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What does 2 Peter 1:20 mean about interpreting Scripture?



    
    

Clarify Share Report Asked March 10 2014 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
Second Peter 1:20 says, "Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation of things." Actually, 2 Peter 1:20 emphasizes the source of Old ...

March 10 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Mini Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
In 2 Peter 1:20, Peter was not prohibiting the private study of the Bible. Some religious groups have taught that only the “spiritual leaders” may interpret Scripture and they have utilized this verse as their defense. But Peter was not writing primarily about the interpretation of Scripture, but the origin of Scripture as Michael said:

It came by the Holy Spirit through holy men of God.
And since it came by the Spirit, it must be taught by
the Spirit.

The word translated “private” simply means “one’s own” or “its own.” The suggestion is, since all Scripture is inspired by the Spirit it must all “hang together,” and no one Scripture should be divorced/separated from the others.

You can use the Bible to prove almost anything you want it to if you isolate verses from their proper context, which is exactly the approach the false teachers use. Peter stated that the witness of the apostles confirmed the witness of the prophetic Word; there is one message with no contradiction. 
Therefore, the only way these false teachers can “prove” their heretical doctrines is by misusing the Word of God. Isolated texts, apart from contexts, become pretexts. 

The connection that makes the most satisfactory sense is that prophets did not invent their own prophecies (2 Peter 1:20), for their impulse for prophesying came from God (2 Peter 1:21). In 2 Peter 1:21 "moved" (KJV) means literally "borne along" or "carried along", suggesting a picture of a boat driven by the wind, as it is used in Acts 27:15, 17. I.e. 
carried along of the Holy Spirit, both in the moment of writing and in the numerous circumstances of the writer’s life—culminating in the production of Scripture.

MSG "The main thing to keep in mind here is that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of private opinion. And why? Because it’s not something concocted in the human heart. Prophecy resulted when the Holy Spirit prompted men and women to speak God’s Word." (2 Peter 1:20 The Message Bible)

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