2 Peter 2:12 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Peter 2:12, NIV: But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.

2 Peter 2:12, ESV: But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction,

2 Peter 2:12, KJV: But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

2 Peter 2:12, NASB: But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, using abusive speech where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed,

2 Peter 2:12, NLT: These false teachers are like unthinking animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed. They scoff at things they do not understand, and like animals, they will be destroyed.

2 Peter 2:12, CSB: But these people, like irrational animals--creatures of instinct born to be caught and destroyed--slander what they do not understand, and in their destruction they too will be destroyed.

What does 2 Peter 2:12 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Peter continues his condemnation of the false teachers among the people of the church, describing both their reckless sins before God and the consequences those sins will cause for them. Peter has revealed that these false teachers were, apparently, insulting or mocking celestial beings as part of their teaching. Peter calls that blasphemy: speaking without proper reverence about sacred things. We don't know what they were saying, specifically, or why they were saying it, but Peter makes it clear that they didn't know what they were talking about.

For this and other reasons, Peter compares these false teachers to animals driven only by instinct and not by rational thought. He writes that they are doing what comes naturally in the same way a wild animal, for instance, might attack a human being without apparent cause. Like that wild animal, Peter says these false teachers will be caught and destroyed. In their case, though, it is God who will destroy them. Likely, Peter is referring to their eternal judgment.

It is interesting that Peter contrasts those who act like animals with those who act with reason. Christianity, from the very beginning, has been friendly to the mind. In fact, a major aspect of the faith is purposeful control of one's thought life (Romans 12:2). The idea of ignoring the intellect, to focus only on feelings, is completely at odds with biblical faith.