The Appearance of False Prophets
1But false prophets also appeared among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.
2Many will follow their indecent behavior, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned;
3and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
4For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into Gr Tartarus, a name used as a reference to the netherworld (hell)hell and committed them to One early ms chains of darknesspits of darkness, held for judgment;
5and did not spare the ancient world, but protected Noah, a Or heraldpreacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;
6and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example One early ms to those who were going to live ungodly livesof what is coming for the ungodly;
7and if He rescued righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the perverted conduct of Or disgracefulunscrupulous people
8(for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds),
9then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from Or temptation; one early ms trials (temptations)a trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment,
10and especially those who Lit go afterindulge the flesh in its corrupt passion, and despise Lit lordshipauthority.
Or Audacious Reckless, self-centered, they speak abusively of angelic Lit gloriesmajesties without trembling,
11whereas angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a demeaning judgment against them before the Lord.
12But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, using abusive speech where they have no knowledge, will in Lit their destruction alsothe destruction of those creatures also be destroyed,
13suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their One early ms love feastsdeceptions as they feast with you,
14having eyes full of adultery Lit and unceasing from sinthat never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having hearts trained in greed, accursed children;
15abandoning the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the Or wagesreward of unrighteousness;
16but he received a rebuke for his own offense, for a mute donkey, speaking with a human voice, restrained the insanity of the prophet.
17These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the Lit blackness of darknessblack darkness has been reserved.
18For, while speaking out arrogant words of no value they entice by fleshly desires, by indecent behavior, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error,
19promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what anyone is overcome, by this he is enslaved.
20For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
21For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them.
22Lit The thing of the true proverb has happened to themIt has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.”