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Peter's Two-Witnesses Apologetic in 2 Peter

Posted by Matt Postiff February 16, 2018 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Theology  Bible Texts  Apologetics 

I am just completing an expositional series in 2 Peter in our church, and yesterday I delivered a message at the chapel service of Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary from Peter's letter. In preparation for the message, I noted that Peter appeals to two witnesses as the basis of his apologetic, that is, his defense of the gospel.

The first of these witnesses is found in 2 Peter 1:16-18. There, Peter flatly denies the charge that he is propagating a clever myth. Rather, he personally eyewitnessed the majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration. But far more than a mere "experience," Peter has recorded for us a heavenly revelation with apostolic authority. Jesus, God the Father, James, John, Peter, Moses, and Elijah were present at this unveiling of the regal glory of King Jesus. Peter's letter, and all the NT writings, are classed the same way--as apostolic revelation. So Peter's first witness boils down to this: the New Testament of the Bible.

The second of Peter's witnesses is found in 2 Peter 1:19-21. There he writes of the prophetic word that is altogether reliable. It did not originate in man, but rather with the activity of the Holy Spirit superintending the authors of the Old Testament. And that is why it is entirely trustworthy, because it originates with God.

Peter reiterates these two witnesses once again in 2 Peter 3:2:

That you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior...

We have the Old Testament in the mention of the holy prophets, and the New Testament in the phrase "commandment of...the apostles."

By two or three witnesses, let every word be established (Deut. 19:15, Matt. 18:16, 2 Cor. 13:1). You cannot get more reliable witnesses than the Old and New Testaments. The Christian faith is founded upon solid, historical, revealed truth from heaven. There is no reason to abandon it for the speculations and scoffing of men.

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