Selected Studies from 2 Peter Part 2: The Prophetic Foundation for the Christian Life: An Exposition of 2 Peter 1:19-21 -- By: D. Edmond Hiebert

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 141:562 (Apr 1984)
Article: Selected Studies from 2 Peter Part 2: The Prophetic Foundation for the Christian Life: An Exposition of 2 Peter 1:19-21
Author: D. Edmond Hiebert


Selected Studies from 2 Peter
Part 2:
The Prophetic Foundation for the Christian Life:
An Exposition of 2 Peter 1:19-21

D. Edmond Hiebert

[D. Edmond Hiebert, Professor Emeritus of New Testament, Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, Fresno, California]

And 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. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God (2 Pet 1:19–21, NASB).

In the first chapter of this epistle the Apostle Peter expresses his deep personal concern for the continuing growth and spiritual maturity of his readers. He sees their growth in Christian knowledge and character as the best safeguard against their being misled by false teachers. The very nature of the divine life which was imparted to them through faith in Jesus Christ lays on them the duty to grow in Christian knowledge and moral character. Such maturity in the faith brings an abiding stability into the Christian life, for it is grounded on solid certainties. Beginning with verse 16, Peter sets forth the objective certainty of Christian truth.

The certainty of the Christian message in verses 16–18 is grounded in the personal experience of the apostles; in verses 19–21 that message is grounded in the certainty of prophetic revelation. The validity of the Christian faith and life is rooted in the self-revelation of God to mankind. The call to spiritual maturity is undergirded by the nature and function of inspired prophecy.

The opening “And” (καὶ) of verse 19 coordinates; it introduces a second ground of assurance concerning “the power and coming” (v. 16) of Christ. Peter points out the character of the prophetic Word (v. 19a), pictures the present function of biblical prophecy (v. 19b), and stresses the origin of prophecy (vv. 20–21).

The Certainty of Prophetic Revelation

“And so we have the prophetic word made more sure” (καὶ ἔχομεν βεβαι...

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