False Teachers and Their Destruction

But there were also false prophets(A) among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.(B) They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord(C) who bought them(D)—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct(E) and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed(F) these teachers will exploit you(G) with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned,(H) but sent them to hell,[a] putting them in chains of darkness[b] to be held for judgment;(I) if he did not spare the ancient world(J) when he brought the flood on its ungodly people,(K) but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;(L) if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes,(M) and made them an example(N) of what is going to happen to the ungodly;(O) and if he rescued Lot,(P) a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless(Q) (for that righteous man,(R) living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials(S) and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.(T) 10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire(U) of the flesh[c] and despise authority.

Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings;(V) 11 yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from[d] the Lord.(W) 12 But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.(X)

13 They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight.(Y) They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.[e](Z) 14 With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce(AA) the unstable;(AB) they are experts in greed(AC)—an accursed brood!(AD) 15 They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam(AE) son of Bezer,[f] who loved the wages of wickedness. 16 But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—an animal without speech—who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.(AF)

17 These people are springs without water(AG) and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.(AH) 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words(AI) and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping(AJ) from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.”(AK) 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing(AL) our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ(AM) and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.(AN) 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.(AO) 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,”[g](AP) and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”

Footnotes

  1. 2 Peter 2:4 Greek Tartarus
  2. 2 Peter 2:4 Some manuscripts in gloomy dungeons
  3. 2 Peter 2:10 In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit; also in verse 18.
  4. 2 Peter 2:11 Many manuscripts beings in the presence of
  5. 2 Peter 2:13 Some manuscripts in their love feasts
  6. 2 Peter 2:15 Greek Bosor
  7. 2 Peter 2:22 Prov. 26:11
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

But 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 many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

And 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.

For 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;

And 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 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 delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:

(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)

The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

10 But 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.

11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.

12 But 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;

13 And 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;

14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:

15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet.

17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

18 For 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.

19 While 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.

20 For 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.

21 For 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.

22 But 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.

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