on 2-peter 1 :3
As his Divine power - His power, which no power can resist, because it is Divine - that which properly belongs to the infinite Godhead.
Hath given unto us - Δεδωρημενης· Hath endowed us with the gifts; or, hath gifted us, as Dr. Macknight translates it, who observes that it refers to the gifts which the Holy Spirit communicated to the apostles, to enable them to bring men to life and godliness; which were,
1. A complete knowledge of the doctrines of the Gospel.
2. Power to preach and defend their doctrines in suitable language, which their adversaries were not able to gainsay or resist.
3. Wisdom to direct them how to behave in all cases, where and when to labor; and the matter suitable to all different cases, and every variety of persons.
4. Miraculous powers, so that on all proper and necessary occasions they could work miracles for the confirmation of their doctrines and mission.
By life and godliness we may understand,
1. a godly life; or,
2. eternal life as the end, and godliness the way to it; or,
3. what was essentially necessary for the present life, food, raiment, etc., and what was requisite for the life to come.
As they were in a suffering state, and most probably many of them strangers in those places, one can scarcely say that they had all things that pertained to life; and yet so had God worked in their behalf, that none of them perished, either through lack of food or raiment. And as to what was necessary for godliness, they had that from the Gospel ministry, which it appears was still continued among them, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit which were not withdrawn; and what was farther necessary in the way of personal caution, comfort, and instruction, was supplied by means of these two epistles.
That hath called us to glory and virtue - To virtue or courage as the means; and glory - the kingdom of heaven, as the end. This is the way in which these words are commonly understood, and this sense is plain enough, but the construction is harsh. Others have translated δια δοξης και αρετης, by his glorious benignity, a Hebraism for δια της ενδοξου αρετης· and read the whole verse thus: God by his own power hath bestowed on us every thing necessary for a happy life and godliness, having called us to the knowledge of himself, by his own infinite goodness. It is certain that the word αρετη, which we translate virtue or courage, is used, 1 Peter 2:9, to express the perfection of the Divine nature: That ye may show forth τας αρετας, the virtues or Perfections, of him who hath called you from darkness into his marvellous light.
But there is a various reading here which is of considerable importance, and which, from the authorities by which it is supported, appears to be genuine: Του καλεσαντος ἡμας ιδια δοξῃ και αρετῃ, through the knowledge of him who hath called us by his own glory and power, or by his own glorious power. This is the reading of AC, several others; and, in effect, of the Coptic, Armenian, Syriac, Ethiopic, Vulgate, Cyril, Cassiodorus, etc.
on 2-peter 1 :3
According as his divine power hath given unto us - All the effects of the gospel on the human heart are, in the Scriptures, traced to the power of God. See the notes at Romans 1:16. There are no moral means which have ever been used that have such power as the gospel; none through which God has done so much in changing the character and affecting the destiny of man.
All things that pertain unto life and godliness - The reference here in the word "life" is undoubtedly to the life of religion; the life of the soul imparted by the gospel. The word "godliness" is synonymous with piety. The phrase "according as" (ὡς hōs) seems to be connected with the sentence in 2 Peter 1:5, "Forasmuch as he has conferred on us these privileges and promises connected with life and godliness, we are bound, in order to obtain all that is implied in these things, to give all diligence to add to our faith, knowledge," etc.
Through the knowledge of him - By a proper acquaintance with him, or by the right kind of knowledge of him. Notes, John 17:3.
That hath called us to glory and virtue - Margin: "by." Greek, "through glory," etc. Doddridge supposes that it means that he has done this "by the strengthening virtue and energy of his spirit." Rosenmuller renders it, "by glorious benignity." Dr. Robinson (Lexicon) renders it, "through a glorious display of his efficiency." The objection which anyone feels to this rendering arises solely from the word "virtue," from the fact that we are not accustomed to apply that word to God. But the original word (ἀρετή aretē) is not as limited in its signification as the English word is, but is rather a word which denotes a good quality or excellence of any kind. In the ancient classics it is used to denote manliness, vigor, courage, valor, fortitude; and the word would rather denote "energy" or "power" of some kind, than what we commonly understand by virtue, and would be, therefore, properly applied to the "energy" or "efficiency" which God has displayed in the work of our salvation. Indeed, when applied to moral excellence at all, as it is in 2 Peter 1:5, of this chapter, and often elsewhere, it is perhaps with a reference to the "energy, boldness, vigor," or "courage" which is evinced in overcoming our evil propensities, and resisting allurements and temptations. According to this interpretation, the passage teaches that it is "by a glorious Divine efficiency" that we are called into the kingdom of God.
on 2-peter 1 :3
1:3 As his divine power has given us all things - There is a wonderful cheerfulness in this exordium, which begins with the exhortation itself. That pertain to life and godliness - To the present, natural life, and to the continuance and increase of spiritual life. Through that divine knowledge of him - Of Christ. Who hath called us by - His own glorious power, to eternal glory, as the end; by Christian virtue or fortitude, as the means.