Reading 2 Peter with wisdom: Can a wisdom hermeneutic best explain the "enigmatic" epistle?

Bibliographic Information: 

David Burge. "Reading 2 Peter with wisdom: Can a wisdom hermeneutic best explain the "enigmatic" epistle?" Presbyterion 47 (2021): 77-96.

Dubbed ‘the ugly stepchild’ of the New Testament due to its alleged aporias, the lucidity of 2 Peter’s unique voice may be best perceived not with primary reference to extrabiblical Jewish or Hellenistic sources, nor even to Jude, but to scriptural wisdom reread in light of the Lord’s coming in the person of Jesus. Confronted with false teachers in the form of seductive, foolish ‘mockers’ (3:3), 2 Peter invokes Proverbs’ voice to exhort Christ-oriented wisdom attributes such as ἐπίγνωσις (‘knowledge’), εὐσέβεια (‘godliness’, ‘piety’) and ἀρετή (‘virtue’) so that God’s people remain on the true ὁδός (‘way’, ‘path’) of ζωή (‘life’). Though the controversial question of authorship will not be addressed directly in this essay, this ‘scriptural’ reading of 2 Peter might explain how one author could generate two distinct styles—each letter invokes different voices from God’s ‘living and enduring’ word, and each elegantly fit for purpose. First, the essay explains how 2 Peter leads us to examine Scripture and Proverbs most particularly, as a dominant influence. Second, texts from Proverbs 1–9 and 2 Peter are compared to suggest further examination may reveal significant resonance of structure, style and theological themes. To conclude, four questions raised in 2 Peter scholarship are cursorily addressed with a wisdom hermeneutic.

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