- ¶ BUT there were false prophets also among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord who has redeemed them, and thus bringing upon themselves swift destruction.
- Many will follow their pernicious ways, by reason of whom evil will be spoken of the way of truth.
- ¶ And through covetousness they will exploit you with feigned words, whose judgment from the very beginning has not ceased and their damnation is always active.
- God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness to be reserved for tormenting judgment;
- And he did not spare the old world, but saved Noah the preacher of righteousness, with his family, eight in all, when he brought the flood upon the wicked people,
- And set afire the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and condemned them with an upheaval, making them an example to those who hereafter should live ungodly lives;
- ¶ And delivered righteous Lot, mortified by the filthy conduct of the lawless;
- For while that pious man dwelt among them, in seeing and hearing their unlawful deeds, his righteous soul was vexed from day to day.
- The Lord knows how to deliver from distress those who revere him, and he will reserve the wicked to be punished at the judgment day.
- ¶ And especially will he punish those who follow after filthy lusts of the flesh and have no respect for authority.
Bold and self-willed are they who do not tremble when they blaspheme against the glory;
- Whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring upon themselves the condemnation of blasphemy.
- But these men, as natural brute beasts, made for slaughter and destruction, speak evil of the things which they do not understand;
and shall utterly perish in their own corruption,
- And shall receive the reward of iniquity as they consider it a delightful thing to revel in the daytime.
Spots and blemishes have they, and sport themselves with their own pleasures as they feast in idleness,
- And have eyes full of adultery and of sin that does not cease;
beguiling, unstable souls are they, whose hearts are well versed in covetousness;
accursed sons are they,
- Who have forsaken the right path and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
- But who was rebuked for his iniquity;
a dumb ass, speaking with man’s voice, halted the folly of the prophet.
- These men are springs without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest;
the mist of darkness is reserved for them forever.
- For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the sensual lusts of the flesh;
but there are those who flee at a word of warning from them who live in error.
- They, while they promise liberty, themselves are the slaves of corruption;
for a man is overcome by whatever it is that enslaves him.
- For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled by these very things and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
- Verily it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment that was delivered to them.
- It will come to pass with them according to the true proverb, The dog returns to his own vomit, and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.