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Balaam And 2 Peter 2:15: ‘They Have Followed In The Steps Of Balaam’ ( Jude 11)

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Chapter Summary

The Letter of Jude only briefly refers to Balaam. There is a broad consensus today that the author of 2 Peter had access to the letter of Jude and used that letter extensively when he addressed his own readers. This chapter proposes that already the expression 'irrational animals' at the beginning of 2:12 is such an allusion to Balaam and his donkey. Consequently, it argues that 2:12-16 as a whole centre on the figure of Balaam, and shows how this enigmatic figure functions as a typos pointing forward to the heretics in the church. The chapter presents the introductory description of the false prophets in 2 Pet 2:1-3. It seems to be worthwhile to examine this passage to find possible allusions to the Balaam story. The chapter also shows that the narrative of Balaam has influenced the author of 2 Peter heavily.

Keywords: 2 Peter; Balaam; irrational animals; letter of Jude

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