- In 2 Peter 3, Peter uses apocalyptic language to describe Jerusalem's destruction. The time statements stick the event in that 1st century generation to whom Jesus and Peter spoke. The elements is not the elemental chemistry compounds. The Greek word for elements is "stoicheion" which means elementary principles as used to refer to the teaching of the jewish law. This is what was melting away and not the physical earth.
any first thing, from which the others belonging to some series or composite whole take their rise, an element, first principal the letters of the alphabet as the elements of speech, not however the written characters, but the spoken sounds the elements from which all things have come, the material causes of the universe the heavenly bodies, either as parts of the heavens or (as others think) because in them the elements of man, life and destiny were supposed to reside theelements, rudiments, primary and fundamental principles of any art, science, or discipline i.e. of mathematics, Euclid's geometry
RUDIMENTS roo'-di-ments (stoicheia, plural of stoicheion ( Galatians 4:3,9 ; Colossians 2:8,20 ; Hebrews 5:12 ; 2Peter 3:10,12 ))
- Paul, too, speaks of the elements (principles, rudiments) of the Old Covenant world as passing and coming to end and being distinct from the New Covenant world.
1. Galatians 4:3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES of the world. ESV
2. Galatians 4:9 But NOW that YOU have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can YOU turn back again to the weak and worthless ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES of the world, whose slaves YOU want to be once more? ESV
3. Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes YOU captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the ELEMENTAL spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. ESV
4. Colossians 2:20 If with Christ YOU died to the ELEMENTAL spirits of the world, why, as if YOU were still alive in the world, do YOU submit to regulations ESV
5. Hebrews 5:12 For though by this time YOU ought to be teachers, YOU have need again for someone to teach YOU the ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES of the oracles of God, and YOU have come to need milk and not solid food. NASB
Hebrews 5.12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, ESV
6. Hebrews 6:1 Therefore let us leave the ELEMENTARY doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, ESV
7. 2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the ELEMENTS will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. NASB
2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. ESV
8. 2 Peter 3:12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the ELEMENTS will melt with intense heat! NASB
2 Peter 3:12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! ESV