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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

2 Peter 3:1

ESV This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder,
NIV Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.
NASB Beloved, this is now the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of a reminder,
CSB Dear friends, this is now the second letter I have written to you; in both letters, I want to stir up your sincere understanding by way of reminder,
NLT This is my second letter to you, dear friends, and in both of them I have tried to stimulate your wholesome thinking and refresh your memory.
KJV This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
NKJV Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder),

What does 2 Peter 3:1 mean?

In the previous chapters, Peter has fully condemned the false teachers plaguing Christians in the early church. Here in chapter 3, Peter continues with a new focus. He refers to his readers as beloved, from agapētoi in the original Greek. This word is related to the Greek word for selfless, sacrificial love, agape. Selecting this word demonstrates how dearly Peter loves those he writes to, as well as their status in God's sight. As Christians, we are truly and always God's beloved ones.

Peter notes that this is his second letter to these readers. Scholars disagree about whether the book of 1 Peter was the first letter or whether 2 Peter follows some other document meant for a different set of readers. In either case, Peter's purpose in writing has been consistent: to remind Christians of what they already know and to urge them to act on it.

More specifically, he writes to stimulate them to wholesome thinking, or to stir up their "sincere minds." The Greek term here is eilikrinē. This literally means something found to be pure when examined by sunlight. A common legend is that the English word "sincere" comes from two Latin words which translate to "without wax." The story goes that crafty pottery salesmen would sometimes use wax to disguise cracks in their pottery. When held up to the sun, though, light would show through the wax, revealing the deception. A pot held up to the sun and found to be flawless was "without wax," or "sincere:" hiding no faults. In truth, the word sincere is not based in those Latin terms, and seems to come from words relating to wholeness and purity. As an analogy, however, the story still has some merit.

Peter wants his readers to be clear and self-controlled in their thinking. We should be focused on what matters, without any weak spots obscured by worthless ideas.
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