2 Peter 3:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Peter 3:17, NIV: "Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position."

2 Peter 3:17, ESV: "You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability."

2 Peter 3:17, KJV: "Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness."

2 Peter 3:17, NASB: "You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unscrupulous people and lose your own firm commitment,"

2 Peter 3:17, NLT: "I am warning you ahead of time, dear friends. Be on guard so that you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing."

2 Peter 3:17, CSB: "Therefore, dear friends, since you know this in advance, be on your guard, so that you are not led away by the error of lawless people and fall from your own stable position."

What does 2 Peter 3:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Peter concludes his letter over these next two verses. These provide a clean, concise summary of the whole book of 2 Peter.

Once again, Peter calls his readers "beloved." He has written to them because he cares for them deeply. Peter acknowledges that his readers already know the basic truths he has delivered to them. Now, he writes that this knowledge makes them personally responsible not to be deceived. False teachers are lawless people, meaning they have rebelled against the authority of God and seek to lead others away from the Father.

Christians must sense our responsibility to continually check the content of what our teachers tell us (Acts 17:11). We must compare what others say, or proclaim, against the truth of God's Word. We are responsible not to be carried away or misled by false teaching, no matter how good and reasonable it sounds on the surface (Colossians 2:8).

Otherwise, Peter writes, we will "lose your own stability." This phrase is also translated as "fall from your secure position," or "fall from your own steadfastness." The Greek phrase uses the word ekpesēte, which literally means, "to fall," but this phrase is not indicative of salvation. The potential loss Peter has in mind is not that of eternal damnation, if we allow ourselves to be misled by false teachers. Peter, however, has written in 1 Peter 1:4–5 that a Christian's place in eternity is shielded by God's power and cannot be lost.

Others suggest that this warning applies to those who may consider themselves to be Christians but have never truly trusted in Christ.

The most defensible interpretation is that Peter refers to the confidence and sense of stability which comes from living in the truth. Peter warns against losing our intellectual and spiritual security, not our eternal salvation. There is peace which comes only from trusting God and His Word absolutely.