In this article the apocalyptic expression 'the day of the Lord' in 2 Peter
is understood in the light of the first-century Mediterranean concept of time. Unlike modern Western societies, Mediterranean peasant societies
had the present as first-order temporary preference. Secondary preference is past, and the future comes as third choice. According to a social-scientific model of Mediterranean time, the present and past can
be understood as experienced time, as well as cyclical and processual time. The future is viewed as imaginary time. These insights are especially crucial for understanding the day of the Lord in 2 Peter within the
context of the delay of the parousia, which is of primary concern to the author of 2 Peter. The author advocates the shifting of the parousia from the present to the far-off future of an imaginary time of God's control.
As a result, his ethics for the present was still strongly influenced by the day of the Lord. In contrast, the author's opponents' untidy ethics reflected their rejection of the relevancy of the future parousia for
their present lives.
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