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Peter's Second Letter and the destruction of unbelievers

You asked: Bible fundamentalist often proclaim the "end of the world" "Sudden destruction for unbelievers" or "Armageddon" etc. The Apostle PeterĀ“s second letter is often used to prove their doctrine. Where did he get this idea from in the first place?

Thanks so much for your note to us here at TruthBook.com. We're always happy to correspond with our visitors whether they are Urantia Book readers or not. I hope you have looked into it! In any event, this is a great question, and I will try my best to answer it with information from The Urantia Book.

I wanted to familiarize myself with the letter you reference, so I did find a website with some interesting info. Here's a section from it regarding Peter's second letter:

Writer: The apostle Peter;

Date: c AD65-67, not long before Peter's execution;

Where written: Rome;

Readers: Scattered Christian churches, possibly the same ones referred to in 1 Peter;

Why: A warning about false teachers, especially their denial of Christ's divinity and his second coming.

According to Some Modern Scholarship: This is the most disputed Letter of the New Testament, partly because it appears to include material from the Letter of Jude. It may therefore have been written by an unknown Christian towards the end of the 1st century or early in the 2nd

I was not able to find much in The Urantia Book regarding Peter and his writings, but I dd find this, although it only mentions his first letter; and we see that it was subsequently altered:

139:2.12 Something of Peter's style and teaching is shown in the sermons partially recorded by Luke and in the Gospel of Mark. His vigorous style was better shown in his letter known as the First Epistle of Peter; at least this was true before it was subsequently altered by a disciple of Paul.

139:2.13 But Peter persisted in making the mistake of trying to convince the Jews that Jesus was, after all, really and truly the Jewish Messiah. Right up to the day of his death, Simon Peter continued to suffer confusion in his mind between the concepts of Jesus as the Jewish Messiah, Christ as the world's redeemer, and the Son of Man as the revelation of God, the loving Father of all mankind.

Here's another passage that I found regarding this idea in The Urantia Book. It reads:

135:5.3 In the days of John all Jews were expectantly asking, "How soon will the kingdom come?" There was a general feeling that the end of the rule of the gentile nations was drawing near. There was present throughout all Jewry a lively hope and a keen expectation that the consummation of the desire of the ages would occur during the lifetime of that generation.

135:5.4 While the Jews differed greatly in their estimates of the nature of the coming kingdom, they were alike in their belief that the event was impending, near at hand, even at the door. Many who read the Old Testament literally looked expectantly for a new king in Palestine, for a regenerated Jewish nation delivered from its enemies and presided over by the successor of King David, the Messiah who would quickly be acknowledged as the rightful and righteous ruler of all the world. Another, though smaller, group of devout Jews held a vastly different view of this kingdom of God. They taught that the coming kingdom was not of this world, that the world was approaching its certain end, and that "a new heaven and a new earth" were to usher in the establishment of the kingdom of God; that this kingdom was to be an everlasting dominion, that sin was to be ended, and that the citizens of the new kingdom were to become immortal in their enjoyment of this endless bliss.

135:5.5 (bolding is mine) All were agreed that some drastic purging or purifying discipline would of necessity precede the establishment of the new kingdom on earth. The literalists taught that a world-wide war would ensue which would destroy all unbelievers, while the faithful would sweep on to universal and eternal victory. The spiritists taught that the kingdom would be ushered in by the great judgment of God which would relegate the unrighteous to their well-deserved judgment of punishment and final destruction, at the same time elevating the believing saints of the chosen people to high seats of honor and authority with the Son of Man, who would rule over the redeemed nations in God's name. And this latter group even believed that many devout gentiles might be admitted to the fellowship of the new kingdom.

I am not a Bible scholar, but just by reading this passage, I would assume that Peter and his contemporaries were influenced by these prevailing ideas of the coming kingdom, whose arrival was thought to be imminent. I don't know how to determine who really wrote that epistle - was it Peter, or was it the above-mentioned "disciple of Paul?" Or was it from Jude, as the website above seems to indicate?

I think you might agree that it is confusing at best to sort out the Biblical accounts - who wrote what, when they wrote, and how the records were altered over the centuries...

Again, I do hope that you are a Urantia Book reader. Much of the information given in there regarding Scripture is by way of clarifying and putting the writings into context of the times. As readers, we are not really encouraged to rely on Biblical teachings, except as Jesus did - as a fount of certain gems of truth, beauty, and goodness - but not as inerrant truth. Nevertheless, this Urantia Book information ay be of help to youin your discussions with those who are troubles by "the end of the world," and other similar warnings that have come down to us in Scripture.

Here's how Jesus viewed Scripture

Thanks again for this interesting question. I hope that my reply has been helpful to you in your quest for truth...

Date published:
Author: Staff