2 Peter 3:10-12 NET

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; when it comes,#tn Grk “in which.” the heavens will disappear#tn Or “pass away.” with a horrific noise,#tn Or “hissing sound,” “whirring sound,” “rushing sound,” or “loud noise.” The word occurs only here in the NT. It was often used of the crackle of a fire, as would appear appropriate in this context. and the celestial bodies#tn Grk “elements.” Most commentators are agreed that “celestial bodies” is meant, in light of this well-worn usage of στοιχεῖα (stoiceia) in the 2nd century and the probable allusion to Isa 34:4 (text of Vaticanus). See R. Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter [WBC], 315-16 for discussion. will melt away#tn Grk “be dissolved.” in a blaze,#tn Grk “being burned up.” and the earth and every deed done on it#tn Grk “the works in it.” will be laid bare.#tc One of the most difficult textual problems in the NT is found in v. 10. The reading εὑρεθήσεται (Jeureqhsetai), which enjoys by far the best support (א B K P 0156vid 323 1241 1739txt pc) is nevertheless so difficult a reading that many scholars regard it as nonsensical. (NA27 lists five conjectures by scholars, from Hort to Mayor, in this text.) As R. Bauckham has pointed out, solutions to the problem are of three sorts: (1) conjectural emendation (which normally speaks more of the ingenuity of the scholar who makes the proposal than of the truth of the conjecture, e.g., changing one letter in the previous word, ἔργα [erga] becomes ἄργα [arga] with the meaning, “the earth and the things in it will be found useless”); (2) adoption of one of several variant readings (all of which, however, are easier than this one and simply cannot explain how this reading arose, e.g., the reading of Ì72 which adds λυόμενα [luomena] to the verb – a reading suggested no doubt by the threefold occurrence of this verb in the surrounding verses: “the earth and its works will be found dissolved”; or the simplest variant, the reading of the Sahidic mss, οὐχ [ouc] preceding ἑυρεθήσεται – “will not be found”); or (3) interpretive gymnastics which regards the text as settled but has to do some manipulation to its normal meaning. Bauckham puts forth an excellent case that the third option is to be preferred and that the meaning of the term is virtually the equivalent of “will be disclosed,” “will be manifested.” (That this meaning is not readily apparent may in fact have been the reason for so many variants and conjectures.) Thus, the force of the clause is that “the earth and the works [done by men] in it will be stripped bare [before God].” In addition, the unusualness of the expression is certainly in keeping with the author’s style throughout this little book. Hence, what looks to be suspect because of its abnormalities, upon closer inspection is actually in keeping with the author’s stylistic idiosyncrasies. The meaning of the text then is that all but the earth and men’s works will be destroyed. Everything will be removed so that humanity will stand naked before God. Textually, then, on both external and internal grounds, εὑρεθήσεται commends itself as the preferred reading. 11 Since all these things are to melt away#tn Grk “all these things thus being dissolved.” in this manner,#tn Or “thus.” what sort of people must we#tc ‡ Most mss have a pronoun with the infinitive – either ὑμᾶς (Jumas, “you”; found in A C[*] P Ψ 048vid 33 1739 Ï, as well as the corrector of Ì72 and second corrector of א), ἡμᾶς (Jhmas, “we”; read by א* 630 2464 al), or ἑαυτούς (Jeautous, “[you your]selves/[we our]selves,” read by 1243). But the shorter reading (with no pronoun) has the support of Ì72*,74vid B pc. Though slim, the evidence for the omission is nevertheless the earliest. Further, the addition of some pronoun, especially the second person pronoun, seems to be a clarifying variant. It would be difficult to explain the pronoun’s absence in some witnesses if the pronoun were original. That three different pronouns have shown up in the mss is testimony for the omission. Thus, on external and internal grounds, the omission is preferred. For English style requirements, however, some pronoun has to be added. NA 27 has ὑμᾶς in brackets, indicating doubt as to its authenticity.tn Or “you.” be, conducting our lives in holiness and godliness,#tn Grk “in holy conduct and godliness.” 12 while waiting for and hastening#tn Or possibly, “striving for,” but the meaning “hasten” for σπουδάζω (spoudazw) is normative in Jewish apocalyptic literature (in which the coming of the Messiah/the end is anticipated). Such a hastening is not an arm-twisting of the divine volition, but a response by believers that has been decreed by God. the coming of the day of God?#sn The coming of the day of God. Peter elsewhere describes the coming or parousia as the coming of Christ (cf. 2 Pet 1:16; 3:4). The almost casual exchange between “God” and “Christ” in this little book, and elsewhere in the NT, argues strongly for the deity of Christ (see esp. 1:1). Because of this day,#tn Grk “on account of which” (a subordinate relative clause in Greek). the heavens will be burned up and#tn Grk “being burned up, will dissolve.” dissolve, and the celestial bodies#tn See note in v. 10 on “celestial bodies.” will melt away in a blaze!#tn Grk “being burned up” (see v. 10).