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Saturday, May 08, 2021

New Testament Questions and Answers

 

1.    What does the title ‘Gospel’ mean in the context of the Gospels in General?

The word εὐανγγέλιον has gone through three realms of usage in history. It meant to the older Greek 'reward for bringing good tidings; also, a thank offering for good tidings brought". Subsequently it was used as meaning ' the good news itself' and lastly used as 'the books in which the gospel of Jesus Christ is presented in historic form'. The second usage ' the good news itself' - the good news of God bringing salvation to men is more commonly used and is applied to the title of the gospels. This word in relation to a written gospel was first found in 1873 in the 'Didache' the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles. The plural 'euanggelia' referring to the four gospels was first found in Justin Martyr around 152 A.D. The early church believed in the unity of the gospels. Irenaeus stated that ' The Gospel is essentially fourfold', Augustine also speaks of 'the four Gospels' or the four books of one Gospel'. The English word taken from the AngloSaxon 'godspell' means God and story, i.e. the story of God in human flesh.

2.    What was the number of Gospels recognized by the early Church?

Peshito (from the first half of the second century) is the earliest affirmation of four gospels. The Muratonian Fragment written around 170 AD starts with the last words of Mark's Gospels and then states that: “Luke’s Gospel stands third in order, having been written by Luke, the physician, the companion of Paul.” It further assigned the fourth Gospel to “the Gospel of John, a disciple of the Lord.”. By implication, the first two Gospels are that of Matthew and Mark. Tatian, the Assyrian while writing about the harmony of the gospels titled his work 'the Gospel by the Four, alluding to a Gospel that is four and yet is one, i.e. a fourfold Gospel. Iranaeus (around 120 - 200), a disciple of Polycarp (Polycarp was discipled by Apostle John), in a chapter entitled "“Proofs that there can be neither more nor fewer than four Evangelists.” in one of his books called the Gospels “the Gospel with four Faces”, thereby referring to them as one unit with four perspectives. He likened the four faced Gospel to the four regions of the earth and to the cherubims with four faces amongst others. Further, Origin, the notable teacher of Alexandria opines that he is aware of only four gospels "I have learnt by tradition concerning the four Gospels, which alone are uncontroverted in the Church of God spread under heaven, that according to Matthew, who was once a publican but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, was written first; . . . that according to Mark second; . .. that according to Luke third; . . . that according to John last of all.” Church History VI, 25

 

3.    What was the literary nature of the Gospels?

The Gospels have a unique character of their own that there is no other groups of books or book to whom they can be compared. As a background we note the conviction that the authors aspired to prepare histories of Jesus's life on earth for future generations. While they are not intended to be nor meet the qualifications of being historical accounts or biographies, they provide different portraits of the savior that in combination gives us a perfect image of the Savior. It was important that the Gospel be presented in a fourfold fashion to meet the needs of four categories of people: the Jews, Romans, Greeks and Christians in future ages. Matthew in writing to the Jews presented Jesus as the Mighty King from the house of David; to the Romans, Mark presented Christ as the great Worker who conquered sin and evil; Luke while writing to the Greeks presented Christ as the perfect man who was also the universal Savior. John on the other hand while writing to those who were already saved but needed a deeper understanding of the character of Jesus, presented the divine nature of Christ and how God was glorified in his works.

 

4.    Relate the similarity and/or differences between the Synoptics and the Gospel of John?

The remarkable differences between the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) and the gospel of John referred to as Johannine problem is worthy of consideration from 2 aspects: 1. Dissimilarities regarding the 'external' sequence of proceedings in the ministry of Jesus Christ and, 2. Dissimilarities with regards to the nature and subjects of Christ's teachings.

 

(i). Dissimilarities regarding the 'external' sequence of proceedings in the ministry of Jesus Christ: While John's gospel focuses on events in Jerusalem (south Judea), the Synoptics record events mainly in Galilee, in the Nothern part of Judea. Three, possibly four Passovers are mentioned in John while the Synpotics mention only one. In John, Jesus dealt mainly with the religious leaders including the Chief Priests, Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees, in the Synoptics, Jesus's ministry was mainly to the peasants.  The Jews initially received Jesus very well in the Synoptics until they discovered He was not the earthly king they had been waiting for, in John, the Jews were presented as disliking Jesus from the start, further angered by the raising of Lazarus until they had Him crucified. Several other differences exist, for example the Synoptics state the cleansing of the temple took place at the end of Jesus's ministry while John's Gospel places it at the beginning of Christ's ministry.

 

(ii). Dissimilarities with regards to the nature and subjects of Christ's teachings.

The Synoptics present short, razor-sharp statements of Jesus, while the Gospel of John present long statements of Christ connected with the conjunction 'and' that it is sometimes difficult to know where the discourse of the Lord stopped and where John's narration began such as in John 3. Further, the focus of teaching in the Synoptics is the kingdom of God, Jesus taught on 'its origin, nature, subjects, King, requirements, righteousness, enemies and future glory. Only at the very end does Jesus talk about Himself. However, right from the beginning in John's Gospel we are introduced in John 1:1-3 to the Word who existed from the beginning, was with God, who was also God. He talked about His heavenly origin, His character and return to the heavenly glory. He was presented as 'the Messiah, the Son of God, the heavenly manna, the water of life, the true deliverer, the light of the world, the door, the good Shepherd etc. In the Synoptics, the humanity of Christ is also at the forefront, introduced as the Savior who takes on our nature, is beset with the same infirmities and temptations we experience, though without sin. In John's gospel, as stated above, the divinity of Christ is at the forefront, He told the woman at the well "I am He", Thomas confessed "My Lord and my God".

 

Several decriers are quick to reject the authorship of the fourth gospel on the basis of the divergences, since to them the author went to great lengths to establish the divinity of Christ; hence the unique features of this gospel. This is stand is both true and false. According to Davidson, around one-third of John's gospel is found in the Synoptics. Not only are there differences in between these are also several similarities, including, but not limited to: John's baptism of Jesus, feeding the five thousand, walking on the sea of Galilee, anointing at Bethany, the triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the last supper, the betrayal by Judas Iscariot, the trial, crucifixion and resurrection.

The remaining differences can be accounted for by considering:

A. John's narration covered only a few days, selecting from the gross material available what he considered necessary to paint a picture of Jesus, while considering the sequence in which the events occurred.

B. John's core aim as stated in 20:31 was “But these things are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.”. He focused on presenting Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, and also selected items, including miracles, events and statements that would lead his readers to believe, be saved and have eternal life through the name of Jesus. He also mentioned several individuals who Jesus labored to save including the Samaritan woman, Nathanael and Nicodemus.

C. John was conversant with the Synoptics that had been written before his own writing and avoided duplicating what was already well known.

D. The influence of the literary nature of John need be considered as well. Being close to the Master, hearing and soaking in His teachings, was able to relate them quite simply to the readers, aided by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

 

5.    Explain the inspiration of the Gospels and how it differed from the inspiration of the prophets in the Old Testament

Several studies on the origin of the Gospels have ignored the inspirational aspect, focusing on the human historical origins. In the last century some tried to label the Gospels as 'fictitious narratives, written by religious fanatics', who made up the stories about Jesus. That stance is generally rejected today, even though they contain a lot of 'mythical and legendary stories. We however, posit that the Gospels were authored by men inspired by the Holy Spirit similar to how men in the Old Testament were inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Gospels consist of totally dependable and authoritative statements concerning the life of Christ. Further, the Holy Spirit confirms in the hearts of believers the truth of the Gospels providing assurance that they are the true words of God. The Holy Spirit ministers to their deepest spiritual needs and they find in these the words of everlasting life.

 

Points of interest Between the Inspiration of the Prophets and the Apostles

(i). Under the Old Covenant, the Holy Spirit came upon the Prophets, using their consciousness for His purpose suppressing their personality for a specific time as the Holy Spirit was not yet dwelling in the Church. However, under the new covenant, the Holy Spirit lives in Church (the believer), starting with the Apostles and using them as instruments for His purpose.

(ii). A foreign power entered the Prophets and compelled them to prophesy for a limited period of time, with the Apostles, the Holy Spirit was in them and supported them continuously in the performance of their God assigned tasks.

(ii). While the prophets talked about what they did not see and know about experientially, the Apostles talked about what they had seen and heard and expressed themselves in ordinary present day relatable language and expressions. The Prophetic discourses were usually more poetic and figurative in nature, which sometimes will require interpretation.

 

6.    Describe the strength of Mathew’s authorship of the Gospel of Matthew

The superscription assigns the authorship of the first Gospel to Matthew. The early church testimonials of Irenaeus, Tretullian, Origen, Eusebius points to Matthew as the writer. The author quoting from the Hebrew and not the Septuagint also indicates the author is a Jew.

 

Several critics, however, deny the apostolic authorship of Matthew based on:

(i). Legendary, misunderstanding and irrelevant details are contained in this gospel which would not be the case if the writer had been a physical eye witness of the events he wrote about. Examples cited include: the story of the wise men, flight into Egypt, slaughter of the young children, Jesus riding into Jerusalem on two donkeys, opening of graves on Jesus's resurrection and bribing of soldiers at the grave of Jesus.

(ii). Matthew's Gospel is too dependent on Mark's.

(iii). The writer did not use the first person 'I' or 'We' to indicate he was there in person as an eye witness.

 

These objections do not invalidate the apostolic authorship of Matthew as good interpretation will resolve these items, disbelief of miracles do not prove them untrue and Matthew's dependency on Mark is not absolutely proven.

 

7.    Explain the composition of Matthew’s Gospel, including assigned known time and place of writing

Original Language:

There are equally competing positions on whether the Gospel was composed originally in Hebrew or Greek. It was concluded that: 1. It is highly probable that no one has ever seen the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew and no trace of it can be found. 2. The quotes by the early Church fathers are taken from the Greek Gospel. 3. Matthew's Gospel has an equal footing with the other Gospels. It could be concluded that (i) Matthew originally composed his Gospel in Hebrew and it was translated into Greek by another person. (ii) There was no Hebrew original, only a Greek original.  (iii) Matthew did not write a Greek or Hebrew Gospel (iv) The Apostle wrote the initial Gospel in Hebrew, later translated it into Greek for the benefit of the Jews in Diaspora. The initial Hebrew writing is lost and has been replaced by the Greek. However, the integrity and work of the early Church fathers, as well as internal and external evidence leads us to believe that the Gospel was originally written in Hebrew.

 

Readers and Purpose:

The Gospel was clearly written to the Jews and this position was clearly stated by Iranaues, origen, Eusebius, Gregory Nazianzen, e.a. This position is also backed up by internal evidence. The ancestry of Jesus is traced back to Abraham the father of the Hebrew race and the Messiahship of Christ is proved from the sayings of the prophets to convince the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah knowing that if the Jews accepted this, they would be saved by the Savior. He further posited that Christ is the 'great Davidic King promised by the prophets'.

 

Time and  Place:

Ireneaus states “Matthew among the Hebrews published a Gospel in their own language, while Peter and Paul were preaching the Gospel at Rome and founding a church there.” This was around 63-67 A. D, though other critics assign 70 - 125 AD. Athanasius states it was published at Jerusalem; Ebedjesu claims it was written in Palestine; Jerome states it was written in Judea.

 

8.    What are the main contents of Luke’s Gospel?

Similar to Matthew's and Mark's, Luke's Gospel can be divided into five sections:

(i). The coming of the Divine Man: The writer describes the angelic announcements and events surrounding the birth of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus and of Jesus Christ. He demonstrated that Christ was subject to the Law of Moses in circumcision, presentation in the temple for dedication and in the journey to Jerusalem. Jesus's ancestry was traced to Adam and he expresses that Jesus was prepared for his work as savior through baptism and temptation.

(ii). 'The work of the Divine Man for the Jewish World: The author shows the Divine work of Christ among the Jews, raising the dead, cleansing the leper, healing the paralytic, stilling the storm etc. to demonstrate His authority over both the spiritual an natural worlds. He preached in Nazareth, Capernaum and Galilee's synagogues, the place of worship of the Jews and later feeds the five thousand.

(iii). 'The Work of the Divine Man for the Gentiles: Jesus's messengers are rejected by the Samaritans and taught that love to neighbors should not be limited to the Jews but also to those traditionally considered enemies - the Samaritans. He dines in the house of a Pharisee and uses the opportunity to demonstrate and teach about love, mercy, forgiveness, humility and hospitality.

(iv). 'The Sacrifice of the Divine Man for all Mankind': Jesus explains again His upcoming betrayal, trial, punishment and death, clarifying that His Kingdom would come later. After having the last supper with his disciples, He was betrayed by Judas Iscariot, condemned by the Chief Priests and Pilate and crucified.

(v). 'The Divine man Savior of all Nations': Christ rises from the dead, the women who came to prepare His body for burial did not see Him. He later shows Himself to two disciples on their way to Emmaus, later to the eleven disciples and after giving them the promise of the Spirit was carried up into heaven.

 

9.    What evidence supports the canonicity of Luke’s Gospel?

The canonicity of the Gospel of Luke is well established. Alexander in his research on the Canon states: “The same arguments by which the canonical authority of the Gospels of Matthew and Mark was established, apply with their full force to the Gospel of Luke". The early Church accepted it as canonical as part of the New Testament and was cited by the Fathers as sacred Scripture, being constantly read in the churches. Also 16 witnesses attest to its acceptance and use in the churches before the end of the second century.

Luke's Gospel presents Christ as one of the humans, 'the Seed of the woman' in coming to save not only Israel but also the Gentiles. He is presented as though perfect, was a friend of the poor, came to bring the sinners to himself and the Father with open arms, was friendly and helpful to the Samaritans, declaring that the blessings of the Gospel is universal. Its legacy is that whoever fears God and walks in righteousness will be accepted by God and Jesus our High Priest was also tempted and went through the things we are going through and will go through, albeit, He was without sin.

 

10. What are the main contents of the Gospel according to John:

John's Gospel can be divided into five sections:

(i). 'The Advent and Incarnation of the Word': John commences his account in the pre-existence and divine source of Christ, that He is God, states that John the Baptist was His forerunner and Jesus brought light into the world and gives the power to become the children of God to those who receive Him.

(ii). 'The Incarnate Word the only Life of the World: The Word, manifested as Jesus in the flesh, brought grace and truth and is the source and sustainer of life as demonstrated in the healing of the impotent man,  feeding of the five thousand and conversation with the Samaritan woman.

(iii). 'The Incarnate Word, the Life and Light, in Conflict with Spiritual Darkness': Christ is presented as the Life of the world, the water of life, the light of the world who opened blind eyes and can give the spiritually blind sight and raised Lazarus from death to life as the Resurrection and the Life. His enemies, however, are bent on killing him.

(iv). 'The Incarnate Word saving the Life of the World through His Sacrificial Death': The adversaries were bent on killing Jesus, after the Paschal supper with his disciples, he was arrested in Gethsemane, arraigned before the High Priest and later Pilate. Pilate found Jesus not guilty, notwithstanding delivered him to the Jews to be crucified. Joseph and Nicodemus buries after the crucifixion.

(v). 'The Incarnate Word, risen from the Dead, the Savior and Lord of all Believers': Post-resurrection, Jesus appears to Mary Magdalena, to his disciples and later to Peter, John and other disciples at the sea of Tiberias.

 

 

11. What was the nature of composition of John’s Gospel?

(i). Readers and Purpose: John's Gospel was most likely written for the Asia Minor Christians to combat the Cerinthus heresy. Tradition supports the idea that the bishops of Asia had requested John to write to them to dispel that heresy. However, John provided a clear statement on why the Gospel was written: “These things are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing, ye might have life

in his name.” Hence the author engages the miracles of the Lord, Jesus' teachings about the Father, His divinity and His relations with individuals to express the Lord's desire, and zeal for leading people to Him and to the Father.

(ii). Time and Place: The Gospel was likely written between 80 and 98 A.D. We have a terminus ad quem in A.D. 98 as Iranaeus stated that John lived till the time of Trajan who commenced is reign that year. Jerome was of the same opinion. The Gospel is dated after A.D. 80, Zahn's terminus ad quem because tradition taught that John was written after Luke's Gospel which was written in 80 A.D.

Tradition, Origen, Polycrates (a bishop of Ephesus), Jerome and Cosmas of Alexandria agree that the Gospel was composed in Ephesus when John was living there.

 

12. What are the main Characteristics of the Acts of Apostles?

(i). It explains the establishment and organization of Christian Churches, the institution of the office of a Deacon and introduces the class of Elders.

(ii). The narrative is focused on Peter and Paul's ministries and their establishment of the Jewish and Gentile churches respectively.

(iii). The unique miracles recorded as well as many "signs and wonders" that were not recorded including gift of tongues, lame healed, prayer hall shaken, apostles delivered from prison, Phillip translated, Aeneas healed, Dorcas raised to life from the dead, deliverance of Peter from prison, death of Herod, deliverance Paul and Silas from prison etc.

(iv). The writing style is similar to that of Luke's Gospel although it has less Hebraisms. This is understandable as the first part of Acts is on Jewish Christianity and the latter part on Gentile Christianity.

 

13. Comment on the authorship and canonical significance of the Acts of Apostles

The early Church is unanimous in ascribing the book to Luke. Iranaeus frequently quoted passages from it, Clement of Alexandria stated: “So Luke in the Acts of the Apostles relates.” Further, Eusebius stated: “Luke has left us two inspired volumes, the Gospel and the Acts.” These provide solid external testimonies.

Internal evidence also support the Lukan Authorship, including: (i) The we sections, indicating that the author was present with Paul in the narratives described. (ii) The use of medical language by Luke, a Doctor, noted in both the Gospel of Luke and the Acts. (iii) Based on the position that Luke wrote the third Gospel, a comparison of the writing style of Luke's Gospel and Acts, favors the Luke authorship of Acts both books were addressed to the same person - Theophilus and the beginning verses of Acts refer to a previous book that he had written, which is the Gospel of Luke.

 

The early Church did not dispute the Acts as being part of the canon of Holy Scripture. Iranaeus, Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian frequently quote from the Acts. The Muratorian canon mentioned it. It is also contained in the Old Latin and Syriac Versions. Traces of it also exist in Justin and Tatian. These prove general acceptance of the Gospel.

Intertwined with the Gospels, Acts is an extension of what Christ began to do and teach in the Gospels as demonstrated in the Church. While the Apostles were not allowed to talk about the Messiahship of Jesus in the Gospels, they openly declared and were encouraged to declare Him with the help of the Holy Spirit from Jerusalem the center of Jewish Theocracy, from Antioch the center of Greek culture and from Rome the capital of the world. The evidence of His resurrection from the dead enabled a solid declaration of Jesus Christ as the Son of the living God.

 

14. What are the main contents of the Epistle to the Romans?

The Epistle to the Romans contain two distinctive parts: the doctrinal and the practical:

1. The Doctrinal: After the customary greetings and introduction, prayer and thanksgiving, the Apostle stated his desire to preach at Rome also; clarifying his purpose that the gospel is the power of God to save all those who believe through the righteousness obtained through faith (1:16,17). He points out that both Jews and Gentiles are guilty before God, expresses the nature of faith without works and that in the end Jews, after their initial rejection of salvation, will be saved.

2. The Practical: The author encourages the Roman Christians to be committed to God and love one another, be obedient to governmental authorities and not shy from their responsibilities, consider the weak when using Christian liberty and look at Christ as the perfect example. He mentions his desire to visit Rome and closes with greetings and a doxology.

 

15. State the composition elements of the Epistle to the Romans and its canonical Significance

1. Occasion and Purpose: There are varied positions on why the Apostle wrote the Epistle and why it was sent to Rome, the positions may be summarized as:

(i) For dogmatic reasons, to systematically state the doctrine of salvation

(ii) For controversial reasosn, to highlight the Jewish opposition to his gospel

(iii) For conciliatory purposes to unite the Jews and Gentiles in the Roman Church.

2. Time and Place: The Epistle was written in the fall of A.D. 57 or in the spring of A.D. 58 in Corinth.

The Epistle to the Romans is one of the most attested to Epistles of the New Testament. There are nineteen witnesses to its canonicity before the beginning of the third century. The early apostolic fathers also accepted it's canonicity, including: the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, Justin Martyr, the Muratori Canon, Marcion, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian. It was not doubted by the early Church and was devoid of attacks until recent times. Both sides accept it as authoritative.

16. What are the main contents of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians?

The Epistle can be divided into three parts:

(i). Review of Paul's Relations with the Corinthians: After the customary greetings, the Apostle explains the change in his previously planned visit to Corinth, asked that the incestuous brother be accepted in Christian love. He then discusses the Apostleship, comparing its ministry under the Old and New Covenants; mentions the attendant suffering that goes with the role of the Apostle stating that the hope of future glory is what continually motivates him.  He encourages the Corinthians not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers.

(ii). The collection for the Judean Christians: Paul encourages the Corinthians to give abundantly towards the cause of the poor brethren in Jerusalem by pointing to the Macedonian example of selfless giving, and reminded them that Christ became poor to make the Corinthians rich.

(iii). Paul's vindication of his Apostleship: Paul directs his discourse to his antagonists, by stating he has a ministry from God to the Corinthians, that he has been faithful to the calling and has hot deceived or taken advantage of the Corinthians, he then warns them and concludes with greetings and benediction.

 

 

 

17. What are the main characteristics of the Epistle to the Ephesians?

(i). Like the Epistle to the Romans, this letter is of a general nature as it does not reflect some special historical situations or problems. It focuses on the unity of Christians in Christ and the holy conversation (attitudes, speech, actions and disposition) expectedly resulting from it.

(ii). It is similar to the letter to the Colossians in words and sometimes types of expression. However, they differ in theme, while Ephesians is about the body of Christ, Colossians is focused on Christ, the head of the body.

(iii). The style of the Epistle is very different from that of the Epistle to the Galatians. It is regarded as the most magnificent of the letters of Paul. According to Holtzmann, 'there are 76 words peculiar to this epistle of which 18 are found nowhere else in the Bible, 17 do not occur in the rest of the New testament and 51 are absent from all the other' letters of Paul.

 

18. What are the main contents of the Epistle to the Colossians?

The Epistle can be divided into two sections:

(i). The Doctrinal Section, emphasizing the unique Significance of Christ: The Apostle begins with a blessing, the customary thanksgiving and prayer. Christ is expressed as pre-eminent and Head of both Spiritual and natural creation through whom all things are reconciled to God, the mystery of which the Apostle is a minister. He cautions his readers against false philosophies, semi-Jewish practices and worshipping of angels pointing out that the Colossians have Christ, the fullness of the Godhead. Since they have died with Christ, they have died to their old ways of life and since they have risen with Christ, they have risen to a new life in Christ and should therefore avoid the 'beggarly elements of the world'.

(ii). The Practical Part, containing various directions and exhortations: Since believers have risen with Christ into newness of life, their ways of life should be different from that of the past. Paul encourages wives to submit to their husbands, husbands to love their wives, children to obey their parents, parents not to discourage their children, servants to obey their masters and masters to reward servants appropriately. Prayer and thanksgiving is encouraged, guidance provided for appropriate behavior towards unbelievers and with some personal announcements, greetings and salutation, concludes on his letter.

 

19. What are the main contents of the first Epistle to the Thessalonians?

The first Epistle to the Thessalonians may be divided into two sections:

1. Paul's Apologia: The Epistle begins with the customary blessing and thanksgiving. The thanksgiving was because Paul's work has been fruitful emanating in a faith that was well spoken of throughout Macedonia and Achaia. Paul reminds them of his sufferings, labor, honesty, diligence, faithfulness, well-behavedness and love. He thanked God because they accepted his message and endured suffering from the Jews and let them know of he had planned to visit them but was unable. He prayed for strength for them having heard from Timothy about their strong commitment despite their afflictions and suffering.

2. Practical Exhortation and Instruction concerning the Parousia: Paul encourages the readers to be sanctifies, avoid sexual sins, fraud but practice love, diligence and honesty. He clarified what would happen to those who have died in Christ and for those who are still living to be prepared for the sudden coming of the Lord. Hence the need to walk as children of light. After exhorting them on Christian virtues towards leaders, the unruly, feeble-minded and the weak, Paul blesses the Thessalonians, states his hoe that the letter should be read to all the brethren and concludes with his customary greetings.

 

20. What are the main characteristics of the Second General Epistle of Peter?

(i). Similar to the first letter, this second letter contains practical warnings, exhortation and encouragement. While the first focuses on Christian hope, the second is on Christian knowledge which rests on a sure foundation, the mainstay of the readers which propels them to live holy lives despite seductive influences around them.

(ii). The Epistle has many things in common with that of Jude.

(iii). The language employed by Peter in this second Epistle is similar to that used in the first. However, the dissimilarities are more than the similarities.