Printed from http://tektonics.org/2pt1.php
Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
Arminian view: This does not say how we receive our faith. It does not mean that it comes from God, so it could be our own reaction.
Calvinist view: The Greek for "obtained" implies that this is something that comes to a person apart from their own effort and by grace alone.
Though it is not, in our view, the defining point, we may note that the word behind "obtained" is a rare one in the NT. Here are the other uses:
Luke 1:9 According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.
John 19:24 They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.
Acts 1:17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.
We may point out first that, of course, the reference to the casting of lots does not mean one is saved by chance. The result of such casting was perceived to be in God's hands. Now, that said, what of the two views? Of relevance here again is the meaning of "grace" and "faith" in the client-patron relationship (see link below). In this context "faith" would never have been understood as the Calvinist view argues for or against -- it isn't an assent to a truth at all, but refers rather to loyalty, commitment, trust, or fidelity.
Both views above therefore misapprehend the nature of 2 Peter 1:1 from the beginning, but there is more. "Faith" was something that was had not only by the client (us), but by the patron as well (deSilva, Honor, Patronage, Kinship, and Purity, 115). There are therefore several possible meanings here (including that "faith" is meant here in the objective sense of a set of doctrines, i.e., "the Christian faith").
We suggest that in light of the client-patron template, those who "have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour" most likely refers to those who have obtained God's trust and fidelity, through the "righteousness" -- the word refers to equity of character or action -- of God, and through Christ. In that template it would make little sense to speak of us "obtaining" our own loyalty to, or trust of, God, and seeing this as something obtained through God's righteousness.