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Old and New Testament.
2 Peter 1:19 So we
attention as to a
shining in a
dawns and the
arises in your
Amplified: And we have the prophetic word [made] firmer still.
You will do well to pay close attention to it as to a lamp shining in
a dismal (squalid and dark) place, until the day breaks through [the
gloom] and the Morning Star rises ( comes into being) in your
Bible - Lockman)
DRB: And we have the more firm prophetical word:
whereunto you do well to attend, as to a light that shineth in a dark
place, until the day dawn and the day star arise in your hearts.
ESV: And we have something more sure, the prophetic
word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp
shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star
rises in your hearts, (ESV)
ISV: Thus we regard the message of the prophets as confirmed
beyond doubt, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a
lamp that is shining in a gloomy place, until the day dawns and the
morning star rises in your hearts.
KJV: We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well
that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until
the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
NLT: Because of that, we have even greater confidence in the message
proclaimed by the prophets. Pay close attention to what they wrote,
for their words are like a light shining in a dark place--until the
day Christ appears and his brilliant light shines in your hearts.
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: The word of prophecy was
fulfilled in our hearing! You should give that word your closest
attention, for it shines like a lamp amidst all the dirt and darkness
of the world, until the day dawns, and the morning star rises in your
And we have the prophetic word as a surer foundation, to which you are
doing well to pay attention, as to a lamp which is shining in a
squalid place, until day dawns and a morning star arises in your
Young's Literal: And we have more firm the prophetic word, to which we do well giving
heed, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, till day may dawn, and a
morning star may arise -- in your hearts;
AND SO WE HAVE: kai echomen (1PPAI):
Related resource: Master's Seminary Journal article
2Pe 1:16-21 The Only Sure Word
(2192) (echo) means to have, hold or possess and the
present tense indicates that it is a continuous and abiding precious
possession of all believers.
The rendering of the NASB translation (as does the ISV - see
verses above) tends to suggest that
the eyewitness account confirmed the Scriptures. However the literal Greek word
order is crucial
“And we have more firm the prophetic word.”
This Greek word order supports the interpretation that Peter is
ranking Scripture over experience.
The prophetic word (Scripture) in other words is
more complete, more permanent, and more authoritative than the
experiences of anyone, even the experience of the
Transfiguration, as grand as that must have been. The Word of God is a more
reliable verification of the teachings about the Person, atonement, and
second coming of Christ than even the genuine first hand experiences of
the apostles themselves! How privileged we are today to have the full
revelation of God in His holy word. Oh, how we should seek with all
our heart to love His law and meditate on it all the day long (Ps
Remember that it is filled with God's precious and magnificent
Vincent explains the 2 possible ways to interpret this verse
explain either (a) as Revised, we have the word of prophecy made more
sure, i.e., we are better certified than before as to the prophetic word
by reason of this voice; or (b) we have the word of prophecy as a surer
confirmation of God’s truth than what we ourselves saw, i.e.,
Old-Testament testimony is more convincing than even the voice heard at
the transfiguration. The latter seems to accord better with the words
which follow" (Bolding added)
A T Robertson tends to favor Vincent's
first explanation. I would agree with Vincent rather than Robertson for
(specifically the next two verses 2Pe
1:20, 21) favors the latter.
Why? Because Peter goes on to
speak of that which makes the OT scriptures unmistakably reliable,
divine inspiration which
emphasizes the sure, trustworthy origin of the prophetic word. In short,
valid as Peter's experience was, the written Word of God is more
sure as testified to by numerous passages...
Every word of God is tested. He is a
shield to those who take refuge in Him. (Pr 30:5)
The words of the LORD are pure words;
as silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times. (Ps
The law of the LORD is perfect,
restoring the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether. (Ps
THE PROPHETIC WORD
[MADE] MORE SURE:
bebaioteron ton prophetikon logon:
(Ps 19:7-9; Isa 8:20; 41:23;41:26 Lk 16:29, 30, 31; Jn 5:39; Acts 17:11)
Note that there is no Greek verb for "made", which has
been added by the NAS translators. Literally the text reads "more
certain the prophetic word".
(prophetikos from pró =before or forth +
phemí = tell) means pertaining to a foreteller ("prophetic").
It refers to that which was uttered (and recorded) by the prophets.
from légō =
to speak intelligently source of English "logic, logical")
means something said and describes a communication whereby the mind
finds expression in words. (Click in depth study of
The phrase "prophetic word" refers not just to the OT major and minor prophets,
but to the entire OT as a whole. Of course, all of the OT was written by “prophets”
in the truest sense, since they spoke and wrote God’s Word, which was
the task of a prophet, and they looked forward, in some sense, to the
coming Messiah. In the Gospels for example we read...
beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them
(Cleopas and another follower of Jesus on the road to Emmaus) the things
concerning Himself in all the Scriptures (synonymous with the entire Old
Testament) (Lk 24:27).
Now He (Jesus
after entering through the walls into the room where the 11 disciples
were shut in) said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you
while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me
in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled."
speaking) "You (Jews) search the Scriptures, because you
think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear
witness of Me (John 5:39)
Comment: The Lord was speaking of the Old
Testament Scriptures, for there was nothing else at that time. These
Scriptures are replete with testimonies of the coming Christ. (Click all 52
NT uses of the word Scriptures)
means fixed, sure, certain (known or proven to be true) or to something
that can be relied on not to cause disappointment because it is
The idea in the Greek is
“We have the
prophetic word as a surer foundation than even the signs and wonders
which we have seen."
Peter is saying that...
the second line of evidence to give you confidence in what I have been
Bebaios has the special nuance (taken from the commercial world) of
what is legally guaranteed and is found frequently in the papyri of the
settlement of a business transaction. Paul has a parallel thought
written for our
perseverance and the
encouragement of the
Scriptures we might
hope." (Ro 15:4-note).
Morris summarizes this
section writing that...
As sure as
Peter was of what he had seen and heard, this was only his own
experience and could only be given as a personal testimony to others.
Thus, he stressed that God's written Word, available to all in the holy
Scriptures, was more sure than any personal experience he or others
might have. It is not in Peter or Paul as men, no matter how sincere or
holy they may be, that we must trust, but in Christ as revealed (not in
our experience, either) in God's written Word. (Morris,
Henry: Defenders Study Bible - Online Notes)
for an in depth analysis of the
translation/interpretation of this verse.
TO WHICH YOU DO WELL TO PAY ATTENTION: o kalos poieite
(2 PPAI) prosechontes (PAPMPN):
“You do well”
was a common way of suggesting that a person do something (i.e., “You
ought to do this”).
Peter is saying that this is the appropriate
attitude a believer should have to the prophetic word. He desires their
continued study of Scripture as the safeguard against errors of the
false teachers in chapter 2.
attention (4337) (prosecho
from pros = toward + echo = have or hold) means to hold the mind or the ear toward something and so to pay attention.
In non-biblical writings the primary meaning of prosecho
was to "have in close proximity to" especially referring to mental
processes as in the saying ‘turn one’s mind to.’
Such a person would be in a state of alert.
Prosecho was also a nautical term meaning to hold a ship in a
direction, to sail
towards. Thus Peter is saying in a sense to hold your course toward
your final destination. To keep holding your mind like a lamp in a dark
stormy night on the glimmer of the distant lighthouse which keeps the
ship on course so that it doesn't crash. Peter was warning
believers that since they would be exposed to false teachers, they must
pay careful attention to Scripture.
In today’s experience oriented society many people, including
Christians, seek to determine truth by the way God has worked in their
own lives. But for Peter the splendor of his experience of the
transfiguration faded as he spoke of the surety of the written
revelation of the prophets.
It is an amazing assessment of the validity of holy Scripture that Peter
declares it to be more dependable than a voice from heaven heard with
the natural ear.
As an aside, if you have never studied the Bible inductively or you are
uncertain of the meaning of inductive study, you might take a moment and
read the overview tutorial entitled
Inductive Bible Study.
Peter was saying you will do well
if you make it a habit (present
tense = lifestyle)
to keep before your mind the living and active Word of Truth which in
the context of this letter would expose the error of false teachers.
AS TO A LAMP SHINING:
os luchno phainonti
Related Resource: The
following passages are some great cross references. Hold your pointer over each
or click to read in context. They will make you want to bless the LORD
from the depths of your soul -
Isa 9:2; 60:1,2; Mt 4:16; Lk 1:78,79; Jn 1:7,8;9 5:35; 8:12; Ep 5:7,8
to a portable
lamp fed with oil and not to a candle. The lamp was usually placed on a stand
in the house. A number of the uses of luchnos (as in the present
passage) are figurative or metaphorical (see below).
(from Homer down); “a lamp, candle”,
that is placed on a stand or candlestick (Latin candelabrum): Mt
5:15; Mark 4:21; Lk 11:36; Lk 12:35; Rev 22:5; phos luchnon,
Rev 18:23; opposed to phos luchiou Rev 22:5; aptein
luchnou (Lk 8:16; 11:33; 15:8).
To a “lamp” are likened —
(1) the eye, which shows the
body which way to move and turn, Mt 6:22; Lk 11:34
(2) the prophecies of the OT,
inasmuch as they afforded at least some knowledge relative to the
glorious return of Jesus from heaven down even to the time when by the
Holy Spirit that same light, like the day and the daystar, shone upon
the hearts of men, the light by which the prophets themselves had been
enlightened and which was necessary to the full perception of the true
meaning of their prophecies, 2Pe 1:19;
(3) to the brightness of a lamp
that cheers the beholders a teacher is compared, whom even those
rejoiced in who were unwilling to comply with his demands, John 5:35;
(4) Christ, who will hereafter
illumine his followers, the citizens of the heavenly kingdom, with his
own glory, Revelation 21:23.
is a lamp, originally an open bowl, then a closed lamp in various forms,
usually put on a stand to give better light, the luchnía being the
stand. Both words are common in the
(cf. the seven-branched
candelabra, a luchnía with seven luchnoi). The lamp is a common
metaphor in the OT. It denotes length of life (2Sa 21:17), the source of
divine help (Job 29:3), and the law (Ps 119:105). The lamp of the
wicked will be put out (Job 18:6).
Luchnos - 27x in the LXX -
Ex 25:37; 27:20; 30:7f; 37:20, 23; 39:37; 40:4, 25; Lev 24:2, 4; Num
4:9; 8:2f; 1 Sam 3:3; 2 Sam 21:17; 22:29; 1 Kgs 7:49; 2 Kgs 8:19; 1 Chr
28:15; 2 Chr 4:20f; 13:11; 21:7; 29:7; Job 18:6; 21:17; 29:3; Ps 18:28;
119:105; 132:17; Pr 6:23; 31:18; Jer 25:10; Dan 5:1; Zeph 1:12; Zech 4:2.
Here are two figurative uses of luchnos...
Thy word is a lamp (luchnos) to my feet,
and a light to my path. (Ps 119:105-note)
Spurgeon: Thy word is a lamp
unto my feet. We are walkers through the city of this world, and we are
often called to go out into its darkness; let us never venture there
without the light giving word, lest we slip with our feet. Each man
should use the word of God personally, practically, and habitually, that
he may see his way and see what lies in it. When darkness settles down
upon all around me, the word of the Lord, like a flaming torch, reveals
my way. Having no fixed lamps in eastern towns, in old time each
passenger carried a lantern with him that he might not fall into the
open sewer, or stumble over the heaps of ordure which defiled the road.
This is a true picture of our path through this dark world: we should
not know the way, or how to walk in it, if Scripture, like a blazing
flambeau, did not reveal it. One of the most practical benefits of Holy
Writ is guidance in the acts of daily life: it is not sent to astound us
with its brilliance, but to guide us by its instruction. It is true the
head needs illumination, but even more the feet need direction, else
head and feet may both fall into a ditch. Happy is the man who
personally appropriates God's word, and practically uses it as his
comfort and counselor, -- a lamp to his own feet.
For the commandment is a lamp
the teaching is light; and reproofs for discipline are the way of life
Luchnos - 14x in 14v in the
NT in the
NAS - lamp(13), lamps(1).
nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on
the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
In context the light of the lamp is compared to the light of
one's life, which for believers is to shine forth so that the
spiritually dark world can see the light of the world in us the (only)
hope for (future) glory.
Matthew 6:22-note "The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear,
your whole body will be full of light.
Clearly figurative (metaphorical) use comparing to the eye which admits
light and which enables understanding (as the brain processes that which
the eye lets in).
Mark 4:21 And He was saying to them, "A lamp is not brought to
be put under a basket, is it, or under a bed? Is it not brought to be
put on the lampstand?
Luke 8:16 "Now no one after lighting a lamp covers it over with
a container, or puts it under a bed; but he puts it on a lampstand, so
that those who come in may see the light.
Luke 11:33 "No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a
cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter
may see the light. 34 "The eye is the lamp of your body; when
your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is
bad, your body also is full of darkness...36 "If therefore your whole
body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly
illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays."
Luke 12:35 Be
The "Captain's" [Jesus'] Command to make it your habitual practice to
be...) dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit.
Figurative use of lamps - The idea is that the servant of Christ
is to be about his Master’s business until He returns. Be active. Be
diligent. Be filled with the Spirit. Live in constant expectancy of our
Bridegroom's return, our Lord's
Second Coming which is
Be watchful about the
future. Although you are in the present, determine to keep living in
"the future tense" (so to speak), for if you are it will be more
difficult for the
to ensnare you, dear child of the
"Your" is placed near the beginning of the sentence for emphasis
= emphasize our personal responsibility to choose to be ready! Whatever
others do, YOU stay dressed and keep your lamps lit!
interesting parallel passages - Ex 27:20, 21; Lev 24:2; Ps 18:28
Be ready at all times to leave
the world and enter into rest, when your Lord shall call you. Let every
obstacle be out of the way; let every earthly care be removed, and be
prepared to follow him into his rest. Servants were expected to be ready
for the coming of their lord. If in the night, they were expected to
keep their lights trimmed and burning.
Jewish weddings were held at night (Ed: Thus the need for
lamps), and a bridegroom’s servants would have to wait for their master
to come home with his bride. The new husband would certainly not want to
be kept waiting at the door with his bride! But the servants had to be
sure they were ready to go to work, with their robes tucked under their
girdles so they were free to move (see 1Pe 1:13, 14, 15-note).
But the remarkable thing in this story is that the master serves the
servants! In Jewish weddings, the bride was treated like a queen and the
groom like a king; so you would not expect the “king” to minister to his
staff. Our King will minister to His faithful servants when He greets us
at His return, and He will reward us for our faithfulness.
W: Bible Exposition Commentary - New Testament. 1989. Victor
Luke 15:8 "Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one
coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search
carefully until she finds it?
John 5:35 "He was the lamp that was burning and was shining and
you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.
Metaphorical description of John the Baptist! Application -
Are you a "lamp" (living forth and
even speaking forth the Word of Truth and Life) in the spiritual
darkness of this world whether that is your home, your school, your
business, etc? Let your light shine like John the Baptist!
2Pe 1:19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you
do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place,
until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.
The prophetic word (prophecy is not just that which is spoken before but
also that which is spoken forth - so here the reference is not just to
OT prophecies of things to come but by extension refers to all of the
recorded "spoken" forth words of God) is able to give spiritual
understanding to those whose mind is opened by the Spirit.
and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the
voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer;
for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the
nations were deceived by your sorcery.
And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for
the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.
And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of
the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord
God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.
(5316) (phaino) means to illuminate, give light, shine forth as a
present tense (continuous action) which pictures the OT prophetic
"lamp" as still shedding its light. The lamp that is shining
brightly is the Old Testament, which in the NT is usually indicated by
the term "Scriptures
[word study]". (Click all 52
uses of the term "Scriptures "used as a synonym of a part or all of the
IN A DARK PLACE: en auchmero topo:
Related Resource: Torrey's topic "Spiritual
(topos) means an area of any size (space, place, room), a
defined place, the present use being in a geographical or topographical
sense, such as a place, a part of a country or even the entire world. Peter
combines this word with the adjective below to describe the murky
darkness of the fallen world which obscures the truth until the lamp of
divine revelation shines forth.
from auchmós = drought
produced by excessive heat, dust as in a place where water is evaporated
by drought) means dry, without rain parched. The idea is obscure or
murky (murky = characterized by a heavy dimness or obscurity caused by
or like that caused by overhanging fog or smoke), dismal, dark, squalid
(squalid = marked by filthiness and degradation from neglect or poverty
and implies sordidness as well as baseness and dirtiness).
Auchmeros pertains to being
not only dark, but also dirty and miserable
Auchmeros is used only here
in the NT and is not found in the
Auchmeros does not imply
absolute darkness, but that which is dingy, dirty, dusty and filthy as a result of
neglect. Dirty things are things devoid of brightness. The light of the
(prophetic) lamp exposes the squalid state of the spiritually dark world.
The New Testament writers records
the light shines in the
darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend (or overcome) it.
"And this is the judgment, that the
light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather
than the light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the
light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds
may be manifested as having been wrought in God." (John 3:19, 20, 21)
(Jesus instructed Paul to take the
Word of the Gospel to the Gentiles) "to open their eyes so that they may
turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to
God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an
inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me." (Acts
(Paul explained to the Colossians
that the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Living Word) "delivered us from the
domain (authority and power) of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His
beloved Son," (Colossians 1:13-note)
Peter does not specifically
identify the "dark
commentators have advanced several interpretations. It seems most
natural however to view this dark place
as the world as it presently exists.
The NT frequently refers to the
present darkness of this world as shown in these passages...
(Paul explains that) our struggle is
not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers,
against the world forces of this darkness, against the
spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Eph
(Paul explains to the saints at
Thessalonica that) "you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the
day should overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and
sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness" (1Th
(John explains that) On the other
hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in
you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is
already shining. (1Jn 2:8)
Peter is almost certainly using "dark
as a metaphor to describe this corrupt world system. However "advanced"
our secular civilization becomes, this world in its willful rebellion to
God (Whose essence is Light), lies in the darkness of sin, ignorance,
despair and death which keeps people from seeing God's truth until His
light shines into their hearts.
Vincent on a dark place...
A peculiar expression. Lit., a dry
place. Only here in New Testament. Rev. gives squalid, in margin.
Aristotle opposes it to bright or glistering. It is a subtle association
of the idea of darkness with squalor, dryness, and general neglect.
adds that the Greek word auchmeros...
picture of a dank cellar or a dismal swamp. Human history began in a
lovely Garden, but that Garden today is a murky swamp. What you see when
you look at this world system is an indication of the spiritual
condition of your heart. We still see beauty in God’s creation, but we
see no beauty in what mankind is doing with God’s creation. Peter did
not see this world as a Garden of Eden, nor should we."
UNTIL THE DAY DAWNS: eos ou hemera diaugase (3SAAS):
(1306) (diaugazo from diá =
through + augázo = shine)
means literally to shine through. This word was used to describe daylight
breaking through the darkness of night, picturing the first gleams of
the sun piercing the darkness.
The day Peter is referring to here
is when Christ returns in glory to establish His 1000 Messianic Kingdom.
(See notes on
The Millennium 1,
The Millennium 2,
The Millennium 3)
Vincent adds that
"the verb (diaugazo) is compounded
of dia = through, and auge = sunlight, thus carrying the
picture of light breaking through the gloom."
Diligent use of the prophetic lamp will be needed only
until the day dawns. The word "until" indicates that we are now in the
period of waiting, at the end of which prophecy upon its fulfillment
will pass away as taught by Paul (1Cor 13:8-note).
In other words, the truths in the Bible will continue to point to the
source of all truth, Christ, until He returns in glory (At His Second
Coming recorded in Revelation 19:13-note John records that Christ is
"clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word
AND THE MORNING STAR ARISES
N YOUR HEARTS: kai phosphoros
anateile (3SAAS) en tais kardiais humon:
Star (KJV = Day-star) (5459) (phosphoros from phos
= light + phero = to bring; English = phosphorus = a substance
that glows in the dark) means light
bringing, light bearer or bringer or bringing morning light.
Vulgate translates "phosphoros" with the word "Lucifer".
The day-star or morning-star
was the name that Greeks assigned to the planet Venus which was the
brightest object in the sky apart from the sun and moon and appeared
sometimes as the evening star and sometimes as the morning star. In the
desert the morning star is so brilliant that it appears as though the
sun were about to rise.
Vine adds that
is used of the morning star, as
the light–bringer, 2 Pet. 1:19, where it indicates the arising of the
light of Christ as the Personal fulfilment, in the hearts of believers,
of the prophetic Scriptures concerning His Coming to receive them to
W E: Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament
Words. 1996. Nelson)
In the context these
images (day dawning and morning star arising)
point to the parousia or the
appearing of Jesus Christ.
Consider the following parallel
Because of the tender mercy of our
God, with which the Sunrise (KJV = Dayspring = Messiah)
from on high shall visit us, TO SHINE UPON THOSE WHO SIT IN DARKNESS AND
THE SHADOW OF DEATH, to guide our feet into the way of peace." (Lk
Comment: This was partially
fulfilled at Messiah's first coming but will be fulfilled at His return,
His light driving away the spiritual darkness of this present evil age
"I, Jesus, have sent My angel to
testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the
offspring of David, the bright morning star." (Rev
Comment: Many evangelical commentators feel
that Isaiah 14:12 is a reference to Satan. In that verse the Hebrew and
the Greek Septuagint (Hebrew = heylel =
Strong's # 1966
; LXX translates it with the Greek word heosphoros = bringer of
morn, the morning star) are translated Lucifer meaning "light
bearer" who represents the counterfeit morning star. Here in the
Revelation 22:16, Christ triumphantly proclaims that He is the true
"Morning Star". And so we see the final conquest of the counterfeit, the
serpent of old, just as was prophesied in the promise in Genesis 3:15
where Moses recorded that the Seed of the woman would crush the head of
the serpent. Hallelujah!
and then (at the end of the
the sign of the Son of Man (the sign = the glory of Christ) will appear
in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they
will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and
great glory (the fulfillment of the Shekinah glory described in
Genesis) (Mt 24:30)
(Jesus declares that to those who
overcome = those who believe as shown by 1John 5:4-5) 'I will give him
the morning star" (Revelation 2:28) (Comment: Christ will give
His Own presence to His people, cf 1Th 4:16-note, 1Th
Much as a lamp at night anticipates and is
outshined by the bright morning star, so Old Testament prophecy looks
ahead to the coming of Christ “the bright Morning Star” Who will
outshine all things.
Christians today have the light of
Christ within their hearts. At Christ's Second Coming, He will bring all
believers into a perfect day. His outward coming will bring light to all
people. On this day, the spirits of the godly will take on “an
illuminating transformation” as the light of Christ fills them.
(anatello from aná = up + téllo
= set out for a goal) means to cause to arise, spring up, be up. It was
used especially of things in natural creation, like the rising of the
sun or moon.
[word study]) is not used to refer literally to the
physical heart in the NT but describes the seat of the desires,
feelings, affections, passions, impulses. Kardia refers to
the causative source of a person’s psychological life in its various
aspects, and with special emphasis upon thoughts—‘heart, inner self,
"Heart" refers to
the the volition (your will), the mind, the desires, etc., though
the facility of the intellect may be slightly more emphasized in
Scripture. In Hebraic thought the heart is the center of intellectual
John MacArthur comments on kardia noting that...
Scripture, as well as in many languages and cultures throughout the
world, the heart is used metaphorically to represent the inner person,
the seat of motives and attitudes, the center of personality. But in
Scripture it represents much more than emotion, feelings. It also
includes the thinking process and particularly the will. In Proverbs we
are told, “As [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Pr
23:7, KJV). Jesus asked a group of scribes, “Why are you thinking
evil in your hearts?” (Mt 9:4; cf. Mk 2:8; 7:21)... The heart
is the control center of mind and will as well as emotion...The problem
that caused God to destroy the earth in the Flood was a heart problem.
“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth,
and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil
continually” (Gen. 6:5)....God has always been concerned above all
else with the inside of man, with the condition of his heart." (
MacArthur, J: Matthew 1-7 Chicago:
The second coming
of Christ will have not
only an externally transforming impact on the universe (2Pe 3:7,
8, 3:9, 10, 11, 12, 13-See notes
also an internally transforming impact (in
your hearts) on those believers who are alive
when Jesus returns, forever removing any of their remaining doubts. The
perfect, albeit limited, revelation of the Scriptures will be replaced
with the perfect and complete revelation of Jesus Christ at the second
coming (Jn 14:7, 8, 9, 10, 11; 21:25). Then the Scriptures will have been fulfilled
and believers, will be made like Christ, John recording this encouraging
we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be.
We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall
see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him
purifies himself, just as He is pure. (1Jn 3:1-note,
At that time believers will have
perfect knowledge and all prophecy will be abolished
for now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now (we) know
in part, but then (we) will know fully just as (we) also have been fully
known. (1Cor 13:14)
Hiebert has an interesting comment on the somewhat difficult to interpret
phrase "in your
hearts" writing that...
that Christ is coming again must first arise in their hearts, like the
morning star, giving assurance of coming day. Assured of His anticipated
return, they will be alert to detect the gleams of dawn breaking through
the darkness. Those who disregard the light of prophecy will not
understand the significance of these harbingers of coming day. Such a
living hope must have a transforming impact upon daily life.
2 Peter 1:20 But
first of all,
Scripture is a
Amplified: [Yet] first [you must] understand this, that no
prophecy of Scripture is [a matter] of any personal or private or
special interpretation (loosening, solving).
Bible - Lockman)
KJV: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any
NLT: Above all, you must understand that no prophecy in Scripture ever came
from the prophets themselves (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Wuest: Knowing this first, that
every prophecy of scripture is not of a particular or limited meaning.
this first knowing, that no prophecy of the Writing doth come of
BUT KNOW THIS
FIRST OF ALL: touto proton ginoskontes (PAPMPN): (2Pe 3:3 Ro 6:6
13:11 1Ti 1:9 Jas 1:3)
(proton) means first in in
time, place, order or importance. This is of primary importance (and it
is placed first in the Greek sentence for emphasis). The upshot is that what Peter is going
to say is very important! Recognition that Scripture is not
of human origin is an absolute priority!
contrast with those who spoke moved by the Holy Spirit (1:21). Literally
the Greek says "this first knowing".
(ginosko) refers to the act of acquiring by
experience rather than intuitively. The basic meaning of ginosko
indicates the taking in knowledge in regard to something or someone. The
knowledge however in ginosko goes beyond the merely
factual. By extension, ginosko frequently was used of a
special relationship between the person who knows and the object of the
knowledge. For example, in certain contexts ginosko even
referred to the intimate relationship between husband and wife and
between God and His people.
There is a process in
getting spiritual knowledge and it primarily involves obedience to the
Word of God. As I
obey the truth I have heard (choosing to deny my flesh
choosing God's way regardless of the cost), I began to "assimilate" that
truth. This principle was taught by Jesus
Who plainly stated that...
"If anyone is willing to DO His will,
he will KNOW (ginosko) of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether
I speak from Myself." (Jn 7:17)
Do you see the
link Jesus establishes between "doing" and "knowing"?
As this truth becomes an experiential part of my thinking, the product
is gnosis and the process of is ginosko.
Like Wayne Barber likes to say, most of us want the final product
"spiritual gnosis" but not many of us want to walk through the sometimes
painful process of ginosko to obtain the gnosis. If this
explanation confuses you
like it did me when I first heard this teaching, persevere and I think
you will see that this principle is Biblical.
THAT NO PROPHECY OF SCRIPTURE IS
OF ONE'S OWN INTERPRETATION:
hoti pasa propheteia graphes idias epiluseos ou ginetai; (3SPMI):
No is the
Greek word (ou) that conveys absolute negation.
in depth study of
The verb "is"
(ginomai = to cause to become become or to come into existence)
means to come into existence or to originate.
Peter's point is
that absolutely no portion of Scripture came into existence based on the
prophet's own ideas or thoughts, as was the case of false prophecies.
Peter is saying in essence what a man thinks or wants has absolutely
nothing to do with divine prophecy. When the prophets sat down to write,
they did not give their own thoughts on events or their own conclusions.
Much of the
confusion on this passage originates from the word "interpretation"
which is misleading because that word normally refers to how one
understands a passage. Peter however (as explained more below) is not
referring to the explanation of Scripture but to the origin
The NKJV has the
word "origin" in its marginal note referring to the word "interpretation"
which is retained in the translation.
Some of the
"interpretations" of this passage are ridiculous, such as the view that
right to interpret of Scripture belongs to the church and that
individuals should not study it!
interpretation by commentaries I highly respect are somewhat askew on
this particular verse. Thus J Vernon McGee (who I highly
recommend otherwise) writes that...
What Peter is saying here is that no
portion of the Scripture is to be interpreted apart from other
references to the same subject. (McGee,
J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
explanation is a true statement and a vital exercise to assure accurate
interpretation of Scripture (Scripture being the best commentary on
Scripture) but that is not the meaning of 2 Peter 1:20 as shown by the
immediate context (see below).
Ryrie Study Bible offers this explanation of 2 Peter 1:20 writing
Several meanings are possible: (1)
prophecies must be interpreted in the light of other Scriptures; (2)
prophecies are often capable of several fulfillments; (3) prophecies
must be interpreted only with God's help, since they were given only as
the prophets were moved by God and not by any impulse of man. (The
Ryrie Study Bible: New American Standard Translation: 1995. Moody
Again, while these
3 statements are true, they are not what Peter is saying in this verse
for all three focus on the idea of "interpretation". To
reiterate, Peter is not teaching us about how the Bible is to be
interpreted but how the Scriptures originated.
pró = before or forth + phemí = to tell) has the
literal meaning of speaking forth, with no connotation of prediction or
other supernatural or mystical significance. The gift of prophecy is
simply the gift of preaching, of proclaiming the Word of God.
Propheteia is a
discourse emanating from divine inspiration and declaring the purposes
of God, whether by reproving and admonishing the wicked, or comforting
the afflicted, or revealing things hidden; esp. by foretelling future
Propheteia is not used
here in the sense of prediction but in its basic and
broader meaning of speaking forth, of proclaiming a
message. Peter is referring here to ALL the OT Scriptures.
One's own (2398)
(idios) (KJV = "private") basically denotes that which belongs to an
individual, in contrast to that which belongs to another. It means
pertaining to self, private, properly one’s own.
It was the
mark of a false teacher to speak ''his own thing'' or ''from himself''.
Some religious groups have taught that
what Peter is teaching is that only certain “spiritual leaders” may interpret Scripture
(picking up on the idea of "private") and they have used
this verse as their defense. But Peter was not writing about
the interpretation of Scripture, but about the origin of Scripture
as explained in the next note below.
(epilusis from epi = up + luo
= to loose) literally means ''a
release", a loosening, an untying, as of hard knots of scripture
and denotes a solution, explanation or interpretation.
Epilusis conveys the idea of a “loosing” as if to say no
Scripture is the result of any human being privately “untying” and
“loosing” the truth. No prophecy came into being through anyone's personal
(private) disclosure. No true prophecy springs forth from the private
reasoning of the man speaking or writing. The idea is that men did not
bring forth or birth the ideas of Scripture. The writers of Scripture
did not put their own construction upon the ‘God–breathed’ words they
wrote. No prophet is a "self starter" as it were in regard to
the writing of God's Word. No one
starts a prophecy by himself.
Peter’s point is not about how to
interpret Scripture, but
rather how Scripture originated and what its source was.
prophets "untied and loosed" their own ideas. But no part
of God’s revelation was unveiled or revealed from a human source or out
of the prophet’s unaided understanding.
although a paraphrase accurately conveys the meaning of this verse in
prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophets themselves."
As an aside with
some practice and attention to the
one can often use a paraphrase like the NLT (this is my recommendation
over other popular versions like the Message as this latter is a very
loose translation at best) to help understand or interpret a specific
passage. The Amplified Bible also can also function as a virtual "mini"
commentary. However, this does take some practice and one needs to be a
Berean because sometimes the paraphrases and even the more literal
Amplified may be somewhat misleading.
In the present case, the NLT is
saying that no message of Scripture was originated and sent forth by
men’s own wisdom and will. Rather, the godly men through whom Scripture
was revealed and recorded were divinely instructed and carried along by
the Holy Spirit (in 2Pe 1:21).
argument supporting this interpretation is the
context. In the next verse (the original Greek did
not have verses) Peter begins with "for" introducing the explanation for
what he has just stated in (v20) and clearly this explanation speaks to
the origin of Holy Scripture, not to a man's interpretation of it. The
ultimate source was the Holy Spirit. End of argument.
(see related discussion on inspiration of Scripture in notes on
Morris writes that...
The meaning here is that no true
prophecy springs forth from the private reasoning of the man speaking or
writing. He may or may not understand the meaning and intent of his
writing in terms of his own current situation, but its ultimate meaning
involves far more than that. This would especially be true for Messianic
predictions (1Pe 1:10, 11, 12-note)
but also applies to "all Scripture...given by inspiration of God" (2Ti
Henry: Defenders Study Bible. World Publishing)
R. C. Sproul adds that
interpretation never meant that individuals have the right to distort
the Scriptures. With the right of private interpretation comes the sober
responsibility of accurate interpretation. Private interpretation gives
us license to interpret, not to distort.”
did not blab their inventions or their own accord or according to their
false prophets of Jeremiah's day were charged with doing precisely this
(Jer 23:16, 17, 21, 22,
25, 26, Ezek 13:3, 4, 5, 6)
Hampton Keathley III comments on this section...
No passage of Scripture tells us as
much about the how of inspiration as does this passage in 2
Peter. Though all of 2 Peter 1 does not deal with the how of
inspiration, there are four important things that it would be well to
note about this first chapter and its context.
First, there is the context and purpose of this passage. Since God has
given us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the great
and precious promises, i.e., the Word of God, Peter was writing to
challenge his readers to diligence in becoming fruitful in their
knowledge of the Savior (1:3-11). In other words, faith must not stand
still; it must grow. Further, he wanted to remind them and us that our
faith does not stand on the shifting sands of man’s cleverly devised
fables or human ideas. Rather, it is grounded in the marvelous
revelation of God in the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the
written Word, the prophetic Word of God to which we do well to pay close
2 Peter 1:12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21
In the process of setting forth this focus, Peter mentions his personal
experience of seeing the majestic glory of the transfiguration of Christ
when he heard from heaven, “This is my dear Son, in whom I am delighted”
(2Pe 1:16, 17). But He goes on to teach us something that is
tremendously important, especially in our day when so much is made
regarding personal experiences which often take precedence over
Scripture. Note that in verse 19 Peter writes, “Moreover, we possess the
prophetic word as an altogether reliable thing. You do well if you pay
attention to this…” We need to ask, “More sure than what?” More sure
than even his experience of seeing Christ’s transfiguration. Now that
which Peter, James, and John saw has become a part of the record of the
Word and provides important revelation of the person of Christ. But the
point is, our experiences, as bonafide as they may be, never take
precedence over the authoritative Word of God because it is more sure,
steadfast, and reliable. The Word is our authority and it alone must
judge our experiences and determine faith and practice.
The NIV’s translation of 2Pe 1:20 is much closer to the original Greek,
more in accord with the preceding and following context, and clearly
expresses the truth to be gleaned here. It reads, “Above all, you must
understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own
interpretation.” This simply declares that whatever the prophets wrote
or whatever we find in the Word, it was not the product of the author’s
own ideas or human opinion. In verses 16-19, the issue being discussed
is the source of the apostolic message. Was it human fable, or was it
from God? Verse 20 answers the first part of this question. It was not
from man. The second part of the question is found in the next verse.
Note the connecting and explanatory “For” of 2Pe 1:21.
Verse 21 teaches us that both God and man were involved in the
production of the Bible, but in such a way that God was not only the
ultimate source, but He both directed the writing and guaranteed the
accuracy of the product. The human authors actively spoke God’s Word and
they were more than dictation machines, but to insure the accuracy of
what was spoken, the human authors were moved and carried along by the
Holy Spirit. “Moved” is pheromenoi, a Greek passive participle meaning,
“to be carried, be borne along.” This word was used of a ship being
carried along by the wind in its sail in Acts 27:15, 17.
Catching the import of this, Ryrie writes:
Though experienced men, the sailors
could not guide it so they finally had to let the wind take the ship
wherever it blew. In the same manner as that ship was driven, directed,
or carried about by the wind, God directed and moved the human writers
He used to produce the books of the Bible. Though the wind was the
strong force that moved the ship along, the sailors were not asleep and
inactive. Similarly, the Holy Spirit was the guiding force that directed
the writers who, nevertheless, played their own active roles in writing
the Scriptures. (Basic Theology)
This verse, then, teaches us two
things regarding the “How” of inspiration: (a) The will of the human
authors never directed the writings of the Bible and (b) the Holy Spirit
as the ultimate source ensured the accuracy of what they wrote in every
The Breadth of Inspiration - 2Pe 1:3, 4 I can pray this
because his divine power has bestowed on us everything necessary for
life and godliness through the rich knowledge of the one who called us
by his own glory and excellence. 4 Through these things he has bestowed
on us his precious and most magnificent promises, so that by means of
what was promised you may become partakers of the divine nature, after
escaping the worldly corruption that is produced by evil desire.
It is clear from 2Pe 1:4 and the reference to “his precious and most
magnificent promises” that Peter has the Word of God in view in these
two verses. First, there is the declaration that God “has bestowed on us
everything necessary for life and godliness.” Second, life and godliness
come through the knowledge of God and the Lord Jesus, but such knowledge
comes through the Word, the precious promises. In essence then, this
points us to the breadth of what God’s Word covers, “everything
pertaining to life and godliness.”
While God does not reveal everything that He could reveal, many things
He has chosen to keep to Himself (Dt 29:29), the Bible does cover all
that man needs for life and godliness through its revelation of God and
of Jesus our Lord. We have everything we need, nothing is missing. (The
Word-Filled Life Bible.org)
FOR NO PROPHECY
WAS EVER MADE BY
AN ACT OF
WILL: ou gar thelemati anthropou enechthe (1API) propheteia pote:
(Lk 1:70 2Ti 3:16 1Pe 1:11 )
Deffinbaugh makes the
interesting observation that...
When you look
through the New Testament to read the final, parting words of the
apostles, you will discover that all of them turn the focus of their
readers to the Word of God, not that they have not always done so, but
that they do so especially in the light of their absence (see 2Pe 1:19,
20, 21; 2Ti 3:15, 16, 17, 4:2, 3, 4; 1Jn 2:18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24,
25, 26, 27, 28, 29). (Paul’s
Parting Words in Acts 20:1-38) - e.g. see Acts 20:17, 18,
19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26,
Acts 20:27, 28, 29, 30, 31 32
= "the Word of His grace"!)
(ou) is the Greek word which means
absolutely none (i.e.,
"absolutely no prophecy was ever made..."). Furthermore
ou is placed first in
the Greek sentence for even greater emphasis. Peter could not have been
much clearer! God is the Author of His Word!
Peter explains the previous statement
of why no prophet starts a prophecy himself. He is not a self-starter
but a "Spirit-supercharged" man.
(pote ) means at some time or another (past or
future) and in this context referring to some time in the past.
pró = before or forth + phemí =
to tell, to speak) has the
literal meaning of speaking forth, with no connotation of prediction or
other supernatural or mystical significance. Propheteia
can refer to either spoken or written words.
See also Related Resources for
more detailed discussion of prophecy/prophets:
Dictionary Discussion of Prophecy
(see esp ISBE Article)
Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of
Biblical Theology - Prophecy
Propheteia is used
here in 2Peter 1:20 not primarily in the sense of prediction but in its
more basic and
broader meaning of speaking forth, of proclaiming a
Mounce writes that...
can be a prediction about the future, but in the majority of its uses it
refers to authoritative speech that has its origin with God. It can
refer to prophetic words (Rev 19:10) or activities (11:6).
refers to the words of the prophets of the OT (Mt 13:14, 2 Pet. 1:20)
and in the NT church (1Co 14:6), where it is seen as a gift of the Holy
Spirit (Ro 12:6; 1Co 12:10; 13:2; 14:22, 23, 24, 25).
Prophecy should be respected, but it should also be tested (1Th
5:20, 21; cf. 1Co 14:29, 30, 31, 32). That is, while prophecy carries
some authority, it is ultimately subject to the authority of the
apostles and their writings. The gift of prophecy may never contradict
the authoritative Word of God, such as is found in Revelation (Re 1:3;
Complete Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words. Grand
Rapids, MI: Zondervan or
1. act of
interpreting divine will or purpose, prophetic activity (Re 11:6)
2. 2. the
gift of interpreting divine will or purpose, gift of prophesying (Ro
12:6, 1Co 12:10, 13:2, 8, 14:22, 1Th 5:20, Re 19:10)
utterance of one who interprets divine will or purpose, prophecy... a.
of OT inspired statement (Mt 13:14, 2Pe 1:20, 21)...b. of inspired
statements by Christian prophets...in the form of a prophetic saying
(1Co 14:6, 1Th 5:20, 1Ti 1:18, 4:14, Re 1:3)
W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New
Testament and Other Early Christian Literature
the gift of
interpreting the will of the gods, Orac. ap. Luc. II. in N.T., the gift
of expounding scripture, of speaking and preaching.
UBS says propheteia
message of God, the gift of preaching the message of God; an inspired
message or utterance; intelligible preaching, an intelligible message
(as opposed to speaking in tongues
emanating from divine inspiration and declaring the purposes of God,
whether by reproving and admonishing the wicked, or comforting the
afflicted, or revealing things hidden; especially by foretelling future
events. Used in the NT
(1) of the
utterances of the OT prophets: Mt 13:14; 2Pe 1:20,21
(2) of the
prediction of events relating to Christ’s kingdom and its speedy
triumph, together with the consolations and admonitions pertaining
thereto: Rev 11:6; 22:19; the spirit of prophecy, the divine mind, to
which the prophetic faculty is due, Rev 19:10; Rev 1:3; 22:7,10,18;
(3) of the
endowment and speech of the Christian teachers called prophetai
(see prophetes, II. 1 f.): Ro 12:6; 1Cor 12:10; 13:2; 14:6,22; plural
the gifts and utterances of these prophets, 1Co 13:8; 1Th 5:20
specifically, of the prognostication of those achievements which one set
apart to teach the gospel will accomplish for the kingdom of Christ, 1Ti
4:14; plural 1Ti 1:18.
Vine writes that...
of OT prophecy was purely predictive, see Micah 5:2, e.g., and cp. John
11:51, prophecy is not necessarily, nor even primarily, fore-telling. It
is the declaration of that which cannot be known by natural means, Mt
26:68, it is the forth-telling of the will of God, whether with
reference to the past, the present, or the future, see Ge 20:7; Dt.
18:18; Rev 10:11; Rev 11:3. …
passages as 1Co 12:28; Ep 2:20, the 'prophets' are placed after the
'Apostles,' since not the prophets of Israel are intended, but the
'gifts' of the ascended Lord, Ep 4:8, 11; cp. Acts 13:1…the purpose of
their ministry was to edify, to comfort, and to encourage the believers,
1Co 14:3, while its effect upon unbelievers was to show that the secrets
of a man's heart are known to God, to convict of sin, and to constrain
to worship, 1Co 14:24, 25.
completion of the canon of Scripture prophecy apparently passed away,
1Co 13:8, 9 (Ed: But see MacArthur below). In his measure the
teacher has taken the place of the prophet, cp. the significant change
in 2Pe 2:1. The difference is that, whereas the message of the prophet
was a direct revelation of the mind of God for the occasion, the message
of the teacher is gathered from the completed revelation contained in
W E: Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament
Words. 1996. Nelson
The gift of prophecy is
simply the gift of preaching, of proclaiming the Word of God. God used
many Old and New Testament prophets to foretell future events, but that
was never an indispensable part of prophetic ministry.
Paul gives perhaps the best
definition of the prophetic gift stating that...
prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and
Peter’s admonition also
applies to that gift when he states...
speaks, let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God (1Pe 4:11).
John MacArthur notes that
the related verb...
means to speak forth, to proclaim. It assumes the speaker is before an
audience, and could mean “to speak publicly.” The connotation of
prediction was added sometime in the Middle Ages. Although many of the
prophets made predictions, that was not their basic ministry and the
idea is not involved in the original terms used to describe them and
their work. The original terms, in fact, did not necessarily carry the
idea of revelation. God revealed a great deal of His Word through the
prophets, but much of their ministry was simply proclaiming, expounding,
and exhorting with revelation already given. The biblical prophets
sometimes revealed (see 1Ti 4:14; 2Pe 1:21) and sometimes only
reiterated what had already been revealed. A prophet of God,
therefore, is simply one who speaks forth God’s Word, and prophecy
is the proclaiming of that Word. The gift of prophecy is the
Spirit–given and Spirit–empowered ability to proclaim the Word
completion of Scripture, prophecy has no longer been the means of new
revelation, but has only proclaimed what has already been
revealed in Scripture.
J: 1Corinthians. Chicago: Moody Press
(Bolding and color added for emphasis).
NIDNTT writes that...
is a noun made up of the stem -phē-, to say, proclaim, which
always has a religious connotation, and the prefix pro-, which as
a temporal adv. has the meaning of before, in advance. This may suggest
the meaning: one who predicts, one who tells beforehand. It
appears to be confirmed by the use of prophēmi, to predict,
proclaim in advance. However, prophēmi is not found until very
late, and so has no value as etymological evidence. Indeed, when one
examines the combination of pro- with verbs of speech in earlier
writings, it is evident that in no case does the object of the vb. point
to the future.
Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986.
Propheteia - 19x in 19v -
NAS = prophecies(1), prophecy(15), prophesying(1), prophetic
utterance(1), prophetic utterances(1).
"In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which
says, 'YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; YOU WILL KEEP
ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE;
Romans 12:6-note Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given
to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy,
according to the proportion of his faith
Here propheteia refers to the gift of prophecy which is the
Spirit-endowed skill of publicly proclaiming God’s Word. In one sense
all believers since their possess the Spirit, are equipped to speak
forth the Word of God, but some believers are specifically given the
ability to do so as for example in public proclamation and preaching of
the gospel. (See also John MacArthur
Romans 12:6-7 Ministry of Spiritual Gifts, Part 2
1 Corinthians 12:10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to
another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits,
to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation
1 Corinthians 13:2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all
mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove
mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of
prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will
cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.
Those who feel prophecy was a temporary sign gift base their
interpretation primarily on this passage. John MacArthur assumes "that
prophecy is a permanent edifying gift." (Commentary on 1Corinthians)
1 Corinthians 14:6 But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in
tongues, what will I profit you unless I speak to you either by way of
revelation or of knowledge or of prophecy or of teaching?
1 Corinthians 14:22 So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who
believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, not to
unbelievers but to those who believe.
1 Thessalonians 5:20-note do not despise prophetic utterances.
The speaking forth of the truth of God's Word is the primary intent of
this passage. Paul is not primarily referring to "new revelation". He
knew that prophecy or speaking forth of the Word of Truth (especially
sound doctrine) which was already revealed in the Old and New Testaments
was essential for the spiritual health of the Body of Christ, thus the
command not to look down upon it or despise it! We are seeing a movement
in modern Christianity, in which many churches are minimizing the
importance of the Bible (it's not "seeker friendly"!) and are in a very
practical sense, "despising" prophetic utterances! The modern
church desperately needs to read and heed the timeless truth in Jeremiah
1 Timothy 1:18 This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in
accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you,
that by them you fight the good fight,
MacArthur comments: Timothy had a confirmation to live up to.
Timothy’s calling had been confirmed through prophecies. Prophets in the
New Testament era spoke the revelation of God’s will to the early
church. Prophecy is the gift of proclaiming God’s Word. In one sense,
anyone who preaches or teaches God’s Word is a prophet. Unlike
present-day teachers and preachers, however, New Testament prophets
occasionally received direct revelation from God. While doctrine was the
province of the apostles (cf.. Acts 2:42), prophets seem to be the
instruments God used to speak of practical issues (cf. Acts 21:10,
John: 1Timothy Moody Press
1 Timothy 4:14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was
bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands
by the presbytery.
MacArthur Comments: There was a public affirmation of his gift
through direct revelation from God (cf.. 1Ti 1:18), though the
circumstances of that utterance are not given in Scripture. It likely
took place, however, shortly after Timothy met Paul on the apostle’s
second missionary journey (Acts 16:1, 2, 3). Timothy’s prophetic call
was reminiscent of that of Paul himself (cf.. Acts 13:2). In our
day, God’s call comes not through special revelation, but through
providence. If God wants a man in the ministry, He will give him that
desire and open a door of opportunity for him.
John: 1Timothy Moody Press
that gift to Timothy, and then articulated that gift through the
prophecies and then confirmed it by the laying on of hands on Timothy as
an act of confirmation by the elders. So the elders laid their hands
confirming Timothy to the ministry because God Himself through the voice
of the prophets through prophecies had articulated Timothy's ministry. (Fighting
the Noble War--Part 2 -- John MacArthur)
2 Peter 1:20 But know this first of all, that no
prophecy of Scripture
is a matter of one's own interpretation,
21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved
by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
Revelation 1:3-note Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of
the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time
Garland comments: This book is not merely an allegory or devotional
treatise extolling the eventual victory of good over evil. The events
described within this book are bona fide prophecy and include the
prediction of actual historical events. (Ref)
Revelation 11:6-note These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain
will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power
over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with
every plague, as often as they desire.
Revelation 19:10-note Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to
me, "Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren
who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus
is the spirit of prophecy."
The idea of "spirit of prophecy" is that "Genuine prophecy
reports God’s own revelation of Christ and never deviates from
Garland has a lengthy comment on spirit of prophecy: All revelation
given by God through His prophets was by the Spirit.
of the LORD spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue” (2S. 23:2).
I am full of power by the Spirit of the LORD, and of justice and might,
to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin” (Mic. 3:8).
referred to David’s statement in Psalm 110, He said, “How then does
David in the Spirit call Him “Lord”?” (Mt 22:43). Peter said, “this
Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the
mouth of David concerning Judas” (Acts 1:16).
it would be by “the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father” that
the apostles would receive testimony concerning Him (John 15:26), “He
will tell you things to come” (John 16:13).
prophet Agabus “stood up and showed by the Spirit that there as going to
be a great famine throughout all the world” (Acts 11:28).
took Paul’s belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, “Thus says the
Holy Spirit, ‘So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this
belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles’ ” (Acts 21:11).
passages written by Peter, by the power of the Spirit, are of particular
1:10,11, 12) Peter indicates that it was “the Spirit of Christ who
was in” the prophets that testified. Thus, the Spirit of Jesus was the
empowering source of their testimony. Yet Peter also indicates that the
Spirit “testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories
that would follow.” In other words, the message which the Spirit
testified concerned Jesus Christ.
1:19, 20, 21) Peter indicates that all prophecy came by the Spirit.
When the prophets spoke, God spoke by His Spirit. They were moved
(pheromenoi) by the Holy Spirit. It was not their own will, but God’s
initiative which produced their inspired testimony. They were born along
by God’s Spirit much like a ship is driven by wind and weather (Acts
27:15). They were not in ultimate control, but were vessels which God
moved according to His purpose (John 3:8).(A
Testimony of Jesus Christ)
Revelation 22:7-note "And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who
heeds the words of the prophecy of this book."
Garland writes: In order to keep the words of the prophecy of this
book, believers must:
1. Guard the text from tampering and corruption.
2. Guard the proper interpretation of the words. “Believers are called
to guard or protect the book of Revelation. It must be defended against
detractors who deny its relevance, against critics who deny its veracity
and authority, as well as against confused interpreters who obscure its
Systems of Interpretation..
3. Apply the lessons of the book to their own lives (Lk 6:46; Jn 14:15;
4. Promulgate the message of the book to the church and to those who
have not heard. (note)
22:10-note And he said to me, "Do not seal up the words of the
prophecy of this
book, for the time is near.
Revelation 22:18-note I testify to everyone who hears the words of the
prophecy of this
book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are
written in this book;
22:19-note and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this
God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy
city, which are written in this book.
There are only 6 uses of
propheteia in the
- 2Chr 15:8; 32:32;
Ezra 5:1; 6:14; Neh 6:12; Jer 23:31
When the prophets, Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo,
prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name
of the God of Israel, who was over them,
6:14 And the elders of the Jews were successful in building through the
prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo.
And they finished building according to the command of the God of Israel
and the decree of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.
Then I perceived that surely God had not sent him, but he uttered
his prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired
23:31 "Behold, I am against the prophets," declares the LORD, "who use
their tongues (Lxx translates with propheteia = prophecies) and
declare, 'The Lord declares.'
(phero) means to bear, bring forth (see discussion of the second
use of phero below)
What was "borne along"? In
context phero refers to bearing along or conveying a divine
proclamation (prophecy). The bearing along was not the result of men's
power but of the Spirit.
Prophets did not originate prophecy;
they were instruments of the Holy Spirit who used them to speak from
God. Prophecy does not begin with man’s will but with God’s will. Thus,
the interpretation of prophecy must not be subject to man’s will.
Conversely, man’s will must be subject to the Scriptures, as the Spirit
of God makes their meaning clear. (Peter’s
Readiness to Remind- Bible.org )
Beloved, don't miss what this verse
is saying - Simply stated, Peter is teaching that the Scriptures are
inspired by God (cf 2Ti 3:16, 17-note).
Stated another way, what Peter is saying (in essence) in 2Peter 1:20, 21
is that one Author guided the Biblical writers
through the process of recording His Words with their
pens. Indeed, the resulting inarguable unity of the 66 books is another
amazing proof of the divine inspiration and authority of the entire
Bible! Hallelujah! (See A W Pink's
The Divine Inspiration of the Bible)
from thelo = to will with
the "-ma" suffix indicating the result of the will = "a thing
willed") generally speaks of the result of what one has decided. One sees
this root word in the feminine name "Thelma." In its most basic form,
thelema refers to a wish, a strong desire, and the willing of some
event. (Note: See also the discussion of the preceding word
for comments relating to thelema).
says that thelema is the...
Will, not to be conceived as a
demand, but as an expression or inclination of pleasure towards that
which is liked, that which pleases and creates joy. When it denotes
God's will, it signifies His gracious disposition toward something. Used
to designate what God Himself does of His own good pleasure.
S. The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament. AMG
both an objective meaning (“what one wishes to happen” or what is
willed) and a subjective connotation (“the act of willing or desiring”).
The word conveys the idea of desire, even a heart’s desire, for the word
primarily expresses emotion instead of volition. Thus God’s will is not
so much God’s intention, as it is His heart’s desire.
62x in 58v - Mt 6:10; 7:21; 12:50; 18:14; 21:31; 26:42; Mark 3:35; Luke
12:47; 22:42; 23:25; Jn 1:13; 4:34; 5:30; 6:38, 39, 40; 7:17; 9:31;
Acts 13:22; 21:14; 22:14; Ro 1:10-note;
1Cor 1:1; 7:37; 16:12; 2Cor 1:1; 8:5; Gal 1:4; Ep 1:1-note,
Ep 6:6-note; Col
Col 4:12-note; 1Th 4:3-note;
1Th 5:18-note; 2Ti 1:1-note;
2Ti 2:26-note; He 10:7-note,
He 13:21-note; 1Pe 2:15-note;
1Pe 4:19-note; 2Pe 1:21-note; 1Jn 2:17; 5:14; Rev
4:11-note. NAS = desire(1), desires(1), will(57).
Note that Peter does
not say "was never interpreted", reiterating
the teaching in v20 that
the speaking forth of God's
word did not originate with the speaker.
for an in depth study on
Inspiration and Inerrancy.
The verbs "made...moved"
are both the same phero and both in the passive voice
(action exerted on the men from without). In other words it was not man's
that originated the Scriptures. And yet Peter explains that men were involved
in the process for the Holy
Spirit bore them along as they wrote, guarding them from
writing error and guiding them to write God's Word to us.
Prophecy is of divine origin, not of one’s private origination.
As Scripture is not of human origin, neither is it the
result of human will. The emphasis
in the phrase is that no part of Scripture was ever at any time produced because men wanted it to be
The Bible is not the product of human effort. To the
contrary, even the human writers of Scripture wrote that sometimes they
wrote things (under divine inspiration) that even they could not fully understand.
prophesied of the
grace that would come to you
within them was
indicating as He
Christ and the
Even though they had incomplete understanding of what they wrote,
the human authors were
still faithful to write what God had revealed to them
portions and in
ways". (see notes of
Words derived from the will of man not only deceive the perpetrator's
own heart but they also poison the hearer. And this is exactly the
scenario Peter is building up to in Chapter 2, one of the clearest
exposes of false teachers in the entire Word of God. This same type of deceptive
teaching was found in the OT, for example in Jeremiah where God compared
their false, deceptive teaching to straw (God's word like a hammer, fire
which offered no spiritual benefit to the hearers and in fact led them
BUT MEN MOVED
BY THE HOLY SPIRIT SPOKE FROM GOD: alli hupi
(by, under) pneumatos hagiou pheromenoi (PPPMPN)
elalesan (3PAAI) api theou anthropoi: (Lk 1:70; 2Ti 3:16; 1Pe
1:10,11, Jos 14:6; 1Ki 17:18,24; Nu 16:28; 2Sa 23:2; Micah 3:7; Rev
19:10 Mk 12:36; Acts 1:16; 3:18; 28:25; Heb 3:7; 9:8; 10:15)
(See Torrey's Topic "Inspiration
of the Holy Spirit")
(alla) means "on the contrary" which presents a
strong antithesis to the idea that prophecy originated from the mind &
will of men. Peter supports Paul's doctrine that Scripture is not a man-made
creation but represents the words breathed by God (see notes on
inspiration of Scripture in 2Ti 3:16,17-note.
and not the will of men
was the Source of Holy Scripture. In the OT alone,
the human writers refer to their writings as the words of God over 3800
These "Men" (the human instruments who "transcribed" as it were the
the Words of God) were continually carried or borne along by the Spirit
(phero) means to bear or carry of a ship carried along by the
wind. Phero is in the
meaning that they were continually carried or borne
conveys the sense that they were not borne along by their own power but
by an external source, in this case by the Holy Spirit.
Luke describes the ship taking
Paul to Rome being caught in the dangerous wind known as Euraquilo
And after they had hoisted it up,
they used supporting cables in undergirding the ship; and fearing that
they might run aground on the shallows of Syrtis, they let down the sea
anchor, and so let themselves be driven (phero) along. (Acts
This is a beautiful figurative use of the phero
picturing these men being moved along like ships by the Ruach HaKodesh
(OT Hebrew words for the "Holy Spirit") are a
picture of the PROPHETS who were "vessels" raising their sails
so to speak (they
were not inanimate ships but were receptive and obedient "vessels"
nevertheless) and the Holy
Spirit filling them and carrying their craft along in the direction HE
wished. Men spoke but what they spoke was from God. So these prophets
were continually being moved along by the Spirit, much as the Spirit
moved over the waters at Creation: [Ge 1:2]
"and the Spirit of God was
moving over (LXX
uses the related verb epiphero) the surface of the waters."
"To assure verbal precision God,
in communicating His revelation, must be verbally precise, and
inspiration must extend to the very words. This does not mean that God
dictated every word. Rather His Spirit so pervaded the mind of the human
writer that he chose out of his own vocabulary and experience precisely
those words, thoughts and expressions that conveyed God's message with
precision. In this sense the words of the human authors of Scripture can
be viewed as the word of God." (LaSor,
Hubbard and Bush, Old Testament Survey, p. 15)
Spoke from God (2980)
originally referred to sounds like chatter of birds, prattling of
children and then came to be used of the highest form of speech.
Though the human writers of Scripture were active (spoke
is in the "active voice" indicating the subject carries out the action)
rather than passive in the process of writing Scripture, God the Holy
Spirit superintended them so that, using their own individual
personalities, thought processes, and vocabulary, they composed and
recorded without error the exact words God wanted written. The
original copies of Scripture are therefore inspired, i.e., God-breathed
(cf. 2Ti 3:16) and inerrant, i.e., without error. Peter
defined the process of inspiration which created an inerrant original
text (cf Pr 30:5 Ps 12:6, 18:30, 19:7)
"Yes, men spoke.
They spoke with their own language and style. But Peter mentions two
other dimensions of their speaking. First, they spoke from
God. What they have to say is not merely from their own limited
perspective. They are not the origin of the truth they speak;
they are the channel. The truth is God's truth. Their
meaning is God's meaning. Second, not only is what they spoke
from God, but how they spoke it is controlled by the Holy Spirit.
"Men, moved by the Holy Spirit, spoke from God." God did not simply
reveal truth to the writers of Scripture and then depart in hopes that
they might communicate it accurately. Peter says that in the very
communicating of it they were carried by the Holy Spirit. The making of
the Bible was not left to merely human skills of communication; the
Holy Spirit Himself carried the process to completion....But
what about the New Testament? Did the apostles and their close
associates (Mark, Luke, James, Jude and the writer to the Hebrews)
experience divine inspiration as they wrote? Were they "carried"
by the Holy Spirit to speak from God? The Christian church has always
answered yes. Jesus said to his apostles in Jn 16:12, 13,
say to you, but you
now. 13 "But
when He, the
comes, He will
guide you into
truth; for He will not
speak on His
hears, He will
speak; and He will
disclose to you what is to
Then the apostle Paul confirms this when he says of his own apostolic
teaching in 1Cor 2:12,13, "Now we have received, not the spirit of the
world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things
freely given to us by God, 13 which things we also speak, not in words
taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining
spiritual thoughts with spiritual words." In 2Co 13:3 he said that
Christ speaks in him. And in Gal 1:12 he said, "For I neither received
it, but I received it
Christ." If we take Paul as our model
for what it meant to be an apostle of Christ, then it would be fair to
say that the New Testament as well as the Old is not merely from man but
also from God. The writers of the Old Testament and New Testament spoke
as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." (Read the entire sermon
The Holy Spirit: Author of Scripture)
><> ><> ><>
Always Right - A weatherman boasted, "I'm 90 percent
right—10 percent of the time." That's a ridiculous statement, but some
people resort to that type of doubletalk to cover up a poor record.
The Bible's prophetic record, though, truly is accurate. Let's look at a
The Lord Jesus was born in the city of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) of a virgin
(Isaiah 7:14) at the time specified (Da 9:25-note). Infants in Bethlehem
were massacred as prophesied (Jeremiah 31:15). Jesus went down into
Egypt and returned (Hosea 11:1). Isaiah foretold Christ's ministry in
Galilee (Isaiah 9:1, 2). Zechariah predicted His triumphal entry into
Jerusalem on a colt (Zechariah 9:9) and His betrayal for 30 pieces of
silver (Zech 11:12, 13). David had never seen a Roman crucifixion, yet in
Psalm 22, under divine inspiration, he penned a graphic portrayal of
Jesus' death. Isaiah 53 gives a detailed picture of our Lord's
rejection, mistreatment, death, and burial. These few prophecies (and
there are many more) should impress us with the reliability of the
Since these predictions have all been fulfilled, let us also accept with
confidence what the Bible says about the future. Remember, we have a
book of prophecy that is right—all of the time!—Richard De Haan
Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights
I'll trust in God's unchanging Word
Till soul and body sever;
For though all things shall pass away,
His Word shall stand forever! —Luther
You can trust the Bible—God always keeps His word.
><> ><> ><>
Windtalkers - Their contribution to victory in
World War II was enormous, but few people even knew about them. In 1942,
the US Army recruited and trained 29 young Navajo Indians and sent them
to a base surrounded in secrecy. These people, who were called
"windtalkers," had been asked to devise a special code in their native
language that the enemy couldn't break. They succeeded, and the code was
never broken. It secured and greatly speeded up war communications. For
23 years after the war, that secret code remained classified in case it
might be needed again.
By contrast, the Bible was not sent down to us in some unbreakable code
impossible to understand. Although it contains rich imagery, vivid
metaphors, and the record of magnificent visions, it was written by
human authors to give people the message of God's love and salvation.
That message is clear and unmistakable. The biblical writers were moved
by God's Spirit to record exactly what He wanted us to know. For
centuries people have been freed from their sin and guilt by believing
We owe a great debt to the windtalkers. We owe an even greater debt to
the writers of Scripture, who received God's Word and wrote it down. So
let's read it often. —David C. Egner
Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights
When reading God's Word, take special
To find the rich treasures hidden there;
Give thought to each line, each precept clear,
Then practice it well with godly fear. —Anon.
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