The Human Truth Foundation

2 Peter - The 2nd Epistle of Peter

By Vexen Crabtree 2012

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Protestant Bibles
Title: 2 Peter
Section: New Testament

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Next: 1 John

Catholic Bible
Title: 2 Peter
Section: New Testament

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Eastern Orthodox Bibles
Title: 2 Peter
Section: New Testament

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Rejected by:
Jewish Tanakh

Chapters in 2 Peter:
1  2  3 
Total verses: 61

The First Epistle of Peter (1 Peter) was written after 70CE1 in Rome2, and the Second Epistle of Peter (2 Peter) in the second century3 by another unknown Greek Christian4. This letter is one of many documents written in the name of Peter and about Peter by early Christians. We have copies of a Gospel of Peter, the Epistle of Peter, at least 3 different Apocalypse of Peter texts, multiple Acts of Peter and a collection called the Preaching of Peter1 all of which Christians themselves eventually declared to be counterfeit. There are ominous oddities in the text of 1 Peter and 2 Peter which indicate that the texts are also, like the others, forgeries, written by unknown Christians1. For example, Peter (a Hebrew) doesn't quote from the Old Testament in Hebrew, but quotes from the uniquely translated Greek Septuagint translation of the Old Testament2. For a long time, Christians asserted strongly that both 1 and 2 Peter were written by Saint Peter, but, many modern scholars think that 1 Peter is a forgery, and most scholars know that 2 Peter is an obvious forgery2,5.

This letter is addressed to all Christians2 rather than those within a particular church, like most other epistles, and opens by claiming that it is being written by Peter, an Apostle of Jesus (1:1) and eyewitness to Jesus after he rose from the dead. "It was written to strengthen the Christian belief in the second coming of Christ, a belief that had been attacked and ridiculed as ill-founded"2.


1. 2 Peter is Widely Acknowledged as a Forgery6

Historical evidence has caused nearly all scholars to consider this epistle to have been forged by an unknown author5 in the name of Simon Peter2, and not by an eyewitness of Jesus. The ancients also thought that this book was suspect and it "was rejected by a number of early church fathers, as discussed by both Jerome and Eusebius, but none more straightforwardly than the notable Christian teacher of Alexandria Didymus the Blind, who argued that 'the letter is false and so is not to be in the canon'"7.

Most of 2 Peter is concerned with attacking (over and over) those with wrong beliefs and is incredibly similar to the book of Jude. "The parallels are so numerous that scholars are virtually unified in thinking that the author has taken Jude's message and simply edited it a bit to incorporate it into his book"8. Also, 2 Peter defends against accusations from non-Christians that the message that Jesus is 'coming soon' is ridiculous as nothing has changed, and Jesus hasn't come (Mark 13:30 says Jesus will return 'within this generation'). So 2 Peter defends against assaults on Christian doctrine that have developed after a generation - after 30 years - has already passed. It also refers to the writings of St Paul in the same way it refers to scripture - but - Paul's writings were not yet compiled nor collected! It is clear that 2 Peter was written at least 30 years later than we'd expect if Simon Peter did write it, especially as Paul and Peter are both likely to have died by year 64.8. Based on this and other evidence, historians hold that 2 Peter was written in the 2nd century3.

Language of composition: The main problems with 1 and 2 Peter are how the letters came to be written at all - especially as they are written in excellent Greek2. Peter, a fisherman, came from Capernaum, where no-one was literate. It was:

... a historically insignificant village in rural Galilee. It is never mentioned in any ancient source prior to the Gospels. It is scarcely mentioned by any sources after that. It was discovered by archaeologists in the nineteenth century and has been excavated since then. In the time of Jesus it may have had anywhere between six and fifteen hundred inhabitants. [... There is] no evidence of any public buildings whatsoever, such as shops of storage facilities. [...] The Roman roads in the area date from a hundred years after Peter's life. There is no trace of any pagan or Gentile [i.e., Greek-speaking] population in the town. There are no inscriptions of any kind on any of the buildings [and no] structures or materials associated with social elites from the first century [some of whom could write]. [...] Everyone spoke Aramaic. Nothing suggests anyone could speak Greek. Nothing suggests anyone in town could write. [... Peter would have] never attended school. [...] Peter was an illiterate peasant.

"Forged" by Bart Ehrman (2011)1

We already know that Peter was illiterate, however - it says so in Acts 4:13, where Peter and John, both fisherman, are called agrammatoi - illiterate. But 1 and 2 Peter are "written by a highly literate, highly educated, Greek-speaking Christian who is intimately familiar with the Jewish Scriptures in their Greek translation, the Septuagint. This is not Peter"1.

Some Christian apologists therefore argued that the Epistles of Peter could have been dictated to a Greek scribe, who wrote it down for him. However, ancient language experts can see that the text isn't a translation of Aramaic to Greek. And Ehrman points out that the "the letter contains sophisticated forms of argumentation and presentation that only work in Greek and presupposes knowledge of the Greek Old Testament, not the Hebrew version"9.

The idea that Peter was educated after Jesus' life and death is very, very unlikely. To learn a new language and become literate in it, and then learn to write it (which were all different endeavours in the ancient world), and to learn the Septuagint in that new language well enough to navigate through it and quote from it expertly, is only the level of skill ever attained by the extreme upper class. There is no evidence that there even were any adult language classes, anywhere, in that entire region.

Where in the ancient world do we have anything at all analogous to this hypothetical situation of someone writing a letter-essay for someone else and putting the other person's name on it [...]? So far as I know, there is not a single instance of any such procedure attested from antiquity or any discussion, in any ancient source, of this being a legitimate practice. Or even an illegitimate one. Such a thing is never discussed. There are plenty of instances of another phenomenon, however [...] of Christian authors writing pseudonymous works, falsely claiming to be a famous person. [...] Modern people would simply call it a forgery'. And that's what 1 and 2 Peter are: yet more forgeries in the name of Peter, like many others of the time.

"Forged" by Bart Ehrman (2011)10

2. The 3 chapters of 2 Peter (61 verses)

2 Peter chapter 1 (21 verses)

KJVYLTNotes
1Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:Simeon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who did obtain a like precious faith with us in the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ:

2 Peter 1:1 commentary above: 2 Peter - The 2nd Epistle of Peter

Some comments on 2 Peter 1:19 are on Lucifer, the Eastern Crown Prince of Satanism: 1. Sources

2 Peter 1:19 is mentioned on Satan and The Devil in World Religions: 2.3.3. Lucifer - The Misreading of Isaiah Led to the Demonisation of an Innocent Name

2Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,Grace to you, and peace be multiplied in the acknowledgement of God and of Jesus our Lord!
3According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:As all things to us His divine power (the things pertaining unto life and piety) hath given, through the acknowledgement of him who did call us through glory and worthiness,
4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.through which to us the most great and precious promises have been given, that through these ye may become partakers of a divine nature, having escaped from the corruption in the world in desires.
5And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;And this same also -- all diligence having brought in besides, superadd in your faith the worthiness, and in the worthiness the knowledge,
6And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;and in the knowledge the temperance, and in the temperance the endurance, and in the endurance the piety,
7And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.and in the piety the brotherly kindness, and in the brotherly kindness the love;
8For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.for these things being to you and abounding, do make `you' neither inert nor unfruitful in regard to the acknowledging of our Lord Jesus Christ,
9But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.for he with whom these things are not present is blind, dim-sighted, having become forgetful of the cleansing of his old sins;
10Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:wherefore, the rather, brethren, be diligent to make stedfast your calling and choice, for these things doing, ye may never stumble,
11For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.for so, richly shall be superadded to you the entrance into the age-during reign of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
12Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.Wherefore, I will not be careless always to remind you concerning these things, though, having known them, and having been established in the present truth,
13Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;and I think right, so long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up in reminding `you',
14Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.having known that soon is the laying aside of my tabernacle, even as also our Lord Jesus Christ did shew to me,
15Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.and I will be diligent that also at every time ye have, after my outgoing, power to make to yourselves the remembrance of these things.
16For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.For, skilfully devised fables not having followed out, we did make known to you the power and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, but eye-witnesses having become of his majesty --
17For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.for having received from God the Father honour and glory, such a voice being borne to him by the excellent glory: `This is My Son -- the beloved, in whom I was well pleased;'
18And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.and this voice we -- we did hear, out of heaven borne, being with him in the holy mount.
19We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:And we have more firm the prophetic word, to which we do well giving heed, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, till day may dawn, and a morning star may arise -- in your hearts;
20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.this first knowing, that no prophecy of the Writing doth come of private exposition,
21For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.for not by will of man did ever prophecy come, but by the Holy Spirit borne on holy men of God spake.

2 Peter chapter 2 (22 verses)

KJVYLTNotes
1But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.And there did come also false prophets among the people, as also among you there shall be false teachers, who shall bring in besides destructive sects, and the Master who bought them denying, bringing to themselves quick destruction,

2 Peter 2:6-8 is mentioned on Lot and the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah: In Genesis 18 and 19: 2. The Bible Endorses Lot's Immoral Actions

2 Peter 2:6-8 is mentioned on Lot and the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah: In Genesis 18 and 19: 3.2. Incest is Condemned in the Bible (Well, most the time)

2 Peter 2:6-8 appears on Noah, the Ark and the Flood, from the Bible Book of Genesis: 7.1. Incest After the Flood

2 Peter 2:6-8 is discussed on Incest in the Bible: Adam and Eve and Their Children, and Noah and His Family: 2. Bible Contradictions: Incest is Banned, But is Part of God's Plan for Adam and Eve's and Noah's Families, and Abraham Was Rewarded For it

2 Peter 2:6-8 is referenced on The Battle Between Monotheism and Homosexuality: Religious Prejudice Versus Equality: 2. The Bible Condemns Homosexuality in Some Places, Endorses Homosexual Love in Others

2 Peter 2:6-8 is mentioned on Christian Moral Theory and Morality in Action: Biblical Morals and Social Disaster

2 Peter 2:6-8 comments: Christian Mythology: Adam and Eve, and the Serpent, in the Garden of Eden: 4. Incest

2 Peter 2:20-22 is discussed on Pascal's Wager is Safer in Reverse: Picking a Religion is Dangerous Business: 3.3. The Christian Bible - Believing the Wrong Things is a Ticket to Hell

2 Peter 2:20-22 is mentioned on Apostasy: Thought Crime in Judaism, Christianity and Islam: 4. Christianity

For more on 2 Peter 2:20-22 see James - The Epistle of James: 2.0. James 5:19-20 - Saving people from being converted away from Christianity is saving a life

2And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.and many shall follow out their destructive ways, because of whom the way of the truth shall be evil spoken of,
3And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.and in covetousness, with moulded words, of you they shall make merchandise, whose judgment of old is not idle, and their destruction doth not slumber.
4For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;For if God messengers who sinned did not spare, but with chains of thick gloom, having cast `them' down to Tartarus, did deliver `them' to judgment, having been reserved,
5And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;and the old world did not spare, but the eighth person, Noah, of righteousness a preacher, did keep, a flood on the world of the impious having brought,
6And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah having turned to ashes, with an overthrow did condemn, an example to those about to be impious having set `them';
7And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:and righteous Lot, worn down by the conduct in lasciviousness of the impious, He did rescue,
8(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)for in seeing and hearing, the righteous man, dwelling among them, day by day the righteous soul with unlawful works was harassing.
9The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:The Lord hath known to rescue pious ones out of temptation, and unrighteous ones to a day of judgment, being punished, to keep,
10But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.and chiefly those going behind the flesh in desire of uncleanness, and lordship despising; presumptuous, self-complacent, dignities they are not afraid to speak evil of,
11Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.whereas messengers, in strength and power being greater, do not bear against them before the Lord an evil speaking judgment;
12But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;and these, as irrational natural beasts, made to be caught and destroyed -- in what things they are ignorant of, speaking evil -- in their destruction shall be destroyed,
13And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;about to receive a reward of unrighteousness, pleasures counting the luxury in the day, spots and blemishes, luxuriating in their deceits, feasting with you,
14Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:having eyes full of adultery, and unable to cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having an heart exercised in covetousnesses, children of a curse,
15Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;having forsaken a right way, they did go astray, having followed in the way of Balaam the `son' of Bosor, who a reward of unrighteousness did love,
16But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet.and had a rebuke of his own iniquity -- a dumb ass, in man's voice having spoken, did forbid the madness of the prophet.
17These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.These are wells without water, and clouds by a tempest driven, to whom the thick gloom of the darkness to the age hath been kept;
18For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.for overswellings of vanity speaking, they do entice in desires of the flesh -- lasciviousnesses, those who had truly escaped from those conducting themselves in error,
19While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.liberty to them promising, themselves being servants of the corruption, for by whom any one hath been overcome, to this one also he hath been brought to servitude,
20For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.for, if having escaped from the pollutions of the world, in the acknowledging of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and by these again being entangled, they have been overcome, become to them hath the last things worse than the first,
21For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.for it were better to them not to have acknowledged the way of the righteousness, than having acknowledged `it', to turn back from the holy command delivered to them,
22But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.and happened to them hath that of the true similitude; `A dog did turn back upon his own vomit,' and, `A sow having bathed herself -- to rolling in mire.'

2 Peter chapter 3 (18 verses)

KJVYLTNotes
1This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:This, now, beloved, a second letter to you I write, in both which I stir up your pure mind in reminding `you',

2 Peter 3:1-2 is referenced on The Old Testament Versus the New Testament: Do Christians Still Have to Observe OT Law?: 1. The Old Testament Versus the New Testament: Do Christians Still Have to Observe OT Law?

2 Peter 3:1-2: The Old Testament Versus the New Testament: Do Christians Still Have to Observe OT Law?: 1. The Old Testament Versus the New Testament: Do Christians Still Have to Observe OT Law?

2 Peter 3:1-2 appears on Biblical Dress Codes: God's Laws on Clothes: 3. All Laws of the Bible Must be Followed, Both Old and New

2 Peter 3:1-2 is referenced on Biblical Dress Codes: God's Laws on Clothes: 3. All Laws of the Bible Must be Followed, Both Old and New

For more on 2 Peter 3:1-2 see The Gradual Instruction of Humankind by a Series of Prophets from God

2 Peter 3:1-2 is discussed on The Gradual Instruction of Humankind by a Series of Prophets from God

2That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:to be mindful of the sayings said before by the holy prophets, and of the command of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour,
3Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,this first knowing, that there shall come in the latter end of the days scoffers, according to their own desires going on,
4And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.and saying, `Where is the promise of his presence? for since the fathers did fall asleep, all things so remain from the beginning of the creation;'
5For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:for this is unobserved by them willingly, that the heavens were of old, and the earth out of water and through water standing together by the word of God,
6Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:through which the then world, by water having been deluged, was destroyed;
7But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.and the present heavens and the earth, by the same word are treasured, for fire being kept to a day of judgment and destruction of the impious men.
8But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.And this one thing let not be unobserved by you, beloved, that one day with the Lord `is' as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day;
9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.the Lord is not slow in regard to the promise, as certain count slowness, but is long-suffering to us, not counselling any to be lost but all to pass on to reformation,
10But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.and it will come -- the day of the Lord -- as a thief in the night, in which the heavens with a rushing noise will pass away, and the elements with burning heat be dissolved, and earth and the works in it shall be burnt up.
11Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,All these, then, being dissolved, what kind of persons doth it behove you to be in holy behaviours and pious acts?
12Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?waiting for and hasting to the presence of the day of God, by which the heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements with burning heat shall melt;
13Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.and for new heavens and a new earth according to His promise we do wait, in which righteousness doth dwell;
14Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.wherefore, beloved, these things waiting for, be diligent, spotless and unblameable, by Him to be found in peace,
15And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;and the long-suffering of our Lord count ye salvation, according as also our beloved brother Paul -- according to the wisdom given to him -- did write to you,
16As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.as also in all the epistles, speaking in them concerning these things, among which things are certain hard to be understood, which the untaught and unstable do wrest, as also the other Writings, unto their own destruction.
17Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.Ye, then, beloved, knowing before, take heed, lest, together with the error of the impious being led away, ye may fall from your own stedfastness,
18But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.and increase ye in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; to him `is' the glory both now, and to the day of the age! Amen.

Current edition: 2012 Jul 14
Last Modified: 2015 Apr 30
http://www.holybooks.info/2_peter.html
Parent page: Hebrew Scriptures and Christian Holy Bibles Across Different Traditions

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References: (What's this?)

Book Cover

Book Cover

The Bible (NIV). The NIV is the best translation for accuracy whilst maintaining readability. Multiple authors, a compendium of multiple previously published books. I prefer to take quotes from the NIV but where I quote the Bible en masse I must quote from the KJV because it is not copyrighted, whilst the NIV is. Book Review.

Ehrman, Bart
(2003) Lost Christianities. Hardback book. Published by Oxford University Press, New York, USA.
(2011) Forged. Hardback book. Subtitled: "Writing in the Name of God - Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are". Published by HarperCollins, New York, USA.

Roberts, Jenny
(1997) Bible Facts. Hardback book. Originally published 1990. Current version published by Grange Books, London.

Footnotes

  1. Ehrman (2011) p66-68, 73-77.^^
  2. Encarta Encyclopedia article accessed 2014 Mar 14.^^
  3. Roberts (1997) .^^
  4. Ehrman (2003) p11.^
  5. Ehrman (2003) p11, 68-69.^^
  6. Added to this page on 2015 Apr 30.^
  7. Ehrman (2011) p21. Ehrman cites Didymus the Blind, Comments on the Catholic Epistles (never translated into English), in Migne's Patrologia Graeca 39, 1774.^
  8. Ehrman (2011) p68-69.^
  9. Ehrman (2011) p139.^
  10. Ehrman (2011) p77.^

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