speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. (RSV)
Cait: Peter tells us that some things in Paul’s letters are hard to understand. Sola scriptura requires the notion of “perspicuity,” that the Scriptures are sufficiently clear on their own and can be reliably understood without an infallible teaching authority. Peter gives us reason to question that assumption.
Evan: Perspicuity does not say that everything in Scripture is clear or easy to understand, but only that those things which are essential or necessary for salvation are sufficiently clear. Peter must have in mind here some non-essential issues.
Cait: Peter says that people are twisting these hard to understand teachings to their own destruction. These must therefore be essential issues. You cannot twist a non-essential to your own destruction. That’s what makes them non-essential. If Peter had in mind something like style of worship music or the use of head coverings, it would be a bit overly dramatic to use the word “destruction.” So we must conclude that he’s talking about issues essential to salvation, and that some of Paul’s core teachings on salvation are therefore not sufficiently clear.