New Defender's Study Bible Notes
3:5 willingly are ignorant. It is remarkable that such a universally dominating theory of origins, meaning, and destiny could be based on absolutely no genuine evidence at all! There is no scientific or historical evidence that any significant evolutionary changes have ever taken place, and the most basic laws of science (the laws of probability and thermodynamics) prove that genuine macro-evolution could not happen at all. As Peter prophesied, this belief would be based on “wilful ignorance.” They are “without excuse” (Romans 1:20).
3:5 heavens were of old. Evolutionists, whether they are atheistic, pantheistic, deistic, or theistic evolutionists, willingly ignore God’s testimony that the heavens and the earth did not evolve by continuing natural processes but were called into existence by God’s omnipotent Word, fully complete and functioning from the beginning. See Genesis 1:1-2:3; Exodus 20:8-11; Psalm 33:6-9; Hebrews 4:3,10; 11:3; and many other Scriptures. The only reason God took as long as six natural days to finish the whole creation was to serve as a pattern for man’s six-day work week (Exodus 20:8-11). The various theories of cosmic evolution, stellar evolution and planetary evolution are all unproven and internally destructive, as are the various theories of chemical evolution, organic evolution, human evolution and cultural evolution. There are now thousands of fully qualified scientists, some from every field of science, who have studied the scientific evidence pro and con, and who have come to the conviction that the Biblical record of earth history is precisely correct and that evolutionary theory is totally false.
3:5 in the water. In the first stage of creation, after the second day, the primeval earth material was surrounded by vast “waters above the firmament” and suspended in other “waters under the firmament” (Genesis 1:7). The waters beneath the “firmament” (the “expanse” of the troposphere) later were either formed into seas or confined in a “great deep” beneath the earth’s crust. This regime apparently continued until the time of the great Flood when they all came together again. Until then the earth was “standing” (Greek sunistemi—that is, being “sustained”) in and by the waters. The earth is, in fact, uniquely the “water planet.”
3:6 overflowed. The antediluvian world (Greek kosmos, meaning “ordered system”) was “overflowed” (Greek katakluzo, a word used only here, but obviously related to kataklusmos, which was the Noahic cataclysm) with the primeval waters, both above and below the firmament (“the fountains of the deep” and “the windows of heaven”—see notes on Genesis 7) and perished (not annihilated but utterly devastated and transformed).
3:6 perished. The “perishing” of the “world that then was” is especially evidenced by the vast beds of fossils of plants and animals that have been preserved in the sedimentary rocks of the earth’s crust. These fossil beds have been misinterpreted by evolutionary scientists as a record of the evolution of life over many ages (despite the ubiquitous absence of any true transitional forms in these billions of fossils). What they really represent is the cataclysmic destruction of life in one age, at the time of the great Flood. Both sedimentary rocks and unhardened sediments have mostly been deposited under water, and they now cover most of the earth’s land surface, as well as ocean bottom surface. Furthermore, flood traditions somewhat similar to the Flood record in Genesis have been found among almost all nations and tribes of the earth. The genuine facts of science and history thoroughly support the Biblical account of the flood, while only willful ignorance can warrant the evolutionary interpretation of these evidences, and Peter said it would be so in the last days! Most important of all, of course, is the divinely inspired record in the Bible itself (Genesis 6–9), confirmed by Christ (Luke 17:26,27; Matthew 24:37-39), Peter and others that the Flood indeed was a worldwide cataclysm. That being the case, the fossil record (which is the main hope of the evolutionist) is mostly a record of the Flood, not of evolution.
3:7 which are now. The heavens and the earth which “were of old” (II Peter 3:5) were destroyed by water. “The heavens and earth which are now” will be destroyed by fire (II Peter 3:10). Finally “new heavens and a new earth” (II Peter 3:13) will last forever. In the interim of the present cosmos, processes indeed are under the domain of conservation, or even uniformity (note Genesis 8:22).
3:8 thousand years. This verse has been widely misinterpreted as supporting the day/age theory of creation in Genesis 1. In context, however, it has nothing to do with creation week, but rather with the last-days conflict between evolutionary uniformitarianism and Biblical-creationist catastrophism (II Peter 3:3-6). In effect, Peter is not saying that one day means a thousand years but rather than “one day is with the Lord like a thousand years.” That is, God’s judgment on a wicked world will do as much geological work in one day as could be accomplished by uniform natural processes in a thousand years. It is even intriguing (though probably meaningless) to note that two billion years (which is about the current geological estimate for the time required to deposit the earth’s sedimentary rocks, would correspond roughly to six thousand years of Biblical history (during which the earth’s sediments have actually been laid down, most of them at the time of the Flood) if those years each represented 365,000 years (at one thousand years per day).