What Does 2 Peter 1:19–21 Mean?

God Can Be Trusted

One of the key themes that emerges from the careful study of 2 Peter and Jude is the importance of the word of God. Probably one of the most important or significant passages in 2 Peter about Scripture is found in chapter 2 Peter 1:19–21 which says,

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, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 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.

The God Who Judges and Saves

Matthew S. Harmon

In this addition to the New Testament Theology series, Matthew S. Harmon examines the unique themes of 2 Peter and Jude as well as their common ground, addressing topics such as false teaching, God’s authority, and the new heavens and the new earth.

So there are a few key truths that come out of this set of verses about Scripture. The first is that Scripture has its source and its origin from God. Scripture is not a human idea. First and foremost, it is a divine idea. God is a God who speaks and delights to reveal himself. And so when God speaks, he is telling us something about who he is, what he values, what’s important to him, and what he is doing in this world. But Scripture doesn’t just drop down straight from heaven for us. He uses human beings. He, by his Spirit, empowers human authors to write down exactly what he wants us to know.

Scripture is not a human idea. First and foremost, it is a divine idea.

The imagery that’s used here is really of wind filling a sail on a ship. The sail catches the wind and that helps power the ship. And so when God speaks, that empowers human authors to understand and write down the very words of God. And that is our foundation; that is the source of our confidence—that God is faithful to his promises and that he can be trusted no matter what circumstances we are facing.

Matthew S. Harmon is the author of The God Who Judges and Saves: A Theology of 2 Peter and Jude.

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