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In 2 Peter 3:2 Peter says something very interesting:
that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior,2 Peter 3:2
Here’s why this is interesting: Peter is putting the commandments of the Apostles on the same level as the word spoken by the “holy prophets.”
The “holy prophets” were those who wrote the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament). The Apostles and their “commandments” came through the writings of the New Testament letters, or epistles.
We can be sure that this is the case, because later on in 2 Peter chapter 3, Peter refers to the teachers of the Apostle Paul in his letters – specifically in regard to the same topic which Peter is addressing in 2 Peter 3:2 where he refers to the “commandment” of the apostles, which is to be patient and diligent in waiting for the coming of the Lord.
And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.2 Peter 3:15-16
Did you catch that? Peter calls Paul’s writings “Scripture”!
2 Peter was written shortly before Peter’s death in Rome, and after Paul the Apostle’s death, also in Rome. Thus, at this time, all of Paul’s letters which we have in our New Testaments were already written, they were being distributed amongst the churches, and they were considered Holy Scripture – in the same way that these Jewish believers considered the Old Testament to be Holy Scripture!
This is all the more interesting when we consider what Peter wrote in the first chapter of this letter, in which he describes how Scripture is written and inspired by the Holy Spirit:
And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.2 Peter 1:19-21
Were the Apostles aware that they were writing Scripture? Perhaps sometimes they were not, but it would seem that many times they were!
For a broader discussion of this topic, check out: