Charalambos Atmatzidis, Eschatology in the 2nd Epistle of Peter, Pournaras Press, 2005, pages 349.
The study of Charalambos Atmatzidis deals with the eschatological perceptions of Peter’s 2nd Epistle. From the beginning of his study, the writer stresses that B’ Peter, in spite of its limited size, is a text rich in theological and philosophical ideas. In the writer’s view, modern research has wrongly ignored it or negatively assessed it and the Church has rightly included it in the canonical books of the New Testament, proving in this way that it is receptive to new ideas and views that are expressed and describe its faith, without of course distorting or refuting it. The central topic of the Epistle is eschatology. This is developed in the Epistle due to the appearance of Christians in the community, who doubted the coming of the Lord, God’s providence for the world and its dependence on the creator God.
Before the main analysis of the issue in two parts, the writer makes an introduction, where he analyzes the history of research on the Epistle, its basic eschatological views and then he refers both to the place of philosophy in the spiritual life of the people of the Roman era and to the opponents of 2 Peter.
In the first part of the study, the author analyzes chapter 3, 1-4, where Peter refers to the opponents of faith in the coming of Christ, describing the frame of their teaching. Next, he presents and compares the eschatological views of the Epistle to corresponding views in other Christian texts, out of the New Testament, in the context of B’ Peter, Jewish and Greek-Roman. The writer reaches the conclusion that the question if and in what way the divine intervenes in the world or does it stay away from it, apathetic, concerns different groups, philosophical or not, and is a question broader than the limits of early Christianity.
In the second part of the study, the writer deals with the main characteristics of the eschatology of the Epistle. Without limiting himself only to the analysis of the text of the Epistle, he attempts a parallel analysis of the eschatological views of Greek-Roman philosophers and Jewish writers and rabbis.
Closing his study, Charalambos Atmatzidis presents a series of theological and general conclusions about the Epistle. The Epistle is “anti-heretic” because it gives a theoretically established answer to those who doubt the correct faith and also “apologetic” because it develops the faith of the community, using arguments that answer both to the Jewish and broader Christian tradition and to the secular literature.
The study finishes with an extensive bibliography, a board of passages, an index of topics and names and a summary in English.