New Defender's Study Bible Notes
2:18 great swelling words. “Vanity” here means “emptiness.” False teachers have the remarkable ability of clothing vapid thought in pseudo-intellectual verbiage.
2:18 clean escaped. “Clean escaped” should better read “just escaping.” The picture here is of people who have been given some information about God and His salvation and are interested in learning more, but they have not yet accepted Christ as Savior.
2:18 live in error. They have been associating with a crowd of people who literally “order their whole lives” around error—that is, willingly rejecting God and wanting nothing to do with living under His domain.