Peter’s Restoration

Repost: see John 21.

Seven of the 11 disciples are at sea and are attempting to catch fish.  The Master comes and guides them.  A net full of fish results.  Jesus gathers them around a fire and they eat roast fish together.  

After the meal He turns to Peter and seeks to restore His friend and follower.  “Peter, do you love me more than these?”

I can imagine for Peter and arch of pain goes through his stomach. then anguish of soul, and finally release.  “Aaah, the Lord is coming for me, He still loves me?” “I will go there with Him.”  “Lord, you know I love you,” said Peter.  “I will soon be free of this plague of failure which has bound me ever since He died.”  “I know my denial sent Him there.  Maybe, now I can get past my remorse for failing Him so badly.”

The Lord ask Peter the same question again, and then again.  The Lord asks Peter the question three times.  It was three times that Peter was asked a question about his association with the Master and denied that he knew the Lord in the courtyard of the high priest’s house in response to each question.

So, what is Jesus doing here on the shore?  Jesus wants Peter.  He wants Peter to understand that even denial and betrayal is forgivable.  Jesus wants Peter to see the resurrected Jesus–the One who died for Peter’s sins and the sins of all others who come seeking forgiveness

Where would Peter have been if the Lord had not pursued him as He did at the shore?   How would His life have been different if the Lord never engaged Him directly?

I am seeing this encounter with Peter as life changing.  Peter can throw off the sin and turn from his past.  Peter will become a new man because of the Lord’s pursuit of him today.

We see the results in the remainder of the New Testament.  Peter lives to call men and women to their Savior and to guard and feed the Lord’s sheep.  Peter is a great example for us.  Though we have sinned and grieved our Lord, we can be renewed and restored.  We may hear the call to a flock of a few or of hundreds.  

We desperately need to see the Lord pursuing us as He pursued Peter.  The Lord seeks to restore us by His love and grace.  

Seek Him and you will find Him. He will find you. Know that He does pursue you.  Submerge yourself in His love.


Is II Peter Forged?

Martino di Bartolomeo. st Peter. detail. Washi...


Is II Peter Forged as so many “critics” claim?   Why is it that you are considered a “good” critic of history when you are able to “show” that what was believed historically, may not be true?

Reading along today, reviews of a counseling book I was interested in, I came across a review by “realworlder” who has a very positive review of my book.  But, he said something that caught my eye.   He talked about II Peter text being 2nd century polished Greek.  Okay, I thought to myself.  That does make sense.  If there was to be a pseudepigraphy and 2nd century it would be smooth greek by one more educated than the Apostle Peter.

But, that’s not the way it is at all.  I Peter is good, smooth Greek and II Peter is rough Greek.  Okay, that seems to be backwards to what one would expect if there was a forgery involved here and that is probably why “realworlder” got confused.   But the ultimate answer may be there really is no forgery here.

Over at The Christian Critic, Josh Olds reviews Dr. Bart Ehrman‘s Forged.  He quotes Dr. Ehrman as saying that “whoever wrote II Peter is not Simeon Peter.”  Then Josh points out how much Dr. Ehrman makes lots of assumptions about the books he claims to be forgeries and does not deal in hard facts.

It’s ironic that in a book meant to discuss deception in the Bible that Ehrman and his publisher would go to such great lengths to deceive his audience to bolster his arguments. Despite the entire theme of the book being the forgery within the canonical Scriptures, by my count only 62 of the book’s 291 pages deal with books within the Bible. Even if I was generous and gave 10 more pages of content to that total, the result is still only about a quarter of the book. The majority of the text is dedicated to non-canonical forgeries and discussions of forgery in general. It’s good discussion, but it’s clearly not what the book sets itself up to be. Ehrman doesn’t even consider the fact that these may not be forgeries but rather concerns himself with the “popular myth” that forgeries are A-OK.

Of course the Book, Forged, by Dr. Ehrman is about lots more that II Peter but we can make a case for the Apostle Peter being the author of the Second Peter.  Many of the modern critics claim that II Peter is a forgery because the book claims to be written by the Apostle Peter.

First, there is an excellent thesis over at which gets into many of the issues related to determining authorship.   There is an excellent statement there regarding claims to forgery by Charles Bigg:

Claims that personal references prove forgery are based purely on prejudice because unless the ink is still wet and the author long dead, it cannot be proved to be false. Charles Bigg says, “As regards what an author says about himself, we can ask only whether…it is possible or impossible. But no document was ever condemned as a forgery upon this ground.”  Charles Bigg, Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistles of St. Peter and St. Jude, International Critical Commentary

Did you get that?  To prove a book was NOT written by an author, you would have to have evidence at the time of the writing that the “claimed” author was dead.  What do modern critics do?  They simply date the writing after the author’s death.   But the point Bigg makes is that critics have to be there when the ink is wet.  Were they? None living today were there.

Modern writings about authorship use circumstantial evidence, usually filled with presumption and generally don’t step outside the box in thought when developing their theses.

If we just step back and look at the data a different way, history may  take on a new form.  Most scholars simply overlook the plain meaning of the text.  There are pseudo-Petrine works out there but all these do not make II Peter pseudo-Petrine.

The differences in style of I Peter and II Peter may be easily explained by something amanuensis (that means scribe or ghostwriter).  That does not mean that the scribe “wrote” the book for the author as Dr. Ehrman as claimed in Jesus Interrupted.  It means  that the scribe penned the letter.  For I Peter, Silas was the scribe( see I Peter 5:12).  For II Peter, written just before his death, someone  transcribed his words who had less command of the Greek language. The differences in style between the two letters may be accounted for in different subjects and different intent of the letters. There was a time lapse between the two letters and new sources may have been used that account for differences.  There is some evidence in II Peter that the audience changed to the Christian community as a whole where I Peter was directed to Jewish Christians in Asia Minor.