2 Peter 1:19-21, “19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, 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, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
As we’ve continued our study of 2 Peter, we’ve come to see the false teachers that troubled the original audience Peter addresses and how they denied that Christ would return in judgment. These false teachers wanted to claim the name of Jesus but not submit to the apostolic teaching regarding the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus. These teachers made a lot of claims regarding the 2 Coming of Christ, including the Apostles invented it. Peter refutes this charge by reminding his audience he was an eyewitness of the Transfiguration. As a manifestation of Jesus’ glory, the Transfiguration is a confirmatory sign that His glory will be manifested to all flesh when the Lord Jesus returns. Having seen this glory once, the Apostles could be sure they would see it again.
2 Peter 1:19-21 tells us that we do not have the eyewitness testimony confirming when the Lord Jesus will return. Instead, we have “something more sure” the prophetic word (2 Peter 1:19). It is unlikely that Peter viewed the Old Testament prophecy as more reliable than his own testimony since as an Apostle he spoke the Lord’s Word. Instead, he seems to mean that the surety of the prophecies about the 2 Coming is further confirmed by the Transfiguration that anticipates this event.
The prophecies indicating that the Messiah will both suffer and reign visibly in glory (Isaiah 53; Daniel 7:13-14) make it clear the Lord Jesus must come again in His Second Coming to fulfill the Old Testament prophecy. In denying the Second Coming, these false teachers known to Peter’s original audience questioned not only the validity of the Apostles but also the testimony of the messengers sent by the Lord Jesus. These false teachers were content to accuse the Old Covenant Prophets of falsely foreseeing how the Messiah would one day return to reign and judge (2 Peter 1:20). This is why Peter in 2 Peter 1:21 reminds his readers that no “prophecy of Scripture” is a matter of one’s own interpretation. Instead, all of Scripture’s prophecies come from the Lord God Himself who moved His prophets to write His Words down for His people. All the words of Scripture must be believed and obeyed, then, for only those who do not know God will question their veracity.
2 Peter 1:20-21 is one of the most important texts in the Bible regarding the inspiration of the Scripture. Theologians use this passage to explain the dual authorship of Scripture by which they mean that the Holy Spirit used the individual personality and writing style of each biblical author to create the distinctive books of the Bible, but He did so in a way that renders both the text authoritative and unified in its teaching. Please take some time today to marvel at the God who is mighty in power who displayed His work of revelation in His Word, and thank Him for giving us a sure light and a lamp unto our feet, for all of life in the Word of God.
Dave Jenkins is happily married to Sarah Jenkins. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, the Host and Producer of Equipping You in Grace Podcast, and is a contributor to and producer of Contending for the Word. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021) and The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against the Spirit of the Age (G3 Press, 2022). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.