The opening verse of 2 Peter states that the book was written by “Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ" (ESV). By this we understand the claim to be Simon Bar-Jonah (Matt 16:17), a fisherman from Galilee. Although many arguments have been made against this claim1 I am here focused on a particular issue — the peculiar vocabulary of the letter.
There are 686 hapax legomena in the NT; 54 are found in 2 Peter.2 Considering the brevity of the letter, this is markedly disproportionate. It seems odd that a Galilean fisherman would employ a vocabulary so different from his fellow apostles. Most explanations I have found defending apostolic authorship have surmised that the vocabulary is due to the use of an amanuensis.3,4 My confusion is about exactly what the job of such a person was. My impression had been that this is basically a scribe. I don’t picture a scribe introducing such a large volume of new words, but I may be misunderstanding the role.
Based on historical knowledge of such arrangements, does this hypothetical scenario reflect a typical degree of linguistic freedom in an author-amanuesis relationship?
Do these observations about the vocabulary have any bearing on the question of authorship of 2 Peter?
Wikipedia: "The vast majority of modern scholars regard [2 Peter] as pseudepigraphical."
From A critical and exegetical commentary on the epistles of St. Peter and St. Jude. by Charles Bigg, which also includes the complete list of unique words.
That is approximately the conclusion of the commentary above, although he switches to the word “draughtsman” which may carry a somewhat different connotation?
From what I can tell, for those who hold to apostolic authorship, 1 Peter is almost unanimously thought to have been written through the hand of an amanuensis. There the trouble is not so much the vocabulary as the style, which (is very unlike 2 Peter and) seems to indicate a highly educated author. The same basic question applies there.