Lectionary Commentaries for July 9, 2023
Preaching Series on 2 Peter (2 of 3)

from WorkingPreacher.org

Narrative Lectionary

Commentary on 2 Peter 1:16—2:2, 15-19

Shively Smith

Week 2 (July 9, 2023)

Preaching text: 2 Peter 1:16–2:2, 15-19; accompanying text: Mark 13:5-7

Likely the latest writing in the New Testament, 2 Peter is written in the early to mid-second century in the name of Peter. It accomplishes this in several ways. As a testament letter, the author casts the letter as Peter’s last words and recollections (1:12–19). It blends the authority of a testament from a respected leader with the hopeful expectations that accompany apocalyptic writing (3:10–13).

In terms of memory, the letter repeatedly refers to matters of recollection using words and phrases like “reminding you” (1:12; 3:1), “memory” (1:13),” and “remember” (3:2). Threaded through the letter is an encouragement toward community practices of remembering. However, caution is necessary. What the community remembers and to what end matters. What is the goal of such acts of Christian memory? Do we remember so that we can discern how to be a stronger community together despite differences? Or do we remember so that we can re-enact former actions of separation, segregation, expulsion, and harm? Just because 2 Peter had the goal of remembering so that it can stigmatize a particular constituency does not then, in turn, affirm our contemporary acts of recollection that harm. We must be careful not to repeat the violence the letter performs under the banner of Christian remembrance.

Read commentary on Week 3 texts (July 16, 2023).