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Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible
II Peter 1:3
As his Divine power - His power, which no power can resist, because it is Divine - that which properly belongs to the infinite Godhead.
Hath given unto us - Hath endowed us with the gifts; or, hath gifted us, as Dr. Macknight translates it, who observes that it refers to the gifts which the Holy Spirit communicated to the apostles, to enable them to bring men to life and godliness; which were,
1. A complete knowledge of the doctrines of the Gospel.
2. Power to preach and defend their doctrines in suitable language, which their adversaries were not able to gainsay or resist.
3. Wisdom to direct them how to behave in all cases, where and when to labor; and the matter suitable to all different cases, and every variety of persons.
4. Miraculous powers, so that on all proper and necessary occasions they could work miracles for the confirmation of their doctrines and mission.
By life and godliness we may understand,
1. a godly life; or,
2. eternal life as the end, and godliness the way to it; or,
3. what was essentially necessary for the present life, food, raiment, etc., and what was requisite for the life to come.
As they were in a suffering state, and most probably many of them strangers in those places, one can scarcely say that they had all things that pertained to life; and yet so had God worked in their behalf, that none of them perished, either through lack of food or raiment. And as to what was necessary for godliness, they had that from the Gospel ministry, which it appears was still continued among them, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit which were not withdrawn; and what was farther necessary in the way of personal caution, comfort, and instruction, was supplied by means of these two epistles.
That hath called us to glory and virtue - To virtue or courage as the means; and glory - the kingdom of heaven, as the end. This is the way in which these words are commonly understood, and this sense is plain enough, but the construction is harsh. Others have translated by his glorious benignity and read the whole verse thus: God by his own power hath bestowed on us every thing necessary for a happy life and godliness, having called us to the knowledge of himself, by his own infinite goodness. It is certain that the word which we translate virtue or courage, is used, 1 Peter 2:9, to express the perfection of the Divine nature: That ye may show forth the virtues or Perfections, of him who hath called you from darkness into his marvellous light.
But there is a various reading here which is of considerable importance, and which, from the authorities by which it is supported, appears to be genuine, through the knowledge of him who hath called us by his own glory and power, or by his own glorious power. This is the reading of AC, several others; and, in effect, of the Coptic, Armenian, Syriac, Ethiopic, Vulgate, Cyril, Cassiodorus, etc.