Elements Melt with Fervent Heat

12 Jan

from Google Images

Perhaps, more misunderstanding about the end times has come about over modern students proclivity to interpret 2Peter 3:10-12 scientifically than for any other reason. Error is strong delusion that clouds our minds and prevents our understanding of the truth. If truth is important to us, we need to realize the terrible influence false doctrine (error) has upon the minds of the believer. Strong delusion (false doctrine or error) is meant for those who have rejected Christ (2Thessalonians 2:11-12), not for those who have accepted him. Nevertheless, if we aren’t watchful, the believer can become subject to the strong delusion of false doctrine (Revelation 3:3; 1Thessalonians 4:13).

Therefore and with this in mind, what does Peter mean when he says: “the elements shall melt with fervent heat” (2Peter 3:10, 12)? Many modern interpreters of Peter would make the fisherman into a scientist by saying the elements must refer to some scientific table known in the first century AD. Nevertheless, there is no evidence that the Apostles were educated in any of the universities of their day. They knew how to read and write, but beyond an elementary education we have no evidence they were educated men. In fact, the opposite would be true (cf. Acts 4:13). Therefore, any attempt for modern students to put scientific periodic terminology into Peter’s mouth at 2Peter 3:10-12 would be not only error but would be well nigh a deliberate attempt to impose a false paradigm on the Biblical text.

According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, the word elements (stoicheion – G4747) means: “any first thing, from which the others belonging to some series or composite whole take their rise, an element, first principal.” In the context of scripture, this would refer to those things upon which the Old Covenant was founded (Hebrews 5:12). According to Paul, being under the elements had to do with being under the Law (Galatians 4:3-9) and to be influenced by the rudiments (G4747) was to be influenced by the doctrines of men (Colossians 2:8-22). Therefore, it is in this context that “the elements shall melt with fervent heat” (2Peter 3:10, 12) should be understood. It has to do with the destruction of the Old Covenant whose basic principles were the Law or the Torah.

It should also be noted that the word melt (luo – G3089) is so translated only in 2Peter 3:10,[1] no doubt to support a scientific meaning behind “the elements shall melt with fervent heat,” but this cannot be supported elsewhere in the scriptures. For example, the same Greek word (G3089) is used in Luke 13:15 for untying and ox or a donkey. It is also used in John 11:44 for unbinding or unwrapping Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead. It is used of Jesus breaking the Sabbath in John 5:18. So, once more, Peter’s language cannot be construed to mean that God would bring time to an end and / or destroy the whole of his creation. That would be an untenable argument, supported only by eisegesis[2] but not exegesis.

In Luke’s version of the Transfiguration, Moses and Elijah in vision spoke with Jesus concerning his decease (exodus – G1841; see Luke 9:31). The Greek word is used only one other time in the New Testament and refers to Israel’s departure from Egypt (Hebrews 11:32). The word has to do with Jesus’ exodus out from his life, through which he was “made of a woman, made under the Law” (Galatians 4:4) that he might redeem those who were under the Law (Galatians 4:5). In other words, Jesus made his exodus out of his relationship to Torah, out of the Old Covenant, in order to deliver those who are his out from under the bondage of Torah, the bondage of the Old Covenant. And, remember Paul claimed that being under the Law (Galatians 4:5) was under the elements of the world (Galatians 4:3). These are the elements to which Peter refers in 2Peter 3:10 and 12, which melt or are destroyed with fervent heat (Hebrews 12:26-29) and this occurred in 70 AD when the Old Covenant came to an end.


[1] In 2Peter 3:12 the word melt comes from a different Greek word (teko – G5080). It is found nowhere else in the New Testament, but it is found in the Old Testament in the Septuagint. It is used of the Moabites melting away in fear (Exodus 15:15); of the manna dissolving (Exodus 16:21); of the Israelites melting away in famine (Deuteronomy 32:24). Peter isn’t using it to mean the end of the space-time continuum.

[2] Eisegesis: from the Greek preposition εἰς “into” and the ending from the English word exegesis, Greek ἐξήγησις, which in turn is derived from ἐξηγεῖσθαι “to lead out.” It is the process of interpreting a text or portion of text in such a way that the process introduces one’s own presuppositions, agendas etc.


Posted by on January 12, 2018 in Gospel of Luke


2 responses to “Elements Melt with Fervent Heat

  1. Dave White

    January 12, 2018 at 08:00

    Eddie, it seems to me that one issue that stands in the way of proper understanding of prophesy is the dating of Revelations. Those that support modern futurists approach also date the book as 80 C.E or later. Do you have a blog that discussed this?

    • Eddie

      January 12, 2018 at 17:33

      Greetings Dave, it has been awhile. I hope you are well.

      I don’t have anything at the moment, but I’ll be publishing two or three blog posts next October or November on this very subject. Meanwhile you could watch a video or two HERE and HERE to see a perspective of the Apocalypse being written during the reign of Nero. The first video is just under 6 minutes long and the second is just over five. At least they’ll give you a different perspective than what you have seen thus far. I have evidence that Revelation was written in the reign of Herod Agrippa (cir. 42 AD). The evidence for a late date is simply terrible, and would never be accepted ordinarily by scholars, if they first didn’t support the idea that Jesus’ coming is yet future. This is the ONLY reason they hold such a view on the dating of this book. There is much better evidence, both historical and internal evidence in the Bible that Revelation was written very early.

      I am presently involved in a verse-by-verse study of the Book of Revelation and intend to offer it probably in October of this year, or whenever I run out of studies in the Gospel of Luke. At that time, I’ll be returning to three studies per week instead of six. I’m presently just beginning Revelation chapter six, and I’m thrilled with with I am finding out. I hope others are pleased as well, but I promised the Lord that pleasing others would not be my motivation for learning his truth. Anyway, that is where I am now. Lord bless you in your studies, as well.

      P.S. I just realized that I have one study on this subject. Off the top of my head I thought I had scheduled all of these studies for 2018, but actually I wrote this one in November of 2017. It is: The Divinely Appointed Time. I hope you enjoy it. There are more to come in October, 2018.


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