2 Peter 3:10 is that pesky and perplexing passage that typically irks professional theologians and biblical scholars who aren’t dispensationalists (the few left). Even N.T. Wright doesn’t seem so convinced of the interpretation given forth in this following excerpt; following the bold print are his thoughts about apocalyptic language.

“The problem is that the New Testament simply doesn’t support this literalistic use of apocalyptic language. For all we know, there may have been some Christians in the early church who really did believe that the space-time universe was about to come to a complete halt, to be utterly destroyed. Perhaps whoever wrote 2 Peter 3.10 (“the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed”) expected it to be taken literally, but the last word of that quotation strongly suggests otherwise. It was only later that various scribes altered the phrase to “will be burnt up”, which you still find in some Bibles.

The point being made was most likely that a great about-turn would take place within world history, through which the secrets of all hearts would be disclosed, and God would be all in all. More of this presently. I offer you as a summary of what I have been saying so far in this chapter a somewhat oversimplified suggestion, which would need a lot of further teasing out to be watertight, but which, within the limits of this book, may nevertheless point us in the right direction.

Apocalyptic language, using cosmic language to invest historical events with their full significance, draws together the heavenly world and the earthly world; [36] “apocalypticism” forces them apart. Apocalyptic language exploits the heaven/earth duality in order to draw attention to the heavenly significance of earthly events; apocalypticism exploits apocalyptic language to express a non-biblical dualism in which the heavenly world is good and the earthly bad. To explore this further, we need to understand more about these two deceptively common words, “heaven” and “earth”.

What are your thoughts? Do you think the author or 2 Peter was suggesting destruction of the cosmos? What other explanations could there be?

Cited from: http://www.ntwrightpage.com/Wright_Apocalypse_Now.htm

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