Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Philosophy


Richard Alan Fuhr


Christian Eschatology, 2 Peter, Prophecy, 2 Peter 3:10, Christian Church History, History of Christianity, Premillennialism, Amillennialism, Early Church, Millennium, Early Christian Writers, Christian New Testament, Revelation 20:11, Revelation 21:1, Patristic Scholarship, Armageddon, Christ’s Return, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Church Fathers, Millennial Kingdom


Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


Second Peter 3:10–13 is one of the most debated passages in Scripture. Understandably, the text concerns eschatology which evokes diverse perspectives. Accordingly, this dissertation will research two majority views on 2 Peter 3:10–13 and one minority view on 2 Peter 3:10–13 for which there is evidence that it was held by a few ante-Nicene fathers. After the ante-Nicene era, expositors have almost universally interpreted 2 Peter 3:10–13 as a single meaning prophecy pertaining entirely to the eternal state. A common agreement in the two majority views on 2 Peter 3:10–13 is that fire will be the means that God will use to accomplish either the eternal state (annihilation) replacement or the eternal state restoration of the physical universe to transition by conflagration (interpreted as occurring at Revelation 20:11) to the eternal state of the new heaven and the new earth in 2 Peter 3:13 and Revelation 21:1. On the other hand, a minority view on 2 Peter 3:10–13 evidenced by Irenaeus, Methodius, and Lactantius, demonstrate interpreting this passage as a contextual telescoping prophecy with the earthly conflagration in 3:10–12 pertaining to the day of the Lord Armageddon conflagration which will cleanse the earth’s surface and atmosphere (the first heaven, Gen 1:8) for their Edenic restoration (cf. Isa 51:3; Ezek 36:35) for Christ’s earthly millennial reign (millennial restoration) while 3:13 telescopes post-millennium to the promised eternal state of the new heavens and the new earth (Isa 65:17–19; Rev 21:1); two distinct prophecies in the same context separated by more than a thousand years, which is consistent with the literary feature of telescoping common in biblical prophetic literature. The thesis will argue that this minority view on 2 Peter 3:10–13 is the biblical view. Notably, the thesis is not dependent on the views of a few ante-Nicene fathers or 2 Peter 3:10–13 characterizing a contextual telescoping prophecy, but sola Scriptura.