(2 Pet. 2:4) What is Tartarus?

CLAIM: What is Tartarus mentioned here?

RESPONSE: The Greek word for hell here is tartaroō, which is a unique usage in the NT. Blum records, “Tartarus, thought of by the Greeks as a subterranean place lower than Hades where divine punishment was meted out, was so regarded in Jewish apocalyptic as well.”[1] This was the place that gods would be judged, which is referred to in Greek mythology.[2] Of course, Peter isn’t using this term to affirm Pagan mythology. Instead, he is contextually using their term to make his point. This was an appropriate term to describe a place where angels will be judged in hell.

[1] BAG, p. 813. Cited in Blum, E. A. (1981). 2 Peter. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Volume 12: Hebrews through Revelation (F. E. Gaebelein, Ed.) (278). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[2] Lucas, R. C., & Green, C. (1995). The message of 2 Peter & Jude: The promise of His coming. The Bible Speaks Today (96). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.