Text: 2 Peter 3: 8 -17 (NET)

8 Now, dear friends, do not let this one thing escape your notice, that a single day is like a thousand years with the Lord and a thousand years are like a single day. 9 The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some regard slowness, but is being patient toward you, because he does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; when it comes, the heavens will disappear with a horrific noise, and the celestial bodies will melt away in a blaze, and the earth and every deed done on it will be laid bare.

11 Since all these things are to melt away in this manner, what sort of people must we be, conducting our lives in holiness and godliness, 12 while waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God? Because of this day, the heavens will be burned up and dissolve, and the celestial bodies will melt away in a blaze!

13 But, according to his promise, we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness truly resides.

14 Therefore, dear friends, since you are waiting for these things, strive to be found at peace, without spot or blemish, when you come into his presence.

15 And regard the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as also our dear brother Paul wrote to you, according to the wisdom given to him, 16 speaking of these things in all his letters. Some things in these letters are hard to understand, things the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they also do to the rest of the scriptures. 17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard that you do not get led astray by the error of these unprincipled men and fall from your firm grasp on the truth.

  • 2
    I take it that you want quotations from the Pauline epistles as examples of the things to which Peter has been referring in the above passage. Am I correct ?
    – Nigel J
    Jan 14, 2021 at 13:44

1 Answer 1


The word, Τούτων (Genitive neuter plural) and ταῦτα (accusative neuter plural) occur three times in 2 Peter 3:8-17. [It also occurs in v4 in the nominative.]

Both of these words are different forms of the plural demonstrative pronoun which refers to something immediately preceding in this case. Let us take these individually:

V11 - "all these things are to melt away in this manner"

The immediate antecedent of "these things that melt away" is obviously found in v10:

  • The heavens will disappear with a roar [See also Rev 6:14]
  • the elements will be destroyed/dissolved by fire [I assume this is an allusion to Matt 24:29 and Joel 2:31 or similar]
  • the earth and its works will be laid bare [I presume this is an allusion to the judgement]

V14 - as you anticipate these things

The immediate antecedent of "these things" here is:

  • everything will be destroyed in this way (v11)
  • anticipate and hasten the coming of the day of God (v12)
  • the heavens will be destroyed by fire (v12)
  • the elements will melt in the heat (v12)
  • looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells (v13)

V16 - these things in all his [= Paul's] letters

The immediate antecedent of "these things" here is:

  • our Lord’s patience brings salvation
  • "these things" listed in V14 which is very similar to the "these things" in V11 - that is all the events surrounding the second coming of Jesus on "that day"

Paul's writings on Eschatology

The apostle Paul wrote many things on the subject of eschatology; here is a sample -

  • 2 Tim 3:1 – perilous times in the “last day” which Paul discusses as already at his time.
  • 1 Thess 4:15 – Paul talks about the second coming and “we who are still alive”; thus he believed he would live to the Lord return
  • 1 Cor 7:29 – time is short
  • Rom 13:11, 12 – salvation is nearer than when we believed.
  • Paul looked forward to the time when Jesus would return; 1 Cor 1:7, 4:5, 11:26, Phil 3:4, 20, 1 Thess 1:9, 10, 3:13, 4:16, 17, 5:23, 2 Thess 2:1, 2, 8, Titus 2:12-14, 2 Tim 4:8
  • 1 Thess 5:2, 4, The time of Jesus' return is not known
  • 2 Thess 2:8, The wicked greatly fear the time of Jesus return. See also 1 Cor 4:5, 2 Cor 5:10
  • The time of tribulation is associated with the return of Jesus, 2 Thess 2:4-10, and the "man of lawlessness".
  • The second coming will involve the resurrection of the saints and their translation to heaven, 1 Cor 15:52-55, 1 Thess 4:16, 17
  • The chapter 2 Thess 2 is known as "Paul's Apocalypse".

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