The Other Letters Series covers Hebrews; Firstand Second Peter; First, Secondand Third John;and, Jude. All the letters written by Paul are in the Paul’s Letters Series, while Jamesis in the James Series and Revelationis in the Revelation Series.
Surprisingly little information is known about the letters in this series. The exact dates of all of them are unknown, and the author of Hebrewsis both unknown and disputed. The target audiences of the letters are broadly described, if described at all.
Based on information from the NIV Archaeological Study Bible, the dates of these letters might be:
Hebrews 60-70 AD
1 Peter 60-64 AD
2 Peter 64-68 AD
Jude 60-68 AD
1 John 85-95 AD
2 John 85-95 AD
3 John 85-95 AD
According to 2 Peter 3:1, this was the second letter Peter wrote to these dear friends. Assuming this was the same audience as 1 Peter, these friends were located in modern-day Turkey. Peter wrote both of these letters to stimulate them to think wholesomely.
One major theme of 1 Peter was to encourage his friends to behave as Christ-followers should. A major theme of 2 Peter is to warn his friends about false teachers. These themes tie together because the false teachers seemed to have been encouraging unwholesome behavior.
1 Peter 1:3-9 states that God enabled them to live a godly life, and how to progress toward that life, with a final goal of being effective and productive. Following those clear verses, 1 Peter 1:10-11 have been controversial among some Christians through the ages. Those two verses are certainly worth studying.
1 Peter 1:12-21 are Peter’s personal assurance of the truth of his witness and the witness of other apostles. These verses set the stage for him to have the authority to berate the false teachers who are teaching dangerous things to his friends. These false teachers are self-condemned, but they are dangerous because they may drag others along with them.
Peter says false teachers are greedy, follow corrupt desires of the flesh, are bold and arrogant, are blasphemers, and seduce the unstable. In an important and timeless proverb, Peter says that people are slaves to whatever has mastered them. He knows the messages of the false teachers have the power to enslave people.
Peter also describes some of the false teachings as denying that the Lord will return and judge people. The false teachers say that, since Jesus hasn’t come back yet, He won’t come back at all. As an encouragement to his friends to follow good teaching, Peter reminds them of the rewards of being faithful and wholesome when Jesus does return. He says one reason Jesus hasn’t come back is that God is patiently waiting for everybody who might possibly repent to do so. What seems like a long time to people on earth is a very short amount of time to God.
Peter tells them the end will surely occur one day. On that day, the earth and heavens will be destroyed and replaced with a new heaven and new earth where righteousness rules. Because of that, they need to be very careful not to fall under the sway of false teachers, but be true to the Lord.
Apollos – Tim Urban
Barnabas – Bob Hess
Silas – Tony Schneider
John Mark (older) – Wilbur Penn
Mary – Chana Keefer
Gaius – Matthew Clark
Jude – Zachary Leasau