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This page revised and Copyrighted: Theon Doxazo

14 December, 2023


Vs 4b - Partakers


“. . . in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature,”  2 Pet 1:4b


OK.  OK.  I know.  It's funny.  Me, a partaker of the divine nature.  Sure.  It's a laugh.  But note, I didn't write that.  The inspired writer of Scripture wrote that.  It's absurd to think that I could partake of the divine nature, yet, there it is.  It's nothing in me that deserves such a boon.  It is the very grace of God that allows such a thing to happen.  Notice, that it is the very power of God, working through “His precious and magnificent promises” that makes this possible.


Also:  what does “partakers” mean?  The Greek here is Κοινωνός.  It can be translated as:  a sharer, partner, companion (Thayer, 1976, p. 352).  The implication is that, while a modest portion of the divine nature resides in us, we do not have complete deity.  He is so much greater and more powerful than anything we can ever hope to become.  Yet, for Christ's true followers, there is something of God living in us.  His Spirit moves in our lives.  Through the Spirit of God we are empowered to continue the process of Christian growth.  A more complete discussion of this will appear later.


Note also, this concept of being 'partakers of the divine nature', is not limited to Christians.  This concept played a major part in Gnosticism.  Consider:  "If γινώσκειν [knowing] as the investigation of truth brings the Greek into proximity to deity, because in intellectual consideration of true reality he finds his own true being, γνῶσις [knowledge] invests the Gnostic with the divine nature, and therefore in the first instance with immortality.  By his vision he is transformed from a man into God."  (Kittle, p. 696, l. 3).


It would seem that in this verse Peter is responding to the Gnostic claims.  While he will be spending the bulk of this book attacking 'false teachers', he also wants Christians to know that they can actually be 'partakers of the divine nature', whereas the Gnostics falsely claim to do so.