2 Peter 3:4-5 ASV and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for, from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they wilfully forget, that there were heavens from of old, and an earth compacted out of water and amidst water, by the word of God;

Is there a difference between "word" and "beginning" in John 1:1 and "word" and "beginning" in 2 Peter 3 :4-5?


5 Answers 5


OP asks,

"Is there a difference between "word" and "beginning" in John 1:1 and "word" and "beginning" in 2 Peter 3 :4-5?"

It is definitely the same Logos of God that is accomplishing two different things. In John 1:1 it is concerning the Word of Life—

However that same word mentioned in 2 Peter 3:4,5 is not bringing life but judgments.

Here is the definition of the word logos which gives a bit broader definition of the "word".

HELPS Word-studies 3056 lógos (from 3004 /légō, "speaking to a conclusion") – a word, being the expression of a thought; a saying. 3056 /lógos ("word") is preeminently used of Christ (Jn 1:1), expressing the thoughts of the Father through the Spirit. [3056 (lógos) is a common term (used 330 times in the NT) with regards to a person sharing a message (discourse, "communication-speech"). 3056 (lógos) is a broad term meaning "reasoning expressed by words."]

Peter is reminding his listeners that some people choose to forget that things have not stayed the same since the beginning of creation. There have been judgments on the earth and the heavens which brought destruction and ruin.

They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”

This is not true as Peter reminds them how the earth and heavens have been destroyed due to judgments even through the same word, that established the heavens and the earth.

5for this they willingly conceal, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth having been established by the word of God out of water and through water, 6through which the world then, having been flooded by water, was destroyed;

Peter goes on to say that there are going to be judgments again in the heavens and the earth.

By that same word the earth that we live in now and heavens are being stored up for fire and judgments and destruction of godless men.

  • "LIFE" is not mere physical existence., It is true life that Jesus now has. The logos bringing life, includes the justice and judgement needed to bring that true LIFE about. So, even when death is required (second [permanent] death) this is within the bounds of the true life God is about bringing to all His creation - except obviously, those who may choose otherwise.
    – Steve
    Jul 28, 2022 at 1:23

The point the Apostle Peter is making is for the believers to remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the Lord and Savior (vs2) that in the last days (vs3) mockers will come with their mocking following after their own lust.

Vs4, Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation. Peter then reminds them of the flood (vs6), and the change it made in the earth. Since God already intervened once, He will intervene again.

So what about John 1:1-3? "The Word" is a title for Jesus Christ, the One who reveals the mind of God to men. He/that One existed from "the beginning," all the way back into eternity before time and space. This is why John 1:3 identifies the Son of God as the creator and apart from Him/the Son, nothing came into being that has come into being."

Referring to 1 John 1:1-3 the topic is "The Word of life." And John explains, "what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the "Word of Life."

John is asserting that his ministry of witness was based on the historical event of Christ's appearance as a man. It is without a doubt that Jesus displayed the kind of endless glorious life which God himself possesses. After all, He exists "with the Father, and this intimate relationship was then made known to mankind through the witnesses such as John the Apostle.

So, to answer your question the Apostle Peter's reference to the beginning was to show there were always "mockers" even back in Genesis.

The Apostle John's beginning deals with who was there in the beginning even before the Genesis beginning with God. Then at the appointed time the Son incarnated as a man, who for us a Savior, Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11).

  • When did the logos become flesh? Yes, that's when Jesus began. Which part about the Gospel's announcing of the birth of Jesus, the holy 'son of God', don't you understand? This simple, plain, consistent revelation and accurate record excludes "Jesus" from being in the beginning.
    – Steve
    Jul 28, 2022 at 1:10
  • @steveowen No! If Jesus is excluded from being in the beginning how do you reconcile this from what the speaker says of Himself at Revelation 1:8? "I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." And Revelation 1:17-18, "Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and Hades." Who's speaking at Isaiah 44:6? Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel And his Redeemer, the Lord host; I am the first and I am the last, there is no God besides Me.
    – Mr. Bond
    Jul 28, 2022 at 21:09
  • Unfortunately, you are committing serious exegetical error by dismissing plain truths (the ones I just pointed out which need NO interpretation) and assuming a truth of your own making from ambiguous passages which do not explicitly say what you think they do - but are jammed into your theory.
    – Steve
    Jul 28, 2022 at 21:15
  • @steveowen I see, your excusing yourself from addressing what I posted by telling me that what I posted are not plain truths because they are "ambiguous" verses. Ok, Revelation 1:8, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, SAYS the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the ALMIGHTY." I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt by asking you the following question? Can you please show me your exegesis of the verse in a way that demonstrates how you can deny the obvious of what it says? Go ahead, take your time, I'll wait!
    – Mr. Bond
    Jul 28, 2022 at 22:06
  • You are taking a title - a title is often applied to others, that doesn't make them the same person, Immanuel for eg. And constructing a truth that rejects the Gospel accounts! Nice work. I'm waiting for you to address the first comment - you love to change the topic.
    – Steve
    Jul 28, 2022 at 22:33


For a fuller explanation about this word "beginning" see the answer in Is the beginning mentioned in Mark 13:19, Mark 10:6 and Matthew 19:4 the same beginning in Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1? In these verses, who created?

In all cases the "beginning" is the start of the implied object:

  • In John 1:1, 14 we have the ancient eternal past showing that the Logos/Word has always existed with God.
  • In 2 Peter 3:4 we are explicitly told what object starts, namely the "creation". Since the Word (John 1:1) existed before all creation, and by the Word, all, things were created, the Word cannot be created.


It has been often debated as to whether "The Word of God" is the personified Jesus in 2 Peter 3:5, the same as in John 1:1, 14 or not. I do not believe it makes much difference which one chooses. We have a similar "problem" or choice in Heb 4:12 (the word judges!). There is no question in Rev 19:13.


The difference is immense and clear: the “beginning” stands for the state, here the state of the instance of creation. In a drastic difference the “word” stands for the means of creation that as such cannot be a part of creation analytically.

Like, if I say: “In the beginning of the reading of “Iliad” of Homer Mustafa Kizim-Oghlu wiped his eyes to see the text clearly”. Here the “beginning” stands for the instance of Mustafa starting to seeing and comprehending the Μήνιν (the first word of the poem), while the “eyes” that he wipes are instrument, means of reading and as such cannot be reduced to the reading of the book but as capable of transcending both book and its reading.

This “word” of Peter is not necessarily the Hypostatic Word of God in John 1:1-3, yet for John it is clear that exactly the Hypostasis of Logos accounts for the world’s co-creation jointly with the Father, and ergo the Logos is uncreated and thus also co-eternal to the Father; since only God is eternal and the Logos is co-eternal to God, then the Word is God, as John says.


We don't need to be distracted by the possible options regarding 'beginning'. When the beginning refers to does not change whether or not the logos (word) was involved.

In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. John 1:1

Whatever God does, He does through His word - indeed nothing was made except through logos. (and without it nothing was made that has been made v3)

...heavens from of old, and an earth compacted out of water and amidst water, by the word of God 2Pet 3:5

2Peter is simply a reminder of what God did and how He did it. So no, there is no difference - probably the same beginning and definitely the same logos.

Many might imagine the logos as an animate, eternal entity in some manner - we find John eliminating that possibility with his latter letter of 1John 1.

that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have gazed upon and touched with our own hands—this is the Word of life. 2And this is the life that was revealed; we have seen it and testified to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us. 1John 1:1-2

Certainly no person is intended here, just as it isn't in John 1 despite the many imaginative interpretations over the centuries.

When we allow scripture to interpret scripture, many unnecessary complexities and contradictions are avoided.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.