the perverted Jewish religion was what was destroyed. Can it happen more than once? Yes, I think it can. Will it happen again post parousia? Well, that's for another discussion...

 

Anyway, these are solely my own interpretations of what the symbolic heavens and earth mean. That doesn't mean that other interpretations can't be added.

Comment by JL Vaughn on October 4, 2011 at 11:31am

Davo,

 

Kosmos (world) is usually used to describe a single generation of the covenant people.  Heavens and earth seems to refer to the totality of the covenant and people.

 

I see that difference is referenced in this passage.

 

Blessings,

Comment by MoGrace2u on October 4, 2011 at 1:17pm

I see a comparison in that the kosmos world that was formed by the word of God from the waters was also the one destroyed by water.   Isn't the heaven and earth that Peter says now is, the kosmos in view that came into being by fire and would be destroyed in the same way?  Because the law given at Mt. Sinai came to Moses at the burning bush.  And that word also contained the curse by which that kosmos would one day be destroyed.   Now we are in the new heavens and earth which came by Christ, the Logos of God who sends the Spirit of God for its renewal, and will never be destroyed because the curse has been removed - no 2nd death to face for those who have been made alive in Christ.  Therefore I see a progression as we move from a literal creation and destruction into a spiritual realm where the context of everlasting must reside for the newly created spiritual inhabitants that dwell in it.  The world created and destroyed by fire was only for the interim!

 

Robin

Comment

You need to be a member of Deathisdefeated to add comments!

Join Deathisdefeated

Events

Forum

Adam as Israel

Started by Internet_Troll in Eschatology. Last reply by Internet_Troll May 26. 6 Replies

The parousia and judgment of nations

Started by Internet_Troll in Eschatology. Last reply by Joseph Rehby Jul 6. 16 Replies

Preterist Networking

Started by Judy Peterson in Prayer Requests. Last reply by John Aug 8, 2016. 17 Replies

The 10 Tribes of Israel

Started by Internet_Troll in Questions and Best Answers We Can Give!. Last reply by Internet_Troll May 22, 2016. 9 Replies

Online Teaching Elders

Started by Eohn Rhodes in Eschatology. Last reply by Doug Dec 22, 2015. 4 Replies

Who is the abomination of desolation ?

Started by Stairway To Heaven in Eschatology. Last reply by Brother Les Dec 11, 2015. 3 Replies

Divine council

Started by Sharon Q in Eschatology. Last reply by Sharon Q Oct 3, 2015. 5 Replies

Marriage and Divorce Motif Between God and Israel

Started by Andrew Reish in Eschatology. Last reply by Brother Les Jul 5, 2015. 5 Replies

Millennium

Started by Mark Baker in Eschatology. Last reply by Internet_Troll May 4, 2015. 48 Replies

Fulfilled prophecies of Jesus

Started by joy sung in Eschatology Mar 22, 2015. 0 Replies

The End of the Old Covenat

Started by Internet_Troll in Eschatology. Last reply by Internet_Troll Jan 21, 2015. 60 Replies

© 2017   Created by Tim Martin.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service