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.” (2 Peter 1:20-21)
2 Peter 1:20-21 is one of two definitive portions of Scripture which speak of the revelation and inspiration of God’s Word. The other is 2 Timothy 3:16-17 which says, “16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
Paralleling the words of the Apostle Paul, Peter shared to his readers that there was a priority truth which they were to continuously know or understand. That priority truth was that “no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.”
Prophecy (προφητεία; propheteia) means an inspired utterance by God. Scripture (γραφή; graphe) refers to sacred and holy writings originated by God. All inspired utterances by God which were written down and originated by the Holy Spirit did not come from someone’s own interpretation. God determined the meaning of each portion of Scripture He created. Humans do not determine the meaning of God’s Word, but humans are to discover what Scripture means.
Within the particular context of today’s text, Peter was directly alluding to the Old Testament. However, 2 Peter 1:20-21 now equally applies to the New Testament.
Peter goes on to say that no inspired utterance by God (prophecy) was ever produced by the will of man. The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testament, did not originate by the prophets or the apostles. Rather, the writings came from God alone.
The prophets and the apostles spoke from God. They were heralds who God gave the responsibility to be His spokespersons. In fact, they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. The phrase “carried along” (φέρω; phero) means guided, directed and led.
Dr. John Walvoord explains that, “As the authors of Scripture wrote their prophecies, they were impelled or borne along by God’s Spirit. What they wrote was thus inspired by God (2 Tim. 3:16). “Borne along” or “carried along” translates the word pheromenoi. Luke used this word in referring to a sailing vessel carried along by the wind (Acts 27:15, 17). The Scriptures’ human authors were controlled by the divine Author, the Holy Spirit. Yet they were consciously involved in the process; they were neither taking dictation nor writing in a state of ecstasy. No wonder believers have a word of prophecy which is certain. And no wonder a Christian’s nurture must depend on the Scriptures. They are the very words of God Himself!”
Enjoy a feast from the Word of God today.
Soli deo Gloria!