The Rise and Fall of the False Teachers
1 But there were also false prophets among the people, as there will be false teachers among you also, who will bring in destructive heresies#Literally “heresies of destruction”, even denying the Master who bought them, thus#*Here “thus” is supplied as a component of the participle (“bringing on”) which is understood as result bringing on themselves swift destruction. 2And many will follow their licentious ways, because of whom the way of truth will be reviled. 3And in greediness they will exploit you with false words, whose condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
4For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but held them captive in Tartarus with chains of darkness and handed them over to be kept for judgment, 5and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a proclaimer of righteousness, and seven others#Literally “eighth” when he#*Here “when” is supplied as a component of the participle (“brought”) which is understood as temporal brought a flood on the world of the ungodly, 6and condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction, reducing them to ashes, having appointed them as an example for those who are going to be ungodly, 7and rescued righteous Lot, worn down by the way of life of lawless persons in licentiousness 8(for that righteous man, as he#*Here “as” is supplied as a component of the participle (“lived”) which is understood as temporal lived among them day after day, was tormenting his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he was seeing and hearing), 9then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to reserve the unrighteous to be punished at#Or “until” the day of judgment, 10and especially those who go after the flesh in defiling lust#Literally “in lust of defilement,” translated here as an attributive genitive and who despise authority.
Bold and arrogant, they do not tremble in awe as they#*Here “as” is supplied as a component of the participle (“blaspheme”) which is understood as temporal blaspheme majestic beings, 11whereas angels, who are greater in strength and power, do not bring against them a demeaning judgment.#Some manuscripts have “a demeaning judgment from the Lord” 12But these persons, like irrational animals born only with natural instincts for capture and killing, blaspheming about things#Literally “with reference to which” they do not understand, in their destruction will also be destroyed, 13being harmed as the wages of unrighteousness. Considering reveling in the daytime a pleasure, they are stains and blemishes, carousing in their deceitful pleasures when they#*Here “when” is supplied as a component of the participle (“feast together”) which is understood as temporal feast together with you, 14having eyes full of desire for an adulteress and unceasing from sin, enticing unstable persons, and#*Here “and” is supplied in keeping with English style having hearts trained for greediness. Accursed children! 15By#*Here “by” is supplied as a component of the participle (“leaving”) which is understood as means leaving the straight path, they have gone astray, because they#*Here “because” is supplied as a component of the participle (“followed”) which is understood as causal followed the way of Balaam the son of Bosor,#Although some English versions use “Beor” here, this is due to harmonization with the Old Testament; the vast majority of Greek manuscripts read “Bosor” here who loved the wages of unrighteousness, 16but received a rebuke for his own lawlessness: a speechless donkey, speaking with a human voice, restrained the prophet’s madness#Literally “the of the prophet madness”.
17These people are waterless springs and mists driven by a hurricane, for whom the gloom of darkness has been reserved. 18For by speaking high-sounding but empty words#Literally “for speaking pompous words of emptiness”, they entice with desires of the flesh and with licentiousness those who are scarcely escaping from those who live in error, 19promising them freedom although they#*Here “although” is supplied as a component of the participle (“are”) which is understood as concessive themselves are slaves of depravity. For to whatever someone succumbs, by this he is also#Some manuscripts omit “also” enslaved. 20For if, after they#*Here “after” is supplied as a component of the participle (“have escaped from”) which is understood as temporal have escaped from the defilements of the world through the knowledge of the Lord#Some manuscripts have “of our Lord” and Savior Jesus Christ, and they are again entangled in these things and succumb to them, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than having known it, to turn back from the holy commandment that had been delivered to them. 22The statement of the true proverb has happened to them, “A dog returns to its own vomit,”#A paraphrased quotation from Prov 26:11 and “A sow, after#*Here “after” is supplied as a component of the participle (“washing herself”) which is understood as temporal washing herself, returns#*The verb “returns” is not in the Greek text, but is an understood repetition from the previous clause to wallowing in the mud.”#The source of this quotation is uncertain