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This page revised and Copyrighted: Theon Doxazo

14 December, 2023

 

Vs. 16-21 - Moved by The Holy Spirit

02.3.8

2 Pet 1:16-21 - Text

 

16 - For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.

17 - For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased” -

18 - and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

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.

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.

 

2 Pet 1:16-21 - Commentary

 

What have we seen above?  The introductory verses 1:1-5a were portrayed as providing a foundation for the sequence of virtues found in verses 1:5b-7.  Following on this the consequences of maturing in this sequence of virtues (these things) were highlighted in the most extreme form in verses 1:8-15.  Taken as a whole these verses stress the importance of the 2nd Peter virtues.

 

I would argue that the verses above (1:16-21) play a similar, supporting role.  Peter has just stressed the importance of the eight virtues in verses 1:8-15.  Now he turns to stress the importance of his testimony.  He has told us that 'these things' are important, and we need to pay attention to him!

 

In 1:16-18 Peter reminds us of his apostolic calling as a witness and close associate of our Lord.  We should pay attention to his exhortation to practice 'these things' because of who and what he is.  For those open to accepting Peter as the author of this book, then his portrayal of himself as an 'eyewitness', 'with Him', and having 'heard the utterance' are understandable.  These are claims that the author had a very personal presence and involvement in the events of the transfiguration.  These claims stress that it was Peter, himself, that was the inspired author of this book.  For those that do not accept that Peter was inspired to write/dictate this book, verses 16-18 would seem to be particularly egregious misrepresentations.

 

In 1:19 we are somewhat open in what he may be referring to by the term 'prophetic word'.  It may be that he is referring to the old testament prophecies.  Thus, Peter's witnessing of Christ's life and transfiguration 'makes more sure' the testimony of the prophets about the messiah.  On the other hand, it may be that Peter was referring to the prophecies by our Lord Jesus.  Thus, Peter's witnessing of these events 'makes more sure' the words of Christ.  Finally, Peter may be speaking of the broad sweep of Scripture generally.  This interpretation is frequently supported by various commentators as they discuss verses 20-21.  Important here is the understanding that, if this is the correct way to understand what Peter is referring to as 'the prophetic word', it would include the text of 2nd Peter as well.  Thus, using this interpretation, verses 19-21 can then be understood as supplying still another reason the reader should attend to 'these things'.  We need to listen to what Peter is telling us about 'these things' because he, like all the authors of Scripture, was 'moved by the Holy Spirit spoke(n) from God' to emphasize the importance of 'these things'.

 

Yes, I know that the vast expanse of Biblical commentary looks at verses 19-21 and attends to the importance of Scripture as 'God-breathed'.  Yet, as one sees this clearly in the text, the mind then asks, 'Why discuss this topic here and now?'  Inspecting the context for 19-21 leaves us with the forceful impression that this passage, like verses 8-15, is being used to support, draw attention to, and defend the importance of verses 5b-7.  Again, when one considers the extraordinary breadth, extent, and intensity of these passages of Scripture, one is driven helplessly to the conclusion that the sequence of virtues in 2nd Peter 1:5-7 must be of immense importance.  We would do well to understand them and to strive to build them into our lives.