I have recently heard that many scholars believe 2 Peter is pseudepigraphical and was written around 100-150AD. Is there any evidence that shows that it was written around 64-65 AD which is another possible date that it was written?

The date of writing of the New Testament books will always generate some controversy.  We certainly do not have the original copy of any of the books.  Even if we did, the exact date cannot be known.  Some books, such as 1 Thessalonians Galatians or 1 Corinthians, we have a pretty solid date for because of the historical context, but others, such as Mark and John have a wider range of writing dates which even conservative scholars kick around.
If we assume that Peter actually wrote this book, then the date is fairly certain.  It is fairly likely that Eusebius’ account of Peter being killed by Nero is correct.  That being true, Peter was martyred by AD 68 or earlier.  This means that the book was written in or before AD 68.  The reference in 2 Pet 3 to the letters of Paul seems to put this letter toward the end of the lifetime of Peter–almost certainly into the 60’s.
The question is, did Peter write this book?  The letter itself purports to be written by Peter.  It uses the first person throughout.  It is not unheard of for people in the first century to write pseudepigraphical books, but one does not get this impression for 2 Peter.  However, this is a matter of opinion.  The late second century church ascribed the letter to Peter.  There is a likely allusion to the book in 1 Clement, which was written about AD 95.  If this is correct, then this certainly moves the date of writing into the first century and, given the use of the first person and the early date, almost certainly makes Peter the author.
As a general statement, the books of the New Testament were accepted by the 2nd century church because of a consensus that they had apostolic authority.  Clearly the second century church assigned apostolic authority to this book, but not with absolute unanimity.
Bottom line, you will have to accept at least some ambiguity on the evidence for 2 Peter.  What we can say is that it is reasonable to conclude it was written AD 68 or earlier by the apostle Peter, but the honest view on this is that this is not proved.  You can respond to your friend that the preponderance of the evidence puts 2 Peter in the first century and that it is likely liberal bias rather than the evidence which attempts to move it into the second century.  However, the honest truth is that we do not know with absolute certainty.
Trusting the integrity of those who pieced together the New Testament and perhaps even more importantly, trusting that God had his hand in the formation of the New Testament, I am personally very confident that 2 Peter was indeed written by Peter somewhere between AD 60-68.
John Oakes
I am copying and pasting a short article on the matter I copied and pasted from the web site below.


The author identifies himself as Simon Peter (1:1). He uses the first person singular pronoun in a highly personal passage (1:12–15) and claims to be an eyewitness of the transfiguration (1:16–18 [see note on 1:16]; cf. Mt 17:1–5). He asserts that this is his second letter to the readers (3:1) and refers to Paul as “our dear brother” (3:15; see note there). In short, the letter claims to be Peter’s, and its character is compatible with that claim.

Although 2 Peter was not as widely known and recognized in the early church as 1 Peter, some may have used and accepted it as authoritative as early as the second century and perhaps even in the latter part of the first century (1 Clement [a.d. 95] may allude to it). It was not ascribed to Peter until Origen’s time (185–253), and he seems to reflect some doubt concerning it. Eusebius (265–340) placed it among the questioned books, though he admits that most accept it as from Peter. After Eusebius’s time, it seems to have been quite generally accepted as canonical.

In recent centuries, however, its genuineness has been challenged by a considerable number of interpreters. One of the objections that has been raised is the difference in style from that of 1 Peter. But the difference is not absolute; there are noteworthy similarities in vocabulary and in other matters. In fact, no other known writing is as much like 1 Peter as 2 Peter. The differences that do exist may be accounted for by variations in subject matter, in the form and purpose of the letters, in the time and circumstances of writing, in sources used or models followed, and in scribes who may have been employed. Perhaps most significant is the statement in 1Pe 5:12 that Silas assisted in the writing of 1 Peter. No such statement is made concerning 2 Peter, which may explain its noticeable difference in style (see Introduction to 1 Peter: Author and Date).

Other objections arise from a secular reconstruction of early Christian history or misunderstandings or misconstructions of the available data. For example, some argue that the reference to Paul’s letters in 3:15–16 indicates an advanced date for this book—beyond Peter’s lifetime. But it is quite possible that Paul’s letters were gathered at an early date, since some of them had been in existence and perhaps in circulation for more than ten years (Thessalonians by as much as 15 years) prior to Peter’s death. Besides, what Peter says may only indicate that he was acquainted with some of Paul’s letters (communication in the Roman world and in the early church was good), not that there was a formal, ecclesiastical collection of them.


2 Peter was written toward the end of Peter’s life (cf. 1:12–15), after he had written a prior letter (3:1) to the same readers (probably 1 Peter). Since Peter was martyred during the reign of Nero, his death must have occurred prior to a.d. 68; so it is very likely that he wrote 2 Peter between 65 and 68.

Some have argued that this date is too early for the writing of 2 Peter, but nothing in the book requires a later date. The error combated is comparable to the kind of heresy present in the first century. To insist that the second chapter was directed against second-century Gnosticism is to assume more than the contents of the chapter warrant. While the heretics referred to in 2 Peter may well have been among the forerunners of second-century Gnostics, nothing is said of them that would not fit into the later years of Peter’s life.

Some have suggested a later date because they interpret the reference to the fathers in 3:4 to mean an earlier Christian generation. However, the word is most naturally interpreted as the OT patriarchs (cf. Jn 6:31, “forefathers”; Ac 3:13; Heb 1:1). Similarly, reference to Paul and his letters (3:15–16; see Author) does not require a date beyond Peter’s lifetime.

2 Peter and Jude

There are conspicuous similarities between 2 Peter and Jude (compare 2Pe 2 with Jude 4–18), but there are also significant differences. It has been suggested that one borrowed from the other or that they both drew on a common source. If there is borrowing, it is not a slavish borrowing but one that adapts to suit the writer’s purpose. While many have insisted that Jude used Peter, it is more reasonable to assume that the longer letter (Peter) incorporated much of the shorter (Jude). Such borrowing is fairly common in ancient writings. For example, many believe that Paul used parts of early hymns in Php 2:6–11 and 1Ti 3:16.

Comments are closed.