2 Peter is pseudonymous. That's not in question. Whoever wrote it, it wasn't Peter. The fingerprints of forgery and/or fiction are all over it.
2 Peter was admitted to the canon with difficulty. The problem was recognized long ago, but conveniently sidelined and ultimately ignored. The 2008 edition of the evangelical NIV Study Bible, no friend of biblical criticism, notes that "it was not ascribed to Peter until Origen's time (185-253), and he seems to reflect some doubt concerning it. Eusebius (265-340) placed it among the questioned books, though he admits that most accept it as from Peter."
2 Peter claims to be written by Peter. The writer explicitly says so: 1 From Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ. And a few verses later he claims to have been tweeting at the Transfiguration: 16 We didn’t repeat crafty myths when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Quite the contrary, we witnessed his majesty with our own eyes. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when a voice came to him from the magnificent glory, saying, “This is my dearly loved Son, with whom I am well-pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice from heaven while we were with him on the holy mountain.
2 Peter is still claimed for Peter by many commentators and 'authorities'. Evangelical sources generally nod toward the difficulties, and then airbrush them away with comforting coos of reassurance. No dear reader, worry not your silly little head about such things for we can indeed explain it away at a stretch, given a large enough rubber band. Thus the NIV Study Bible, the awful NLT Study Bible, the Orthodox Study Bible... In fact 2 Peter makes a great litmus test when you're thinking of acquiring a Study Bible.
2 Peter as a creative piece of canonical fiction is modern construct. If I understand Tim's position, this is his view. Yes, 2 Peter is fictive, but that's okay. All we need to do is grasp the subtleties of genre and the problem disappears. Tim isn't alone, of course, in taking this position.
Many scholars believe the letter was written some years after Peter's death, by someone who wrote in his name. This was an accepted practice in ancient times. The references to Peter... would have been understood by the original readers as literary devices used in this type of writing. (Augsburg Fortress Lutheran Study Bible.)Convinced? Not really. Who exactly were "the original readers"? In a largely pre-literate society I'd suggest the best term would be "original hearers", and that by and large they were sucked right in. It's a tad easier to buy the genre defence with Jonah, for example, and even the apocalypticism of Daniel. Fair enough. But the Epistles?
If the people who forged the New Testament letters of, say, Peter and Paul had "no intention to decieve" and did "not in fact" deceive anyone, we again are left with the problem of why everyone (for many, many centuries) was in fact deceived. Bart Ehrman, Forged, p.126.And where is the evidence that the early church indeed regarded 2 Peter as a trendy piece of inspired fiction? Such did exist - the much loved Shepherd of Hermas for example, and the marvelously inventive Acts of Paul (and Thecla). But did either make the canonical cut? And was it really "an accepted practice in ancient times"?
2 Peter is a forgery, and forgeries were condemned in the ancient world. Bart Ehrman devotes a full chapter in his book Forged to all the various excuses that have been hauled out to justify or explain away pseudonymous writings. One of the slickest is called, with an appropriate nod to academic jargon, "reactualizing the tradition", the brainchild of David Meade. Ehrman's response is well worth reading in full. Bald claims like those in the AF Lutheran Study Bible are quickly put to the sword; there is little or no evidence to back up such sweeping assertions.
They state it as a fact. And why do they think it's a fact? For most New Testament scholars it is thought to be a fact because, well, so many New Testament scholars have said so! But ask someone who makes this claim what her ancient source of information is or what ancient philosopher actually states that this was a common practice. More often than not you'll be met with a blank stare. Bart Ehrman, Forged, p.130.There is another problem here too. If 2 Peter is pseudonymous and fictive, but it says what we need it to say, then it's all hunky dory. If the Acts of Paul and Thecla is pseudonymous and fictive, but it says things we don't like (perhaps a strong female character portrayed in the strapping Thecla), then it's another matter entirely.
There's a useful summary in Ehrman's The New Testament: An Historical Introduction. Forgery was commonplace in the ancient world, and it did have it's legitimate place as a classroom exercise in rhetorics. There were lots of attempts to lard up the canon with such documents (3 Corinthians anyone?) Some, like 2 Peter, got through anyway. Despite the pious finessing of the apologists, forgery was almost universally condemned at the time. And why is it that those scholars who would sooner wash their mouths out with soap and water than talk about forgeries in the New Testament, usually have no such compunction when it comes to so labelling documents outside the New Testament.
Frankly, even with truckloads of both sophistication and sophistry, it's a mess.