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Calvin's Commentaries, Vol. 45: Catholic Epistles, tr. by John King, [1847-50], at

A Translation Of

Calvin’s Version OF



1 Simeon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained an equally precious faith with us, through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ;

2 Grace to you and peace be multiplied, through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord;

3 As his divine power has given us all things which pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who hath called us by his own glory and power;

4 By which also very great and precious promises have been freely given us, that through these ye might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

5 And for this purpose using all diligence, add to your faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge;

6 And to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness;

7 And to godliness, brotherly affection; and to brotherly affection, love:

8 For if these be in you, and be abounding, they make you to be neither idle nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ;

9 But he in whom these things are wanting is blind, and cannot see afar off, having forgotten the cleansing of his old sins.

10 Therefore, brethren, strive the more to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

11 For thus shall abundantly be supplied to you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

12 I will not, therefore, neglect always to remind you of these things, though ye know them, and have been confirmed in the present truth.

13 Yea, I think it right, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by reminding you;

14 Since I know that I am shortly to put away this tabernacle, as also our Lord Jesus Christ hath made manifest to me.

15 I will, however, endeavor, that ye may also be able to have these things always in remembrance after my departure.

16 For it was not cunningly-devised fables that we followed, when we made known to you the power and the corning of our Lord Jesus Christ; but we were eye-witnesses of his majesty:

17 For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when such a voice as this came to him from the magnificent glory, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I have been well pleased."

18 And this voice we heard, when we were with him on the holy mount.

19 And we have the more sure word of prophecy, to which ye do well in attending, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts;

20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of a private suggestion:

21 For prophecy came not formerly by the will of man; but holy men of God spoke, being moved by the Holy Spirit.


1 There were, however, false prophets also among the people; as there will also be false teachers among you, who will stealthily bring in opinions of perdition, denying even the Lord who has redeemed them, bringing on themselves swift destruction.

2 And many shall follow their ruinous courses, through whom the way of truth shall be blasphemed.

3 And through avarice they shall make a trade of you by feigned words; whose judgment a long ago ceases not, and whose perdition does not slumber.

4 For if God spared not the angels who had sinned, but having cast them into hell in chains of darkness, delivered them to be kept for judgment;

5 And if he spared not the old world, but saved Noah, the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, having brought in the flood on the world of the ungodly;

6 And if having turned into ashes the cities of the Sodomites and of Gomorrah, he condemned them with an overthrew, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly,

7 And delivered the righteous Lot, who was vexed by the wicked through their lascivious conduct;

8 For that righteous man, while dwelling among them, had by seeing and hearing his righteous soul daily tormented by their iniquitous deeds;

9 The Lord. knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust for the day of judgment to be punished;

10 And especially those who walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government: audacious and refractory, they fear not to blaspheme dignities,

11 When angels, who are greater in strength and power, bring no railing judgment against them before the Lord.

12 But these, as brute animals, naturally made to be taken and destroyed, blaspheming those things which they understand not, shall perish in their own corruption, receiving the reward of unrighteousness;

13 Deeming riot in the day-time a pleasure, they are blots and stains, rioting in their own errors, while feasting with you;

14 Having eyes full of adultery, which cease not from sin, ensnaring unstable souls, having a heart exercised in lusts, accursed children;

15 Who having left the right way, have gone astray, following the way of Balaam, the son of Bosor, who loved the reward of unrighteousness;

16 But was reproved for his iniquity; a mute beast of burden, speaking with the human voice, restrained the madness of the prophet.

17 These are fountains without, water, clouds driven by a tempest, for whom has been prepared thick darkness for ever.

18 For when they speak most haughty words of vanity, they ensnare through the lusts of the flesh, by lasciviousness, those who had really escaped from such as live in error;

19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the slaves of corruption; for by whom any one is overcome, to him is he brought into bondage.

20 For if they who had escaped from the pollutions of the world, through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, become again entangled with these, and are overcome, the last pollutions become worse to them than the former:

21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it, and to turn away from the holy commandment delivered to them.

22 But what is said in the true proverb has happened to them, "The dog has returned to his own vomit, and the washen sow to her wallowing in the mire."


1 This second Epistle, beloved, I now write to you; in both which I stir up your pure mind by admonition,

2 That ye may remember the words which have been foretold by the holy Prophets and the commandment of us who are the apostles of the Lord and Savior;

3 Knowing this first, that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts,

4 And saying, "Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers have slept, all things remain as from the beginning of the creation."

5 For of this they are wilfully ignorant, that by the word of God the heavens were formerly, and the earth, subsisting by water and through water;

6 Through which the world, which then was, perished, being overflowed with water.

7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, are reserved by the word of the same, and are kept for fire against the day of judgment and of the perdition of the ungodly.

8 But of this one thing, beloved, be ye not ignorant, that one day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

9 The Lord does not delay as to his promise, as some count delay, but is patient towards us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens with a tempest shall pass away, and the elements shall melt with heat, and the earth and all its works shall be burnt up.

11 Since then all these things shall be dissolved, what ought we to be in all holy conduct and all godliness;

12 Waiting in haste for the coming of the day of God; on account of which the heavens being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements shall be consumed with heat.

13 But according to his promise we look for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

14 Therefore, beloved, since ye look for these things, labor to be found by him in peace, unpolluted and blameless;

15 And regard the patience of our Lord as salvation, as also our beloved brother Paul has written to you according to the wisdom given to him; as also in all his Epistles, speaking of these things; in which there are some things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and the unstable pervert,

16 As also other scriptures, to their own ruin.

17 Do ye then, beloved, being forewarned, take heed, lest ye, being led away by the error of the wicked, should fall from your own steadfastness.

18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: to him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

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