2 Peter 3:3-10, Amillennialism and Preterism – Thoughts?

From a valued reader and friend, I would like to submit to you the question submitted to me –

‘Tis evident that when Christ speaks of his coming; his being revealed; his coming in his Kingdom; or his Kingdom’s coming; He has respect to his appearing in those great works of his Power Justice and Grace, which should be in the Destruction of Jerusalem and other extraordinary Providences which should attend it.” (Jonathan Edwards; Miscellany #1199)

Now that I know that you are a Partial Preterist – I would like to ask you – what (if anything) is harmful or wrong with believers re-evaluating Peter’s words in 2 Peter 3:3-10? Why wouldn’t the ‘ LAST DAYS ‘ (2 Peter 3:3) and the ‘ US ‘ in (3:9) refer to specifically to Israel and the 40 years that was given them to repent before Jesus’ coming in judgment against them in A.D.70 ( Matthew 24:27). I do not see how Jesus comparing his coming to the flash of lightning can be for the good of those he’s visiting.

If we are to read scripture with a degree of logic – then why not question if what Peter wrote before A.D.70 and under inspiration – applies to readers of this age? The Lord has not return YET for the sake of souls that may come to repentance and faith TODAY? I mean really – From his ascension in A.D. 30 to the present (2010) countless souls have been BORN and have DIED without him the world over. IF Peter was not referring to the coming judgment against apostate or unbelieving Israel in A.D.70 then his statement in 3:9 makes no sense at all…

Furthermore Peter uses the same apocalyptic/prophetic language in 3:10 as Amos does in 9:5. Moreover,Jesus coming with (non literal) clouds (Rev 1:7) and his famous ” I come quickly ” cannot be for the good – anymore than God coming into Egypt riding on a (non literal) swift cloud – in his judgment against them (Isaiah 19:1)

What I’m asking you is this – do you believe that Jesus in his own words ever promised a physical/bodily return? I do believe that Rev 20:7-10 is yet future and not a ‘ recounting ‘ of the battle of Rev 19:11-21. Satan is still bound (from deceiving nations) so Perhaps Rev 20:9 (Lightning coming down from Heaven) may be a picture of Jesus’ coming – only this time it cannot be for the good of those who attack the camp of the saints (The beloved city) Not Jerusalem – but his church…

You said that you are Amil – so you believe that we are living in the thousand (not 1000) year reign of Christ too then?

Furthermore Peter like John uses the same apocalyptic/prophetic language in 3:10 as Amos does in 4:13; 8:8; and 9:5 as does Micah in 1:3-4

This was my initial response,

Seroled, I believe that all doctrine and Scripture must constantly be re-evaluated. As to these questions, umm…

I believe that Peter very well may have been writing to his fellow Jews who were simply refusing to follow Christ, relying on skepticism. We know that after 70ce, the Church shifted dramatically in cultural make-up, if you will, so I think that you may be on to something…

I don’t really like using Revelation any longer as an eschatological road map, finding enough eschatology in Peter and Paul to suffice. However, if we use Revelation as a prophetic revealing of what was going on around them, it may be that when Satan was bound from deceiving the nations, the Gentile mission really took off.

Feel free to contribute, warmly.

Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

2 thoughts on “2 Peter 3:3-10, Amillennialism and Preterism – Thoughts?

  1. I’d just like to remark that I wouldn’t expect an accurate picture of eschatology to result from 2 Peter any more than I would from Revelation. Just saying.

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