2 Peter 2:1

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Puritan Board Sophomore
Does this verse apply to those who were in covenant with God, but eventually showed themselves to be unregenerate by their apostasy?:

"But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction." -2 Peter 2:1

Just as Hebrews 10:29 says:

"How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?" -Hebrews 10:29

I ask this because I was having a discussion with an Arminian recently and he used that verse from 2 Peter 2 for his support of unlimited atonement (also as a verse against the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints). But from my recent studying of Covenant Theology, that passage sounds to me like the ones also referenced in Hebrews 10 who were in covenant with God, but broke covenant with Him because they were unregenerate . Am I correct in understanding that those in 2 Peter 2 and those in Hebrews 10 are the same in regards to being unregenerate covenant breakers?

[Edited on 1-23-2006 by Greg]

non dignus

Puritan Board Sophomore
Deuteronomy 32:5,6
" 5. They have dealt corruptly with him, they are not his children, it is their blemish; They are a perverse and crooked generation.
6. Do ye thus requite Jehovah, O foolish people and unwise? Is not he thy father that hath bought thee? He hath made thee, and established thee. "

Peter isn't even discussing the atonement. 'Lord' is the word 'depotes', if I am correct, speaking of Father God. I believe Peter is simply quoting from Moses.


Puritan Board Sophomore
I've recently read through 2 Peter and decided to do some more in-depth reading on this verse as well. Here's a good long article that I found really helpful:


It basically comes to the same conclusion that David did, but it also deconstructs the Arminian interpretation thoroughly. I hope it helps.


Puritan Board Sophomore
Thanks David and Devin,

I'll have the time later this evening to read through that article Devin. I skimmed through it and it looks like it answers the question I still have in regards to the exact manner in which those false teachers were bought by the Master. Thanks again. :up:

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Another way to understand this text is that Peter is speaking rhetorically, using the false teachers own claims against them. They claimed that they were believers and servants of Christ, bought by Him, but their lives contradicted that.


Puritan Board Sophomore
Thank you Patrick, I hadn't looked at like that before.

Thank you Dr. McMahon for that article you wrote.


Puritan Board Sophomore
Thank you Patrick, I hadn't looked at like that before.

Thank you Dr. McMahon for that article you wrote.

I'll second that thought.

I just read Dr. MacMahon's article, and as I read it, the notion of the use of irony/sarcasm came to mind.

In Amos chapter 4, the prophet uses sarcasm in reference to the leavend offering. That popped in my mind as I read Matt's article.

Thanks, guys.


Puritan Board Senior
With respect to refuting the Arminian take on the verse Gill is fairly thorough:



Part 1

Section 54—2 Peter 2:1.

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, denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

This passage of scripture is often produced as a proof both of the saints’ final and total apostasy,[1] and of universal redemption; or that, besides those that are saved, Christ died also for them that perish. Dr. Whitby[2] mentions the several answers which different men give to these words: one says, Christ bought these persons only to be slaves; another, that he died to rescue them from temporal, but not eternal punishments; a third, that he died for them because he gave a sufficient price for them; a fourth, that they denied that Lord whom they professed to have bought them; and a fifth, that they denied him, who, in the judgment of other men, had bought them. Upon which he observes, that they are so extravagant, that it is as easy to confute as to recite them.

1. I do not think myself concerned to defend any of these senses of the text mentioned, judging neither of them to be the meaning of the words, and so have nothing to do with the reasonings made use of in the confutation of them; though, perhaps, the two latter are not so extravagant as represented. However, in order to give the genuine sense of this text, let it be observed,

2. That Christ is not here at all spoken of; nor is there one syllable of his dying for any persons, in any sense whatever. The word despo>thv, Lord, does not design Christ but God the Father of Christ. The only places besides this where this word is used, when applied to a divine person, are Luke 2:29, Acts 4:24, 2 Timothy 2:21, Jude 1:4, Revelation 6:10, in all which places God the Father is plainly intended, and in most of them manifestly distinguished from Christ; nor is there anything in this text or context which obliges us to understand it of the Son of God; nor should this be thought any diminution of the glory of Christ, since the word despo>thv is properly expressive only of that power which masters have over their servants; whereas the word ku>riov, which is used whenever Christ is called Lord, signifies that dominion and authority which princes have over their subjects. Besides, Christ is called King of kings, and Lord of lords, and the only Potentate; yea, God over all, blessed for ever. Moreover,

3. When these persons are said to be bought, the meaning is, not that they were redeemed by the blood of Christ, for, as is before observed, Christ is not intended. Besides, whenever redemption by Christ is spoken of, the price is usually mentioned, or some circumstance or another which fully determines the sense of it; (see Acts 20:28; 1 Cor. 6:20; Eph.1:7; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; Rev. 5:9; Rev. 14:3-4), whereas here is not the least hint of anything of this kind. Add to this, that such who are redeemed by Christ, are never left to deny him, so as to perish eternally; for could such be lost, or bring on themselves swift destruction, Christ’s purchase would be in vain, and the ransom price be paid for naught. But,

4. The word buying regards temporal deliverance, and particularly the redemption of the people of Israel out of Egypt; who are therefore called the people the Lord had purchased. The phrase is borrowed from Deuteronomy 32:6; Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? Is not he thy Father that hath bought thee? Hath he not made thee and established thee? Nor is this the only place the apostle Peter refers to in this chapter; (see vv. 12, 13, compared with Deuteronomy 32:5). Now the persons the apostle writes to, were Jews, the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithyna, a people who, in all ages, valued, themselves upon, and boasted mightily of their being the bought, purchased people of the Lord; wherefore Peter makes use of this phrase much in the same manner as Moses had done before him, to aggravate the ingratitude and impiety of these false teachers among the Jews; that they should deny, if not in words, at least in works, that mighty Jehovah, who had of old redeemed their fathers out of Egypt, with a stretched out arm, and, in successive ages, had distinguished them with peculiar favors; being ungodly men, turning the grace, the doctrine of the grace of God, into lasciviousness Hence,

5. Nothing can be concluded from this passage in favor of Christ’s dying for them that perish; since neither Christ, nor the death of Christ, nor redemption by his blood, are here once mentioned, nor in the least intended. Nor can these words be thought to be a proof and instance of the final and total apostasy of real saints, since there is not anything said of these false teachers, which gives any reason to believe that they were true believers in Christ, or ever had the grace of the Spirit wrought in their souls.



[1] Remonstr. in Coll. Hag. art. 5. p. 17, and art. 2. p. 132, 160; Act. Synod. circ. art. 2. p. 354, etc.; Curcell. p. 360; Limborch, p. 322.

[2] Page 141, 142; ed. 2. 138, 139.
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