What does 2 Peter 3:6 mean?
ESV: and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.
NIV: By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.
NASB: through which the world at that time was destroyed by being flooded with water.
CSB: Through these the world of that time perished when it was flooded.
NLT: Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood.
KJV: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
NKJV: by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.
Verse Commentary:
In the previous verses, Peter has described a false argument made by deceivers. Namely, that too much time has passed since Jesus promised to come back. Therefore, they claim, He isn't coming. There is no judgment. God will not intervene in the physical world. Peter indicated that these teachers are purposely forgetting that God made the world in the first place. The One who designed the universe can alter its course whenever He decides to.

Now Peter reminds his readers that these false teachers are also forgetting a huge moment in history. There have already been times, in the physical world, when God intervened in order to bring judgment. As recorded in Genesis 6—9, God brought the great flood and destroyed nearly all of the life He had created. In other words, God has already done, in the past, exactly what the false teachers were saying He will not do in the future.

In our day, many dismiss the idea of Noah's flood, calling it a myth, a fable, or an exaggeration. Even some religious teachers are eager to diminish that cataclysmic event. Peter clearly believed in and taught the reality of Noah's flood. Jesus did also (Matthew 24:37).

Peter's whole point is that God is ready and willing to disrupt the natural course of the world as it suits Him, including using the natural world He created to bring judgment on the sins of humanity.
Verse Context:
2 Peter 3:1–13 includes Peter’s dismantling of the arguments of the false teachers. They will scoff because Christ’s promised return has not yet happened, and the world continues on as if nothing will ever change. Peter reminds Christians that God made the world and Noah’s flood is evidence that He is willing to alter it in order to bring judgment on the sins of humanity. In the coming judgment, everything will be destroyed and laid bare with fire. Christians look forward to the new heavens and earth which will come after.
Chapter Summary:
Peter dismantles the arguments of false teachers working to mislead Christians in the early church. He counters their idea that since Jesus has not yet returned, He must not be coming. Peter reminds His readers that God created the world. The flood of Noah's day is evidence that He is willing to bring judgment on the earth for sin. God is not late, He is patient and merciful. But the day of the Lord will come eventually. Everything will be destroyed. A new heaven and earth will be established. Christians should live as if that’s true.
Chapter Context:
After thoroughly condemning the false teachers in chapter 2, Peter now dismantles their arguments. These deceivers scoff that Christ has not returned as promised. We should doubt Christ's return, they say, since the world goes along as it always has and always will. Peter reminds his readers that God is the one who made the world. Noah’s flood is evidence of His willingness to alter the course of nature in order to bring judgment on humanity for sin. Christians should be looking forward to the new heavens and earth, rejecting false teaching, and leading holy lives.
Book Summary:
Apparently written shortly before his death in the AD 60s, 2 Peter may have been written to the same audience as 1 Peter, which was Christians scattered by persecution. Peter writes this letter to encourage Christians to live out the purpose of their lives in Christ. He warns readers to beware of teachers who claim to be believers, but present a false version of Christianity. And, Peter calls on all Christians to eagerly watch and wait for the return of the Lord.
Accessed 5/18/2024 7:45:58 PM
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