A Church Member's Question About the Use of the Word "Shortly" in the Bible
“Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me.” 2 Peter 1:13-14
The most likely interpretation of this passage is that Jesus had revealed to Peter that…
A. Peter was about to die
B. Peter’s home was about to be destroyed
C. Peter would live for many more years
D. Peter is still alive today
The majority of people are most likely to choose option “A,” and least likely to choose “D.” That being the case, consider another passage in which Jesus revealed something to an apostle which was to shortly take place:
"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must shortly take place.” Revelation 1:1
So here we have Jesus revealing two events to two different apostles, and each event is to shortly take place. In the case of Peter, if we were to say that event would take place at least two thousand years later, we would be laughed at. And yet, many laugh at the suggestion that the events of Revelation did indeed take place shortly after it was written.
Can we have it both ways?
If we don’t believe that Peter is still living today, why are we looking for the events of Revelation to be fulfilled today, instead of shortly after the book was written?