But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false
teachers among you. They will surreptitiously introduce destructive heretical
teachings and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way they will bring on themselves swift destruction.
Many will follow their
indecent lifestyles, and because of these false teachers the way of the truth
will be spoken against.
In their greed they will take advantage of you with invented words. Their judgment announced long ago will not lie idle; their
destruction will not sleep. 4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them into
Tartarus, chained up in complete darkness to be kept until the judgment; 5 and if
He did not spare the ancient world but protected Noah, a proclaimer of
uprightness, as the eighth with seven others, when He brought a flood on the
6 and if by reducing the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to
ashes He condemned them to destruction, making them an example of what is coming to the godless;
7 and if He rescued upright
Lot, who was anguished over the debauched lives of the wicked — 8 for
that upright man living among them was tortured in himself day after day
by their lawless activities he saw and heard — 9 since these things are so, then the Lord knows
how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous for
punishment on the day of judgment,
10 especially those who indulge the corrupt desires of the flesh and show contempt for authority. Brazen and arrogant, they
are not afraid to speak evil of angelic beings. 11 But even angels, who are
stronger and more powerful, do not bring an accusatory judgment
against them before the Lord.
12 But these men, like irrational animals born as creatures of instinct to be
captured and killed, slander ones they do not understand, and they will like
animals be destroyed,
13 suffering harm as the wages of doing harm. They
think it is a pleasure to revel in broad daylight, and are stains and blemishes,
reveling in their deceit while they feast together with you.
14 Their eyes are
full of adultery and never stop sinning; they entice unstable persons. They
have trained their hearts to be greedy, these cursed children.
15 They have left the right
way and have gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who
loved the wages of wrongdoing.
16 But he was rebuked for his own sin. A donkey, which cannot talk, spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.
17 These men are springs without water and mists driven along by a storm, and the deepest darkness has been reserved for them.
18 For by speaking high-sounding nonsense they entice, by fleshly passions and debauchery,
people who are barely escaping from those who live in error.
19 They promise
these people liberty, but they themselves are slaves of depravity, for people are
slaves of whatever masters them.
20 For if, after they have escaped the
contamination of the world by the knowledge of our lord and savior Jesus
Messiah, they are again entangled in it and overcome, then their last state is
worse for them than their first. 21 For it would be better for them not to have
known the right way than, having known it, to turn back from the
holy command delivered to them. 22 This true proverb describes them: “A
dog returns to its own vomit, and a sow, after washing, returns to
rolling in the mud.”
The Greek word is plastos, from which we get “plastic.” These are artificial and thus
deceptive words. Many churchgoers are victims of a massive “group-think.”
It is quite mistaken to challenge all translations and common sense by trying to avoid the word “angels” here. In NT Greek aggelos means non-humans 98% of the time, and a very occasional exception, to mean a human messenger, is made very clear. The reference here is obviously to angels. The allusion is of course to the extraordinary wickedness described in Gen. 6, a cohabitation between evil angels and some human females, producing giants.